Give Your Book a Hook

The hook of your book is a sentence or two that is meant to tease the reader to purchase your book.

“What’s the hook of the book?”

This is one of the most important questions your book has to answer. You cannot presume that a reader is going to pick up and buy your book just because you tell them to. If you ask your reader a compelling question, you captivate them, and they will sit up and take notice.

You might have heard this term before, but essentially a book hook is a sentence or two that is meant to tease the reader to purchase your book. The hook is the backbone of a good book idea.

Your book hook should be intriguing, pique curiosity, and make the reader want to learn more.

To build a great hook, your hook is going to answer two questions:

  1. Why Your Book--among all the books that are out there (and there are a lot), out of all the things they could be reading, of the discretionary income they could spend, why should they buy YOUR book? What makes it...
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7 Tips for Creating a Press Release for Your Book

The media listens to press releases.

Creating a press release is easy if you know these 7 key parts that will help you garner media attention for your book. The best thing about these tips is that they build on each other, so if you walk through each step, you’ll have a strong press release when you are done. Let’s jump in on tip #1.

Tip #1 - Know Your Audience

The fastest way to get ignored by the media is to not know who your press release is aimed at. Knowing your audience means you’re paying attention to their felt need. Who is going to want to read this book? What about this book’s topic will appeal to them?

Here’s where you’ll feel the tug that makes you want to say, “But my book is for everyone.” While there might be some truth to that, a press release needs to be tailored to a specific audience. Your best chances for success will come with having a well-defined audience in mind when crafting your press release.

Tip #2 -...

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Here’s How To Figure Out If Your Book Idea Is Any Good

Great book ideas start with the premise!!!

The very first step you should take when trying to figure out which book you should pursue first is to sit down and write out a premise of your book idea. The premise of your book is basically its thesis statement.

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“What are the important factors I should consider 
when I am developing my book idea?”
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The premise doesn’t have to be long. Start with 2-3 sentences. A good way to think about the premise is to imagine if you were at a lunch date with someone, and you told them you were writing a book. And then they turned to you and said, “What’s your book about?” THAT is your premise. 

A good premise lays a foundation for where your book is going to take readers. That central idea might answer a question, solve a mystery, or tell a story. The most important part is that it does something. 

The reverse is also true about the premise: if you’re having...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 2, Issue 7

Amazon will be broken up by federal regulators…if the House Judiciary Committee has its way.

Amazon Busting

The Antitrust Subcommittee has set its sights on Big Tech (companies worth over $600 billion), including, of course, Amazon. A handful of bills were introduced in efforts to corral the Facebooks, Googles, and Amazons of the world. Of those, the most notable for the fine readers of this report would be the breaking up of Amazon’s vertical publishing monopoly. The legislation is targeting giant platforms that “leverage their control across multiple business lines…in ways that undermine free and fair competition.” What that could mean for Amazon’s present vertical in the publishing industry is the breaking up or spinning off of Audible, Brilliance Audio, Kindle, Kindle Direct Publishing (self-publishing), and their “Amazon Publishing'' imprint.

Additional measures under discussion include curbs on these platforms’ practices of...

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Goodbye, Rejection

Rejection happens.  

Every writer faces rejection. The difference between the writers you read about and the ones you don’t, comes down to who conquered that fear. It’s up to you to decide which path you choose.

But it’s not that simple, is it?

It’s easy to list how many times great books were rejected – J.K. Rowling was rejected numerous times before she finally found a home for Harry Potter – but we lose sight of the writer's choice. She chose to lean into The Resistance.

Let me explain.

Rejection is an outcome, but what if it was actually a positive outcome? To be rejected, you have to revise, submit, and query. You have to hone your craft. One of the biggest secrets writers don’t get to see, and sometimes ever know, is that they often have less control over rejection than they think because it’s a numbers game.

“The Resistance can’t win if you keep writing.”

A writer can’t control an...

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An email list changes everything

Have you ever missed a big announcement from your favorite band? Maybe it was a chance to buy tickets for their upcoming show in your town? Maybe you didn’t even know they were coming to town?

It never feels good to miss out on something you care about.

That’s why collecting email addresses is so important for your platform. That mailing list is what saves your readers from missing out on the next big thing.

Too often, authors focus on growing other parts of their platform when their highest point of contribution is focusing on nurturing and growing their email list.

This blog post is about the importance of email and the one thing you can do to start building (or enhancing) your list.

But first, a story.

During a recent exploratory call with a potential client, when asked about their email list, they said, "Yes, I have one." Game changer. Now we know they are serious about their marketing strategy.

Too often potential clients will get really quiet when asked about their...

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Why Comparable Titles Matter

Comparable titles are a great way to start the conversation.

There’s a hurdle out there waiting to trip up your book proposal and derail your project. It’s lurking, waiting to come up in conversations. You might even think you’ve checked that box.

Oftentimes when we are in a conversation with a potential author, we’ll ask them about their comparable titles for their book proposal. It’s a test. We want to know if you know what you are doing. How you answer can determine where the next steps in your conversation go with an agent or editor.

Comparable titles show agents and publishers that you’ve done your homework. You understand that as an industry, comparable titles play a pivotal role in how your book proposal is viewed. From where it’ll go in a bookstore to how it is viewed by a publishing board, comparable titles set the tone for your book proposal.

“Comparable titles can make agents and publishers sit up and listen.”

Here are...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 2, Issue 6

At least we know what a lot of you have been doing – more of you than ever before…

Listening to Audiobooks

The Audio Publishers Association—yes, there is an association for everything—released its annual survey results and found another double-digit increase in audiobook sales in 2020. That’s up 12% from 2019, for a total of $1.3 billion in revenue. Audiobooks have been on a tear in recent years, so double-digit increases have been the norm. What was surprising is that the sector saw those increases in a year of reduced commuting!

In 2019, 43% of listeners surveyed said they listened mostly in their cars. By necessity, that number fell to 30% last year. But you all just switched to listening at home (55% of audiobook listeners, as compared to 43% the year prior).

The selection is probably helping, too. Last year, audiobook publishers produced 71,000 titles, up 39% over 2019. So, I guess the narrators and sound engineers weren’t spending their...

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Stop Juggling Flaming Chainsaws

Writing requires focus. So why is it so hard to do this one thing?

More times than not, in the midst of a book project, one of our clients will need to stop in for a pitstop. They are tired and overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. They are juggling flaming chainsaws. And typically we are too far out from the release of the book to just say, “Keep pushing - you are almost there!!!”

We call this moment in the publishing journey “a time for encouragement.” The publishing process is long and arduous. It requires a lot of you. That’s why we try to remind our clients to focus on what you can control.

You don’t get to control the New York Times Bestsellers List.

You don’t get to control changes at your publishing house.

You don’t get to control the size of that other author’s platform (even though you’ve worked twice as hard as they have!!!).

But you do get to control and prioritize time to write and edit.

You do get...

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An Easy Trick to Get Writing

Are you letting distractions keep you from writing your book?

When it comes to writing books, there are a million things that are easier to do. Everything becomes a distraction and now that Summer is almost here there will be even more. Do you know what’s easier than writing your book? Talking about your book. Complaining about not having time to write your book...well, there might be as much time spent doing that as it would take to actually write the book.

That’s why we want to remind you of this tip to shake off distractions like Netflix or Disney+, etc.: “Butt in chair.” It’s that commitment to showing up that makes all the difference.

Listen, we have nothing against Netflix or Disney+; we have subscriptions, too!!! And maybe it’s not Netflix or Disney+, maybe it’s scrolling on Instagram or fantasy baseball. What’s your Netflix? What’s the thing that you do when you should be writing? Let’s replace it with “Butt...

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