Here are some things I learned to memorize long ago. Try them. See if you can add a few words.
- My country tis of thee…
- Tomorrow, and tomorrow and tomorrow…..
- My name is Ozymandias, ________________g of ____________gs.
- We the people………………………………..
How did you do? I bet you did just fine.
What do these ancient memories have to do with the title of this post? Read on.
Well, as I mentioned on my last post, I have written a book. Now I’m expected to market this book. Actually I should have been marketing my book for at least the past ten years, but I couldn’t because I was too busy writing it.
So, along comes Rosie-Come-Lately to the new world of Marketing and Promotion. Ten years ago, I learned the words, elevator pitch. I needed to “pitch” my book (to an important person) in the time it takes for an elevator to go from the third floor to the first floor.
So, let’s just pretend I get into an elevator with Ms. Gatekeeper of the Biggest Publishing Company. Ahem! I curtsey to her, bow my head, kiss her toes, and cast my eyes downward, with reverence. Of course she doesn’t know I have been stalking her, and have planned this elevator pitch like Eisenhower planned the invasion at Normandy. I have thirty seconds to tell her what my book is about.
She says, “Good Morning.”
I say, “I have a book.”
Then Ms. Gatekeeper says, “Oh please tell me about it.” Actually she says “Oh sh–! How do I find these people?”
Then, I lick my lips and say, “My book is about (we pass the third floor) and then I (we pass the second floor). “Oh yeah,” I mumble, “I forgot to say it’s a memoir, and, and, and (she walks out of the elevator doors and into her waiting limo). I stand there in the lobby, trying to catch my breath.
So, I go back home and practice rewriting my pitch. I have written at least 4356, drafts of this one paragraph pitch. Book writing is a cinch compared to writing and delivering an elevator pitch.
I write another copy and this time, instead of stalking Ms. Gatekeeper, I decide to take it to my own unique audience, my fellow seniors. There is a Senior Fair here in Rockland County New York where I live. I go from table to table pitching my story and offering to speak to groups of seniors about some of the themes in my book that we all share. Again, because I am nervous, I flubber all over myself, can’t get the words out, and feel like a total failure.
Amazingly, they all want me!!! I think there is something about my words, “For Free! No Charge!” that ingratiates me with my tribe.
Every day in this book publishing trip, is a learning day for me. Now, I have decided that the key to delivering my pitch is to memorize it. Yeah sure. So I print it out, stick it on the fridge, and start memorizing it, sentence by sentence, word by word. I walk around my kitchen trying to memorize and make my morning coffee at the same time. Mistake. The milk goes in the dish cabinet, the spoon goes in the fridge, and the pot is turned on before I put in the coffee.
Long ago, I could memorize, thanks to my dear teachers.
Now it’s a different story. I’m sure if you are a senior and I ask you to finish this sentence, you will be able to do it. “I remember what I did fifty years ago, but I ___________________________!”
Of course, you got it right!
So. as a public service, I’ll save you the trouble of listening to me fumble my way through my pitch. I invite you to read it here…for free!
Here’s my elevator pitch for my book.
“My book Still Playing in the Dirt is my memoir that begins in my childhood and continues to today. Each chapter is about my search for serenity in the world of nature. My problem, however, is that most times instead of finding serenity in the outdoors, I have found stress, usually due to my own ineptitude. If you are looking for a serious guide to camping, fishing and birdwatching, this book is not it. However, if you are looking at how a woman uses these nature experiences to make us laugh and cry about the common concerns we all share like belonging, parenting, yearning, and aging, then— this is your book.”
Like the kindergarteners who starts school on the first day with his name, address and phone number printed on a card , safety pinned to his first- day- of- school shirt, I am going to carry a card with my elevator pitch on it, but for sure, I will use large print.
Thanks for riding the elevator with me.