Say It in a Sentence

Can you present your book idea in one sentence?

Can you present that idea in such a way that the reader is compelled to buy your book?

What motivates someone to spend money on a book? It is the promise that there is something of benefit to me, the reader.

Books are generally purchased for one of three reasons:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Information
  3. Inspiration

If your book idea can make me want to read it, whether it is for entertainment, information, or inspiration, then you are well on your way to making a sale.

This isn’t only about your title (although your title is the quickest way to get someone’s attention); it is about your pitch. That 25-words-or-fewer sound bite that instantly conveys your message.

Create something that makes me, a cynical curmudgeon, say, “Now that is interesting.” (Which by the way will help sway the grumpy, “I’ve seen it all” person in the sales or marketing department at a publishing company.)

Your pitch becomes your editor’s pitch,
which becomes your publisher’s pitch,
which becomes your retailer’s pitch,
And the consumer’s buy-it pitch,
which becomes the word-of-mouth pitch.

Did the picture at the top of the post get your attention? Did it make you smile? Did it make you want a taco? If so, it was the perfect pitch.


[An earlier version of this post ran in October 2011.]


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