April 6 2014 Editor Assistance Newsletter
Every year Amazon has a Amazon Breakthrough Novel Contest where they award a $50,000 publishing contract to an author, along with other prizes. A number of us entered this year and are waiting to see how we did. So far the contest is at the "first chapter" stage. This means Amazon has already accepted and rejected the top 2,000 entries based on reading the pitch alone.
The pitch is a 300-word-or-less blurb about the novel. It is like the description you see on Amazon for books. It needs to be well written, enticing, and make the reader feel like they definitely want to learn more about the book. This pitch is the ONLY thing Amazon looked at for round 1. They didn't look at the book at all - only the pitch. So if the pitch wasn't perfect, Amazon never even looked at the book to see what it was like.
One could say this is much like the real world :). If a reader is scanning Amazon looking at books, they often look at that blurb first and, if it's not great, they move on. The blurb can make-or-break a book.
Several editors me asked what a winning pitch looked like. So I asked fellow editor Deanna Kahler, whose book Echoes of Paradise has made it through Round 1, if I could share her pitch. She graciously agreed! I also posted my own pitch and my friend Tom Hollyday's pitch. So all three of these pitches were winners in round 1, and all three of these books are now in round 2.
You can read the pitches here:
Let me know if you have any questions at all about the pitches. If you have a pitch for a book of yours that you would like feedback on, send it along to me! I'd be happy to take a look and offer suggestions.
Having the perfect pitch for your book is important not just for this Amazon contest but for all promotional projects you do with it. You want a reader to read your pitch and think, "Wow, I really need to read this book! It sounds great!" :)
Let me know if you have any questions!
Lisa Shea, owner
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