Does Your Book Have a Hook? Find it!

Millneck Manor Talk

Millneck Manor Talk

You’ve written this great book, told all your friends, family, promoted on FB, Twitter, Google+. Maybe you’ve done a little ad here and there, a goodreads event. Is it selling? Could you sell more?

Here is where the hook comes in. Think about your novel and think about where else you could sell this book and who would be interested. I wrote a buddhist based thriller called THE HUNT FOR XANADU. I’ve actually gone onto different buddhist sites and promoted the book there, did a signing at a tea shop and contacted buddhist bookstores to see if they’d like to carry it. The book is really just a thriller but the over-riding element is a buddhism theme.

I’ve also done a YA novel with a young deaf boy called FLYING TO THE LIGHT. This has been a much easier book to find a hook for. I’ve contacted every single deaf school in the country – with an email to their librarian and principal, discussing the novel. I’ve locally done two “talks” at deaf schools and while I know some ASL, they had an interpreter for me. I’ve gone onto a lot of different deaf sites on FB and promoted the book, and the book trailers there. I’ve also gone online to various deaf websites to see if they would like to give the novel a write-up as well. Nothing is a bad idea. What’s the worst thing that can happen? They say no? We’re authors, I think we’ve heard the word “no” enough times to be able to handle it.

My newest angle is specialized book fairs. On May 18th, I’ve been selected to join a Book Fair at Mill Neck Manor’s School for the Deaf in Millneck, New York. The program is from 12-4, is free to everyone and is to help support their Literacy Program. If you live on Long Island and want to come, please check out the information included. There will be raffles and activities for children. millneck

The trick is to find the hook in your novel and run with it. Maybe your character loves cookies – try to do a signing in a bakery, maybe they are a fantastic runner – contact the local running groups and make some friends there, maybe they like to fish, are a veteran, etc… you get the idea. Find out some distinguishing factors about your characters and how you can find that little “in” to promote it someplace else versus the standard fare.

Any cool ideas you’ve done? Can’t wait to hear them!

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12 thoughts on “Does Your Book Have a Hook? Find it!

  1. This is incredible advice. I’ve mainly searched for websites in fields I am interested in. Then visit them, find a way to contact, and say hello. I don’t always have something particular to promote but always like to make new connections.

    • Perfect… maybe you can sell the book at summer beach shops too and since it’s in your hometown setting do you have any independent bookstores that will take it?

  2. This is a wonderful suggestion. Thanks! My upcoming book, Army of Worn Soles, is perfect for this approach, as there is are several communities and interest groups who, I think, would be open to readings and talks: Ukrainians, veterans, history buffs, etc.

    • Oh Definitely Scott – hit them all up. I would also go on FB to each of those groups with a “I thought your members might be interested in this book….” and post it with the link on the pages – the worst that happens is they feel it’s promotional and will delete it. But, since it’s so targeted, sometimes they let it slide.

  3. Excellent strategy, Elyse. What about groups on G+, Goodreads, Book Blogs, and other book related sites, too? I’m always amazed how many relevant groups there are on social networking sites. Good luck with the book fair! I look forward to hearing results. After attending Comic Con and maneuvering through crowds, from vendor to vendor, I couldn’t believe it hadn’t occurred to me to look into renting a booth, especially considering my genre. Have you talked with your local libraries about donating copies?

    • I have actually donated my books to the entire network of libraries in my area. I was going to rent a booth at comicon but it was $950 – too rich for my blood at this time… I would love to finally understand google+ and the specialized groups on there – I won’t lie, I have a hard time navigating it… now I need a google+ expert.

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