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The Importance of Your Elevator Pitch and Tagline

The elevator pitch is so important to authors that Linwood Barclay even titled one of his bestselling novels 'Elevator Pitch'. In case you haven't heard the term, it refers to the short time between floors on an elevator ride that you would have to catch someone's attention in your product and interest them enough that they want to hear more about it.

The term is as easily applied to novels or plays as it is to physical products. What is the relevance of the elevator pitch to authors? Simple: when someone asks about your book you have only a short time to interest them in it enough that they want to read it before their attention diverts to another topic. Therefore, you need to have thought out your elevator pitch in advance. You should have it ready to roll off your tongue at any time.


Many years ago, it was fellow author, Allison Symes, who said to me "You better like your first book, you'll be promoting it for the rest of your life".

In order to be able to promote your novel or play, remember that your pitch must be short and concise. You have about thirty seconds to create sufficient interest in your work. This may allow you to highlight two or three points of interest.


Precisely what you choose to highlight may vary according to the interests of the reader to whom you are speaking. Tailor the points you make, but do remember to tell your audience the title of your book and your own name.


Make sure the pitch is memorable. Don't fill it with facts, interest or entertain your audience. You want them to remember you, your book and the whole point is to make them want to read your book. Smile, look them in the eye when you speak and don't rush your words.


Likewise, novels will have a tagline on the cover of the book. The tagline serves the same purpose in print as the elevator pitch does in person. The importance of the tagline is to hook the reader in one sentence so that they want to invest their time in reading your book.

Like the elevator pitch, the tagline must be gripping, intriguing and its sole purpose is to encourage readers to pick up and read your book.


It is worthwhile to polish your elevator pitch and your tagline and maximise interest in your work.



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