Hooked, Sold


"Welcome to the official website of author Barry Eisler and assassin John Rain. If you like edge-of-your seat action, exotic locations, realistic spycraft, steamy sex, and a killer with a conscience who is "the stuff great characters are made of" (Entertainment Weekly), you've come to the right place..."

That, my friends, is the first thing you see when you click on Mr. Eisler's website. Well, that and the hubba-hubba headshot of said author. That one paragraph had me race-walking over to the adult fiction shelf to snatch up 'John Rain' novel. (Yes, I was scanning author websites--and blogs--during downtime at the library last night) Eisler is a new-to-me author. I'll let you know what I think after I tackle the read.

The point is that kick-butt opening paragraph reminded me of the power of stellar PR and/or boffo sales-pitch. As a result, I'll be giving careful thought to my 'welcome' paragraph when redesigning my website. Of course, there are countless male authors who write edge-of-your-seat action. In the eyes of this reader/author, what element of that pitch set Eisler apart?

Comments

Tori Lennox said…
That's a powerhouse of an opening! And he's pretty darn hot, too. Yum! :)

I'll have to see if our library has any of his books. I'm always on the lookout for new reading material these days.
Cynthia said…
Having that gorgeous photo next to the paragraph did it for me. Yup, it's Friday and I'm just that shallow. So of course, because I'm Pavlov's dog, I will be heading to the bookstore tomorrow to pick up a Barry Eisler, along with something else . . . wait . . . what else was it I was going to buy? Oh! Now I remember. I think I need more coffee.
Beth Ciotta said…
It IS a powerhouse opening, Tori. I was impressed. Obviously. I blogged about it. *g* I bet your library does carry Eisler's books. Let me know which on you check out!
Beth Ciotta said…
Cynthia, you're not shallow. You're just expressing appreciation for an attractive (read: hot) human being. *g* At least you were ladylike enough to say 'gorgeous photo'. I said, "Hubba-hubba". And Tori said, "Yum!" *snicker* But seriously, do pick up a copy of one of his books. I just starting reading KILLING RAIN and I'm very much enjoying it.

OH! And although I did appreciate the photo, it WAS the paragraph that hooked and sold me. LOL
Cynthia said…
Ladylike. Really? Huh? If you say so.

I'm definitely going to look for his book tomorrow. Just hope the local bookstore has it because I won't have time to hit the library. I am, unfortunately, too often surprised by what I can't find at the local bookstore. I'd love to get back into reading thrillers, I seem to have taken a detour into romance land and haven't budged since.
Mary Stella said…
Okay, the eye candy picture caught my attention, but that wouldn't make me interested enough to read the book. It did, however, interest me enough to read the text where the "killer with a conscience" snagged me.
Jordan Summers said…
I just visited his site. He's a very interesting man. My dh recently finished the first three books in his series, so they're now sitting in my TBR pile. The thing that caught my attention...other than his photo...was the word assassin. I thought a 'hero' that's an assassin makes for an interesting read.
Roni said…
It's an intriguing hook! If I didn't already have a HUGE TBR pile I might seek his books out. I don't read that many thrillers. Almost all romance, with some mysteries, non-ficition and sci-fi occassionally thrown in.
Oh, and I just added a comment to yesterday's blog.
Constance said…
Wasn't there a discussion floating around the blogsphere a few weeks ago about 'photogenic' authors being more marketable? I thought it was very interesting and most likely true. We all would rather look at the pretty people. Of course one woman's eye candy can be another woman's "Eh. Looks like my ex-husband." :)

At first glance I thought the photo was of the 'assassin John Rain' and that got my interest. Oooh, a Bourne-like movie. Cool! Then...WTF? the author? Hollyweird hasn't corrupted my skimming skills. Nope. Not much.
I met Barry at a Mystery Writers of America conference and I gotta tell ya, he's even yummier in person. I got him to sign a book (NOT an excuse to get within sniffing distance, I swear) and it was terrific. Also, he's a great speaker and, seemingly, a nice guy. I've had a crush ever since...
Beth Ciotta said…
Okay. Was I the only one intrigued by the inclusion of 'steamy sex' in that paragraph? I'm a big Bond fan, also very much enjoy Bourne, so, yes, the phrases like "edge-of-your seat action, exotic locations, realistic spycraft" hooked me as well as "killer with a conscience". As Mary and Jordan pointed out, that's a highly interesting characteristic. But then I saw "steamy sex" and I thought, helloooo. I mean that's just not something you usually see promoted by a male author outside of the romance genre. Is it? Have I missed something? Stuart Woods has a blurb on his website touting his current release as sexy, face-paced suspense. I read Woods, and his character Barrington is sexy and there is some sex in the books, but 'sexy, fast paced suspense' does not say the same thing to me as 'steamy sex'. To me, that's a pretty unique selling tool for a thriller author. I had to know. How much sex? How steamy? And how does Eisler weave that into the spy stuff?

