What Caught My Eye

by Steve Laube

Last week we talked about the hook, the sound bite, or the ability to “say it in a sentence.” One reader asked for examples so I thought I’d give you a few.

Below are the short pitches of proposals that have caught my eye over the years from debut authors. Please realize that the sound bite is only one of many factors that goes into a great proposal. Ultimately it is the execution of the concept that makes for a great book. For example, The Help by Kathryn Stockett would not have succeeded as a word-of-mouth bestseller if the writing did not support the story. (No, we did not represent that title, I’m only trying to make a point. :-))

Your challenge will be to see if you can identify which books these sound bites are pitching. Each one has been published. One is obviously non-fiction, the other two are novels. The answers to each of these will be provided later this week in the comments section. Along with a link to the title so you can see it in its final form.


This Bible study concept is uniquely designed to connect to women ages 20 to 40, drawing them closer to God and closer to each other. Our generation simply does not have time for hours of bible study a week for several months. We don’t want to fill in the blanks. We want to go deep quickly and actually deal with sin, not just learn about it. And we want to do it on our terms, engaging in raw relational discussions about struggles and hopes, while deeply considering truth and how it applies to our lives.


Sticks and stones can break my bones, but Words? They can always heal me.
A child whose silence holds the truth captive…
An artist whose work speaks the agony of her past…
Will they let the truth set them free?


Move Over, Walter Mitty. Here Comes Becky Miller.
A young mother with grandiose daydreams and a longing to do “Big Things for God” searches for direction amid the chaos of daily life and the disappointment of failed opportunities.


Three ideas in short form. Can you name the titles and authors?









8 Responses to What Caught My Eye

  1. Avatar
    Timothy Fish October 24, 2011 at 5:24 am #

    So very true that it is the execution that makes for a great book. I have this great idea for a book that I easily put into a one sentence description. Just looking at that sentence, I can’t help but think it is a book that I would have to buy if I saw it in a store. The only problem is, I haven’t figured out how to pull it off. Or maybe I’m afraid to do to my characters what it would take. In any case, without the execution, the whole thing is dead in the water.

  2. Avatar
    Sharon Hinck October 24, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    Hee hee! I have a guess for one of them. 🙂

    • Avatar
      Timothy Fish October 24, 2011 at 7:15 am #

      That was actually the only one I had a guess for.

  3. Avatar
    Michelle Sutton October 24, 2011 at 5:59 am #

    Well the two fiction titles I know because I read them both. One this past year and one back the year it was published. They are Word by Ginny L. Yttrup and The Secret Life of Becky Miller by Sharon Hinck.

  4. Avatar
    Lindsay Harrel October 24, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Thanks for some examples, Steve! They are very helpful.

    I haven’t read any of these so I don’t know their titles or who wrote them, but when I find out, I think I just might have to read all 3!

  5. Avatar
    Tamika Eason October 24, 2011 at 8:44 am #

    The second entry is “Words” by Ginny Yttrup! It’s the best work I’ve read this year! I’m a fan forever:)

  6. Avatar
    Jill Kemerer October 24, 2011 at 9:19 am #

    I didn’t recognize any of the books, so I must not have read them! They were great examples with clear themes. Thanks for the tips!

  7. Avatar
    Marti Pieper October 24, 2011 at 7:56 pm #

    The only one I’ve read is The Secret Life of Becky Miller. I can affirm that the book lives up to its strong pitch. And apparently I need to read Words as well. My curiosity is piqued on the Bible study–anyone, anyone?

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