Monday, October 25, 2010

Pitch It!

For the October Christian Writers blog chain, we're pitching our novels! (Or doing a little tutorial on pitches.)

What is a pitch? 

A pitch is basically a way to sell your novel. Think of it like the trailer to that movie you're going to go see because of the commercials you've seen on TV. It's a tease; it gives the reader an idea on what your book is about. Some authors now are making their own book videos (K.M. Weiland has an AWESOME one for her novel Behold the Dawn.) But, most readers aren't going to go track down your video; they're going to read the blurb on the jacket cover of your book at the bookstore.

Photo from DeviantArt's SixSecondsLess
That's essentially what a pitch is, something that a reader sees that whets their appetite to read your book. Or, as in my case, something to whet the appetite of an agent or editor.

This month, I'm sharing the pitch for my novel, Homebody. And, it's up to you, my lovely reader, to help me improve the pitch. Tell me if what I've written would make you want to read more. If it's sitting on the shelf next to Nora Roberts, would you choose mine or hers? (Or, name another of your favorite authors.)

I'm pulling this directly from the latest query I've drafted--so I need it to be good!


Finding dead bodies is not what journalist-cum-real estate investor Amanda O'Flannigan had in mind when she changed careers. All she wanted was a distraction from the recent death of her fiancé. A man dying in her arms doesn't do much to help her grief.

As she investigates the man's death, she stumbles into a web of lies and half-truths. If anyone knows the full story behind the victim's life and death, they aren't sharing.

Rick Pierce has been in love with Amanda for a decade. A year and a half after the tragedy, Rick has worked up the nerve to tell Amanda how he feels. But with Amanda still lost in the past, how can he convince her he's the one she needs to be with?

The possibility of romance isn’t enough to erase the fact two convicts Amanda helped put away have escaped prison and are on a mission to find the woman who made their life hell. Intent on torturing and killing her, they're on a warpath to her doorstep. Are they responsible for the growing number of murders among Amanda's tenants?

As Amanda races to find the murderers and stop the men who want her dead, she must learn to look to her future. Rick will stop at nothing to make sure she sees that future realized.

So, what do you think? Would you want to take this book home?

Until next time,


Anonymous said...

Absolutely I'd buy the book! It sounds suspenseful and exciting!

Sheila said...

Sounds like a good read! Just a suggestion--I would rearrange the paragraphs, possible even the order of the sentences. And the last sentence in the first paragraph confused me. I thought at first you were talking about the fiance dying in her arms.
I love your synopsis in the sidebar!

Liberty Speidel said...

@Linda, Thanks! :)

@Sheila, now that I'm rereading it, I think I may agree with you. Hmmm... will be mulling this one over and will try to re-do later (if I get a chance.

E G Lewis said...

This is about the right size for the back cover, but a wee bit long for an agent letter. My suggestion would be to combine paragraph one and two and cut the final sentence in p.2. It's redundant.

Also the final sentence in p.1 is confusing. I think it refers to a new victim (tenant), but it could be her fiance. Consider a contrast to the previous sentence by starting with dies in her arms.

Paragraph three could begin Two convicts...escaped prison. (end of sentence) Intent on revenge, they're beating a path to her doorstep. Meanwhile, some of Amanda's tenants are being murdered.

Final paragraph: Enter Rick Pierce who's been in...decade. Amanda's focus is on the past as she races to stop the men who want her dead. How will Rick make her see that they have a future?

Peace and Blessings

TraciB said...

I'm definitely intrigued by your story, as I have been from the first time I read your request for query letter help on CW.

I think your pitch is good and will be even better with Sheila's and E.G.'s suggestions implemented. I have only one more to add; I'd say "journalist-turned-real estate agent" instead of what you have. If a reader isn't familiar with Latin, they may not know that term.

Liberty Speidel said...

@E.G. I tend to follow the advice of the Query Shark ( so that's the reason the length is so... lengthy. :) However, I do realize it needs to get chopped down some, so I am very grateful for your suggestions. I'm going to try to apply them this week and will re-post with the revisions.

@Traci, Thanks! As for the Latin term, I'm hoping (since this version is more for the agents) that they'll know Latin! :) I do plan to leave it in there for flair since I think the term reflects more about how Amanda thinks than any of the other verbiage. However, I'm sure it'll get changed for the back-cover or dust-jacket copy. :)

Victor Travison said...

Having already read part of an early draft of Homebody, I'd have to say I'm interested in the rest. And to see what you've done since that version in the chapters you already sent. You're a good writer, Liberty. You deserve to be noticed by more than a few.

~ VT

Liberty Speidel said...

@Victor, your words made my day! (And my day hasn't really been that bad to begin with!) Thanks!

Draven Ames said...

I like that you are putting yourself out there with your query letter, but I wonder if agents would like it. Does this give anything away? My immediate thoughts were that the man she is interested in is probably the killer. If that is the case, I might not want this query letter out in the open.

As to your query letter, I haven't made mine yet. I came here to look at advice and see how you did yours. I think you did pretty good.

The first paragraph can be confusing, making people wonder if the fiance died in her arms. The last can be changed, it makes rick seem like a bad guy.

Liberty Speidel said...

Hi, Draven! Thanks for stopping in.

Thanks for the compliments. I have made some changes, which you can see in this post:

I haven't really thought about whether an agent would or wouldn't want the pitch out in the open. Quite honestly, I can't see what the harm would be, especially since the versions are being edited, and many, many people put their queries through challenges on blogs and forums. One agent (Janet Reid AKA The Query Shark) crits queries at her blog . Many other agents do the same.

Again, thank you for stopping in! I hope you'll come back!

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