Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pitching your YA Novel

My agent, Vickie Motter, posted something about pitching a year or so ago -- read it here.

To me, doing a live pitch, sounds terrifying. It still does—but how often does someone ask you what you’re book is about?
Vickie says this, “Though you've bypassed the pitching, you might want to prepare yourself for what comes after. Every time someone asks "What is your book about," THAT'S a pitch. So writers, whether or not you plan to pitch in person to agents or editors, make sure you have a one line pitch ready. Just in case.”

Oh. Right.

This happens to me all the time. And I almost always say, well, it's about a girl who plays golf...blah blah blah boring. 

Back in 2010, I won an online agent pitch contest with the following:
With the family golf course on the verge of bankruptcy, Kate Anderson decides she's going to be the first girl to win the Junior State Championship to draw the crowds back, but her plans are derailed when her best friend and crush is accused of vandalizing the course with a blowtorch.

Yeah, that rocks. But it's hard to say to someone out loud. It's a great written pitch. It worked great in queries, but not so much in person.

I'm thinking about:

Kate Anderson has to win a local golf tournament to save her parents failing golf course. Along the way, there are blow torches, British boys, and kissing.

Of course, I've got nothing for the middle grade novel. Best start working on that one...

Do you have a pitch ready when someone asks about your book?

P.S. After I wrote this post, I noticed that Vickie posted something about pitching more recently. Today, in fact. Check it out here.

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  1. I've prepared a written pitch:

    After a mysterious death, 5 unlikely allies forge a bond at a magical academy to save their kin from the fire storm that's brewing.

    When you use a live pitch? At a conference? Would you still need to answer these verbal 'pitch' questions if an agent requests a full mss after query?

  2. You use your live pitch any time someone asks you about your book. Could be a conference. Could be the bus stop. Could be Thanksgiving Dinner.