As writers, we're all competing for readers' attention, so isn't being different the way to go?
The short answer is no.
Readers – fans of fiction or nonfiction – have expectations that are often formed by convention and standards. If you stray too far outside of those expectations, you're going to disappoint your readers.
From cover art to content and length, you have to stay within the established guidelines of what you're writing.
The right way to impress readers and stand out is to be a great writer, and to prove that in every aspect of what you produce.
Your story or information has to be excellent, error free, and have a great cover and layout.
You'll stand out if you show the murder in a Cozy Mystery, but it won't be in a good way. Different is only positive if it impresses people, and when it comes to books (or stories or products), impressing people means giving what they expect is a manner that is so good they want more.
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