May 1, 2020, by aeyaebr

Publishing in Practice: Writing a Pitch

By Annie Brown, MA Creative Writing student blogger

So, you’ve written a piece of work you want to show to the world. You’re interested in beginning the process of getting literary agents and publishers involved, but you need to write a pitch. This essential part of the publishing process can be tricky. You need to briefly outline your book or idea in a confident, concise and convincing way.

Here are some tips for how to perfect your pitch:

Elevator pitch

Brevity is the key to an elevator pitch. Usually, it encompasses one or two lines about your idea and what makes it unique.

A helpful hint to writing an elevator pitch is to look on book selling websites for the product description of books similar in theme to yours. This is great inspiration of how to be succinct in your selling. Your elevator pitch should be simple, yet capture the attention of the reader.

Influences and tone

It is important to be able to identify the genre of your book. An essential element of selling is recognising where your book fits into what is already on the market. Providing key information about the tone of your book will help an agent to understand your vision. Identifying your understanding of this in your pitch will greatly benefit the selling process.

Agent research

It is recommended to submit to multiple agents at once to increase your chances of success. But, avoid sending out your work to merely anyone in the field. Do thorough research and find agents that publish similar work to what you wish to submit. Agents are more likely to publish work in similar genres.

A top tip is that many agents respond positively to pitches that mention them by name and discuss works they’ve published. Demonstrating your knowledge of your agent and the publisher can benefit your submission greatly.

Biographical information

Including relevant information about yourself can aid a pitch. Avoid inventing or forcing information to suit what you are discussing. But include it if you think it will be beneficial, such as demonstrating your potential for other novels. For example, facts can include information like having studied a historical degree if your writing concerns a historical period.


An important part of the pitch is demonstrating that you have enthusiasm for what you’re writing about. Highlight that you’re aware of what is relevant within the book market, and how your book is unique, will benefit. Know what other people are saying before you join in the conversation.

Publishing can be a difficult industry to break into, but doing your research can be incredibly beneficial. Showcasing your enthusiasm, knowledge and individuality can demonstrate a keen awareness of the industry and reward you.

Find out more about careers in publishing.

Posted in Careers Advice