One Mom’s Journey from Fat to Skinny to Confident

INSIGHTS

The Hook is… There is no Hook! 

45 Comments 5000 views

A few months ago I hinted (here and here) that fellow blogger and friend Carla (MizFit) and I were working on a book proposal together.

This is uncharted territory for me. I know nothing of the traditional writing and publishing world. Nothing. But we pulled together a proposal with the help of an agent, wrote our sample chapters and are now waiting.

And waiting.

And WAITING.

For a blogger, or, well, ME, this is tough. I’m so used to having an idea, writing my thoughts and then hitting publish. There is no filter or pitch or editor or approval process. It’s me, my laptop and, well you!

The book world? Not so simple. I always assumed this, but now I know.

We recently asked our agent for some feedback and she replied with,

"…people are really excited about you [Carla] and Roni as authors. They love your style, LOVE your platforms and think you’re a winning combination. The main hangup right now, is that this book doesn’t have that one big dieting hook that will draw people."

Now, I realize I never told you exactly what the book is about so her comment may seem like a disappointment but it’s not. It’s exactly what I wanted to here!

Well, not exactly, but it didn’t bother me in the least bit.

Let me ‘splain.

No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

The book we are pitching is a journal of sorts. It’s not a "diet" book. It’s not a "look how we lost so much weight" book. It’s part inspiration, part journal, part resource. We share our experience and coach readers to make small changes in the way they think about food, fitness and confidence.

In a way, we are writing this book in response to the hundreds, if not thousands, of books out there that make outlandish claims and prey on our insecurities. The ones that tell us we can lose X number of pounds in X many days. The ones the outline yet another eating plan or exercise routine. The ones we keep buying in to because we are seduced by their empty promises when really our problem lies much deeper.

So when a publisher tells me they are not interested in my book because it "doesn’t have that one big dieting hook" I smile because that’s the point.

The Hook is… There is no Hook! 

I’m tired of hooks.

Aren’t you?



Leave a comment

I’d love to hear your story or thoughts on mine.

However, to prevent the massive amounts of spam I was receiving I have turned off comments on any post older than 5 days old. If you'd like to leave me a note regarding this post or anything really try me on twitter (@RoniNoone,) my Facebook page, or even IG (@RoniNoone) I'm so sorry for the inconvenience. I never thought I'd have to do this but it's gotten way out of hand and comment management has become simply too time consuming to manage.

Discussion

There are 45 comments so far.

    Cindy

    May 31, 2012

    Why not just publish it only as an e-book? I’ve heard it’s a lot easier to get them published and have read several stories of them really taking off. Just a thought. I bet it’ll be GREAT!

    Pam

    June 1, 2012

    Roni, the reason that there isn’t a hook is the reason that I love reading your blog so much! I really believe that those “insta-success/silver bullet” diet books do so much more damage than we realize. Working through all the emotional/mental stuff that comes along with weight loss is a messy process that isn’t straight forward! I spent years thinking that because I wasn’t “silver bullet”-ing my way through my weight issues, I was a failure and would never work through it. I know now how wrong I was!

    I adore your candid, frank talk about a healthy lifestyle. It’s helped me along my journey more than the empty promise quick fixes ever have. Keep on keepin’ on!

    Staci

    June 1, 2012

    Don’t they realize how tired people are of “the hooks?!” My MIL, who weighs close to 400 lbs, is currently talking about doing the 17-day diet. Well, is that going to change her life? NO. I’m doing WW, but that’s not my fix either. I still stray, still go way off program, still fail or gain. The only “hook” is finding your way and changing your life, little by little and piece by piece. Tonight I saw a headline at the grocery store “how to lose weight all summer by eating carbs!” I rolled my eyes. I’m sick of those headlines! Ugh!

    Amilja

    June 1, 2012

    I don’t like the hooks either because there aren’t any. You are so right.

