As a witness to many authors and books through the publishing process, I understand that the critical early component of pitching your book can be a daunting task.
When thinking about presenting your book idea, it's not always easy or quick process to bring clarity to your purpose and goals. It is perfectly normal for it to evolve.
So don't expect it to be perfect at first, but with practice, effort, and persistence, I believe you can get your pitch just right.
I'm going to share my favorite way to view this topic and I hope you find it helpful :)
If you're serious about your book, I'm pretty sure that you've been asked before, "what's your why”?....
We next need to look beyond your why, to see how the book fits into the great puzzle of publishing.
The framework I look at was inspired by Aristotle's theory of causation, which produced the concept of Aitia, and provides a "comprehensive explanation for why something exists or behaves in a particular way". He identified four types of causes: Material, Formal, Efficient, and Final.
Here's how I like think about this in relation to books and publishing:
Material Cause: Considers the physical material that an object is made, including its origin and specifications. For example, the material cause of a book is the paper and ink used to create it. Thinking through the cost in terms of material and industry supply chain is important for anyone making decisions about the business of a book, or many books.
Formal Cause: The form or shape that an object takes. For a book, the formal cause includes elements like the structure, writing style, and genre. Knowing this cause is key for authors, editors and publishers to be cohesive within production, and also with sales efforts to booksellers and readers.
Efficient Cause: The process or mechanism by which something is produced. For a book, the efficient cause includes the author's effort in writing the book, as well as the efforts of editors, publishers, designers, and other many contributors who bring it to life and sell it.
Final Cause: The purpose or intention behind the existence of an object. While listed last, this is the most important cause and refers to the intention and purpose of your book. This requires the most clarity and carries the most persuasion of all.
While each of these causes includes a whole universe to unpack, I hope you enjoy the excerise looking at your book through this lens. As you consider your message in relation each of these causes.
~ Bethany Marshall