Thanks very much to Janet Goldstein for recording this video at the San Miguel Writer’s conference wherein I talk about the importance of the pitch and knowing the essence of your book:
Nathan Bransford | Writing, Book Editing, Publishing
Helping authors achieve their dreams
Thanks for the video post! Very helpful as always 🙂 Keeping the pitch concise is very important; I'm always afraid that I'd end up rambling like I do when I'm nervous.
Thanks Nathan, for another excellent post. The video thing was a great idea!
This is the first time I see concrete information on how to actually draw up a good pitch, besides the general advice of concision and a killing idea well put. *shrugs*
No wonder you're called agent super star, heh. By the way, I so loved your interview on Kristi's blog How Did You Get There. I literally laughed out loud, and even clapped hands by the end. She's something, isn't she? heh 😉
Malia Sutton says
Smart advice for all authors.
You're probably tired of hearing this all the time. But you look so darn CUTE, too:)
Joanna van der Gracht de Rosado says
I met Nathan at the San Miguel Writers Conference and also Janet Goldstein who took the video… All followers of this blog who see Nathan as extremely professional, knowledgable and generous are right on. (Janet is the same kind of person by the way) As an aside, The San Miguel Writers' Conference is an excellent option for both experienced and novice writers. Thank you Nathan for sharing the good information and bringing back happy memories.
Ishta Mercurio says
Nice! Short, to the point, and we got to match a voice to the face. Thanks! (And I like the vlog thing.)
When telling your pitch to a publishing professional do they want to know the ending?
Other Lisa says
I have actually directed people to my website to read the pitch there because I'm too embarrassed to recite it.
I guess I'd better start reciting.
Chuck H. says
Just thought I'd let you know, Bransford, I don't think you're that cute. You give great advice but you ain't that cute.
Nathan Bransford says
lol, thanks Chuck. I'll take that tradeoff any day.
Ee Leen Lee says
Talking to Oprah? well that is better than the other advice I heard of, which is pretend you're talking to a room full of suits
Totally have to agree with the Luke Wilson comments! It is fun to hear what you sound like in real life and hear you talk about books. Very fun!
Wm. Luke Everest says
"Draw upon the voice of the work when constructing the pitch." Great advice. I'll remember that. I've often wondered about that point, as my "voice" alters (I like to think) with my POV character.
On the advice of my mentors (Scott Bradfield and Paul McAuley) I've practised the craft by writing short fiction. I've come to realise that, as craft skill develops, the problems of writing a good synopsis or querry letter kind of solve themselves. Stories become increasingly focussed, such that most good short fiction can be described in a sentence or two, and most novels can certainly be boiled down to a couple hundred words.
Rather than attempting to simplify a complex process, the question becomes how to evocatively elucidate the story's central premise, which should be integral to the POV character anyway. For those interested, Robert Silverberg writes brilliantly about this in his essay "Common Time: With All of Love", published in Science Fiction 101.
Dude, you got that young Scott Bakula vibe going. Not that I'm gay for you or anything. I'm just saying.
Not that there's anything wrong with that… but I was a Quantum Leap and Enterprise fan…
Wait a minute, what was I commenting about?
Malia Sutton says
I'm sticking with smart and cute 🙂
Kia Abdullah says
Oh my, you're so Cali!
Kia Abdullah says
On a more productive note, I think this is really good advice. I recently shared a session at a book festival with a wonderful literray agent who's been in the business for nearly 25 years, and she said exactly the same thing: construct a brief killer synopsis so that when people say "What's your book about?" you can impress immediately.
As an aside, I usually hate video embeds but this is great. We want more!
Good advice. Aim for an "elevator pitch" I suppose.
I met Nathan a couple years ago here in Atlanta and he sounds like Thurston Howell III. I think he probably just changed his voice for this video so you guys wouldn't think he was all uppity.
K. E. Richards says
The force is strong in you, young one. 200 words, mmmm I better get back to the drawing board.
Meghan Ward says
I am a HUGE fan of video blogs! Thanks for this. It was really useful, and I'd love to see more videos on this blog. By the way, 200 words seems long for an elevator pitch. I always feel like I need to summarize my book in a sentence or two when people ask me what it's about.