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

30 Seconds

Thirty seconds. As an author (or publisher) that’s about all the time you have when talking to someone to generate interest in your book.

Every author should have a 30 second pitch (also called an elevator pitch) about your book. This short paragraph should tell the person listening what your book has to offer them.

Watch this video featuring Dr. Chris Stephen’s 30 second elevator pitch. He does a fabulous job of explaining what his book is about and how you will benefit from it.

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What’s Your Elevator Pitch?

How long does it take for an elevator to go from the ground floor to the sixth floor of a building?

That’s how long you, as an author, have to tell someone about your book. If you talk longer than that, you lose the interested party.

An elevator pitch for a book needs to be between two and five sentences long. It should tell a potential reader what your book is about and how it would benefit them.

Christian Small Publishers Association featured 16 author appearances with book signings at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) last month. I sat and watched each of those authors sign their books for retailers.

Here is what I observed.

  1. The authors that had a practiced elevator pitch engaged more attendees’ interest in their books than the authors who did not have an elevator pitch.
  2. Those authors who gave the show attendees a snapshot view of what their book was about elicited interest and comments from the individuals stopping to check the book out. These comments often included, “I can’t wait to read this book,” “Wow, that sounds really interesting,” and “I know just the person who could benefit from reading this book.”
  3. Elevator pitches frequently opened up a conversation. Often the person receiving the book would share something from their own lives with the author, giving the author an opportunity to connect with and minister to the individual. Connections build memories. People like to read books written by individuals they feel connected to on some level.

One author, Tammy Real-McKeighan, had her elevator pitch down pat. Her book is titled Real Spiritual Spinach: Faith for the Journey. Tammy told everyone who came to her book signing that just as spinach made Popeye strong, for the Christian, God’s word is our spinach. It is the word of God that makes a Christian spiritually strong. Tammy went on to tell people that her book, a devotional, was designed to help Christian’s become stronger spiritually. Interested show attendees loved the connection that Tammy drew between physical spinach and spiritual spinach.

Publishers should also have an elevator pitch. As a publisher, you should be able to tell consumers what type of books you publish and how they fill a need in a couple of sentences.

If you have not yet developed an elevator pitch for your books, do it today. Then share with me your elevator pitch in the comment section below.