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Knowing how to pitch your book to a UK literary agent

Pitching your book

We are getting very excited about the Frankfurt book fair next week.  In preparation, I’ve done a quick exercise – a tweet sized pitch for each new title by our clients.  I am always telling writers how important it is to get to the core of a story in just one sentence so I thought this would be interesting! I use a tweet sized pitch to get editors interested before delving further into the story with a compelling blurb. 

New Clients

Rebecca Powell UNDER THE CASHEW TREE– upmarket women’s fiction début based in Brazil – a story of unlikely love, lies and sacrifice. (on submission to UK publishers)

Jemma Forte IF YOU’RE NOT THE ONE–  witty observations on married life combined with the destructive lengths that love will reach to achieve its ends, the third book by the popular women’s fiction author. (MIRA Books, spring 2014).

Karen Ross MOTHER OF THE YEAR –  an engaging comedy about a mother and daughter’s minefield relationship with real emotional depth and heart. (Ebury Press, February 2014).

Radhika Sanghani V!RG!N – New Adult / Young Women’s fiction début – funny and daring, the novel candidly explores its protagonist Ellie’s sexual journey and ultimately offers a powerful observation on the societal pressures that young women face concerning sex and status today. (on submission to UK publishers)

Talli Roland THE POLLYANNA PLAN – delightful, feel-good women’s fiction – can you find true love by simply changing your attitude?  (Amazon Publishing, February 2014)

Belinda Jones THE TRAVELLING TEA SHOP – deliciously funny and moving commercial women’s fiction perfect for anyone with an appetite for baked goods and sweet romance. (Hodder, summer 2014)

Crime and Thrillers

Nuala Casey SUMMER LIES BLEEDING – thought-provoking and intelligent suspense novel about four lives that are about to come crashing together.  (Quercus, June 2014)

Mel Sherratt TAUNTING THE DEAD – a dark, gritty, sexually-charged police procedural that twists and turns in every direction to uncover ‘whodunit’.  (Amazon Publishing/Thomas & Mercer, December 2013)

Luana Lewis DON’T STAND SO CLOSE – a gripping psychological thriller about a reclusive psychologist who is forced to confront trauma from her past and secrets in her marriage. (Transworld, February 2014)

C.L. Taylor THE ACCIDENT / BEFORE I WAKE –  a dark psychological suspense thriller about one mother whose life falls apart when her fifteen-year-old daughter deliberately steps in front of a bus, and the chilling journey she goes on to understand why.  (HarperCollins/Avon, February 2014)

C.J. Daugherty FRACTURE – third book in the international bestselling NIGHT SCHOOL series: a world of mystery, danger, romance and thrills, now translated into 22 languages. (Little, Brown/ Atom, August 2013)

 

Women’s Fiction

Victoria Fox WICKED AMBITION – a sex-filled, high-octane romp through the hidden lives of the rich and famous perfect for Jackie Collins’ fans – addictive, dark and buzzing with suspense (MIRA, June 2013)

Emma Garcia OMG BABY!  – a hilarious sequel to NEVER GOOGLE HEARTBREAK where Viv and Max come to terms with an unexpected pregnancy. (Hodder, spring 2014)

Janet MacLeod Trotter A CRIMSON DAWN – a gripping and impassioned historical saga set against the fascinating backdrop of the Great War.  (MacLeod Trotter books 2013)

Carolyn Jess-Cooke DARK TRACES – a dark, edgy and inventive Victorian thriller involving hypnosis, obsession and removing memories. (on submission in the UK)

Lynda Page WHERE MEMORIES ARE MADE – a nostalgic, heart-warming family saga set in a holiday camp in the late 1950s for Downton Abbey fans. (Headline, February 2014)

Anna-Lou Weatherley WICKED WIVES – women’s suspense full of intrigue, revenge and decadence.  (HarperCollins/ Avon July 2013)

Sophie Hart THE NAUGHTY GIRLS BOOK CLUB – a new take on erotica: inspired by their naughty novels, a group of shy suburban readers shake off their inhibitions and discover a new side to themselves. (Avon, June 2013)

Evie Hunter THE PLEASURES OF AUTUMN – Irish erotica perfect for fans of E.L. James’ FIFTY SHADES OF GREY’ (Penguin, October 2013)

YA & Children’s

Holly Bourne THE MANIFESTO ON HOW TO BE INTERESTING – a dark-humoured, contemporary YA novel identifying what it is that makes a person interesting.  (Usborne, September 2014)

Lara Williamson A BOY CALLED HOPE – a joyous, heart-breaking and life-affirming story of one boy and his messy, muddled and madcap family, perfect for fans of Annabel Pitcher and Frank Cotterell Boyce. (Usborne, spring 2014)

Rupert Wallis THE DARK INSIDE – a gripping, magical and haunting story about loss and hope, perfect for fans of Patrick Ness and David Almond.  (Simon &Schuster, February 2014)

Jenna Burtenshaw CONVICTION – from the author of the critically acclaimed Wintercraft comes a YA prison break thriller and love story set in a place of darkness, danger and death (on submission in the UK)

Dave Lowe MY HAMSTER IS A SPY the third in a hilarious series for 6-9 year olds, following the adventures of Stinky the sarcastic talking hamster and his owner Jinks. (Templar, March 2013)

S.B Hayes DON’T LOOK BACK – a gripping psychological suspense thriller about a girl who takes on the search for her missing brother. (Quercus, June 2013)

It’s important to grab the reader’s attention at the start of your submission letter. Understanding the genre you are writing in is key to showing an agent that you’ve researched your market.

For submissions advice