Saturday, June 18, 2011

Polish Your Book Pitch

by Laura Cross

So you’ve developed your nonfiction book idea into a winning proposal and now you’re ready to send off your pitch to a literary agent and land a book deal! Before you press ‘send’ or drop your query letter in the mailbox, here are a few tips to ensure your initial sales pitch will grab the agent’s attention and motivate him or her to ask for the complete book proposal. 

1. Have you established a connection with the agent? 

The first sentence of the query letter should explain why you are contacting the particular agent. Possible connections might be: 

* You read a book the agent wrote or an interview in a magazine 

* You met the agent at a conference or literary event 

* The agent represents a similar author and genre 

* You discovered the agent’s listing in a directory 

* An associate, friend, or client referred you to the agent by 

2. Have you clearly established the project in the first paragraph? 

In one sentence, briefly introduce the topic or genre, the title, and the length of the book, so the agent understands what the project is. 

“HOW TO STAGE YOUR HOME TO SELL is a how-to book.” 

3. Have you presented a tightly focused proposal? 

The tighter the focus of the book idea, the wider the potential audience. Agents do not want authors who try to be all things to everyone. 

4. Have you included a “call to action” in your final wrap-up? 

The final sentence or two are used to thank the agent for reading your query and request permission to submit additional material. 

“Thank you for considering my book idea. May I send you my completed book proposal and two sample chapters?” 


1. Review your query letter using the four strategies above 

2. Polish your pitch until it shines

About The Author

Laura Cross is a business strategist, author, and professional ghostwriter. She provides business, publishing, and platform strategies to help entrepreneurs get known as the go-to experts in their field, become published authors, attract high-paying clients, garner major media, and earn more money with less effort by packaging their expertise. Grab a copy of the Free Audio CD “How to Establish Your Expertise, Become a Published Author, and Leverage Your Knowledge for More Profits, More Prospects, and Major Media” at

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