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.