Monday, July 18, 2022

Can You Say What Your Book Is About?



Surprisingly, many authors cannot answer a simple question well: What is your book about?


They are on the defensive, answering in a way to get rid of the question, rather than going on the offensive and seeing this as an opportunity to take a softball question and turn it into a soliloquy to sell your book.


What do authors tend to do when asked that single, little question?


They freeze up, feeling they are on the spot. They get a little nervous and anxious. Here’s what many do. They:


·         Talk for too long and don’t quite get to the point.

·         Are too brief and lack substance.

·         Tell things out of a logical order and are hard to follow.

·         Miss something and forget to highlight a key part.

·         Say it with a lack of passion, conversation, or confidence.

·         Reveal too much, almost spoiling the book.

·         Come off as not being relatable.

·         Fail to smile and sound friendly and likeable.

·         Leave out a great review, testimonial, or accomplishment.

·         Fail in their summary to fill a need, serve a desire, or address a concern.

·         Don’t compare the book to a recognizable book, movie, or show.

·         Do not connect to something identifiable or relatable such as an emotion, experience, event, phase of life, or every day moment.

·         Lack ties to what is in the news, trends, honorary days/holidays, seasons, or famous people.

·         Don’t create a tension: win-lose, hate-love, good-evil.

·         Share facts without emotion.

·         Don’t involve others into the conversation – pose a question, present a challenge, survey them.


So, come up with a short but good answer to the question you are bound to be asked. Practice your message. Test it on others and beg for honest feedback.


Your answer must:

·         Speak with clarity.

·         Sound like you have a sense of the real world.

·         Be literal but be descriptive.

·         Bring into perspective your qualifying background for writing it.

·         Explain why you wrote it and who it is for.

·         Show connectivity – give people a reason to see a relevance to them.

·         Prioritize what is interesting over what is chronological.

·         Avoid the use of abrasive language and do not express views that can be perceived as racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, or dumb.


So, what is your book about?



Brian Feinblum, the founder of this award-winning blog, can be reached at He is available to help authors promote their story, sell their book, and grow their brand. He has 30 years of experience in successfully helping thousands of authors in all genres.


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About Brian Feinblum

Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This blog, with over 4,000 posts over the past decade, was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, Newsday, The Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:



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