The Author Pitch: 5 Tips

PitchAuthors pitch their books to just about anyone who will listen, which includes readers, literary agents, editors, publishers, reviewers, ancillary partners, and maybe an investor. Showing your talent is certainly the best way to win over others, but first you have to get them to listen to you and look at your books.

Your Author Pitch can be the difference between an average career, or a profitable career. Here are some tips:

Twenty or Less

When you meet someone for the first time and talk about your books, you have about twenty seconds, or maybe just twenty words to keep their attention. Most authors make a mistake and try to win over someone in that short period of time.

That is not possible.

Instead, you just want to buy another minute or so. Then in that extra minute, maybe you can buy some more time. Create an opening dialogue that will show you are a knowledgeable author. All you want is someone to be interested enough to look at your books. Then, let your talent do the talking.

Words, not Numbers

The following statements will not be impressive in your pitch:

“I believe I can sell 1,000 books over the next 120 days if put in the right situation.”

“I expect to earn $5,000 over the next quarter?”

“I spend 8 hours a day writing.”

“I have been an author for 7 years.”

“I have written 12 books.”

There are two problems with this kind of pitch:

~ “I”

~ And numbers.

You need to focus on capturing your audience, or potential buyer with a compelling sentence that will widen their eyes. Think about your pitch as the opening line of your novel. You need a terrific hook filled with words that will be an advantage to the person you are trying to pitch.

What’s Missing?

Your book is different. No other person in the world can write like you. Your story is exceptional, out of the ordinary, and enjoyable. But why? What does your book have to offer that no other author on this planet can seem to grasp?

Do not cut down other authors. You just want to show your knowledge of the market. What is missing? Why does your book fill a void?


Here are some buzzwords: Innovative, ground-breaking, original, inventive, landmark, special, creative, imaginative, unique.

Okay, now pretend that none of those words exist. Instead, explain your story, your market, and how your novel will benefit others.

Key Question

Finally, think about your pitch as the answer to an important question. If you are pitching a literary agent, you must answer the agent’s question, “Why will I spend valuable time on this author?”

Editor: “How can pitch this book at the Tuesday meeting?”

Publisher: “Why are we going to invest time and money into this author?”

Reader: “Why will I part with my hard earned money and purchase this book?”

Reviewer: “Will this author be worth reading?”

Ancillary Partner: “What does this author bring to the table?”

Investor: “Does this author have a validated product?”


You may have to adjust your pitch, whether it is on paper, phone conversation, email, or a face-to-face chance meeting. But that is the purpose of this blog…so you can work on it.

Ron Knight

Let your fiction to the talking. Submit your book to the UP Authors Fiction Challenge.

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  1. Excellent advice, and would add it also applies when you try and pitch your book to the buyer at a bookshop. Why should they give you space and a date? I would add that you MUST have self confidence, not only in your book, but yourself. You cannot afford to be shy and hesitant. Good luck!