Bad Books Are Everywhere
When he was in 6th grade, my son interviewed me for his school newspaper. He wanted to know what I liked about being publisher more than being a teacher. I said
I can make sure kids never have to read a boring book again.
I meant that.
The world has too many dead books already. We really don’t need to make more.
If you’re building a book, you’re investing real energy. Don’t you want to be sure folks will read it when you’re through?
How to Make Sure Real People Read Your Book
I’ll bet you’ve looked at a book and wondered why someone wrote that. Maybe the book is a hit with readers — just not for you — or maybe it had an audience of one. Now you face the same challenge.
You’ve pulled pages and posts from your blog. You’re serious about making a book by repurposing content. But which book? How do you decide the best way to put them together? How can you make your book one that delivers what readers are interested in reading about? I can give you these points to get you started.
- Choose one central compelling question from your content that still interests and intrigues you. Begin with the end in mind. A book has a single focus. That focus carries the reader from the first page to the last on an invisible thread. Sort your pages to find one set that answers your central question. Think of that set as your book-to-be.
- Write in 25 words or less the answer to What will readers know after reading this book?
- Visit the marketplace and read, read, read and listen, listen, listen.
Think about how information travels. People talk about what interests them. Writers write about what interests people. People read to know more and to find more to talk about.
Check the bestsellers at Amazon and the other big bookstores by searching for your topics there. Google your topics too.
A huge topic is a great idea, if you make it your own. Don’t discount a wildly popular topic as a bad idea with too much competition. Competition also brings audience interest and awareness. There’s huge marketing there already done for you.
- Find a need that is not being addressed and match that need with the content you have to offer. If your posts are about innovation, you might version them to highlight a unique facet of your niche, such as finding innovations throughout your workday, or innovative thinking for entrepreneurs. Your blog posts and the marketplace can work together to mold the compelling twist that draws readers to pick up your book and start reading.
- Now write in 25 words or less the answer to Why would readers care about what this book says?
When you can say what readers will know and why they’ll care, you’re ready for the test, which is the plus one thing to do.
PLUS ONE: Tell your friends. Tell acquaintances. Tell everyone about your book idea. Watch their faces as they react. Encourage them to ask questions. Don’t worry about people stealing it. Your book is your book. They can’t write it. Besides, it’s well on its way and they’d have to start one. . . . Ask them whether they might read it. That’s the best way of all to find out if they will.
If you hear them say yes, get going, but keep asking as you work. Readers make great collaborators. They let you know whether your message is getting through.
If you hear them say no, that’s okay. Head on back to steps 3-4 to find a new need to retwist your compelling question. You have content. What you’re looking for is the reason for readers to care about it.
It’s there, keep looking. You’ll find it. That’s what people are talking about.
–ME “Liz” Strauss
To take your ideas to a higher level, click on the Work with Liz!! page in the sidebar.
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