Let’s start out by getting caught up on where we are with narrative hooks.
On Tuesday, we introduced the topic and explained how:
… most of us readers know what we like in a novel. And we’re even better at identifying what we don’t like when it comes to advertising.
If that sounds like a random topic change, it’s not. Don’t for a second think that a narrative hook is anything but a marketing ploy. It’s the last step in the book sales process that lands you that fishy you want so bad.
More about that on Thursday!
Since it’s now Thursday, and we’re properly armed with the fact that narrative hooks are a novel marketing strategy...
Let’s continue properly preparing to fish.
Front covers are your first and foremost book marketing device.
The back-jacket blurb (or online version) is your second.
And then there’s the narrative hook, which is the deal-closing part of your marketing strategy.
To be clear, closing deals requires incentivizing people enough to make them agree to your terms. In this case, that means they buy up your book at your – reasonably – set price.
Here’s how to do it.
Identify your ideal reader; identify your ideal hook.
As always, it’s your story. You can do whatever you want with it during the pre-publishing process. So go ahead and write a hook that captures your attention, making you want to read the rest of your story (which you, of course, wrote).
However, keep in mind one of the biggest reasons you wrote it in the first place: to be read. And, as we said in our writing Definition, nobody’s going to read it all the way through if they open it up, only to find a hook that doesn’t appeal to them.
It only makes sense when this is a transaction we’re talking about. And you don’t make a transaction without first making it about the other person to some degree.
Usually to a large one.
Funny enough, identifying your ideal reader just so happens to be what I covered in today’s Business Writing Tip. This was a complete coincidence that I’m more than happy to capitalize on for your benefit.
You’re more than welcome to read the entire article here. Though you can get the gist just as easily down below:
If you’re interested in writing sales copy that makes a mint, stop trying to please everyone. Figure out who your ideal reader is instead.
What’s their age, if any? What’s their gender, if any? What’s their ethnicity, if any?
How about their occupation, their frustrations, their likes and dislikes, their dreams?
Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Maybe even a little skeevy?
It shouldn’t. Just as long as you’re offering a worthwhile product and you’re not threatening people into buying it. Under those stipulations…
Don’t worry about being politically incorrect in targeting what you’re pushing at a certain group. Worry about being unethical, but not politically incorrect.
Your ideal reader doesn’t see himself or herself as a non-PC entity. And neither should you.
Your sales copy won’t work on everyone because it’s not meant for everyone. Because it’s selling something that not everyone wants or needs or cares about.
Get that into your narrative hook writing/editing head. And, once you do, never let it go.