Writing a Stellar Elevator Pitch for Your Book

by | Nov 14, 2020 | Author Success

Writing a Stellar Elevator Pitch for Your Book

When you hear the words elevator pitch, the first thing you might think of is tech companies, start-up businesses, investor pitches and the like, but also know that books need a killer pitch as well, and a concise one at that.

Elevator Pitch Definition

An elevator pitch, also known as an elevator speech, is a marketing tool that writers can use for a multitude of purposes. As a writer, you can use it to entice your readers, reach out to people willing to partner with you, when you happen to be at the right place at the right time with someone important, or when you meet with your agent/editor.

Elevator Pitch

A strong elevator pitch will make it easier for you to answer “what’s the book about?”

The Five Steps to Developing an Elevator Pitch

There are five steps to help you develop your perfect elevator pitch. We’ll try to give you examples in each step to help you understand how an elevator pitch is crafted from start to finish.

Please take note that the examples in this article were created for example purposes only and were made entirely out of imagination. Any similarity with published books is purely coincidental.

1. What’s the content?

Try to write down what your book is about in no more than 50 words. Don’t make it clever or witty. Write it as it is, only the facts of it.

What if it’s fiction?

You can try to put the plot and what happens in it.

What if it’s nonfiction?

Focus on what your reader will learn from it or what you want to share in your book.

Here are some examples:

  • Fiction

The book is a story about a scientist who was recently fired from his job, and everything seems to be going downhill for him until he stumbles upon a series of posters that will start to define his everyday decisions.

  • Memoir

The story is about my grandfather’s account of the events in World War II and how he managed to escape his detainment facility.

  • Self-Help

This is a book about what to do after a breakup of any relationship like friendship, with a loved one, letting go of a dream, etc.

elevator pitch fanciful book with smoke rising

2. What’s the context?

Most, if not all readers want to have a glimpse or a sense of where they will be transported to or the world they will be immersed in when they read your book. You need to give an idea of what to expect with your book.

With fiction and memoirs, it would be advisable to talk about the story where it is set. This could be the time period, world/universe, location, or any other place that would be the setting of your story. While for nonfiction, you might want to consider the cultural and philosophical context of the problem/issue you’re helping your readers with.

Here are some examples to help you:

  • Fiction

The book is set in a present that values science and status quo more than intuition and leaps of faith. The story is about a scientist who was recently fired from his job, and everything seems to be going downhill for him until he stumbles upon a series of posters that will start to define his everyday decisions.

  • Memoir

The story starts from the small town of Joseph, Oregon, where my grandfather was from, and his account of the events in World War II and how he managed to escape his detainment facility.

  • Self-Help

We are set in a time where pacing yourself is a big step towards self-help and improvement. This is a book about what to do after a breakup of any relationship like friendship, with a loved one, letting go of a dream, etc.

3. Why should they care?

Readers are fussy. They read what they want, and they want to read something specific. It’s very rare to see a reader randomly attracted to a book they want to read because, more often than not, they know what they want, and they know what they want to get out of it. They want to be informed, educated, entertained, inspired, or challenged, which is why when you’re describing your book, make sure you tell them why they should care about it.

In fiction/memoirs, try to add a line about what your readers might feel after reading the book or how it would impact them. You can try to compare your book to others in the same genre.

In nonfiction, explain what they will learn from your book. What’s your key takeaway?

Here are your examples:

  • Fiction

The book is set in a present that values science and status quo more than intuition and leaps of faith. The story is about a scientist who was recently fired from his job, and everything seems to be going downhill for him until he stumbles upon a series of posters that will start to define his everyday decisions. It’s a story that highlights the human instinct of faith and feeling that, more often than not, drives us everyday in our decision making.

  • Memoir

 The story starts from the small town of Joseph, Oregon, where my grandfather was from, and his account of the events in World War II and how he managed to escape his detainment facility. The world has many unsung heroes, and very few of their stories have been told. 

  • Self-Help

We are set in a time where pacing yourself is a big step towards self-help and improvement. This is a book about what to do after a breakup of any relationship like friendship, with a loved one, letting go of a dream, etc. We’ll talk about regret, how to cope, how to move on, and how to do it at your own pace.

An open book with two ninja warrior silhouettes fighting

4. Make it memorable.

Make sure that your description is polished and perfected. You can add texture and details to it to allow your story to shine. This way, your readers will get a glimpse of your style and give them a chance to test out if your book is something they will be able to vibe with. As with any writing, you should always read, review, and revise.

