Congratulations! You have finally finished writing your book or novel and are ready to move on to the next step: publishing. As we all know, there are multiple ways to go about publishing a book. This article is aimed at individuals who are interested in publishing their books through a publishing house or literary agency and are struggling to sell their story.
Why do writers need to create a pitch for their story? What even is a pitch and what goes into it? As a new writer, I had to do some digging in order to find the answers to these questions.
A pitch is the thirty second elevator speech you can give to people about your book and why they should read it. A pitch needs to be attention grabbing and concise.
When creating the pitch for your book, there are a few important things to consider before you get words down on the paper. One of the first things you should know about your book is the goal. While there are many reasons people decide to write books, here are the three main reasons: to entertain, educate, or inspire.
Why are you writing your book? Are you teaching about a skill, trade, or idea you have? Does the story you write inspire people? Does it make them laugh? Whatever your reason is for writing a book, your pitch should help the reader understand the goal.
If you need help understanding the goal of your book, ask yourself these questions. What is it in my book that is educational? What is it in my book that is entertaining? What is it in my book that is inspiring? And I am suggesting that while all three could exist in a pitch, it is better to go with one, especially since the pitch is short.
Once you understand the goal of your book, you are ready to put pen to paper and pop this pitch out of the park!
Or maybe we take it slowly. When you start writing your pitch, summarize the book and why people should read it in one paragraph. Then your next draft can be worked into 3 or 4 sentences. Your third draft should be down to 1 or 2 sentences. Maybe, if you are really good, you can get it down to one sentence. Although, you may not need it to be this short, the practice of making it shorter will clarify it and make it more succinct.
Now you have a solid, concise, and attention grabbing pitch, but you aren't done yet. My friend and colleague, Clementine, had some advice for what to do next. "Are you done writing your first pitch? Great! Now start again and make multiple versions of the pitch. Make them different enough that they are interesting to you in different ways. That way you’re not beating your head against one rock and not getting anywhere. Whatever progress you make with one of them you may be able to take that and see the progress in the others." It is always a good idea to have options, and we will include this life mantra into our theory on pitch writing.
When you are completing your pitches or writing in general, remember to remove filler words. There are a lot of filler words and we are all guilty of over using them at some point in our lives. Here is a short list of filler words that can be easily removed from any writing you do, you can always find more with a quick Google search.
In the end
Needless to say
And our last suggestion is to get a partner to work with. Find someone in your life that you are comfortable with and either let them listen to the pitch when you read it or you listen while they read it. This activity can actively help you edit your pitch to flow and come across clearly.
If you know of any good pitching tips, please email us and let us know what you have had success with in the past!
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Breanna Bartels is a creative exploring all her new interests in life. She is an avid book lover and a photographer and videographer with her own company, Candid Mirth. In the spaces between art and work, she is venturing into writing. She prefers a used book to a new one and has fanatical plans to own a used bookstore one day. When she isn't home attempting some new venture, she enjoys camping and hiking with her husband, Danny, and their two dogs. Reach out to her for creative opportunities or to discuss a good book! You can find her many projects here.