Finding The USP of Your Story

10th October 2021
3 min read
16th June 2022

Find out what the unique selling point (USP) of your story is with this exercise from the W&A Guide to How to Hook an Agent.

How to Hook an Agent

USP is an abbreviation borrowed from the business world that's short for 'unique selling point.'

This exercise is all about identifying the one thing that makes your book stand apart from the competition. This is so useful, particularly if you're writing a pitch for a piece of non-fiction, but it can be applied to fiction too.

Is there an angle that only you can offer on a given subject? Do you have access to information (photographs, data, interviewees) that make your book of particular interest? If so, these are useful details to insert into your book proposal. 

  • Make a list of what you think potential USPs could be in your book. At this stage, don't worry about honing in on just one. Write down anything that you think could help your book stand out from the competition. This could be about the content of the book, or who you are as a person and why you are the writer to tell this story
  • Now, take a look in Waterstones or your local bookshop or library and make a note of comparison titles. These are books that might be similar to yours. Read their blurbs and try to figure out what their own USP is. How does it make the book appealing? 
  • Now take a look at your list again and choose your strongest, most unique point. This will be your USP.

Written in Q&A format, the Writers' & Artists' Guide To How To Hook an Agent is an introduction to the process of submitting a manuscript to literary agents, and is directly inspired by popular questions asked by writers that have attended our long-running series of events of the same name. If you're looking for a literary agent to represent your manuscript order your copy here, or to find out about our latest events click here.


James Rennoldson has a degree in Journalism and English Literature from the University of Central Lancashire and a MA in Novel Writing from Brunel University. He is the Senior Digital Product Manager for Writers & Artists in which role he has developed and added to the number and success of events and courses that W&A offer to our ever-expanding and loyal community of writers and readers.

Writing stage
Areas of interest