Do you have an elevator pitch for your book?

Nowadays we have an ‘executive summary’ for every project. A short summary that tells an interested party within a minute what your project is about. If possible it even persuades them to participate or sponsor the project. For our book, we often don’t think about that, or only much too late. This article explains why an ‘elevator pitch’ for your book is extra important, and how to create one…

Do you have an elevator pitch for your book?

Elevator pitch?!?

Imagine. You are in an elevator, the doors are closing and who is suddenly next to you? Exactly the person you wanted to meet! Whether it’s a publisher, a politician, the highest boss of the company you have in mind, a wealthy sponsor, or anyone else. This person can help make your dream come true! Now it comes down to telling your story in one minute in such a compelling way that the other person stays interested when the elevator doors open again, or asks for your business card.
A good elevator pitch is a good, short, engaging summary of your story. It lasts a maximum of sixty seconds and contains:

  • Who you are
  • What you do
  • Why this is a good idea
  • What you expect from your listener

Many writers, entrepreneurs, and even companies think they can tell their story convincingly, briefly, and powerfully, but when it comes down to it, it often turns out not good enough.

A short, engaging summary of your book

As soon as you tell someone that you are writing a book, you will get asked the question: what is your book about? If your answer is too long or too vague, the listener will quickly lose their focus. Especially if you want to approach a publisher, sponsor, or expert, it is important to capture the essence of your book in a few sentences.

The formula below can help you with your non-fiction book:
“I help _______________(target audience), to ________________________ be/do/have (the value you give them), so that they __________________________(the outcome they REALLY want).”

For example, a relationship therapist might describe her book aimed at parents like this:
“I help married couples with children to bring the passion back into their marriage so that they feel acknowledged and valued in their relationship.”

One of the writers I coach, runs ‘Catamaran Guru’ with her husband and is now writing a book about it. Together we developed this elevator pitch for her book (which she can now also use for her business):
“We help couples who want to buy a boat and sail around the world to understand what this lifestyle really means and to buy the best boat for their purpose so they can actually enjoy their adventure.”

Your back cover as an executive summary

You only have one chance to make a first impression with your (potential) readers and that is the back cover of your book. That’s the first thing that visitors to a physical bookstore see. This is also the case online: the ‘blurb’ (the piece of text that describes your book on and other online bookshops) is your back cover text.

In short: your back cover is your marketing material and the promise to your readers. You can use it to test your book idea, ask for feedback, approach a publisher, and even presale your book. Your back cover also provides you with the structure for your writing process. So don’t wait until your book is ready, but create the elevator pitch for your book right now and then write your back cover.

Also read: Five facts about the back cover you probably didn’t know

Are you serious about writing your book?

Don’t reinvent the wheel, like I did. As the author and co-author of more than 30 books, writing coach for hundreds of people and organizer of 20 writing retreats, I have finally found the best system for writing a good book: the ‘Reverse Writing’ method. If you begin at the end and create a good structure before you start writing, you will be able to follow your energy, instead of the page numbers.

Learn all tips & tricks in the live online workshop

Everything you need to turn your idea into a bestseller: practical advice, examples, and inspiration about writing, publishing, and promoting your book. Check out the ‘from idea to book’ workshop.

werboek back front cover - Why you should start promoting your book while you're writing it

Personal guidance

Private writing coaching is a unique opportunity to work on your book with my personal guidance and support. Book a single strategy session or plan a series of 1-on-1 calls. Do you want the best for your book?

A writing retreat in an exotic location?

During the online writing retreat@home or an all-inclusive retreat on my favorite islands or in the French Alps, you will work with like-minded people and get 1-on-1 guidance. The daily workshops help to get started, followed by focused writing time, delicious food, and personal guidance & feedback. Where will we go?

The book ‘Reverse Writing’

Learn my Reverse Writing method (start with the back cover) in my brand new, the super-comprehensive book ‘Reverse Writing’ and the companion workbook. You will find a step-by-step explanation, lots of examples, inspiration, and practical tips about writing, promotion, and publishing your book.

Original ideas and proven formats for your next bestseller

A successful book starts with a good idea. Check out the 10 best ‘formulas’ I’ve found for successful non-fiction books. Each of these ten proven formats gives you a different perspective, inspiration, and examples you can adapt for your own book. Subscribe to my ‘interested in writing’ list for book inspiration & tips and immediately receive the PDF with 10 ideas for a successful non-fiction book.