Phil: A few nights ago I found myself with time to read some of the articles in the Writers and Artists Yearbook. You know what? They are really interesting? Not just fillers between the lists of addresses we want but good solid information for aspiring authors.
Since I’m in charge of submitting The Book to agents, I was particularly taken by the piece written by marketing consultant Alison Baverstock called “Helping to Market your book”. It’s an area that is an anathema to most writers it appears, but one that Mrs Marketing and I have discussed over cakes many times.
One of the most important points is to provide a “peg” to hang your story on. Not the book, that’s a given, but that detail a journalist can use to base their article around. “I have written a book” isn’t it – we’ve all done that, go away and find something interesting to talk about. You need a story as well as your book.
Team NolanParker have a couple of angles we plan to work.
First, there is the (apparently) very unusual team writing aspect. Odder still, we are a man and woman writing together. People ask how this works (quite well), do we really agree on stuff (not always but we can stand criticism from each other and sometimes it produces new ideas), do we split the chapters up (yes but then we work on each others) and how did we come up with the story?
The last question takes us to peg number 2 – the “How we met up” story. Ours is a tale of unexpectedly finding ourselves sharing desk space and having no work to do while being part of a quango in a death spiral. We were in the middle of an age of austerity story and so we wrote an age of austerity book. With added love and buckets of laughs.
All this should give anyone interviewing us some material to work with. After all, the recession is till happening. People still like a laugh.
That’s our “peg”. What’s yours?
4 responses to “Writers – what is your “peg” ?”
I guess this is what we in the (marketing) biz would call a USP? Mine is that I wrote a novel about trains, whilst commuting tp work by train each day. Is that enough of a peg to hang it on? I guess we’ll see.
Yes, I think USP is another way of putting it but I like the “peg” idea from the W&A yearbook. It’s a Marketing person trying to explain the concept to us normal people.
Writing about Trains while on a train sounds good to me. You might find this interesting too: http://juliacrouch.co.uk/blog/strangeness-on-a-train
You left out part of the term. It’s “news” peg. In the eyes of a reporter or a newspaper editor, the recession, even though it’s ongoing, at this point is old news. It’s stale. But you have the right idea. If you can peg your book to something currently in the news — fired worker seeking revenge goes on a rampage, etc. — you have a better chance of intriguing a reporter. Regardless, good luck with your book.
Good point about the currency of the “peg”. We’re positioning to be there when the media are looking for “Coming out of recession” stories. However, I suspect a combination of incompetent and corrupt politicians and bankers will keep the story in the news for quite some time yet. Many can see another crash on the horizon. Sometimes it’s an ill wind that blows…
If not, we’ll find another peg!