How To Pitch A Book Publisher

Pitching a book to a publisher is like trying to sell your car on Craigslist. You need to know what you have and what it will get you. If you’re going to do this, you need to make sure your book is as good as it can be before sending out your pitch. 

Then, when the publisher asks for more information about yourself and why they should publish your book, you’ll be ready with all the right answers.

How to pitch your book to publishers – advice from an agent
1. Craft a compelling hook to grab the publisher’s attention.
2. Summarize your book’s plot in a concise and intriguing manner.
3. Highlight your target audience and explain why your book is a good fit.
4. Showcase your unique writing style and author credentials.
5. Personalize your pitch to each publisher’s preferences and focus.
6. Avoid common pitching mistakes like vagueness or overloading with details.
7. Practice a confident and engaging pitch delivery for presentations.
8. Be prepared to answer questions about your book and yourself.
9. Show genuine enthusiasm and passion for your project.
10. Leave a lasting impression with your professionalism and pitch quality.

Figure Out What You Want

Before you can begin pitching to publishers, you’ve got to figure out what you want. What is your goal? Who is the audience for your book? What are your strengths as a writer, and how do they contribute to this project?

What kind of budget do you have available? How much time will you need to complete the project, from start to finish?

Are there any external factors that might impact how fast or slow things go (i.e., holidays, family commitments)?

Keep in mind that while it’s important, to be honest with yourself about what needs improvement in regards to your manuscript, it’s equally important not to get discouraged if things aren’t going perfectly right away. If something isn’t working now but later on turns out well or vice versa that doesn’t mean anything went wrong along the way!

Learning how to effectively market your book on platforms like Amazon is crucial for success. Discover the strategies and techniques in our guide on How to Write a Book & Sell It on Amazon to boost your book’s visibility and sales.

Focus On The Quality Of Your Writing

What are the qualities of a good book? What makes a book great?

It’s not only about the plot or characters. It’s also what you write. If you want to sell your book, focus on the quality of your writing. 

The quality of your writing is a reflection on you, it’s a reflection on your book and it’s also a reflection on the publisher who will be publishing it. If there are errors in grammar, spelling, and punctuation throughout the book then this could put off readers from buying it!

The same applies if there isn’t enough detail about locations or characters within plot lines; if dialogue doesn’t sound realistic; if there aren’t enough action scenes; if plot twists seem too predictable…

Make Sure Your Content Is Right For The Publisher

Once you’ve done your due diligence and determined that a publisher is a right fit for your book, it’s time to get down to business. The first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that the content and subject matter of your book are the right fit for this particular publisher. 

If you’re writing about fashion and style, don’t pitch it to a science fiction publisher; if you’re writing about how people deal with death in their lives, don’t send it to an architecture magazine!

To determine whether or not your content is appropriate for a given publication or brand, start by researching its website thoroughly. Are there any topics mentioned on their About page? If so, these can give you insight into what sort of books they might be interested in publishing. 

For example: if they mention “hard science fiction” as one of their categories (as Tor Books does), then they may be open to working with writers who specialize in this genre and will probably have some idea of what would work well within those confines.

If you’re aspiring to become a book writer, our comprehensive Guides for Aspiring Authors can help you navigate the writing journey. Learn the essentials of crafting compelling stories and engaging readers.

Stand Out From The Crowd

You have to stand out from the crowd, so don’t be afraid to be creative. My favorite thing about book publishing is that it’s a very collaborative process and you can get input from many different people on your project. Don’t be afraid to take risks. 

If you have an idea for a story, but it seems too crazy or unusual for publishers, don’t let that stop you! These days more than ever before, there are great opportunities for authors with original ideas and stories who want their voices heard in the literary world.

Don’t copy other people’s ideas; think of something new instead! The first step is learning how to find inspiration in everyday life experiences and then making sure those inspirations are expressed in ways that are uniquely yours through storytelling techniques like characterization (making characters come alive). 

Plot development (how one event leads naturally into another), setting description (how each place relates to what has happened before), theme statements (what message does this story convey?), and metaphors/similes are used effectively throughout the text.

Keep It Brief

You’re going to want to keep it short and sweet. This is a crucial part of your pitch, and you don’t want to lose the publisher’s attention before they even get to the good stuff.

Don’t go on and on about how you’ve been working on this book for years now, or how it took you ten drafts to finally get it right. While these things may be true, they’re not relevant information unless they pertain directly to what makes your book unique (and even then, maybe only mention them in passing).

If you use big words or jargon without explaining them in layman’s terms first, then any editor worth their salt won’t be able to understand why those words are necessary or worse yet: will think that using them makes their author sound like a pompous know-it-all who knows nothing about communicating with their audience!

Avoid clichés at all costs they’ll make us yawn before we’re halfway through reading your email submission; instead, focus on explaining why people should care about reading about whatever subject matter comes up again later

Crafting a book requires more than just words – it involves tools, guidance, and knowledge. Explore our collection of Book Writing Guides & Tools for Writing and Publishing a Book to enhance your writing process and navigate the publishing world.

Tell Them Who You Are And What You Do

If you’re not a bestselling author, this step might be unnecessary. If you are an author with a string of successful titles under your belt, it will help to mention it upfront as well.

When pitching a book publisher, make sure that they know who you are and what kind of books you write. If possible, include some personal information about yourself as well (your background, expertise in the subject matter) so that publishers can immediately get an idea of whether or not they think it will work well for their audience. 

Also, make sure to mention any writing experience literary magazine publications or freelance articles are great; if nothing else just list how many years you’ve been writing!

It’s also important to include any publishing experience here; even if all of your previous titles were self-published or indie published through platforms like Amazon KDP Select or CreateSpace (two services offered by Amazon).

There’s still something valuable about seeing how many authors have used these services successfully before trying them out themselves with hopes of finding success too!

Learn How To Write A Great Pitch

A pitch is a short description of your book that can be used to sell it to a publisher. It should be no longer than two paragraphs and have enough detail to give an editor an overall sense of what the story is about, who the characters are, and what kind of tone it will have.

It’s particularly important not to overcomplicate this section of your proposal with unnecessary details or metaphors; keep in mind that editors generally have hundreds of proposals on their desks at any given time. If you can’t get past this first hurdle, there’s no way they’ll make it through everything else you’ve written!

Write An Irresistible Book Proposal

Now that you have a finished manuscript, it’s time to write your book proposal. The purpose of the proposal is to convince an editor or agent that your book idea has enough potential for them to take a risk on a first-time author like yourself.

The best place to start is with an irresistible title and subtitle. Your title should be catchy but also convey what the reader will learn from reading the book. You can find examples in other similar books; just think about how they would describe themselves or their work (e.g., “The Complete Guide to Dog Training”). Here are some tips:

Be specific and use numbers and statistics when possible

Use action verbs (e.g., “How To Lose Weight Fast”)

Highlight benefits (e.g., “Gain 3 Pounds per Week! Guaranteed!)

Make sure your pitch is perfect.

As you begin to craft your pitch, make sure that you have read, researched, and understood the guidelines provided by each publisher. Each publisher asks for something different in terms of length, content, and format. Make sure that your pitch is clear and concise so that it does not waste the time of anyone who reads it.

It will also help if you take into account how much time they are going to have to spend reading what you send them; this is why a pitch needs to be well-organized, well-written, and formatted properly.

Writing a book that not only resonates with readers but also sells well is an art. Check out our guide to discover 11 Ways to Write a Book That Sells and learn strategies to create impactful content that captures attention and drives sales.

Watch Out For Common Errors

The last thing you want to do is bore the publisher. You also don’t want to be too casual or too formal. The best way to avoid these mistakes is by reading your pitch over and over again, looking for any errors, like:

The length of a pitch should be short enough that it doesn’t take more than 20 minutes to read but long enough so that it explains the book in detail

Repetition,  your pitch shouldn’t repeat anything from the blurb or sample chapters

Tone, if you sound excited about your book, chances are publishers will be excited too!

Don’t Make Excuses

The first thing to do when sending your pitch is to be confident in it. Don’t worry about making mistakes, because that doesn’t matter. What matters is convincing the publisher that you know what you’re talking about and that they should spend their time and money with you, not someone else.

Don’t blame others for anything: don’t blame agents or publishers for being too lazy to read your book; don’t blame editors for being too stupid to understand your genius; don’t even blame yourself for not having a good idea

Use Both The Carrot And The Stick

To get your audience to take action, you need to use both the carrot and the stick. The carrot is what your audience wants as the reward for taking action (like an offer of money or discounts). The stick is what they don’t want the punishment for not taking action (like increased prices).

When using both incentives, make sure that they are equally compelling so that people feel like they have no choice but to act. For example, if you’re selling a course on how to make money by flipping houses then offering $500 off might be enough incentive for them to sign up today.

But if tomorrow you say that price goes back up by another $100 then most likely no one will buy until at least next week when there’s another discount available again!

The best way I’ve found for introducing this kind of psychological trickery into my copy is through scarcity: “This offer only lasts so long.” Or: “Only 10 slots left!” Either way works fine as long as it motivates them into acting now rather than later!

Get Advice From Those Who Understand Publishing Process And The Market

You should also get advice from people who understand the publishing process and the market. They’ll give you an idea of what kind of book publishers are looking for, and how to pitch in a way that will make them want to publish your book. 

The best place to start is with other writers who have been successful in getting their books published. They know what works and what doesn’t, as well as which publishers are open to taking on new writers.

If you don’t know any writers personally (or if they’re not willing to share their secrets), then reach out online through websites such as Goodreads or Reddit where thousands of active readers love talking about books!

Put Yourself In The Publisher’s Shoes

When you’re pitching a book to a publisher, it’s important to put yourself in their shoes and think about what questions they might ask.

What would you want to know about the author? Why are they qualified to write this book? What makes them an expert on the topic of their book? Do they have other published works under their belt, or do they have experience as an editor or writer at another company that gives them clout with readers who may be familiar with those publications?

What would you want to know about the book itself: Is it a memoir or novel? Will it be fiction or nonfiction? If historical fiction, what period will it be set in (and do they know how much research is required)? 

How long is the manuscript (and has that length been approved by other publishers)? What kind of language will be used in the text is it suitable for all ages? 

Does this piece require illustrations, photos, or graphs from other sources (like medical journals), and if so does an author need those images provided beforehand so the publishing team can begin work on layout design before ore publication date? ves.

Selecting the right topic for your first book is a critical decision. Our guide on How to Decide What to Write About in Your First Book provides insights and tips to help you choose a subject that aligns with your passion and audience’s interests.

Pitch Your Book Well And You’ll Give It The Best Possible Chance Of Being Published

Now that you have a good understanding of the market, you need to know how your book will fit into it.

How does the publisher make money?  What are their biggest strengths? What are they lacking in terms of content? How can your book help fill those gaps?

What do they want to achieve with your book, and how will they promote it? Is there anything else they’d like more than just publishing your book; maybe they want event appearances or speaking engagements? 

Or perhaps there is something else you can offer that might incentivize them like creating engaging social media posts for them or helping with other aspects of their business model (marketing would be another example).

How much time do they have/what is their timeline for this project (i.e., will they publish within two months after receiving my manuscript if I’m lucky enough to get an offer)?


Now that you’ve got the pitch down, it’s time to send your idea to publishers. Find their submission guidelines for books and send them a copy of your book proposal. If you’re lucky enough to get an offer from a publisher, remember that it’s only the first step in a long process so don’t make any major decisions just yet!

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to help you refine your book pitching skills:

How to Pitch Your Book to Publishers: Learn the art of creating compelling book pitches and approaching publishers effectively.

How to Pitch Your Book to an Agent: Gain insights into crafting pitches that capture the attention of literary agents and increase your chances of representation.

MasterClass: How to Pitch Your Book to an Agent: Acquire expert advice on refining your pitch and presenting your book idea to literary agents with confidence.


How do I prepare a strong book pitch?

Crafting a strong book pitch involves summarizing your story’s essence, highlighting its uniqueness, and showcasing your writing style in a concise and compelling manner.

What should I include in my pitch to publishers?

Your pitch to publishers should include a hook that grabs their attention, a concise summary of the plot, information about your target audience, and a brief author bio highlighting your relevant credentials.

How can I tailor my pitch to different agents?

Research each agent’s preferences and past work to align your pitch with their interests. Personalizing your pitch demonstrates your understanding and increases your chances of engagement.

What mistakes should I avoid when pitching a book?

Avoid overloading your pitch with unnecessary details, being vague about the genre or audience, and sending generic pitches to multiple agents or publishers.

How do I stand out during a pitch session?

Prepare a confident and engaging pitch delivery, be ready to answer questions about your book and yourself, and show genuine enthusiasm for your project to leave a lasting impression.