Episode 27 – The Newbie Writers Podcast

April 7, 2012

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Episode 27 – Coding, Pitching and a Lucky 7 Piano.

Our Guest Ezra Barany is the author of The Torah Codes.

http://www.thetorahcodes.com/blog/

The Torah Codes is a Best Seller!

It’s official! The Torah Codes is a best-seller in the UK. In the Torah category, The Torah Codes placed #85. A stampeding herd of buyers pounded at Amazon’s doors to get their own copy. No penguins were harmed in the stampede- Excerpt from Ezra’s Blog.
Article:
How to Summarize Your Book to Make More Sales
Have you ever noticed how you might meet an author at a party who pitch his or her book by saying, “Buy my book.”
You may be tempted to respond, “My name’s Frank. It’s a pleasure to meet you, too. I’m going to get more punch, now.”
And yet, on the other end of the spectrum, there are authors who are so afraid of pitching and selling their book that they are embarrassed to mention their novel at all.
There is a middle ground. This blog post will show you how to get your potential readers excited at the idea of reading your book. Yes, I’m going to help you write the perfect pitch to sell your novel in person.
Just so we’re all clear, in this context, a pitch is something you say to get people curious about your book, so they will say, “Oh! Tell me more!” and eventually buy your book.
Every time I use this method people say with enthusiasm, “I’m going to check out your book!”
By the end of this post, you will be able to write a pitch. So, please post your pitch along with a link to your book.
Imagine you’re at a party meeting different people for the first time. If your goal were to court a lady, your conversation wouldn’t start, “Ha, ha! You’re so funny!… What do you do?… Want to go out for a cup of coffee?… It’s a pleasure to meet you… Hi, my name’s Frank.” Right?
Each moment of the conversation requires an appropriate order to what you might say. Similarly, when you meet someone and think they might be interested in your book, each part of the conversation requires a different kind of pitch.
“Hi,” someone at a party says to you. “I’m Moshe, a dentist. What do you do?”
So what do you say?
Well, you prepare ahead of time the 6 pitches below, and you will use many of them to sell you book one on one in a social setting. I present them in the order I recommend you use them, from shortest to longest.
I will share with you how to craft a:
#1: Clear Message Formula
#2: High Concept Formula
#3: What If? Formula or Log Line
#4: Elevator Pitch Formula
#5: Credibility Pitch Formula
#6: Call to Action Formula
Usually, I find that all I need to say is the Clear Message, the High Concept, and the Credibility formula before the person I’m talking to writes down my name and book title. At that point, and ONLY at that point, I hand her a bookmark. She’s developed a genuine interest in the book, so the bookmark is a welcome sight, and she appreciates not having to write down the info.
Here we go!
#1
Clear Message Formula
Your genre
Your audience
Your audience’s desired result or experience: what they want
Your intended action upon your readers
Example:
Genre = Thrillers
Audience = Jewish Adults
Audience’s Desired Experience = Page-turning Excitement
My Intended Experience for Them = Challenge Their Beliefs
Me: Hi, I’m Ezra. I write page-turning thrillers for Jewish adults that challenge their beliefs in a fun way.
Reader: Really? What’s the name of one of your books?
#2
High Concept Formula
[Famous book or movie] meets [famous book or movie]
[Specific version or type] of [famous book or movie]
Example 1: Lara Croft meets The Lord of the Rings
Example 2: A Jewish version of The Da Vinci Code
Me: My most recent book is called The Torah Codes. It’s a Jewish version of The Da Vinci Code.
Reader: Wow! So, like, what’s it about?
#3
What If? Formula or Log Line (Under 25 words)
What if [protagonist] [unwanted experience]?
OR
One-line clear sentence conjuring conflict and emotion
Example 1: What if Peter Pan grew up?
Example 2: During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.
Me: My book asks the question “What if you found your name and birth date were encoded in the Bible?”
Reader: Intriguing! Tell me more!
#4
Elevator Pitch Formula
Situation: (Also called the Initial Action or Premise, this is the beginning of the plot.)
Main Character(s): (Self-explanatory)
Primary Objective: (At first, what does your main character want?)
Antagonist Or Opponent: (or Central Conflict. Who or what is keeping your main characters from getting what they want?)
Disaster That Could Happen: (What’s the worst that could happen, and/or what does your character want next? Often phrased as a question.)

