Now that you have finished writing your story, it’s now time to learn how to pitch a book idea to a literary agency. When you pitch a book idea to an agent, you are selling the attractive qualities of your story to convince the agent to represent you.
In this article, we will walk you through what it means to pitch an idea and the essential tips for pitching a book to impress your agent.
What Does It Mean To Pitch An Idea?
The whole meaning behind pitching an idea comes from baseball. When you pitch (throw) the ball, the batsman will either strike it or miss it.
Similarly, when you present an idea, the other party will either like it or dislike it. When writers talk about pitching, they usually mean a one-on-one conversation with a publisher or agent via whom your novel is requested,reviewed, and considered for publication.
Many writers want to pitch their ideas to many agents, but this is like shooting an arrow in the dark. It won't make much difference if you keep copying and pasting the same general content. That is why tailoring it according to each agent is a must, as it makes your book pitch idea more relevant and less vague.
Well, of course, to do that, you need to prepare well enough to make sure the book idea pitch hits the right spot to convince your agent, and here are 10 tips that are definitely a hit!
10 Tips on How to Pitch A Book Idea
A book pitch is simply a few hundred words long and should last around 60 to 90 seconds if you are sharing it during a meeting. The purpose of a pitch is to give a short summary of your idea, communicate its unique selling points, and elaborate on how your idea is better than others. In short, its main aim is to grab an agent's attention and convince them that your idea is worth their investment.
With such a short duration, it is necessary to see which material fits best and which material the agent would not consider listening to or even reading. With the help of these 10 helpful tips, you can learn how to pitch your book idea and convince an agent that your novel is worthwhile because of its intriguing content and originality.
Research allows you to tailor your pitch to the publication or agent you are approaching. You can look at their earlier work and discover something that can serve as a useful connection between your book idea and them. This is important as it gives each agent the impression that they were chosen because of the writers they represent, the projects they are committed to, or even the hobbies they enjoy. Its best to create an outline first. Learn more about what to include in a pitch deck outline.
Complete Your Storyline
Agents and editors frequently request partial manuscripts; in some cases, publishers may even request the entire manual or inquire about how you want to conclude the book. This is just to see where the book will take its readers.
So, to avoid giving them an incomplete working idea, first read, revise, and redraft your book. You can always make minor adjustments later, but your work should be clear. Moreover, do remember to give your book a proper name.
Consider Meeting Duration
Meetings with agents or publishers to share a concept are generally short. If you know how long the meeting will last, you can design your pitch more accurately. This will help prioritize and stress what should and should not be said. Furthermore, if the idea clicks with them, the meeting may last longer than usual, so be prepared to discuss additional issues related to your idea to keep them interested.
Language & Tone Matters
Do not write your pitch in the style of the book. The majority of pitches are delivered verbally, so you will have to concentrate on your language and tone. While pitching your book idea, make sure to use an entertaining, energetic, and smart tone. It should convey a sense of your own voice with a hint of your book.
Select Your Book Highlights
You can use unique, important details to draw attention to information like the key characters, significant conflicts/decisions, main barriers, or the essence of your story. Consider what distinguishes your book, what you have explored that others have not, or how you have treated a narrative in a novel way, and include it in your pitch.
Include Your Qualifications
Another thing that will help you get your publisher to listen to your book pitch is to emphasize why you are qualified to write this book. You can include a quick introduction by sharing relevant details about yourself, such as prizes won, qualifications, and background(especially if this is the reason you came up with the book idea).
Make it Specific
When you pitch, you are selling something. When selling, identifying a shelf where the book idea fits is helpful. Mention the book's intricacies specifically, such as genre, sub genre,or demographic niche (e.g., YA or Young Adult). This will let the agent understand that you know what you are doing. It also provides useful information to include in your pitch, such as the size of the segment and the number of people you will be able to reach through it.
Short but Attractive
If you are pitching your book idea in a letter, have a comprehensive 200-word summary of what the book is about. To pique an agent's interest, a smart, to-the-point submission letter that provides a clear overview of the material being submitted is essential. Use adjectives and proper sentences to make a bigger impact in fewer words.
Include Your Marketing Plan
A marketing strategy section in the pitch deck is essential because it directly impacts the book's ability to generate revenue for the investor. You can support your idea with numbers, trends, and predictions.
After you have finished your book pitch,read it again and again. Every single word counts, so make sure each phrase is nearly flawless. Nail your one-liners, and use words that best describe your book. They say the first impression is a lasting impression, so keep on perfecting your pitch to make sure that the agent won’t be able to forget it.
And Don’t Forget To Be Confident
Last and most importantly, be confident.The ability to confidently deliver a book idea pitch is the most critical part of it. Since investors want to trust what you are selling, connect with the purpose of why you are doing this and stay focused on that goal. Be your own advocate and deliver your pitch with enthusiasm! Only then can you present your pitch deck like a pro.