Years ago, before I decided to self-publish, I admitted several times here that I struggled with querying. Even after I made the self-publishing decision, I was still faced with the need to describe my story in an interesting way that would get readers’ attention.
Story pitches are used for self-published books as well as traditionally published books. No matter how we publish, we need to introduce our story to potential readers and interest them enough to want to look closer.
Over the years, I got better at this skill (just like we do with most skills we study and practice), but I know I wasn’t alone in my struggle. The skill of pitching our book is completely different from the skill of writing our book—they have different learning curves and require different strengths.
One aspect that always stumped me when writing queries was figuring out whichelements to focus on. When condensing our thousands-of-words-long story down to a few lines or a hundred or so words, we’re obviously leaving out a lot.
How do we decide what to emphasize in our pitch?