Free 2020 Book Marketing Toolkit for Authors
Wednesday, February 19, 2020
How To Craft A Great Elevator Speech For Your Book
The hardest thing for an author to do when promoting his or her book to the media, is to take what could be a 300-page book and perhaps a lifetime of experiences and ideas and to come up with a succinct pitch. To succeed at marketing your brand or selling our book, you will need to sum up your book or existence using maybe 150 words and saying it in less than 25 seconds. Can you do that?
The good news? It is possible to do – and you can do it! The bad news? You have no choice.
Social media is made for people who can use few words to get a strong message across. Today’s marketing landscape demands that you say something new, unique, and interesting in a manner of seconds.
So how does one figure out what to say?
Be prepared to answer the who, what when, where, why, and how about you and your book. Spare the details. You just need the highlights. Prioritize and list the key 5, 6 or 7 points, that you believe will get people’s attention. That’s really all that you need to do. Say enough, but only so much, that will tease others or lure them into wanting to know more. You don’t have to tell your whole story at first. Just give us a snapshot of it.
If you’ve ever had to put a resume together, you know the challenges of putting your lifetime of relevant professional experiences and personal accomplishments on one page is quite a daunting task. But you also know, because the process forces it upon you, that a page is plenty of space to convey a message and form an image. It won’t say everything, because it’s not necessary to do so. But it will say enough to lead the reader to an action step: to call you in for a job interview.
The same is true with your elevator speech or short press release. You need to think in terms of headlines and bullet points. Ask yourself: What’s the core of the story here? What am I selling? Why will anyone care? That’s what you must answer – and be brief!
Here’s the best way to do it:
1. Note as many things as you want to say about your book.
2. Do the same to describe who you are.
3. Now start to prioritize these points. Which sound more interesting than others?
4. Now find ways to use fewer words to convey each point, substituting out many words for a few with impact and color.
5. Compare what you wrote with what you’ve seen others say or write about their book or themselves.
Eventually, you start to discard things that are add-ons, points that are not as important as some others. Then you start to think about what the main or singular reason that people will care about your book, so you lead with it, and everything else is there to support it.
Go with your strengths. Is it drama, humor, news, or beauty else? What are you selling – is it the substance of the story, your personality, your ideas, your research, your discoveries, your style of writing – or something else?
It’s like dating. Would your profile talk about how you like to do crossword puzzles or will it focus more on bigger things – career ambition, your looks, your personality, and other filters people use to determine a potential match? Well, describing yourself and book is the same – you seek to get enough attention to warrant a date or the next step.
Determine what’s a primary point vs. a secondary one. Figure out what would inspire people about yourself or your story. To just describe things or summarize them without there being a deep reason or desire will only convey information but will not really sell anyone on what you offer.
You need something to anchor your pitch to, just like a mall needs an anchor tenant store. You need a foundation to build on. Identify your singular strength and then the rest of your points support it.
For instance, if your book is geared towards helping a specific class of people to solve a specific problem, then boil it down to that. If your book is merely to entertain or maybe awaken your political voice or is there to note our history, then say so. Build it up and zero in on that main point.
On the other hand, if you don’t feel you have a clear rallying point, you have a problem. Basically you need to find a good way to answer:
· Why should someone buy your book?
· Why should the media interview you?
· How do you inform, inspire, enlighten or entertain us?
· How is your book better than a competitor’s?
· Would it matter if your book never existed?
You need to imagine you had one sentence -- a tagline -- to state who you are or what your book represents. What would you say? Can you say it in a way that no one else can claim what you say?
Take ownership of your message – and keep it short!
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Brian Feinblum’s insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are his alone and not that of his employer or anyone else. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at email@example.com. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s Independent. This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America.