Congratulations! You’ve written nearly half of your book. You know your characters inside out. You know by heart exactly what chapter, page and paragraph your hero confesses his undying love for the damsel. You knew the ending before you started writing the second chapter and have a good grasp on the sequel. And then…you bump into an old friend and chat about your work. The friend asks what the book is about—your book. Suddenly, you’re rambling on about how great your hero kicks butt and what happens next without actually answering the question.
Is this a lost in the moment thing? Or, are you simply not prepared?
Several years ago when I started working on screenplays, I wanted to learn how to present what the industry calls an “elevator pitch.” This is an effective tool used to draw interest in what you want to pitch. The pitcher sums up what his/her story is about in a couple sentences. In the early stages of my book, people I’d run into would ask what the book was about. What could I say? There was no one sentence scrolling across my mind at the time, so I would just say it’s a modern-day Greek myth story. Now it wasn’t that I forgot how to sum up my stories quick, I just wasn’t prepared to answer so soon. My mind was swirling with editing and making changes to the story and my blurb was left on the back burner.
By the time I was driving back home, I felt like a complete idiot, embarrassed that there was nothing to offer up to potential fans, nothing they could look forward to loving or hating about my story. I was NOT prepared! But BELIEVE…the blurbs began as soon as I walked in my front door.
It’s one thing to not want to give away key points to your story, but it’s another not to have a good, solid blurb for your book ready at all. The thing about a pitch or a blurb is that it can be as short as a sentence and you can play with the wording a little as you pitch to different people. Be prepared. Write summaries and break them down into one or two sentences.
Memorize the one you feel is the best and start practicing them on yourself and then others. DO BLAB YOUR BLURBS! Run it cross different people, even strangers and look for their reaction because this can help you add or loosen the edge to your summary.
The biggest thing is to start working on your blurb as soon as you have a firm grasp on the storyline—earliest stage. Even if you change certain elements of the story, but plan to keep the same plot, your blurb will still work. Don’t hold back. Write the best blurb that captures and enhances your story. Entice your audience, leaving them wanting more!
Here are some links to help: