But then I got published. I was now expected to market them?
I was expected to talk to others about my books and try to persuade them to exchange their hard earned cash for them? This was not what I signed up for. I mus t engage with future readers, pitch my stories and talk about myself in a way that would make others want to read my books. The best thing about these ways? You can do them too! What is the purpose of a synopsis? Every Thursday, she posts about growing your author platform.
You get done with a song and are about to move on to the next one on your set list when a group of fans in row two demand a very particular song from one of your lesser-known albums. What do you do? From season one, fans were chiding you about getting Jim and Pam together. Would you have given in to their demands even though you knew that if you dragged it out for a few seasons, it would be even more rewarding?
Sounds like a lot of content, right? This is the moment when tension and emotions are the highest, and this is the moment that readers have been waiting for. Sure, they want to read that the happy couple got off the train tracks in time and know that Salty Sam is going to jail for his crimes, but the story is effectively over. You might be heading out of town, or driving to the beach, or trying to find a place to relax and dive into that new book you bought.
It could be advice on creating characters, or raising the stakes, or leaving people with a memorable lesson. Share it with us. I do this once each year or so, and I have gleaned some wonderful tips from people over the years. Would love to hear what you have to share with your fellow writers. No, there is not a knife-heavy serial killer lurking behind my door. No, my boss is not on the rampage today.
No, my mom is not at the door with a list of potential husbands. I have to be careful because my first reaction to the squirrely ones is to immediately hit send on. Some are born great writers, some aspire to being a great writer and some have writerly greatness thrust upon them. Then, sometimes, neither of those three options apply to us and we have to bushwhack our own path to greatness. In fact, I have a list of ten things you can do or not do to accomplish this goal.
If accomplishing goals is your thing. I would have come up with eleven, but I got tired. Your day is busy enough.
Start with the one-sentence pitch
In fact, spend your down time doing things like hurling birds into piles of thieving pigs. Tell yourself that this is brain work!
Your writing future is dependent on whether or not you see Downton Abbey! Every time you have a nagging thought that tells, you that maybe you should do Nanowrimo or something like that, just watch an episode of Hoarders until the feeling goes away. Smugness, with lack of physical activity, can be just as comforting as that pesky sense of accomplishment that comes with dedication and commitment.
Trust me. This is obvious. Besides fiction is made up stories, which are basically lies. In fact, if you are reading this blog, stop right now and turn on Pandora, the Shakira station. Save yourself the headache and come up with a one sentence, one paragraph, and two paragraph pitch before you even start to query. Then: practice and memorize your pitches. I personally think the best way of going about this is to start with the one sentence pitch: not only is it the hardest to write, it contains the essence of your book.
You then build around that one sentence pitch and flesh it out with some key details in the one paragraph pitch — maybe the character names, or the most important subplot, or a few quick images that give a sense of the sensibility of your work. With the two paragraph you have more flexibility to add still more details and can make it a bit more of a story itself. I did this for Jacob Wonderbar.
Here are my pitches which I have to use very very often :. Three kids trade a corndog for a spaceship, blast off into space, accidentally break the universe, and have to find their way back home. Jacob Wonderbar trades a corndog for a sassy spaceship and blasts off into space with his best friends, Sarah and Dexter. After they accidentally break the universe in a giant space kapow, a nefarious space pirate named Mick Cracken maroons Jacob and Dexter on a tiny planet that smells like burp breath.
They have to work together to make it back to their street on Earth where all the houses look the same. Jacob Wonderbar has been the bane of every substitute teacher at Magellan Middle School ever since his dad moved away from home.
He never would have survived without his best friend Dexter, even if he is a little timid, and his cute-but-tough friend Sarah Daisy, who is chronically overscheduled. But when the trio meets a mysterious man in silver they trade a corn dog for his sassy spaceship and blast off into the great unknown.
Cathy Yardley – Audio Books, Best Sellers, Author Bio | monfenotich.tk
That is, until they break the universe in a giant space kapow and a nefarious space buccaneer named Mick Cracken maroons Jacob and Dexter on a tiny planet that smells like burp breath. The friends have to work together to make it back to their little street where the houses look the same, even as Earth seems farther and farther away. And you know? It would be great to have more examples of these different types of pitches: Feel free to share your one sentence, one paragraph and two paragraph pitches in the comment section!
Need help with your book? And if you like this post: subscribe to my newsletter and check out my guide to writing a novel. I have real-life evidence of this, which I can back up using highly truthful math 'n' stuff. On my current book…. And of those 4, one wasn't even pitched at an agent or editor. I mentioned it to a fellow writer whose wife is an editor and she requested it.
Submission Primer 101
THAT'S why you have a pithy summary. A VP at a global entertainment company tries to form the most lucrative band in the world — a band that plays children's music — then the band starts to rebel. Great, timely post.
I have a verbal pitch this Saturday and another one in June and I'm scared stiff. I wrote a pitch just in case my mind goes blank and am finalizing a query and synopsis. I love your three-step approach of whittling down novels to one sentence, one paragrah and then two paragraphs. I'll work on that. Fingers and toes crossed fpr everyone who is pitching right now. Deep breaths and anti-anxiety pills I even had hives. I'm a wreck but will pull it together. Great advice, Nathan. I hadn't thought to memorise pitches, but it makes utter sense. Not sure I'd want to memorise a two-paragraph one though, as, when reading through yours, I just couldn't hear myself saying it without sounding like it was read.
I think some verbal additives would be needed, don't you? Yeah, when you get to the two paragraph one it's more important to paraphrase it or else it sounds rehearsed. What's works on the page doesn't always sound good read out loud, and vice versa. I use Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Method for all my writing.
It starts with the 1 sentence hook and builds out to a full synopsis, outline, and finally, the novel. I love it because when I'm done with the novel, I already have my pitches. Granted, there is so much revision along the way, but this system really works for me. Great post, but I hope someday you touch upon the page synopsis. That's the killer for me. Your pitches are great! I'm still working on my one paragraph and two paragraph pitches, myself. Usually, I decide after a week or two that I no longer like what I'd come up with.
Related Rock Your Query: A Simple System for Writing Query Letters and Synopses (Rock Your Writing Book 3)
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