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Author Topic: The Elevator Pitch  (Read 7679 times)

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Offline Pete

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The Elevator Pitch
« on: January 11, 2010, 10:30:28 AM »
One of the most important ways to promote your comic - or anything, for that matter - is to have an effective "elevator pitch".  This is a quick blurb that you would write on an ad or tell a person at a convention to effectively sell your comic.  Sometimes it can be easy ("A fast-paced romp through time with three video store workers"), but sometimes it can be difficult.  The trick is that you have to boil the comic down to the very essence of what it is.

Since my comic revolves mostly around the characters as opposed to a particular story or theme, my current elevator pitch is:  "Elves, fairies, a demon that bakes cookies, and the young man in the middle of it all."  I'm not super happy with it, but it has been pretty effective at conventions.  Another one I use as a joke (if I think it will work - you have to gauge the personality of the person you're giving it to) is:  "It's like Harry Potter, but good."

What are some of your elevator pitches and have they worked for you?

Offline Rob

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 12:49:06 PM »
Man I got hammered when I was interviewed at NYCC for a podcast because I just wasn't ready for this. The guy asks what my comic's about and my mind just goes blank. LOL

I recovered ok I think but I was not happy. Ever since then I've tried to have a few simple sentences ready.

Mine goes,

"An aging vigilante near the end of his career and his possibly immortal, super powered cat face the very real specter of retirement, incarceration or death. The story follows Artur Siedleski AKA "Remedy" throughout his entire day to day existence. A vigilante he may be, but he is also a friend, a mentor, a musician, a boyfriend, a veteran and an office worker. When his world starts to come apart, the choices he makes may leave him with nothing but bitter memories of a noble but unappreciated past; and perhaps not even that. For the first time in his life Artur is experiencing more trouble than he can handle and he may not be young enough to pick up the pieces and start again."

That's what I came up with. Of course the comics' on hiatus because the artist split on my but at least I can speak intelligently about what it's about now.  ;D


Offline Pete

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 01:26:28 PM »
If my two cents is worth anything these days what with the economy being the way it is, my major nitpick would be to make that MUCH shorter.  If I was at a con and I stopped by your table to find out what your comic was about, and you hit me with that, I would more than likely lose interest by the middle of the third sentence.  It has nothing to do with the content of your comic, mind you, it has to do with grabbing the attention  of the person you are talking to.  What I've found the trick to be is to hook them with a very short elevator pitch, or "blurb" if you want, and if the person wants more info THEN you can step up the game and go longer with it.

Here's what I would do with your comic (I'm not familiar with the comic itself, I'm just working off of the elevator pitch you gave):

"An aging vigilante near the end of his career and his possibly immortal, super powered cat face the very real specter of retirement, incarceration or death. For the first time in his life Artur is experiencing more trouble than he can handle and he may not be young enough to pick up the pieces and start again."

All that is is just the first and last sentences that you gave.  Forget about giving too much detail about the character or the story; you want the potential reader to discover all that on his or her own.  Give them the essence of the story, and, if you can, a little bit of an eyebrow raiser (your "possibly immortal, super powered cat" line or my "demon that bakes cookies" line).  I'm willing to bet you can get that pitch even shorter and more intriguing if you tried.

It comes down to something I was taught very early on in my writing career and again later when I was in advertising:  K.I.S.S., or "Keep It Simple, Sally!"

TakaComics

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2010, 03:53:06 PM »
I'm tempted to make my pitch, "Like stories? Well I have a ton of them!"

When I pitch each of my comics, however, I do try to keep it to a line or two. Rule of thumb - Get the same reaction from the pitch as you want the person to get from the story. For "Punk Patrol," I simplified to one line: "A punk band that fights zombies." What do I get from that? A laugh, and usually a "Dude, that's funny." Sometimes I'll throw the comics tagline in - "Three Dudes. Two Chords. One Mission." That sets the tone for the comic, that it will be a humorous story with music jokes.

Drama comics are a lot harder to pitch. Your elevator pitch might need a couple extra floors of description (see what I did there?) For Saiko, I asked a question to potential readers: "If you had superpowers when you were a teenager, would you use them for good like Spiderman, or would you be a complete jerk?" Most answer "a complete jerk," since that's how you felt if you were a rebellious teenager, and those that frequent cons (especially anime cons) were at one time. They laugh thinking it's an interesting premise, and take a flyer.

Before you show your friends your story, give them the pitch. If they like it and want to see the story, you have won. If they start asking questions, like "But why would that happen?" you may have to rework your pitch.

