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writing a book

How to Write Your Book, Step by Step

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As a coach or a public speaker, you’ve got a strong message, and if you’ve been thinking about writing a book, you may feel hesitant because you don’t know how to get started. That’s no surprise. You can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and burning precious hours if you don’t have a process to follow. But when you have a step-by-step method and follow it faithfully, you can systematically write a high-impact nonfiction book that will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best on the market.

You need a methodology that takes you all the way from the idea for your book, to a completed manuscript, to publication, to marketing, to repurposing your material for multiple venues.

writing a book

 

THE METHODOLOGY:

1. Plan

If you’ve never written a book, you probably don’t know how to get started. Writing a book is much different from writing a blog, or an article, or even a short nonfiction piece. Before you start writing, it is critical to develop two distinct BookMAPs, which are visual representations of everything that will be included in your book.

Untitled1

2. Produce

During this production period, you will pour out your entire first draft. You know why writing a book draft is not hard? It’s because you’ll follow the BookMAPs you just created in the planning phase. Whether you have fifteen minutes or several hours, you can always contribute something to your book. You build your book brick by brick until you have a first draft of your manuscript.

3. Polish

When your first draft is complete, you’ll need to scrub it thoroughly to get it in the best possible shape before you hand it over to a professional book editor, who can give it that final polish and shine.

4. Publish

Your manuscript is now complete, and you’re ready for the next step—publishing. For clients who work with me from initial planning stage, your book can be published through my nonfiction press, Stonebrook Publishing. We will design your book cover and the interior layout, set your book up for global distribution, and register your copyrights with the Library of Congress. You own all rights to your book and receive all the proceeds from sales. It’s all yours!

5. Promote

Books don’t write themselves, and they don’t sell themselves either! After writing a book, authors must also be involved in the promotion process. Your book will be set up and promoted through Bookarma.net, the international book marketing platform, where authors help other authors market their books globally through shared social networks.

6. Repurpose

You already know that everyone isn’t going to read a book, but does that mean they must miss your message? Your finished book can now become the launch pad through which you deliver your message in multiple venues. Because you followed the methodology to construct your book in Chapter Silos, you can take those chapters and repurpose them for articles, workshops, seminars, keynotes, online courses, video training, podcasts, etc. That’s the extended value of this carefully constructed methodology.

Untitled

 

THE TIMING:

Some writing coaches suggest that you can start and finish writing a book in ninety days, or in one month, or even in a weekend. That is not my approach. It takes a lot of thought and effort to construct a quality product, and that takes time. It’s going to take you about a year to write your book.

The point is this: Don’t subscribe to the write-a-book-in-a-hurry method. It wastes your time, your energy, and your dollars, and it will ultimately deliver a substandard product.

Your legacy is about the lives you touch and the change you create. When you share what you know, what you’ve learned, what you’ve developed, or what you’ve overcome, you can make a lasting impact that extends far beyond yourself. You can change the world, one reader at a time, simply by telling your story.

You’re the only one who can do it — and I’m here to help!


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The First Word from BookBaby

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completing a book

The First Word

Guest post by Steven Spatz
President, BookBaby

Every journey starts with the first step. Every story starts with the first word. Then it’s just a matter of completing a book.

When I wrote my first book, The End – Now What? – 6 Steps To Take Your Manuscript To The Market Place In Six Weeks, I didn’t have any kind of plan or blueprint to guide my journey to completing a book. I pretty much just relied on my home grown “ation” strategy.

What’s my “ation” strategy? I’m glad you asked.

  • It has to start with inspiration. Creating the content that interests me – and hopefully potential reader.
  • The job of writing takes perspiration. It’s work – damn hard work at times.
  • I recognize that I’ll have periods of exasperation when I’m just sick and tired of that whole damn thing and I take (brief) breaks from the process.
  • Ultimately it requires determination. Keep your eyes on the prize.

The result was a 50,000 word nonfiction book cranked out in fits and starts over an eight month period. I learned a lot about the book writing process during that experience. I’ve learned even more from talking to BookBaby authors about how they covered their own journeys. This time around I’ll be better equipped to do the job.

Here are some of the writing tips and ideas I’ve collected over the last year:

Location, location, location.
Find your writing place. Sure it’s possible to be creative anywhere – sitting on the subway or standing in a line – but for the long haul and more consistent creativity, your best work will come out in a space where you regularly write. That primes you to get into the right frame of mind as soon as you sit down. Or maybe it’s more than one place. I have three: a secluded corner in a local library and two different coffee houses. Set aside a particular place that you do nothing but write or create and you can jump start your creativity.

