How to Write an Effective Pitch
- Come up with a blurb, or a "back of book pitch", that really makes clear what your book is about. REMEMBER: a lengthy and unfocused synopsis could lead to agents losing track of the plot, and so to them losing interest in your submission.
- Pitch with confidence, but don't be cocky, or overly colloquial. Keep the tone of your pitch professional at all times, and communicate with your enthusiasm rather than ego.
- Know your place in the market and make sure you show that you have identified this. FOR HELP AND ADVICE WITH THIS continue on to the next article in this newsletter!
- Research the agents and the publishers that you plan to submit to and use your findings to your advantage. Individually tailor your letters / emails of submission to each new institution, letting them know why you are interested in them in particular and demonstrating how you and your work would be a good fit for them in return.
- Once you've nailed your blurb, condense it down again: come up with a killer one line pitch. You should include both over the course of your more general pitch.
In addition to all of this, don't forget to provide the agents and publishing houses with some pertinent personal information;
- Contact details
- Writing history ... and future!
- Previous publications and prizes awarded
Advise them of your publication history, irrespective of whether you were traditionally or self-published; mention the creative writing classes you have attended; if you are already working on another project, let them know. All of these things add up to passion and a proven commitment to your craft, neither of which can be a bad thing!
And make sure you do so without any typos or errors in your text. If your pitch is not polished, if it has clearly not been proofed, then publishers will be unlikely to progress as far as actually reading your manuscript.