Sunday, April 14, 2013


In baseball, a pitcher pitches a ball. In order to be a successful pitcher, the batter has to fail.
In music, a singer with perfect pitch is a winner.
In the South, angry women “pitch a hissy fit.”
In writing, creating a perfect pitch can get you published.
By honing your one hundred-thousand word novel down to fifty words or less, you go through several steps that will be important as you work toward finding a publisher. It is equally important if you plan to self-publish because these steps will help you with your marketing plan.
When you attend a writers’ conference you have opportunities to meet with agents and publishers; often you have less than a minute to catch their attention and, if you’re lucky, another nine to add details plus explain your own writing background and experiences that make you the right person to tell your story.
If you can successfully reduce the hundred thousand words to twenty-five, you might have a chance. You might gasp at the enormity of the project, but it can be done.
First break down the story into a one or two page synopsis, told in the present tense and then further reduce this by explaining the story in a short paragraph or two for your Query Letters.
Having accomplished that, slash those paragraphs until you have only the most essential words about your story.
Two examples from my own writing experience.
Elena – the Girl with the Piano, Double Edge Press, is a hundred thousand word novel. Historical fiction.
The pitch: A young girl escapes Leningrad during WWII and crosses Europe with her fabric piano and a dream of playing in Carnegie Hall.
The Prince of Keegan Bay, Champagne Books, contains approximately 75,000 words. Humorous thriller.
The pitch: A group of senior citizens in a mobile home park band together to hide the infant crown prince of Kushawa from terrorists.  

Veronica H. Hart's next novel, The Reluctant Daughters, is scheduled to be released by Double Edge Press in August 2013. She has two works in progress, a sequel to The Prince of Keegan Bay, and a science fiction drama set in 2179, Silent Autumn. She has multiple stories and articles published, including most recently The Florida Writers Association's first two anthologies and The Florida Writer Magazine.


Big Mike said...

Yes, teaser lines are a bear to develop. By the way, you missed one pitch example. Like when I guy pitches to a girl why they should, oh yeah (g)

Michael Davis (
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Good examples, I know because I've read both books. My title for my review of Ronnie's book, Elena, "Unrelenting fear versus indomitable spirit...," is not a pitch phrase, but a tag line.

Veronica Helen Hart said...

Thanks, Mike. I'll leave that one for you! lol