“Let’s do the Shongweni Christmas fair,” my fellow Scribe Tribe member said.
“Great idea! They sell some fine craft beer there,” I replied.
“No, no, let’s sell our craft there.”
“What? Our books?”
“Yes, we’ll make millions!”
“Whassamatter? We’re artists, we’re local, we’re brilliant. They’d be lucky to have us!”
“And we can drink craft beer?”
“Absolutely! With all our profits!”
It seemed both logical and infallible. An elegant solution.
A means to offset both cost and thirst…
until it rained.
Huddled under a gazebo, grimly watching our books on display swell and warp like wet poppadoms was neither profitable nor elegant.
But it was enlightening: Either the public at large were way too terrified by the outward thrust of our jaws or, more likely, simply too intimidated by such a concentrated display of literary genii to approach us, for many people glanced nervously at our stall and walked on by. Make that most people. Mostly all of them….
Until, that is, my mother-in-law attacked the passing rain-soaked rabble like a pitbull and dragged them bleeding to our table. Only then did the real fun begin. I thought I was prepared, but I was not. The first grudging, “So what’s this book all about?” had me mumbling “Well, you see, it’s about a boy and he… and he kindov goes around…he kindov discovered this old Zulu relic see… and he kindov wants to…” By this time my brain is screaming ‘read the blurb on the back of the book you freak! That’s what it’s for! I’m a writer not a freakin talkshow host!’, while I’m simultaneously trying to avoid heaving at the drivel that’s spewing out my mouth.
Turns out its bloody hard to verbally sell your own book. The blurb on the back of your book you so painstakingly created simply sounds abysmal when spoken. It will not do! My fellow Scribers were faring little better, but I was, without doubt, the most useless of us all in selling my book verbally. Make no mistake, I had my elevator pitch all ready, and it worked… as chum. But what then? Joe public wanted to swallow more than a thin line of chum. He wanted a juicy chunk of sardine with his hook, and I had none to offer. In the end, Mom and Klaus sold my book for me. We did not make millions. We did not drink craft beer. It was a wakeup call.
I need to up my game. So this, then, is my challenge to you who have read my book. Help me come up with an awesome verbal intro to my book. Not a one sentence elevator pitch. I have that already. As in…
“So, what’s your book about?”
“A boy’s search for the soul of a nation.”
What I need is a ‘dinner table’ pitch. Something that rolls seamlessly off the tongue. Something that tantalises! Something that intrigues without giving away the farm! Oh, and it has to fit into about ten seconds, max! That’s about all the time a prospect has.
And in return, I offer you immortality! I offer you a chance to have your name assigned to a character in my next book…where it shall live on for eternity! Post your answers here or on my FB page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Entries close on 31 Dec. Winner to be announced in the new year!
Have a happy Christmas!