A reader asked me about writing a book, and getting it published. Her goal is to promote her coaching business; she hopes that her book will give her visibility. It can certainly do that, but if you’re writing a book for your business, you need to ensure that your goals match those of your publisher.
Your goal: to promote your business.
Your publisher’s goal: to sell lots of books.
The bigger the publisher, the more books the company aims to sell. This means that you’ll need a good hook to gain a publisher’s interest. Celebrity books sell (some of them) because they have a built-in hook: the celebrity’s name. The publisher hopes that the celebrity’s fans will buy the book.
The Independent reports in Zoella: Zoe Sugg’s book Girl Online becomes fastest-selling debut novel ever:
The 24-year-old has become an online sensation after creating video blogs with beauty advice, helping her gain more than 9 million subscribers to her two YouTube channels since 2009.
For the publisher, the hook was… 9 million subscribers. They gambled that some of Zoella’s subscribers would buy the book, and the gamble paid off.
You need a hook: find it, before you start writing
What’s a “hook”? Something which gets attention. Check out Amazon’s top nonfiction books of the month. They’ve all got hooks; it’s in the title. Currently, a book called “Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine and What Matters in the End” is this month’s top seller. That’s not surprising, because we’re all either worried about our own health, or the health of someone close.
Consider this book, “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven”: a brilliant hook, right? And so it was. The hook sold the book, until it was exposed as a fake.
When I’m ghostwriting nonfiction, my first step is always to find the hook. It should be your first step too, if you’re writing a book to promote your business, and want to find a publisher. Good luck — it’s an essential first step, and it’s well worth bending your brain to find it. :-)
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