• Inspire Teen Reads

Tips For Success When Pitching a Book

Updated: Aug 15, 2018

by Owen Torrey

The book pitch: a simple, succinct, and fun way to share your passion for literature with a larger audience. However, distilling hundreds of pages of your favourite novel into a five hundred-word address can seem daunting. Below is a collection of quick tips to be of use when creating your own book pitch and sharing your ideas about your favourite novel with others.

1) Reflect. Start your process by sitting back and thinking about what it is that makes your favourite book so special to you. This could be any number of things: a certain character that you identified with, a message or theme that resonated with you, or simply an intangible quality of the writing. Whatever it is, try to hone in on it, so that you can begin to get an idea of what some of the main, general content of your pitch will be.

2) Format your pitch. A book pitch is not limited to a traditional speech format! Many successful participants at Inspire Teen Reads have delivered their pitch as a song, a poem, or a monologue style interpretation. Ultimately, try to pick a format that reflects your chosen novel; for example a comedic book may be best suited to a humorous pitch. There is no wrong or right format, and you should go with whatever comes naturally and feels right to you.

3) Draw from the text. Now that you have an idea of what the rough content and format of your pitch will be, going back and rereading parts of the novel is a good next step. This may allow you to come across portions of the book that you had forgotten about, and provide specific examples or quotes as you begin to develop your pitch.

4) Write. Using what you have gained from the previous steps, begin to create a rough draft. Try not to let your own judgement or criticism stand in the way during this first process; there will always be time to edit later. Instead, do your best to ensure that you commit all of your passion for your novel towards this first draft, as that is what should always be at the core essence of your pitch.

5) Edit. It is possible that your first draft will either be substantially over or substantially under the given word limit. Don’t panic. In the event that it is over, try to go through your pitch and really think hard about what is most important for you to communicate to your audience. In the event that it is under, try returning to some of the earlier steps to develop more points, examples or quotes for your pitch.

6) Practice presenting. Pitching a book requires your addressing an audience, and for this you must feel comfortable with your pitch. Try practicing in front of a mirror, with friends or family, or whoever will listen. Getting some experience presenting in front of a group will help get rid of some of those pesky nerves when the day to pitch comes.

Before you know it, your book pitch will be pitch perfect!