Here are your examples:

  • Fiction

In a world where everyone values science, proof, and living by the norm is the track, it’s difficult to allow yourself that chance to take a leap, let alone convince others to do it as well. When scientist John Willis gets fired from his job at one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the state, his life starts to dwindle before his eyes until he stumbles upon a series of posters that will start to define his everyday decisions. As a man of science, will he take the leap and make his own destiny? 

  • Memoir

When the local newspaper catches wind of a local hero, they waste no time and ask for an interview with the veteran’s granddaughter Isabelle Moore. Her grandfather Larry Moore was a war veteran from the small town of Joseph, Oregon where the story starts. She begins to remember her grandfather’s account of the events in World War II and how he managed to escape his detainment facility. The world has many unsung heroes, and very few of their stories have been told. 

  • Self-Help

We are set in a time where pacing yourself is a big step towards self-help and improvement. Whether you’re getting over a broken dream, a broken heart, or a broken home, your goal is to move on and move forward at the time you’re most comfortable with. In this book, you’ll learn about what to do after experiencing a heart-wrenching event in your life and how you can move on and move forward afterwards at your own pace. 

Elevator Pitch_blank glass shield trophy

5. Don’t forget your accomplishments!

You know the blurbs you see behind the book? You’ll often see accomplishments placed here. Did you win any awards as a writer? Was your book a New York Times bestseller? Did someone give you an amazing blurb? Did you get awesome reviews? This is the place to add them. If you don’t have any of these, don’t add it. Don’t worry, your goal is to get the readers to read the book itself.

Here are the final example elevator pitches:

Fiction:

Elevator Pitch Example

In a world where everyone values science, proof, and living by the norm is the track, it’s difficult to allow yourself that chance to take a leap, let alone convince others to do it as well. When scientist John Willis gets fired from his job at one of the biggest pharmaceutical companies in the state, his life starts to dwindle before his eyes until he stumbles upon a series of posters that will start to define his everyday decisions. As a man of science, will he take the leap and make his own destiny? Stacey Hubb, bestselling author of The Honduras Escape

Memoir:

Elevator Pitch Example

When the local newspaper catches wind of a local hero, they waste no time and ask for an interview with the veteran’s granddaughter Isabelle Moore. Her grandfather Larry Moore was a war veteran from the small town of Joseph, Oregon where the story starts. She begins to remember her grandfather’s account of the events in World War II and how he managed to escape his detainment facility. “The world has many unsung heroes, and very few of their stories have been told.” Christopher Florence, bestselling author of Autumn Nights

Self Help:

Elevator Pitch Example

We are set in a time where pacing yourself is a big step towards self-help and improvement. Whether you’re getting over a broken dream, a broken heart, or a broken home, your goal is to move on and move forward at the time you’re most comfortable with. In this book, Kiara Francis will guide you on what to do after experiencing a heart-wrenching event in your life and how you can move on and move forward at your own pace. “It’s inspiring, daring, and altogether exciting.” Kiefer Brandt, bestselling author of The Art of Surrender

Elevator Pitch Tips

Your elevator pitch should be as universal as possible, meaning it is something you can use over and over again, and have it role off your tongue smoothjly and without effort.

But it is very important to know whom you are talking to whenever possible. For instance:

  • what is this person motivated by?
  • What does s/he do for a living that your pitch would strike them as valuable to their endeavors?
  • What is the main point of your book that will grab his or her attention because it benefite them? 

This kind of observation will make your evelator pitch far more effective.

Elevator Pitch Length

The length of your elevator pitch should be

  1. long enough to create interest in the person you’re talking to and
  2. short enough not to not lose them before they feel the need to move on to what they were in the middle of doing.

Creating elevator pitches is more than just shortening your story and hoping for the best. It takes time, thought, and a lot of editing to get to the point where you’re so happy about it, you want to put it out as soon as possible! Be patient, and work smart and diligently. Your book will come together soon, and you’ll finally get to share your story to the world!

For more book writing tips and articles, we have our whole blog section dedicated for that. Make sure to contact us with your feedback and suggestions for any new articles you might want us to write!

Writing a Stellar Elevator Pitch for Your Book

Creating elevator pitches is more than just shortening your story and hoping for the best. It takes time, thought, and a lot of editing to get to the point where you’re so happy about it.

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