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Scrawler
01-18-2008, 03:46 AM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?
2- What makes your book different?

These are two questions posed on an agent's email submission form. Have you thought about these questions?
Question 1 isn't so difficult (I think this means to say something about my target audience/market, etc.) but question 2?? I'm stumped. What makes any novel different??

Any suggestions for either question?

Chasing the Horizon
01-18-2008, 04:11 AM
I've always thought of my fantasy books as fantasy for people who don't usually read fantasy. I have a mainstream style (not as wordy as a lot of fantasy) and the way I explain the world building caters to people who found Tolkien unbearably tedious. The tone is so different from most fantasy I really think they would be better marketed as romance (my preferred marketing is still none, though).

With my fantasy, it would be easier to list what it has that's normal instead of what's different (it's a fantasy world with magic and dragons!). My tech level, characters, world structure, pacing, theme, and style are all completely unlike anything I could find in the fantasy or romance genres (and believe me, I looked).

RedScylla
01-18-2008, 04:38 AM
Well, IMHO, that second question is missing a key phrase: "from the books the people in question one are already reading." Kristen Nelson had a blog post about that ages ago--about showing that a.) there's a group of extant readers who will like your book and b.) why they'll choose your book over or in addition to the books of authors they already know they like.

In my querying process, I've tried to answer it by thinking about my "comparative books" and then figuring out what dissatisfied me about them that I've done differently in my book.

1- Who will want to read your book and why?
2- What makes your book different?

These are two questions posed on an agent's email submission form. Have you thought about these questions?
Question 1 isn't so difficult (I think this means to say something about my target audience/market, etc.) but question 2?? I'm stumped. What makes any novel different??

Any suggestions for either question?

Pantsonfire
01-18-2008, 04:47 AM
1) My family.
2) Because they love me.

DWSTXS
01-18-2008, 05:00 AM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?
-- Baby Boomers (and we know how many of them there are...)
2- What makes your book different?

- - -What makes my book different, is that....while it is about the 60's and 70's, sex, drugs, and rock and roll, it is also a coming of age story. Above all, it does what we ALL do...in that the MC and MC2....both constantly look back on their lives and ask....what if?

Spiny Norman
01-18-2008, 05:31 AM
I'd like to think my book is for anyone who's experienced doubt, grief, and failure. Everyone has let someone down in their life. Everyone has wondered once if they were doing the right thing. Everyone's felt like the rest of the world was in on some secret to happiness and success that they didn't know. And everyone's been desperate at least once. My book looks at all of this, but through a humorous, wry eye. It's sad, but earnest, and it knows how to smile.

That's right. It's mostly humorous, in a hopefully-entertaining way.

My book is different for that last part. The main character and most of the other characters are some of the more fleshed out I've ever written and I hope they're the kind that are so real that when you turn out the light after reading you can still smell their hair.

Takvah
01-18-2008, 06:02 AM
People who like to read as a form of entertainment (nothing too deep here) and/or druggies, degenerates, felons of varying degrees and mimes. I dig the mimes, while they won't give you good word of mouth... they also won't bitch and moan and give you bad word of mouth.

HourglassMemory
01-18-2008, 06:06 AM
Who will want to read my book?
Anyone who is curious about something simple turned into an epic. Nerds would certainly buy it. People who like Lord of the Rings would check it out. My generation (teenagers early 20's) would sort of like it.
It's not something I would expect to have a large fanbase.
It's really what I would like to see in a story. Many people have said that the story is curious and interesting, and just different from what is out there. So I guess anyone who heard about the book would at least check the back cover of the book or see what it was all about on the Internet.

What makes my story different?
I deliberately try to make my stories as different as I can from what is out there.
It's different because it's an epic grown out of a simple question and a 'simple task'.
There is nothing to destroy or get. There are no princesses to save, or evil people(like Sauron and orcs) or dwarves or elves or strange names or shooting or wars.
The stuff it's about is very simple but turned into a big thing. And it's just a curious thought experiment.
It's Science fiction, I guess.

Because it's something I always wanted to see on a book or film, but it hasn't been made yet, in such a simplistic way. So I guess it would attract other people as well.
It doesn't have many characters, so it gets easier on the brains, and you go through so many different things with these 6 characters, that hopefully you'd grow to like them.
It's a constant ride of "What if's", in terms of what the adventure is made of.
And it's written in a 'normal' prose. Not much of this fancy talk and weird names and such.
Also, I try to make the situations as fantastical and extreme as possible, and I try to go for iconic moments and iconic places and such, just to leave a footprint on the reader.

