#SonOfAPitch – ♫ I’m all about that pitch! ♪

Turn up the music! The #SonOfAPitch Twitter Pitch Party is about to start and this here is tailgate central! We’re going to party, perfect our pitches, and get ready for the big game where you – my fabulous authors – will go live on the big Twitter screen to catch the attention of those fabulous agents who will really love your book! Throughout the day the Son Of A Pitch crew will be dropping by to give their advice and help you workshop your pitch, so make sure you come back a second time to get everything you can out of today’s workshop.

Ready? Set? Let’s go!!!!

Today we’re going to work on developing two pitches. The first is the standard Twitter Pitch, also called an Elevator Pitch or Logline. This is a 1-2 sentence description of your book that summarizes the main idea for a quick sale. It’s the pitch you use on social media, at cons, at book signings, and that librarians, agents, and editors will use to pitch the book to their audiences. An ideal pitch makes your story sound unique and exciting without being too long. If you’ve never written a good Twitter Pitch before I recommend going back to the last #SonOfAPitch Pitch Party Post and look through the comments. That’s a great way to get a feel of how these work.

The second pitch we’ll be working on is the High Concept Pitch. This is the pitch you use if your book has mass market appeal. It catches the imagination quickly, it’s easy to sell, and for really complex books it’s the easiest way to pitch them on Twitter. It’s the easiest pitch to write because the formula is literally “This Popular Thing + That Popular Thing in New Location”. Promise, once you learn how to do this you’ll use it all the time. It’s also a great brainstorming tool.

These two seem very, very similar. The only difference is that an Elevator Pitch is slightly longer, and doesn’t rely on any outside world building while a High Concept Pitch will rely heavily on the audience knowing other books or movies.

So, grab your notebooks and keyboards because it’s thinking time!

HOW TO WRITE A TWITTER PITCH
Definition: One or two sentences that summarize the book you’ve written.

What You Want To Include:
– Setting
– Description of the protagonist
– The problem to be solved
– Description of the antagonist
– Conflict preventing the problem from being solved
– The ultimate goal

What You Don’t Include:
– Proper nouns (names aren’t relevant)
– Irrelevant personal data (age, height, weight, ethnicity, gender, ect… unless one of these is the main trait of a character- ie 120yo scientist with a key to eternal life)
– Information about the author (unless you are writing nonfic with a platform)
– World building details

Let’s try writing a pitch for Harry Potter…
– Setting – England
– Description of the protagonist – A young boy living with his aunt and uncle
– The problem to be solved – Wants a birthday party and friends
– Description of the antagonist – But has an abusive aunt and uncle
– Conflict preventing the problem from being solved – Who haven’t told him
– The ultimate goal – He’s a really popular wizard!

Twitter Pitch: A young English boy who lives with his abusive aunt and uncle discovers he is a wizard with a destiny! (you can probably do better than this)

 

 

HOW TO WRITE A HIGH CONCEPT PITCH
Definition: A one sentence pitch that relies on known, popular works to help someone envision the piece being sold. -or- A one sentence pitch that makes it easy to picture the story.

Formula:
Popular Thing 1 + Popular Thing 2 + New Location

High Concept Pitch for Gallagher Girl’s 1: 
James Bond meets Harry Potter in an all-girls school for spies.
-or-
I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You <- The title works as a pitch, which is awesome. This example is borrowed from agent Rachel Gardner’s blog.

High Concept Pitch For THE PRINCESS BRIDE:
A pirate rescues a princess from the prince she doesn’t want to marry.
-or-
Cinderella meets Jack Sparrow in a world of giants and magicians.

The goal here is to sum the story up in as few words as you can manage. You can use a High Concept Pitch for a pitch party, but in my experience it’s most useful at places like book signings or cons where you can refer to other popular movies or works you know the audience loves.

 

Your turn! Write your pitches and put them in the comments below. The #SonOfAPitch authors will come by to help you revise and rewrite them throughout the day so you are ready to catch the perfect agent at the upcoming pitch party!

