our workshops

Your presentation was ‘the absolute best’—the best planned, best organized and most effectively delivered presentation that I have ever attended. It was clear that you both put quality time and effort into giving us as much solid and useful information as possible in the time allotted…I got so much out of your presentation! I left there feeling so motivated…I sincerely hope it was fun for both of you because you were both so entertaining and informative for all of us.

Marjorie Baker, Ph.D

We offer the following workshops for writers all of experience levels. These workshops can be held in/at bookstores, writing conferences, professional conferences, book festivals, continuing education programs, writing groups, or in your very own home (with a minimum of 20 people)!

Pitchapalooza

Five years ago, we created an event that has drawn thousands of people into bookstores, writing conferences and book festivals all over the country. It’s called Pitchapalooza, the American Idol for books (only without Simon) and it works like this: Anyone with an idea for a book has the chance to pitch it to a panel of judges. But they get only one minute. Eckstut and Sterry team up with two guest industry insiders to form the judging panel. The Judges critique everything from idea to style to potential in the marketplace and much, much more. Whether potential authors pitch themselves, or simply listen to trained professionals critique each presentation, Pitchapaloozas are educational and entertaining for one and all. All attendees come away with concrete advice on how to improve their pitch as well as a greater understanding of the ins and outs of the publishing industry. At the end of each Pitchapalooza, the judges come together to pick a winner. The winner receives an introduction by Eckstut and Sterry to an agent or publisher is appropriate for their work. From Miami to Portland, from LA to NYC, and many stops along the way, Pitchapaloozas have consistently drawn standing-room-only crowds, press and blog coverage, and the kind of bookstore buzz reserved for celebrity authors.

The Pitchapalooza can be combined with an hour version of our “How To Get Published Workshop”.

How To Get Published Successfully

It is the greatest time in history to be a writer.  The barrier to publishing has been torn down and now anyone can get published.  But to get published successfully is a whole other matter.  Eckstut and Sterry take you through the entire publishing process. This step-by-step, soups-to-nuts workshop will remove the smoke and mirrors from the murky world of publishing and give writers a compass and map to a successfully published book. Topics covered include:

  • Choosing the right idea
  • Creating a blockbuster title
  • Crafting an attention-getting pitch
  • Putting together a selling proposal/manuscript
  • Finding the right agent/publisher
  • Self-publishing effectively with ebooks, print-on-demand or traditional printing
  • Developing sales, marketing and publicity savvy
  • Producing a video book trailer and helping it go viral
  • Building a following through social media

Perfecting Your Pitch

A great pitch is one of the most powerful and underestimated tools any writer can have in his/her quest to be published successfully. From landing an agent and a book deal, to self-publishing well, to getting traction online, to attracting media, to convincing booksellers that they must carry your book, to letting readers know why they should buy your book, the perfect pitch is the goose that will lay your golden publishing egg. Find out how to craft and dynamite pitch. And be sure to bring your pitch with you, even if it’s far from perfect!

The Art of the Memoir: Telling and Selling Your Life Story

Find out what it takes to write and sell your life story.  We discuss the joys and the perils, the agony and the ecstasy of writing and selling your memoir. This workshop will show you how to:

  • Make a narrative out of your particular story
  • Deal with issues of privacy and the lunacy of family
  • Figure out how to navigate the stormy seas of the publishing world

A healthy Q&A session will follow the workshop.  And all questions will be answered.

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What People Are Saying about Our Workshops

Praise for Putting Your Passion into Print Workshops

“I was in attendance at Books and Company last evening when you presented your book. I have attended many book signings over the years and I have to tell you, your presentation was ‘the absolute best’—the best planned, best organized and most effectively delivered presentation at a book signing that I have ever attended.  It was clear that you both put quality time and effort into giving us as much solid and useful information as possible in the time allotted. Thank you so much for that! I’m fairly knowledgeable about the topic in that I have read Larsen and Herman, as well as many books on publishing and literary agents, etc. Yet, I got so much out of your presentation! I left there feeling so motivated after hearing you that I am now more committed than ever to finishing my book proposal. I sincerely hope it was fun for both of you because you were both so entertaining and informative for all of us.”–Marjorie Baker, Ph.D.