Example:
1. Abandoned on his relatives’ doorstep as an infant,
2. Harry Potter
3. longs to understand where he came from and why he feels different.
4. He discovers that he is a wizard and that his parents were killed by Voldemort, a powerful and evil wizard,
5. who has been hunting for Harry, to kill him.
Me: A reclusive computer programmer, Nathan Yirmorshy, pounds out ones and zeros in the quiet of his home while his landlord secretly watches from behind a two-way mirror. When an intercepted note connects the landlord to a secret society, and a detective ends up dead, Nathan must abandon his home and everything familiar to him, open his heart to a tarot reader he has never met, and trust her with his life – just as the ancient scriptures have foretold.
Reader: Wow! Sounds interesting!
#5
Credibility Pitch Formula
List the reviews, awards, and best-seller status.
Me: It’s been doing really well! It’s been getting four and five-star reviews, it won an award at The Hollywood Book Festival, and it’s an Amazon bestseller in the US and the UK!
Reader: Incredible! I gotta read it!
#6
Call to Action Formula
Provide a bookmark, business card, or item that has the name of the book and the websites which have the book available. Consider having your website or Amazon link turned into a QR code on the item in case they want to take a snapshot of the code with their iPhone to bookmark the website on their browser.
Me: Here’s a bookmark, it has all you need to find my book online.
Reader: Thanks! I’m going to get this as soon as I’m on the internet!
Now it’s your turn! And as I said above, please post your pitch along with a link to your book.
Bio:
Book marketing mentor, Ezra Barany is the author of the award-winning bestseller, The Torah Codes. Contact Ezra today to begin the conversation on how he can help you now via Facebook, Twitter, or contact him through via email: EZRA at THETORAHCODES dot COM.

Lucky 7 Lines-

Justin’s website here!

What’s yours? Here is mine (copied more than 7 lines because I like to cheat):

I am not a king, nor a lord. Yet I somehow ended up with the responsibility of this small village who follow me with pride and honour. I sit here bruised and battered after a battle against the nuisance that is the horde. A vile band of ogres, outcast Vikings and lowest common scum the world has seen. They plague our walled in village even more now the blight extends its way ever closer. My story will be nothing for the ages and this is why I feel the need to write something down. So that someone, some where in time can truly understand what has ravaged these people and this land. The year is 1346 and whilst our great King conquers France, the mists of the Black Death creep ever closer to destroying the kingdom.

I too am dying. I can feel the sensation of becoming colder creep up between my shoulder blades and yet, it is almost welcoming. I have stalked these lands for nigh on one hundred and fifty years but I am not classed as old. For a warlock that is. I’m not entirely sure what is killing me, I just hope that when it does happen I will be remembered simply as Elamorth. Not Elamorth the Despiser, or the Oathbreaker. Names that have dogged me since I first inherited these unholy powers.

The Torah Codes:
Her arrival early in the day made it possible to see her alone. Luke stepped out of the car and intercepted her at the front entrance of the building.
“Melinda,” he said to stop her.
“Luke?” She checked her watch as if it helped her understand his visit.
“How are you?”
Melinda looked past him at the door and glanced at the emptiness of the parking lot.

Beth’s book Henrietta the Dragon Slayer
The king and lords she’d known had dressed even their soldiers in bright colors and fine fabrics, like the blue velvet and brushed suede of her king’s colors. But he wasn’t her king anymore.
“My king is the Royal and Mighty King Singfan de Plumare de’Oro, the First,” Sir Franc said reverently.
“Wonderful,” Henrietta said again.
Jaxter turned to Franc. “Yes! Wonderful!”
Link to The Torah Codes: http://amzn.to/TheTorahCodes

Catharines from Trash Out available at Pubslush.com
It wasn’t a very successful meeting. After forty-five minutes and a number of reassurances that I wasn’t rejecting her love, just rejecting the parlor love seat, the discomfort of which was legendary, I had to beg my grandmother to stop. There wasn’t a single piece of furniture in her house that I could use. I knew that going in, but Prue insisted on going through the motions.
“Can I call Pat and Mike now?” I was still holding the pitcher under my arm as if it was a carnival prize.

