Thursday, September 28, 2017

When Your Pitch/Blurb Don't Match Your Story

How do we decide on a book to read? In most cases, we take a look at the premise of the book the author and publisher have provided for us on the back cover. We do the same thing when we watch movie previews. But, when these two are not in alignment and what you promise is not what you deliver, you are not only letting down your reader, but likely causing that reader to not buy your future books.

I want to bring this up because, as an agent, we often work with that little blurb you send to us in a query, or what you tell us in a pitch session. If you get us hooked, we will be looking forward to reading that story you promised us. But it is really disappointing when you send something that is not what you claimed.

Do I think authors are doing this intentionally? Absolutely not. The problem is likely an issue of an author thinking what they have is really what they claim it is. They may have been told their story is one thing, but, because the author, and likely the person who told them this, are not knowledgeable enough, the mistake happens.

I am reading a current project right now where the author has done just this. This is supposed to be a romantic suspense, but after the initial first chapter/prologue, there has been nothing about anything with a suspense element. In this case, this author probably intended this book to be a romantic suspense and then felt the need to get side-tracked to tell more about the characters. However, at this point, I am over 1/3 of the way through the book and I am ready to put the book down. Why? What the person promised is not happening.

Again, I get that these are probably accidental mistakes. But the bigger issue here are authors who are trying to publish books and to move into the professional writing realm lacking the basic skills of knowing what their books are, or how to describe their books accurately. This is something we have seen more and more lately. Authors who write stories and then start submitting left and right, but not being fully ready to submit.

What is frustrating is that there are likely really good authors out there, but due to their lack of training and education, they will likely end up receiving a ton of rejections and may even give up.

What does this tell us? Learn the business. Learn how to identify your story. Learn how to present your story.

By the way, as a side note. I do teach workshops in this. If your writing chapter would be interested in having me come for the workshop, let me know.

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