Blurbs and Pitches


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In a World…

I’m taking a short break from revising (I’ve gotten through the first five chapters!) to work on my blurb.  That’s the catchy description of the book that is supposed to draw you in.  I’ve looked at quite a few examples.  Unless I make up something, I can skip the favorable reviews from journals and magazines (“Simply amazing storytelling…” The New York Times). 

What seems to be standard is two paragraphs, setting up the situation and then asking questions the reader wants answered, like “will he finally find the lost broomstick before the blight destroys the forest?” or more often “which man will she pick, the naughty rogue or the simple but sweet neighbor?”

A pitch is slightly different, it is meant for a gatekeeper like an agent or editor.  The imagined scenario is that you happen to bump into an agent in an elevator and strike up a conversation, and between the second floor and the fourteenth, she asks about your book and you come out with your pitch.  “It’s a love story between a bat and a bird, it’s “Stellaluna” meets “Pride and Prejudice”.  This scenario seems far-fetched, perhaps a little more likely at a convention where the elevator line can take hours.  More often you are sending these pitches as part of a query letter to agents and editors.

The Book Doctors discuss pitches and their annual contest related to NaNoWriMo, and they limit a pitch to 250 words.

Here’s a start for my blurb:

Flying ships, wild magic, a land in trouble and a toy duck.  Three women and a shapeshifter accidentally save their world.

Long ago, it used to be easy for pilgrims to journey to the northern temple and get a new, adult name.  Now wild magic is flowing like lava across the land, cutting off the route.  A nameless girl hires a guard named Brynn, and they venture into the cursed dreamlands, guided by a mad sorceress and her shapeshifting companion.  They fight their way past monsters, dangers and frightening wonders to reach the temple, where they will be tested to see who they truly are.

Anything can happen in the dreamlands, and there is more at stake than the three women realize.  Their actions will not only effect the rulership of a country, but the fate of their whole world.

*** too much?  Need to keep working on this.



2 Replies to “Blurbs and Pitches”

  1. The first part grabbed me, but the graf about how anything can happen & it’s more than meets the eye felt tired. I think that’s been used too much to be effective as a grabber…but my queries suck so take my advice with a heaping spoonful of salt!

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