What if I told you it’s possible to get a reader’s attention in 30 words or less? That’s the power of a book hook. For example, notice the irresistible quality of these words:
- Could you kill your wife to save your daughter?
- What if the first man to walk on Mars realizes he’ll be the first to die there?
- What if your sex life can get hotter with age?
- What if a woman had led the civil rights movement instead of Martin Luther King?
- “One of the most important books I’ve ever read…” – Bill Gates
Every book, including fiction and nonfiction, needs a hook in order to attract reader attention. Without attention, there is no book sale. If you’re unfamiliar with this concept, I teach how to create compelling hooks in The Author’s Guide to Write Text that Sells Books.
But, what if I told you that a book hook is useless unless people actually see it? A hook should be prominently displayed wherever people view information about your book. Here are four key places to maximize results:
1. Feature your hook on your book’s Amazon page
Amazon has the power to display your book’s hook to more readers than anywhere else. But, you must take steps for the hook to be easily viewable. For instance, make sure your hook is the first sentence featured at the top of your book’s product detail page on Amazon. Put the words in bolded text for visual emphasis.
2. Display your hook on the back cover copy
For paperback or hardcover editions, feature your book hook as the first sentence on the top of your back cover copy. When people browse at a bookstore, many readers look at the front cover then flip the book over to read the back cover copy. Make your hook the first words people see on the back cover. Use a larger font, bolded text, or a different color to make the words stand out.
3. Use your hook on Amazon, BookBub, and Facebook Ads
If you buy Amazon, BookBub, or Facebook ads to promote your book, all three platforms allow you to insert a hook to make the ad more effective. For example, Amazon lets you insert around 30 words of “custom text” as promotional copy for shoppers to see on an ad. Use your hook in that section. If you want your ads to work effectively, you must grab people’s attention.
4. Say your book hook out loud
Another useful purpose for a hook is during media interviews, pitching a new book idea to an agent or publisher, casual discussion with friends, or even sitting next to someone on the airplane. A great hook enables you to feel more confident about marketing your book. You no longer have to fear the question someone might ask, “What is your book about?” Confidently reply by stating your hook.
There’s no bad place to display or recite a great hook. Use it everywhere all the time. People won’t tire of seeing it or hearing it. More importantly, a great hook helps your fans spread more word of mouth by knowing exactly what to tell their friends.
Think you’ve got a great hook for you book?
Email it to me and I’ll be judge.
If you pass my test, I’ll feature your book to everyone on my email newsletter list. If I think your hook is boring, you can learn how to fix it by reading The Author’s Guide to Write Text that Sells Books.