GETTING PUBLISHED FOR FICTION WRITERS

Friday, September 27, 2013

HOW TO PITCH YOUR BOOK

Pitching can be done to a lot of people, not just to agents. Do you know the best way to pitch your book? Do you even know what a pitch is?

What is a Pitch

A pitch is either verbally or in written form and is used as a means of selling your book. It’s a short recap of your book that captures the meat of the story and grabs the attention of the person you’re pitching to.

First, Creating the Elevator Speech

You need to create a killer “elevator speech”, meaning a 1 to 2 sentence speech designed to sell you/your book in 30 seconds or less. This is as essential as a business card. You have a very short window in which to say who you are, what you do, and what your book is about to catch the interest of the listener.

Some idea of what it should do:

- It should paint a compelling mental image
- It should give an idea of the genre and audience

Example:

"A cop comes to L.A. to visit his estranged wife and her office building is taken over by terrorists." - Die Hard

"A businessman falls in love with a hooker he hires to be his date for the weekend" - Pretty Woman

Next, Creating the Pitch

Write out several (10-15) versions of the pitch and then pick the best one. Share it with family and friends and get their honest opinions. Firm it up; make it the absolute best it can be. This is so important. If you can nail your pitch, you virtually guarantee further action from your audience. This may be a request for your MS by an agent or a visit to your website for more information by a potential reader, or even immediate sales of your book. I’ve done and do this. It feels great.

Preparing to Pitch

Now, read it until you memorize it. Practice pitching in front of a mirror, a friend, family member, even your dog. You don’t want to come off sounding like a robot; you want the listener to feel the energy of the book. Whether it be romance, action/adventure, thriller, suspense, mystery…you want to convey its energy through your words.

Finally, the Pitch

At this point you should have burned your pitch to memory. If you are meeting with an agent, or are getting ready to do the querying process, practice on live people. The next time you’re in the grocery store, Wal-Mart, the pharmacy, or any place else where there’s a chance to speak face to face with someone, drop your pitch on them.

I’ve sold three hard copies in the supermarket just by smiling and asking the man or woman in line behind me if they like to read and then taking it from there. I sold five copies at an airport while picking up a friend. The man and woman ordered them right in front of me. Awesome feeling, by the way.  And I’ve had my MS requested many times.

Rachel Gardner has a great website chock full of information for writers who wish to make writing a career. Even if you are a self-pubber like me, you can learn a tremendous amount from her site.

Here are a few other resources to help you out:

Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency
Publishers Weekly
Agent Query

I hope this information was helpful. Leave me a comment and let me know how your pitch is coming along. Need help? Just ask!

My best wishes for your writing success,

Dee Ann
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