How to Pitch Your Novel at a Writer's ConferenceI was too distracted, you see. I was going to be pitching a novel to an agent for the first time, and though I had practiced my pitch a dozen times with my wife, I found the whole concept of pitching nauseating. The agent simply had too much power. I worried that with one word she could slay my writing dreams. This guest post is by William Kenower. His video interviews with hundreds of writers, from Nora Ephron to Amy Tan to William Gibson, are widely considered the best of their kind on the Internet.
How to Get a Book Deal: Lessons From My Adventures in the World of Non-Fiction Publishing
Writing is scary — but of all the scary things about it, perhaps the scariest is getting the concept right. The hard fact is: a lousy concept will kill your novel, no matter how good your actual writing is. And how can you isolate the concept? The thing which makes the difference between success or failure? The answer is via your elevator pitch — a very short summary of what makes your book so special. An elevator pitch is the term given to any sales pitch that could, in theory, be delivered in the space of a short elevator ride. You are never likely to be called upon to pitch your book in this way.
Writer's Digest Magazine
A Charmed Life. I signed with my literary agent at the age of twenty. At twenty-one I signed my first book deal with Random House. The next year, I signed my second deal. Among other things:. Because of these experiences, I often get asked the inevitable question: how did you get your book deal? I love talking about the process because I find it fascinating.
If you're attending a conference with opportunities to pitch to literary agents, you're probably both excited and freaked out for the chance to talk about your novel. I know this, because last weekend I was feeling the same thing! Two weeks ago I signed up for the San Diego Writer's Conference and decided to pitch my book to 4 literary agents. I scoured the web for all the tips, tricks, and advice I could find and practiced my pitch like my life depended on it. At the end of the day, it paid off: 1 agent asked to see the first 50 pages of my book and 2 agents asked me to send the whole thing! So if you're preparing your pitch and want to know what worked for me, keep reading and find out how to craft pitches that make agents request your book! That means stripping your story of all of its frills and addressing its basic elements: genre, setting, character, conflict, and stakes.
You may think that elevator pitches are only for high-tech startups, job hunters, or Hollywood screenwriters, but being able to succinctly summarize your book in a very short space is a skill that every writer must master. The elevator pitch is a powerful marketing tool that you can put to use when enticing readers, reaching out to potential marketing partners, and when you have a brief audience with an agent or editor. Here are five simple steps to help you develop a killer pitch. Each includes three examples that build upon each step, so you can see how a pitch is crafted from beginning to end. Write down what your book is about in no more than 50 words. Readers want a sense of what world or philosophical mindset they will be immersed in.