NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza The Book Doctors

You wrote your 50,000 words (or got pretty close!). You’re a winner. You felt the high. Now what are you going to do with your precious manuscript? That’s where we, The Book Doctors, come in.

For those of you not familiar with Pitchapalooza, here’s the skinny: You get 250 words to pitch your book. Twenty pitches will be randomly selected from all submissions. We will then critique the pitches during a live webinar on March 14, 12PM PT, so you get to see what makes a great pitch. At the end of the webinar, we will choose one winner from the group.

The winner will receive an introduction to an agent or publisher appropriate for his/her manuscript.

Beginning February 1, 2020, you can email your pitch to nanowrimo@thebookdoctors.com. PLEASE DO NOT ATTACH YOUR PITCH, JUST EMBED IT IN THE EMAIL. Include your title and your name at the top of your pitch. All pitches must be received by 11:59PM PT on February 29, 2020.

We will also crown a fan favorite who will receive a free one-hour consult with us (worth $250). On March 15, 2020, the 20 random pitches will be posted on our website, www.thebookdoctors.com. Anyone can vote for a fan favorite, so get your social media engine running as soon as the pitches go up! Connecting with your future readers is a vital part of being a successfully published author today. And this is a great way to get some practice. Voting closes at 11:59PM PT on March 31, 2020. The fan favorite will be announced on April 1, 2020.

If you purchase a new copy of our book, The Essential Guide To Getting Your Book Published, by April 2, 2020, we’re offering an exclusive one-hour webinar where you’ll get the chance to pitch your book. Just attach a copy of your sales receipt to your email and we’ll send the link to the webinar dates.


It’s been a great year for past NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza winners. Gloria Chao won the 2015 NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza with the novel that would become her critically-acclaimed debut American Panda. Her second novel, Our Wayward Fate, came out in 2019 from Simon Pulse. Gloria also sold the rights to her next novel Rent a Boyfriend  with publication planned for fall 2020. Read Gloria’s winning NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza pitch. 


In 2016, May Cobb ran away with NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza. She’s been capturing attention ever since. This time it was a “heated six-publisher auction” that ended with Berkley winning the rights to publish her latest thriller The Hunting Wives, which was pitched as In a Dark, Dark Wood meets Mean Girls. Berkley plans an early 2021 release. Read May’s winning pitch. 

“Having my pitch selected as the 2016 winner for Pitchapalooza was such a boost! Of course it was wonderful to win, but even more than that, having the Book Doctor’s feedback on my pitch was instrumental.”

–May Cobb

Stacy McAnulty has been on fire since she won our third NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza. Her latest middle grade novel, The World Ends in April, is out now from Random House Books for Young Readers. Shelf Awareness gave it a starred review and called it “a smart, funny and emotionally candid book.” Stacy also signed a deal with Random House to publish another middle grade novel, A Penny Doubled, pitched as How to Steal a Dog meets Brewster’s Millions. Look for it in spring 2021. Read Stacy’s winning pitch.


Cari Noga was one of our first NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza winners. Her winning novel, Sparrow Migrations, went on to be a semi-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest, then she received an acquisition offer from Lake Union Publishing. Her latest novel, The Orphan Daughter (Lake Union Publishing), released last year. Read Cari’s winning pitch. 

“Winning Pitchapalooza gave me confidence and the courage to keep fighting. It also helped bring my manuscript to the next level.”

–Gloria Chao

Are you feeling a little unsure about exactly how to craft your pitch?  We’ve got you covered. 

10 tips for pitching your novel

  1. A great pitch is like a poem.  Every word counts.
  2. Make us fall in love with your hero.  Whether you’re writing a novel or memoir, you have to make us root for your flawed but lovable hero.
  3. Make us hate your villain.  Show us someone unique and dastardly whom we can’t wait to hiss at.
  4. Just because your kids love to hear your story at bedtime doesn’t mean you’re automatically qualified to get a publishing deal. So make sure not to include this information in your pitch.
  5. If you have any particular expertise that relates to your novel, tell us. Establishing your credentials will help us trust you.
  6. Your pitch is your audition to show us what a brilliant writer you are, so it has to be the very best of your writing.
  7. Don’t make your pitch a book report.  Make it sing and soar and amaze.
  8. A pitch is like a movie trailer.  You start with an incredibly exciting/funny/sexy/romantic/etc. close-up with intense specificity, then you pull back to show the big picture and tell us the themes and broad strokes that build to a climax.
  9. Leave us with a cliffhanger.  The ideal reaction to a pitch is, “Oh my God, what happens next?”
  10. Show us what’s unique, exciting, valuable, awesome, unexpected, about your project, and why it’s comfortable, familiar and proven.

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Q: May I submit more than one pitch? 

A: Yes, you may submit multiple pitches. Please include your book’s title and your name at the top of each pitch.

Q: How are the 20 pitches selected? 

A: The 20 pitches are randomly selected; however, we read all the pitches.

Q: Are the choices for fan favorite also randomly selected? 

A: Yes. They are the same 20 pitches that we read during the webinar.

Q: If I buy a copy of The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published, how does the one-hour webinar work? 

A: We limit each webinar to 20 people, which gives everyone the chance to pitch and get feedback. To be eligible, purchase of a new copy of The Essential Guide is required. 

Q: Where can I learn more about writing my pitch? 

A: We offer resources on our YouTube channel. We recommend that you watch “The Art of the Book Pitch”last year’s NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza, and our Pitch Tips playlist. Hungry for more examples? Check out our Pitchapalooza playlist.



Saturday, February 1, 2020–Pitch submission opens

Saturday, February 29, 2020–Final day to submit pitches

Saturday, March 14, 2020–NaNoWriMo Pitchapalooza live on YouTube

Sunday, March 15, 2020–Voting for fan favorite begins

Tuesday, March 31, 2020–Final day to vote for fan favorite

Wednesday, April 1, 2020–Fan favorite announced


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