I'll son find out. :)
Beth Ciotta said…
Crap. I meant 'SOON find out'. Why don't I read these things BEFORE I hit submit. *sigh*
Constance said…
There is definitely a difference between sexy and steamy sex. Do other people get the impression 'steamy' means more graphic?

I read the blurb and thought --Cool, a realistic spy. Huh, I wonder what that means. Could it be a cross between McGuyver and Bourne? Be still my heart.
The 'killer with a conscience' part was the least attractive part to me. It seems cliché, and if the killer is the hero of the book, of course he has a conscience, or we wouldn't accept him as a hero. He'd be just another cardboard cold-blooded killer. I can pick up the paper and read about that.

Exotic locales interests me too. Steamy sex + Exotic locations + spy games? That was enough to get my interest.
Beth Ciotta said…
Oh, sure, Toni. Taunt us. Yummier in person. (Did you see that, Tori?) And nice to boot. NICE! Jeesh. We're all toast, gals.

Ya know I had to laugh. I mean it's not like Mr. Eisler is ever going to read this blog, but how do you think he'd feel if he saw people referring to him in terms of 'hubba-hubba, yum, gorgeous, eye candy, and yummier? I sure hope he never googles himself. Er, you know what I mean.

I just started 'Killer Rain'. Gentle (love ya cuz you're crazy like me) blog readers, you must either visit a library or bookstore and read an Eisler novel so we can discuss his actual stories. He's not just a pretty face. LOL
Beth Ciotta said…
ANOTHER typo on my part. The book's title is KILLING RAIN, not Killer Rain. So sorry.

Constance, you brought up a very interesting point about 'photogenic' authors being, potentially, more marketable. It's probably been discussed to death if you already saw it in blogosphere. I'll just put in my two cents.

I think avid readers want a compelling story. I think they'll buy that story whether the author has movie-star or average-joe looks. That said, whether it be the forces of human nature or the forces of media, we do enjoy looking at attractive people, although beauty, thank goodness, is in the eye of the beholder. Being what most people consider attractive probably is a marketing bonus. That's why I think it's important for an author to invest in a professional headshot/bodyshot.

BTW, the picture on my website and blog is not from a professional sitting. Do as I say, not as I do. *g*
Gabriele C. said…
Lol, and what's wrong if he finds out we call him a yummy hunk? Men have talked about women's boobs and bums and general boinkworthyness for some 5000 years, we have every right to get ours back now. *grin*
Beth Ciotta said…
*snort* Boinkworthyness. I should submit that to the Urban Dictionary. You'll have full credit, of course, Gabriele. ;)
Scott Oden said…
Though I didn't respond to his apparent boinkworthiness/gaagaa-bility/hubbahubba-tude, I did pick up Killing Rain last night after dropping by Eisler's website. It's pretty good, excellent even. Now I have more things to envy than just his rugged man-flesh . . .

I also noticed a spate of new Templar books, and one fantasy novel with an uber-cool premise: imagine Ocean's 11 in a fantasy setting (Mistborn was the title, don't recall the author). I'll pick that one up on my next trip to the bookstore.
Tori Lennox said…
*sigh* My library branch doesn't have ANY Eisler books. Most annoying. And I only have access to four of the five from the other branches. But I'll request them via our Inter Library Loan.
Beth Ciotta said…
Scott, sometimes, I swear, you should be writing comedy. You slay me. :) You're an awesome writer and have your own hubba-hubba factor going so no need to envy. LOL

Hey, I just googled Mistborn. You're right. Does seem intriguing. Thanks for the heads up. The author's name is Brandon Sanderson and he has sample chapters on his website.
http://www.brandonsanderson.com/article.php?id=30
Beth Ciotta said…
Tori, before I got to your last line, I thought, "She should ask for an Inter Library loan." Then I saw that's exactly what you have in mind. Let us no which one you oreder. Scott and I are reading KILLING RAIN.
Constance said…
Beth, I agree, a pro headshot can make all the difference. Which is why I'm using a watercolor. *g*

Okay, when I make my Saturday pilgrimage to the bookstore today, I'll check Eisler out. Like I need more in my to be read pile, but since I am doing a study of first Person POV, I have an excuse. Flimsy, but an excuse to acquire more books is always good.

Amazon had some "Look Inside This Book" pages, which caught my interest also. So do you authors think this is a good feature? I've abandon a few books from using the feature.
Beth Ciotta said…
I know what you mean about the out-of-control TBR piles, Constance. Somehow I always make room for one more. :)

Good question about Amazon Look-Inside program. Hmm. I feel a blog topic coming on. Maybe Monday... Thanks!!

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