“You guys!!  Thank you for that phenomenal all-day session at Stanford a few weeks ago. Can’t thank you enough for providing the most energizing and invigorating 
forum for getting us all in touch with The Writer Within.”–Wendy Abraham

“More beneficial than leeches. Stimulating without anesthesia. More useful than bleeding. I have been at work incorporating your ideas from “Putting Your Passion Into Print” and from the seminar at Book Passage. With so much pabulum about writing and publishing in the marketplace, you are catalytic. Just the elixir I needed. Thanks.”
–Richard Kennedy

“Merci, danke, merci bien, grazie, thank you, many thanks, much obliged,
much appreciated, thank you kindly. I am back here in Redding at my computer, newly inspired and enthused, having
 you and Arielle’s wise, witty and empowering class under my belt.”—Susan Terrell

“You two are amazing!  We sold a ton of books. I nominated it for Booksense when it first came out, but think I will do it again, maybe under a pseudonym.  Thanks again for a great book and a great presentation.  You’re the best!”—Mary Gleysteen, Eagle Harbor Books

“Thanks for the informative and lively seminar at Stanford.  You really took us WAY down the learning curve.  After I went home, I completely revised my book outline which will lead ultimately, I believe, to a successful pitch.” –Dr. Nanette Fondas

“I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the workshop at Stanford yesterday. I had fun and learned a lot; a good combination.” –Stephen Bates

“I am the bespectacled dame who followed the powerful pitch of the 
black-clad ex-con with my chirpy holistic breakup spiel at the Strand
 Bookstore last week.
David:  you were very compassionate, especially toward the somewhat older
 woman who went way over her time with her ghostly novel offering…cutting 
her off at 60 seconds would have been cruel, and you were so right to be
 generous with her. Arielle:  You and the whole panel were kind but firm, supportive but 
willing to give tough love…the mark of good teachers. You guys are great.  Thanks very much for the inspirational opportunity.”—Rebecca Klinger

“I wanted to thank both you VERY much for
 the fabulous workshop at Miami Dade College! Your workshop was a very uplifting 
antidote for me rather than antidepressants.”–Ayn Patrick

“The workshop with you and Arielle was something that I really needed to hear.  The two of you were real, inspiring, and most of all I could tell that you really got through to people.  Putting your Passion into Print was definitely needed, and your dedication to helping others overcome their own obstacles could possibly change many people’s lives, by giving them the courage to continue with their dream. Plus, you guys made it look like it was a blast to put together!”—Irena Tervo

“I really enjoyed Wednesday’s seminar with you and David. It was great to get two perspectives on the publishing process, and to be entertained as well.”—Jessica Hilberman, Sunset Magazine

“You and David were incredible (he’s hilarious!)…It was totally a dynamic and beautifully presented talk, which I’m sure was very helpful to everyone there. And your book is really really wonderful; I’ll definitely be recommending it to all my clients.”–Donna Zerner, author and book doctor

“I enjoyed your workshop this afternoon at Collin College in Plano, Texas.  Your method of presentation was engaging and informative, upbeat and entertaining.  Before I knew it, an entire hour had elapsed!  I’m sure everyone in attendance appreciated your expertise; I can’t wait to read your book. Thank you again; you and your presentation have energized me (and encouraged me) to push forward with our project!”–Christy Tinsley-Ilfrey

“I thought your 
presentation was wonderful, very well put together.  Utterly informative, fun, sincere, and non-threatening, a real invitation to people to enter a 
world which may seem very foreign and scary to them, the both of you are 
such a great team.  I have to say I’ve sat through a lot of readings and 
book promos and it was one of the best.  Bravo!” –Rose Marcario

“I attended your PUTTING YOUR PASSION INTO PRINT workshop at Franklin and Marshall last year. Great event. Very helpful to would-be writers. I am a seasoned workshop attendee, and the program you and David conducted was really first rate.”–Gale Martin, Director of Marketing and Communications, Greater Reading Literary Festival

“I can’t thank you and David Henry enough for your book and your class ‘Putting your Passion into Print’ which is helping me immensely. You have literally changed my life.”—Ana Jones

“Thank you so much for the insightful, practical and encouraging 
seminar on Saturday. You were great. I came away with a new 
perspective on what it takes to bring a non-fiction book to 
print. Much more work than I imagined, but knowing I have many 
of the tools to get started.”—Avril Hodges

“Thanks for the way you put your soul into the Stanford workshop today. 
You and Arielle have a fluid and rhythmic presentation style that 
radiates your love for each other, while letting your individual 
expertise shine through.”—Dan Montgomery