If you like to Read, would you like to Help?

flying free cover 2290x1520mm

Just when I thought the hard part was over, I find it’s only just beginning.

Writing an 88,600 word novel was the easiest part of the process.

Then came the editing, a lot of hard, hard work.

For me, writing comes easily. I think in stories, with scenes and characters jostling to flow from imagination to writing. Editing takes much more concentration because, not only do I have to read through the story to see if it reads as it played out in my head, I have to make sure it is grammatically correct, with spelling and punctuation as they should be, and make sure I have shown you my story, not just told you. I have to ensure it has colour and sound, smell and taste, that it engages your senses as well as your mind.

All of that I love, even the proof editing. Now for the difficult part. How to market my novel. As satisfying as I found it to write and prepare, and I long to see it there on my bookshelf beside my other two novels, it would be nice to share it with a wider audience. And that is where you come in, dear reader, as Jane Austin would call you.

The novel is ready, the cover is ready, I think the blurb for the back cover is ready…and here’s where you can help.

I need an elevator pitch: the couple of sentences I could rattle out if someone said, ‘What’s your latest novel about?’ and I only had the length of an elevator ride to the next floor to pitch it. The purpose is not to tell you all about it, I hope the blurb will go a little way with that, the purpose of the elevator pitch is to whet your appetite.

So, here goes. I have prepared four pitches. Please, dear, sweet, kind reader, could you tell me which, if any, piques your interest? Which one would make you ask, as you step out of the elevator, ‘I’d like to know more.’

Number 1:

When Tom asks Jayne to marry him, he unwittingly opens her personal Pandora’s Box, and now she can’t seem to close the lid on it. Poignant and moving, punctuated by humour and insight, Flying Free is a powerful novel of love and loss, abuse and healing, honesty and hope.

Number 2:

Flying Free is a contemporary novel of love, loss, and loyalty. It takes the reader through a process of healing so powerful it offers hope for anyone caught in the trap of an abusive past.

Number 3:

Flying Free follows a woman on her quest to find healing from her abusive past in order to have a satisfying future. This contemporary novel is packed with insight and wisdom, humour and hope.

Number 4:

Flying Free is an atmospheric contemporary novel that tantalises the reader with glimpses of seaside and city, suggestions of classical music, and infusions of wisdom and insight. The central core round which these things revolve is hope and healing, love and loyalty.

~~~

Now, if none of those grabs your attention, HELP!

I need suggestions.

Are there elements in some of them that I could put together to make one better pitch?

Or is it back to the drawing board?

~~~

And now for the blurb, the text for the back of the book. It’s not much longer, but we’d maybe need to travel two floors in the elevator for this one.

~~~

When Tom asks Jayne to marry him, he unwittingly opens her personal Pandora’s Box, and now she can’t seem to close the lid on it. It’s affecting her ability to commit to their relationship.

 When she finds someone to help her make sense of what’s happening to her, instead of slamming the lid shut on all that has been let loose from her past, he helps her open it wider and makes her face her fears in order to overcome them. 

As in the fable, there is one last thing left in Jayne’s Box: hope.

This novel traces a woman’s struggle to become the woman she wants to be in order to marry the man she loves.

 A contemporary novel about people who could be your neighbours, your friends, or even you.

~~~

What do you think?

