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The Elevator Pitch: Sell Your Book in 60 Seconds or Less

Award-winning writer Kathy Widenhouse has helped hundreds of nonprofits and writers produce successful content and has gained 600K+ views for her writing tutorials. She is the author of 9 books. See more of Kathy’s content here.

An online devotional for writers

A Word From The Word

After the death of Moses the Lord’s servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ assistant. (Joshua 1:1, NLT

A Word For Writers

The Elevator Pitch: a #devotional for writers based on Joshua 1:1 with Word Wise at Nonprofit Copywriter #WritingTips #WritingABook

Why do you need an elevator pitch for your book?

Because you’re selling a solution … not a book. 

Use your elevator pitch when people ask, “What’s your book about?” You need to answer that question in less than a minute – in the amount of time it takes you to take a ride in an elevator with an agent or and editor, in case you’re looking for a publisher. And you can use the same pitch with potential readers.

Since the average person speaks about 100-150 words a minute, you need to keep your elevator pitch to that length. You need to include:

  • A hook
  • The problem your book addresses 
  • A solution to the problem 
  • Your target reader

Joshua 1:1-5 is a good example of an elevator pitch. And it clocks in at 142 words!

  • Hook: “the Lord spoke to Joshua.” When you consider a story that can capture attention, a heavenly conversation clearly qualifies. (Joshua 1:1)
  • Problem: Moses has died. Joshua is designated to lead the Israelites into the Promised Land. (Joshua 1:2)
  • Solution: God promises Joshua success (Joshua 1:3-5)
  • Target reader: the people of Israel (Joshua 1:2)

Joshua wrote the history of the conquest of Canaan. But he had a perfect elevator pitch in the first five verses of his book.

A Wise Word

Your book’s elevator pitch should take a minute or less to deliver.

A Word To Pray

Gracious Father,

Thank you for giving me an idea for a book. Show me how to distill my book’s message into a short elevator pitch that I can deliver in a minute.

In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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