Part 3 of 3 from The Writer’s Workout

Christina Katz

Guest blogger: Christina Katz

Attract book buyers

According to author, journalist, and speaker Kevin Smokler, there are only five reasons people buy books. I’ve added a couple more.

The reader is drawn to the subject matter

This means the reader needs the book or wants the book or feels a connection to the book based on the subject matter. If you want to renovate your own home, you purchase a book that breaks it down into manageable steps. If you are a huge baseball fan, you might pick up either a baseball biography or a fictional tale with a baseball story.

The book was recommended to the reader via word of mouth

Whole cultures have been built around reading and readers in the past ten years, and because they are online, they are international. So now you can garner book recommendations, not only from your friends, but also from a wider context of referrals.

The reader heard about the book through major media

Major media is still a major player in influencing the books we buy. Think about it: You may not purchase a book just because a friend recommends it, but if you also see a cover section story on the book in your daily newspaper, you might decide to buy.

The reader is already a fan of the book

If you follow and enjoy a particular author, you are quite likely to buy the next book and the next and the next. It’s possible for readers to lose faith in a favorite author, but assuming he does not let you down, you will continue to buy what he writes.

The book is short

In a digital age where life is increasingly hectic and free time is at a premium, you might read something by an author you never heard of—even if you are not drawn to the subject matter and the book wasn’t recommended to you—if the book is short.

You trust the author/imprint

If you like writing books, and you trust Writer’s Digest, you are more likely to purchase a book by Writer’s Digest than another type of writing book because you expect a certain level of quality and comprehension.

Dirt cheap

Another reason people buy in these tight economic times is price. The risk of buying a book for a buck or two is a lot less than buying a book for ten or twenty bucks. Admit it. You have always loved a bargain and you always will.

What makes you pay hard, cold cash for a book?

The Writer's Workout
Over the past decade, Christina Katz has been a gentle taskmaster to hundreds of writers. Her students go from unpublished to published, build professional writing career skills, and increase their creative confidence over time.

Christina’s newest book for writers is The Writer’s Workout (Writer’s Digest, 2011). You can find out more about her at

Part 2 of 3 from The Writer’s Workout

Guest blogger: Christina Katz

Become memorable

Memorable means you are unforgettable. Memorable means you make an indelible impression on others. Memorable means there is something remarkable about you. Memorable means that you operate from excellence.

The Writer's Workout, by Christina KatzWhen we apply the concept of memorable to writers, what does it look like?

It looks like a writer who cares, not only about herself but about delivering value to others regardless of what kind of value we’re talking about.

It looks like a writer who is nimble, one who can juggle multiple tasks, like writing the next book and the demands of his personal life, with a rigorous appearance or promotion schedule.

It looks like a writer who took the time to write a great book.

In a Writer’s Digest article that I wrote about self-promotion for fiction writers, every single writer I polled said that quality writing was still the most important thing.

It looks like something about you that others want to share. Something makes you a standout. It can be anything, but it has to be something that gets others talking about you.

What do you think makes writers memorable? What makes a writer memorable to you? Think of a writer you admire. Then jot down ten reasons why that writer is so memorable for you. What is that special ingredient? Then ask what it’s going to be for you.

Christina Katz is the author of The Writer’s Workout (Writer’s Digest, 2011). She holds an MFA in creative writing from Columbia College Chicago and a BA in English from Dartmouth College. A popular speaker on creative career growth, Christina presents for writing conferences, literary events, MFA writing programs, and libraries. She is the creator and host of the Northwest Author Series in Wilsonville, Oregon, where she lives with her husband, her daughter, and far too many pets.