Hack #1 - Become a pitching ACE!
Whether you are looking to publish traditionally, through crowdfunding, or just self-publish you are going to need a solid idea of what your book is about. Sure you wrote the thing, you know it inside and out, but your potential readers, agents, and publishers do not. You need to become a master of the age-old technique called...
Some of you might be asking why is the pitch important? Of all the things to work on why would I work on the pitch first? That part is simple... You are going to be using variations of your pitch incessantly during your campaign to promote and sell your book. Your pitch is the heart of your entire strategy in reaching an audience. If your pitch isn't clear, compelling, and concise no one will understand what your story is about. It is imperative that your language be simple, digestible, and present a hook to ensnare potential readers, agents, or publishers. Why? Because your pitch is the key ingredient within the following...
You would be surprised how often you can be caught with your pants around your ankles if you don't have a clear pitch. I failed at this hundreds of times through hundreds of interactions both in the digital world and the realm of the living before I finally got it through my thick skull, just how freaking important this is.
Your friends and family are going to be super excited that you wrote a book. After all it is wicked awesome cool to do that! You are basically a miniature rock star among your peers. They will be incredible supporters throughout your journey and they will do it free of charge most of the time. Why? because they want to stand close to the sun. Everyone wants to be a part of your journey so you need to leverage that. Most importantly you do not want to let them down. There is nothing more embarrassing than having this interaction...
Your friend is introducing you to someone new.
Friend: This is Christopher, he just finished writing a book it is really cool! You should check it out!
Acquaintance (a.k.a. potential reader): That's awesome! What is your book about?!
You: Umm, well its complicated. You see my main character is an angel and she is fighting the bad guys, but actually its bigger than that, because there are these other guys who are good, but also not so good, and...
You've just lost a potential reader...
It sucks because you could have avoided it. If you had a clear, concise pitch you wouldn't be feeling that gut check. Don't worry, we have all been there. It is all part of the learning process, and it can be fixed. So how do we make sure to avoid pitfalls like this?
Your first step after finishing a manuscript...
The next step is to figure which route you want to take. While I advocate for the self-publishing route, one should never ignore the other avenues. Crowd-publishing like Inkshares.com is becoming a more popular option that is emerging and I know more than a few authors who have used this method. Regardless of which road you take you are going to need a pitch for an agent, an audience, or for your own self-publishing promotional materials.
It is the CORE of your sales model
Some key things to consider when crafting a pitch...
You want to ask yourself a series of questions. If you followed a solid plan in structuring your story, particularly a fiction novel you should already know the answers. So what answers will we need to craft your pitch? Start by answering these questions here. Do it, take out a piece of paper or whip out your tablet, phone, or laptop.
Why does the reader want to read your book?