As an author, when you start out with an idea, you think that writing the novel is the hard part. But then you do it, you have your novel, and then … it’s time to sell. To market.
When I first started talking to people about Finders Keepers, my ‘elevator pitch’, such that it was, lasted about half an hour. Okay, maybe not a half hour, but it took me so long to explain what it was about that I exhausted myself.
Why? Because I was trying to tell it all. And that never works.
For those of you who have read it, and for those who haven’t, Finders Keepers is a raunchy scifi backpacking comedy with a lot characters, told from various points of view, wherein various story lines slowly but surely come together into a pretty crazy – and satisfying – conclusion.
So there I was, fumbling my way through the description, until it became clear that I really had to figure this out.
In total I probably spent the better part of three months scripting, and revising, and re-writing myself until finally I could recite the essence of the novel that both hooks a potential reader, and stays true to the content.
Here’s how I talk about it now:
Finders Keepers is loosely based on a series of backpacking trips that I took through Europe and New Zealand, set against the quest for a jar that contains the Universe’s DNA. It’s like American Pie/Superbad meets Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Those two sentences have helped me connect with a lot of new readers, and sell a whole bunch of books.
Just two sentences.
But coming up with those two sentences? It took a ton of work, and an endeavor I’m proud of.
Is it my personal best?
But I’ll take it.
* This post originally appeared on the Crazy 8 Press Web site at http://www.crazy8press.com/2014/03/11/personal-best-the-finders-keepers-elevator-pitch/