Writer’s Conference Prep: The Elevator Pitch

Reprint from an earlier

An elevator pitch is a tool that every writer should have prepared at a writer’s conference. An elevator pitch is a thirty-second speech you have memorized that summarizes your book in case you get on an elevator with your dream agent or publisher. That agent asks what your book is about.

Unless you’ve thought about it ahead of time and have memorized your elevator pitch, you may end up saying something like, “Well it’s a kind of a like a story about, well you know, it’s about a guy and a girl, and they fall in love, and then stuff happens.” At this point, the elevator opens, and the agent leaves without offering you the chance to send a proposal because he has no idea what the book is about.

Don’t worry about frantically writing the perfect elevator pitch. Many writers panic about this, and there’s no reason to. The purpose for an elevator pitch is to tell someone what the book is about if asked. Here’s a few tips to make writing your elevator pitch easier.

Length: An elevator pitch should be two to three sentences long, around fifty words. If it’s the right length, you should be able to deliver it in about thirty seconds.

Title and Genre: Start the elevator pitch by stating the title and genre of your book. For instance – “My novel is called Yellow Bonnets and is a category prairie romance.” This part won’t be included in the fifty word count but will help the agent know if you have a book that fits her current genre interests.

Main Character: Your elevator pitch should mention the name of the main character.

Main Plot: Don’t mention things that are secondary. Limit your pitch to the main plot.

Study the Movie Industry: The movie industry does elevator pitches better than anyone. Study how they describe movies in only a few words to get an idea on how to develop your elevator pitch.

Here’s a few sites that go into depth about how to write an elevator pitch:

50 Word Elevator Pitch

What Is High Concept?

Getting Your Pitch Right 

This entry was posted in Sharpening Our Writing, Writing Conferences and tagged , , by Tamera Kraft. Bookmark the permalink.

About Tamera Kraft

Tamera Kraft has been a children’s pastor for over 20 years. She is the leader of a ministry called Revival Fire For Kids where she mentors other children’s leaders, teaches workshops, and is a children’s ministry consultant and children’s evangelist. She is also a writer and has curriculum published including Kid Konnection 5: Kids Entering the Presence of God published by Pathway Press. She is a recipient of the 2007 National Children’s Leaders Association Shepherd’s Cup for lifetime achievement in children’s ministry.

4 thoughts on “Writer’s Conference Prep: The Elevator Pitch

  1. OK, I will try my hand at it. It’s funny because this is the very thing I stumble over every time someone asks me about my book. Here it goes: Hi, my name is Adam Santo. My book is titled Temperature: Dead and Rising set in the Urban Fantasy genre. Sally has died and come back to life without understanding why. Fighting for her un-life is made difficult by the church, and her own kind, looking to end it as she struggles with the idea of living forever and controlling the special power given only to her.

  2. Pingback: Writer’s Conference Prep: The Elevator Pitch (via Word Sharpeners) | Adam Santo

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