Thursday, February 23, 2012

Does Your Book Have Thong Appeal?

The cover of the New York Daily News recently featured a photo of a slender woman wearing a thong.  The revealing visual did its job.  It drew a potential reader to open the paper to see what the story was that would connect the faceless woman’s two perfectly separated butt cheeks.

We all know sex sells. Sports Illustrated gets crazy sales for its annual swimsuit issue.  Commercials for beer, cars, clothes, and other products use youth, beauty, and sex to push sales.  The question for authors, when promoting your books, is: “Do you have thong appeal?”

But in this case it doesn’t have to be sex itself that is sold. The thong can be anything that is revealing or attention-grabbing for your book.  So, what can you say about your book that will turn heads the way the thronged beauty shakes her money-maker?  Of course if your book is about a serious topic, like disease, death or disability, your thong is going to be found in significant emotions. Tap into the fear one has of death or the feeling of euphoria one has when triumphing over a challenge.  If your book is about dieting, or home shopping or financial planning, appeal to vanity, desires for wealth, and control of one’s destiny. Look for the good and evil in things.  Find the hero or the villain.  Set up the story so that your thong captures something people really care about.

It might be your book just doesn’t have a thong.  That’s okay.  If you lack the singular knockout punch, try to win on points.  Share several interesting stories that cumulatively give depth, meaning and context to your book. Lead with the assets you possess and you’ll soon find a faithful readership.

Interview With Romantic Comedy Author Beth Muscat 

1.      What is your latest book about? Everyone has bad days once in awhile. My characters have the worst day, a bad day. It's a romantic comedy aptly called, "Bad Day", and it takes place over one day. It features four main characters, and showcases the fears, triumphs, bad and good memories and everything in between that can happen over one day.

2.      What inspired you to write it? I'm a multi-genre writer, and I like humor. I thought I would try something new with a romantic comedy. As to what inspired me to write it, as I said, everyone has bad days.

3.      What do you feel your readers want or expect when they read your books? I think what any reader of a book wants: A story that is interesting and flows well, with interesting characters, edited for spelling/grammar mistakes and easy to read and understand. I write in multiple first person POV, so my readers need my writing to be easily understood as to who is thinking/feeling/speaking at that time.

4.      What do you love most about being a published author? I think what I love best about being a published author is that I was able to share with the world my thoughts and feelings through some awesome characters. I met some terrific people online who showed me a way to get my works out there for others to read through self-publishing. If I can entertain or take a person to another world and introduce them to some wonderful characters, then I think I've done my job. And, I like to see my name on the book. That might be kind of vain, but it's also kind of neat.

5.      Do you have any advice to a struggling writer? Read, read, read. Find a genre that you enjoy and lose yourself in it. I read a novel by L. J. Smith called "Dark Visions", and it inspired me to write a paranormal romance. Draw inspiration from watching people and even from your own experiences. Take writing courses and read some "how-to" books--although, they can be contradictory, so limit how many you read to just one or two. Most of all, write how you want to write. Write about what makes you feel good.  When I first started out, I was afraid to show my works to family and friends for fear that they would laugh at what I'd written. But, let them read it and critique it for you. What might sound right to you, might be interpreted differently by someone else. They might be able to suggest a different way of writing it to make it flow better. Just write. Write about anything--I recently entered a short story contest using some writing prompts I found online. But, most importantly, just write.

6.      Where do you see the book publishing industry heading? I think the book publishing industry is headed almost completely in the self-publishing direction. So many people have such excellent writing out there, and yet, can't find an agent or publisher to take them on. This is a tough industry to get into that way. However, with self-publishing, it has taken me to places I never thought I would go to (online), and I've met some incredible people along the way (online). They've shown me a world where I can get my works to a great amount of people, instead of my novels being stuck on my computer for no one to see. Self-publishing means I have creative control over my works, and I can earn more. But, self-publishing doesn't mean you can skimp on editing, the use of beta-readers and great writing. Those things are probably even more important in self-publishing than in traditional publishing.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person.

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