When you start thinking about your book as a business, one thing I can guarantee you – the more you lean into your craft, you will find yourself wanting to perfect it so that you can
- better serve your clients,
- increase your visibility and
- achieve authority status, and
- become more alert to tools, tips, techniques, and yes… opportunities to do that!
I take my position as a Literary Strategist very seriously, constantly being engaged in research, reading, and reaping the rewards of working with a number of coaches who can help me better serve my clients, increase my visibility, and achieve authority status. Over time, this work has impressed upon me the more you lean into your craft, the more closely you identify with a “niche” that was at first difficult to identify, but becomes more clearly defined every day, and in doing so you recognize their needs at a deeper level and find yourself filling those needs at a higher level. What does THAT do for better serving your clients, increasing your visibility and achieving authority status? Amazing things!
Case in Point:
Almost six years ago I made the decision to lean into the fact that an increasing number of authors were coming to me for various levels of coaching – some of that coaching was about their inner game and the things they needed to do in taking that big step toward writing a book. Some clients wanted help deciding on the best topic or book title, while others wanted to have direction through the “publishing maze” and another group found themselves in the predicament of having written their book and wanting help with the myriad of options available to market and sell those books.
Fast forward to 2011 and you find this Literary Strategist coming to recognize the benefits I provide:
- best supports the efforts of the first time author,
- whose writing efforts produce a non-fiction product,
- and whose greatest need is how to make that book the most marketable and profitable!
Although I can serve a greater audience – the real win/win occurs when I act upon what I know to be true about serving a smaller one! You may ask what this has to do with you – the non-fiction writer. Everything! The tips I provide today are written to make the most positive difference in creating a blueprint for your future writing experiences. This is no major topic that is broken down into a sequence of specific steps. Instead, I want to share just a couple of those “tips” I mentioned above – knowing that if you are aware of them as you begin writing, you will do a better job, serve your potential reader at a better level, and achieve that authority status you so richly deserve!
In the process of creating the outline for your book – the nature and names of your chapters are critical. Not only do you want to make sure you research books written by other authors on a similar topic and make sure you cover some of the same information, you will want to make sure your chapters have “attention getting” titles. Many readers make their purchase decision based on what “invites” them as they scan through the Table of Contents… “ho hum” titles will just not increase the marketability of your book. Take time to give this part of your book serious consideration. Ask the help of friends and peers to brainstorm, or even ask potential readers what information they would like to have covered – you will find creative, rich phrases for your chapter titles. Think about it. When you pick up a book and look through the Table of Contents, you are deciding whether the specific benefit you are looking for is even hinted at in that table. You are looking for a solution and if it does not appear to be represented in the Table of Contents, you are not likely to purchase the book.
Speaking of chapters… you will do well to reserve your introductory chapter devoted to the problems your readers experience, or may experience if they don’t use your information. There is a powerful writing process termed “hypnotic writing,” in which you use compelling language to motivate a reader. In this chapter, your efforts will provide greater insight and benefit to your readers if you explain the challenges and obstacles they face, and how the expertise you share throughout the book will benefit them. Not only will you separate the readers who need your wisdom, but you will also plant the seed of what they expect to read. In that expectation, the reader will absorb more of the book because your “seeds” will leave their minds subconsciously focused on specific learning points. Being more receptive to what is available, your reader will arrive at the end being highly impressed at how well you covered the topic!
One of the mistakes non-fiction writers make is deciding they have wisdom and expertise to provide, but not considering how that knowledge can be solution-oriented and written to provide results for their readers. Right now, make a decision! Is your intention to present information as a boring textbook, or are you going to be different than a host of other writers, and actually walk your readers through a process that will provide results? Readers will spend time previewing any number of books on library and bookstore shelves, but the ones they take to the check out counter will be those that:
- help them recognize certain questions that may be unspoken, and
- promise to provide solutions to their problems.
The best service you can provide to your readers is to create a book that is a step-by-step process for positive transformation and change! Imagine, if you will, that your readers take your book, lay the pages out on their workroom table, and follow it like a road map. Granted, not every reader will be open to taking that kind of action, but you will know that you have done a good job as a writer if you have taken time to address all the questions a reader would ask of you and that they might use your road map!
Lest this get so long I lose your attention, I am going to satisfy myself that I have planted seeds of action and curiosity in your mind! I encourage you to take these two tips and assess how the information will transform how you write. I also encourage you to subscribe in the convenient box in the upper right hand corner so that you don’t miss future tips, tools, techniques and opportunities to lean into your craft and serve your most ideal niche reader!
Always, encouraging you to engage in positive, life-altering actions that will ultimately provide you with long-term, sustainable benefit!