3 Signs You Have Written A Highly Marketable Nonfiction Book

When I started working with author, psychologist and terrorism expert Alice LoCicero to promote her newest nonfiction book, I knew right away that the possibilities for media coverage would be endless. Her book, “Why ‘Good Kids’ Turn Into Deadly Terrorists,” explains the ins and outs of homegrown terrorism with a special emphasis on the accused Boston Marathon bombers, a topic that hits home for this Cambridge-based author. Dr. LoCicero’s book and professional expertise have grabbed the attention of the Associated Press, the Washington Times, local Boston media and many others.

So, how did she do it? How does a writer pen a nonfiction title that spans local, regional and national appeal?

3 signs of a highly marketable nonfiction book:

  1. Timing is (almost) everything. When deciding on a publication date, think about important anniversaries and current events that the book’s release can be tied to. This is especially important for media coverage because reporters are always looking for a timely angle. The question they are repeatedly asking is, “Why should people care about this NOW?” In Dr. LoCicero’s case, she released her book just as media outlets – locally and nationally – were gearing up to cover the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. It was on their minds, and she popped up on their radar just in time.
  2. Let’s get personal. A personal connection to the topic is a great angle to pitch to media outlets. Journalists may care about the book and its subject, but they are always looking forward to hearing the author’s personal story, one that their readers can relate to, one that takes them behind the scenes. Dr. LoCicero chose a topic close to her heart. Not only does she live and work in the community where the Tsarnaev brothers lived, she is a mother and psychologist who has studied youth violence and terrorism all over the world.
  3. Know your readers. Choose a topic with mass appeal. Not everyone is deeply invested in the Boston Marathon bombing trial, but Dr. LoCicero’s readership broadened when her book addressed the subjects of youth violence and terrorism recruitment efforts. This not only pulls in readers interested in current events but grabs the attention of parents, educators and those interested in psychology and youth social issues.

Angelle Barbazon is a literary publicist who worked as a journalist before joining JKS Communications.