How Do You Describe Your Book?

Create an elevator pitch for your book–a powerful summary you can deliver during a short elevator ride.

Coming up with a 15 second summary of you and your book is crucial to getting it sold, promoted, read, and recommended. If you have difficulty describing what you have to offer, how will others know what to make of the book?

First, think of the summary as a selling tool. It’s not a defensive exercise where you merely state what’s in the book, but rather it’s your chance to shine and seize the opportunity to say what you want, in a convincing tone, so that whomever you’re talking to will find value in what you have to offer.

Second, think about what is in the book and then convert that into pro-active statements. For instance, for a book about losing weight that contains exercises, food lists, and recipes, you can say: “My book will give you all of the tools needed to lose weight, including 89 easy-to-do exercises, a 712 item list of foods to eat, 416 foods to avoid, and 76 scrumptious recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert.”

Third, summarize the process. Tell people how they do this with a sentence or two. Compare it to things they’re familiar with and help them develop a picture. For instance, using the diet book example, “Most diets exclude too many things or they over emphasize one item, like Atkins, but this diet calls for 3-4 days of moderate exercise and the eating of any foods that you desire — up to a certain caloric value, somewhat like Weight Watchers, but without the meetings.”

Fourth, people like to know who wrote the book. Credentials are important. So weave that into your description: “As a Ph.D, in nutrition…” or “As a nutritionist who has helped thousands of obese…” or “Having lost 142 pounds on this diet, I…”

Fifth, describe everything in terms of benefits. “You’re not just losing weight; you’re gaining a new body and the benefits that come with it.” Tell people how they can fit into that attractive outfit they bought two years ago, go to the beach with confidence, get into shape for romance, drop those ten pounds before their 40th birthday party, etc.

Lastly, whatever you say in describing your book, be positive. Smile and give off a confident, inviting look. People must feel they need, like, and trust you before they’ll buy from you.

Reprinted from “Rick Frishman‘s Author101 Newsletter”
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