Last year there were more than 3 million books published. That is a record breaking number. So how can you compete against the numbers and noise so that people will want to read YOUR book or hear your message?
1. BE UNIQUE
Whatever your topic, whether it is something as generic as "faith" or as unusual as "how to repair the foundation of your home in one easy step", you have to find a unique way to pitch or promote your book. Obviously the more unusual your message, the easier this is. But whatever your topic, you have to determine and then focus on the factor(s) that make your book different, special and worth reading. You have to make your message stand out.
Step #1 - Write down every idea or feature, that makes your book different from all the others on this topic. That's what I try to determine when I talk with an author to begin a P.R. campaign for them. I ask them about various details of their book, chapter details, stories shared, life experiences. There is a reason you decided to write a book. You felt you had something important to share. Now you have to convince us that it really is important and hasn't already been said 100 times. And by the way ---you have about 60 seconds to get our attention. (No pressure!)
2. FIND YOUR HOOK
Your "hook" is one of your "unique" factors. For example, when I wrote my "Seasons" book series about ten years ago, I knew I would never be able to get a publisher interested in my writing alone. I had no platform and no major audience. So what could I do to get their attention? I chose a "hook" as I began to write. I would find a handful of famous women who would let me interview them and share their story in my book. My name and image wouldn't sell, but theirs would. (Don't forget to get permission to use their image and a sign off on the interview!) Click here to see what celebrities were featured in my book
Hook #2 - But how could I get a famous person to let me interview them? I mean seriously, these guys are busy and I was going outside my client list to contact individuals, so I was making "cold calls". So I had to create another "hook" to get them on board. My "hook" was missions. When I asked for the interview, I let them know that by giving me an interview, it was for a good cause. I shared upfront that a portion of the sale of my book would go toward purchasing and printing Bibles in China. That was an easy decision for me as my husband and I had worked in China for 15 years at that point and so I wanted the book to be able to invest back into that ministry that was close to my heart.
Work hard. Did that mean it was easy? No, it was still an uphill climb. I had to craft my letter, my "ask", several times before I started to get the response I wanted. But once I did the snowball effect came into play. Once I got one or two to say "yes", I never had any other challenges. From that point, I could then name drop those who had agreed to be interviewed in the book. That "qualified" me in the eyes those from whom I requested interviews, even though they didn't know me personally.
So determine your "hook"...ideally before you start to write. Why? Because then you can position your writing a certain direction, it can certainly help you when it comes time to promote and sell your book. But if you didn't? No problem, just take the time to find your hook as you begin the marketing phase. Target your audience. Share with them your unique angle and experiences and guide them to the decision that you have something they need. That you have something to offer to touch their heart, to help them achieve their goal or that they will receive a benefit.
Remember it's not about you and what you want to accomplish. It's about what they will receive.