As an author, you've probably been asked, "What is your book about?" more times than you can count. This question, while seemingly simple, is an opportunity to win over a prospective reader or stakeholder in the blink of an eye. It's akin to delivering an elevator pitch for your book; it needs to be concise, compelling, and tantalizing.
Here's a roadmap to help you construct a captivating synopsis, or a TLDR (Too Long; Didn't Read) version of your book that enthralls your listener from the get-go.
Begin by identifying the core elements of your story.
What sets your book apart from others in your genre? It could be your unique narrative voice, a distinctive character, an original premise, or an intriguing plot twist. Try to summarize this in one or two compelling sentences.
Your pitch may vary depending on who you're speaking to.
Most people want to know:
Your pitch should ideally be about 100 to 150 words, or roughly one minute when spoken aloud. Keep it succinct but make sure it's intriguing enough to leave the listener wanting more.
Finally, practice your pitch. It should flow naturally and not sound rehearsed. You want to spark interest, ignite curiosity, and, most importantly, invite the listener to delve into your narrative.
If someone were to ask Shakespeare what his Romeo & Juliet is about, using these guidelines, he might say:
"Romeo and Juliet is a tragic love story, a play that delves into the emotional human experience. The narrative follows the lives of two young lovers, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet, from feuding families in Verona. Defying their families and societal norms, they choose to pursue their forbidden love, creating a heart-wrenching drama that explores themes of youthful passion, loyalty, and the destructive potential of unabated hatred.
The story stands out due to its exploration of youthful defiance and the cost of enmity, presenting love as both a unifying and destructive force. It draws readers into a captivating world of Renaissance Italy, with its societal norms, traditions, and conflicts.
To a reader, I would say this tale will take you on a tumultuous journey of love, passion, and heartbreak. To a bookseller or publisher, I'd highlight the play's universal themes and emotions that have stood the test of time, appealing to audiences across different eras and cultures. In an interview, I might share how I've used the narrative to challenge and critique societal norms and family structures of the time, hoping to provoke thought and conversation among my audience."
Remember, as an author, your job isn't just to write the book but also to articulate its essence in a way that draws readers into your imagined world. The next time someone asks you, "What is your book about?" consider it your chance to offer them a compelling invitation to a new literary adventure.
Your book is your masterpiece, and the way you pitch it should reflect the excitement, mystery, or delight contained within its pages. So, craft your pitch wisely, for it's the gateway to your book's soul!