► The Pitch
The Elevator Pitch, or Elevator Speech
If you plan to sell your book, you need to have this down. We can brainstorm on how to do it. For now, here's some help.
You're in an elevator. An agent steps in. In the time it takes to go from one floor to another, you must grab her attention so that when she steps out, she says, "I'd like to hear more."
What are you going to say? Go!
"Hi, my name is Brenda. I've written ten books. May I pitch my latest idea before you reach your floor?
"It's 1870, a true story. A diverse and peaceful community is rocked off balance by an outside takeover. Canada has just purchased their land, the US wants it, and white supremacists sweep in. Mary and other people of privilege stand with their mixed-race neighbors. But when their Cree and French leader Louis, Mary's childhood friend, draws a line in the sand, he sets into motion a dark and revengeful path...on both sides. Louis launches a reign of terror against those who voice caution, and when he does the unthinkable Mary must decide between him and a good cause gone wrong--or the despicable supremacists who require her help. Is there a right thing to do anymore?
Note that in 30 - 45 seconds I did 4 things.
- I cited my credentials
- I showed respect for the agent’s time
- I named the external (minor) conflict—political take over and resistence gone wrong
- I named the internal (major) conflict—a tortured choice for Mary
All that in less than a minute.
There’s a second benefit to writing an elevator speech. It helps keep you focused when you write. Everything must point to, and support, your thesis and remain within the parameters of your conflict and character development.
Please feel free to contact me. I'd love to hear from you.