I think the innate curiosity in people would make them read.

brokenfingers
01-18-2008, 06:27 AM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?

I think that people with jobs or, at least, the ability to borrow money will want to buy my books.

And they'll want to do it because it'll be what all the 'cool' people will be doing. Well, maybe not all the 'cool' people, but if they don't read it, they'll be missing out on all the water cooler talk.

If they want to stay socially relevant and not be talked about behind their backs, they'd do wise to buy my book.

2- What makes your book different?

The fact that it will have my pen-name on it.

KTC
01-18-2008, 06:32 AM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?
2- What makes your book different?


1- The World. I have arrived.
2- Do you even have to ask.




Seriously, OUCH. If they ask this of everybody I can only imagine the lame repetitive answers they receive. Whatever you answer, they probably already heard it.

Stormhawk
01-18-2008, 06:33 AM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?
Girls looking for a female protagonist who doesn't rely on her perky perfect boobies. Geeks in general. People looking for something weird to read, that fills in the time between Charles de Lint releases and also fills their tech-loving needs.

Also, people into computers who don't wish to hear lines like "HACK ALL OF THE IPS AT ONCE!" and other such impro-babble.

2- What makes your book different?
The location - a lot of people don't have any preconceived ideas about the city in which the main action takes place - and those that do will see that it's all perfectly plausible from a certain angle.

The guys with the uniforms, all the resources and regulations are the good guys, and those scrappy little guys who dress in costume are the dangerous idiots.

Geeks aren't treated like crap (except by the combat division), and aren't left out. They aren't lesser beings just because they're smart instead of strong and brave.

It's urban fantasy, but there are no vampires. And never will be. Period.

JustGo
01-18-2008, 06:38 AM
I'll be marketing for steadfast fantasy fans as well as people who've dabbled in the genre, but above all those who are sick of the same-old same-old but still like magic and adventure.

How is my book different?
It's a fantasy that:
-Isn't about an object of great/terrible power that must be recovered/destroyed
-Doesn't have a main character who is a great combatant
-Is not good vs. evil but a conflict of ideas
-Has a unique system of magic that does not dominate on the battlefield, being of little more use in combat than any other medieval weapon rather than being the equivalent of a nuke
-Has main characters who get severely injured/permanently disfigured/killed on a regular basis
-Has no way for characters to be brought back from the dead.

There's plenty more in there, but those are the biggest points.

SageFury
01-18-2008, 07:22 AM
A: Anyone wanting to escape this world we call life =P
B: Because I'm doing so much more than a simple story and with all the features and special additions coming with the series its just a must read =)

Matera the Mad
01-18-2008, 07:32 AM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?
Fans of Jean M. Auel who have an ice age reading habit to feed (it's the friggin' stone age, no getting away from her)
People who are sick to death of Auel and want their prehistory fresh and raw with some action in it
Fantasy lovers who want a change from elves, dwarves, and dragons
People who like to see bullies appropriately trashed and good guys survive
Anyone who enjoys a good laugh and a happy ending
Weirdos who think shamans are cool
Anyone who knows me - LOL

2- What makes your book different?
My characters and their relationships and challenges, the setting, and my goddamn eternal polishing

blacbird
01-18-2008, 07:56 AM
Answer to Question 1: Damn if I know.

Answer to Question 2: Damn if I know. They all seem to want something different that is just like the thing that sold bazillions of copies last week.

caw

kristie911
01-18-2008, 08:03 AM
#1: Probably no one.
#2: It's not, that's why no one will read it.

But go ahead, just try and stop me from writing it. :tongue

Matera the Mad
01-18-2008, 09:18 AM
LOLz - you read it, that's one ;)

bluntforcetrauma
01-18-2008, 10:54 AM
1- Because it is different. A believable bunch of realized characters and a unique story with more twists than a burning snake culminating in a happy ending and a tragic ending. Wow! I want to buy one myself!

2- People who love a good story without all the filler (describing buttons and sidewalks for page after page).

I have a short story, Paradise Mall (5,000 words), in the Share Your Work section under Horror. It scares me, but it's probably not my best. I'd appreciate some feedback. Be brutally honest.

