This passage caused me to pause and reflect. I get wrapped up in my own writing; of course it’s interesting to me, and of course I care about it. But that doesn’t mean that others will automatically care about the fact that I write. After reading Katz’s statement, I started to think about the people who may truly care about the basic fact I’ve written a book. It’s not many. My mom, my husband, other family members, a few close friends, and that’s about it–basically, people who know me personally. They care about all of my accomplishments, whether it’s writing a book or completing a triathlon.
But why should people who don’t know me care that I’ve written a book? These are the people I have to persuade to care. When I walk through a bookstore, what draws me to a book? Rarely, the author himself or herself. I have a short list of books that I will buy on name recognition alone (for example, Stephen King and Alison Bechdel). But otherwise, it’s the topic that draws me in. It might be a topic I’m already interested in (history or someone’s intriguing personal story) and I don’t need much persuasion. But there are instances in which I hear/read an author interview via Fresh Air, the New York Times, the Minneapolis StarTribune, a local TV show, etc., and that deeper explanation of the book’s topic encourages me to check it out. In those cases, the author has done a good job explaining the book and telling the audience why they should care.
Katz’s simple sentence helps me think about marketing of my book, Breaking Point: One Woman’s Transformation from Activist to Radical in 1970s America.
So let me try to answer the question: Why should readers care about my book?
My answer: Camilla Hall’s story, while from the past, can also be found in women today who are making the decisions to embrace radical thoughts and actions. Domestic terrorism has never gone away; instead, it evolves.
How would you answer the question: Why should readers care about your book?
I think it’s really important to have an answer to the question. It’s something I struggle with even though I haven’t even finished writing my book yet. Let’s be really honest here, I have barely started, but it would help to have clarity about why your book matters from the very beginning.
I agree! It’s good to have a concept, but also to give yourself room to be flexible and change it if need be.