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The Elevator Pitch

Carol Rose

Staff member
This is also sometimes called the HOOK, which is why writers get confused when discussing when and how to hook their readers. Please see THIS POST for when and how to hook your readers in the body of the story itself. They are also called LOG LINES or TAG LINES.

But for now, let's talk about the elevator pitch.

Why is it called that? Because it's that 30 seconds or so you'd have if stuck in an elevator (a LIFT for you Brits!) with an agent or an editor, and you want them to request your manuscript. You need to be able to summarize your book in two or three sentences max, AND hook them into wanting to read it.

Makes sense now, right? Good. :)

Okay. So WHAT is it and HOW do I write one?

5 Steps to Writing a Killer Elevator Pitch for Your Book

1. What's your book about?
2. What's the context?
3. Why should readers care?
4. Make it snappy

The elevator pitch for novels

Example elevator pitches

Twilight: A teen romance between an ordinary American girl and a boy who is actually a vampire.

The Da Vinci Code: a mystery thriller where the protagonist has to unlock codes buried in ancient works of art as he hunts for the Holy Grail.

Wolf Hall: A historical epic revolving around Thomas Cromwell, the most important man in the court of King Henry VIII.

An elevator pitch doesn’t need to summarise the book, or act as a back cover blurb.

It just needs to say what is most exciting about the novel in the shortest possible space. You are looking to deliver a hook and (explicitly or implicitly) a reason to read.

1. 40 to 50 words max, although 20 can do it.

2. Pick out the hook of the book - the angle, the premise, the single most exciting element. If you can't choose one, you likely don't have a cohesive or high-concept story.

3. Leave out everything else from step 2.

Elevator pitches should:

Tell us who the central character is
Raise questions
Promise intrigue
Make a potential audience apparent

More links that say essentially the same things:

Create an Elevator Pitch: Novel Pitches that Sell | Now Novel



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