 

Bring Our Your Dead:

Phillippe Perez – http://about.me/philippe_perez

It was a decent day job, and by decent I mean it paid well for the time. $15 an hour was pretty decent according to friends. The job actually sucked. In fact, in my mind it didn’t matter if I liked my job or not, I put every fibre of my being into that job. Even if the flipping of burger patties wasn’t the most world changing occupation, I came to the view that it was a challenge to prove myself. I was staying on the breezy East side of Sydney over Summer, and Mum would drive me through winding streets to a lonely building lined with a garden of concrete.
“I’m not even supposed to be here today. I should be home studying, Mum.”
I was hiding from it all really, but Mum didn’t want to hear it. She had days off at the restaurant doing various, teenage things like heading out to the nightclub wearing outrageous clothes. She worked a triple shift of 18 hours once, and it was me who was to be responsible for those greasy fryers and oil soaked clothes. Today was my first day on the job, and I vowed I was going to see it through to the end of those three summer months that I agreed to. Or that was what my Mum said anyway.
The place was called Johnny’s – and the thoughtlessness of the name reflected the cold, white plain outlay of the restaurant. I felt myself fall into a coiled spiral that felt like selling my soul to a company that I would eventually loath. I stood in the middle of that restaurant and looked up, looked left and then behind me. Everything seemed too boring for so many head movements. I had boxed myself in and I did not really know what the heck was going on. I felt as if I became the contrast of everything I dreamed of becoming.
Well, today had a way of teaching me a lesson.

 

Prompt:

 

What is the worst job you’ve ever had? Was it flipping burgers? Or massaging the quorns of old ladies at a local nursing home?

 

Word of the week

 

From http://www.worldwidewords.org

SPONGING-HOUSE

The sponging-house was at one time a place of temporary confinement for debtors.

Here’s how it used to work: you got into debt, your creditor laid a complaint with the sheriff, the sheriff sent his bailiffs, and you were taken to the local sponging-house. This wasn’t a prison, not as such, but a private house, often the bailiff’s own home. You were held there temporarily in the hope that you could make some arrangement with your creditors. Anthony Trollope set out the system in his novel The Three Clerks of 1857:

He was taken to the sponging-house, and it was there imparted to him that he had better send for two things — first of all for money, which was by far the more desirable of the two; and secondly, for bail, which even if forthcoming was represented as being at best but a dubious advantage.

If you couldn’t sort matters out quickly you were then brought up in court and sent to a debtor’s prison. How you were ever expected to pay off your debts while you were incarcerated is hard to imagine, but that was the system.

Sponging-houses had a terrible reputation, which was made clear in a description by Montagu Williams, a London lawyer who surely knew them well, in his Down East and Up West of 1894:

Ah, my dear fellow, you’ve never seen a sponging-house! Ye gods — what a place! I had an apartment they were pleased to call a bedroom to myself certainly, but if I wanted to breathe the air I had to do so in a cage in the back garden — iron bars all round, and about the size of one of the beast receptacles at the Zoo. For this luxury I had to pay two guineas a day. A bottle of sherry cost a guinea, a bottle of Bass half-a-crown, and food was upon the same sort of economical tariff.

The idea of the sponging-house was based on that of the sponge that gave it its name, which readily gives up its contents on being squeezed. The sponging-house was the place where a debtor had any available cash squeezed out of him, partly to the creditor’s benefit, but also to that of the bailiff who ran it.

 

Shout Outs:

 

1: Cathy Dreyer (payback hehe)

2: Angela Scott (great to choose from your new book)

3: Charity Parkerson (because the sentences you choose will surely delight)

4: Jessica Kristie (the poetry master can share the best lines of wonder)

5: Eden Baylee (who is working on a new book)

6: Justin Bogdanovitch.

7: Tweep Nation- Dionne Lister and Amber Norrgard.

8: Beth Barany and Ezra’s two cats.

 


 

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