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Location: Baltimore-DC Area

Author who writes for a living and lives for writing. // WOMB: a novel in utero (Merge Publishing 2017) // TRACKS: A Novel in Stories (Atticus Books 2011) // FLIGHTLESS GOOSE, a storybook for children (Writers Lair Books 2008) // www.EricDGoodman.com

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Perfecting Your Pitch

You’re in the elevator, wondering how you’re ever going to turn one of those form rejection letters into an acceptance, when who walks in but the hottest power-agent in town! What do you do? What do you say? It’s already been seven seconds and all you’ve done is broken out in a sweat.

Baltimore Author Christine Stewart of the Creative Alliance and the Write Here Write Now Workshops paid big bucks and spend a weekend at a conference focused on perfecting your pitch and practicing on actual agents and editors.

But you don’t have to — because Chris likes to share.

Your pitch is what you need to sell your book (or story) to an agent, editor, or publisher. You don’t want to memorize it, but you do need to know it. It should be a natural part of you, as easy explaining as your love of writing.

It needs to consist of your name, platform (credits and readers), genre and title, comparables (which two or three authors are you like), and most importantly, the pitch itself.

The heart of your pitch should be 250 words or less. This is what you’d want on your back cover or book flap, the sales copy that will sell your book. Set the scene, introduce the characters, hook the reader, show rising action with a plot point, and end with a cliffhanger that bets the question — what next?

Finally (and in that elevator this may be the only thing you have time for) you need a log line — the clever motto on the movie poster that sums it all up. The log line should be no more than a sentence or two, 25-30 words.

The entire pitch should be no more than two or three minutes long. And the same copy can — and should — be used in your query letter.

You’ve written the novel, you’re ready to sell it. So what are you doing reading this? Go practice your pitch!

Learn more about Chris at The Real Writer.



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