How to Tell Someone About Your Novel (Without Becoming a Rambling Mess)

I love writing my novel. However, I’m not very good at selling it, especially verbally.

John Green writing is

A-freaking-men.

People ask me, What’s your book about? I immediately freeze, touch my neck, and say, “Oh, well, it’s about a lot of stuff. It’s got characters…and setting…and a plot. And maybe a dragon. Yeah, it’s hard to explain.”

And when they walk away I know they definitely won’t be at the top of the pre-order list.

I think most writers can relate to this. It can be hard for us to reach out and let someone else into the world we’ve created in our minds. I’ve had to get better at this, so here are my tips.

Come armed with a plan. It’s okay to write down what you want to say when you explain your novel. Keep a blurb handy in the back of your mind so you’re always prepared. I usually keep my summary about the main character, rather than talk about all the little details of setting. Stick to the motivation driving the character. It’s okay to keep it short too. Don’t give away the entire plot!

Breathe. Relax. Easier said than done, I know! This gets easier with practice. Keep an open mind and stay positive. You never know, they could be really into what you say.

Show enthusiasm. It’s easy to crawl into our little shell of humility and just say, yeah, it’s just a hobby. But remember, if you don’t show interest in your book, how can others?

Let me know how you deal with keeping your cool in the comments below!

Happy writing

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