It’s week two of Acres of Ink, and we’re talking about pitches. Scary, I know.
Write a paragraph pitching your book and then distill it into no more than 3 sentences (basically, a blurb). Show both.
Now, I’ve never written a pitch before, and I’ve never had a finished manuscript to pitch in the first place, so I’m a little green on this one. If like me, you’re fairly clueless, just plain bad at writing pitches, or the thought of writing a pitch makes your skin crawl, Tomi Adeyemi breaks down the art of writing a successful pitch here, and that’s what helped me write my own.
Step One: The Pitch
My book is an adult fantasy novel called The Triangle.
Tobias Rhys is a merchant’s son living on the island city of Port Ban, a trading outlet teeming with faeries, good coin, and a booming black market at its underbelly in the mythical world of Ithir. Tobias, the middle child, spends his days helping his father with their slacking business and his nights working trades in the black market, trying to recoup from his father’s mismanagement and his elder brother’s selfish and impulsive business practices.
When his brother, Sebastian, returns to port after months at sea, swearing he’s brought fortune to turn their luck around, Tobias quickly learns that his brother has gotten his hands in business even he isn’t willingly to do. He finds out his brother has brought a selkie to port with the intent to sell her to the highest bidder. Tobias releases her, not knowing that she belonged to someone long before his brother found her, and that her initial captor intends to recoup their losses in either coin, or blood.
Tobias and his brother are unwittingly thrust deeper into a dark underworld, forced to leave their home, their family, and take to the seas where they encounter something far worse than a faerie flesh trader with a grudge as they’re press-ganged into piracy by the infamous Captain Jasper Wolfe and his feared Unseelie first mate.
Aboard The Valyria, a ship made of hawthorn and whose sails billow without wind, Tobias is thrust in the middle of a high-seas conflict, old grudges, and dark magic. He must choose whether to accept his fate and join his new captain in full or take advantage of the discourse brewing among the creatures and crew of the ship to reclaim he and his brother’s freedom—a choice that ultimately leads them to dangerous waters, unexpected romance, and the mysterious, uncharted lands of the Fae.
Step Two: Pair it Down (I might have cheated a little)
Tobias Rhys is a merchant’s son and part-time black-market trader, living on the island city of Port Ban, a trading outlet teeming with faeries and coin in the mythical world of Ithir. When his brother, Sebastian, returns to port after months at sea, swearing he’s brought them fortune to turn their luck around, Tobias quickly learns that his brother has gotten his hands in business even he isn’t willingly to do. Forced to leave their home, their family, and take to the seas after Tobias ruins his brother’s new ‘business venture,’ Tobias must choose whether to accept his fate when they’re press ganged into piracy or take advantage of the discourse brewing among the creatures and crew of the ship to reclaim he and his brother’s freedom.
Conclusion: Pitches Are Hard.
And they’re supposed to be! They’re the number one thing that sells your book to an agent, or publisher. It’s the difference between having a manuscript turned into a shiny, beautiful new book and it sitting deep within the depths of your OneDrive folders for an eternity.
Or so I’ve been told.
I think I might be a little peeved with the AOI challenge throwing this one at me so early, but it’s a good exercise in getting down what’s important about your story, and hopefully hooking someone into wanting to read it.
Ever written a pitch? How was the experience? Or are you, like me, still flexing your pitch-writing fingers for when it’s really time to start selling your MS to a potential agent?