July 15, 2020-How long does an elevator ride take? Approximately 8 to 30 seconds if we’re lucky. Imagine that you’re in an elevator with a publisher, and you’ve just written a book; what would you say to them? And what would you tell them about your story?
Here’s where people get it wrong; they give too much information about their book that isn’t relevant, and the eyes of the other person start to glaze over. This is when we know we’ve lost them and that the chances of being published are probably nil. If you can’t describe your story in 2 lines, then you’re not ready to pitch a publisher.
Let’s look at how to perfect your elevator pitch:
- Start with your synopsis– A synopsis is a brief, 1 page telling of your story in a nutshell
- Tell the most exciting parts-Narrow down your synopsis to 2 sentences
- Whet their appetite-Leave your audience wanting more, entice them to ask for more information about your book
- Have a business card handy to give out your contact information– Make it easy for them to find you and get their contact info too so that you can follow up
For insider tips on how to get your work published, check out my book, Advice from a Publisher that was number 1 on Amazon available here:
May 15, 2020– Did you know that adults have an average of five minutes per day to read recreationally? I’m not kidding. We are so pressed for time because of the pace of society that we skip reading in favour of other things. As authors, how does this information help us? Novellas. But wait, what exactly is a novella, how do you write one, and why should you write one?
What it is: A novella is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel.
How to write one: Publishers typically accept a word count of 15,000 to 40,000 for novellas depending on the House. Be sure to pack your book with action from beginning to end. There is no time for backstories, and your characters need to be fully developed in less time. Because the word count is so low, you have to make your point and make it fast! Your manuscript should be nice and tight in order for your story to be wrapped up within the allotted word count. Don’t leave loose ends!
Why you should write one: A novella will test your skills as a writer, and will make you a better writer by forcing you to cut the unnecessary words and dull plot points. With such a strain on time for readers, it makes sense that authors should write books that fit busy lifestyles. Not only will you have the potential to sell more books, but you’ll also churn your books out more quickly; instead of writing a book a year, you could do 2 or more.
Novellas are here to stay! Check out Bookshots (books that are under 150 pages and leave out all the boring parts! All thriller, no filler) by James Patterson. Happy Reading! X LLB
November 23, 2018– I remember it like it was yesterday. I was having a lunch meeting with an up and coming author that I was about to sign on to my publishing house, when the waitress stopped by our table, “How is everything? What are you guys working on?”
I said, “We are discussing his book.” The waitress said, “Oh wow! Tell me about it!” That’s when things went to hell in a handbag.
The author then proceeded to tell the waitress almost every damn thing about his book from the complexity of the characters to the interwoven plot that had several twists and turns and was going to be a series. I watched politely as the waitress’ eyes glazed over and the potential author hammered the last nail into the coffin of his would be deal. He kept blabbing and going around in circles trying to prove to the waitress and perhaps to me that he was some kind of literary genius that was only resurrected once in a lifetime. It was way too much and the deal died that day on the spot. The meeting dragged on as he continued to talk about his work and I was grateful when it was finally over.
He was a good enough writer, but he definitely lacked the thing that most authors do…the conciseness of a perfectly perfected elevator pitch. After all, if this author said all this to a waitress, I was willing to bet the business that he would be even worse with prospective readers! Don’t make the same mistake that he did, when someone asks about your book, tell them about it in 1-2 sentences. Here’s what you need to know:
- Keep it short and sweet.
- Don’t forget the hook.
That’s it. It’s that easy. No more and no less. If someone were to ask me about my middle-grade novel, The Old Farmer’s Treasure in the elevator up to the sixth floor of Tiffany’s here’s what I would say, ” Imagine that you’re thirteen years old and you’ve found a deadly secret that your family has been hiding for years. You can have riches beyond your wildest dreams; all you have to do is follow the clues in a life-threatening race against time.” Short, sweet, and hooked. I guarantee if you follow those rules, that people will want to know more. That’s when you can expand on the information that you give them, not too much, but just enough.
Practice your elevator pitch for your book, you never know when you’ll be stuck inside with a reader or someone who can change your fate.
August 8, 2018– Flash fiction is something that can be very valuable to you as a writer. I know that it is to me! Writing flash fiction is something that I use when all of my focus has been on a more significant writing project such as a novel or a series of books.
So, what is it? Flash fiction is a concise form short story that is usually between 500 and 1,000 words, but no more. The point of using flash fiction is able to condense your entire story into a tiny space. Compressing your story in this way is an excellent exercise for ALL writers! It helps develop the following skills:
- It gets to the heart of the conflict.
- It boils the plot down to its bare bones.
- It lets you write without the excuse of having no time. It’s short and sweet and to the point.
Your flash fiction should include essential elements of conflict, climax, and resolution; Also, you should stay in one character’s point of view. As a bonus, writing this way often breaks the dreaded writer’s block. I challenge you to write some flash fiction today!