Develop a Hook for Your Book: Captivate Readers from Start to Finish

Develop a Hook for Your Book

Your book needs a compelling hook. Your story might be inspirational to your ideal reader but that is seldom enough to convince them to buy your book and spend time reading it.

Inspiration works for celebrities because people are curious, but for unknown names in the world there has to be a more compelling reason for them to spend six to eight hours reading your book!

This is where a hook for your book comes in.

You have to give your reader a cold, hard reason to buy. That’s the hook—the outcome from the outcome you offer. 

In this article, you will learn exactly what a hook is, why you need it, and what are the best types of hooks that you can implement in your book.

What is a hook for a book and why is it vital to your book’s success?

In my bestselling book, Self-Publish and Succeed, one of the most important topics I dive into is something every non-fiction book needs to succeed: A hook

Your hook is something that speaks directly to your ideal reader, addressing their fears and aspirations. It’s picking up where their conversations with themselves at 2:00 AM, are leaving off.

In other words, your hook shows your readers that you can help them and that you know what they’re going through. 

Once your hook succeeds, it will invoke a certain level of excitement that sets readers up for engagement. If you keep adding value with every page—solving pain points and getting readers closer to the outcome you promised—it’s going to be hard to break off the engagement your hook kicked off.

Top 4 tips on how to develop a powerful hook

#1 Focus on the dramatic improvements your book can provide

Let’s say you’re trying to come up with a hook for your book that offers a hair regrowth solution. 

Should your hook simply involve promising readers that you can “make their hair grow back?” Or should it highlight the dramatic improvement in your reader’s dating life after their hair covers their head, making them look 10 years younger? 

The latter hook would entail that your reader isn’t only a bald man. It’s also a bald man who is looking for love or dating. 

In this case, your target reader might be someone who is not enjoying their dating life, believing the receding hairline is to blame. The person might also lack confidence because they don’t like how they look, and they believe having hair will change their confidence, career, and love life. 

You probably have a good idea of where I’m going here. Your hook needs to focus on the dramatic improvements (the outcome of the outcome) readers will acquire from consuming your book.

#2 Identify the exact pain points your readers are trying to solve

Ask yourself: What pain matters? 

Is it the pain of wasting time? Your readers might be wasting time with the wrong people. Or maybe they’re wasting time with diets that don’t work. It could also be that they are not getting the results they want the first time. 

Apply that pain point to your reader group and what you offer

If your story is inspirational, maybe you’ll have your readers stop wasting time worrying about what other people think and just step into their truth and be themselves. 

Maybe you’re trying to write a book but think you’re also wasting time. Perhaps you’re wondering if it’s any good. Or you started to write but lost focus. 

These scenarios would be a great reason to join our 12-week course, Self-Publish and Succeed Live. Or get support from a writing coach, which we also provide here at Book Launchers. 

Wasting something is a big pain point. But another big pain point is what your target readers are doing now that isn’t working. 

Everyone is trying things to get the results they want. That could mean saving money, growing their business, building a YouTube channel, booking more speaking gigs, and writing their book. 

In many situations, your target readers are already doing something. It’s just that it’s not working out at the moment. Their current strategies might not be hitting the mark, and they’re looking for another approach. 

#3 Emphasize what happens on the other side of a financial pain point

When I wrote my first book, More Than Cashflow, my intended audience was those who are struggling with the real estate investments they purchased. 

The book offered a different approach to buying properties that fit with the reader’s life goals so that they can enjoy their life as an investor. While this particular book might focus on real estate investing strategies, ultimately, it solves one pain point that bothers most people: finances

Financial pain points can also be aspirational pain points. For instance, your reader is not making the amount of money they need to get themselves ready for early retirement. 

In addition to aspirational, financial pain points can also be fear-based. Your readers might be afraid of losing their money, or they’re in debt and they’re afraid of what’s going to happen. 

You will encounter many books that attempt to solve financial pain points. But, knowing what’s on the other side of the financial pain point is where the hook is. 

Is it retirement funding, so that you can support your children to live life on their terms? Do you need help getting out of debt, so you break the cycle in your family? Are you saving for university so that you can be a doctor and save lives like the person who saved you? 

#4 Focus on what readers can obtain upon overcoming human pain

Finally, one more pain category to know about is human pain. This is significant since it can entail addressing needs for human support, connection, or communication—needs we all have as humans. 

So, how do you help your readers solve a pain in this category? Remember that this is not only about getting your readers away from a specific human pain. It’s more about what happens once they solve this pain and get to their desired outcome.

For instance, your book might focus on helping readers communicate their way to career success, like Dan Fraser’s book, “Kickass Presentations,” or Steve Multer’s “Nothing Gets Sold Until the Story Gets Told.” 

There are also other books, like, “My Heart Behind Bars” by Lorri Britt. In this book, she shares her powerful and hard experience of having her son go to prison and feeling the loss of her friends, community, and support circle as they judged her like it was her fault as a mother. 

Kids don’t have to be bad, have bad parents, or live in bad homes to suffer mental health breakdowns, addiction, or incarceration. Everything can change instantly. 

And, if it’s happened to your family member, you know the emotional chaos and feelings of losing control threaten your very survival. So, her book gives you a guide to get through that human pain.

By the way, I’m so proud of Lorri for sharing this story. It’s really powerful. The human pain is a big bucket of pain to draw from. But keep in mind, you have to go beyond the pain and remember what your reader wants on the other side of it and why


A hook is essential to selling your book. But to create one that’s effective, you need to know your reader really well. You also need to understand what you offer and how that offer leads to what the reader wants—the outcome of the outcome you’re offering

If want you to learn how to write hooks for each of your book’s chapter template, make sure to watch this:

Also, when you are writing your book and crafting a hook, it’s important to consider the difference between a book buyer and book reader. Check out this video:

Found this article helpful? Here are a few more that can guide you in your self-publishing journey:

Need help with your self-publishing project? Book a call with us and let’s talk about your book.

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