Though writing the perfect pitch or press release can take lots of skill and practice, avoiding these pitfalls is an easy way to improve your pitch:
- Avoid the following words at all cost: get, make, just. There are always better ways to say “get” and “make”, and unless you’re using it as another word for fair, “just” is a needless word. There’s just no point to use it.
- Use exclamation points sparingly! You only get one per pitch! Use them wisely!
- Avoid using clichés like “page-turner” and “edge of your seat suspense.” Needless to say, and it’s just my two cents, that avoiding these clichés, will be your ace in the hole.
- Keep it simple.
- Never use 6 words when you only need 3. Because if you begin to add additional words to make your language more flowery, soon, you will have paragraph-long sentences that extend you pitch and create an email that is so long, the media person you are contacting will be less apt to read it.
- All pitches should be free of spelling and grammatical errors. Its just unprofessional.
- Be assertive in your writing. I think this may make your pitch better and will probably interest media professionals.
- Keep all statements in the positive form. Not doing this won’t make your pitch any better.
- Write in a way that comes naturally. When approaching media professionals, it is necessary to employ a style similar to that which you’d use if speaking to them over the phone.
- Be selective about what you include and what you omit. Book title, release date, short summary, and a few sentences about you or the book that would appeal to the media outlet. You don’t need to include every piece of book summary, character development, accolades, background information, your full bio, and tour dates.
For more grammar/style tips, I encourage everyone to read THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE by Strunk and White. Cover to cover. Twice.