Thursday, October 4, 2012

Your Story Pitch

Learning to give a good story pitch is vital to prompting and selling your manuscript/book. 
 
So how long should a pitch for your story be?

How important is the pitch?

And what should be in your pitch?

Length of the pitch . . . 
Obviously you don't have the time it would take for the sands in the hourglass to drop to tell your pitch. You have only a matter of seconds. Yes. Seconds. The pitch for your story shouldn't be longer than a short elevator ride. This is where the term "elevator pitch" comes from.

How important is the pitch?
Your pitch is vital not only in finding an agent/publisher, but also in selling your book to readers. In both situations you don't have a lot of time to do it. For finding an agent or publisher a short pitch is essential, and mainly used in your query letter. Whether they want to see more of your manuscript hinges on your pitch. And after you've made the sell and your book comes out you will use a short pitch when readers ask what your novel is about. Your pitch has to be short, deliver an impact, and make them want to pay cold, hard cash for your novel.

What should be in a pitch? 
A hook, line, and sinker. Really. Start with an opening sentence that grabs. The opening sentence when I pitch River Whispers is, "This is a book about a woman who goes fishing in the Snake River and her hook gets caught on the boot of a dead man." (No pun intended, but I couldn't resist.) For Cold Justice I tell them, "This is the story about a man and woman who have been separated  for years, but have finally come together, except on the night before their wedding, he is kidnapped." This usually hooks them. Next I deliver the line . . . "The woman pieces together that the kidnapper has taken him to Alaska." This is very intriguing because most everyone loves Alaska. Now the sinker . . . "Along the way she discovers secrets she's never knew about her fiance, yet she's willing to sacrifice everything to find him." Hook. Line. And sinker. Three things that are very important in a pitch.

So, pitch me your story and I'll tell you if I'm hooked. :)

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2 comments:

  1. My story is about a woman whose mother and brother are murdered by a revolutionary. When the killer converts to her religion, she must find a way to forgive him. When her father promises her hand in marriage, she must find a way to love him.

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  2. That's very intriguing. The theme of forgiveness is great. I'd love to talk to you a little more about this. If you would like more input feel free to email me.

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