What time is good for you?
Even more important than “where” is “when.” For me it’s probably going to involve getting up 45 minutes earlier and writing a few paragraphs before work. Forcing yourself to write at 5 am isn’t the solution for everyone. It works for me because I have nothing else to divert my attention in those early dawn hours. There are all types of writers – after-hours writers, lunch break writers, mini-block writers, etc. Track your time and energy for a week or two to find what’s best for you – and then block out that time on your calendar as an appointment with yourself.

Add interval training to your writing
Some writers I know incorporate these short sprints into their writing routine. Here’s how: Use a simple kitchen timer to force yourself to just flat out write. Set it for five minutes to write as much as you can. You’ll likely censor yourself less if you can just write whatever comes naturally and edit later. It’s not about quality during this brief burst of keystrokes. Give yourself permission to write a few lousy paragraphs or pages. You’ll have plenty of time to go back and edit later.

Read if you’re not writing
Like many writers, I feel inspired when I’m playing the part of reader. Instead of turning on the TV when you’re on a break from writing, spend your time reading the work of others. The more “I wish I had written that” pieces you come across, the better your work will be and the more motivated you may be to produce something worthwhile. Some authors find other arts to be inspiring – paintings, movies, photography, and so on. Soak up all the creativity you can when you’re not actively writing.

Don’t break the chain
His television show was “about nothing,” yet legendary comic Jerry Seinfeld’s method for success is very much something – and visual. Each January, he hangs a large year-at-a-glance calendar on his wall and, for every day he wrote new material, he earned the right to draw a big red “X” over that day. Drawing those Xs got to be pretty fun and rewarding, so he kept doing it. Eventually, he began to create a chain of red Xs. The idea was to never break that chain. This simple pleasure can turn into a surprisingly powerful motivator.

Never miss twice
If you don’t have the luxury of Seinfeld’s free time, you can give yourself a very small cushion and still be successful. Let’s say you have your new routines and habits in place, your alarm set to signal your writing time… But one day you wake up and simply don’t feel like writing.

So don’t. We all slip up now and again. Don’t beat yourself up, but also don’t slip twice in a row. It’s inevitable you’re going to miss a writing session, but use the “never miss twice” mindset to get back on track.

Be flexible
Your writing schedule might change – often. Life events will throw wrenches in your plans, but you can plan a new schedule. And then stick to that.

Write or die
If all else fails, you can always resort to using the app WriteOrDie, With a tagline of “Putting the prod into productivity,” this program is absolutely diabolical!

Here’s how it works: First, you configure your writing period, word goal, and your preferred punishment should your fingers stop typing. Once the setup is complete, you’ll need to type continuously; otherwise there will be consequences, in varying levels.

  • The gentle mode is quite forgiving. When you pause your writing for a set period of time, a box will pop up, gently reminding you to continue writing.
  • In normal mode, if you pause, you will be played a very unpleasant sound. The sound will stop if and only if you continue to write.
  • For the true author-masochist, there’s Kamikaze Mode: You must keep writing or your work will un-write itself. Simply disappear from the beginning of the passage! Talk about writing with a gun to your head!

As for my own system, I have one more of my “ation” strategies to think about: The exhilaration of finally finishing that book!


Steven Spatz, President of BookBaby

Steven Spatz is an author, marketer, and the President of BookBaby.


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How to Attract an Audience for Your Book

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How to attract an audience for your bookAs a writer, you may enjoy the solitary pursuit of writing, but one thing’s for sure—when your book is finished you’ll want get it in the hands of readers. The best way to do that is to start now, even as you write your book, to attract your audience.

You may have heard the old adage that it takes seven touches to make a sale. In book marketing, that has held true. Your audience needs to hear what you’re about, to learn to respect you as you prove your expertise, and to become interested in you and enticed by what you have to say, well in advance of a purchase.

1. Define Your Audience

Before you can attract an audience, you need to know who they are. Of course, your readers are your audience, but who are they? Picture them as they walk in the bookstore. What do you see? Is it women between the ages of 30 and 50? Parents who want to instill values in their children? Business owners who are short of cash?

The key is to figure out who your audience is before you begin writing your nonfiction book because that’s the group you will influence, the group you will impact, and the group you will target when your book is complete.

2. Define Your Book’s Market

Isn’t your audience the same as your market? Not necessarily. Your market is the people/organizations/institutions that will purchase your book. For example, if you are writing a book for children, children are your audience, but they’re not your market. Your market is the person with the pocketbook – the parents.

