“So, what’s your book about?”
It’s an assumingly innocent question that you will be asked many times – sometimes by an idle chatter in a queue, and at times by people crucial to your book’s success. It’s a question that usually sends shivers down an author’s spine. The answer to this can make or break an author’s appeal.
As an author, we have to grab every opportunity to sell our books. And at times like these, you need to be ready with an answer. The answer that is popularly known as the elevator pitch – a 2 minutes summary of what it is about your book that will make it sell. It is what sets you apart as a player rather than just another dreamer.
The aim of your pitch should be to create interest and get them to read the book. Whether it is an elusive publisher, a potential literary agent, a bookstore buyer or a casual reader, your quick and efficient answer can get them excited about your novel before they even read the first word. They should think “This is a novel I’d like to read,” or more important, “This is a story that will make a lot of money.” The gist of it is that you are asking every potential buyer to invest his/her time and money in your story to reap a big profit in the end (whether the positive emotional experience of reading a good book or the monetary satisfaction of doing a profitable business).
A successful pitch can save months of mailing queries and waiting to be found out from the bottom of a slush pile. You can sell your novel directly to a publisher or an agent who will remember you when they receive that email afterwards. It can fulfill all your book-publishing dreams at one go. So it’s safe to assume that it’s a terribly nerve-wracking task.
We writers are generally more effective on paper. But nowadays, the pitch has become an essential sales tool in the book publishing industry. It is assumed that you don’t have a clear idea of what you are writing if you can’t describe your work in four or five lines. So you must conquer the butterflies and learn to pitch.
Preparation is the key here. Start honing your pitch right now. Boil your project down to four-five sentences to prepare your three-minute pitch.( Read:Tips on how to write the perfect pitch )
Once you have the perfect material at your disposal, practice that pitch until you can deliver it smoothly. Pitch your book to everyone you meet until you have it memorized. It will be much easier to pitch to a real agent or publisher later on. You will feel more confident if you are better prepared. Shed away your nervousness. Don’t let your lips quiver. You have three minutes to interact with your potential publisher. Make every second count.
All the best!
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