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How to write a good pitch for a novel

Greenleaf

first registered 04.01.12

last online 65 days ago

I've been reworking the pitches for my two novels and have been researching online for tips on pitch writing. Here is a link to a really good blog about this topic:

http://blog.nathanbransford.com/2010/05/how-to-write-one-sentence-pitch.html


Posted: 18/08/2012 13:39:57

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Greenleaf

first registered 04.01.12

last online 65 days ago

Here is another good one:

http://www.sfwa.org/members/bell/writingtips/spring09.html


Posted: 18/08/2012 13:42:35

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StaceyM

first registered 29.06.10

last online 8 hours ago

I hate pitches.....and after sweating blood and tears over the one for Hospital Corners, I've decided it wasn't worth all the stress.

Each agent/publisher you submit to has different requirements and you need to tailor everything to suit. The majority of UK agents don't want a pitch like we come up with for Authonomy - at most it's two short paragraphs covering genre, word-count, title and a couple of sentences about the theme of the book. The synopsis is more important (and, again, that varies from place to place - from one page double-spaced, to one-page at 1.5 spacing, to two pages, to highlighting themes etc etc).

So, my advice is this: give it a shot but don't worry overly much. It's a good exercise - can you sum up your book in one paragraph; 250 words; 25 words or less? But, it's not something to lose sleep over in the UK.


Posted: 19/08/2012 10:07:21

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Greenleaf

first registered 04.01.12

last online 65 days ago

I hate pitches.....and after sweating blood and tears over the one for Hospital Corners, I've decided it wasn't worth all the stress.

Each agent/publisher you submit to has different requirements and you need to tailor everything to suit. The majority of UK agents don't want a pitch like we come up with for Authonomy - at most it's two short paragraphs covering genre, word-count, title and a couple of sentences about the theme of the book. The synopsis is more important (and, again, that varies from place to place - from one page double-spaced, to one-page at 1.5 spacing, to two pages, to highlighting themes etc etc).

So, my advice is this: give it a shot but don't worry overly much. It's a good exercise - can you sum up your book in one paragraph; 250 words; 25 words or less? But, it's not something to lose sleep over in the UK. <nolink>close quotes</nolink>

Thanks Stacey.

Posted: 19/08/2012 12:39:48

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D.J.Milne

first registered 20.06.12

last online 10 days ago

I just had a recent rejection from an agent, their comment on my first chapter and pitch was, 'sorry they were both a bit busy for me' nothing like constructive feedback huh?

Posted: 19/08/2012 12:59:32

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Greenleaf

first registered 04.01.12

last online 65 days ago

I just had a recent rejection from an agent, their comment on my first chapter and pitch was, 'sorry they were both a bit busy for me' nothing like constructive feedback huh? <nolink>close quotes</nolink>

Oh, no. That's sad. I know they're busy, but it's very discouraging to receive a comment like that.

Posted: 19/08/2012 17:22:16

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Jue Shaw

first registered 09.02.11

last online 7 hours ago

I just had a recent rejection from an agent, their comment on my first chapter and pitch was, 'sorry they were both a bit busy for me' nothing like constructive feedback huh? <nolink>close quotes</nolink>

Maybe you'd have got away with it if it were just your first chapter that was 'a bit busy'. A pitch, has to be very straightforward, just a quick, general overview of the story, think elevator pitch. First chapter is a bit more difficult. In an ideal world, all of our first chapters would simply set the scene and show an agent how well we can write. Unfortunately all books are different, and the first chapter will depend on the pace of the rest of the book. However, I do know that a lot of us tend to try and cram too much into the first chapter, an information overload isn't good and won't do us any favours with a potential agent. He'll just get confused and bored. Difficult to get right, but not impossible, we just have to be clever and the best way I've found is to find out what the agent already publishes, and then read as many opening chapters as you can from those authors. You will soon see a pattern.

Posted: 19/08/2012 17:30:38

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Jue Shaw

first registered 09.02.11

last online 7 hours ago

BTW before anyone pounces on me for giving such advice. I say this for those who write to get published, not those who write simply because they 'love' to write. In that instance, write your first chapter any way you please, forget conforming to market tastes etc, after all, it's your baby! Open-mouthed

Posted: 19/08/2012 17:36:52

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Greenleaf

first registered 04.01.12

last online 65 days ago

Maybe you'd have got away with it if it were just your first chapter that was 'a bit busy'. A pitch, has to be very straightforward, just a quick, general overview of the story, think elevator pitch. First chapter is a bit more difficult. In an ideal world, all of our first chapters would simply set the scene and show an agent how well we can write. Unfortunately all books are different, and the first chapter will depend on the pace of the rest of the book. However, I do know that a lot of us tend to try and cram too much into the first chapter, an information overload isn't good and won't do us any favours with a potential agent. He'll just get confused and bored. Difficult to get right, but not impossible, we just have to be clever and the best way I've found is to find out what the agent already publishes, and then read as many opening chapters as you can from those authors. You will soon see a pattern. <nolink>close quotes</nolink>

Good advice!

Posted: 19/08/2012 17:44:29

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Greenleaf

first registered 04.01.12

last online 65 days ago

Right now I'm working on a pitch for Provenance, not so much for a query letter or even for this site, but for my own use since I'm still writing the book. I'm more than halfway through the first draft of the book and I want to make sure I'm staying true to my original idea.



Posted: 19/08/2012 17:46:46

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