Writing the perfect pitch is near impossible, but it’ll make or break an agent’s interest in your story.
The good news is that there are four crucial steps you should take before hitting that “Submit Query” button — and they’re right here.
Step #1: Hire an Editor
The reason anyone wants to hire an editor is that they offer a fresh set of eyes on things you might’ve missed. They’ll provide you with professional, objective feedback. Perhaps they’ll spot things you didn’t notice, like overusing your favorite pet word.
Plus, a good editor will help hone your writing while still keeping your voice. When you spend hours on a project, it’s easy to get lost in it — but your editor is a third-party whose goal is to help you get your story across.
Step #2: Build a Platform
We’re in the Digital Age, and we’ll be here for a long time. So, the good news is that building an online presence is particularly easy.
As a writer, you’ll want a platform. What’s better than having a round of followers who are thrilled about your new book before it even comes out?
Consider taking to the world wide web by:
Maintaining a strong social media presence on platforms like Twitter
Step #3: Get Beta Readers
Beta readers are people who read your manuscript and gives you feedback, giving you the opportunity to adjust your book before you send it out.
They’re commonly used in the self-publishing realm, but they certainly help if you choose to go the traditional route, too. Think of it this way: the more feedback you get, the better your grip on the story will be.
Step #4: Craft the Perfect Pitch
The quality of your pitch is important because it’s likely the only exposure any agent is going to get to your work. You have a brief amount of time to convince someone that your story is both well-crafted and worth the investment.
Your pitch is the gate between you and success, and in this instance, your manuscript is secondary. You could have a world-shaking piece of literature, but it won’t matter if you don’t get your pitch right.
Your pitch should sell your story. You can’t tell your whole story because it has to be brief, so you’ll want to condense all the excitement of your manuscript down to just a couple of paragraphs. Of course, you’ll want to keep the essentials, such as:
The next and most difficult part is making it sound unique and intriguing. No doubt you have an interesting story, most people do, but the difference is how they present it.
How is your story different than a hundred other popular ones in that genre? Find what makes your story sell, its “gimmick” so to speak, and highlight it during it your pitch.
You’re On Your Way!
Getting a literary agent isn’t easy, and that’s why you should be diligent in taking the steps to get every advantage. Hiring an editor, building a platform, using beta readers, and taking the time to craft your pitch will all increase in your chances at gaining an agent. But you can always do more.
It’s helpful to be proactive and do your own research. Consider joining online communities as well, like Kentbury to get yourself ahead of the pack. You can expose your work to agents, display pitches, participate in a community with other writers, and pick up other tips and tricks from our blog.