As we're focusing on publication, one of the things that's very important is the pitch you prepare for meeting with editors and agents at conferences. It can also be helpful when you meet with published authors and possible future readers when they ask what your book is about. As an example, I thought I would show you the pitch I used for the book I sold, Her Unlikely Family, Steeple Hill Love Inspired Feb. 2008. (In contests, titled Michael's Surrender). Here's what I wrote to use to pitch the story before selling it:
Blue-blood banker, Michael Throckmorton, is looking for his runaway niece. Spirited waitress, Josie Miller, is protecting her. Will Josie help Michael learn to care for his niece, then send them on the road home? Or will the three of them learn that forging a bond might be the road to healing love for them all?
Now here's what the marketing department wrote when promoting the book:
Opposites attract when an uptight banker encounters a free-spirited waitress during the search for his troubled runaway teenage niece. As they work together to heal the young girl's damaged spirit, an unlikely family begins to form...
I don't know right off whether I ever sent them a copy of my pitch or used it in my art fact sheet, but you can see they're pretty similar. Marketing just made it more short and to the point. You can also see that they used a marketing hook: Opposites attract. It's interesting to me that they did that, because that's one of the themes that I tend to use in all my books.
So, what kind of shape is your pitch in? Do you have one? Can you write a short and sweet summary of your story that will hook the listener, and can you possibly include a marketing hook?
Anyone want to share theirs?