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Sunday, 4 March 2012

Sharpen your Elevator Pitch!

The two minute Elevator Pitch 
broken down into seconds

If you were stuck in a lift with a publisher, and had just a couple of minutes to say your piece what would it entail? Think about it. You have two minutes or less to impress that agent or publisher.

In twenty seconds make a short sharp introduction to you and your book. Be sure to know the name of person you are addressing!

In thirty seconds sum up your book in short sharp sentences. Who are the characters? What genre is the book? Make sure you sound enthusiastic and not apologetic. Enthusiasm is contagious!

In Thirty seconds say what’s special about your book? I'm sure you can think of something. If not your book, then you. What's special about you?

In fifteen seconds can you name any other authors or books with an audience who would be likely to enjoy reading your book?

In twenty seconds discuss what experience you have when it comes to writing. If this is your first book tell them about any competitions you've entered. Being shortlisted is an achievement so mention it.

In twenty seconds say how much/or how well the marketing is going for your book so far.

In fifteen seconds tell them know about any feedback from readers.

In ten seconds thank them for listening, and offer them a copy of your book if you have one to hand. And don't forget a business card! If you haven't got one yet, then now is the time to order a batch. They aren't expensive, so shop around.

Practice the elevator pitch in front of a mirror until you are fluent without any ers, ums and you knows dropping in. Practice your smile, record yourself speaking and see where you start rambling or become unstuck.

You can use this formula to write your synopsis, changing the seconds to line count. Keep it short (one side of A4 if possible. Font point 10 is acceptable, and adjust the margins to get it all on one page).


  1. Hi Louise, this is a useful exercise, thank you. I'd never thought of business cards before - are they common among authors? Best wishes, Clair x

  2. I'm not sure if they are common or not, but I think it makes sense to have something you can give to a prospective agent with your contact details on.
    It also shows you're a professional.
    I use Vistaprint. Very cheap and cheerful.

  3. I love the way you have the elevator pitch broken down into specific chunks. I think that'll be very helpful in creating one. I've been working a lot on elevator pitches lately because I'm seeing more and more agents running contests online using written versions of the elevator pitch. Thank you for an excellent post!

  4. Love the analytical approach to the pitch.