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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Story Hooks That Can Sell

Story ideas are everywhere. You can 1) go over the news; 2) recall a special event in your life; 3) recall a special event in a friend's life; 4) go through history books, etc. Then you ask a lot of "what if" questions. Chances are, you'll find a story hook that'll interest you enough to expand into a full plot.

However, not all story ideas will sell. Even the best-laid plans for Hollywood movies don't translate to record-breaking, not even modest, returns. So why invest all that time and energy on a story that's not going to fly?

Of course, many aspiring creators have their dream projects. And there may be a chance that these projects can get them somewhere. But this post assumes that you're stuck and would really need a nice kick in the brain for a story idea that can get people interested.

According to Amazon, the following magazines top their subscription sales list, in no particular order:

A) O, The Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire, Redbook, Real Simple, FamilyFun, Glamour

B) Sports Illustrated, Men's Health, Esquire

C) Seventeen, CosmoGIRL!

D) Sports Illustrated Kids

E) SmartMoney, Bon Appetit, Wired, Popular Mechanics, Popular Science, Vanity Fair

Notice anything? Seven of the nineteen topsellers are magazines specifically for mature women (three of which are in the top five), and their main thrust is empowering women. Only three magazines are specific to men. Two are for the teen girl set, one is for kids, and the rest have subjects of general interest. And, surprisingly, the topselling kids' magazine is sports-themed--not cartoons, not toys, not video games.

So why am I telling you this?

It appears that more women read more magazines about empowering women. And the companies that produce these magazines know by experience what topics women are interested in. So if you're looking for a story hook that can possibly sell, check out the topselling women's magazines for ideas. There's a lot of material out there, and there is a higher chance that you'll have a market who'll be willing to check your story out.

Let's face it. There aren't a lot of graphic novels out there for women. Why not start the trend?

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