Why do some books attract readers while others don't? What are the essential qualities of an irresistible read, a story people can't wait to start? And what's the secret to attracting a literary agent or publishing deal? The answer to all three questions is: Premise. A powerful premise is what separates ordinary novels from bestsellers. William Bernhardt explains the essential elements of breakout books, stories that reel in readers and attract serious attention. He discusses all the essential elements: originality, high stakes, believability, inescapable conflict, emotional appeal, and others. Plus, in the final chapter, Bernhardt explains how to turn your powerful premise into a winning pitch to attract agents and editors.