I’d really value your opinion.

~~~

77 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. lesley richards
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 11:35:15

    No 1 gets my vote 🙂

    ________________________________

    Like

    Reply

  2. michellejoycebond
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 11:35:57

    For the blurb, I liked the first one best. You get a quick picture of the characters and their actions. The others are too general. I might expand the blurb a bit as well. Take a look at several books in your genre at the library or bookstore. Study how they sell the book with their blurbs. 🙂

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 11, 2013 @ 15:45:47

      Thank you, Michelle. I shall see about expanding it a little. Did wonder if it was just too brief. Funny, I’ve been writing for years, but find this such a difficult thing to do. Always struggle with synopsis, whether it’s five pages, one page, or a few sentences. Will take your suggestion. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

  3. sue
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 11:44:31

    I like the first one too and if you are looking for a reader and reviewer contact me. I’d be happy to help and promote on 2 friends promote with authors over 3000 members

    Like

    Reply

  4. Ginnie Lumsden
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 12:34:36

    I like your blurb for the back cover.
    As for the elevator pitch, I like 3 first & 2 second. I like their brevity; they address your core theme, & make ME want to find out HOW she overcomes her obstacle …with help. I like optimistic endings.

    Like

    Reply

  5. Ginnie Lumsden
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 12:56:25

    I left comment on Blog and in Facebook…hope you get both.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Like

    Reply

  6. Mary J. McCoy-Dressel
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 13:57:00

    I like number one. It gives the name of both characters. The last sentence gives some insight into why the box can’t be closed.

    Like

    Reply

  7. Casper
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 14:41:12

    Flying Free traces Jayne’s struggles to become the woman she wants to be in order to marry Tom, the man she loves. But first, she must close the box in which has been opened.
    I hope this gets you where you need. Enjoy and congrats!

    Like

    Reply

  8. Jessi (Book Cove Reviews)
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 15:29:32

    I like 1 and 3. I like 1 because it tells a little more about the book. But depending on when the marriage proposal takes place in the book, maybe that’s giving something away? In that case I like 3.

    Like

    Reply

  9. Kenny Campbell
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 15:34:12

    #4 – When i read the word abuse or abusive, the book goes back on the shelf !!
    i am however, probably not your target market !!

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 11, 2013 @ 16:22:03

      Thanks, Kenny. Did wonder about that. I think some people are put off and others want to know how she overcomes the abuse. It’s a difficult subject to write about, but I do try to deal with it sensitively, not graphically, and concentrate more on the healing. Appreciate your taking the time and commenting. Thank you.

      Like

      Reply

  10. Anonymous
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 15:49:47

    ! & 3 also make me interested by the story.The word “abuse” doesn’t scare me away, but moving from abuse to a satisfying life is is a story I’d read.

    Like

    Reply

  11. Closed the Cover (@ClosedTheCover)
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 16:01:11

    #4, then #2, then #3 and lastly #1. #1 is wayyy down on the list though, honestly I probably wouldn’t think twice about it. 4, 2, and 3 are teasers which pique my interest whereas #1 turns me off. Sorry, I’m trying to be direct and honest, not mean.

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 11, 2013 @ 16:30:54

      Hey! There’s nothing mean about your honesty. That’s what I asked for. Even had you said they are all rubbish I would appreciate your honest opinion. I asked for help because I really do need it! Thank you. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

  12. sewicked
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 16:26:42

    I favor the 1st one. Possibly include the word ‘contemporary’ in ‘powerful novel’ in the last sentence. Good luck

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 11, 2013 @ 16:34:24

      Thank you, sewicked. I’ve taken note of your suggestion.
      Isn’t it interesting how some folks love and some folks hate the likes of Number 1?
      Lots of me to take into consideration. I’m loving it.

      Like

      Reply

  13. thebookdivasreads
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 16:48:05

    I like #3 and #2, but must add that the last sentence in #1 packs a punch.

    Like

    Reply

  14. sharonscorde
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 16:59:36

    I like the first one. I’m put off by the forth one. I like the blurb but would miss out the last sentence. I absolutely love the cover – just perfect!

    Like

    Reply

  15. authorleannedyck
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 17:51:18

    I like 3.

    Like

    Reply

  16. Dee Ann Waite
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 17:59:33

    Hi Christine. I think I would combine #4 and #1:

    When Tom asks Jayne to marry him, he unwittingly opens her personal Pandora’s Box, and now she can’t seem to close the lid on it. Poignant and moving, Flying Free is an atmospheric contemporary novel that tantalises the reader with glimpses of seaside and city, suggestions of classical music, and infusions of wisdom and insight. It takes the reader through the elements of love, loss, abuse, healing, honesty, and hope.

    The cover is beautiful and I would pick it up if I saw it sitting on a shelf.

    Regarding the back blurb: Paragraphs #1 and #2 seem to repeat. You should expand with a bit more ‘meat’, maybe a little more about an issue or two. End it with a question…”But will she overcome enough to be the wife Tom needs?