Elodie-Caroline
01-18-2008, 11:37 AM
1- Who will want to read your book and why? ... Fans of French the cinema.
2- What makes your book different?

... It is true to life; nothing is ever black and white, it is always in shades of grey. I deal with some very dark subjects and show how a person's past affects their present and their relationship with the one they love.


Elodie

Stew21
01-18-2008, 03:03 PM
who will read it:
people who like ernest hemingway. people who like books about living a passionate life.

how is it different:
well ernest hemingway's ghost talks to my main character. that's different, isn't it?

Saundra Julian
01-18-2008, 06:06 PM
The main character in our novel Goldie is a girl/woman and we tout it as women's fiction, however, we were pleasantly surprised at the number of men who told us they really enjoyed the story... shows ya what we know!

Bufty
01-18-2008, 06:13 PM
1- Who will want to read my book and why?

I can't answer that one - probably someone else told them it was a good read.

2- What makes my book different?

It's a good read.

Well, I think so, anyway. :snoopy:

DeleyanLee
01-18-2008, 06:24 PM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?

Fans of serial killers, particularly Jack the Ripper, werewolves, mega black wizards, crime thrillers, Victorian era fiction or Historical Fantasy.

2- What makes your book different?

1. I wrote it.
2. It's a Fantasy Jack the Ripper story not told by Jack's dog.
3. It's a Jack the Ripper story that (hopefully) explains all the inconsistancies in the facutal case.
4. It's totally same but totally different.

Paichka
01-18-2008, 08:09 PM
1 - Who will read your book and why?

People who like George R.R. Martin...and...oh, Greg Keyes, probably. It's set in a medieval-esque world imagined as a topsy-turvy Europe, and isn't just rehashed England. Mostly. Oh, and it has strong female characters, moral ambiguity, mental illness, battles, gods, treachery, magic...a big old epic ball of awesome. I think.

2 -- What makes your book different?

I like to think the writing, the characters and the plot -- enough is similar to other works that people who enjoy high fantasy will like it, but the writing isn't as dense as Jordan or Goodkind, the plot moves along much more zippily and my chicks kick ass without being biatches.

Here's hoping, anyway. :D

Stuart Clark
01-18-2008, 08:24 PM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?

Anyone who likes a good old fashioned survival/adventure story - because it's a fun survival/adventure story

2- What makes your book different?
Do you know anyone else who writes about alien zoos? :)

Willowmound
01-18-2008, 08:45 PM
1- Who will want to read your book...?

Hot chicks.

2- What makes your book different?

It's read exclusively by hot chicks.

Willowmound
01-18-2008, 08:46 PM
Do you know anyone else who writes about alien zoos? :)

Arthur C. Clarke and Gentry Lee in the Rama series...

shelboselby
01-19-2008, 03:05 AM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?
2- What makes your book different?

1. Clearly, the ideal answer would be "everyone", but if that can happen...I'm hoping it'll find a niche in the young adult / children area. For the main reasons that it's about teens, saving the world, standing up for themselves...I think the main theme of it (even sans all the fantasy elements) is something every kid would be able to relate to at some point in growing up.

2. What makes my book different? That's so hard.....but I guess I'd have to say why it's so different (particularly from other books in fantasy) is that is doesn't just fit in Fantasy. It gives you a majority of fantasy, but it's more realistic than that. There's mystery, there's comedy, there's drama, there's romance...everyone can enjoy some piece of it without feeling to overwhelmed. And apart from that...I'm a teen myself. I don't have a strangely skewed prespective of teens...I know what's it's like. It'll make the story more relatable in the end, I'd say.

Scrawler
01-19-2008, 03:08 AM
Great answers, everyone! You're all so creative and insightful and... funny, too!!

The_Grand_Duchess
01-19-2008, 05:18 AM
1) Goth and emo kids. That's what my sister told me. She said, "Emo kids will love it!" I listen to her, she's a teen they're on the pulse of what's hot.

2) I make misery and downfall look like the new happiness and success.

EelKat
01-27-2008, 10:05 AM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?

Based on what I know about the type of books certain types of people read, I would say that the average reader for my current WIP would be:

Target customer #1:

A woman age 25-45. She has a busy lifestyle, either a stay at home mom or a working mom, so she is looking for a book that is shorter than most, because she does not have much free time for reading.

