No, not throwing a ball. A pitch in the publishing world means delivering a pithy witty one-minute spiel on your book to the agent or publisher of your dreams, in person, without stuttering or referring to notes. It has to capture the essence of the story, the main character, the setting, without being boring or including way too much detail.
A snap, right? Not! The fabulous and award-winning Avery Aames, who writes the cozy Cheese Shop Mysteries (and who has just had her series extended), produced a video on how to pitch and how not to pitch. It entertains as it educates. Thanks, Avery.
Why am I concerned with pitching? It so happens that this weekend is the New England Crime Bake. More than a half-dozen agents and several publishers will be in attendance. One might encounter them in the hall, at lunch, in the proverbial elevator. Plus there is a pitch session, where each attendee who signed up (including yours truly) gets five whole minutes with an agent. Gulp.
I have drafted a pitch for my second Speaking of Mystery series book, Bluffing is Murder. I'm not happy with it, despite getting some excellent feedback from the Guppies AgentQuest group. I have 62 hours left to revise the heck out of it. Gulp.
When Lauren Rousseau finds one of the secretive Trustees of the Bluffs murdered on the coastal Holt estate north of Boston, police at first suspect her of the murder because she had been seen arguing with the victim earlier in the day. After Lauren goes on a date with her flirtatious karate instructor, she digs up not only local clams but also the truth about the actual killer. A Linguistics professor, Lauren’s abilities to analyze text on a social-networking site lead her to the murderer. She solves the Holt killing and uses her Quaker contacts to unveil the mystery of her own father's death by the same killer nineteen years earlier.