The dreaded pitch letter

(A conversation between a writer and a publisher, on the subject of pitching a novel, according to the BF:)

“I, like, write books.”

“Cool.”

*Cricket chirps*

“I publish books.”

“Word.”

(Imagine this conversation taking place in the manner of the Teen Girl Squad, which, if you don’t know what that is, click here and be prepared to find it hilarious.)

I have no idea how to write a pitch letter. Writing a pitch letter terrifies me. I’d avoid it if I could. The problem with that is by avoiding it, I won’t get published. And, well, I haven’t written all this drivel not to at least attempt to have it published.

I finished Not About Love about a week ago, having written it in about two and a half weeks (you have my permission to be amazed. Except it is in dire need of some major editing and quite possibly re-writing.) The whole purpose of that story was to submit it to Entangled Publishing, after I looked through their January call for submissions and found one of the editors is looking for stories of the friends to lovers nature. Love didn’t actually start out as a romance, but after I’d re-read some of what I’d written years ago, I saw it could work. Nineteen plus chapters later, I had my very first romance. Nothing paranormal about it, it’s just straight up romance. I gotta tell you, it was hard not putting in any demons or witches or magic or anything. Normal people are just not that interesting.

I’ve got a beta reader all lined up for it (in fact, she was bugging me about it the other day, saying she needed something to read and was I done yet?), and once I’ve finished the first round of edits on Finders Keepers, I’ll get right on it.

Then I’ve got to figure out how to write a damn pitch letter for it.

The BF’s other suggestion went something like this:

Dear Publisher:

I write books. You publish books. You should publish my books, because they are awesome.

Love, Amanda

Hysterical, isn’t he? And I have to live with him.

Pitch letters scare me. I’ve never had to write one before, and I look at it in the same manner as a cover letter for a resume: it’s what will get someone to look at the finished product. That means it has to be sparkling, witty, and intelligent. All qualities I possess, although not necessarily at the same time.

Based on the scant experience I’ve had with pitching a novel, I’m inclined to think my actual pitch needs some work. Over on the Writer’s Digest website, there’s a series of blog posts entitled “Successful Queries”, featuring the query letter for a real life published work and what the agent liked about it and why it got their attention. I love having examples to work from-it makes my life easier.

Soon, as within the next few weeks soon, I will most likely post a sample query letter to either the editor at Entangled that I have in my crosshairs, or a query letter to an agent so I can get Shadowdemon off my desktop and onto store shelves. Depending on how big a ding my ego takes, I may or may not post the results. I do, however, promise it won’t read like this. (And for the record, Hack is joking.)

Now I leave you with Strongbad and Trogdor, because everyone needs more Trogdor in their lives.

*video via homestarrunner.com

4 thoughts on “The dreaded pitch letter

      1. I haven’t been on that site in ages. I used to love it in college. A friend of mine likes to quote Teen Girl Squad on occasion much to my joy.

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