Thursday, March 8, 2012

A Pitch That Worked

Week of March 4, 2012: Batter Up!
Thursday, March 8, 2012—A Pitch That Worked

Ok, I hope you don’t think I’m weird (or I hope you don’t think I’m weirder than you thought), but I love writing pitches. When I worked for a not-for-profit publishing house, I had to pitch products to marketing teams, supervisors, sales reps, and customers all the time. As a matter of fact, books (and most products) are pitched in an idea stage, an acquisition stage, a costing stage, a planning and writing stage, when designing marketing materials and back cover (or book flap) copy stage, and a selling stage. A well-written pitch often can be used for any or all of those purposes.

Today’s post is short and sweet. I’m going to share one of my pitches that worked. A book that sold. Cowboy Christmas will come out this fall from Golden Books-Random House. The pitch was changed only slightly by the editor when she took the manuscript to acquisitions. This pitch illustrates the hybrid approach discussed in yesterday’s post.

A Successful Pitch/Synopsis
In Cowboy Christmas, Dub, Dwight, Darryl, and their cook, Cookie, are stuck roping steers, wrestling longhorns, and wrangling up strays on Christmas. “Santy Claus will never find us out on the range,” Dub moans. The cowboys try to recreate their childhood Christmas memories, but each attempt ends with a hilarious failure. A surprise is in store for the Circle D dudes when Santa (who looks a lot like Cookie) makes a visit.

It’s Your Turn!
1. Who has a pitch/synopsis to share? Come on, don’t be shy! Perhaps you have a pitch to celebrate, or a pitch you’d like help with. Feel free to post either as a comment.


Sharon Stanley said...

ok...i'll bite...After knitting wooly sweaters for the entire farm, an exhausted Mrs. Cow resorts to yarn shopping when she gets a call from the now chilly sheep. Can Ewemingdales help?

Rob Sanders said...

Sharon, this is a terrific elevator pitch. I truly think upon hearing this someone would say, "Oh, I want to know more!" Good job!

Laura said...

Hi Rob. This is a wonderful site. I'm so glad that I stumbled onto it. Here's a pitch I've been working on.

When three fat frogs hop into a chocolate factory, they slurp and burp and belly flop from one mess to another, 'til they end up on display... for sale!

The pitch doesn't include why the frogs are there or how they get out... but do you think it's enough?

Thanks. :)

Rob Sanders said...

Laura, I love the pitch! And I think it tells enough to get noticed. You might add a sentence or two that introduces us to the characters (if they have names), or shows the theme, or teases us a bit more. For instance: "Frank and Franz end up sweet from their green toes to their bugged-out eyes, can they hop their way out of this sticky situation? Or are they stuck with their chocolate luck?