3 actions to prepare for a pitch to an Agent or Publisher

canstockphoto7819895Are you pitching your book to an agent or publisher at a writer’s conference?

A pitch is a short, private session with an assigned editor or agent. You’ll probably get about five minutes and you’ll want to be organized. So how do you prepare? Here are three actions you can take to be ready to make a strong, memorable impression.

1. Write a log line.

A log line is a simple, direct one sentence synopsis of your book, kind of like television episode descriptions on your cable’s guide screen. It should read something like this:

(Book Title) is a (word count) (genre) about a (main character) who must (story question) before (consequences if story question is not resolved).

2. Think about simple questions.

Next, think about how you will respond to some general questions about your book and its characters, and expect to chat about these topics for a few minutes.

  • Who is the Protagonist and what is his/her character arc?
  • Where is the setting and why is it interesting?
  • What is the story’s hook?
  • Why are you writing this story?
  • Who do you think would buy this book?

3. Create a “One Sheet.”

A One Sheet is an information page you can give to the agent or publisher as a takeaway. Think of it as your book’s resume.

If an agent or editor is interested in your book, the One Sheet will travel easy and has all the important details they’ll need once they’re back in their office. Include the title, word count, genre, the log line, a one or two paragraph summary, a short bio and your contact information. Remember it’s a ONE-sheet. That means ONE page…the front page. Not front and back. Not two pages stapled together.

Follow these three actions and you should be fully prepared.

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