Your elevator pitch
We have all heard of what an elevator pitch is. It seems like it is the kind of stuff reserved for overly eager new sales associates looking to make an impression on the big boss between floors.
But there is more to it than that.
Someone has just turned to you and said, “You’re a writer. What’s your book about?”
Don’t just stand there! You’ve got to be prepared.
Your verbal elevator pitch
Try something like this on for size.
Imagine if animals started talking, and they told you what to do in a topsy-turvy world.
My book is about Alice; she’s a young girl, a little bored on a sunny afternoon, when she spots a white rabbit. The odd thing about this rabbit is, he’s wearing clothes and talking. She follows him down a rabbit hole, but then she can’t get out.
That’s less than seventy words, and the person asking has the basic plot, the name of the heroine, and a reason to want to know more.
Your written elevator pitch
Yes, you need one of these, too. But they are a little different.
Even if you are known for writing sweeping, epic sagas, you should still write some short stories. They can be in your universe, or not, although it might help with both marketing and your own personal creativity if they can fit somewhere within your universe. They do not even necessarily have to be sent out for publication, but they could be good for anthologies. Don’t knock that; this is exactly how a lot of people get started. In fact, if you are having trouble breaking in, or want to impress a publisher, try submitting to anthologies. You can get a published credit and impress the publisher of the anthology. There’s a win-win right there.
Point them there, if someone wants to read a sampling of your work. Don’t make them commit to a 100,000 word novel.
Finally, have fun with it. Is your main character funny? What about quoting one of her best zingers, assuming you don’t need to explain the joke? Now there’s an idea for a pitch.