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How to Know If Your Novel is Ready To Be Pitched To A Publisher?

Many authors are uncertain when they should pitch their novels, even if their novels are completely ready. However, there are authors who prematurely submit their novels to publishers and have to face rejection slips. Knowing when to pitch your novel to a publisher is critical and authors should know when their novel is incomplete or complete enough to be sent to a literary agent or a publisher.

These are a few things that publishers look for when a novel is pitched to them. You need to keep these points in mind when you are giving your novel a final read through.

• The first thing that you should look for is the signature of your novel. What stands out and makes it unique? Have you shown what your protagonist wants? What are the things that are keeping him or her away from achieving what she wants? Did the protagonist overcome it, and if they did, then how did they accomplish what they wanted?

• Are you showing the tension or is it just stated? Just writing about the fact that your characters are stressed or in any sort of emotional turmoil is not going to be enough. You need to portray that emotional turmoil in your scenes, depict the stress, the anxiety or the psychological effects the characters are experiencing. It adds an essence to the story and makes it more real to the reader. It also makes the characters more relatable to the reader and helps in building and keeping the interest of the reader. 

• Having secondary characters with depth is very important. However, just having them in the background is not going to be enough. You need to make each of these characters as distinct and as impressive as the main characters. Many times, the secondary characters often bleed into each other and there is no way for the reader to tell them apart. This is a problem that needs to be solved. Too many characters with very little to offer are often the reason why publishers reject novels.

• Foreshadowing is important, especially in the climactic moments. You need to build the expectation and the anticipation for your climactic moments. The perfect example of this can be found in the Harry Potter series, J.K. Rowling started foreshadowing important pieces of information from the very first novel in the series and they all tied up in the final novel. This gave readers something to think about and had them reaching for the novels again and again to find out more.

• The timing of the climactic moments needs to be perfect as well. Do you think that you are adding the climax too early or if it is perfect?

These are some things that you need to check and recheck before you decide if you should pitch your novel to a publisher or not. Only you can determine if your novel is ready to be pitched or not, so give some time to yourself to read your novel through and look at it critically!

Written by Readers’ Favorite Reviewer Rabia Tanveer