“When people ask you what your book is about, the answer is not ‘War’ or ‘Love’ or Betrayal’, even though your book might be about one or all of those things. Those words don’t distinguish YOUR book from any of the millions of books about those things.

When people ask you what your book is about, what they are really asking is – ‘What’s the premise?’ In other words, ‘What’s the story line in one easily understandable sentence?’

That one sentence is also referred to as a ‘logline’ (in Hollywood) or ‘the elevator pitch’ (in publishing) or ‘the TV Guide pitch’ – it all means the same thing.

That sentence really should give you a sense of the entire story: the character of the protagonist, the character of the antagonist, the conflict, the setting, the tone, the genre. And – it should make whoever hears it want to read the book. Preferably immediately. It should make the person you tell it to light up and say – ‘Ooh, that sounds great!’ And ‘Where do I buy it?'”

~Alexandra Sokoloff
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