Think about those people/organizations/institutions that might purchase your book, for example, educators if you’re writing about children, or mental health practitioners if you are writing about walking conquering depression. Try to identify at least six markets for your book – a primary market and five secondary markets. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to potential customers, so be thorough.

3. Classify Your Book

Part of knowing your audience is knowing where your book fits in relation to other books. In other words, what is it’s genre?

The term genre simply means a particular classification or type of book, and there are two main genres in writing: fiction and nonfiction. There are numerous sub-genres within each of these genres, and you need to know where your book fits. Why is this important? It’s important to you because you want to reach a certain audience, and people often select the books they read according to genre. That’s why bookstores divide their selections by genre—it makes it easier for people to find the books that appeal to them.

Think about your audience again. If they are looking for your book, what section will they browse in a bookstore? Assume they don’t know the book title or your name as the author. They simply want to find the information that your book delivers. Where are they going to look? Identify your book’s genre, and you will have some insight on how to reach your market.

This is the starting point for identifying your readers, but there’s more to it than simply identifying your genre. Your readers are buried within your target markets, and I want you to know how to scout them out.

4. Target Your Markets

With all the books being published, it’s more important that EVER to know your market and how to reach your audience.

So, go back to your ideal customer. They’re hard to find because they look like everyone else, so we have identify them according to what they need. And what is that? They need the SOLUTION that is found in your book. You may think, “I know who they are – generally – but I don’t know how to get to them specifically.”

Go back to your list you made of primary and secondary markets and create a detailed plan to reach them. Do this before your book is finished, so you’ll be ready to get your book in their hands when it’s published.


 

 

 

 


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How to Define an Audience for Your Book

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When it comes to book marketing, knowing your audience is essential. You need to figure out who your book is for—and there may be multiple audiences—but please know that your book is not for everyone. Not everyone will benefit from or even enjoy your book, so don’t try to appeal to the masses. Hone in on your intended audience and get your book on their radar.

So how do you define that audience of book readers?

how to define an audience for your book book writing classes online book coach

Do your research before writing your book.

All too many authors write their book without defining the target audience, and defining your audience is particularly important when writing nonfiction. And yet, if you narrow in on something too niche, you might discover that your audience is simply too small. For example, you might write a riveting book about how to maintain antique farm equipment, but will enough people be interested in that topic?  It’s possible, but you want to be confident that you have solid book marketing plans before you start to write. You must think about your target audience when planning your book, as well as throughout the writing process.

Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your target audience:

  • How old are they?
  • What is their gender?
  • What’s their education level?
  • What concerns/problems do they have?
  • Do they live in one specific geographic area?
  • What shared interests will they have?

Self-published authors, especially those who write memoirs or biographies, may think that their target audience are people like themselves, when in reality, your audience may be quite different from you. It’s important to identify what your audience actually wants and needs, not what you think they do.

Book Audience vs. Market

For example, if you are writing a book for children, children are your audience, but they’re not your market. Your market is the person with the pocketbook – the parents.

Be specific when defining your primary market. Picture the person who will buy your book. Is it a woman between the ages of 30 and 50 who is unhappy with the signs of aging? A target audience of all women between the ages of 30 and 50 is too broad, so it’s important to consider what subset of that group you want to attract. Ask yourself what will draw them in. How do you hope to influence and/or interest these women?

It’s also important to consider secondary markets. Secondary markets are those are the people/organizations/institutions who will also purchase your book, like educators who might be writing or teaching about your topic, or mental health practitioners if you are writing about a mental health topic like depression. Think hard about all the different groups that might benefit from your book. Try to come up with at least six markets for your book – a primary market and five secondary markets. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to customers, so be thorough. 

What is the goal of your book?

It’s important to know what you hope to accomplish with your book. You should know what message you are trying to send, and whom that message is supposed to reach. Book marketing is about knowing who will benefit from your book, and then focusing your marketing efforts on that audience.

When it comes to marketing your book, choosing your target market and audience is essential to your book’s success. Consider all the possibilities to ensure that a proper audience and market exist for your book, and then create your plan to grab their attention.


Get the help you need to get your book published.

If you need help to write your book, consider one of my nonfiction book coaching programs:


author-coaching-book-coach-online-writing-class-get-my-book-outAbout Nonfiction Book Writing & Publishing Expert Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson is better known as “The Book Professor,” a writing and publishing consultant who specializes in helping aspiring nonfiction authors bring their book ideas to market. Nancy works as a book coach assisting authors that write self-help books, biographies, business books, and other nonfiction books through online courses and book coaching. Contact Nancy with questions or to have her speak at your upcoming event by clicking here.

