Many best-selling authors pick their topic or angle specifically because they know it will be of interest to their audience. The pairing of those two strategies – targeting an audience and delivering a unique message to them – is what sells books. As one author said, “We wrote the book for a specific market giving them information we knew they needed.”
In the marketing world, this is called positioning – understanding your audience and explaining why your book is uniquely suited to their interests. You might also think of it as “finding your niche.” Once you’ve found your niche, you’ll have a clear, easily articulated understanding of what your book is about, who it’s for, and how it fits into the existing body of published books within your domain.
Here’s an analogy for you. Entrepreneurs are often challenged to come up with an elevator pitch for their business – it’s a short, interesting way to explain what value their business offers to the world in the time you’d have in the elevator with them. It has to be concise and informative while driving the person you’re speaking with to take action. For you as an author, the elevator pitch for your book may sound a lot different from that of a start-up, but it still affords you the benefit of successfully positioning your book to your audience.
To show how powerful a good elevator pitch can be, let’s play a game. Below are four elevator pitches for best-selling books, presented as though they were new books on the market.
Western meets suspense meets a Tarantino-esque hit man . A cowboy stumbles on a drug deal gone bad, takes the money, only to find that he’s being hunted by a relentless killer.
Hearts will race for lovers of fan fiction . For the tween girl that would risk her soul for the everlasting love of the vampire version of James Dean.
If you love puzzles, religious symbolism and a great crime mystery, you’ll hang on every action-packed moment as our hero decodes his way across Europe to uncover an ancient secret, zealously guarded by a clandestine society that will stop at nothing to protect it.
What if dinosaurs could be cloned? For the child in all of us that still marvels at T . Rex in the natural history museum, this sci-fi adventure novel set in the modern age tells the story of an adventure theme park whose proprietors have brought dinosaurs back from extinction.
See how just a few sentences can create interest in a book for the reader? That is the power of positioning. Think you know which books these are? To see the answers, visit this link on the Lulu blog.
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