#pitchShredding: Writing The Perfect Pitch

2012-Jun-6 -> from the something-new-and-exciting department Tags: #pitchshredding 

I was going to write a long blog post about how to write a phenomenal pitch, but I changed my mind. Instead, I've decided to put my first rule of pitching to good use: "Show, Don't Tell". Yes, I'm going to show you how improve your pitch, query or blurb, and the good readers of my blog are going to help.

Who is this guy, anyway?

Who am I? I'm an indie fantasy author with one book self-published and another on the way. I've never queried an editor, agent, or publisher. My record is not fraught with rejection or hardship, though I've poured a tremendous amount of time and effort into my writing career, just like any other author. I don't have accolades or awards, and as of now, I'm not a best-selling author either.

So what makes me think I'm qualified to do this? In the last two years since I've been writing, I've helped countless writers improve their pitches and queries for entry into the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards. I know what it takes to entice readers into wanting to take a look at a book, and I have a whole load of friends who are also very knowledgeable with pitches.

That's the bonus part of this. All of my readers are also going to comment on your pitch and offer up their own constructive advice, and the hope is that in the end, you will end up with a pitch that you can use to rope yourself those treasured requests from your dream agents and editors.

How does it work?

Send me your pitch. Yep, it's that simple. Use my contact form, and paste your pitch in it, just like you're querying an agent or editor. Each week, I'll go through the pitch submissions and pick out one or two that I think need the most help, or ones that I can use to illustrate a lesson in pitch writing. They will show up in regular blog posts along with my comments on how I think they can improve their pitch.

I'll also accept book blurbs, but you should make sure you tell me that you're sending me a blurb, because what makes a good pitch is not always what makes a good blurb.

If you don't get picked to be showcased, please wait a few weeks before sending your pitch in again. I'll keep all submissions on file for 3-4 weeks and pick the ones I think are best suited or need the most help. Also, please only submit a pitch or blurb for one book at a time. I'm probably going to get inundated with submissions for the first little while, and if you're sending me two or three or four, it's going to make my job that much more difficult. Chances are good that if I receive multiple submissions from you, I will ignore all but the most recent one.

If/When your pitch gets posted, you can feel free to re-submit a revision. If you do, please quote the original blog post number that your pitch appeared in. That will make it easier for me to find and reference back to when going over your pitch again.

Pitch? Query? Blurb?

For those who don't know the difference, or may not be clear on it, here are the definitions as I see them:

  • Pitch/Query: A description of your work designed to sell the work. This is what writers use to sell their work to editors and agents. It must entice and excite the reader.

  • Blurb: Descriptive text that you would see on the back of a book or in an Amazon listing. This is pure marketing material. It must entice a consumer to click that big old buy button, or to carry your book to the cash register. At the very least, it should entice them to look inside the book.

Yes, they are almost the same, but there are things you can get away with in a blurb that you could never get away with in a pitch or query.

Subscribe for updates

I invite everyone to subscribe to my blog by email or RSS. We're all going to learn together how to make these pitches great, and I wouldn't want you to miss a single post.

Happy pitching! :)

Thanks for reading!

I'm always interested in hearing what you have to say. Contact Me, I'd love to hear from you.

Don't forget to join in on the conversation in the comments section below.


By Tim Moon on Thu 7 Jun 2012 01:56:44 am [ Reply ] Great idea, Thomas.

By Marianne Sheldon on Thu 7 Jun 2012 06:55:25 am [ Reply ] I'm looking forward to following along here. The pitch thread has been a terrific learning tool for me. I'm sure this will be too.

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