“What’s Your Book About?”


If you’re published you will get multiple opportunities to present your book pitch. Be ready. It’s inevitable and something any author desiring sales should compose, practice, and be ready to recite in an instant.

During my book sales and signings, I have people walk up to my booth, pick up a copy of one of my works. They’ll turn it over, peruse the back cover, flip quickly through the pages before asking, “What’s the book about?”

I doubt L. Frank Baum ever mentioned his Wizard Of Oz in any form was about two women trying to kill each other over shoes, but I admit the short, humorous statement grabbed my attention. And that’s what your book pitch should do, albeit not quite so short. But it should hook your potential readers and book purchasers. But how to do that?

Joel Friedlander has some very helpful advice on this subject. I’ve re-posted a portion but I encourage anyone to visit Joel’s post for more on constructing your book pitch. Here’s just a portion of what Joel has to say on the subject:

Imagine for a moment that you’ve hopped into an elevator on your way somewhere. You’re carrying the proof of your book that just arrived from the printer. A gentleman sharing the elevator notices your book and says, “Hey, that looks interesting. What’s it about?”

What’s your response? Do you fumble, start in one direction then go in another? Do you find yourself just getting started when the elevator reaches the floor where this fellow has to get off? Have you made the most of this opportunity?

As an author, you will be asked many times what your book is about. Sometimes these inquiries are idle elevator chatter, but sometimes you’ll be asked the question by people crucial to your book’s success.

At a trade show, for example, you might get asked the same question and have about the same amount of time to answer. Talking to a bookstore buyer falls into the same category.

Those first 30 seconds are critical.

Will your pitch draw people in, make them curious about your book, and let them know right away whether or not it’s for them?

Your book pitch has to accomplish a number of things at the same time, and do them quickly and efficiently.

It has to give a good idea of the book’s genre, main hook or distinctive angle and why it’s different, exciting, or ground-breaking in some way.

Consider that all this information must be delivered in 40 to 60 seconds, and you can see why crafting a great pitch is a bit of an art form.

The sole purpose of a pitch is to create interest in your book. It has to make people want to know more.


Learn more by visiting Joel’s post “Why Your Book Pitch Matters (Even If You’re Self-Published)” 


6 thoughts on ““What’s Your Book About?”

  1. Interesting post, Jack. I’ve read that Joel Friedlander advice before and often thought about it. Perhaps I should stop the thinking and write something down. The thing is, I’ve never really needed a short book pitch, as I don’t do book fairs or bookstore sales and signings as you do. I’m only just getting my books into print. I’ll just to have to sort out the best way to sell my print books, other than through Amazon. Your post jolted me into thinking about that, so thank you.

    • Most welcome, Millie. Happy to help 🙂 Your books are wonderful and I think you would be great at a book fair or any similar venue. It took me a long time to get my pitch just right. My advice: start now! 🙂

      • Thank you, as always, Jack. I’ll have to look into where all the book fairs are held in the UK. You do seem to be very successful at such places, so it must be worth while. 🙂

    • Yes, Jean, please reblog if you want. I’m constantly reworking my pitch. Of course, when approached by buyers, I usually change it up (due to malfunctioning brain, I imagine.) 🙂

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