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Does Your Book Wear Floaties?

June 29, 2010

Trying to estimate the number of books in the world is like trying to estimate the number of times you’ve made an idiot of yourself.

Borderline impossible.

Every day, books are published. Every day, someone else’s book reserves a place on the bookshelf of our local book store. We’re surrounded by this enormous, growing world of books, and every time we need something new to read, we’re left totally bamboozled by this massive amount of possibilities.

So, in this ginormous pool of paper, ink, crap and brilliance and plain old good, how do we make sure that our book floats to the top of people’s TBR piles?

The question to ask yourself is: Does my book wear floaties?

Sure, they look pretty silly on full-grown, mature books, but let’s face it: If wearing those Barbie or Spider Man floaties means the difference between your book sinking or swimming, isn’t it worth it?

Every successful book that has risen out of the depths of the one million feet deep pool has worn floaties – something that made it stand out against the vast backdrop of book upon book, and sent it floating ecstatically to the top.

We all are aware of the magnificent power of word of mouth. Joe’s friend told him that [insert book title here] was great, so Joe read it, and then told Nancy that it was the most awesomest book he’d ever read, so she had to read it, too, of course, and then she went to work and told all of her co-workers that [insert book title here] was a work of art, so, not wanting to miss out on something that could be the next [insert book title here of the last book with state-of-the-art Barbie floating devices], read it, too, and then…

It’s key that there’s something special about your book. Truly original. Not original in the way that other book out there is original (see the conflict, there?), but original in a totally new way. Yes, I realize that what I just said is completely obvious, but sometimes people don’t see things that are directly in front of their noses.

Be as original as elephant ears and nose plugs and automatic soap dispensers.

I’d like to think that my books are wearing floaties. That something about my books and my voice and my characters is special, and that readers will be thankful because that something special in my book made them feel happy.

When you sit down to write tonight, tomorrow, or next week, think about what in your book enhances the reading experience. What about it is unique? What can you do to ensure that something about it will stick with a reader until they simply must recommend it to someone they love so that they can feel the same happy feeling?

Does your book wear floaties?

Is your book an elephant ear?

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Dominique permalink
    June 30, 2010 7:17 PM

    I love elephant ears!

  2. June 29, 2010 4:03 PM

    I love this analogy. The title made me giggle, and your post made me think. I’m going to go strap some floaties to my manuscript now…

  3. June 29, 2010 8:09 AM

    I like your comparison — there are definitely rough waters in the land of publishing! I’m also picturing the books on my “Recommended” list as wearing spiderman floaties –or maybe “underoos,” but that’s just me… Nice post!

  4. June 29, 2010 7:57 AM

    1) This is an excellent post, and the next time I add something to my “to read” list I will picture it wearing those Spiderman floaties, 100%.
    2) I am so hungry for elephant ears now…. mmm…

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