 


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PUBLISH YOUR BOOK how to write and publish a book self publishing writing a book nonfiction book memoir self help book production

5 Steps to Write & Publish Your Book

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how to write and publish a book self publishing writing a book nonfiction book memoir self help book productionAn overview of the book publishing process

On March 29th, I will host a FREE online class, “What to Expect When Writing & Publishing Your Book.” In today’s post, I am going to touch on some of what we will learn during the webinar. To register for this free webinar for aspiring authors, click here.

Writing a book is a multi-layered project, and it probably doesn’t surprise you that there’s more to it than just writing a book. As you already know, the writing is the first component. At the end of the writing, you have a manuscript – but that’s not really a book is it?

I want to show you long view of publishing a book. You’re probably going to think “Oh my word–I had no idea what I was getting into.” And you’re right. If you aren’t a professional publisher, you wouldn’t know all the pieces involved, and that’s why I’m here to usher you through the process. If you stick with me, you’ll have all the tools you need to produce a professional product that will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with any other book on the market.

Book Writing and Publishing Process

STEP ONE: WRITING AND WRITING AND WRITING

  • Initial Book Writing – The first step is to plan your book project in a BookMAP and write all the components until you have a finished manuscript. This is where you invest your time, energy, and emotion, and when you are finished you will have accomplished something few others have done! You will have a complete manuscript.
  • Editing Your Book – Every top-notch author has a first-class editor who does several things to improve upon what you have already accomplished. In the first pass, you will want a developmental editor. A developmental editor takes a look at your overall work and gives feedback on the structure and organization of the manuscript, the development of your characters, the consistency in your story line, your vocabulary, the impact of your message, your use of language and how your unique voice can be amplified. A developmental editor will point out any missing elements in your manuscript and make suggestions about how to weave them in. A developmental editor is crucial for every author, particularly if you are not a professional writer
  • Book Focus Groups – I’m a big believer in focus groups, and the best way to understand if your manuscript achieves its goal is to gather a group of six to ten people who are part of your target market, give them a copy of your manuscript, and ask for their raw feedback. This will be invaluable to you. When you receive that feedback, you make the changes you think are appropriate, then pass the manuscript to your editor for final editing.
  • Final Editing Process – This time, you need what we call line-level editing. You editor will scrub your work and make corrections in punctuation, verb tense, spelling, and sentence structure. They will correct your grammar and make suggestions about how to rewrite your sentences for clarity.
  • Proofreading – If you want a flawless manuscript, you can’t skip the step of hiring a proofreader. Understand this: You are not a capable proofreader. You already know what your story is supposed to say, and your brain will fill in any gaps with what you intended.

Once these steps are complete, you are ready to turn your manuscript into a book.

STEP TWO: THE BOOK DESIGN

Before you design your book, you need to know what you want to produce, and you have a lot of choices to make. Do you want a hardcover book? Or a softcover? Both come in a myriad of sizes, and you need to decide which size best fits your format. Will you issue an eBook, and if so, you need to prepare separate digital files for Kindle, Nook, and iPad.  

One of the most important elements is your book cover design. Your title and your book cover art will work together to invite the reader to purchase the book. They also work together to communicate the essence of your book, while creating a key question in the potential reader’s mind: What is this book about?

Remember that books are often shelved with only the spine visible, and you will want yours to stand out. What will the spine of your book look like? Try adding a dash of color to draw attention.

When turning your attention to the interior design, consider these questions: What fonts are you going to use? What will your copyright page look like? Your table of contents? You must use industry standards for chapter starts and page numbering. And be sure you’ve calculate the appropriate thumb holds – that’s the margin space where a reader places their thumbs to hold the book. Readers should not have to shift their thumbs while reading the book because this causes a degree of stress that interferes with their reading experience and causes fatigue.

Just for fun, take a look at some book interiors, and notice how they differ in style to match the book content. You need a professional designer for both the book cover an interior.

STEP THREE: BOOK PRODUCTION

Of course, you’ll need to get your book produced, and you have several options. Do you want to use an on-demand printer that will print the books as they are ordered?  There’s a higher cost per book for this option, but you won’t have to put your money into the inventory up front. However, if you want to pay the lowest possible amount per book, you will opt to print a large quantity of books and warehouse them until they are sold. The warehouse can be your basement, and many authors like this option because they can maximize their profits with this approach.

