Is Your Message Distilled?

To distill means to condense or refine.

Distilled water is water that has had most of its impurities removed through the process of distillation. Distillation involves boiling the water and then collecting and condensing the steam into a clean container. The result is water that is pure.

Is your message distilled? Have you condensed and refined your message so that it is pure and clean—free from distractions and extraneous information?

I get to hear a lot of elevator pitches from authors. Sadly, many of these authors have not taken the time to distill their message. A good elevator pitch about your book should be both condensed and refined so that you can give a clear message in three sentences or less.

Your elevator pitch should answer these three questions:

  1. Who is your audience?
  2. What is their need?
  3. How does your book meet that need?

Answering these three questions in developing a distilled message is a great place to start. First answer these questions and then determine whether you will phrase your elevator message as a problem/solution or as a benefit.

Here is an example of a distilled problem/solution message based on my book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace:

“Over 1,200 books are published every day in America. Most new authors are at a loss as to how to make their books stand out from the crowd and get noticed. My award-winning book, Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace, gives Christian authors the information and resources they need to effectively promote their books.”

Here is an example of a distilled benefit message based on what Christian Small Publishers Association (CSPA) does:

“Christian Small Publishers Association provides small publishers and independent authors information and access to affordable marketing venues so that they can be successful in promoting and selling their Christian books.”

I encourage you to take some time and distill your message about your book. That way, when people ask you about your book, you are ready with a quick answer that grabs their attention and immediately lets them know what problem your book solves or what benefit your book provides.

Remember, you want to keep your message to three sentences or less. Your message should be no longer than 30 seconds, but keeping it shorter, more like 20 seconds or less, may be more effective with most people’s short attention spans.

Related Posts:
What’s Your Elevator Pitch?
30 Seconds
It’s the Story

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Photo courtesy of Aaron Burden

It’s the Story

One of the joys of attending the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) is that I get to meet all sorts of publishers and authors. Great conversations result from these meetings and usually someone walks away with new information or is encouraged.

Story Time

At the Christian Small Publishers Association’s (CSPA) booth this summer at ICRS, I had one small publisher stop by with one of his authors. The author gave me his sales speech about his book. He told me why he wrote the book and what the book was about. His elevator speech lasted for over one-minute, which is really too long for a book pitch. When telling someone about your book, you should be able to do so quickly and concisely in 30 seconds or less.

After the author gave me his spiel about his book, the publisher asked if he could give me a pitch about the book. I said yes. The publisher then proceeded to give me a short pitch about the book’s message and how it was different from other books on the same topic. Then the publisher asked me and a CSPA member who was also listening which pitch we thought was better, his or the author’s.

We both responded that while the publisher’s pitch was shorter and the author’s pitch too long, the one that got our attention was the author’s. This was because the author started with a story. He told us the story of why he wrote the book. We both remembered the story and the story hooked us.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, people love stories. People connect with stories. In your elevator pitch about your book, be sure to include the story of what led you to write the book. Doing so will allow you to better connect with your listeners and touch their hearts with your message in a way that simply telling them what your book is about will never do.

What’s your story?

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