Procrastinating with Pitches
I have been procrastinating on my writing today. Well, I guess I can’t admit that because I wrote this and some other tidbits. I should be editing my Friday post, but I was distracted by pitches.
What’s a pitch? Well, in my case, it’s not lobbing a ball. For a writer, the pitch, or elevator pitch, is a short version of our story told quickly, concisely, and powerfully, usually in 60 seconds. The perfect pitch for a book can encourage others to read your work. In many cases, it can land an agent or a book deal.
Writers can take advantage of many opportunities to pitch to agents and editors. Writing conferences are great places to register some time with industry leaders. We might even find ourselves in conversation with an agent or editor, and they ask about our book. That is when we want to have our pitch ready.
I haven’t had a lot of time to go to conferences lately, but there are other avenues to pitch my work. Twitter has annual pitch parties that are free, and I can pitch in my pajamas—I’m more confident when I dress comfortably.
There are pitch parties for every age range and genre. I lean towards the children’s, young adult, fantasy and romantic fiction categories. Children’s author, Jenner Porter, has a nice list of some popular Pitch Parties on her website. She gives a brief description of them and the dates that they occur.
So, with particular dates to pitch my current works, I took the day to spruce up my pitches. Trying to describe a full-length novel in 280 characters can be a challenge. I tend to be long-winded.
I wrote out a general summation, then chopped it to bits. I switched around sentences and changed-up words. I even wrote multiple versions since repeated posts can sometimes get flagged.
I just finished the first draft of a young adult romantic comedy, so I am not prepared to submit to agents just yet. That doesn’t mean that I can’t work on my pitch though. Creating a pitch early in the writing process can help a writer test the story premise. The simple equation, PROTAGONIST + PROBLEM + GOAL, is an excellent start for a pitch, and if everything connects, the story has the potential to turn out well.
For my book, I wrote the following:
When 17 y/o Emerson dies & earns a job under God, she learns love after death is just as hard. She must let go of life, stop a takeover by Lucifer, and navigate feelings for her trainer if she wants her soul to go to Heaven.
The Fault in Our Stars + The Good Place
#YA #R #(Pitch Party hashtag)
I could still do some tweaking, but this is just an example of how it might look.
The important part about pitching one’s work is to practice writing it. Practice ALOT. The more we write and rewrite, the better we get. It also helps to get some feedback from a critique partner or two, especially if they have read the work in question.
Well, I have put off my other work long enough. I hope that this information was helpful to you. At least my time was better spent than rearranging the items on my desk hutch to make them more Fung Shui.
Oh, would you look at that? It seems my phone is a bit too far to the left. Have to go.
October 12, 2018 @ 2:47 pm
Thanks for the shout out! I’ll be putting out an updated 2019 Twitter Pitch Party post in November – Jenner Porter
A. T. Baron
October 12, 2018 @ 4:23 pm
Always glad to prop up a fellow writer. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the post.