Why Are Your Books Worth Reading?

By Johnny B. Truant

girl reading in front of shelves full of hundreds of books

Today’s question isn’t really a question, it’s just more sort of an idea that I would suggest you keep in mind, and that’s that anybody who has ever picked up a pen or read a book and just really wanted to step into the shoes of a writer, everybody who’s been in that position wants to be a writer.

(If you prefer audio, you can listen to this episode on the Smarter Artist Podcast)

That’s the aspiration. Well, I’m going to be a writer. I’m going to go out there and write the great American novel, or just the pulp, and I don’t say that pejoratively because a lot of what we write is genre stuff that would have been called pulp.

My point is you want to churn out the words. You want to be the writer. That’s not the hard part.

The hard part is basically the other side of that coin which is why should anybody listen to you and why should anybody read your stuff?

And a nicer way to say it is why are you different? Why are you better?

Because with the advent of DYI digital publishing or what we commonly call self-publishing, there’s a lack of gatekeepers and we think that that’s great because man, gatekeepers are really kind of annoying when you just want to get out there and do your thing and speak directly to readers.

But gatekeepers also kept the field very narrow and now anybody can get into this game.

That’s great if you can survive, but it does mean you’re facing a lot of competition and it means specifically that readers have a lot of choices.

So I want you to consider why are you different? What is it that you bring to your craft that makes you worth reading?

So if you are a non-fiction writer, what do you know best and what do you bring?

We know self-publishing pretty well and so we feel that we are different in that way in that we bring more experience and authority through our Self Publishing Podcast to our book Write, Publish, Repeat. That’s part of the reason we feel that we can write that.

But we’re also unique in that we have a different voice than a lot of non-fiction stuff.

People say it feels like you’re just sitting next to us and we’re giving you the straight dope. It’s not like a manual, it feels like friends talking.

That’s a unique selling point.

If you are a fiction writer, then what is your hook?

hands holding up shining bookWe recently decided that Realm and Sands, which is what Sean and I write, that’s our imprint, we said that’s Christopher Nolan meets Michael Crichton.

And then Collective Inkwell is J.J. Abrams meets Stephen King.

So those are very distinct flavors and I realize the irony of giving other people as the examples that we are like them therefore we are unique. But that is our hook.

We join those people who have those different types of stories and at Realm and Sands we’re asking bigger questions.

We do have a very specific flavor and for the people who just want to churn and burn and don’t really want to think deeply, even our most page turning stuff is not that way.

But on the flip side, for people who love it, they love it.

And you want to stand out in that way.

What do you bring to the table as an author? What makes your books stand out? https://sterlingandstone.net/books-worth-reading/ Click To Tweet

So just ask yourself that, yes, you want to be a writer, but why should anybody read you, what makes you different? Good luck.

Johnny B. Truant is the author of the Fat Vampire series and The Bialy Pimps, in addition to everything he has written with Sean at Realm & Sands.

Johnny and his family live in Austin, Texas (after several years of planning to move and complaining about life in northern Ohio).

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