Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Preparing the Perfect Pitch

Last night I went to Pitchapalooza at the Tattered cover; it was both fun and educational!
The authors of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published were on hand to listen to pitches and critque them.

Unfortunately, I did not get a chance to pitch, as the evening was cut short by management, but even just listening to the critiques taught me a great deal, and now I am in great shape to start pitching my book! Below is a list of tips I gleaned followed by my newly refined pitch.

  • A book pitch is a performance - be passionate, animated and direct.
  • Start with action! Do not bore with too much exposition.
  • Do not try and mention all plot points - we do not need to know that the hero has to rescue his little sister Fiona, who is a lover of peanut butter and banana sandwiches, from the clutches of the evil villian who lured her into his hidden sub-terranian lair with same said sandwiches -- we just need to know that our hero must rescue his sister from the villian before it is too late.
  • Be sure to focus on who we should love and why.
  • Leave questions (hooks) those things that make you want to read the book.
  • Mention comparitive titles or authors.
  • Know WHERE in the bookstore your book would be shelved and why.
  • Keep the pitch to 1 minute but be ready to answer questions.

Pitch for
The Arc Riders
Trouble with Mexicans

Can I ask you a question?

What would you do if you were a 14 year old boy, running for your life from a gang of murderous Mexicans known as the St James Boys and a rider-less NYPD police horse suddenly appeared right in front of you? Would you take that ride? Well, in my Young Adult novel entitled The Arc Riders Jason Cisnyski does just that. The only problem is, this is no ordinary horse. He is an Arc Horse, part of an ancient race of magical equines that have taken a blood-oath to work for justice in the world. Jace is just the latest in a long line of human teenagers who have been chosen to work for justice one case at a time. In this first book of a planned 7 book series, Jace has Trouble with Mexicans, both at home in the Bronx and in Mexico itself where the Arc Horse transports him to save a girl from the clutches of the drug gangs. Our hero will need to overcome prejudice, violence and his own fears to save Yasmin and get himself out of trouble with Mexicans. A fresh take on pulp fiction for young adults, The Arc Riders, Trouble with Mexicans will be popular with fans of Scott Westerfeld and Suzanne Collins.

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