I find that the best way to get inspired to write the perfect pitch is to read a lot of other pitches for books similar to mine. Inundate yourself in successful, professional pitches and the language will come more easily to you. Where can you find pitches that work? On the backs of the books like yours or the “book description” on Amazon.

How to get started:

  1. Grab a couple of your own favorite books and read their back covers/book descriptions online. Immerse yourself in the marketing language of the pitch.
  2. Select one that really speaks to you, that is similar to what you wish you’d already written about your own book, and type it up verbatim.
  3. Now go back and replace every sentence with your own information.

Full Pitch Example
Here’s a good example from the novel Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

    What if you could live again and again, until you got it right? life

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Does Ursula’s apparently infinite number of lives give her the power to save the world from its inevitable destiny? And if she can — will she?

Hook Examples
The hook, or logline, can be the hardest part since it’s generally the most attention-grabbing. Here are a few examples from the “Most Recent Sales” section of agent Kristin Nelson of the Nelson Literary Agency, per Publishers Marketplace:

YOUNG ELITES – In a Renaissance-like world where young children who survive the Plague and are often gifted with god-like powers, three rival societies battle for supremacy.

THE PRIZE – Inspired by the true story of a boy who was raffled off during the 1909 World’s Fair in Seattle, envisioned here as a half-Chinese boy who is won by a Madam and put to work as a valet in one of her bordellos — where he falls in love with her adopted daughter.

AFTER – After one hundred years, Sleeping Beauty wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom on the verge of revolution, and as her wedding day draws near, she must uncover what has happened while she slept and make the ultimate decision on how to save her inherited kingdom: marry the prince or run.

GOLDEN BOYS – A Chinese girl and a house slave disguise themselves as cowboys to run from the law, seek revenge for a murder, and find freedom in the California Gold Rush frontier.

REBEL MECHANICS – A young governess in an alternate 19th century New York finds herself caught up in a budding revolution when she’s recruited by a group of mechanically minded rebels to spy on her employers in the magical ruling class.

BIRD BOX – A woman blindfolds herself and two small children and flees in a rowboat down a river while the story unfolds in a series of chilling questions: where are they going, what are they afraid of seeing, what is happening in this world and why is she all alone?