by Carol Burnside
THEN: A few years ago, authors sought out the best methods to build an enticing pitch, elevator pitch, a synopsis and query letters. We honed our “elevator pitches,” so called in case we ran into an editor in an elevator and needed to pitch in mere seconds. We learned how to boil down the essence of our book into two pages, how to hook with just the flavor of it in a query. Some authors still pitch as we did then, still looking for traditional publication. Some do their pitches via online submissions to digital first publishers. But a lot of authors are turning, either partially or completely, to the Indie market.
NOW: These days the Indie author is still using his/her pitching skills, but our focus has changed. We’re pitching the book to buyers, the readers. Talents we developed are still in play, just in different ways. A mini synopsis is our book description without giving away the ending, the pitch is our backcover blurb, the elevator pitch our logline or caption under a cover ad. Some retail sites want no more than 4000 characters as our description (including spaces), others less. Even online, ad space is at a premium and requires as little as 20 words.
In addition to the old skills we continue to hone, the independently published author must learn to hire publishing services done such as editing and cover art and formatting of e-files for uploading or learn to do them competently. It’s an interesting time in publishing and there are new things to learn every day.
If you’re an author, what new skills have you learned lately?
If you’re a reader, what differences have you noticed, if any, in the books of today?