Posted by: nancyisanders | July 1, 2021

REALITY SHOW: KIDLIT WRITER PITCH PERFECT

Sometimes I spend my time pitching. That’s right.

When I first started writing, I never knew that learning how to pitch a perfect game is part of a KidLit writer’s job description. In fact, it’s probably one of the best kept secrets around.

I’ve landed most of my book and magazine contracts over my writing career after first pitching ideas to an editor.

In this little REALITY SHOW series here on my blog, I’m just trying to share what I do, actually do, in my little corner of the KidLit world. And recently, I put on my mitt and hat and walked out to the pitching mound. Well, actually, I sat down at my writing desk, but you get the picture.

Here’s what I did:

I like to write every year for the magazine Clubhouse Jr. Every year they have a theme list that they use, so when I asked the editor for this year’s theme list, I prayed about it and brainstormed ideas for several days that would fit in with their month-by-month theme list. And then I e-mailed the editor with a list of about 10 ideas. Just paragraph blurbs about each idea and how it would fit in with their themes. Pitches.

And then I heard back and the editor chose a couple of those ideas and asked me to write and submit the articles they were interested in on the dates they needed. So now I have a couple of deadlines. All from pitching.

I also sent a couple of pitches to a book editor I work with. I already got a no on one pitch and am waiting to hear about the second. Again, these were just little paragraph blurbs about each idea.

Plus, I’m getting ready to send a couple of pitches to book editors I’ve never worked with before. How do I do this?

When I pitch ideas to an editor I’ve never worked with before, I usually send in either a completed manuscript (such as a picture book) or a 3-chapter proposal (such as a chapter book). But in the cover letter, I always include several pitches for other ideas.

I say something such as: If this manuscript isn’t a good fit for you right now, here are several ideas that I think could fit your publishing house in today’s market. Then I list several ideas (usually for manuscripts not yet written) that I have brainstormed after carefully looking at their current catalogs.

I’ve landed a number of book contracts from this type of pitching alone. Even when they reject the original manuscript!

Contrary to what most authors think, the world of publishing often includes pitching. KidLit author friends I know are constantly pitching ideas to editors they’ve worked with, and new editors as well, and then writing the manuscripts after they sign the contracts. Both in the magazine and book market.

If you’ve never learned how to pitch, may I recommend that you start learning today? It just might open a whole new world of opportunity for you as a writer!

Image by Keith Johnston from Pixabay


Responses

  1. Nancy! What an encouraging blog. Pitching sound more fun than crafting a query letter. I hope you hit some targets and get more contracts.

    • Thanks so much!!!! And yes, it’s so fun to start small like this with pitches.

  2. Great suggestions!

    • Hope you’ll find new doors open via pitches, too!

  3. Thanks. I think I’ll try this approach.

    • Great! I’d love to hear how this goes!

  4. Thank you for posting Nancy!! I’ll have to do some research and give this a try.

  5. A great idea and how-to about how to pitch in different circumstances. I especially like that you include other ideas for editors to consider. I need to try that! Thank you, Nancy.

    • You’re welcome! I hope it works for you!!!!


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