A Book's Four Most Important Selling Points - Applying the Kiss Principle by Marta Tandori


When seven-year-old Ethan du Maurier, only son and heir of New York City real estate tycoon, Alexander du Maurier, disappears during school recess, the FBI quickly determines that his disappearance was an abduction. Within hours of a special news bulletin airing nationwide, the FBI’s hotline is inundated with anonymous tips relating to sightings of a little boy matching Ethan’s description outside a historic Savannah building, now a newly-renovated eatery. The FBI quickly assembles a task force and searches the premises but instead of finding little Ethan, they stumble upon the century-old remains of what appears to be a murdered man hidden in a pirate’s tunnel under the historic building. With her restaurant on temporary lockdown pending the FBI’s forensic investigation, owner Annie Eastwood researches the history of the building she inherited, hoping it will shed some light on the identity of the murdered man, but what she uncovers are bits and pieces of a horrible scandal that nearly destroyed the du Maurier family over a century ago. With hopes for Ethan’s safe return dwindling by the hour, Annie finds an unlikely lead in an old classified ad from a Boston newspaper which connects the events of the past to the present-day abduction of Ethan du Maurier—and to the identity of his abductor. Determined to rescue little Ethan before time runs out, Annie quickly realizes that the boy’s abductor will stop at nothing—even murder—in order to exact his revenge. Purchase at: amazonbn     Add to Goodreads: goodreads

            A reader walks into a bookstore and is surrounded by a plethora of books – cookbooks, children’s books, biographies, self-help books, books on philosophy and a variety of novels in various genres and subgenres, enough to make anyone’s head spin.  The same goes for finding a book online.  It can be an intimidating task, to say the least.  So how does a reader find the right book?

            Many readers will go into a bookstore and will invariably head towards the section that houses their favorite authors’ books.  If James Patterson or Danielle Steel appear to be experiencing a dry patch, without new novels out that particular month, the disappointed reader will immediately start browsing to see what else is on the shelves in the genre(s) they like to read.  This is the perfect time for a new author’s book to get noticed.  The only problem is:  how to do that?  Simple!  Apply the KISS principle – Keep It Stupid Simple by making sure you’ve got (i) a great book cover, (ii) a compelling back cover blurb, (iii) a great title and finally, (iv) a great first line.

            Book Covers
            Just as people are attracted to food by the way it looks, readers are attracted to books by their cover design.  Imagine walking into a mall food court.  We’ve all done it.  We’re hot and tired of walking around and fighting the crowds and the only thing we want to do is find something to eat and take a load off.  You peruse the different vendors, checking out their wares.  What’s going to appeal to you more?  A benign offering of sautéed meat and vegetables that have been sitting out in a steam table since God-knows-when (and that have about as much appeal as chomping on dried leather) or another vendors wares which display freshly cut vegetables, a selection of deli meats and fresh bread?  It’s a no brainer that you’re going to pick the fresh food over the pieces of dried out leather.  The same thing can be said about selecting a book by its cover.
            The cover of a book will capture a reader’s attention for a number of different reasons.  It may be colorful or have an attractive person on the cover or it may depict a scene that looks interesting that will encourage a reader to find out more about the book.  Whatever is on the cover, it must speak to a reader and convey that special je ne sais quoi that will make to the reader go to the next level, which is to flip the book over and read the back cover blurb.

            Back Cover Blurb
            The back cover blurb is the author’s moment to shine.  In those few paragraphs that sum up what the book is about, the author must reel in the reader, make the book sound interesting enough by giving enough details so that a reader will know what the book is about – but not enough details to give anything away.

            Then comes the title.  Does it compliment the book cover and the back cover blurb?  Does the title convey some essence of what the story is about?  If so, your book is practically at the cash register.

            First Lines
            More often than not, if a reader likes the cover art and is intrigued by the back cover blurb and the title, that reader will invariably open the book and scan the first few lines.  Those first few lines should have the reader hooked and anxious to find a nice quiet spot to curl up and dig into your book.  For example, in my book TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE, the first line went like this:  The dirty clothes and foul body odor were a lethal combination, infusing the already cloying humidity with a pervasive stink. – hardly high-brow literature but it certainly makes a statement.

            In summary, it’s difficult to say what really attracts a reader to a book.  Readers are selective and rightly so – with the wide array of books to choose from, they have a right to be.  It is the author’s job to attract that reader and to sell the story so the reader will head over to the cashier with the author’s book in hand (or to the online cart for check out).  While all of this may seem daunting to some, and unnecessary and bothersome to the author focused on writing his or her epic opus, that epic opus will likely never get off the ground without some additional attention lavished on these four important selling points.  So remember the KISS principle and Keep It Stupid Simple:  have a great cover, great blurb, great title and great first line.  The sales will be sure to follow.  


By the time Marta Tandori reached fifth grade, she was an avid reader and writer with a stack of short stories collecting dust in a box under her bed but it wasn’t until she began studying acting in her early twenties at the prestigious American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York that Marta realized acting wasn’t really her passion – writing fiction was. What followed was years of writing workshops as well as correspondence courses in writing for children through the Institute of Children’s Literature in Connecticut. She credits the award winning author, Troon Harrison, as the instructor who helped her find her literary voice. Marta’s first work of middle-grade fiction, BEING SAM, NO MATTER WHAT was published in 2005, followed by EVERY WHICH WAY BUT KUKU! in 2006. With her more recent endeavors, Marta has shifted her writing focus to “women’s suspense”, a genre she fondly describes as having “strong female protagonists with closets full of nasty skeletons and the odd murder or two to complicate their already complicated lives”. To learn more about Marta, visit her blog, The Marta/Kindle Project at http://www.martatandori.com. Visit her website at http://www.martatandori.com

Continuance Virtual Book Publicity Tour Schedule

Monday, August 5 - Book review and 1st chapter reveal at Miki's Hope
Wednesday, August 7 - Guest blogging at From the TBR Pile
Thursday, August 8 - Book reviewed at Kaisy Daisy's Corner
Monday, August 12 - Guest blogging and 1st chapter reveal at Inside BJ's Head
Tuesday, August 13 - Book review and Guest blogging at Queen of All She Reads
Thursday, August 15 - Interviewed at Review From Here
Monday, August 19 - Book reviewed at Love Books! Book Reviews
Monday, August 19 - Guest blogging and 1st chapter reveal at Cindy's Love of Books
Tuesday, August 20 - Book featured at Beyond the Books
Wednesday, August 21 - Book  featured at My Cozie Corner
Friday, August 23 - Interviewed at Book Marketing Buzz
Monday, August 26 - Book featured at My Devotional Thoughts
Tuesday, August 27 - Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Thursday, August 29 - 1st chapter reveal at Read 2 Review
Friday, August 30 - Interviewed at Broowaha
Pump Up Your Book

1 comment:

  1. Interesting guest post. By the way, I'm now following along via Bloglovin. Looking forward to visiting often.


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