This post is part of a weekly series on YWP, aptly titled “The Writer’s Weekly Wrap-Up”.
Each Sunday, I will endeavour to provide you with a curated list of the best articles I have seen throughout the week that relate to building your platform.
The featured articles cover topics on book marketing and promotion, blogging, social media and self-publishing. (I may even throw in a few inspirational and fun posts, just so that it’s not all work and no play!)
Crafting the Perfect Elevator Pitch
“So, what’s your book about?”
Distilling the essence of your book, your author brand, or even your freelance services down into just a few sentences has mentally defeated many a writer.
But, it’s inevitable–and desirable–that people will want to know (briefly) what your work is about, and why they should care.
To help you overcome the stuttering, rambling, discombobulated answer you may be currently giving to the above question, here are a few pointers for creating an elevator pitch that stands out:
Tip #1 Be Succinct
The beauty of having to create a brief, but compelling, elevator pitch is that it requires you to dig deep for the true essence of your book, your brand or your service. In order to concisely share it, you’ll first need to know it yourself. Think sentences, not paragraphs, and keep fine-tuning until you’re certain you’ve captured the heart of your work.
Tip #2 Be Clear
Now is not the time to be clever. Your pitch should not be coded, cryptic or riddled with finds from your thesaurus. Stick to simple language and layman’s terms. The moment your listener gets hung up on your meaning or use of jargon, you’ve lost them.
Tip #3 Be Compelling
The point of your pitch is to get people to want to hear more. You want to pique their interest, and then get them to take action. This forces you to look at your work from the customer’s perspective. How does it solve their problem or fulfill their need? How will they benefit?
Tip #4 Be Passionate, But Be Cool
Let your passion, eagerness and the sheer joy of sharing your work with others come through in your pitch. Your exuberance will be contagious. But to be clear, your elevator pitch is for creating interest in your book, not for selling it on the spot. Create excitement, but don’t push the close.
Tip #5 Be Prepared
Write out several versions of your elevator pitch, assuming that in some cases you’ll have less time to share it than others. Record yourself to tweak the phrasing so you don’t sound like a cyborg, and practice on family and friends as many times as they’ll allow. Think of it as developing muscle memory, so that even when you’re in a stressful situation (oh, like say in an elevator with an agent), you can still deliver your pitch naturally.
Need more tips? Then check out Rachelle Gardner’s post on the Secrets of a Great Pitch.
Now let’s move on to the featured articles of the week!
10 Top Tips to Grow Your Email List from Jeff Bullas at JeffBulas.com
Building your email list is vital. Jeff shares some excellent tips to start growing your list from day one.
The Writer’s Guide to Building an Email List from Kimberley Grabas at Your Writer Platform
Speaking of email lists, here’s an article from the YWP archives on why building an email list is so important, how to set one up, and some tactics to skyrocket your subscriber count.
7 Strategies and 110 Tools to Help Indie Authors Find Readers and Reviewers from Sabrina Ricci at Digital Pubbing
Chock full of helpful resources, this post by Sabrina lists tools indie authors can use to help promote their books and build their readership (and reviews).
“After the Book” Marketing in the 21st Century from Sylvia Hubbard at Marketing Tips for Authors
In this post, Sylvia notes that the 21st Century author is running a business–and every business needs a plan. She outlines some areas to focus on as you build a blueprint for your writing career.
300+ Fool-Proof Fonts to use for your Book Cover Design (an epic list of best fonts per genre) from Derek Murphy at Creative Indie
Need some inspiration to make your book cover pop? Derek has put together some awesome cheat-sheets of the best fonts to use for your cover, sorted by genre.
How to Use Social Media to Promote an Event from Michael Stelzner at Social Media Examiner
Planning a book launch or other important event? In this article, Michael reveals seven creative ways to use social media to increase your chances for a gangbuster event.
Your Headlines Suck. Here’s What You Can Do About It from Erik Deckers at Convince and Convert
Lessons on how to create informative, interesting headlines that actually make people want to read your articles and posts.
7 Powerful Facebook Statistics You Should Know for a More Engaging Facebook Page from Belle Beth Cooper at The Next Web
Belle takes a look at what kind of updates work best for Facebook Pages, especially those that lead to increased interaction. Very useful info if you’re trying to make your page more engaging.
Become A Successful Writer Despite Your Friends And Family from Leanne Regalla at Write To Done
Are you struggling to convince the people closest to you that your writing matters? Has stepping up your game caused a bit of a stir? If so, Leanne outlines 11 strategies to help you thrive, despite the pushback from detractors.
Reaching Readers with Author Newsletters from Debbie Young at Alli Self-Publishing Advice Blog
A summary of tips and advice on the why and the how of creating an author newsletter.
The New World of Publishing: Can’t Get Books Into Bookstore Myth from Dean Wesley Smith at DeanWesleySmith.com
Dean destroys the myth that self-publishers can’t get their books into a bookstore stating, “Of course indie writers can get their books into bookstores. It’s not magic, it’s not hard, and it’s not even expensive.”
The Power of Enthusiasm: Should You Create a “Street Team”? from Dan Blank at We Grow Media
Find out what exactly a street team is, how they can help generate momentum for your book and your author brand, as well as some drawbacks to watch out for.
What is Google Authorship? (And Why Should You Give a Crap?) from Glen Long at Boost Blog Traffic
From authorship and traffic to configuration and additional resources, Glen covers every aspect of Google Authorship, and why you should get serious about it.
How to Easily Find the Best Keywords to Write About (and How to Activate Them) from Ramsey at Blog Tyrant
Ready to get strategic about your approach to blogging? Learn what keywords are, and how to use them to get better outcomes from your blog posts.
Just For Fun
In his search to find ways to live life to the fullest, Good Life Project® founder, Jonathan Fields asked 29 successful people from many different walks of life, this one question:
How do you define a “good life”?
How would you answer this question? What is your definition of a good life, and are you currently living it? Please share your answers in the comments below.