So you’ve signed up for a pitch session and you are pumped! This is going to be great! You are going to WOW the Agent / Editor / Fellow Writers and anyone else who is in earshot of your amazing pitch. Awesome!
So, what should I say? I could tell them about how it has been my lifelong dream to be a writer, or how I pound out 2500 words a day on my Paranormal Romance Blog, or how I’m ready to take on a major series of at least seven books.
Oh wait, I am pitching my book. Let’s start there.
Much like a query letter, a pitch is an opportunity to sell a publishing professional on your novel. Think of this as a business meeting to sell your book. The agent or editor is expecting to hear the following:
- What type of book is it (genre and age)
- A title (the title may change, but you need something they can remember and makes sense)
- How long is your book (word count, not page count)
- Is it complete (YES Please!)
- What are some comparable titles? (Book titles)
- What makes your book unique? (A new twist on…)
- Who are you as an author? (debut or established)
- Do you have a platform? (Is there a built in audience?)
AND, what is your book about?
All of that in ninety seconds? Yes, PLUS they want to hear about:
- Who is the Protagonist?
- What is the Inciting Incident?
- What journey / conflict / challenge does your Protagonist face?
- Where does this all take place?
- What is at stake?
- Why should I care?
That is a lot to cram into a short pitch. Oh and I almost forgot, they also want to hear your voice as a writer.
Holy moly! I can probably pack that into 5,000 words, right.
Wrong. The whole pitch should be between 200-250 words that you can deliver in 60-90 seconds, but let’s not get hung up on time or word count yet. Let’s focus on content.
It is time to get out a piece of paper and take some notes. Start out by hand writing the following sentence:
Good (Morning / Afternoon / Evening). My name is (insert name). I have completed (written if it isn’t complete) a (insert word count) (genre) novel titled (insert book title).
Example: Good afternoon. My name is George RR Martin. I have completed a 240,000 word Epic Fantasy novel titled Game of Thrones.
See that. In 22-26 words you have delivered the first line of your pitch. This line orients your audience and begins to focus their attention.