Over the last six years I've written three middle grade novels, four YA novels (plus my very first story that, well, isn't worth mentioning and doesn't count), about a hundred picture books (some are great, others will never see the light of day), and two romantic comedies. Being published wasn't my purpose, initially. I needed to get the stories out of my head.
Now my kids are bigger, I have more time to write, and I've thoroughly edited my collection of stories. They're ready, and I'm ready. Except for one thing.
My pitch-skills stink. My husband (who does PR and marketing) had to rewrite mine for me.
Last summer at the Writing and Illustrating for Young Readers conference, Brandon Mull had our class write a pitch about our story. It was amazing to see a bunch of writers who could easily write three hundred pages struggle with a paragraph.
No matter how many "how-to" books and sites were out there to show me the right way to do it, I couldn't figure it out. But Brandon helped me realize the pitch needs to sound like a movie trailer. It should make me think, "I want to see that movie."
Since then I've been studying jacket flaps on books, and more importantly, movie trailers. I think I finally understand, even though I'm still no good at it.