Monthly Archives: August 2018

Rest in Peace, Queen Aretha


Guest Post: Craft an Exceptional Elevator Pitch by Penny Sansevieri


Thank you to Penny Sansevieri for this wonderful article, first published on Writers in the Storm.

ElevatorsWhat is an elevator pitch and why do you need one?

An elevator pitch is a short one- to two-sentence description about the book. It’s the briefest of the briefest descriptions you can develop. The reason elevator pitches are important is that we have an ever- shrinking attention span, so you need to capture someone’s attention in a very short, succinct pitch.

How do you begin crafting an elevator pitch?

The first step is to look at the core of your book. What is your book about, really? Looking at the core of your book will help you determine the primary message. The next step is to look at the real benefits to the reader. Not what you think the reader wants to know but what they actually need: What’s in it for the reader?

When I worked with people on elevator pitches, I found that they often kept the best sentence for last. This comes from being an author and saving the crescendo of the story until the final chapter. You don’t want to do that in an elevator pitch. You want to lead with the tease that will pull the reader in.

When would you use an elevator pitch? You might use it to promote yourself to the media, to book a speaking event, or to pitch a blogger. Elevator pitches can be used for a number of reasons and in a variety of ways. Once you create a great elevator pitch, you may find yourself using it over and over again. That’s a good thing!

Components of a great elevator pitch

 All elevator pitches have particular relevance to them, but for the most part, every elevator pitch must:

  • Have emotional appeal
  • Be helpful
  • Be insightful
  • Be timely
  • Matter to your reader!

To continue reading this article, click here.

Video of the Week #162: The Magic of Jim Henson


If you love Jim Henson, be sure to visit ARHtistic License on Saturday, when we review Jim Henson: The Biography by Brian Jay Jones.


Wordless Wednesday: Our Grandpuppies





Valentina Lisitsa


Photo by Michael von Aichberger

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1973, Valentina Lisitsa began playing the piano at the age of three. She enrolled at the Lysenko Music School for Gifted Children and later studied under Ludmilla Tsvierko at the Kiev Conservatory. In 1991 she won the Murray Dranoff Two Piano Competition together with Alexei Kuznetsoff. The couple married the following year and moved to the USA. In 1995 Lisitsa made her New York debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center. Since then, she has performed extensively around the world. Her career received a huge boost from a home-made video, shot by her husband in 2006, of Valentina playing the 24 Chopin Études, which the couple posted on YouTube. Subsequent YouTube videos expanded her following, and that’s where I first discovered her. I was dazzled by her technique and the sheer speed at which she renders concert favorites.

With more than 95 million YouTube views and over 439,000 subscribers to her channel, Lisitsa is among the most frequently viewed pianists on YouTube, using digital innovation to champion classical music and performance. Impressed by her YouTube success, the Royal Albert Hall, in an unprecedented step, opened its doors for Valentina’s London debut on June 19, 2012. In that year Valentina Lisitsa signed an exclusive agreement with Decca Classics, and her Albert Hall recital was immediately available as both CD and DVD for pre-order on the night of the concert, her first of many recordings under the label.

Lisitsa is at ease in a vast repertoire ranging from Bach and Mozart to Shostakovich and Bernstein. She has a special affinity for the music of Rachmaninov and Beethoven and continues to add to her vast repertoire each season.

Monday Morning Wisdom # 167

Monday Morning Wisdom # 167


From the Creator’s Heart #163

From the Creator’s Heart #163

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed (Psalm 20:4).