    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet

    June 1, 2012

    It’s a huge issue in publishing – I’ve been told the same thing about 2 different proposals. Hard work is NOT sexy and it doesn’t sell, unfortunately. The e-book or self-publishing could be a great road . . . you get so much good feedback and have such a strong fan base here!

    roni

    June 1, 2012

    Cindy – Self-publishing is our backup plan but I really want to see if we can go the traditional path first. I self-published a cook book already, I maintain 2 active blogs and do all my own writing, programming, promoting, designing, photographs, etc. Part of me is tired of dong it all alone. Plus I want to see if we event could do it. Can we find a publisher who “gets it,” so to speak.

    I’m not defeated by this at all. The book will get written and published one way or another, it may just take some time. :)

    JoJo

    June 1, 2012

    That is Brilliant……Can you let her know that is the hook…Millions of Americans are done with the other books. Have done it all and it has not worked. They need 2 sensible women who have been there done that to Inspire and Uplift to change the mindset and get it done! Best Wishes ….to my favorite author any way you write it!!!!!!!!!!!

    Leslie

    June 1, 2012

    A book by Roni and Carla…sounds like a guaranteed best seller to me. The best arena in which to send your combined wisdom out to the masses will manifest. As other commenters have said, the harsh reality and truth of weight loss and fitness is that there is no magic formula. You and Carla have too much integrity and personal successes to try and convince the public, or the publisher, of anything else. But you each promote positivity, hard work, and tenacity as the most reliable path to fitness; and you do it in such an attractive and honest way.

    Whatever happens, I’ll be reading you both as long as you’re around…in any format!

    Barb

    June 1, 2012

    Make that your ‘hook’! I bet there are millions of blog-reader/book-buyers who are sick of hooks. The publisher doesn’t get how blog followers/devotees translate to book sales. See Jenny Larson, #1 NY Times BTW.

    Barb

    June 1, 2012

    Whoops – s/b Jenny LAWSON.

    Agree with the others about the hook is that there is no hook. I think we’re all sick of the easy fixes. We need to hear the truth: weight loss is hard, maintenance is hard. But the results that lead to a healthier, happier life are worth it.

    Good luck to you and Carla!

    Karen@WaistingTime

    June 1, 2012

    Welllll, not to repeat myself… but here’s what I just wrote on Carla’s blog…

    I think that you are evolved in your thinking beyond the typical “dieter.” That is, IMO, and I’m sure in yours, a good thing. A great thing. But I can see where a publisher might not see it as a commercial thing. Despite knowing that it really is about a lifestyle and not a diet that ends, I think so many are still looking for the quick fix. They want to drop pounds fast. Fast results. They don’t want to think.

    BUT, I’d rather read YOUR book. Because everything I have read from you and Roni has been worth reading. And thought provoking. And as a classic yo-yo dieter, I know that the other thing, the quick fix, the thing that would have a hook… doesn’t work for most people and hasn’t worked for me.

    Maggie

    June 1, 2012

    Not only is there no hook, but there is very well-proven evidence that overall diets do not work, especially gimmicky hooks, and in fact can make things much worse for many of us. If lifestyle changes are not made then progress just does not stick. So, yes you are totally on the right track! Would be thrilled to see you succeed with that philosophy!

    Katie

    June 1, 2012

    As someone who has lost over 70lbs in over 2 years, I promise, there is NO hook! And I’ll go a step further and say that diet books with “hooks” provide false hope. There are many things that work to help with weight loss, but the only unifying thing us that you have to want to change, and be willing to change your life.

    Coco

    June 1, 2012

    Totally agree that there is no hook, but also agree that hooks sell. So,yes,the hook is that there is no hook! Maybe a more seductive title would be “Dirty Little Dieting Secrets” where the secret is that there are not secrets! ;-)

    Alison

    June 1, 2012

    I have only recently learned this lesson, Roni, and it’s how I found your blog. I have diet and workout A.D.D. I am fickle and when things get hard or I’m not seeing results fast enough I run and jump right into the next big thing, the next magic secret workout or diet that will make me thin. I’ve only just realized this about myself and thus realized that hard work is the only thing that will make me healthy! I’ve rejoined Weight Watchers and am in my 6th week. I’m sticking to it with the help of my husband and the encouragement from weight loss blogs like yours. Thank you! (and I will definitely buy your book:-)

    Cat B

    June 1, 2012

    Roni-

    You continue to amaze and inspire. I LOL’ed at the Princess Bride reference, too, I quote that movie constantly! But truly, the hook of having no hook IS a brilliant hook, and you guys should point that out to them! Like in Kung Fu Panda: “there is no secret ingredient”. :)

    I’m buying your first copy, I’m in.

