May 272012
 
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!

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