do and don't · how to get a request for pages

The one-line pitch

Editors love one-line pitches.

Well-written queries usually have one among the genre and comps:

TITLE is a fantasy adventure that chases a mischievous, world-ending ghul across industrial Mumbai.

TITLE is steampunk fantasy where Evangeline Denmark’s CURIO meets Steven Harper’s THE DOOMSDAY VAULT.

Editors appreciate one-liners because it helps them pitch their bosses. When an acquiring editor reads a manuscript they like, they present it to the higher-ups. They often have 60 seconds per book. A snappy one-line pitch will work well for you.

It helps when pitching, too. My current project is young-adult ELANTRIS with a trans protagonist. When someone in the industry asks what I’m working on, that’s what I tell them.

Have something quick and memorable (for your own sake too). It’ll come in handy when you run into that Del Rey editor in an elevator. You think I’m kidding.


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