When you go to a writing conference hoping to sell an editor on your book idea, do you use a book proposal or a pitch sheet?
Have you even heard of a pitch sheet?
I'm teaching a workshop next month on pitch sheets, and I'm always surprised at how many writers have never, ever heard of them. I'm on a personal mission to change that!
For some of my thoughts on pitch sheets, check my Writer's Perspective column here.
For the sake of blog-brevity, I'll tell you what a pitch sheet is and why I think it's better than a book proposal for editor appointments.
What it is: A pitch sheet is a one-page condensation of your book proposal. It's taking the important parts of a proposal--your synopsis, your author information, the need for your book--and distilling it down to one page.
Why it is better than a book proposal: Most editor appointments are 15 minutes long. You tell me: Can an editor really take a good look at your book proposal in 15 minutes and listen to you sell your book idea? I don't think so. Why not hand an editor a concise, compelling pitch sheet that says, "Ask for my book proposal!" While you're verbally pitching your book, the editor can take notes, ask questions--engage you in conversation. Isn't that better than sitting there while an editor pages through your book proposal?
Yes, all books require book proposals. But I think too many writers are skipping over an important step by not crafting pitch sheets for their books. Leave those proposals at home when you go to a conference. Most editors won't ask for a copy of it anyways because they don't want to load their suitcases down with all that paper. If they want to see a proposal, they'll ask you to mail it to them.
Take that oh-so-precious proposal and distill it down to a one page pitch sheet. It's really all you need to sell your book idea.
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