How's your USP?
Don't know what I'm talking about?
I'm talking about your – Unique Selling Point.
How come – Fifty Shades of Grey made so much money for the author when a better title would have been Fifty shades of Crap?
Simple. E L James, hit it right with a unique selling point. Porn you could read on the tube without feeling dirty.
So how easy is it to find this magical thing?
It's not. If it were, us writers would all be multi-millionaires making regular trips to checkout our piles of money sitting in Swiss bank accounts.
That's the thing about a USP. It's unique.
Finding one, is like finding the holy grail.
I've written two Paranormal books, published through a respectable publisher in the USA. My alien vampire novel, Half Blood has won awards, one for Best Adventure Novel, 2013, and another for Best Paranormal Novel, 2013.
As books go, they have done reasonably well. Not Swiss bank account well.
Quoting, Ed Wood, 'The next one will be better.'
I've certainly changed the type of genre I usually write to something quite different, and hopefully – unique.
I took a long look at past best selling books, and why they were successful.
Whilst it's true, in a lot of cases success came purely because of the author was a talented writer.
That can't be said, for Fifth Shades of Grey, and a few other best sellers I've read.
E L James, is not a great writer, certainly not in the same league as, Harper Lee, Virginia Woolf and the more contemporary writers, such as Myra Angelou, and Danielle Steel.
That hasn't stopped her from becoming seriously wealthy from Fifty Shades. How much money the sequels have made her, I don't know – probably not as much as the first unique book. The one that everybody became obsessed with reading.
I've actually seen her books in the, buy one get one free sections of books stores – why?
The books are no longer unique.
Now's the time for all you writers out there in wonder-world to take the challenge, and write that uniquely desirable best seller.
So how do you find this holy grail?
What do you write about? World events. Predicted catastrophes, the supernatural. There's always climate change, that's usually pretty good for a dramatic story.
It's not the topic, after all there is nothing new about S & M and bondage sex. What was new about Fifty Shades of Grey was that it brought into the open, what is quite frankly perverted sex, in an acceptable way to read pornography by stylising it into a romance.
The story had a twist, or was twisted, depending on your point of view. No matter whether the book was universally slammed by many of the literary critics as badly written, which I think it is, the sales of the book made it's author too rich to give a damn what anyone says about it.
The point I'm trying to make, is not that E L James, is a good writer and had something new or that her story hit a certain mood at the right moment in time.
It was that she approached her subject in a unique way. She took a rather seedy subject line, and gave it a Mills and Boon angle.
Young impressionable girl meets wealthy guy, becomes obsessive about their relationship. He's a basic nut job with lots of issues, and sex with him is like nothing she's had before.
The Unique Selling Point, is that coupling the two, no pun intended, gave the story a new edge. The public, whether reading or film buffs, are always looking for something they have not seen or read before.
It can be argued that she hit lucky, which up to a point, she did. All success stories have to have a slice of luck in them somewhere. It wasn't luck though that made the book a sell out success, it was that it was different to the normal sexually explicit novels.
That was her USP.
Search for a difference to your story, take a new approach to your subject, and maybe you will be the next E L James.
I wish you that slice of luck ---
thanks for reading this post...
The Riotous Writer
background by 'Stuart Miles' courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos,net