Have you ever pitched a novel or script?
I’m at that stage where it’s time to write a pitch for my manuscript. Every attempt I’ve made just falls flat. In fact it’s pretty bad– too melodramatic, too wordy and boring. I can just see my submission, on an agents or publishers desk, being thrown into the steep pile marked Trash.
It was time to do some research. I found this site on About.com which laid out the method and theory behind the skill.
Here’s the short list of how too’s from the site:
1.FINISH THE WORK
2.DO SOME RESEARCH
4.PREPARE AND PRACTICE YOUR PITCH
5.LOOK YOUR BEST
6.KNOW WHAT YOU WANT
Types of Pitches
2. SAVE THE CAT METHOD
This highly recommended method is from Blake Snyder’s famous and industry applauded book, SAVE THE CAT. Though predominantly about screenwriting , its devices are useful in the publishing industry. There’s also a great web site that will inspire and open your eyes to how successful some of their methods are. Worth a look.
3.WRITE YOUR OWN
HOOK THEM EARLY
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE
Twitter has pitch contest as well. You’re limited to a 140 character submission and the contests can either last a day or longer. Some publishing sites have their own contests, others are writing groups and then there are authors promoting themselves with a contest. i haven’t entered my pitch anywhere yet, I’m still trying to whittle down my convoluted plot into a sentence or two.
On The Great Noveling Adventure they list their method of creating a compelling pitch:
1) Sum up your novel in 140 characters. Here is my recipe for a successful Twitter pitch:
Stakes/Conflict (the most important part of your pitch, in my humble opinion)
Category and Genre (ie: YA F for Young Adult Fantasy)
2) Avoid vagueness at all cost! You want your pitch to be as specific as possible so it stands out in the Twitter feed and people remember it.
3) Make sure to check the contest guidelines. For example, #AdPit is for Adult manuscripts only.
4) Find other writers to critique your pitches. It’s better to test if your pitches work before the contest!
You Tube has some famous pitches you can watch. The Mad Men episode’s are full of the advertising version: tell the people what they need.
I hope this inspired you to write a better pitch. Do you have a great or disastrous experience to share?