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Do you have an ‘elevator pitch’ for your books?
(A brief 30 second or so introduction)
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An elevator pitch is an important part of your marketing plans. Once you have that pitch down, you can build your platform around that single piece. Basically, it’s the hub of what you’ll use to draw in readers and any other attention you’re after for your books (looking for management, publisher, and other options). Have you ever thought about one?
Because I also work in screenwriting, this is a normal part of what I do for scripts. You’ll see them start as loglines. It’s a quick one or two sentence summary. The elevator pitch starts with that tidbit. If they want to hear more, they will ask. Be prepared to give the summary in as a compelling manner.
The easiest way to think of this is the back of the book blurb. Notice how everything returns to your short description (logline) and book blurb? That’s why they’re so important. And, you can continue to hone them as you go on through your career. Sharpening these is a good idea, and the more feedback you get, the more likely you are to find better ways to state something and increase the draw to your material.
What do my elevator pitches look like? This is what I have to date for my scripts and books:
The Trailokya Trilogy, The Shadow Soul (Book 1) Genre: Fantasy – A military officer, from a dimension that gave rise to human mythologies, flees her home world after botching a mission and possibly giving her demonic enemy the keys to invasion.
Trailokya received a Hollywood Book Festival Honorable Mention in Science Fiction, I’m imagining the books as a streaming series like The Witcher meets Insidious meets Inception. The Shadow Soul is the first part of three in the Trailokya Trilogy, a dark paranormal fantasy following the rise and fall of mythic races at the junction of three worlds : Samsara at the center of a battle for control between Zion and Jahannam.
This tale will leave you questioning long held convictions about the human legends of Heaven and Hell. Are you ready to enter the gates of Zion and learn the truth about what humans are?
Captain Maiel, a duta warrior of Zion, a race of giant, winged guardians and chroniclers of all souls throughout the universe of Samsara. Maiel’s reality is shaken when her young human assign is threatened by the dark forces of Jahannam, a prison realm where the dark beings known as danava reside. Avoiding the leaders of her world, Maiel seeks refuge on Earth. There she is pursued by a danava baron intent on possessing her. Can she be saved before time runs out? Or will she be sacrificed to secure the borders of Zion and to hide the secrets her journey uncovers?
With each step further into darkness, Zion’s long held secrets are revealed and shadows rise out of the past to challenge absolutes.The Trailokya Trilogy Elevator Pitch
Blue Honor (Genre: Historical Drama, War) – Emily is emotionally lost in the hills of Vermont as the Civil War explodes in the South, sending a shockwave of change both frightening and hopeful.
Blue would make a sweeping historical film that explores the intertwining of four families during the course of the Civil War Era in the United States. First among them is the Conrad family and their daughter Emily. Emily is the bookish and indulged daughter of a wealthy dairy family in Vermont. She is educated in literature and medicine, filled with ideas that aren’t acceptable to her more urbane mother, who thinks Emily should settle down with her longtime friend and town philanderer Evan Howell. The outbreak of war frees Emily from those expectations for a time, but a stranger soon arrives after the guns begin to blaze, threatening her plans more than societal conventions ever could.
Devoted to Emily who healed her wounds, Henrietta becomes part of the Conrad family, hoping that she may one day see her husband and son again. Hettie, as she is called, is a runaway slave. She’s been lucky enough to find a slice of peace in Vermont, but the return of Evan Howell and the man with him portends a change that might see her locked back in irons, if not executed for what she’s done.
Evan the town philanderer isn’t as bad as his reputation makes him out. A loveable rogue, he knows his chum Emily will make a great doctor, and he knows he’s not the man to marry such a girl. With a little manipulation, he convinces his commanding officer, Lieutenant Joseph Maynard, to take leave with him and hopefully take to the girl in his stead. He doesn’t let on it’s not hillsides and streams he’s setting the man up for.
Joseph has both power and privilege as the son of a Baltimore lawyer, but neither can guarantee him the things he wants in life: deeply tied to abolitionist ideology. His commission in the army is likely to lead to death, a sacrifice willingly makes to end slavery—until he discovers Emily Conrad who provides him a new compelling reason to live. Torn between duty and desire, Joseph struggles to stay standing for that which he once held strong convictions. War weary, they all march on to duty…Blue Honor Elevator Pitch
OP-DEC: Operation Deceit (Genre: World War II Spy Thriller, Noir) – A 1940s socialite begrudgingly returns home only to be kidnapped by a spy intent on transferring her family wealth to the Nazi war machine via her treacherous father.
A shadowy past becomes a sinister future…OP-DEC: Operation Deceit
Taking a very 1930s/1940s setting, OP-DEC starts in 1933 at the height of Boston’s social season. Young Claire Healey overhears a terrible argument between her industrial-tycoon father and her socialite mother. Claire’s father sends her mother away, declaring she is hysterical with fatigue. Displaced by this disastrous outcome, Claire is brought to New York by her spirited aunt, to be raised beyond the reach of the damaging turn of events.
Nine years later, Claire returns to her childhood home to face her past once more. The world has long since exploded in war. A mysterious stranger named Carsten Reiniger has infiltrated the scene, placing his commanding presence among the old familiar faces of Boston’s elite. Intrigued by the newcomer, Claire struggles to piece together his identity and finds a dangerous connection to her troubling past.
When Claire’s prying comes to light, she and her aunt are whisked away in the middle of the night to ensure their silence. Can Carsten Reiniger be trusted or is he implacably loyal to duty alone? With his mood shifting between surly and accommodating, Claire is kept off guard. However, something about the man draws her closer until she is finds herself so deeply involved that it could be her end.
For the sake of surviving, Claire and her aunt work on Carsten to ally with them. The suspicion that he is not who he says he is grows with every step. The identity is so complete, so impossible to peel back, that Claire uses her only weapon to wedge open the truth. Things end with no more clarity than their escape from Berlin, leading to a sequel in the works that ramps up the tension more than the first tale.OP-DEC: Operation Deceit Elevator Pitch
Click on the links below to find out what pitches the other authors have constructed for their works. Before you go, please subscribe via the box on the top right margin (web) or scroll down to find the box on your phone. See you next time!