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  • (or how to woo an editor, publish your book, and have your own happily ever after)

  • (or so what do you write?)

  • or, where does your book fit on the shelf?


  • Examples: Category: Romance Fiction

    Subgenre: Paranormal

    Category: Mystery/Suspense/Thriller Subgenre: Police procedural

    Category: General Fiction Subgenre: Women’s Fiction

    Category: General Fiction Subgenre: Historical

    Category: YA Subgenre: Horror

  • Subgenres cycle

    Erotic romance


    Romantic suspense



  • (or so what the heck is a hook anyway?)

  • Definitions HOOK: • 1-3 sentence essence of the story • “What makes this book a must-read is…” OR

    “Here’s a story you’ve never heard before…”

    HIGH CONCEPT HOOK: • Succinctly stated premise • The idea sells the book LOW CONCEPT HOOK: • Character development over plot • Subtleties that aren't as easily summarized FRAMING DEVICE: • “This” plus “that” • Commonly mistaken for high concept or a hook • Helps cement story in editor’s mind • Not required for a successful pitch NOTE: • Tropes are not Hooks • A plot summary is not a Pitch

  • Why do you need a hook?

    To STAND OUT in a crowd!


  • Number of books is rapidly increasing

    Average household $ spent on books staying the same

    Why do you need a hook?

  • What is a hook used for?

    To Sell the book 1. Catch the eye of Gatekeepers: Agents & Editors

    Who use it for: Submissions, Acquisitions & Sales

    2. Catch the eye of the Reader Title, positioning, back cover copy, sales & marketing materials


  • Example: Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue

    A thrilling, sexy new romantic suspense series from debut author, experienced cop, and survivalist expert, Katie Ruggle. Field County is a wild, uncivilized stretch of the Rocky Mountains. In this remote area, rescue groups—law enforcement, rescue divers, fire fighters—are often the only hope for the lost, the sick and the injured.

    Each book focuses on a different member of the Field County Search and Rescue team as they work through all four books to catch a killer. The books can stand alone, with suspense specific to each story, but are threaded together by an ongoing suspense plot that culminates in book four.

    Book One: A rescue diver. Book Two: A motorcycle club member turned firefighter. Book Three: A survivalist expert/wilderness guide. Book Four: A cop.

    For Acquisitions:

  • Example: Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue

    ROMANTIC SUSPENSE In the remote wilderness of the Rocky Mountains, rescue groups—law enforcement, rescue divers, firefighters—are often the only hope for the lost, the sick, and the injured. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder.

    That’s why Callum, the surly and haunted leader of the close-knit Search and Rescue brotherhood, finds it so hard to let newcomer Louise “Lou” Sparks into his life. But when these rescue divers go face-to-face with a killer, Callum may find that more than his heart is on the line...

    For Sales and Marketing (Book One):

  • Example: Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue

    For Art:

    Notes to Artist: Survival against both the elements & killers. That creeping feeling that you are being hunted. Man vs. wild.

    Water, Fire, Earth, Air.

  • Example: Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue

    For the reader:

  • 1. Launches your brand 2. Builds your career

  • Do you need a series hook?

    BOOK 1 Brother runs to Montana to start a ranch. GENRE: Cowboy Romance.

    BOOK 3 Sister remains in small Southern town and falls in love with the local sheriff. GENRE: Small town Romance.

    Nothing ties these books together. Family does not equal a compelling series hook.

    BOOK 2 Sister is on the run from the mob. GENRE: Romantic suspense.

    BOOK 4 Brother is a billionaire with a taste for BDSM. GENRE: Erotic Romance.

  • Can it get any simpler? Yes!

    Hook: Cowboy firefighters + Christmas

    Hook: Highland. Dragons.Hook: SWAT Special Wolf Alpha Team

  • (or so what the heck is a frame anyway?)

  • What is a frame and how can it help?

    Editors receive a lot of pitches. A simple but impactful frame can help remind us of your book.

    But you do not have to have a frame!

  • Framing devices that worked!

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwi_0KmU-u3LAhWOPB4KHehtAyUQjRwIBw&url=http://www.badassoftheweek.com/maccolla.html&bvm=bv.118443451,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNH1fdNI0qEj-gP8jK8Q-_LiODITMQ&ust=1459617079153896 https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiyy_TS9u3LAhVBFh4KHfoNAyUQjRwIBw&url=https://www.youtube.com/show/prideandprejudice&v6u=https://s-v6exp1-ds.metric.gstatic.com/gen_204?ip%3D100.12.115.77%26ts%3D1459530414434121%26auth%3Dwt3zvfjmselkw2rooibir26oe6w3fa7l%26rndm%3D0.8893715304252415&v6s=2&v6t=43792&bvm=bv.118443451,d.dmo&psig=AFQjCNGnHcImzqWtNoX6TD_hCPAtHDbZQQ&ust=1459616835114554 http://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2015/04/hbo_tells_williamsburgs_videology_to_stop_showing_game_of_thrones.php&ei=B2k5VY-zFYafsAWg4ICgAg&bvm=bv.91427555,d.b2w&psig=AFQjCNEeLTNLdnfhg2YDBtncAi8V5yZPyw&ust=1429912204164675

  • Example of what an editor might be looking for: Our Editorial Criteria for Romance Fiction

    • Characters the reader can relate to and fall in love with

    • A world gets created that the reader can escape into

    • A hook we can sell within 2-3 sentences • The author has a career arc we can build

  • www.Sourcebooks.com #Sourcebooks


    Contact Us deb.werksman@sourcebooks.com mary.altman@sourcebooks.com



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