What I have learned from #pitch

Have you ever done a search on Google or Twitter about pitching? Try typing in #pitch in your search engine or social media engine of choice and see what you get. Some of these words keep coming up:

  • entrepreneur
  • investor
  • venture
  • business proposition
  • unique selling platform
  • original idea
  • startup
  • shark tank

Do these ideas sound familiar? Is this what you prepared for when you signed up to go to the pitch slam? These are words you would expect to come from an MBA or some blow hard sales guy. Why would they show up in a search for #pitch? What does this have to do with me?

Wait a minute! I am a writer! I am a painter of words, a creative savant, a literary genius waiting to be discovered!

[voice of reason] And you must also be a business person, proposing (pitching) an albeit creative business venture, if you ever want to be paid for your literary genius.

Here is the thing, when we writers pitch an agent or an editor we are looking for an investment. We are making a pitch for an investment of time, capital and talent based on an idea that we have committed to paper (your manuscript), and the power of our platform.  That pitch is a business proposition, just like a query letter is a business letter.

When we start to look at pitching through the lens of a business proposition those words don’t seem so unfamiliar anymore.

  • entrepreneur (writer)
  • investor (publisher)
  • venture (novel)
  • business proposition (book proposal)
  • unique selling platform (genre / niche / platform)
  • original idea (unique take on a trope)
  • startup (debut)
  • shark tank (pitch slam)

Try a search of your own, or watch an episode of Shark Tank. I bet you’ll find that when you substitute a few words about their pitch it sounds eerily familiar to the process of pitching a novel.


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