Could You Sell Your Book in Twenty Seconds?
Picture this: You’re in an elevator, your book cupped in your hand, the title clearly visible to the other person in the elevator. While riding from floor 1 to floor 19, she asks, “What is From Fat to Fit about?
You respond: “You’ll be inspired by the amazing Community Meltdown, which motivated 1,000 people to have fun while losing 8,000 pounds in 8 weeks, and my personal story as I went from fat to fit and lost 62 pounds.”
When the elevator lands at her stop, she says, “Sounds great. I’ve got to get a copy.”
Can you sell your book in 20 seconds? Can you describe the benefits to your readers in 30 words? Can you provide solutions to your readers’ problems in the time it takes an elevator to go 18 floors?
Sell in Short Bursts
When the average attention span is as short as eight seconds, you don’t have much time to educate someone about your book and why he or she needs it.
The Non-Fiction Sell
So, how do you create a compelling and informative elevator speech for your book–and not use more than a sentence or two? Start with these steps:
- Define who your readers are (males, females, twenty-somethings, baby boomers, Democrats, Republicans, etc.).
- Describe at least 3 benefits that your readers will gain from reading your book (these are verbs–for example, discover the secrets to _____________, learn how to ____________).
- Determine the three problems that your readers have and the solutions that your book provides.
Now review the answers to 1, 2, and 3 and create a 25-word elevator speech. Read it to your publishing colleagues (your editor, your designer, your marketing department) and see if they understand what you’re selling. If not, create a new 25-word elevator speech from the information above, and try it again.
Do this until you have one that works, and then memorize it.
The Fiction Sell
If your book is fiction, you still need to identify your readers (step #1). However, the benefits in step #2 are a bit different: What will the reader experience: passion, adventure, danger?
And step #3 for fiction needs to be a compelling, tantalizing description (a carrot) to get the reader to say “I want to read that.”
In sales, it’s as important to know when not to talk as it is to know when to talk.
Give your 25-word elevator speech and then be quiet and wait for a response. If the person wants more information, you should have a 50-word speech that follows up what you’ve said and provides additional benefits (more verbs), features (nouns–for example, 100 ways to sell your house), and solutions.
The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy–It helps expectant women achieve a healthy pregnancy by learning how to recognize high-risk conditions and avoid inherent weaknesses in our healthcare system.
Saddle Up Your Own White Horse–It’s a refreshing look at how women can create the life they want, offering work-life strategies that provide the balance between being a feminist and a doormat.
(from Parade magazine)
The Vacationers–To escape tensions at home, the dysfunctional clan at the center of Emma Straub’s smart new novel head to Mallorca for a two-week stay–and pack their problems along with them.
The Smoke at Dawn–Civil War history fiends will enjoy this book, which is set in the last stage of the great conflict and culminates in the Battle of Chattanooga.
Sharon is giving away a 30-minute one-on-one consultation about self-publishing.
(a $150 value)
Want to win this giveaway? Simply leave a comment WHY below!
All comments must be left prior to midnight on Monday, May 13th, 2019 in order to be eligible to win. Winners for the week announced on Tuesday, May 14th.
Sharon Goldinger | PeopleSpeak
Sharon Goldinger, the owner of PeopleSpeak, is a book shepherd, editor, and publishing consultant specializing in nonfiction books. With an eye for details, she leads authors and publishers through the often-complicated publishing process and uses her business, marketing, and editorial experience to help produce exceptional award-winning books.
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