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As a book marketing consultant, I like to help my author clients develop book hooks using the "what if I told you" technique. For fiction authors, I remind them that a good hook should present a heroic quest and the implied conflict that the protagonist will experience.
Every great book hook has this quality in common: you want to know how the story, the history, or the non-fiction advice will play out.
Sometimes it's easier to create a hook for your book when you see effective examples displayed. Below are 10 excellent samples:
1. What if a suicidal man had an angel show him how his town would turn out if he'd never lived?
2. What if I told you four Jamaicans decided to enter the Winter Olympics as a bobsled team...and had never seen snow?
3. What if you could be debt-free in 12 months, no matter how much you owe?
4. What if you can actually train your brain to win?
5. What if two people who hate each other start anonymously writing each other online and fall in love?
6. What if I told you the amount of rainforest equal to 31 million football fields disappears each year?
7. What if you can learn when to say and how to say no without feeling guilty?
8. What if you discovered your entire life was just a computer-generated illusion?
9. What if the first man to walk on Mars suddenly realizes he'll be the first to die there?
10. What if I told you everyone speaks, but not everyone is heard?
Notice how these "what if" questions naturally make you want to know more. That's the purpose of a book hook. Make people curious. Make them wonder. Make them want to purchase and read what happens next.