The Art of the Pitch

art of the pitch

Tips for how to pitch a book, from telling a story to selling your idea

Many people dream of getting their work published, but few know how to make that happen. Pitching the book idea you have long been working on can feel overwhelming and downright nerve-wracking, but it doesn’t have to be. What’s important is you understand the process of pitching and what publishers are looking for to help your project sell.

How to write a pitch

First, let’s start with the basics: what is a pitch? A pitch is simply telling your story in a way that sells your idea. You can present your pitch in person or through email, but either way, it must be concise, clear, and interesting enough to hook your audience. Your goal is to make the publisher want to learn more about your book and how it can benefit their company.

There are many ways to craft your pitch, but one of the most important things to remember is storytelling. Publishers are looking for books that will captivate the reader’s attention, keeping them engaged from beginning to end. You must show precisely why readers will want to read your writing and how they can benefit from doing so.

Think about what makes your story different from anything already available on the market. What are its unique selling points? How does it stand apart from everything else that’s been written before? Make sure this information is clear and within the first 50 words. These initial impressions are key in getting someone to want to learn more about your book.

The anatomy of a well-crafted pitch

While not all of these are necessary for a successful submission, they will give you an idea of what publishers are looking for.

  • A catchy headline or title 
  • The story in 50 words or less 
  • What makes your book unique and why it should be published 
  • Your target audience 
  • The length and genre of your book 
  • Publishing history (if any) 
  • How do you plan to market the book 

Preparing for the pitch

Having a general idea of what each section of your pitch entails will help you put together a well-thought proposal that has a better chance of getting noticed.

Think about how much detail should go into what makes up the plotline. It’s good practice to keep things simple and stick to one main event or experience instead of throwing every single thing from your book onto paper. 

Readers and publishers will be able to understand better why your book is worthy of publishing once you’ve established a compelling opening hook, a comprehensive plotline, and a memorable conclusion.

Selling your idea

After thoughtfully planning out your pitch, it’s time to present. If storytelling doesn’t come naturally for you, consider practicing with friends until you feel confident enough to present your book idea effectively.

Be prepared to answer questions, as publishers will want to know everything they can about your work before making a final decision. If you can confidently sell them on your work, there’s a good chance they’ll be interested in publishing it.

Lastly, don't forget to close with a polite and professional thank you for their time and consideration – whether or not they decide to publish your book. 

Now that you understand the basics of pitching a book, it’s time to start putting together your formal proposal. With storytelling and the art of pitching in mind, you’ll be able to present your best work with the utmost confidence.

If you have questions about how our publishing partnership program works or what it would take to work together, reach out to us today to learn more. 

Picture of Casey Cease

Casey Cease

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