Horse for sale

Sometimes the best hook for your book is the simplest.

Sometimes the best copy to sell a horse is ‘Horse for sale’. 

It’s simple.

It gets the offer across quickly.  

If you’re looking to buy a horse, then it’s perfect.

If you’re not, well, you’re not going to waste your time reading the rest of the ad, are you? 

As I’ve been stalking the Amazon bestseller sales pages this week… researching hooks for books… Lurking around in the digital undergrowth, wearing my best deerstalker hat and carrying my trusty magnifying glass…  

There’s one type of hook in particular that cropped up quite a few times.

I think it’s underrated as far as hooks go.  

Sometimes, we can get carried away with trying to be too clever with a hook.  

If you shoehorn too much info into, it ends up all bloated and fatty until it becomes the foie gras of hooks, a.k.a pointless, confusing, and conversion killing.  

If you try to be too clever, you can end up being too vague, or obscure, or too mystrious that you fail to get the offer across, and that just doesn’t cut it the tsunami of content people face on a daily basis.   

The type of hook I’m refering to, is a hook I hereby officially name ‘the straight up hook’… or maybe ‘the it-is-what-it-says-on-the-tin hook’, or ‘the horse for sale hook’… I haven’t quite decided.  

Let me give you a couple of examples of the ‘straight up hook’… 

The explosive new thriller from international bestseller Anita Waller. 

This is from Anita Waller’s new book, The Family at No 12. It’s a basic hook that simply states what the book is. There’s a social proof element in this one (international bestseller), and the use of the word ‘explosive’ gives it dynamic oomph.

There’s also a three letter word that psychologically triggers the novelty factor: NEW – we’re suckers for new stuff.  

Here’s another example… 

From the twelve-million copy bestselling author of the Lewis trilogy comes a chilling new mystery set in the isolated Scottish Highlands. 

This is from Peter May’s book, A Winter Grave.

They’ve front loaded it with a bunch of social proof, but the latter part simply states what it is – a mystery set in the Scottish highlands.  


If you’re into mysteries set in Scotland, you’re gonna read more.  

It doesn’t matter what the genre is, I’ve seen it used for no end of Amazon sales pages.

If you’re a reader and into the genre, you’re going to know really quickly if the rest of the blurb is worth reading.

At the end of the day, that’s all the hook has to do.  

You can try to be too clever with your taglines and hooks, when sometimes, the simplest copy is the most effective.  

Now, about that horse… 

She’s a good little runner.