STEP FOUR: BOOK DISTRIBUTION

So now you’ve got the book in hand. How are you going to distribute it?

There are numerous ways to distribute your book and, of course, your eBooks will be distributed online.

If you print a quantity of books, you can elect to ship them out yourself as they are purchased, but bear in mind that this option requires you to have shipping supplies and a fair amount of time to send things out. Some people make arrangements with warehouse distributors or sheltered workshops to send out their books, and others elect to work through book distributors who receive orders and ship them out to bookstores, online retailers, and libraries. All your distributions methods require payment, so find out what the distributor requires before signing any contracts.

STEP FIVE: BOOK MARKETING

Books don’t sell themselves, so you need to plan your marketing strategy. Will you engage the services of a publicist? Or will you do what many authors do and use the social media tools that are so readily available? Will you hold events, like book readings? Use email marketing to get the word out? Or go the traditional advertising route?

Be specific when defining your primary market. Picture the person who buys your book. Is it a woman between the ages of 30 and 50 who is unhappy with the signs of aging? It isn’t every woman between 30 and 50, it’s a subset of that group. Who are they?

What are your secondary markets? Secondary markets are those people/organizations/institutions who will also purchase your book, like educators (if you’re writing about children) or mental health practitioners if you are writing about coming out of a depression. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to customers, so think it through.  

Click the image above to register for my free webinar on March 29th!

Click the image above to register for my free webinar on March 29th!

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF WRITING & PUBLISHING YOUR BOOK

So what’s the most important part of this process? The most important part is always what you are working on right now. Focus on today. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Just do the best possible job on what’s in front of you. There will be plenty of time to focus on what’s ahead.

If you need help to write your book, consider one of my nonfiction book coaching programs:


author-coaching-book-coach-online-writing-class-get-my-book-outAbout Nonfiction Book Writing & Publishing Expert Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson is better known as “The Book Professor,” a writing and publishing consultant who specializes in helping aspiring nonfiction authors bring their book ideas to market. Nancy works as a book coach assisting authors that write self-help books, biographies, business books, and other nonfiction books through online courses and book coaching. Contact Nancy with questions or to have her speak at your upcoming event by clicking here.


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how to write a book how to write a nonfiction book memoir biography

How to Write a Book, Step by Step

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how to write a book how to write a nonfiction book memoir biographyBy Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

You’ve got a strong message, and if you’ve been thinking about writing a nonfiction book, you may feel hesitant because you don’t know how to get started. That’s no surprise. You can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and burning precious hours if you don’t have a process to follow. But when you have a step-by-step method and follow it faithfully, you can systematically write a high-impact nonfiction book that will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best on the market.

You need a methodology that takes you all the way from the idea for your book, to a completed manuscript, to publication, to marketing, to repurposing your material for multiple venues.

METHODOLOGY: How you will write your book

1. Plan

If you’ve never written a book, you probably don’t know how to get started. Writing a book is much different from writing a blog, or an article, or even a short nonfiction piece. Before you start writing, we will develop two distinct BookMAPs, which are visual representations of everything that will be included in your book.

Book Map How to Become an Author: Module One 4

2. Produce

During this production period, you will pour out your entire first draft. You know why it’s not hard? It’s because you’ll follow the BookMAPs you just created in the planning phase. Whether you have fifteen minutes or several hours, you can always contribute something to your book. You build your book brick by brick until you have a first draft of your manuscript.

3. Polish

When your first draft is complete, you’ll need to scrub it thoroughly to get it in the best possible shape before you hand it over to a professional book editor, who can give it that final polish and shine.

4. Publish

Your manuscript is now complete, and you’re ready for the next step—publishing. For my Executive Group Coaching clients and Personal Coaching clients who start with me at the initial planning stage, your book can be published through my nonfiction press, Stonebrook Publishing. We will design your book cover and the interior layout, set your book up for global distribution, and register your copyrights with the Library of Congress. You own all rights to your book and receive all the proceeds from sales. It’s all yours!

5. Promote

Books don’t write themselves, and they don’t sell themselves either! Authors must be involved in the process. Your book will be set up and promoted through Bookarma.net, the international book marketing platform, where authors help other authors market their books globally through shared social networks.

6. Repurpose

You already know that everyone isn’t going to read a book, but does that mean they must miss your message? Your finished book can now become the launch pad through which you deliver your message in multiple venues. Because you followed the methodology to construct your book in Chapter Silos, you can take those chapters and repurpose them for articles, workshops, seminars, keynotes, online courses, video training, podcasts, etc. That’s the extended value of this carefully constructed methodology.

