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.
Although I’m not a literary agent or agency, I can help you define and craft a book concept that will make or break your book’s potential to interest an agent and launch your literary career.
In today’s highly competitive market, your book concept has to be stellar, meaning, it must be compelling and solve a problem that potentially millions of readers struggle with (e.g., fitness, weight loss, balding, diabetes, arthritis, relationships, business decisions, etc.).
At present, self-publishing is a viable option to getting a book deal with an established publishing house. There are numerous pitfalls associated with self-publishing, however, if done correctly, self-publishing can be far more lucrative. That’s why it’s vitally important to create and develop a winning book concept with a unique selling proposition.
If you’re considering writing a book and are not a celebrity or a public figure, you might consider self-publishing instead of trying to land a contract with a major NY publishing house. Generally, publishers will only consider pitches from well-known personalities or from those with significant platforms. What types of people have significant platforms? Here are a few examples:
- TV or radio show hosts, regular panel experts, talking head, actors, comedians, professional athletes and recording artists
- Those with blogs or websites that attracts at least 50,000+ unique visitors a month
- Individuals who have been thrust onto the national or international stage (e.g., Monica Lewinsky, Edward Snowden)
Of course, there are always exceptions and you may be one of the few lucky “unknowns” whose book concept is compelling enough to interest a major publisher.
In general, the bigger your platform, the greater your chance of success, but I’ve seen first-time authors with no platform whatsoever succeed in selling thousands of self-published books. One self-published book I ghostwrote a few years ago sold 550,000 hardcover copies due to the author’s copious website traffic (more than a million unique visitors each month). In certain cases, I can help you create a platform that, over time, will attract enough unique visitors to convince a major publisher to offer you a book deal.
At the beginning of my career as an author, I stumbled upon a talented and caring mentor who helped me find my voice and taught me how to become successful. Without such expert guidance, I most likely would have never seen my books top the bestseller lists. Here’s you opportunity to put my my expert knowledge and 30,000 hours of publishing success to work for you.
What does it take to write a bestselling book? It certainly helps to have guidance from a professional with a proven record of success. It’s an enormous benefit to work with a writer-mentor who has penned multiple bestsellers, who understands how to effectively promote a book and who knows what it takes to sustain a lifelong career. That level of expertise can be priceless to an aspiring author. Without such guidance early in my career, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
You know you have a special book inside you — so what should you do next? Contact me with a compelling query that will grab my attention. Tell me about your book concept. If I feel it’s not strong enough, I’ll work with you every step of the way until it is ready to turn into a potential bestselling book. I’ll help you craft a stellar book proposal designed to command the attention of an acquisition editor at a major NY publishing house. Once you’ve signed your publishing contract, the real work begins–writing your book. Don’t worry, I’ll help you co-write your masterpiece. If you’re not already a seasoned writer, I will ghostwrite your book. Ghostwriting is ideally suited for those people who have a business to run or have other pressing responsibilities that would interfere with meeting book deadlines.
When Cher asked me to co-write her fitness book, I was honored to do so. I’m eagerly looking forward to future projects. Perhaps my next one will be with you!
I have extensive experience in how to use brand messaging, promotion and publicity as the end game for your book, and I can assure you that you can reap extraordinary rewards by doing so. I pioneered this strategy of brand messaging and promotion of products through books and videos in the mid-1980s and The Wall Street Journal took note and published a story on my innovative, forward thinking approach. Today, a CEO would miss a wonderful opportunity if he/she failed to embrace my branding/promotion strategy.
The worlds of publishing, promotion, branding, publicity and sales can all be effectively enhanced through sales of your own book. I can help you execute this strategy through a variety of genres, including memoirs, how-to books and narrative nonfiction books. Assuming you have a compelling story to tell, I can advise you on how to integrate that story into a marketing and promotion strategy that can transform your personal/professional story into an extraordinarily successful sales campaign.
What type of book do you want to write?
For non-fiction, you must write what you know. Perhaps it’s cooking and you’re the next Julia Childs, Ina Garten or Nigella Lawson. Maybe you’ll write about your experiences as a trial attorney, a cardiologist, professional athlete, chef or business executive. You’ve got a story to tell, but it’s your level of passion imbued in your book’s pages that will ultimately connect with and resonate with your readers. That’s the path to publishing success.
Possessing experience and expert knowledge in your profession or avocation is just the beginning. You must also feel passionate about what you do and about your message–the promise of your book. How are you going entertain your readers and improve their lives? Passion is the driving force that will allow you to effectively convey your book’s message in an honest, effective and believable way. Your own passion should leap off the page and infect readers. I can help you better convey your passion for your subject matter on the printed page. I’m really good at it because I’m a passionate about mentoring other writers.
If you’re passionate about your subject matter, it won’t matter what genre of book you write. Your passion will be infectious. It will allow you to write a potential bestselling how-to book, cookbook, true crime book, memoir, narrative nonfiction or business book. One of my roles will be to help you channel your passion into a focused, unique book concept with strong bestseller potential.
I just obtained a copy of Four Weeks To A Better Brain and the free accompanying recipe book, Save Your Brain Cookbook, and was impressed by the scope of research that went into this book. The books are available directly from the author’s website.
Your book’s promise will determine the probability of enjoying a successful book sale. Great book concepts are the coin of the realm in the New York publishing world.
You may be surprised to learn that you can turn the right book promise into a potential bestseller if you work with the right mentor, which could be your cowriter, literary agent or editor. I’ve been a successful author for thirty years and I can count on one hand the professionals I’ve worked with who understand how to help an author develop and refine a potential bestselling promise.
My first literary agent, Connie Clausen, represented two women who pitched her a book idea with the promise that it would teach women a number of effective dating strategies. Connie told me that the coauthors were not seasoned writers and had no idea how to write and organize their book and distill its message into a compelling promise. Connie recognized that the fundamental concept was a commercially viable, so she sat at her desk one long weekend and organized the book while molding its promise into a cohesive, entertaining and easily digested message. The Rules became a NY Times bestseller.
Connie was a natural writer with a gift for packaging books. Her own book, I Love You Honey But The Season’s Over, is especially well-written; it details her life in the world-famous Ringling Bros. Circus. If you’ve seen the motion picture, Water For Elephants, then you saw Connie’s life depicted as the famous “Elephant Girl” in the Ringling Bros. Circus. Connie also enjoyed success as an on-air talent for TV adverts. Here she is touting Coke® (Coca Cola) as a weight-loss aid! Hollywood made a movie about Connie’s life, An Englishman In New York. Connie understood what it takes to be successful and I was indeed fortunate that she mentored me early in my career.
Over the years, Connie and I enjoyed tremendous success as a winning team–all thanks to her early efforts to help me understand the essence of a successful book: the all-important promise that it makes to the reader.
Let me help you identify and refine your best ideas into a compelling book promise with bestselling potential.