Month: December 2017

Your Book’s Unique Selling Proposition

I want to hear about your book’s unique selling proposition. . .but before you contact me, please read the following:

Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re an ex-law enforcement agent with years of experience and interesting stories to share with readers about your work. That by itself does not qualify as a strong concept unless you happened to have brought someone like John Gotti to justice. Ask yourself: What is your book’s unique selling proposition. What would make your book any more compelling than a book written by another ex-law enforcement agent?

I was recently contacted by an ex-DEA special agent who wanted to self-publish a book about his career in south Florida during the early-to-mid 1980s–the heyday of TV’s Miami Vice series. I happen to know that era intimately because I lived in south Florida at the time and the show’s lead, Don Johnson, was both my client and a personal friend. The ex-DEA agent had many interesting stories to tell, but he didn’t have a unique selling proposition (USP) for his book concept. I put on my literary agent/book editor/coauthor cap (yes, I have one) and began probing his career experiences.

During our discussions, I discovered he had interrogated a former client of mine who he believed at the time was a low-level Mafioso. In truth, this individual was so crafty that no one in law enforcement knew that he was the Genovese family capo di tutti capi–the head of the most powerful crime family of that era. Full disclosure: he was also a client of mine.

The story of how this invisible Mafia boss pulled off such an improbable deception, not to mention the crimes he committed while operating in the shadows, promised to be a compelling book and a likely candidate for optioning as a major motion picture. I was thus able to identify the book’s USP, which was embodied in its title: Phil Lombardo: The Invisible Mafia Godfather.

The book’s USP will make it far more likely to grab the attention of a TV talk show segment producer during the author’s publicity tour. Part of my role as a cowriter and ghostwriter is to help my clients identify and develop a USP for their books. I look forward to helping you craft the most compelling USP of your book.