Every author needs an elevator pitch. A brief but irresistible description that condenses the spirit of your book into a few sentences. But how do you know how to hit the right note? When it comes to bragging, how much is too much? What are the details that really matter? The descriptions here are taken from industry newsletter Publishers Lunch, and provide an excellent model for your elevator pitch, as well as giving you a rare insight into what agents and publishers are looking for. Publishers want authors with solid credentials, proven experience in writing or speaking about their subject, a very specific angle on their topic, and a book concept that is timely. Among other things. These four listings are just some examples of authors whose books have been signed to major publishers this month. Note that I haven’t included any “celebrity” titles from mega-high profile people. No presidents or movie stars here—these are all authors who have worked hard to claim a space in their field. Clinical psychologist, professor, and narcissism expert Dr. Ramani Durvasula PhD's It's Not You: How To Identify, Protect Yourself and Heal From the Narcissists in Your Life, a guide to coping with—and healing from—narcissistic abuse in relationships, family systems, friend groups, and workplaces. Real estate investor and passive income expert Brian Page's Don't Start a Side Hustle!, teaching readers how to create streams of passive income so they can work and live life on their own terms. Occupational therapist, motivational speaker, and CEO and founder of Performance Meets Purpose Darleen Santore's The Art of Bouncing Back, teaching professionals how rise above difficult setbacks, just like the author has after suffering multiple strokes beginning at age 20. Reproductive endocrinologist and infertility specialist Dr. Angela Thyer and registered dietician and founder of Mind Body Nutrition Judy Simon's Getting To Baby, a guide to increasing fertility success through nutrition and lifestyle choices based on the authors' Food for Fertility Program. Three common elements I see in these descriptive pitches:
The books are based on a body of existing research or expertis
Most offer a clear solution to a specific problem
Use these as fuel and inspiration when crafting your own elevator pitch for your book. What can you say about the timeliness of your concept, your unique position to write about this concept, the evidence that readers will want to buy your book?
Coming in 2022: my new online course on writing book proposals! In the meantime, check out my current offerings:
How to Write a Successful Nonfiction Book (self-paced course)
Build Your Author Platform (self-paced course)
How to Write a Book Proposal for Your Memoir (live webinar)