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Yet again, how do you get started pitching a book

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by hockeybeat, Oct 23, 2007.

  1. hockeybeat

    hockeybeat Guest

    I have several ideas--a couple almost decent--for books.

    But right now, they're just ideas. How do I go about finding an agent? How would I go about pitching to a book publisher?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated.
  2. There's a couple of books you need to get - "The Writers Market" and the "Guide to Literary Agents." Both put out by the same company.

    Then, go to Borders or Barnes and Noble and start scouring the sports (I assume) section and find out who published books similar to yours. Those books I told you about should help, as well.

    If you have a good idea, be persistent. You should be able to get it into print, even if it's a small publisher. Don't expect an advance. Or even great marketing. Of course, for all I know you could be a columnist at a major metro, and if so disregard that. But if you're like I was - an experienced sports writer but not a big name - you'll probably have to go that route.

    I probably sent out 20 to 30 queries and got a handful of bites. Had to supply a sample chapter or two, an outline, etc., etc.

    Good luck. PM me if you want to know more about the process, though that kind of sums it up.
  3. Idaho

    Idaho Active Member

    First, you grab a book.

    Second, you wind up.

    Third, you look the runner back to first.

    Fourth, you throw it.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2014
  4. clutchcargo

    clutchcargo Active Member

    The first thing you need to do is pick ONE book idea that you are absolutely passionate about. Then you need to flesh out a proposal that includes a detailed outline, sample chapter or two, and a marketing analysis and pitch. Depending on the type of book, your sample chapters should show ample research and interviews---all a large investment of time.

    Then you go out and solicit an agent, and that will take some work. Good agents are bombarded with queries and proposals, and getting an agent to rep you nowadays is as difficult as it was getting a publishing contract in hand 10-15 years ago.

    Trust me on all this. I speak from genuine experience.
  5. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    HB, there's a longish thread on this over at the Writers Workshop board.
  6. http://www.sportsjournalists.com/forum/threads/36781/
  7. mglhoops

    mglhoops New Member

    I concur with every word, and will add from my genuine experience: some agents don't require the chapters, if your outline/TOC is very detailed. But have them ready.

    Additionally, the marketing/PR portion is far more important than you initially imagine. They will ask about your "platform," which loosely translates to how many books you can sell based on your name, or the subject matter.

    agentquery.com and publishersmarketplace.com are starting points.

    Good luck.
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