Posted by Lisa Lickel on July 30, 2011
Welcome to my special guest Linda Rohrbough, promotion guru, with the first of two guest spots on pitching your books throughout your writing career. Join us again August 20 for a second superb guest spot.
A Good Pitch Should
by Linda Rohrbough
Have you ever noticed how people who are good at things make them look easy? I always want to try my hand at piano after watching Billy Joel. Or the guitar after I see James Taylor perform. They make it look easy, effortless, and fun.
Pitching a book to an editor or agent can be like that, too, if you know what you’re doing. It doesn’t have to be the terrifying experience that most authors describe when they first try to talk about their book to someone they don’t know.
Some of the elements of a good pitch is it has that easy, effortless quality for the listener. Which means preparation on the part of the writer. A pitch should be clean for the listener without verbal clutter. No wasted motion, every word working double and triple time to convey meaning that the listener doesn’t have to work to understand.
And it should be packed with emotional hooks that engage the listener. At the end it should be tied up with a neat bow at the end with a concept that’s memorable and universal. Clear thoughts that connect seamlessly one idea or concept to another. And the real test is the length – it should be easily deliverable in an elevator – 1 to 2 minutes or less.
Sound like a tall order? It’s not that hard, once you know how. I recently talked to Carol Moncado, a pre-published author who listened to my workshop “Pitch Your Book” on her phone, used my three-step formula for pitching any book, and published her results on Carol’s blog. Her pitches had all the elements I just named – clarity, simplicity, and memorable, universal concepts. Bottom line is she took the tools I gave her and created a pitch that looked easy. And that’s the sign of a pitch that’s going to get a “send it” from an editor or agent.
Linda Rohrbough has been writing since 1989, and has more than 5,000 articles and seven books to her credit along with national awards for fiction and non-fiction. New York Times #1 bestselling author Debbie Macomber said about Linda’s new novel: “This is fast-paced, thrilling, edge-of-the-seat reading. The Prophetess One: At Risk had me flipping the pages and holding my breath.” An iPhone App of her popular “Pitch Your Book” workshop is available in the Apple iTunes store. Visit her website:
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