Hook ‘Em with a Hookby Sherrie Clark
When you’re deciding whether or not to buy a book, what is it that tips the scale and converts you from a potential reader to a reader? Chances are there was something about that book that hooked you.
What is a hook? It is something that compels someone to say, “I’ve got to know more about this book.” Think of it as a shepherd’s crook that uses its hook to pull someone in the desired direction. In this case, the desired direction is buying your book, reading it, and grabbing hold of your message or story.
Your hook can be your title, your book’s cover, the back cover blurb, your book’s Introduction, and even your chapter titles. These are your chances to grab their attention, so make sure you apply a lot of effort on each. If you’re not a graphic artist, I would suggest hiring a professional book cover designer because this, along with your title, will be your readers’ first impression. These components will either cause potential readers to take the time to pick up your book and read the back cover. At this point, you’ll need to keep tugging on that shepherd’s crook.
This may require the employing of an editor. Your back cover blurb is a great tool to keep potential readers captivated. Your opening lines should knock their socks off and make them want to know what happens next. Once they’ve come this far and are still showing an interest in your book, don’t let up and disappoint. Make sure each chapter opens with a hook. Disperse hooks throughout so that you can make sure you’re keeping readers sucked into your story or message.
You have lots of opportunities to toss out the bait. With each one, entice them enough so that they want to take a nibble. The nibble can then turn into a bite. Then we want them to want to proceed to the next step in the process: swallowing and digesting. This is basically their buying your book, reading it, and learning from it or being entertained by it. After all, that is the purpose of writing and publishing your book—to share your message or story with others.