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Give 'Em What They Want: The Right Way to Pitch Your Novel to Editors and Agents Paperback – Bargain Price, October 28, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Writers Digest Books (October 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 158297330X
  • ASIN: B003RCJPZO
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,345,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Blythe Camenson is a full-time writer with 50 books and numerous articles to her credit. Marshal J. Cook teaches writing and is a successful author.

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Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

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See all 15 customer reviews
Good merchandising and helpful.
Philip R. Scheier
If an agent or publisher likes your query, they'll most likely ask for a synopsis of your novel.
Richard Szponder
A must-buy for any writers seeking publication!
somebody here

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Novels are one of the most difficult genres to market, aside from poetry: it requires extra attention to a query letter to create an irresistible pique for an agent or editor's attention - and that's where Blythe Camenson & Marshall Cook 's Give 'em What They Want; The Right Way To Pitch Your Novel To Editors And Agents comes in. Query letters, synopses and outlines are all revealed in chapters which discuss the anatomy of a pitch, a submission package's impact, and tips for handling the pitch to maximum advantage. Plenty of examples make it easy to understand why one novel would be chosen over another solely on the pitch.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By somebody here on October 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
I can't believe there is only one review for this great, great book. Absolutely the best I've read among its kind. I borrowed a copy from a friend, but after I finished reading chapter 4 and was able to pull off a good query letter, I bought my own copy. Much better than "The Sell You Novel Tool Kit", which didn't help at all.

A must-buy for any writers seeking publication!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Georgia on January 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wrote my first novel and I was clueless how to write a gripping query letter to agents and how to write a synopsis without sounding boring. This book gives practical advice in a no-frills sort of way and really guides the first-time novelist in how to write the all-important letters to agents and publishers. I haven't found a book as clear and concise as this one. It had all the information I wanted to know about without feeling like the authors were talking down on me for being a first time novelist, and in fact their words were encouraging to newbies like me. I would recommend this book to EVERYONE who wants to learn how to write query letters, synopses, and outlines. A thoroughly informative guide--from the writing process to interacting with agents. This book lives up to its title!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Carol A. Buchanan on January 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book, by Blythe Camenson and Marshall J. Cook, is a plain-spoken, clearly written guide to how to approach agents and editors with queries, synopses, and outlines.

I've attended several writers' conferences, and read more than several books on this subject, and this is the only book I've bought to keep as a reference. The title gives the theme: In order to have any chance of attracting an agent or convincing an editor to look at my work, I must give that person what they ask for.

If the agent wants a one-page query, write one. Don't bother with a box of cookies or a package of cheese to go with it. If the person wants only e-mail queries, query by e-mail; if regular mail, put the query on paper, in an envelope, with a stamp.

But the authors don't stop there. They tell, with examples, how to write a query, and their advice tallies exactly with the best advice I've received from agents and editors at conferences.

My only criticism of the book has nothing to do with the advice or anything else within the control of the authors.

The illustrations are out of the 1940's, and look as if the publisher, Writers Digest, was saving money by recycling 60-year-old clip art. If the medium is the message, the artwork does the book a disservice.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amy K. on March 22, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I admit I bought this book on Amazon hoping it would be good. I have a novel that I'm ready to pitch and have been working diligently on the Query and Synopsis. This book has been an immense help, great information on the process and how to write a strong submission. The book is also entertaining and in an easy to read format. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone (new or experienced) submitting a novel.

Thank you to the authors for a helpful book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. Main on July 2, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had no idea how to write a query letter, synopsis, etc. This book is a must for a beginner author - very complete and fairly up to date. For manuscript submission I'd recommend "Formatting and Submitting your Manuscript" which is very detailed with margins etc.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has good tips, but the world of e-publishing has taken over such a prominent role in the publishing business that some of the advice is dated. It is helpful for purposes of editing. There is always room to make one's work better.
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Format: Paperback
This new version of a book first published in 2005 is an excellent how-to-write-it primer for beginning novelists. New features make it a worthwhile purchase despite the distracting retro artwork and some outdated information throughout the text. The inviting introduction leads to five chapters detailing precisely how to approach an editor or an agent. The middle section contains three chapters on preparing your manuscript for submission. The final section shows how to handle rejection letters and acceptances. Throughout the book explanations are given and then examples are shown from published writers.

What makes this book practical is the direct quotes from agents, editors and published writers. Reading them is like eavesdropping which garners you tidbits of information that will set your manuscript above the writings of people who don't know what you just found out.

Some chapters contain special sections of very helpful information but printed on a distracting polka dot page. I found these sections most useful, perhaps because I am the author of several published novels and they showed me how to build on the foundation already laid. I wish I had read them when I was searching for a publisher for my latest book, SACKETS HARBOR POWDER MONKEY - THE WAR OF 1812.

"You Need to Know Your Story's Beat" was one of the most practical sections for me as I evaluate my current Works in Progress.
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