In this episode we are going to talk about elevator pitches. This is not just for traditional authors, it’s for any writer who wants to talk about their book in a way that makes people want to pull out their phones and buy it right there on the spot.

Why you should listen to this episode

Show Notes

Talking Points:

What is an elevator pitch?
  • Sentence – High concept, the hook, 26 words max …
  • Paragraph – Radio Pitch / Back cover copy …
  • Page – Short Synopsis
    • Emphasis on short
  • The Ultra short elevator pitch. What if you don’t have three floors to give your pitch?
    • The theme pitch
      • “It’s about a woman who stands up for herself for the first time in her life.” (The Pages of Her Life)


Why do you need one prepared ahead of time?
  • Talking about your book briefly does not come naturally.
  • You use it to pitch potential purchasers
  • Pitching to influencers (taste makers, editors, agents)
  • You’ll use your elevator pitch forever
  • When you prep it you can test it on others BECAUSE you want to make sure nothing is lost in translation. Is it easy to understand? And most important, will the person you tell it to be able to repeat it somewhat accurately?


Some Questions to Ask Yourself While Crafting Your Pitch
  • What makes my book different from other similar books?
  • What makes my book special?
  • What makes me weird? Unique? Appealing?
    • Stock photo pretty vs unusually pretty.
  • What makes my book weird?
  • Who is my book for?
    • Can change based on the audience
      • Example: Twilight
  • What is the number one most interesting thing about my book?
  • And let us repeat ourselves and remind you to ask if your pitch is EASY to understand and easily repeatable


The Subway pitch
  • An example, James’ first novel, Rooms:
    • “It’s about a young Seattle software tycoon who inherits a home on the Oregon coast that turns out to be a physical manifestation of his soul.”
    • “It’s about a man who inherits a home that turns out to be a physical manifestation of his soul.”
    • “It’s about a man who walks into the rooms of his own soul.”


Pitch Points
  • Don’t put every worm on the hook
  • Use different bait for different fish. It is ok to have multiple pitches. Adapt your pitch for your listener. (How to sell a refrigerator to someone living in an igloo)
  • This is SHOW BUSINESS! Leave the audience wanting more!
  • Practice. Then practice more. Then practice more.


The #1 Mistake to Avoid:
  • Being boring


The #2 Mistake to Avoid:
  • Being boring


Pitch Templates
  • Auto Publicist
  • Using the “What if?” motif works well for many writers:
    • What if you were given a chair and told it was made by Jesus Christ and had supernatural healing powers? (The Chair)
    • What if you could have a conversation with your 23 year old self? (The Five Times I Met Myself)
    • What if you found a legendary lost corridor at the end of a lake, that if you got through, would give you what you want most in the world? (The Long Journey to Jake Palmer)
    • What if you could find God’s Book of Days on earth, that tells the past, present and future of every soul? (Book of Days)
    • What if you woke up one morning and the darkest parts of you had vanished? (The Man He Never Was)
  • Problem Cause Solution
    • Courtship in Crisis explains why the marriage rate in America has plummeted and how you can avoid becoming part of that statistic by finding and marrying the love of your life.
  • The Theme Pitch (When your elevator is only going one floor up)
    • “It’s about a woman who stands up for herself for the first time in her life.” (The Pages of Her Life)


Post your elevator pitches as a comment to this episode in the Facebook Group (not as a separate post).


Featured Patron

The Land Without Color    by Benjamin Ellefson

What If You Were Transported to a Land Without Color? And the Only One Who Could Restore it Was You?



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Patrons Receive:

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