Posts Tagged ‘Elevator Pitch’

I’m the type of person who always has a witty comeback for a situation. Unfortunately for me, the witty comeback usually hits me about an hour after I truly need it, leaving me with a typical response of stunned silence or the classic “Oh Yeah?”  Neither response is very effective and makes me feel very uncomfortable.

I first heard about the elevator pitch at our December meeting for the San Diego chapter of SCBWI. Author Barrie Summy shared that having her elevator pitch prepared and ready to go led to the publishing of her book,  “I So Don’t Do Mysteries.”

I was intrigued. What was an elevator pitch? I was sure I didn’t have one. Did I need one?

After a little research I found out that the elevator pitch has been used as a business tool for quite a while. According to author Nina Amir the elevator pitch is:

“…a short speech you have ready for that opportune moment – or less than a moment – when you can market yourself or your product to someone that might buy it. That speech, however, has to include all the pertinent information and be interesting, clever, thought provoking, or in some way leading so the person becomes inclined to ask you for more details.”

The name reflects the fact that an elevator pitch should be possible to deliver in the time span of an elevator ride, meaning in a maximum of 30 seconds and in 130 words or fewer. Some even suggest that you should be able to describe your manuscript in 25 words or less.

What a great concept. This is something I can prepare ahead of time, so that if I get a chance to promote my manuscript to an agent or publisher I am ready and I don’t run the risk of staring at them mutely or more likely ramble on until they run for the hills.

This same concept can be used to promote yourself. Nancy Ancowitz has written a great book titled- “Self-Promotion for Introverts“, she suggests that you prepare an elevator pitch for those times you get questioned about what you do, or what type of books you write. This preparation is a helpful tip for those of us who don’t always think as quickly on our feet as we would like.

The last and most important step for an elevator pitch is: practice, practice, practice.

Here are more tips from Nina Amir:

“… For a pitch to be really effective, it has to flow off your tongue as easily as words off a pen and onto your paper or off a keyboard onto your computer screen.  Have it memorized. Know it by rote, but deliver it with passion and conviction. And be prepared to offer at least three talking points when, indeed, you are asked for more information.

Writing pitches isn’t easy. Although sometimes they just come to you, like those magical words that arrive on your manuscript pages, and you wonder how they arrived. But the perfect pitch is miraculous in its own right. While it might not sell your book or land you that agent, it will at least get an agent or an acquisitions editor to listen long enough and become interested enough to say, “Tell me more.” And that’s your opening to offer your three more points…and then three more…And you never know where that might lead.”

Suzanne Santillan

Writing on the Sidewalk

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