How I make my fantasy novel unique

Write a book

Authors should have a unique selling point (also USP: unique selling point) in order to stand out from other writers with their novels. You can read this advice over and over again. But what is a USP and how can you differentiate yourself from other authors with your book?

A unique selling point is an outstanding feature in marketing. With this feature, a service or product clearly stands out from the other competitors. A unique selling proposition is defensible (not easy to copy), economical and aimed at a specific audience. The theory of the unique selling point was introduced into marketing practice in 1940 in the USA by Rosser Reeves. Reeves spoke of one unique "sales promise" in the context of advertising. The product has to keep the promise.

Now you will surely ask how you can differentiate yourself from other authors with your novel. How is it possible to stand out significantly with the multitude of books on the market? Certainly there is no silver bullet for a unique selling proposition for authors. To stand out, you need courage and the will to go your own way. Don't copy other authors or run after trends. Try to develop your own writing style or put your own stamp on a book idea.

A special idea as a unique selling point

How can you set yourself apart from other authors with your novel? One of the possibilities is a special idea. Treat a motif or literary topic completely differently. This also means that you carefully examine your book idea and ask yourself how far you stand out from other books of your genre. Let's take Patrick Süskind's “Perfume” as an example. It is a historical novel and, as the story of a murderer, it is also a crime thriller. The perfume is one of the greatest book successes among German-language novels in the 20th century. The book lives on outstanding idea with Grenouille's sense of smell as a unique selling point. In a certain sense, Süskind had the right nose here. Regardless of the good idea, the novel is well written.

Take the work of a debut author as another example. Jessica Koch succeeded in Year 2016 with the novel "So close to the horizon" a surprise success. The book was number 1 on Amazon and on the BILD customer list. Two more parts followed. What is the unique selling point of the Danny trilogy? The books deal with particularly tragic experiences of the author in her youth and tell the moving story with feeling.

Stand out from other authors with a mix of genres, titles and covers

You can distinguish yourself from other authors not only through your idea. Also a special genre mix can make a novel unique. One example is Terry Pratchett. The British writer combined the genres of fantasy and humor in his very own way. This mixture is its unique selling point. In addition, there is a very unique style of writing. Another of Pratchett's original ideas is to let death, which appears frequently in his novels, speak exclusively in capital letters.

Authors do not necessarily have to be differentiated by a book idea or a mix of genres. In 2011 and 2012 the novel was "The centenarian who climbed out the window and disappeared" by Jonas Jonasson a great success. The title of the book was particularly memorable. This unusual title subsequently became the Swedish author's unique selling point. In 2013 the novel "The illiterate woman who could count ". Meanwhile, Jonasson has published three books with the centenarian and his unmistakable title.

Every author should get through the cover stand out from other authors. Try to give your first book a very distinctive look. If you publish another novel, try to orientate yourself on the book cover to your very distinctive look. We can take Jessica Koch as an example again. The cover shows immediately that it is a novel by the author. The figures with a black silhouette and the distinctive writing on the book title are unmistakable.

The author's personality as a unique selling point

Authors can differentiate themselves from other writers not only through their books, but also through their personality and demeanor. Examples of a unique selling point, for example through clothing, can be found especially outside of the literary scene. Just think of the appearance of Udo Lindenberg with his distinctive hat or Jürgen von der Lippe with his Hawaiian shirts.

It doesn't have to be externals. Maybe you have a very special hobby that even fits your novel. Is your book related to your job? Or do you run a YouTube channel as an author or do you have a very special author's website? There are a variety of ways to stand out from other authors. In everything you do, you should always be yourself, because this is the only way to be credible as an author. In principle, be prepared to go your own way as a writer or do not copy other people.