Ways To Impove Your Pitch

Book doctors Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry have a new book coming out called The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published. They are calling it the What To Expect When You Are Expecting of publishing.

Sterry has written a piece for Publishing Perspectives where he talks about the bookstore event they came up with a several years ago that goes perfectly with the book. It is called Pitchapalooza and as you might expect the event lets hopeful authors pitch their book idea to a panel of experts, an editorial American Idol of sorts.

Here is Sterry’s advice from seeing hundreds of writers in this setting:

  1. A pitch is like a poem. Every word counts.
  2. It’s always better to present specific images than make general, generic statements.
  3. Don’t tell us it’s funny, make us laugh. Don’t tell us it’s scary, scare us. Don’t tell us it’s lyrical, wow us with your poetry. It’s like those people who wear T-shirts that say SEXY. Please, let us be the judge of that.
  4. Don’t oversell. Claiming to have written the next Eat Pray Love or Harry Potter only makes a writer look like a deluded amateur.
  5. Never say that your book is like no book ever written. That book will never be published. Publishers want books that are familiar but unique.
  6. Develop an elevator pitch. An elevator pitch is a Hollywoodese short hand way of describing your book, where X meets Y. For example, Jaws in Outer Space=Alien. Ann Rice meets Gossip Girl=The Twilight Series.

The authors are about halfway through their tour. You can check their calendar for dates near you.

And for Portlanders, Pitchapalooza is taking place TONIGHT (Nov 16th) at 7:30pm at Powell’s Burnside.

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