Hi there Readers, It is time for another installment of A Bit of Business. This week, we are going to focus on a skill that is akin to writing your novel but is better approached by looking through the business lens than that of creative writing. Here are some tips that can teach you how to write more effective book pitches.
First, what is the purpose of a pitch? The pitch needs to tell a reader what is going to happen in a book while serving as a hook in which to cause the consumer to open the cover. The hook can be done in many different ways, but a base of three elements can help make yours successful.
The first is a rough sketch of the primary character. Often the pitch opens by giving the main character’s name followed by a brief description. Next step is to put that character in some kind of setting. This helps let the reader know what kind of book you have written. Setting does not have to be a geographic location. A time period, fantastical element, or an actual location can all be good indicators of the kind of world that you have created. This element is a big factor into determining the genre in regards to science fiction and fantasy. The final component is conflict. Not necessarily the entire plot but some major conflict that stems is prevalent through the work.
The best pitches can play the character, setting, and the hook together to create an inherent conflict. An example of a pitch for my novel Fractured is,
Aryn, the heir to House Torn, enlists into the military to escape his father’s wrath when he fails to become one of the God-like Aldar. Amidst the manipulations of other Soldiers, he must keep the fractures in his mind sealed as his father forces him to choose between an oath to his country, loyalty for his friends, or the desires of his heart.
This pitch gives character (Aryn), setting (House Torn, military, God-like Aldar), and conflict (escape, wrath, failure, manipulation). The hook is the second sentence, which raises the question in the reader’s mind as to what choice does Aryn make. I would advise to having no more than three separate sentences in a pitch otherwise you run the risk of having the reader unable to process all the information.
My parting tip is actually a personal preference so feel free to ignore it. I am not a fan of rhetorical questions within a pitch. An example from my above pitch would be if the last sentence was, “Will Aryn choose between country, friends, or love? Open the book to find out.” I find these kinds of pitches to be cliché and will make me put a book down. I would rather have a flat-no nonsense explanation of a book, than some gimmick to try to get me interested. I hope that this information was useful, and if anyone wants to share their latest book pitch I would love to see it.