As writers, we can get lost in our work. Personally when I write, I am not just following one simple plot. There is the main plot, then there is also sub-plots mixed heavily with characters' feelings with what is going on in their world. So when someone asks me about usually I struggle a little to really explain what it's about.
Also, as you are trying to build an audience,it's not as simple as that either. It's marketing... a word some of us writers are not totally comfortable with. But you must assimilate or get lost in the mix.
Recently I found a great podcast discussing this very subject. You should definitely give it a listen and check out their other podcasts, as I certainly plan to do.
For now though here are some tips I gathered from said podcast that stuck out to me. I haven't gotten to put them into practice just yet, but maybe when I am out this weekend I will get a chance.
Normally you have less than a minute to tell someone about your book. Essentially it's what you would call an "30 second elevator pitch". You want to intrigue them in those 30 seconds so they want to know more about your book.
Don't have the same elevator pitch either,
- Consider who is asking
- Consider what you want them to get out of your book
- What is it is that makes your book unique?
Ask them questions to lead into what your book is about. So for Mistaken, maybe I would ask.
"Do you enjoy reading about unsolved crimes? Cases of mistaken identity?"
If they say yes, well hey! My book has both those things! Now they might be interested in hearing more...but what if they say no to both?
"Do you know anyone that does ? Oh your mother would love my book then!"
Now that you know they might be interested, you can explain a little bit more about your book.
My book Mistaken follows a girl after her fiancé was murdered. The crime remains unsolved until his twin brother shows up one night. A twin she never knew he had. The book largely focuses on the relationship between these two as they both inch closer to her fiance's killer.
I've already got them hooked by my questions, and now I offered a quick synopsis of my book in less than 30 seconds. Now what? They seem very interested!
Don't forget to tell them how to buy your book. Keep business cards handy. Better yet, try and get their contact info.
Talking about your book is about building relationships with people, you don't want to do all of the talking and change it up based on who you talk to. You also want to be persuasive and show why your book is unique. Figuring out which questions to ask will take time and experience and you may not hit the nail on the head every time but the more you talk about your book, the more comfortable you will get marketing.