Preparing to Pitch

I got together with my critique group and we practiced our pitches. What fun! We talked about the fundamental bits of our stories along with vampires, villains and nasty aristocrats. Did I mention our genres range? As always, I  left the session with my mind full of ideas and a long to-do list.

As for my pitch…it still looks the same. I figure I’ll have a good idea of what’s wrong with it after I use it.

But I’d love feedback, so here is what it looks like going in:

After introducing myself, I’ll  say that my book finalled in two contests (the Daphne and Golden Claddaugh). Then I will say:

My book is called, The Dutch Kiss. It’s a 64,000 word Romantic Suspense; the first book in my six book Nederlander series.

Angela Carter, a gun toting school teacher is determined to find her thieving uncle’s murderer. Standing in her way are two dangerously handsome men who think she’s hiding a stolen Rembrandt. She wants information only they have. Murder and passion are the poker chips in this high stakes game of intrigue in the world of international art crime.


Author: Jo-Ann Carson

About Jo-Ann Carson Where magic happens … Reports of Jo-Ann Carson’s death on a Gulf Island are greatly exaggerated or, at the very least, premature. The eclectic crew of ghosts that haunt her head spill onto the page in two series: The Gambling Ghosts and The Ghost & Abby Mysteries. A Viking with existential issues, a broken hearted Highlander, a Casanova man-witch and a Pirate with a secret are just a few of the males her strong heroines encounter in tales of fantasy, adventure and romance. A firm believer in the magic of our everyday lives, Jo-Ann loves watching sunrises, walking beaches near her home in the Pacific Northwest and reading by the fire. You can visit her on social media: Website * Blog * Twitter * Facebook

10 thoughts on “Preparing to Pitch”

  1. Hi Joann.

    Okay… well kudos to you for doing the writing, as I am still a wannabe, and all humility and prostration before you as I suggest the feedback you requested.

    The logline or elevator pitch needs to be dialed up to clutch one’s testicles a bit tighter. “Who does what, why and what obstacles need to be overcome?” I think you got the formula down, only the stakes need to be higher and the fear of loss dished out faster.

    Maybe something like, “Angela Carter, fragile teacher in her 50s, is secretly a violent vigilante, determined to avenge the brutal murder of her beloved uncle. Having been seduced by the murderous thieves that killed him and framed for stealing a Rembrandt, she must avoid capture by Interpol, prove her innocence and catch the murderers before she herself is caught and killed.”

    Hope this helps… and again, congrats on the book/books!


    1. Barry
      I love your thinking and I thoroughly enjoyed your pitch. Unfortunately, it doesn’t fit my plot line. I’m going to take your advice and see if I can kick it up a testicular grabbing notch. Thanks for the comment.
      Happy writing


  2. This spring, I pitched an agent and then a editor. Both of them asked me to provide comparisons to other books. Luckily, I had a vague idea in my mind. I have another pitch session in a couple of weeks, this time I’m putting that detail right up front.


  3. I would narrow it down further to one sentence, leaving out character names. Something like-
    A gun toting school teacher is determined to find her uncle’s murderer when she’s accused of hiding a Rembrandt her uncle actually stole.
    You see how condensed the idea becomes? You’ll probably want to adjust it to fit your needs or if I got an aspect of your story wrong, but I hope I helped!


    1. Beth
      I’d love to get down to one sentence, because you never know when you’re going to get cut off. I’ll work on that.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I really appreciate it.


  4. I like your pitch, but I was left wondering what genre it is. 64k seems short for historical, but with a series that might be okay. If it’s contemporary the length seems right but the phrase “gun toting” threw me into a different era. Regardless, it sounds like a great story to me.


    1. Lily
      You’ve given me some things to think about. See, I don’t get how you can say it all in three sentences. But I’m well prepared to say more if they’ll listen. It’s a Romantic Suspense contemporary series book.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.
      Best Wishes


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