What is a pitch?

A literary pitch is really short, between 3 -8 sentences. It’s the writing you find on the back of a book’s cover and is designed to grab the interest of the reader, but not reveal the ending. Usually, even the blurb on the book jacket is too long, consisting of two to three paragraphs. Literary agent Juliet Mushens tells us that the pitch is the strongest paragraph boiled down to as few words as possible, without losing the central idea of what the book is about. For example, here is the pitch to “Dragon King’s Wrath”, my first fantasy fiction novel of the series:

Dragons rule the skies. In the bowels of the mountains, Ogres lurk, tall as oaks, with groping claws and sharpened fangs. Theo, a mere sorcerer’s apprentice confronts them all. To his will Varwarker must bow, Red Dragon Drake, favourite of Warlock Zarzbudin. For Theo has pledged to rescue Princess Adelayne, Shield Warrior Maiden of the Western Realms.

 

Next week, we will be seeing how the pitch fits into the query letter, and more to the point, what a query letter is. If you can’t wait until then, here’s a man I admire and have found to be a fountain of information on literary issues: his name is Chuck Sambuchino and he is the editor for Writers Digest Books (Press on the image below to open a link to his landing platform):

chuck-sambuchino-editor-writers-digest

 

 

 

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