What are your strengths?

Janet Reid has an excellent blog post today, and I highly recommend you drop everything and read it. Janet sat in on a seminar by Ballantine editor Mark Tavani, who gave an insightful discussion about the driving force behind a book. He breaks them down into categories and gives wonderful examples of what they are.

I found this particularly noteworthy because I see a lot of queries where the author doesn’t know how to sell their book because they don’t think about its strengths. His talk is geared toward thrillers, but the categories are pretty one-size-fits-all.

I can’t stress this enough – you really must know your book’s strong suits. Is it character driven? Or is it based on more of a concept? Will readers align themselves more with your plot and its twists?

The main thing to consider is what will readers TALK ABOUT after they finish reading your book? THAT is what you could concentrate on when you write your query.

Go.
Read.
Become brilliant.

2 Responses to What are your strengths?

  1. Lev Raphael says:

    It’s great advice and hard to implement because writers find it difficult to stand back from their hopes and expectations for a book and look at their work objectively. It comes with experience, from helping PR departments with press releases, helping marketing with writing jacket copy, helping venues with advertising, etc. etc. etc.

  2. Bill Webb says:

    what will readers TALK ABOUT after they finish reading your book?

    Why they spent good money on it while they could a had a corn-dog? This is why I always recommend my queries be read with a corn-dog.

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