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6 Things you need to think about when pitching your book to Literary Agents and Publishers

April 16, 2015

This is a perfect time of year to pitch your book to literary agents and publishers.

beaBook Expo America is coming up May 27th – 29th at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. Whether you’ll be attending the New York Book Expo or a much smaller book festival, there are several strategies that you will want to know before you pitch your book, whether it’s fiction or non-fiction!

I want to share the six book pitching strategies that I shared with a room full of writers most recently at the Los Angeles Writer’s Conference. In fact, we kept adding more authors, even after we “closed” the session several times.

Don’t forget: agents must feel that they can sell your book and publishers must feel that they will receive their financial investment back from publishing your book. Anyone who has self-published their book understands that a good quality book that has been professionally edited can easily cost $5,000 – $10,000.

I have two strategies for you under Mental Preparation and four strategies for Physical Presentation.

Mental preparation:

Be PROUD of your book and its message/story.

  1. Confidently pitch your book idea. Your message/story needs to get out into the world. No more playing small!
  2. Know that agents and publishers are always looking for manuscripts to buy! Yes, you read correctly. Agents and publishers depend on writers to make a living. And, when you have an excellent pitch that is organized, catches the attention and interest of the agent or publisher and you have developed a good brand and platform…they are all ears.

Physical Presentation:

Create a 60-second pitch that includes CREDIBILITY & CELEBRITY!

  1. Overview the book’s message in an interesting way, including the problem your book solves, brings to light or engage and entertains.
  2. Who are you? I know this may sound funny, but you MUST have a clear and unique Brand when pitching to agents and publishers. You must show them that your book is unique, no matter what the topic or who the characters are.
  3. Why are YOU the best person to write this book? Literary Agents and Book Publishers need to know why you are writing this book and why you are the best person to do so…in 60 seconds or less, what is your book about, why are you the person to write it and how do you know it will sell….and the publisher will get their investment back?
  4. How many people do you have access to? Hint: What type of following do you have? Yes, social media is important. But here’s the great news…agents and publishers really don’t look at the “quality” of your fan base…they are only interested in the final numbers. This is the time to really build up your social media following.

megaphone-50092_640One last thought: Keep pitching until you get a deal…rejections only mean that it’s time to pitch to another agent or publisher!

Every year I do a pitching workshop the first day of the New York Book Expo in New York City. If you are interested in a complimentary 30 minute book pitching strategy, please go here and fill out the questionnaire.

Writer’s Discovery Session questionnaire

Here’s to Your Book & Your Brilliance!

Ruth Klein