What’s in a Book’s Elevator Pitch?

elevator2An Elevator Ride Doesn’t Last Very Long

Every author has been in the position where someone asks them to describe his/her book. It happened to me several times at a book-signing last Saturday (although, if you read my previous blog post, it didn’t happen as often as I hoped it would).

What’s your book about?

The answer you give to that question is called an “elevator pitch.”

The term itself comes from the scenario of an accidental meeting with someone important. It’s any quick, catchy pitch you can deliver in the short time it takes for an elevator to reach its destination.

I’m sure you’ve heard the term before. I didn’t invent it. It’s been around the business world for decades. Now, however, as an indie author you need to think about it in terms of your new book.

By preparing an elevator pitch in advance for your book, you’re ready for whenever (and wherever) the question comes up.

Step 1
Decide on the goal of your pitch. Do you want the listener to visit your website? Look you up on Amazon? Choose what you want your pitch to convince the listener to do.

Remember, you’re probably not going to make a book sale right there in the elevator. Focus on what you want the listener’s next step to be.

Step 2
Brainstorm potential openings. You want something attention-grabbing that will hold the listener’s attention for the whole pitch.

Step 3
Every pitch is unique, but some of the questions your pitch can answer include:

    – What is your book about?
    – Is there a genre or author you can compare your work to?
    – Have you received any awards or glowing reviews?

Write a 20-30 second pitch (any shorter and you’ll sound like an ad; any longer and you’ll lose the listener). Keep your goal in mind! Focus on being compelling and intriguing.

Step 4
Decide on a closing line. Make it an active call to action. It can be something as simple as, “Does it sound like something you’d be interested in?” This is the final step in guiding the listener toward your goal (remember Step #1?).

Step 5
Edit your pitch. Focus on removing unnecessary words and making it sound natural. Read it out loud and be sure it’s in your natural speaking voice, not your writing voice! Make doubly sure it is clearly directed toward your goal.

Step 6
Make your pitch work even harder by always carrying a business card or bookmark with information about you and your book (I make my business cards with Vistaprint).

Your pitch probably won’t be perfect the first time you use it. Every time you give it, however, you can refine it and make it more effective. Practice on friends and family first (my long-suffering wife gets to hear all of mine).

She gives me feedback I may not have thought of and the practice helps work out any jitters BEFORE I have that chance meeting with the local television news celebrity in the elevator.

My Elevator Speech for Reichold Street:
“REICHOLD STREET is a young-adult coming-of-age thriller about teenagers growing up in the Vietnam era of the 1960s. It deals with real life, and things like family dysfunction, bullying, alcoholism, madness and war. Tough issues. It was favorably reviewed by Kirkus Reviews and received a 2012 Readers Favorite Gold Medal.

Does it sound like something you might like?

Visit my website (ronaldherron.com) and you’ll learn all about it … and get to see my other books, too.”


The Official Book Trailer for “Reichold Street”

New reviews are in for my latest novel, “Street Light.” One is from Top Book Reviewers and the other is posted by Readers Favorite. I’ll let them speak for themselves.


My books have garnered some terrific reviews. You can see the stories I have available by using the Amazon link below.

buy now amazon

You’re also invited to visit my web site, BROKEN GLASS, or like my Book of Face page. You can also follow my shorter ramblings on The Twitter.


Comments posted below will be read, greatly appreciated and perhaps even answered.

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9 Responses to “What’s in a Book’s Elevator Pitch?”

  1. Why Does Your Book Pitch Matter? | Painting With Light Says:

    […] What Should It Be About? In the business world a brief, persuasive sales speech is called an elevator pitch (a good one lasts no longer than a short elevator ride, hence the name). I’ve talked about it before. […]


  2. TJs Author Central Says:

    Reblogged this on TJs Virtual Book Tours.


  3. macjam47 Says:

    Great pitch. Have you found increased sales with it?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ron Herron Says:

      Good question! Whenever I get a chance one-on-one with it, I find I have a lot of success. It’s why I was so upset recently at the botched book-signing (see my previous post). No one was there to give the pitch to (for ANY of my books).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. judithbarrow1 Says:

    Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: and commented:
    Didn’t realise I was doing an ‘elevator pitch’ when I sold one of my books to the guy who delivered them to the door. Must have worked! Wish now I could remember what I said!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The Story Reading Ape Says:

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Now HERE’s a great idea, along with some guidelines, from Author Ron Herron 👍😃

    Liked by 3 people

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