So, you had a great idea for a story, and you turned it into a book. Writing a book requires dogged persistence, many people start writing a book, but not all of them finish. Bottle up that determination and apply it to your chance to pitch your book to a publishing house, or a literary agent. A book pitch gives you the opportunity to sell your book and yourself, so make the most of this chance. The whole idea of presenting a book pitch might just make you feel really nervous, but planning and practising your book pitch will give you the confidence to get it right when it matters.
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Understanding Your Book and Story
A pitch could be as brief as 60 seconds. Think about how you can encapsulate everything that is fantastic about your story and summarise it in a sentence. It can be hard when writing, as we become so enmeshed in the world we have created, that it can be hard to pull back and look at your story from the outside. You know what your book is about, but you need to be able to tell someone else, briefly, succinctly and most importantly, engagingly.
Things to Think About Before Writing Your Pitch
Having a hook is a great way to start, so think about what could work. Remember that you are not only selling your story, but you are also selling yourself. How is your life reflected in your story? Perhaps you have been a school teacher for 20 years and have written a modern-day Lord of the Flies? Your day job is a massive selling point for your story. What else can you offer publishers? Although publishing houses will have their own marketing department and marketing plans, they will relish the idea of working with an author who is driven and self-motivated. Put together a marketing plan for your book, perhaps focusing on your local community, local bookshop, and local PR opportunities. You are selling yourself, your ambition, as well as your story.
Perfecting Your Elevator Pitch
Practise, practise, and then practise some more, and not just by yourself. Practice pitching to friends and family, so that you are used to talking in front of people (not everyone’s favourite pastime!) and so that you can get valuable feedback from trusted sources. The smoother and more confident your pitch is, the more professional you will appear. Publishers enjoy working with professional, conscientious authors, who will deliver on time, and work hard. These qualities will all be reflected in your pitch, so make it brilliant!
Highlighting Your Unique Selling Proposition
Find your unique angle. Obviously, all stories have similarities, boy meets girl, child conquers dragon, quirky individual solves a murder, but within these similarities, you need to pick out your unique take. Maybe your mystery-solving teenager struggles with talking to strangers — murder with a heavy dose of social awkwardness! You need to highlight this angle and show publishers how your book will stand out. Thousands of books are published every year, and your publishing house wants to feel confident that readers will pick your book off the shelf.
Handling Rejections and Feedback for Your Book Proposal
Sadly, the publishing world is littered with rejections, and if you have your heart set on getting published, you need to accept that you will likely receive your fair share of rejections. Yes, we have all heard fairytales of first-time authors being instantly plucked from obscurity and launched into success, but this is incredibly rare. It is far better to tackle the pitching process with a hefty dose of realism. Not everyone will like your book, but it doesn’t mean that your book is bad, or poorly written, decisions can sometimes simply be down to personal choice. However, if you are lucky enough to be given feedback for either your book pitch or the book itself, take the time to read it. If you are receiving similar feedback from more than one source, then it is worth looking more closely at this. Perhaps a couple of people have commented that your pitch was inconclusive, or that they found one of the book’s characters two-dimensional. Think about how you can improve your book and your book pitch. Feedback is incredibly valuable, and often people are too busy to take the time to offer you this feedback. We are all human, and being rejected is never a pleasant experience, so try to regard it as a learning experience, and work on improving your book pitch ready for the next time.
Celebrating Book Deal Success and Next Steps
If you are lucky, a successful book pitch could lead to a book deal. What happens after your book pitch will depend on who you were pitching to. If you delivered your pitch to an agent, you might get signed up, if you delivered your pitch to a publisher, you might be in line for a publishing deal. Whatever the outcome of your successful book pitch, take a moment to pause and celebrate your achievement before hurtling into the hard work of getting your book ready for publishing. To have got this far, in the notoriously competitive publishing world, is an incredible result, and you should be extremely proud of yourself.
Ready to Pitch a Book Idea? Get in Touch with Us at ShieldCrest Publishing!
Here at ShieldCrest Publishing, we love listening to book pitches! If you have written a book, we would relish the chance to hear your book pitch. Remember that you need to have written your book before pitching the idea to us because if we like it, we will want to get on with publishing your book. Make sure you have your short pitch, a synopsis, and a sample chapter from your book. We also like to know who your book is aimed at, whether you have any connections or background that could help in the promotion of your book, and ideas for marketing your book are always good to bring to the table. Most importantly, believe in yourself and your story, stand tall, be confident, and sell us your book. To bring your book to life, get in touch with our helpful and professional team today, through our contact page here.