I recently heard from a fellow writing about a certain battle. I had not heard of it before, and he was trying to sell a publisher on taking on his book. I asked, "How did you pitch it?"
He answered like this:
It was a battle leading up to this other major engagement that eventually produced significant changes in the command structure of an army.Whoa there, pal! Publishers are not that smart. You have to lay it out nice and simple. Use Ramblin's tried and true battle ranking system:
1) This was the battle that won (or lost) the war. You will not need to prove this if you make one simple statement: "Someone, somewhere would never again be able to do something." (You supply the some stuff.)
2) This was the battle that was the turning point of the war. Here, all the publisher needs to know is that "There would be no turning back after this." You don't even need to customize that one.
You see, our list is going from higher impact to lower impact.
3) This was the most important battle ever fought in region x during timeframe y. Now this is getting a little bit in the weeds and should not be used unless the publisher is pushing back hard on numbers 1 and 2, above. You top it off with "That world would be a (better/worse) place from that day forward."
If you think about it, you have already seen these claims in your reading. I have often used them myself. I have even come up with a striking new claim and none of you better steal it!
(*) "This was the battle that defined an age." Big claim. How so you ask? It was that bloody!
Keep writin' - your readers will thank you.