Offline Nuke

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2010, 09:06:26 PM »
Yikes, I haven't really come up with a sentence-long pitch before.

How about, "A brilliant, misanthropic middle-schooler gets sucked through a vortex into a world where mythology is real, and his presence there puts the entire universe at peril."?

Please don't feed the ancient deities.

Offline Cebronix

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2010, 09:05:57 AM »
I've never really been able to sum Shattered Myth up in a "Pitch" per se, I just have a rotating bunch of catch-phrases instead. A Webcomic Adventure in Mythinformation (Lisp Implied), They Don't Make Gods Like They Used To, Nothing Sacred to See Here, Of Gods & Gadgets (name of upcoming weekly blog posts), etc. I figure I'll really need to come up with a good pitch before I attend my first Con w/a table.

Offline Cebronix

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2010, 10:24:44 AM »
Whoa. Nuke dude. I just took a look at your webcomic and suddenly, I don't feel Shattered Myth is up to par. If we ever tabled next to each other at a con, we'd have almost the same pitch! freaky. I'm going to read through it when I get home tonight. I promise not to steal any ideas.

Offline Nuke

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2010, 07:33:47 PM »
Wow, that is kind of weird. We do have nearly the same pitch!

Man, I've found so many comics that I need to read that it's getting in the way of making my own. Web comic communities are bad for my health -.-

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Offline uncaringmachine

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2010, 04:57:24 PM »
Let's see....for my comic it would be pretty simple. What I use in my skyscraper ad on Project Wonderful is: "Every city needs a hero. Man, did this one get screwed." But that wouldn't be something I would say to someone at a con. "Hey, so what is Captain Ahole about?" "Oh, every city needs a hero. Man, did this one get screwed." "Um....ooookay..." Nah, I would probably just go with "It's about a lunk-headed superhero and the sidekick who doesn't love him!" Hm. May have to work on that one....

Offline ran

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2010, 03:17:14 PM »
The elevator pitch for the comic my husband is currently scripting is 'A young Canadian hobo and an immortal skeleton save the universe with the powers of Rock and Roll!' He's been working on it for a couple years, but I think he's a bit discouraged now that brutal legends exists (which he shouldn't, because they are nothing alike).

Offline Novil

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2010, 05:54:18 PM »
Sandra and Woo: a webcomic about friendship, life and the art of (not) eating squirrels.

The clicks on my banners with that slogan have always been remarkably high considering that almost all of them are in black and white (no false advertising) and completely lacking big-boobed chicks.

Offline Gibson

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2010, 01:02:06 PM »
I've had a few quick blurbs to describe Pictures of You. The one I use most is "The best friends you'll ever lose." but that's more like a tag line, so I'll usually go to "Archie with drinking, drugs, swearing and sex." Now and then, or when being glib isn't appropriate, I'll describe it as "The life-cycle of a circle of friends, from how they meet to how they fall apart, and all the bad things they do in between."

For Our Time in Eden, it's a little more difficult, since the story exists in such subtlety. The tag line is "Lost innocence, lost direction, lost hope." and I'll describe it as "Two estranged childhood friends reunite ten years later to find each other broken and in despair."

I'm still trying to come up with stuff for my new project, Little Earthquakes, and I'd better hurry...the artist is getting antsy.

Offline RocketDad

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2011, 11:12:18 PM »
An "elevator pitch" for my current project would be, "It's a slice-of-life comic with a Hard Science Fiction setting.  It follows a young man, his 70-year-old wife, their adopted son, an intelligent gorilla, a more intelligent rocket, and a professor that's not as intelligent as he thinks he is."

It needs work. :-\

Offline Gar

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2011, 07:22:25 AM »
I dunno RocketDad, that sounds like a pretty good pitch to me (by which I mean I've mailed this thread to my home e-mail to check out your comic when I'm not at work). Topic sentence lets us know what the World is (Hard sci-fi, but that's not necessarily what the comic's about), the young man and his 70-year-old wife sounds like a really interesting relationship dynamic. That's actually more of a hook for me than the intelligent gorrilla.

Do they live aboard the sentient rocket? If so then you should say that

Offline UncleRobot

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Re: The Elevator Pitch
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2012, 02:19:17 AM »
If I'm talking to someone who knows what a comic or webcomic is, the pitch is:

"Vorto is two-fisted adventure on the high seas of space."

If not, then:

Vorto is a retro sci-fi webcomic.  Emile Vorto, the notorious space pirate, is waging a one-man war against the empire which enslaved him in order to free the peoples of Orgom.