Would you be ready if the opportunity to pitch your book came along? In a perfect world, all of us would get ready and stay ready to sing the praises of our completed manuscripts or works in progress. We could spout off an intriguing hook and give a concise synopsis all in the same breath. But, this world is far from perfect and I have to say, in my observations, a lot of writers downplay their work. Whether out of a misguided sense of modesty or the natural social awkwardness all writers seem to possess, I couldn’t tell you. What I can tell you is that there’s a solution to this conundrum. It’s called an elevator pitch. An elevator speech is a catch phrase for being able to pitch your product or service within the span of 30 seconds to two minutes– about the average time of an elevator ride. In our case, our products are our books and our skills as writers.
THE TYPICAL ELEVATOR PITCH AS IT RELATES TO THE PUBLISHING INDUSTRY CONSISTS OF FOUR PARTS:
Part 2– The main character’s ultimate goal
Part 3– The conflict he or she experiences
Part 4–The moral or ‘take away’ for the story
I’ll give you an example. I’m going to use my currently unpublished manuscript. Keep in mind that this is very much a work in progress!
Part 1: When the Real Thing Comes Along is a Christian fiction romance novel.
Part 2: Jacelynn’s ultimate goal is to let go of past emotional trauma and open her heart to the possibility of falling in love.
Part 3: Jacelynn’s biggest problem is that the man who broke her heart in the first place, pops back into her life after 10 years of estrangement requesting a second chance. He continues to pursue her despite her obvious disinterest and the fact that she has been dating someone else exclusively for over a year. She’s practically engaged, but Jacelynn soon discovers that the past has a grip on her that won’t easily let go. Is she truly over her ex? Will she let go of a sure thing to take a chance on her first love?
Part 4: The take away for Jacelynn’s story is that romantic relationships may come and go, but the love of God remains through it all. He’s the real thing, and all else is secondary.
Taking the time to craft an elevator pitch is time well spent. You can use your elevator speech in conversation with potential customers, agents, publishing houses and the random people who ask you what you’re working on when you tell them you’re a writer. Practice makes perfect, so never miss an opportunity to give your speech! Personally, I found the act of writing my elevator pitch super helpful, and I expect that it will assist me with writing my query letters in the future.
Have you already crafted a killer elevator pitch? Feel free to give some pointers in the comments below!
Check out these articles for more detailed information on elevator pitches: