(Excerpt from: Write, Publish, Sell! by Valerie Allen)
A 25-word pitch for your book is no easy task, but it must be done. This is the essence of what your book is about—a very condensed version. This is your elevator speech.
Imagine being in a crowded elevator with your book in hand and the person next to you asks about your book. The elevator provides a captive audience to generate interest in your book, but only for the time it takes to get from one floor to the next.
Don’t think you can boil your book down to twenty-five words? Your book is too long, your story too complex? Glance through movie listings and bestseller lists. A two-hour movie or a 500-page book is cleverly reduced to one or two sentences.
Wonder how they do it? There is a definite pattern to these story pitches. Use your book and try this exercise to write an enticing 25-word pitch.
- Adjective (Diligent)
- Protagonist (bird watcher)
- Action (discovers)
- Goal (flying pigs)
- Outcome (overcomes resistance of the scientific community and wins a lifetime supply of bacon!)
Diligent bird watcher discovers flying pigs and overcomes resistance of the scientific community winning a lifetime supply of bacon. (Only 19 words tell the essence of this story!)
Just as with your book, your 25-word pitch will be written and rewritten many times before it sounds right, captures the essence of your story, and easily rolls off your tongue during those elevator moments.
Valerie Allen, psychologist, author, and speaker, was bornNew Yorkand grew up inFt.Lauderdale,FL.She graduated fromFloridaAtlanticUniversitywith advanced degrees in education and mental health. She has taught students from elementary through graduate level at public and private schools, colleges, and universities. She has also been in private practice offering mental health services for over 20 years.
She is an active member of the Cape Canaveral League of American PEN Women and the Space Coast Writers Guild. She is a founding member of Authors for Authors, which creates marketing venues for authors.
She has published two novels, Suffer the Little Children and Sins of the Father and two children’s books for grades 3 to 5: Summer School for Smarties and Bad Hair, Good Hat, New Friends. She has also published a book for writers, Write, Publish, Sell! which she uses during marketing workshops for authors.
She presents writing workshops for children and adults on the art and craft of writing well. She has written many short stories. Her articles on parenting and child development have been published nationwide in educational and parenting magazines.
She can be reached at VAllenWriter@cs.com. For more information, visit www.ValerieAllenWriter.com