Alrighty, then. Now that you see the wisdom in creating an elevator pitch that you can whip out in a crisis, (such as serendipitously sharing a taxi ride to the airport with Arthur Levine), let’s talk about what information your pitch needs to convey.
Getting right to it…
8 THINGS EVERY ELEVATOR PITCH SHOULD CONVEY
- Title–an interesting title can pique an editor/agent’s interest before she/he even hears the premise.
- Genre–don’t stop with “MG” or “YA”, let him/her know if it’s a mystery, romance, etc.
- Age and sex of your protagonist–the agent/editor doesn’t need the character’s name at this point. Hit her/him up front with the information that will let him/her decide which age group the story would be marketed to. (PB, YA and MG cover a lot of ground.)
- Word count–so the editor/agent can see you’re in the ballpark. And you’re a professional who understands industry standards.
- The Main Conflict–don’t go into any subplots or convoluted relationship explanations, they’ll only muddy the waters. Your main plot should be interesting enough to grab attention.
- The Stakes–problems are a lot more interesting when you know what calamity will befall the character if he doesn’t succeed.
- The Genius–what is it that makes your story unique? Is it the setting, a plot twist, a character trait, bizarre antagonist? The agent/editor wants to know what separates your manuscript from the rest in her/his slushpile.
- Voice–inject a bit of the tone of your manuscript. If it’s humorous, then be funny. Let the editor/agent get a taste of your writing.
“But Lisha,” you cry, “how will I ever get all this information into a few sentences?”
Ah, do not worry my little pets. Next time, I will give you a formula to make all your wildest dreams come true.