Perfect Pitch

My writer’s group met today. One of the projects we decided to work on was developing a pitch for our individual stories. A pitch is a one- or two-line blurb that presents your manuscript in a concise form. The main goal is to deliver these pitches to editors or publishers at a conference with the hope of one of them saying, “Sounds interesting. Tell me more.”

Pitches are hard work. Trying to shrink your whole manuscript down to one or two sentences is tough, but the results are worth it since it could lead to getting your manuscript read. One of our group had read an article about pitches using the technique of presenting character, setting/genre, conflict, and goal. This technique could apply to any format, from picture book to indepth novel.

I gave an impromptu pitch at the SCBWI Editor’s Day conference last month. I had prepared ahead of time with a small blurb “just in case,” but when it came time to actually deliver my pitch when asked, I was a bit nervous. Would I forget what I had prepared? Had I worded it correctly? Did I sound sure of myself and my story? Was it the best pitch I could present? These thoughts swirled in my head within seconds.

The pitch didn’t result in any requests for more. I’m sure there was room for improvement. At least I had an opportunity to try and I gained valuable insights on just how it could effectively be done. I also learned that it is important to have something ready for the next time.

Developing a perfect pitch is a must if you plan to attend a conference to promote your manuscripts. Try working on some pitches now while you have time. Work on them in your critique group like I did today. You never know when your efforts could bring future rewards.

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