USP – Does your story have one?

USP – Unique Selling Point


At the Carolina’s SCBWI conference in September of last year, I was introduced to the concept of a unique selling point.

The phrase unique selling point and its acronym are not new. Marketing has used USP’s (also called unique selling promotions) for years to describe that special something a product offers that sets it apart from the rest.

But the conference put that unique aspect in perspective. Readers want a new experience with a twist just like other consumers. A marketable concept will certainly help catch the interest of an agent or a reader. And beyond a great cover, book blurbs are designed to lure the reader by hinting at the USP.

So I thought about a few best-selling books and tried to identify their USP’s:

a dystopian story about people being divided into groups based on their strongest characteristics

a contemporary story about a teenage boy who suffers a loss that teaches him about surviving the labyrinth of life

a dystopian story where children are selected for a battle to the death to pay tribute to a past war and force allegiance to the government

a colossal, post-apocalyptic story of good versus evil

a fantasy story about a young wizard who must risk everything to save both the human world and his magical world from evil

See any you recognize? Can you think of other USP’s that are easily recognized?







6 thoughts on “USP – Does your story have one?

  1. Fun! I love guessing games. Okay … I’m going to say …

    1. Divergent
    2. The Fault in our Stars
    3. Hunger Games
    4. This one’s tricky … no clue!
    5. Harry Potter

    So the USP is sort of like your elevator pitch — what’s the one aspect of your book that you want to highlight if you only have a single sentence to sell someone on your story?


    • Exactly, with a hint of why it’s different. Great job with your guesses. (Number 2 is another John Green book… but I haven’t read TFIOS yet, so it may work for that one, too.)
      Thanks for stopping by and guessing!! 🙂


    • I agree. At the conference, I remember thinking “wow, that makes sense.”
      I’ll reveal #4 later if no one guesses correctly.
      Thanks for stopping by.
      (And I have a link that I meant to share with you yesterday. I spent the weekend working on my book blurb. I’ll leave it on your post.)


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