I’m winding down. Hoping to get to as many as possible, but just can’t agree to do them all. So here we go again . . . Perfecting Your Pitch.
137. Paul Lamb
Why does an inept burglar keep trying to break into a lonely bed and breakfast in rural Iowa? Could it be for the antique Christmas ornaments? Or is a thug for an unscrupulous land developer trying to harass the innkeeper into leaving? Does a peculiar guest have a hidden agenda? Or is there a different reason? And how is this connected to a mysterious death in the snow a decade before? The answers may lie locked inside the mind of an old woman with Alzheimer’s.
When two guests are awakened by another of the sorry burglar’s attempts, they decide to set a trap, as much to see what the burglar is after as to catch him. Not only are they surprised when the burglar is unmasked, but they discover a family treasure nearly lost for all time.
I hate to say this, but the premise of your story does not grab me at all. If the inept burglar is really inept, it seems to me that after a second attempt he’d probably be pretty easy to catch and more of an annoyance than anything really interesting. I hope there’s more to the heart of your story, something bigger and stronger. Maybe the family treasure?
138. Renee Lynn Scott
A Highlander turned English border warden discovers his biggest challenge is fighting the overwhelming desire for the delectable Border Hellion who insists on becoming his mistress in exchange for her murderous brother.
This doesn’t feel quite different enough. I think you have to focus on more of the plot outside of the romance to make this stand out. Fighting overwhelming desire is the basic thread in almost every romance novel. What about this story or plot line makes your book different? Usually it has nothing to do with the romance.
When a presidential nominee is among the dead in a series of attacks on US seaports and natural gas terminals, Caro Wilson, a retired CIA Security manager, enlists a group of unique former spies to avert potentially devastating political and economic consequences.
Caro survived the Honey Project, the CIA’s counterpart to the notorious Soviet sex spies. She and the other former agents, her close friends, have hidden their sordid past, married well, and overcome their emotional scars. Caro wears the bland mask of a competent bureaucrat until she nearly dies in the attacks. She’s collected scraps of ambiguous evidence, enough to launch an investigation, and she’s scared. The friends she turns to for help, who also dread exposure, are suddenly dangerous: one is the widow of the slain politician, and the other two are married to men in the conspiracy, confederates of Caro’s own husband.
I like this. I think it needs some tightening, but Caro and the Honey Project really grab my attention. The opening paragraph, though, is a little confusing. If a presidential nominee is dead, why would it be up to a retired security manager and her friends to solve the problem? It seems like the working CIA would be on it already. I think you should focus more on your second paragraph. I like Caro’s background a lot and the fact that she’s now being sucked into a new political turmoil. I would stick with the second paragraph and add one sentence at the end to wrap it all up. Good work. Very interesting idea. I probably would request based on this. You’ve got my curiosity piqued.
In this historical romantic suspense novel, set in Victorian England, young Minuette Sinclair is swept into an illicit affair with a reformed thief, Bryant Westley, and becomes entangled in the search for a priceless necklace with a bloody past.
I like the setup immediately only because I am a fan of historical romantic suspense. I like the twist. However, the pitch isn’t there for me. Even your opening, “In this historical romance,” tells rather than shows and gives no sense of your voice or your story. I also don’t see the suspense in your description and don’t feel that the way you pitch the book makes it stand out. Would the search for a priceless necklace really be enough to get you to spend $10 on a book? Your pitch has to be thrilling and enticing and enough to make readers want to spend money.
141. anon 10:20
Two ancient alien races, in war of annihilation are heading toward Earth. Terrorist Adiak Peller seeks power and revenge for a son’s death. 18 year old
Del Baldura is the flash point where it all intersects.
The way this pitch is written, I don’t see the connection between any of your stories. This doesn’t tell me anything about your book, but instead tells me about three different plot lines in your book. My other concern is that if your pitch is this disconnected and rough, what does that say about your story? It’s important to remember that a pitch isn’t just telling readers about your story, but is representative of your book, your writing, and the tone of your book. So in these few short sentences I should get a sense of your voice as well as the energy of your book.
After someone begins assassinating L.A.’s most depraved criminals, former drug-runner, turned cop, turned millionaire playboy, Hale Parrish, is asked to use his special talents to investigate. By “gleaning,” Hale can relive the final moments of the dead, often leading to indisputable evidence against murderers. When Hale and the vigilante cross paths, their lost family ties are revealed, forcing Hale to contend with the darkest shadows from his past.
This is another situation where I don’t feel the connect between the stories. What is this book really about? Is it the assassination of depraved criminals (and if that were the case, would the police really be concerned enough to bring in a special, probably really expensive expert)? Or is the book about Hale and the killer crossing paths? Make sure you focus on the key plot point of the story. I don’t think it’s necessary in the pitch to give us Hale’s background. What we need to know is who he is now and why he would be brought into a high-profile case and what happens next.
143. Christyne Butler
A single mom ranch owner desperate to save her land. An ex-con cowboy running from his past.
She needed a hero . . . what she got was him.
Maggie Stevens only priority is keeping her Wyoming spread afloat. With a neighbor stealing her cowboys, a long list of repairs and a loan payment due, she’s running out of options. Cowboy Landon Cartwright is fresh from prison on an overturned conviction for a crime that robbed him of all he cherished. Broke, he’s forced to take a job working for the lady rancher.
How long can Landon run from the horrifying memories that always find him, and will Maggie be able to overlook the dark sensuality she finds in a cowboy’s eyes when she hires THE RIGHT KIND OF WRONG.
I like your opening sentences. A great tagline for the cover of your book. In fact I like this pitch a lot. You give us a great look at your story and the perfect description. In fact, I could see a publisher using this verbatim on the cover. My only comment is that this sounds perfect for category romance (something I’ll discuss in more detail in another post), so if you intended that, my suggestion is to figure out which line you’re targeting and get it into an editor’s hands. If, however, you see this as a single title you’ll need to do some tweaking to your pitch and possibly your story. As written, it doesn’t sound multilayered enough for a single-title romance.
Okay, readers, it’s up to you now (and no slacking off on me!). I want to hear what you have to say. . . .