Monday, August 14, 2017

What's Your Nonfiction Hook?

Every writer (book author or not; fiction or nonfiction author) needs a nonfiction hook--the enticement you use for media and readers. You need to carefully consider your hook because it is what you will use to build your platform, gather your tribe, get interest and interviews from the media and much more. 

I have seen many fiction novelists struggling with this area and it's partially why I'm writing this article. These writers have crafted a great page-turning novel and gotten a publisher. Each of these steps are terrific and to be applauded. Yet when you get your book published, you are only part of the way in the publishing journey. The next step is to attract readers and media and sell your book (marketing). It's where many fiction authors struggle.  No journalist in the media cares that you've written a brand new novel. You have to take the nonfiction hook in your novel and use that expertise to attract readers and media and generate excitement for your book. 

To catch a fish, every fisherman uses some type of bait on their hook. It's the same process with writers. You need to think about your bait that you use with your hook to catch the attention of readers and media. As a novelist, in the process of writing your book, you have focused on a particular nonfiction topic or subject. What is that topic? Write it down because this topic is your nonfiction hook to interest readers and media. Because you have completed a novel, you have become an expert in this area. Now use this expertise to build your platform, attract readers and media. Each novelist will have a different and unique area of expertise.

For example, Rabbi Marc Rubenstein has completed a new novel from Morgan James Publishing called Weddings By The Glass. The novel releases in February 2018 but follow this link and you can order an advanced copy from Rabbi Rubenstein. I love the beautiful cover on this book. Rabbi Marc has conducted over 3,000 Jewish weddings and is an expert in this area. Also he lives in wine country of Temecula, California and has trademarked the term “kosher wine.” Each of these areas of expertise are hooks for readers and the media. His novel is excellent (and yes I was the acquisitions editor for this novel so I'm a bit bias in my endorsement).

As a novelist, you have poured great creativity into writing your story through making unique characters and plot twists. Now that your book is completed and published, I encourage you to pour some of this creative energy toward determining then exploiting your nonfiction hook. It will help you build your audience and get attention from the media so you can tell others about your novel.

If you like this article and want to learn more, I encourage you to get my free Ebook, Platform-Building Ideas for Every Author. Just use this link and you will get immediate access.

In the comments, let me know if this article was helpful and what sort of action you are taking with your nonfiction hook. 


Every writer needs to know their nonfiction hook (fiction or nonfiction). Get the details here.  (ClickToTweet)
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2 Comment:

At 7:02 AM, Blogger MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA Left a note...

Terry, I am so glad you addressed this topic. Too often, fiction writers are not aware that their stories have a non-fiction hook. I've discovered that this hook is often related to the theme of the story. For example, in my novel, THE MADONNA OF PISANO, the first in my trilogy called THE ITALIAN CHRONICLES, the theme is forgiveness. Interestingly, I have taken this theme and created a talk on the relationship of forgiveness to health and well-being. Using my theme as a backdrop, I had the opportunity to speak on the topic of forgiveness and health at a business luncheon where I was able to promote my books.

Thank you for this post!

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Terry Whalin Left a note...

MaryAnn, thank you for this comment.From working with many novelist, you are the exception in understanding your nonfiction hook. I've seen many fiction authors struggle with this issue rather than seize the opportunity.



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