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Elevator speech for your book: Practice 'til it doesn't hurt


In order to effectively pitch your book, it’s important that you develop an “elevator speech”—a short, concise description of your book that you can readily rattle off when anyone asks you what your book is about. This brief, clear message should become second nature and roll off your tongue when you are presented the opportunity to pitch your book. Practice ‘til it doesn’t hurt!

Be prepared with a very short pitch (10-12 words) and a slightly longer pitch, for when opportunities arise to give a little more information.
10-12 words???
If you can’t come up with a pitch that is 10-12 words, I’m tempted to accuse you of not knowing your your book is about!
The Art of “The Pitch”: How does a writer come up with a succinct pitch?
You’re perched at a sushi bar and the neighboring patron strikes up a conversation with you. The opportunity arises to talk about your book. What do you say? What can you say in just a few seconds that will intrigue your new-found friend (without boring them or causing them to shift two seats down the bar!)?
Do you have your 30-second elevator speech ready—or do you miss an opportunity because you can’t concisely convey your book’s concept?
Now, take the above scenario and replace the “neighboring patron” with a literary agent and…yes…you’re in trouble if you aren’t prepared.
Finding yourself in a position to pitch your book can be a dream come true or a writer’s biggest nightmare.
Don’t be caught without your elevator speech!
If you can’t spout your logline (elevator speech) easily and as if you’ve been doing it for years…practice ‘til it doesn't hurt!
Could you write (fit) your pitch on the back of a business card? 
Whether you have 30 seconds or 30 minutes with someone, you can’t (and shouldn’t) spend the whole time talking about yourself (and your book)—agent or not. Get your book’s message across with as few words as possible—the right words!
  • Have your pitch memorized
  • Know it by heart, but deliver it with passion
  • Be prepared to offer a few more talking points if asked for more information
Writing a pitch isn’t usually easy, so don’t get discouraged. Sometimes a pitch just comes to you, but don’t panic if doesn’t.
Practice ‘til it doesn’t hurt...and you’ll be the lucky recipient of those three coveted words, “Tell me more…”



  • Tim Baker - Orlando Writing Examiner 5 years ago

    Excellent advice dana, the other thing this comes in handy on is interviews (radio, internet blogtalk, etc.)

    You're absolutely right - if you can't do this you don't know your own book very well.

    The only problem I have with this article...SUSHI BAR?!?!?!?

  • Ahmad Fuad 4 years ago

    Excellent article
    Thanks for sharing... It will really help...

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