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 11, 2013 @ 23:44:36

      I’m delighted you like the cover, Dee Ann, and I hope you will pick it up when it’s published…which should be pretty soon. Your comments are very helpful. I like your revised pitch and am looking at changing the blurb a little along the lines you suggest too. Working on it.
      Thank you.

      Like

      Reply

  17. Tanya Miranda
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 19:10:16

    I went to a pitchapalooza competition in NYC where you pitch your book to multiple agents at once, at a podium, and then get critiqued by those same agents on your pitch. Here is what I took away from that session:

    #1 – Your pitch should be SPOKEN in less than 1 minute. They actually use a timer when you’re speaking. Their whole thing is if you can’t describe the book in less than 1 minute, verbally, then you’ve lost your listener’s attention.

    #2 – If you’ve got #1 nailed down, then the book blurb should be similar to your pitch with just a little extra. This would also be the email you send to agents/publishers, if you choose to go that route. The idea is the same, you want to entice your readers/agents/publishers as quickly as possible.

    I think combining a few key parts from each of them would work. I also think ending with a question is a good idea. Questions make me want to read the book to find out the answer.

    So, knowing nothing else about your book, here is my suggestion:

    —————
    When Tom asks Jayne to marry him, he unwittingly opens her personal Pandora’s Box. Instead of allowing Jayne to slam the lid shut on all that has been let loose from her past, Tom opens it wider. He forces Jayne to come face to face with her fears, with her abusive history, in an attempt to overcome them.

    Now she can’t seem to close the lid. If she can’t come to terms with her unresolved issues, then she might lose her chance to marry the love of her life. Will Jayne’s allow her painful past to get in the way of her happiness, or will she become the strong woman she has always wanted to be and accept Tom’s proposal?

    —————

    I may be completely off on the tone or even the suggestion that she had an abusive history. I loved #4, it’s poetic and lyrical, but it seemed like a critique on the book and didn’t necessarily tell me what the book was about. It may be better suited at the end of the book blurb and not necessarily the pitch.

    Please feel free to edit, delete, laugh out loud, or have a shot of Godiva chocolate liquor in response to this email. I would COMPLETELY understand.

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 11, 2013 @ 23:54:10

      Who’s laughing, Tanya? Though the chocolate sounds good 🙂
      Your comments were great; very helpful. LOVE the pitchapalooza competition! You have given me so much to think about. Thank you. I am looking forward to getting in about the pitch and the blurb again.
      Please don’t think I’ve ignored some parts of your suggestions if I don’t use them in the end, it’s just that, without your knowing the story, there are some parts that don’t fit.
      What fun this is! I’m so delighted with all these great suggestions and feedback.

      Like

      Reply

  18. Vashti Quiroz-Vega
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 19:33:00

    I like the first one, but the 2nd line of #2 is striking. If you could somehow add that line to #1 I think it’d be very good.

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 11, 2013 @ 23:56:40

      Point taken, Vashti. I’ll let you see what I come up with in the end.
      Thank you so much for your input. I’m evaluating all the comments, trying to see the common denominators, and, hopefully, I’ll end up with something that works. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

  19. Gillian wightman
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 19:37:04

    No 1 got me dying to read it

    Like

    Reply

  20. julie barrett
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 20:18:12

    I like #3 because it’s not giving too much away and gives you a hint of what’s to come

    Like

    Reply

  21. Rebecca Ferrell Porter
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 20:51:33

    I agree. The market pitch is the hardest part. I’ve struggled to, but let’s see if I can help.
    I like your blub better than your elevator speeches. If I had to choose one as is, I would choose 1. the others just sound like fluff to my ear.

    When Tom asks Jayne to marry him, he unwittingly opens her personal Pandora’s Box, and now she can’t seem to close the lid. Flying Frees is a contemporary novel about people who could be your neighbours, your friends, or even you–anyone one one of us who has locked away an abusive past.

    I think the bit about healing and overcoming her past is implied by the subject. Just adding my two cents from a distance.

    Like

    Reply

  22. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 22:17:20

    I’m with Vashti on this one, No.1 gives you a bried outline of the story but 2 does toalk to a reader personally so perhap incorporate that as a second paragraph.

    Like

    Reply

  23. cicampbell2013
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 00:03:18

    Thanks, Yolanda. Yes, it’s beginning to look like I’ll end up with a pitch combined of elements of the different ones, which is great. I asks for help and it’s absolutely great how much help I’m getting. It’s invaluable and I feel touched and honoured that so many of you have taken the time and trouble to read the post, think about it and respond. x

    Like

    Reply

  24. Rebecca Jean Downey
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 05:32:58

    No. 2 has mine.

    Like

    Reply

  25. viqe
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 07:50:06

    Number 1 is the best I think and the blurb is fantastic! Looking forward to reading your new novel 🙂 Xx

    Like

    Reply

  26. Katie Cross
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 10:47:19

    I liked number three the best, as it focused more on what the story would be about and less about what I could get from it as far as hope, humor, etc, while still retaining those elements.

    I enjoyed your blurb. It definitely caught my attention and kept it. I can see the general set up/direction of the story.

    Loving, loving the cover as well! How exciting.

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 13, 2013 @ 00:30:17

      Thank you so much, Katie, for taking the time to read and comment. I’m loving all the help I’m getting here. You’re all getting the old brain cells working on what is essentially a new skill for me. Brevity. Not my strongest skill!
      So pleased you like the blurb and the cover.

      Like

      Reply

  27. jorobinson176
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 13:41:07

    I liked number one – made me want to read it, and I love the back cover blurb. And I LOVE the cover.

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 13, 2013 @ 00:33:37

      Thank you, Jo. Number one seems closest to what I need to the pitch I need to write. I’m so pleased you like the blurb and the cover. My son-in-law helped me with the over. I had the picture in my mind and he managed to make it real and I’m very happy with it.

      Like

      Reply

  28. kim hodges
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 18:56:51

    I read number one and now i totally want the book. The cover is beautiful, and i want to check out your other work.

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 13, 2013 @ 00:36:46

      Thank you, Kim. As I said to Jo. Number one is proving closest to what’s needed. I hope you enjoy the book when it comes out…which shouldn’t be too much longer, I hope. In the meantime, please do check out my other novels. You’ll find links and details here on the blog, under ‘Books’ on the menu. Enjoy! 🙂

      Like

      Reply

  29. Robert Black
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 19:42:18

    Hmm… I think #1 is the best one. And the cover is fantastic. Wish you good luck with your novel!

    Like

    Reply

  30. Ginnie Lumsden
    Dec 12, 2013 @ 20:31:07

    Section on Svc. meeting tonight re Introductions reminded me of your ‘elevator pitch’ & requirements & goals…I know you know where to source that information. You might run your final one past some of those suggestions. Such a variety of suggestions you got!

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 13, 2013 @ 00:43:56

      Yes, Ginnie, will try to have all these things on mind when I have another shot at it.
      Isn’t it terrific that so many people have been kind enough to respond with such great help and suggestions? I’m loving it and finding it so encouraging. X

      Like

      Reply

  31. Donna Wharton
    Dec 13, 2013 @ 23:45:03

    I found #3 to be my pick. It was an easy to grasp, to the point synopsis. So if you only had a moment in time to get a point across to someone, #3 is the one you should pick. Sweet, flowing, short, to the point. 🙂

    Like

    Reply

    • Christine Campbell
      Dec 14, 2013 @ 01:21:59

      Thank you, Donna. As you can see, I have quite a variety of opinions to sift through, which I’m delighted about. It’s looking as though I’ll end up with a bit of a conglomeration of the best bits of each pitch!
      I really do appreciate your comments, and I hope you’ll not be too disappointed if I don’t stick with number three as it is. 🙂

      Like

      Reply

  32. hannah jackson
    Dec 14, 2013 @ 22:35:27

    I was most enticed to read the book by example 1 and I think the blurb sounds great

    Like

    Reply

  33. Anonymous
    Dec 14, 2013 @ 23:42:16

    Number one

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 15, 2013 @ 01:53:14

      Thank you. As you can perhaps see from the other comments, number one seems by far the most popular. In my next post, you’ll see that I’ve used it as the basis for another try to make it even better.

      Like

      Reply

  34. Jennie Mack-mason
    Dec 15, 2013 @ 07:02:26

    I like number 1, xxx

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 15, 2013 @ 16:59:35

      Thank you, Jennie. If you have a peep at my next post, you’ll see I agree and have added a little to it to make it appeal to those who chose differently. Hoping it makes you want to read the book 🙂

      Like

      Reply

  35. definitelynotapoet
    Dec 16, 2013 @ 05:18:19

    I like the first one best. The others are a little off putting for two reasons: starting with the title seems forced and unnatural, and the others seem to tell the reader what they are going to get out of it. I think having a more conversational tone, and talking about what the characters experience is more intriguing than hearing how the story might help the reader.

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 16, 2013 @ 15:50:23

      Thank you. A very helpful comment with which I am inclined to agree. The first one was the one I had in mind. The others I modeled on other people’s pitches, sort of using theirs as a template. An exercise that doesn’t seem to have worked too well, but was interesting to try. I had little confidence in my own ideas, but comments like yours have been very encouraging and reinforcing.

      Like

      Reply

  36. hilarycustancegreen
    Dec 17, 2013 @ 17:06:33

    Hmm. No 1 feels like a Blurb rather than an elevator pitch – i.e. something you read, not something you listen too. I find 2 much better as a start and I can imagine it in conversation, though it needs more information. No 4 would probably sell it to me, because of the Classical music reference, but I am not a publisher.

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Dec 17, 2013 @ 19:49:20

      Thank you, Hilary. Funny, I tried recording them so that I could hear what they sound like and I do agree with you. I think the pitch I’ve ended up with is going to be for a written one, and I’ll have to find a way of putting over the information that sounds better when spoken.

      Like

      Reply

  37. Lynn
    Dec 29, 2013 @ 17:20:38

    I like the last elevator pitch
    The first is too close to the text at the back, which reads very well by the way

    Like

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow cicampbellblog on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: