How To Pitch A Book To A Specific Publisher

We went to Imaginarium Creative Writing Festival couple of weeks ago, and had a book pitched to us. (By “we,” I mean Per Bastet Publications.) We aren’t actively seeking books, since we have many already in our production queue. I asked the woman who pitched to me, though, to bring me her pitch material.

Here’s why, and here’s what I recommend:

  • She had her elevator pitch ready. We fell into a random chat, she asked if she could pitch a book to me, I asked what sort of book, and she told me.
  • When I asked for more details, she had them, and reeled them off coherently. As I asked questions, she answered clearly.
  • When I expressed a reservation about one of the details, she didn’t get defensive, but she didn’t promise to change it, either. She respected the reservation, but trusts me to trust her to know what she’s doing.
  • She had been to our website and had constructed a pitch package as we asked, according to our guidelines.

BOOM! Yeah. Even if I didn’t already know this woman to be smart, good-natured, efficient, and resourceful, I would be willing to bet we can work together. She shows respect for me, for my publishing house, for my time, for herself, and for her work.

I hope we’ll be announcing the release of her book from our house. If not, for some reason or other, I expect to buy and enjoy a copy from another publisher.

p.s. Reedsy has a post called 41 Insider Tips for Winning NaNoWriMo 2017.

Also, Holly Jahangiri (the real one) has a delightful post on writing, NaNo or no.

A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: A character offers a partnership to someone.






I was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but now live in the woods in southern Indiana. Though I only write fiction, I love to read non-fiction. The more I learn about this world, the more fantastic I see it is.

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One thought on “How To Pitch A Book To A Specific Publisher

  1. Dan Antion

    October 23, 2017 at 8:56am

    Those are good suggestions. I can only imagine how hard it is to get the attention of a publisher.

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply
    • Author

      Marian Allen

      October 23, 2017 at 1:39pm

      It’s easier to get the attention of a small publisher, because we’re generally also writers and readers, so we hang out at writing and fan conventions. It’s also easier if you do your homework on the publisher and their guidelines! 🙂

      Permalink  ⋅ Reply
  2. Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt

    October 23, 2017 at 3:50pm

    I admire you for having a publishing house, and publishing other people as well – gives you more credibility than the lonely one-author imprint. Grow and prosper!

    Permalink  ⋅ Reply

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