• West Cork Literary Festival 8-15 July 2022

Writing Pitches: Really Useful Links by Lucy O’Callaghan

Writing.ie | Resources | Essential Guides | Links for Writers
Lucy O'Callaghan

Lucy O’Callaghan

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Say you meet an agent in a lift or at a party. Of course, you mention that you’re a writer and then they ask the magic question, what is your novel about? The excitement in your stomach fizzes, this is it, this is your moment to shine; your chance to pique the interest of an agent. You are in a lift so time is of the essence, you only have a minute or two. What do you say? What do you need to say to pitch your story? This is where having a carefully prepared pitch comes into play. I have put together some articles with tips and guidelines to consider when writing the all-important pitch.

  1. https://insights.bookbub.com/steps-to-writing-a-killer-elevator-pitch-for-your-book/

This article shares 5 steps to writing a killer pitch for your novel. Each step includes examples that build and demonstrates how to craft your pitch from beginning to end. What’s your book about? What’s the context? Who should your reader care about? It is important to make it snappy and add relevant accolades.

  1. https://jerichowriters.com/how-to-write-an-elevator-pitch-for-your-novel/

A pitch is a very short summary of what makes your book unique, striking, fresh, and compelling. This article suggests no more than twenty words but fewer than fifty is ideal. It explains that the pitch is the very heart of book marketing, it’s the heart of your product, of your brand. You aren’t seeking to explain your book in the pitch but you are seeking to elicit a ‘Hey, that sounds interesting. Tell me more’ response.

  1. https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-pitch-your-book-to-an-agent

This is a step-by-step guide to how to pitch your book to an agent. It advises what to include in the pitch, 3 ways to approach writing your pitch and to pitch your book to an agent.

  1. https://www.nownovel.com/blog/how-to-create-a-novel-elevator-pitch/

This article explains the 5 features a great pitch needs. It must be concise, have a compelling hook, and should pose a satisfying pairing of problem and solution. It should clearly identify your target audience and be reducible to a single sentence.

  1. https://graemeshimmin.com/creating-an-irresistible-elevator-pitch/

This article breaks down the pitch into 3 components: the blockbuster concept, killer logline, and short synopsis of power. It then breaks down each component. Graeme tells us that we need to practice pitching our book verbally. Pitch it to everyone you meet and because they won’t all be agents it’ll much easier to pitch to them, the pressure will be off.

  1. https://www.writerswrite.co.za/how-to-write-an-elevator-pitch-for-your-book/

The pitch is your powerful marketing tool but it can’t tell the whole story of your novel. It must be short, simple, and snappy. Writer’s Write introduces the three-sentence approach, using a logline, general idea, and hook. The article gives examples from Harry Potter, Snow White, and Back to the Future among others.

PODCASTS

  1. https://headstuff.org/murder-one-the-podcast/simon-trewin-book-pitch/

Bestselling author, Sam Blake, chats to agent, Simon Trewin, about what catches an agent’s eye, and the top ten tips for writing a killer pitch. He shares examples of pitches that worked.

  1. https://www.authormedia.com/how-to-pitch-your-novel/

Your pitch is basically the answer to the question what do you write? It discusses how you should craft your pitch before you write your book. A good pitch answers the most important question Why should I read this book? It talks about the plot pitch, character pitch, conflict pitch, and setting pitch.

YOUTUBE

In this short video, Brandon McNulty gives the writer some advice on writing a pitch for an agent in person or during a Twitter contest like PitMad.

This video from Good Story Company gives tips and tricks for creating a successful pitch and making a good impression.

There is no doubt that writing your pitch is a difficult task that takes time, thought and plenty of practice. Because it is one of the first things that agents and publishers will read in your submission package, it needs to be perfect. I hope this week’s column has been helpful to you and while I wish you the best of luck in writing your pitches, I don’t advise you to be hanging around lifts looking for agents or publishers! As always if there are any topics you would like me to cover then please get in touch.

(c) Lucy O’Callaghan

Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31.

Facebook: @LucyCOCallaghan

Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

About the author

Writing since she was a child, Lucy penned her first story with her father called Arthur’s Arm, at the ripe old age of eight. She has been writing ever since. Inspired by her father’s love of the written word and her mother’s encouragement through a constant supply of wonderful stationary, she wrote short stories for her young children, which they subsequently illustrated.
A self-confessed people watcher, stories that happen to real people have always fascinated her and this motivated her move to writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her writing has been described as pacy, human, moving and very real.
Lucy has been part of a local writing group for over ten years and has taken creative writing classes with Paul McVeigh, Jamie O’Connell and Curtis Brown Creative. She truly found her tribe when she joined Writer’s Ink in May 2020. Experienced in beta reading and critiquing, she is currently editing and polishing her debut novel.
Follow her on Instagram: lucy.ocallaghan.31. Facebook and Twitter: @LucyCOCallaghan

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