Sunday, May 27, 2012

Time to pitch

by: Joelle Charbonneau

I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had to pitch my books.  Nope….I’m not just talking about those fun queries letters I had to write in order to land an agent or the editor and agent appointments I used to go to in order to talk up my book in hopes an industry professional would request to see the work.  I’m talking about day to day chat where someone learns that I’m an author and asks what my book is about. 

The one thing you need to keep in mind when pitching a book to your friends or an industry professional is to keep it short.  Come to think of it – short is probably too vague a description.  Instead, I should probably say that when you pitch your book it shouldn’t take you more than a sentence or two to get the point of the story across.  Which is easier said that done.  I mean, you just wrote a 80,000-100,000 word book!  One would think that you should get a little more time to discuss the scope.  Yeah—you would think wrong.  And to be completely honest, an industry professional is used to hearing pitches that last a little longer, so they might cut you some slack and allow you a third or even fourth sentence.  Your friends (who you are hoping will some day be your readers) won’t give you that much.

Think of it this way—people are waiting to be hooked.  They want to be intrigued.  But advertising is quick and punchy.  And your pitch is essentially an advertising tool for your writing.  A quick line like “The Hunger Games meets the ACT’ will give them an idea of what the book is about and hopefully hook them into asking more about the book. 

Since there are lots of conferences coming up in the summer months which allow authors to pitch their books to industry professionals, I thought this might be a great time for people to hone their pitching skills.  So in two (or three at the most) sentences – tell me and the rest of the DSD reading audience about your book.  If it is a book available for us to download or buy in our favorite bookstore – tell us that, too! 

And Happy Memorial Day weekend to you all!


Anonymous said...

Since I'm pitching to crime readers/writers:

No one is more shocked than Mary Minke when she pulls off the perfect crime--without even trying.

Accidentally coming across $60,000 in drug money, Mary impetuously steals it, then sets out to play Robin Hood.

But nothing is ever as simple as it seems; what is good, who is evil and is anything ever WORTH LYING FOR?

Keri Neal said...

Currently Pitching: Agent Shane Baxter’s last mission was a failure. He fell in love. Not with the woman he married as a cover, but with her niece, Dixie. Now two people from their pasts are looking for revenge. With their lives on the line once again, the couple is forced to confront the past, while their future is still unclear.

Keri Neal said...

Ego by Keri Neal. Available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Bradley Publishing: Deputy Berman is smitten by the lovely woman who claims she is a murderer. While unraveling the pieces of Grace Montgomery, he will reveal the truth about her sister, her affair and her confession to murder. EGO is a suspense novel about a woman with a split personality, and the lives that she ruins.

Luca Veste said...

45 British writers...45 short stories.


The best of British come together to raise money for two charities.

Featuring, Ray Banks, Allan Guthrie, Adrian Magson, Howard Linskey, Matt Hilton, Tony Black, Nigel Bird, Charlie Williams, Ian Ayris, Nick Quantrill...and many, many more!

"The BRIT GRIT mob is coming to kick down your door with hobnailed boots. Kitchen-sink noir; petty-thief-louts; lives of quiet desperation; sharp, blood-stained slices of life; booze-sodden brawls from the bottom of the barrel and comedy that's as black as it's bitter--this is BRIT GRIT!"

Available on Amazon for a low, low price.

Kathleen S. Allen said...

LORE OF FEI-YA faerie fantasy

Faeries vs. humans, who will win in the battle for Fei, the land of the faeries?


Buy it on Kindle here:

Kathleen S. Allen said...

Yeah, I also have a murder mystery on Kindle. IF IT'S MONDAY, IT MUST BE MURDER.

Mel, a former cop shot in the back now lives in constant pain. When her best friend's daughter is missing, Mel is asked to help find her. When the girl is found dead at the bottom of a tall building, the cops believe she jumped. Did she? Or is it murder?

Book Trailer:

Buy it here: