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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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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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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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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Don’t Let Burnout Stop You

Suffering is not a requirement of writing.

Too often writers associate passion with suffering. If you are not suffering for your writing - for your craft - are you really passionate enough about it? These are the kinds of questions that often come up when burnout begins to hinder the writing process. Like an indicator light on a vehicle’s dashboard, burnout is warning us that something needs to change. Today, let’s focus on three tips that can help you avoid burnout in your writing.

The first tip is to lean into your habits.

Maybe you are coming out of a busy season and you’ve neglected your writing. You are feeling exhausted and burned out from your home life or maybe work has been especially hard - or both. Habits are a great way to hit the reset button.

Give yourself the grace to get back to your writing habit again. Sometimes returning to habits can feel tricky. We start hearing that voice in our head tell us we wouldn’t have to start over if we had stuck...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 2, Issue 5

 

Can you believe Q1 2021 is already behind us? Time flies when you’re having fun—i.e., selling lots of books!

Where Are They Gonna Put All that Money!?

SHOCKER: Amazon sets another sales record. For the quarter ending March 31, 2021, Amazon posted a massive year-over-year increase in revenue of 44%, or $108.5 billion, over Q1 2020. And profits more than doubled to $8.9 billion. The “online store”—what we all think of when we think of Amazon—saw revenue jump 44% to $36.6 billion, while the revenue from third-party sellers exploded—up 64% over Q1 2020. Yes, anyone can sell on Amazon, and clearly, a lot of people started to do just that when the pandemic hit—and they seem to be sticking with it (and why not). With no signs of slowing, Amazon is forecasting revenue increases of 24%-30% next quarter when compared to Q2 2020 when everyone was buying EVERYTHING on Amazon.  It's good to be the king.

The Rest of the Numbers

More than just...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 2, Issue 4

Sorry, we are a week late here, as we have been exceedingly busy watching the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

HarperCollins Gets in the Game

HarperCollins and parent company, News Corp, are finally getting back on the court in the acquisitions game -- agreeing to purchase the trade book division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for $349 million in cash. After losing to Penguin Random House in last year’s back and forth action for Big 5 publisher Simon & Schuster, HC will now (pending regulatory approval) be taking hold of the trade publishing division of HMH that, with 2020 revenues of $191.7 million, was essentially the 6th largest US trade book publisher. HMH had been seeking to unload the business as part of its decision to focus on being an educational technology company for the K-12 market.

After closing out their June 30, 2020, fiscal year with sales of $1.67 billion and a blazing-fast start to fiscal ‘22 helped by a “historic quarter” ending December 31,...

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Publishing Industry Market Update; Vol. 2, Issue 3

Welcome back to our latest issue of the Yates & Yates Author Coaching monthly newsletter providing a brief update of the current state of the book publishing industry. As always, feel free to share.

“So long, Amazon.com,” said Jeff Bezos

Well, sort of. At least “so long” to the position of CEO. Founder, leading shareholder, and CEO, Jeff Bezos, announced he will step down from the chief executive role of the e-commerce giant at some point in the 3rd quarter of 2021. He won’t be going far. He will remain Chairman of the Board, as AWS head, Andy Jassy, takes over the day-to-day.

This announcement came alongside financial results bigger than a government stimulus package. In the clearest indication that pandemics aren’t bad for everyone, Amazon reported massive gains during the year of our collective discontent: Q4 sales were up 44% year-over-year, and total annual sales finished up 38%. As if it couldn’t get any rosier, Amazon’s net...

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How to Keep the Fire Going When Everything Around You Is on Fire

You know that meme, right?

There’s that meme, the one with the dog with a hat; he’s at the table drinking coffee. Everything around him is on fire – the house is burning down. A word bubble says, “This is fine.”

As a writer coming out of 2020, you probably relate to the dog.

Pursuing your goals hasn’t changed but the world around you has. It’s required more, for sure.

If you’re reading this right now, then you have set a goal that you would like to write a book one day, or you see publishing or self-publishing as a part of your business goals, or maybe you’ve even dabbled in publishing already. You’ve made a commitment to the goal. That was the easy part. Now comes the doing, and with it, the resistance.

So, how do you dive into your creativity during a crisis? We want to share with you some inspiration to help you tap into your creative juices so that you can create something amazing and impactful.

“Your goals require...

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