So you’ve written your book. Now it’s onto finding a publisher. How do you craft a pitch that will have them begging to publish your book?
To perfect your pitch, you must focus on three elements: manuscript, appearance and presentation. Only one element has to do with the book itself; the other two pertain entirely to you. Your work will speak for itself, but if you do not set yourself up for success in both your appearance and presentation, your book may not even get looked at.
Here are qualities that publishers look for in a prospective manuscript:
It must be complete. You cannot expect a publisher to accept a book that is not even finished yet.
It must be well-written. Publishers will be less-inclined to take on a book that requires tons of editing and restructuring.
It must be different. Readers don’t want to read a story that’s just like one they’ve already read, and publishers don’t want to publish a book that’s just like one they’ve already published. It is okay, and even beneficial, to have elements of your story that are similar to other stories (particularly popular ones, as this can be seen as profitable to publishers), but be careful not to follow the same plot or have the same characters with different names. Be creative – be original!
Your appearance also plays an important role in the success of your pitch. Consider the following:
You must look professional. Dress in a manner that shows that you take yourself, your book and the publisher seriously.
You must look successful. Dress to impress. Appear as though you are already a published author and are seasoned in the industry. Wear quality clothing, do your makeup (ladies), and make sure that your hair is styled nicely.
Finally, when you actually begin pitching you work to a publisher, keep this most important aspect in mind:
You must be confident! Speak about your book with calmness and clarity. Be straightforward. You know your book is a hit in the making, and you know the reasons why. Relay those reasons matter-of-factly.
Think about it as if you already have publishers asking for your book, now it’s just up to you to choose one. Imagine you’re the one interviewing them, instead of them interviewing you. This will help you to remain calm and confident, and to present yourself and your book in a manner that will convince the publisher that you are the real deal.