If you are a writer, and have just finished writing a non-fiction book, composing an appealing pitch is an indispensable part of your writing skill. However, writers tend to procrastinate over this and the main reason is rejection related anxiety. When you pitch an idea, you are really projecting yourself into the world of publishing which can be scary as well as exciting. And as with most things, pitching becomes easy with practice.
Here are some pointers to ensure that your pitches find their mark:
Don’t Pitch an Idea but a Story
You just thought of a fantastic idea for your pitch, but you should develop this idea into a story first. This is because editors usually want to know if you have done sufficient research on the idea and have a good perspective on it.
Make the Story Current
When pitching your story, you should underline its present relevance and that you alone are the right person to write about it. In short, your story should feel current, fresh, and it is important that it should be shared NOW! In the same way, if you happen to be an expert in the field or you have special access to information on the field, mention this in the pitch. Providing high-resolution videos or photos can make your pitch stand out. And while you are at it, don’t be modest.
Length and Structure
The key to a good pitch is precision. The best pitch is at the most around four paragraphs long. You must present the facts in such a way that it intrigues the editor without unduly taking up a lot of his or her time.
Your Subject Line
Editors receive a lot of pitches every day, so make your subject line the initial, but vital step to command their attention. Make your subject line succinct, containing seven to ten words that convey sufficient information to intrigue the editor. And put “Pitch” in the subject line of your email.
And don’t forget to follow up if there is no word from the editor in a couple of weeks.