The Author’s Elevator Pitch

'Quirky, elderly Mrs. Odboddy.....

‘Quirky, elderly Mrs. Odboddy lives in a small CA town during WWII. Though committed to ‘fighting the war from the home front’ by volunteering and freely giving her time, she imagines Nazi spies and black market conspiracies under every cabbage bush. When Mrs. Roosevelt comes to town, Mrs. Odboddy must prove she is, indeed, a hometown patriot.’

Trying to consolidate a 278 page humorous WWII novel into 57 words or less fails to explain the intricacies, humor, romance, intrigue, historical events, or plot in my cozy mystery adventure novel, Mrs. Odboddy-Hometown Patriot.

Elaine Faber, Mrs Odboddy Hometown PatriotEvery day, I sit at my computer and words fall onto the written page. I spend hours researching, taking notes, plotting out the mystery, thinking up red herrings, bringing bad guys to heel, writing and rewriting scenes, creating my characters by day and dreaming about them at night. Writing is my life’s dream and I love it.

However, when I wrote my first little ditties in high school, no one told me that ‘being an author’ would demand more than writing stories. Now, I find that I must master the skills of publicist, bookkeeper, full time blogger, cover artist, and skilled orator, keeping my eyes peeled and ears tuned for panel or speaking opportunities.

One more thing. As authors, we are expected to memorize an ‘elevator pitch’ about our books in the event at a conference or convention, we have an opportunity to impress a literary agent or publisher.

We must command his undivided attention with an opening hook, define our plot’s originality, create a desire to read our scintillating novel, convince him that our novel will become a New York Best Seller, and justify why everyone from a cowboy in Texas to a stock broker in New York will buy our book with their last dollar. All this in sixty seconds or less.

I get it. In these days of limited promotion from traditional publishing houses, or self-publishing, an author must be master at jack of all trades. It requires expertise in many skills or a staff of six to handle all the details. Though not necessarily a ‘master’ at any, I’ve become somewhat competent in most.

But never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d have to excel in a 60-second spiel about my book on the off chance I might find myself ‘riding in an elevator’ to the 38th floor of the New York Stock Exchange with a Zondervan publisher.

In my case, I imagine it might go something like this. “Uh, you’re that Zondervan guy, aren’t you? Here. Let me push this button and stop this thing. I wrote a book, see…called Mrs. Odboddy-Hometown Patriot. It’s about this quirky, old lady who sees Nazi spies…”

Elaine Faber leads an Inspire Christian Writers Critique group. She has published four cozy mysteries. Elaine’s humorous novels bring joy and laughter to her readers. Elaine believes that in this troubled world, laughter makes our days better.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

9 thoughts on “The Author’s Elevator Pitch

  1. Nice post – and so true. You must be all of those things – and more. And the 60 second pitch works in a lot more places that an elevator, and for a lot more people than an editor. Good job. I will be reading Mrs. Odboddy soon.

  2. Mrs. Odboddy is lovable and eccentric. She isn’t what you’d expect in a spy and that is part of the fun. When you read the books you are privileged to see the world with Mrs. Odboddy’s perspective. Elaine’s characters are well defined, quirky, and entertaining. Choose one of Elaine’s books and you will be transported to the 1940’s.

  3. Elaine write well written stories filled with facts that she researched. This blog about what an author is required to do to sell a few books is, unfortunately, too true. She has an advantage that many new authors are lacking, she has experience and a steady support of wonderful books Thank you Elaine.

  4. If anybody can do it, you can. I love Agnes Odboddy. She’s a real person to me. If you could ooze some of her personality into the pitch, it would be a winner. The details of what happens are secondary compared to living life with her through your pages.

  5. Spoken from a champ Elaine. Thanks for the frank article and intense writing and expression which you do so well…as well as the quirky, funny, stuff that we all love to read.
    Keep writing!!!

  6. Hi Elaine, Thank you, Mrs Odboddy just gave me an Authors insight to her personality.Thank You

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