 

One final thing… If you’ve never been to a Twitter Pitch Party before I recommend reading this post on pitching etiquette. And please remember to say thank you to the fantastic authors who have worked so hard to help everyone participating in #SonOfAPitch. You can support them by saying thank you, sharing links to their books, buying their books, or leaving reviews. Thanks goes a long way in this industry. <3

19 thoughts on “#SonOfAPitch – ♫ I’m all about that pitch! ♪

  1. Pitch 1 : Raped by her father Odie sets the house on fire, then flees finding her mom, a matriarchal family hometown, love & HEA. #YA #RF #sonofapitch

    Pitch 2: #AA Hollywood debutante fleeing incest is destined to be a Matron of a NC town risks all to save the man who saved her. #YA #RF #sonofapitch

    HCP: none yet, haven’t found a suitable comp title.

    1. – Setting
      – Description of the protagonist
      – The problem to be solved
      – Description of the antagonist
      – Conflict preventing the problem from being solved
      – The ultimate goal

      Neither of these are working for me. Fill out the formula and let’s see what we can do.

  2. Twitter Pitch 1: An angel helps a teen time-travel & save her murdered boyfriend, but the killer’s back too, imperiling her family’s future + her life #YA #F

    Twitter Pitch 2: If a bereaved teen could turn back time, she might reclaim her lost love—& thwart a murderer. San Francisco, angels & prosciutto #YA #F

    High Concept: Sliding Doors meets It’s a Wonderful Life in a San Francisco deli.

      1. Thank you! The Italian deli is my favorite part. I wasn’t too sure about the movies, since they’re so old, but you think they work?

  3. Twitter Pitches:

    Depressed teen determined to cure undead sister’s craving for human hearts struggles to evade dead & alive Fae #sonofapitch #YA #UF

    Struggling to evade faeries, dead & alive, depressed teen flees to remote island with her undead, heart-eating sister #sonofapitch #YA #UF

    High Concept:

    No idea yet lol

    1. The second pitch is very eye-catching, use that.

      High Concept… CASTAWAY meets Zombie Tinker Bell? Something with fairies and cannibals… let me think on that one. What are your comp titles?

      1. I was thinking:

        The fear & brutality THE WALKING DEAD brings + all the faery feels in A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES starring the fierce sibling dynamic in THE FIFTH WAVE

        1. That would work.

          A shorter version might be… The Walking Dead meets A Court Of Thorns And Roses when a teen has to save her undead sister.

  4. Twitter Pitch: Prisoner of war fights to protect the helpless and find a way to escape before she is sent to an enemy breeding house. #A #SF #SonOfAPitch

    High Concept Pitch: Intergalactic RED DAWN meets ROSE UNDER FIRE

    1. Your first pitch is missing a setting. Is this a historical war? A fantasy? Vampires? (I totally thought vampires at first.) Ground the pitch with a setting… And then tell us about the antagonist. Fill in the blanks for the formula and let’s see if I can help you out. 🙂

      The high concept pitch works better.

  5. Twitter pitch: An earnest young farmer in far-future Egypt learns his god is a hoax put on by an advanced society, and must risk everything to spread the truth.

    High concept: Lawrence of Arabia meets Red Rising in post-apocalyptic Egypt

    1. The high concept pitch would make me read. The original pitch sounds very Stargate-ish and I wonder if there’s a way you can differentiate it from Stargate.

      And “must risk everything” is a little vague. What’s the consequence of people finding out the truth? Will there be a revolution? Will they lose their lives? Will they lose their culture? EVERYTHING is too broad of a stake, think specifics and boil that down. I know it’s not easy, but it’ll help your pitch stand out.

  6. Twitter Pitch: Enchanted violin & hearing impaired boy help shy albino girl find self acceptance. Magic + music + romance = Mayhem

    High Concept:
    Shy, albino girl + hearing impaired boy + enchanted violin = the magic of CLOUDWISH and the romance of ELEANOR AND PARK

    1. I like it!

      The HCP is particularly good, very easy to picture. I’d buy based on that. 🙂

  7. Twitter pitch: A 12yo boy living in the Hyde Funeral Home & Body Parts Shop faces 2 headless ghosts & their evil son who want him out of there.

    High Concept Pitch: The Addams Family meets Ghostbusters at the Hyde Funeral Home & Body Parts Shop run by morticians Jack and Formalda.

    1. Twitter Pitch: A 12yo boy lives with 2 headless ghosts & their evil son who want him gone. #SonOfAPitch #MG (keep it short and get your tags in there)

      HCP: The Addams Family meets Ghostbusters <--- this works all alone. You could add a geographical location or why the main character moved in.

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