Monday, January 14, 2013

That darned "elevator pitch..."

So, when you have a new (or your very FIRST EVER) book coming out, the question you get the most is...

"Hey, I heard your big news! 
What's your book about?"

I can almost see the words tumbling out of their mouths in random sizes that pile up right in front of me. That pile grows big creepy eyes and stares me down. Gulp.

Well, of course I know what it's about so it should be an easy question, right? I wrote it! But that's not so easy to answer on the fly if you're not prepared.

Authors are supposed to have what is called an "elevator pitch" - a description of your book that wouldn't take any longer than a ride in an elevator...I guess, just in case all the people in the elevator ask you at the same time. No pressure.

As a new author, preparing for this question is proving to be a bigger task (almost) than writing that damned query letter! If you are an author you know what a nightmare those can be.

I guess my struggle lies in the fact that everyone has different tastes that pull them toward a certain book on the shelf. I am a "cover girl" - not in the make-up/beauty sense, although I do enjoy pretending that. I pick up the coolest, most intriguing covers on the shelf first, read the backs and THEN choose the books with the most interesting titles to flip over and read.

So, what if the person who asks would be intrigued if I said THIS but if I said THAT they may decide to pass? I know not every person will want to read my novel, I certainly don't expect that but this book is dear to my heart and if someone could garner a bit of hope or see an end to the tunnel they are stuck in by following Gracie through her journey I WANT TO SAY EXACTLY THE RIGHT THING! Yeah, I am being a bit anal about this.

And, of course, you don't want to say too much and give everything away. But what if what you're holding back would be the clincher that would have  them using a countdown app to time the date of your book's release? Yes, I am totally being sarcastic...unless you are one of my friends...then you BEST have that app and be able to tell me at any moment what the month/day/hour/minute countdown is. I will check your phones. You know I will!

So, here's my "elevator pitch"... today... It's a fictional love story based on an emotionally abusive relationship I had in college. A good girl-meets-bad boy theme with a twist.

I have also said this, "Umm, uh, well, I guess, uh, it's a love story..." and as I am feeling them out as to whether they will flinch when I say the word abuse, I look around for a hole to jump in or for someone ELSE who can say it better.

So, which one is better? LOL!