Pitch: That Sticky, Yucky Stuff that Sells Books

La Brea Tarpits
La Brea Tarpits (Photo credit: eddyj65)

Book pitches are especially challenging for me. I think it’s because I’m not someone who can quickly answer questions like “what’s your most embarrassing moment” or “what’s your favorite movie?” I don’t tend to organize my thoughts as sorted lists or even boil things down to their essentials (well, I do but I think I abstract in ways that aren’t useful for pitches). But it’s part of the business so it’s something I keep an eye on and Chuck Sambuchino’s guest blog on Writer’s Digest caught my attention as a succinct crystallization of what a pitch is all about.

You can find it at: The Writer’s Promise: How to Craft a Book’s Pitch.

2 thoughts on “Pitch: That Sticky, Yucky Stuff that Sells Books

  1. Hmmm, you know, as much as we get prompted to prepare our “elevator pitches,” I’ve never had to give one. I’ve always had more time, like in parties or at signings, where you can go for a minute or two instead of ten seconds. (I think I like my way better…)

  2. Good point on the short pitch. I haven’t had to do much with short pitches either. I think the original post title is a little misleading. The author was really talking about blurbs such as you’d put on the back cover or on Amazon.

    But on the short pitch, one idea I heard was to combine two movies. For example, “13th Warrior meets LOTR”, which I did have a chance to try at the start of a longer face-to-face with an agent at a conference. And the pitch did seem to do its job, which is nothing more than to pique the interest and setup my next few minutes of gabbing. The agent’s immediate response was to perk up and say something along the lines of “I really like 13th Warrior.”

    I think the pitch is like a query letter when job hunting. The letter’s role is to get the hiring manager to read your resume, nothing more. The resume’s job is to get them to call you. The phone screen’s job is to get them to bring you in for an interview, and so on.

    Anyway, I really do hate both crafting and delivering them but they seem to have a place.

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