Recently I was approached by an author who wanted to write a book about his learnings. He wanted it to be both personal and professional. He would use parables and his own experience to further annotate the learning.
Sounds good I thought.
Frankly, it is an idea that has cemented many a career of coaches and made people authority figures in their chosen niche.
Then I did what I have learnt over years of writing for people- I started asking more questions because that’s where the book lies…in the undefined parts.
I have to dig deep to unravel that ‘it’ that the author really wants to share with the world because working with authors I’ve realised that many times the imagined idea of a book is very different from its actual content.
What’s wrong with that you ask…
What you imagine you want the book to deliver, actually depends on its contents. And the content needs to resonate with the reader.
To resonate with the reader…one of the first questions that your content has to answer is- WHY?
The WHY of Your Book
For many people, the thought that they are writing a book is so wonderful and beautiful that they refuse to look at or understand the bare fact that you need to have the attitude of a salesman to think through your book.
Thinking about sales and selling seems to sully the image of a writer for many authors… but the truth is that good writers sell. And the best writers… sell more!
Selling does not mean proclaiming your goodness but it’s all about being genuine and helpful.
When you sell your idea that way, you become more visible and let your idea reach more people.
Hence, to be more visible, the first criteria is that your idea should connect to the reader.
Back to the beginning & the WHY!
When the author spoke about creating a book about his experiences, my first question was who is the intended reader?
The answer was vague…it was about life and how entrepreneurs, parents and even children should think and learn. This book is for everyone…
Now a book like that can be a great legacy for your family but needs more thought if you want the book to work in publishing.
You need to understand that your book is an idea, a concept and a product- all rolled into one.
Hence, I was questioning the author because I needed to understand the WHY of his book…
Why will someone buy the book?
Once you start answering WHY you answer the small, niggling questions…
- What problem will it solve?
- Will reading it make any aspect of your readers lives easier or more comprehensible?
- Will it give them solace or guidance or steps?
Readers will buy the book because it offers them something- a solution, a story…
Because it solves some kind of problem that they have in their life or their business…
Take the fitness industry, for example. If you are a Personal Trainer and want to write a book to sell your fitness program. What will make the people reach out for your book….
- Not your endless qualifications,
- Nor the details about your boot camp
People are more interested in how your book can help them.
In the above case, people will buy the book if it promises them easy do-able steps towards looking and feeling great.
The reader buys the solution your book brings, not your qualifications or your fabulous program…all that is an add on.
How to Define the WHY
Look at your reader.
One of my book coachees wanted to create a book for the thought leadership industry, but the more she thought, the more she felt that the book could address a multitude of people.
So the question arose- Whom should she address in her book?Whom should she address in her book?
It’s vital to know your reader, because as she soon realized that she had different readers in mind for different solutions.
Finally, working out the solutions she wanted to provide, she decided on a very specific target audience. She created an ideal reader and problems and wrote with that aim in mind… because your book can’t answer every question.
This doesn’t mean that only one kind of person will read the book, but it helps you decide on the content of your book. And no one’s stopping you from writing another book with another very specific target audience.
Target one idea at a time.
Rujuta Diwekar a fitness coach, has written multiple books on weight loss, targeting specific audiences and their needs.
Out of Context: If you want to write a book to focus on an extremely specific audience, filled with ideas and how-to’s, build your email list and don’t see it longer than 60 pages…think Lead Magnets. They are tried and tested forms of extremely profitable income generators.
Don’t just sell your product.
In non-fiction books, you as an author also need to be very mindful of the fact that the book is not about your business, but rather about what the reader/ client wants to gain from reading it.
You can use it to make yourself an authority figure but please don’t sell your product or service in every chapter. That’s uncalled for. If a person wanted that they would’ve asked for your brochure. Maybe after reading your book, they still will!
Be relentlessly helpful.
Finally, it’s very important that your non-fiction book genuinely solves a problem. It should not be faff. Be genuine. Offer guidelines and show the pitfalls, always write with the idea of helping the reader understand and apply the WHY.
And never shy away from showing vulnerability…showing how you failed.
That you survived the failure and lived to write a book- can give hope to many…
Remember nothing sells better than the truth- because it’s so rare.
Struggling to Write your Authoritative Book?
You have spent years gaining expertise in your niche…You know the correct solutions and can give people a roadmap to succeed…
In fact, many people come to you for help and guidance…
Now, you want to connect to a larger audience and build your own personal brand.
I can help you…For more than a decade, I have worked with business owners like you to produce in-depth content that explains how your products, services and processes work…
Want to build trust with your content and connect with your readers?
We should talk. Email me now: Nishkawrites@gmail.com
Plussssss….Looking for more videos on the writing process?
Check my YouTube Channel. Subscribe and like:)