    Cat

    Patty

    June 1, 2012

    I love it!

    Who needs a another book with a “hook”! I hope you find a publisher that GETS REAL about what it really takes to lose weight and maintain it, which clearly you and Carla know about. I’m so excited for you guys. Have faith the right publisher will see your work for the gem it is. I can’t wait for the say when you’ll share that new with us. Wishing you all the BEST!

    Teagan

    June 1, 2012

    I agree with most of the comments above. What’s refreshing about you is that there are no gimmicks – just small changes that create real & sustainable life change. I think that’s what people want and need. That in and of itself is the hook – it’s what sets your book apart from all the others on the market.

    Tanya

    June 1, 2012

    Amen. No more gimmicks, hooks, etc…

    kevin

    June 1, 2012

    Didn’t Jerry Seinfeld create a sitcom show that did not have a hook that was very successful? It was a show about nothing..Keep looking someone will see the value in your work.I sure have!!

    Kristi Nicholson

    June 1, 2012

    I want the book! Put me on the waiting list – I know it will be a success!

    Thea @ It's Me Vs. Me

    June 1, 2012

    I love that you are making it part journal. I think the big problem with “traditional” diet books is that they don’t allow the reader to think for themselves. It’s very much, “Do what I tell you and this will happen to you!”

    Well, sorry…it doesn’t work that way. There’s actual thought and opinion and subjectivity to being healthy. Every person is different, there’s no one size fits all.

    Making it part journal allows for individuality. Love it.

    Charlie Hills

    June 1, 2012

    Didn’t I write that book already? :)

    ana Myre

    June 1, 2012

    The truth has not hooks”!!!! your book is about real life!!!
    I hate all diets hooks about loosing so fast and little effort!!! that´s just a quick fix!!! there is more to it!!!
    love the Idea of the no hook book!!!

    Agnes

    June 1, 2012

    First of all hurray! I love the fact that you guys make it clear that there is no hook. But boo to the publishers and agents out there who think there needs to be a hook. What a shame. I have a book shelf full of these stupid “hook” books. Can’t they see that it would be refreshing to have a book with out the bs?! Wishing you lots of luck.

    KCLAnderson (Karen)

    June 1, 2012

    As I just commented on Carla’s post…I will sort of repeat. I agree 100000000%. That is exactly what my book was about…this isn’t about a hook. Hopefully, one day soon, “people” will start to understand this. Until then, whatever. We can live our messages as best we can. I say, keep trying. There are tons of people who have written wonderful books that were rejected time and time again, until they were accepted and became bestsellers!

    Mary (A Merry Life)

    June 1, 2012

    I can see how traditional publishers would get hung up on that fact. It’s hard to see how they would sell it in that category without a hook of sorts. Annoying but sadly reality. Still, I hope you guys make it happen or at the very least self publish because I want to read it!

    Mindy

    June 1, 2012

    I can think of lots of hooks! How about the main inspiration for your healthy lifestyle…Ryan! Parenting books are good sellers and maybe it will “coach” other parents how to change their life so their kids won’t have the same battle, ie the OBESITY EPIDEMIC! Watching those videos we see it’s better for a healthy life if you stay slim. Not to mention, I imagine that if I can fight this battle and teach my kids then they might never deal with this as an issue and can focus their attention and energy on other things! Breaking the cycle! That is the hook. Maybe pose it as a self-help book which sell like crazy.

    How about a real life story about breaking the dieting yo-yo and inspiring a healthy lifestyle for our kids!

    Mindy

    June 1, 2012

    hook hook, dunk dunk, i like shorts… (silly movie reference, your title reminded me of it :)

    Patricia

    June 1, 2012

    looks like that is the hook right there!

    Margee

    June 1, 2012

    The ONLY diet books I read are memoirs and cookbooks. That sounds like an amazing alternative and I AM TOTALLY SOLD. Write it already!

