Use Everthing in Your Book

I believe that every page and every word in a book should be used to tell the story. That includes the title page, your dedication, the chapters, page numbers, and the “About the Author.” Do not waste an inch of your book.

Dedication

Most authors dedicate the book to a spouse, child, friend, their agent, manager, or even the editor. I’ve never dedicated my book to someone, because so many people have stood by my side and so many work hard on my books. I don’t think it is fair to give one person the credit and leave everyone else waiting for the next book.

Instead, I use the “Dedication” as part of the story. In fact, I’ve sold books, based on the dedication. It was just as powerful as my first sentence of the story. Here is an example, “I dedicate this book to the haunting ghost. You did not win…I succeeded. This was the story, that finally shut you up.”

Because the dedication was different, mysterious, and intriguing, people wanted to find out what the heck I meant. 

Use the dedication to bring the readers into the story, before they start reading the story.

Chapters

One of the easiest was to use the chapters as part of the story is to label them, rather than giving the chapter a number. However, there are other ways to use chapter numbers to increase the suspense.

Instead of 1, 2, 3, 4, write the chapters in opposite order. 100, 99, 98, 97. The book becomes a countdown. I did this in my latest tween novel to give the middle school kids something else to think about.

In another book, I set up the chapters like this: 1, 100, 99, 2, 98, 3. The “good” character is in the 1, 2, 3, etc… chapters. The villain is in the 100, 99, 98, etc… chapters. When the book finishes at chapter 51, both characters will collide.

I saw a book that did not use any chapters. Instead, the author had large page breaks. Although I did not agree with that, I was impressed because the author was willing to be different.

Page Numbers

In my novel, “2-10” I had the publisher make page 210 the same font as the title on the cover. It was a small adjustment, but a nice addition to bring the reader into the book just a little more. Perhaps there is a certain page that you really want to stand out, which can be part of the story.

Surprise

In the middle of a novel, I put in a special “surprise.” The novel completely stops and the villain speaks directly to the reader. This was a risk when I first tried this, but it worked, so I did it again. What happens is the reader becomes part of the story.

Poets

There are thousands of poets that have poems to fit your story. Depending on your genre, there is a poet out there who will fit your need. Talk to them and work out a deal. (For example, you will use six of their poems and mention their name in the beginning of your book. This will help promote them.) By doing this, you will add the poets audience to your own, and your fan base will be added to theirs.

Random Ideas

In the beginning of a book, an author made a list of words to clarify the slang of vampires, so the reader will better understand what they are saying.

Many authors have “credits” at the end, mentioning all the cast of characters in the book. (Like they do in movies.)

“Testimony Exchange” Authors write testimonies for each other. This is a win/win for promotion.

Page and a half chapters. James Patterson cringes every time I tell authors to write short chapters, but it is the latest trend and readers are responding favorably to this.

Go ahead and use any of these ideas if they fit your book and will help bring more life to your story. Try to use every page to enhance your novel…bringing readers into your world.

Ron Knight  

www.authorronknight.com

Literary Manager, Melissa Powley Link of Brand Eleven-Eleven

Ron Knight

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