Can You Say It In Three Minutes?

Are you able to pare your story down to three to five sentences?

Can you say it smoothly within three minutes?

The sole purpose of a pitch (the in-person conversation with an editor or publisher) is to convince them to give your story a look.

Be sure your pitch includes:

Hook: Why they should read your book. 

Synopsis: What the story is about. (Be sure to include the title, length, and genre of your novel). Your

target audience; and where it fits in the market (Titles of books similar to yours—and why yours will be different); and your bio.(including why you are qualified to write the story and what you are willing to do to promote your book after it is published.)

Remember to take your business card with you. You don’t want to be writing down your information on a gum wrapper while going out the door!


Four Essentials In Writing a Successful Book

Have visions of your book literally flying off the shelves? You can do four essential things to make this happen:

The first three are all on the outside.

First is the title. It must be catchy, exciting, edgy, and unique. It needs to capture the essence of what the writer is trying to portray. It needs to give the reader a hint at what’s inside without giving everything away. (I am speaking of FICTION books. Non-Fiction books need to hit on the very topic to be covered. Non-fiction readers have a certain bit of information they are looking for. The title is their first clue they have found what they are seeking.)

Dave Barry’s BIG TROUBLE is probably one of the funniest books I have ever read. The title had me hooked from the “get-go”.  The spine told me just enough to get me to pluck it from the shelf. 

Then I saw it—the second essential—one of the most creative and unique covers I’d seen up to that point. The closeup of a crocodile’s face, bumpy and wild-eyed. Who wouldn’t want to read a book about a crocodile that caused “Big Trouble”? 

I turned it over and then I read it—the third essential—the back cover blurb.  Amazing. Captivating. Hilarious. Irresistible.

The fourth essential is inside the book— the writing. And, Big Trouble did not disappoint.

If a book’s cover, title, and back cover blurb can get me to shell out my money, THE WRITING HAS TO DELIVER. PERIOD. If it doesn’t, it is just a big promise not kept. It’s a marketing ploy and nothing more.

If the book doesn’t live up to the hype, a reader won’t feel satisfied. And an unsatisfied reader will NEVER PURCHASE A BOOK FROM THAT AUTHOR AGAIN. 


You’ve probably heard that you only have one chance to make a good first impression.  That statement was originally said about face-to-face meetings, but it is never truer than when said in reference to a book.

So, target all four essentials. Make sure that the writing on the inside lives up to the title, cover, and back cover blurb on the outside.

Because you never get a second chance to make a good first impression!