    Janine

    June 1, 2012

    Hey Roni – good for you for not “selling out”. I haven’t even read the other posts yet but this strikes a chord with me. I shake my head at all those books, magazine headlines, and TV commercials that actually promise this quick “new” fix. I just think, “am I the only one that gets this because it KEEPS happening” I suppose that is the commentary on the state of the adverstising and publishing world and the quick fix world we live in — sell the sizzle not the steak. . people will move on but the book/ad/plan will be sold already, so on to the next gullible soul. It really preys on the desperation and hope of so many who think “maybe THIS time it will be different” in the quest for a magic bullet after multiple failures. Too bad. I have been following you for years BECAUSE there is no crazy ass “I lost 10 lbs in a week doing this. . .” I would have been out the door long ago if so. My respect still lies with Weight Watchers because of the absence of the quick fix – I see NO OTHER WAY to address the issue in the short OR long term. Phew… That feels better. Anyway, just keep being you. :)

    Melissa (@TheDailyMel)

    June 1, 2012

    I *LOVE* the idea that the hook is no hook. Having worked for an agency many years ago (which included a literary division), I agree that finding a traditional publisher who “gets” it may be a challenge. I wish both of you the best of luck in finding a publisher who’ll recognize the value of your idea and run with it!

    Jennette

    June 1, 2012

    Heh, the publishing world moves slower than a 14.4k modem. Better get used to it :) I believe everyone goes on vacation at the end of summer too, so things get even slower then.

    Janis

    June 1, 2012

    I say you call the book “There Is No Hook.” Seriously. Make that the title. That counts as as hook.

    kathleen

    June 1, 2012

    Makes me sad for them… they are obviously focused on the goal of $. How refreshing though and i LOVE the idea and we all back you up in standing by it 100%. Thank you not daring to change your approach in order to sell the book… i looked through books in January searching for inspiration and left pretty disappointed.. then when you mentioned again.. and maybe again… :) because you were asked about how it’s not about following someone else’s plan.. it’s about working lifestyle changes that match us as individuals.. something clicked.. and that’s what i’m doing and that’s what’s working.

    dawn

    June 1, 2012

    The hook for me, a daily reader, is this: “I know all I need to know. I lost weight and gained some back. But it is sometimes so hard to remember what I know after four pm, and especially on weekends. Please help.”

    That’s where you come in.

    thank you. And that IS a hook….

    Amanda

    June 2, 2012

    I aint bought a book in as long as I can remember…I always go to the library but if yall put a book out there like that….I would be buying it on release day!!!!!

    Mehgann

    June 2, 2012

    I LOVE the Princess Bride! Stick to your guns. The book will be better your way.

    Tanya

    June 2, 2012

    Or add a subtitle, “The No-Gimmick book”

    bethann

    June 3, 2012

    Roni, I’m not much of a commenter usually…but there is a hook. The hook is that you are just like us (although in my case 15 years younger!). You’re a mom. You go to birthday parties and eat cupcakes. Your husband tempts you with junk food and you succumb. But you get back on the wagon, each and every time. And you recognize that it’s just about living, about eating well when you can, about moving – however it pleases you. And you inspire and remind the rest of us to do this. Work on this…that is the hook!!

    Mary Nell

    June 3, 2012

    Roni–I know you don’t want a “hook”–and I completely get that. The very confused look that people give me when they ask me what I did to lose weight and I don’t have a silver bullet answer is exactly why I love reading your blog. But….with that said, I think your blog is in line with the intuitive eating movement which is gaining momentum and could get you published. Reading your blog taught me what that movement teaches–stop when you are full; don’t beat yourself up when you don’t; make little healthy changes that add up. Just my two cents!

    Sounds like you have a hook…the no hook!

    I would go with that, and start pitching it similar to something like this:

    ‘The You “Diet”
    (There’s no hook…really!)

    How to step off the dieting bandwagon and focus on you and your health for good!’

    I’d love to take a look at the proposal in case you want some more pointed feedback! :)

    Laura

    June 8, 2012

    I think you found your title: “The Hook is….There Is No Hook!”

    Sounds like a best seller to me!!