Sunday, September 16, 2018

On pitching.

Once again, we'd like to thank everyone who pitched a story to Unearthed! There were so many amazing ideas sent our way, and while we had to turn away some to keep the book from being a brick, every concept was a joy to read.

In the future, we will be accepting more pitches — both for anthologies and for stand-alone books. We look forward to hearing new ideas from more of you in future. In the meantime, we thought we'd talk a little bit about what makes a good pitch to us.

Paul and Kara are both writers, and Kara is an editor by day, so we've been on both sides of the process. We also know that every editor is different, so what we say may not apply to another publisher. But if you're looking to warm up to one of our next calls, a few things to bear in mind:

Include the ending of the story in your pitch.

There's nothing like a good cliffhanger, and we're always told to "leave them wanting more." And in some cases, that's a good thing to do. But when pitching stories to us, please including the ending. This is for a few reasons.

1. We need to know you know it. We're both writers, and we know how it is to get a good idea and not quite have the ending stuck yet. So we want to know, if you're offering us an idea, you know where you're going to go with it.

2. The ending is essential to knowing if we want the story. We love twists-in-the-tale and surprise endings, but we need to know what we're in for. The upshot of your story may help us decide it doesn't fit into what we're doing; conversely, it may be what gets you accepted. (There are at least two cases in Unearthed of the story's ending being the prime reason it was picked.)

3. We don't want no funny business. We don't want to end up getting to the end of a finished product and discovering that it contains content or sentiments we cannot or do not want to publish.

Follow the directions.

We're not putting up an overall "How to pitch" page yet because we have a few things we're still working out, and because it will likely vary from project to project (and depending on whether Kara, Paul, or both are at the forefront of it). So we'll convene on an overall Altrix Pitching System.

But for the short term, just know that the more closely you follow the directions laid out, the more likely you are to get accepted. Sticking to what we've laid out shows us that you're easy to work with, and is reassurance that if we have to send out emails with new info on a deadline, you'll be able to cope with it.

Make sure you enjoy what you're pitching.

This may seem like an odd request, but seriously. Make sure what you're sending us is something that interests you, and something you'd want to do if we said "yes." It's very easy to tell when someone is sending us an idea they're enthusiastic about as opposed to something they're rolling out just to get another pitch in. Again, we know. We're writers, and we've done both.

If the call we've got open at the moment doesn't interest you, don't worry. We have plenty of plans for the future. It's okay to wait on something that grabs your attention.

At the moment, we aren't accepting submissions for anything, as we're working away on two charity anthologies and gearing up for a series. But in the near future, keep your eyes open for more opportunities!


Post a Comment