Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Preparing for Your Pitch by Renee Andrews

Just in time for your trip to the ACFW conference! Renee Andrews shares information to help you with your pitch to editors and agents. -- Sandy

Renee: Over the course of my writing career, I’ve attended many conferences. Most offer opportunities for writers to pitch their manuscripts to editors and/or agents. These appointments, typically lasting between five and ten minutes, provide your chance to pique interest and hopefully receive a request for the partial (synopsis and first three chapters) or full (synopsis and entire manuscript). In other words, they provide your chance to get your foot in the door with your dream agent or publisher.

In pitching my novels, I’ve used four pitch methods: GMC, Cover Blurb, High Concept and Multi-hook. I describe each of these methods and provide examples in my book, Extreme Pitch Makeover, but in this blog post, I’ll provide a brief summary and example of the first method, the GMC pitch.

The GMC Pitch

If you have Debra Dixon’s book on Goal, Motivation and Conflict, you know how valuable this tool can be to analyzing and plotting your story. If you don’t have the book, I highly recommend purchasing a copy from Since GMC is a necessary component of the GMC method, I’ll provide a mini-explanation here (but buy the book—it’s much more thorough).

Goal – What your character wants at the beginning of the novel.
Motivation – Why your character wants the goal.
Conflict – Why your character can’t have the goal.

The basic formula for a GMC pitch:

(Character’s Name) wants (Goal) because (Motivation) but (Conflict).

When pitching, provide the GMC for each of your primary characters. For example, in a romance novel, you should provide the GMC for both the hero and the heroine; in a suspense novel, you should provide the GMC pitch for your protagonist and antagonist, etc.

The following example shows the GMC Pitch for my current Love Inspired release, Small-Town Billionaire:

Ryan Brooks wants to steer clear of relationships entirely, because every female in his past has been more interested in his bank account than in Ryan, but the small-town beauty with the amazing business idea isn’t interested in Ryan or his money, and Ryan can’t get Maribeth Walton off his mind or out of his heart.

Maribeth Walton wants to continue living her life in anonymity, hiding in the tiny town of Claremont, because her time in the spotlight nearly cost her soul, but Ryan Brooks threatens to toss her into the limelight again, and Maribeth’s new world could be ruined if he learns about her past.

Note that this is only one of four pitching methods, and the strongest method for selling your book will depend on that specific novel.  However, the GMC pitch is typically a strong beginning and a necessary component for any pitch appointment. And when you get that desired editor or agent request, then smile; you’ve accomplished your goal. You sparked interest for the request. Congratulations on a job well done!

Are you headed for St. Louis this week? Do you have your pitch ready? Want to practice it here?


Renee Andrews spends a lot of time in the gym. No, she isn't working out. Her husband, a former All-American gymnast, co-owns ACE Cheer Company. Renee is a kidney donor and actively supports organ donation. When she isn't writing, she enjoys traveling with her husband and bragging on their sons, daughter-in-law and grandsons. For more info on her books or on living donors, visit her website at