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Jen Knoch of The Keepin' It Real Book Club makes her pitch for the Make a Pitch Contest


The Make a Pitch contest is going stronger than ever. Last month, Tobi Gepraegs and Lisa Browne each won a Sony Reader Digital Book for submitting their personal picks for a Canada Reads contender. How does it go? You can't win if you don't play? But some people are really kicking it up a notch, like our good friend Jen Knoch of The Keepin' It Real Book Club who has vowed to support the current Canada Reads contenders by recording a vlog pitch for each title. Panelists, take note.

Below is an eloquent and personable argument for Ann-Marie MacDonald's Fall on Your Knees. You can also read Jen's supplementary post about the book here where she hopes those who have already read Fall on Your Knees will "revisit an incredibly complex and unsettling novel that mines its way into you, painfully chipping away at your insides, leaving echoing caverns, but also unearthing diamonds."

I've recorded my fair share of vlogs and it does pose some challenges. Some tips to consider:

  • Hydrate. There's nothing worse than getting part way through a great take only to lose your voice.
  • Turn off your phone ringer and any e-mail/IM/Twitter client bing, bang, bong alerts and noises.
  • Dress comfortably.
  • Tip of the tongue, the teeth, the lips. Get yourself nice and loosened up, and remember to enunciate.

Jen adds, "Lacking the appropriate software/skill to edit videos, I have to do it straight through in one take. Or, rather, at least 10. The rest of my preparation involves making sure I'm presentable from the waist up (I'm definitely wearing PJ bottoms), making some brief notes, and angling the camera so you can't see my pile of dishes." [Note from Julie: Same for me! Only I'm hiding the mess of laundry I have yet to put away.]

Jen continues, "If my energy lags between (the many) takes, I'll do something silly, or dance it out, a trick undoubtedly used by Peter Mansbridge."

Thanks for being so brave, Jen! If you'd like to make your pitch — via e-mail, blog, podcast, vlog, macrame or bedazzler — learn all about the contest here.

Julie Wilson
(a.k.a. @BookMadam)

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