If you write about a hot topic like I do agents and editors are going to want to know what’s different about your novel. What makes it stand out from the masses in a way that introduces something fresh but still manages to grab readers that are looking for that type of novel? Yesterday I came across a novel that on the surface sounded a lot like mine. I was horrified. What publisher was going to pick me up when there was a book out there just like mine? I immediately clicked on the link to read more about the book.
Turns out this book was nothing like mine! Whew! But on the surface it had looked like it was exactly like mine. It dawned on me that if I thought that a publisher considering buying my novel might too. I needed to change the ‘surface’ of my novel, or more to the point, bring to the forefront what was different about it.
For starters, pointing out that the protagonist was a sixteen year old girl about to discover her life wasn’t what she thought it was is a huge clique. True, that’s how it starts, but many young adult novels start that way. I was putting the emphasis where it didn’t belong. The really interesting part that makes my protagonist stand out from others in paranormal/urban fantasy YA is that she’s multi-racial and the story behind why. What makes my story stand out isn’t that it’s a werewolf story. The unique part about it is that it centers on a species that’s going extinct because they’re tied closely to the dying Earth.
When you’re getting ready to submit and market your story focus on what makes it unique from other novels of its type. Find your individuality and agents and publishers will too!