She longs for a sence of danger and adventure, but would rather face it from the safty of her own home by sharing it with the stories MC.

She most likely lives on or near a beach, or grew up on or near a beach or dreams of someday living by the seaside.

She loves fantasy type creatures, esp mermaids.

Target customer #2:

A student of the stage, may be an actor but most likely to be a dancer of tribal, belly, or ballet.

Is seeking a fantasy story that can be translated to stage and dance while utalizing experamental music and dance moves created by the troupe.

2- What makes your book different?

The first differance is the book itself, which contains the story in two formats: first is the original novellette, followed by the script for taking the story to stage via dance.

What makes the story differant, is that it is a romance between a girl and a merman, but the merman is a villain.

EelKat
01-27-2008, 10:16 AM
1- The World. I have arrived.
2- Do you even have to ask.




Seriously, OUCH. If they ask this of everybody I can only imagine the lame repetitive answers they receive. Whatever you answer, they probably already heard it.

Editors ask this because they want to know how much market research an author has done. Editors are more likely to choose a MS from an author who included a detailed summary of their prime target reader. The reason is because they want to publish a book that sells and publishers rely on the author to do as much of the promotion as possible.

Authors who know who their "target" reader is, usually know how to reach that reader, and is more likely to spend their own money to promote their book locally, which in the long run means more book sales and more money for the editor.

If an editor has 2 MSs they are deciding on and they ask both auhors who their target reader is, it is the author who sends a detailed outline of the demigraphics of the target reader, who will be choosen, not the one who sends back: "Everyone!" or some other lame answer.

The reason for this is the publisher needs to know where to market the book. Which types of shops (non bookstore) would carry it?

Would it make for a good mass market edition? (sold in grocery aisles with magazines, where the working mother ages 30-45 is going to see it). Should they market it to upper class women?

If an emo goth teen is the target reader than they will want to market it to strip mall stores.

Is it marketed for single women? Single women shop in differant places than married women.

What is all boils down to is the publisher needs to know where to sell your book and they rely on the author to tell them who the target customer they should be aiming at.

Stormhawk
01-28-2008, 02:30 PM
Is it marketed for single women? Single women shop in different places than married women.


Really? I haven't really noticed any differences in my shopping habits from when I was single, to having a fiance and being for all intents and purposes, already married.

It's totally off-topic for this thread, but it just struck me as odd.

Mr Flibble
01-28-2008, 02:41 PM
I agree - I've been married ten years, and I still use the same shops as I did before.....It's not like some shops have a device that prevents you from entering if you're wearing a wedding ring.

Elodie-Caroline
01-28-2008, 02:45 PM
Me neither, I didn't give up taking care of my appearance and trading my clothes, make-up etc., when I got married, for long nighties, hot water bottles and hairnets :D


Elodie

chevbrock
01-28-2008, 02:47 PM
A small BTW, you might want to check out the "Bewares" section, before emailing off your masterpiece. It sounds like an email I received from a company which turns out is essentially a big, fat scam.

Elaine Margarett
01-28-2008, 03:12 PM
1- Who will want to read your book and why?
2- What makes your book different?



1) The target audience for my mystery series are woman readers in general.

2) What makes it different is the female protag is a K-9 Search and Rescue handler. Her dog, while quite the character is a real dog used the way real search dogs are used. IOW, not "Oh, look, my doggie stumbled upon a clue by rolling it's ball under a bed and finding the murder weapon," or "My cat (a cat!) solved the mystery." Not that there's anything wrong with these stories (besides the fact that I don't find them realistic) but in my mysteries the dog is a detection tool and is utilized as in real life, in realistic situations. With search and rescue every search starts as a mystery, which gives me lots of stories to write. Some of the typical questions that arise on a search is, not just where did the person go, but why?

One of the searches I was on was for an ex-CIA director. He was sailing alone on the Chesapeake bay, and his boat was found empty. So, the big question was who might have been involved? Without a body no one could say with certainty that it wasn't foul play.

Getting back to my audience, I'm hoping to attract regular mystery readers and not just people who want a dog story. My hope is to be able to weave the dog stuff in without it taking the story over...kind of like what Dick Francis has done with horses and racing.

Oh, and I do mention this in my query (what makes my story different).

Elaine