As an author, I thought I achieved the majority of my goals and wanted a literary agent to see them within my work as well. I needed to represent my work nicely, served on a beautiful plate like a highly desirable gourmet dish. I learned that a great pitch letter could add that exotic flavor and luxury.
(If you have never read my previous blog posts, please read them before this one – it will make a lot more sense. It’s part #13)
I realized that a pitch letter serves as a delivery machine to impress and convince a recipient. It outlines the essence of a story’s idea in a creative yet condensed way, in order to catch the attention of the receiver.
My friend and co-author, Patrick, came to my salvation and kindly threw me a life buoy, helping to write the first pitch letter for literary agents. Waking up every day, a brand-new author, I was happy to assimilate something new about the book writing business.
A great pitch letter turns you into an angler, whose goal is not only to simply throw a fishing pole and wait, but to make the fish take the bait, then to skillfully set the hook right in the fish’s mouth. You want to make sure it will not break away but eagerly ingest the bait.
That first pitch letter of mine would always serve as the basis for creating new types of pitch letters later in my journey. I would constantly be looking for media attention from different sources, and that foundation – like a dough, so supple and malleable, from which I can form any shape I wish – would be slightly changed, altered and transformed, depending on who I would like to send it to.
But back then, my only desire was to find a good literary agent who could submit my work to publishers and negotiate business deals with them. These days, many publishers accept submissions strictly through agents. I was hoping that a good agent’s recommendation would also speed up the process.
Knowing that the manuscript would go through an agent’s screening process – and could be in danger for modification – made me panicky. Agents can make a writer change parts of a manuscript if they find it appropriate for the deal or, even worse, convince them to add or delete some portions.
Every single word in my book was priceless and equally valuable to me because it reflected the original flow of my true emotions and feelings. I did not want to change anything and was hoping that the agent would fall in love with each word of the manuscript when they would get a chance to read it.
Apparently, this was still very far away. Therefore, it was necessary to polish that very first pitch letter to achieve perfection and send it as intended.
It's me, being happy :)
Finally, after a few days, the enticing bait was ready to tempt reluctant agents. It consisted of a short opening letter, some marketing material, an author’s bio and a few sample pages of the manuscript. (You’ll find in-dept info about how my pitch letter was structured in the System of Actions, located in Chapter 11 of this book: “From Zero to Self-published Hero”)
I strongly believe that looking at live and successful examples may inspire creating a winning pitch letter of your own. An effective pitch letter is the only thing you need to start a thrilling ride. Your agent will do the rest.
A couple of years ago, I was in the same place where you might be right now – excited about possible opportunities and scared of potential failures. I clearly remember that feeling of feverish agitation, as I was turning a new page of my life and impatiently waiting to see what it could bring.
Next week I will tell you what happened after I sent all the letters… Come back to hear the story!
My books, if you would like to check them out:
From Zero to Self-published Hero
The guide has all the answers to questions any beginner writer may have: How to write a pitch letter? How to find a literary agent? Should I self-publish? How to promote my book? What is press release and how to write it? How to find a producer and get my book to the radio? (and much more);
Girl, Taken – A True Story of Abduction, Captivity and Survival
It's my personal story - a story of survival, an award-winning bestseller.
As always, thank you for your time, and stay awesome!
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