Today’s publishing world is all about the hook. Just take a look at PW’s roundup of recent deals for any given week.
“It’s a modern retelling of Sense and Sensibility.”
“It’s a gender swap of Gone Girl.”
“It’s Jaws meets Catcher in the Rye.” (Okay, that might be interesting. Is the shark a phoney too? Will it cost Holden an arm and a leg to find out?)
Don’t get me wrong…I love a good hook. It can be make or break for a submission. It’s a great way for editors to pitch a book to sales reps and accounts. It helps make a book memorable. It can be the cornerstone of a marketing campaign. But creating the right hook is even more important than having a hook in the first place. Some things, like Jaws and Catcher in the Rye, just don’t go well together (unless you’re as anxious to see Holden Caulfield get eaten as I am). You want your pitch to fit the book, but not seem campy, confusing, or forced. So how do you master the art of the hook? Continue reading