The Book Professor Methodology Nonfiction Book Coach Book Coaching Learn how to write a book

THE TIMING:

Some writing coaches suggest that you can write your book in ninety days, or in one month, or even in a weekend. That is not my approach. It takes a lot of thought and effort to construct a quality product, and that takes time. It’s going to take you about a year to write your book.

The point is this: Don’t subscribe to the write-a-book-in-a-hurry method. It wastes your time, your energy, and your dollars, and it will ultimately deliver a substandard product.

Your legacy is about the lives you touch and the change you create. When you share what you know, what you’ve learned, what you’ve developed, or what you’ve overcome, you can make a lasting impact that extends far beyond yourself. You can change the world, one reader at a time, simply by telling your story.

You’re the only one who can do it!

If you would like support, consider one of my nonfiction book coaching programs:


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Fill your Fall with an especially meaningful project 1

Fill your Fall with an especially meaningful project

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With the start of September, there are long lines and crisp school uniforms lined up at the bus stops near my house and parents of children headed back to school have more time on their hands than they’ve had in months. Those new-found hours soon become filled with the honey-do lists that have piled up all summer long, but have you considered doing something more with your time?

NOW is the time to write your book!nonfiction book writing coaching book writing coach executive book coach how to write a book

I spent this summer busy at work on some new tools to help aspiring authors get those books out of their head and into the hands of their future readers. The first tool I’m wanted to share with you is my new guide, “How to Prepare Yourself to Write a NonFiction Book.” Click here to download the guide and get started!
In addition to this FREE guide, there are opportunities for you to go back to school as well. I am holding two free webinars in September. Please check out my event calendar for details and to sign up. I will also be announcing a new class starting this October. Watch your inbox for more news soon!I can’t wait to see what you write next!
All the best,
Nancy-Erickson
The Book Professor
@TheBookProfesso

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Create a crystallized message 2

Create a crystallized message

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By Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

writing-bookWhen writing nonfiction, there are three steps that come before you actually sit down to write that will strengthen and clarify your message.

1. What’s the Purpose?

An article is not the same as a blog, is not the same as a web page. Each end product has it’s own purpose, and before you begin writing, you need to know the purpose of the piece.

You probably have a general idea of what you want to write, and I challenge you distill it down to a Purpose Statement before you start. Your Purpose Statement should say, “The purpose of this (blog/article/book/web copy/marketing message) is to ___________________.

Complete that sentence. Bear in mind that it’s one sentence, not a paragraph.

Example: The purpose of this article is to inspire others to create a larger legacy through their writing.

2. Who’s the Audience?

If you don’t know your audience, it’s like playing spin-the-bottle in the dark. Don’t you want to know who you’re going kiss before you pucker up? Likewise, you need to envision your audience. What you write isn’t for everyone; it’s for a specific slice of readers.

Picture your perfect reader. What are they looking for? What’s their age, demographic, marital status? Are they male or female, conservative or liberal? How do they identify themselves? Complete this sentence: The audience for this piece is ___________________.

Example: The audience for this article is entrepreneurs who want to create a larger legacy.

3. Why the Message?

Writers not only want to be read, they want to be remembered. If your content goes in their mind but doesn’t elicit a response, then you’ve wasted your time. It will be forgotten as quickly as it was read.

You must create some type of change in the reader. How will they be different as a result of what you wrote? What change, as slight as it may be, do you want to invoke in the reader? Do you want to move them to action? Give them hope? Make them smile? Consider the end result and write down how you want your readers to be affected.

Example: This article will inspire entrepreneurs to first crystallize and then expand their message.

Now pull the three components together into a single statement.

Example: The purpose of this article is to inspire entrepreneurs to first crystallize and then expand their message, so they can create a larger legacy.

Ready, set, write.

Now that you know your audience, you can write from their perspective, not yours. What do they want to know? What information are they seeking? What new message or perspective can you deliver? Compelling content always meets the need, and your job is to deliver what the audience is seeking.

To crystallize your message, include specific content that achieves the stated purpose, nothing else. Readers absorb focused content, and everything you write should drive toward that message, that audience, that purpose, and that result.

Go BIGGER!

If you want a bigger audience, you need a bigger platform. With a little tweaking, you can extend your message and deliver it through multiple venues, like writing a book or delivering workshops, speaking engagements, and online courses. This isn’t simply an opportunity for you; it’s a service to others. When you share what you’ve learned, what you’ve developed, and what you’ve overcome, you can change the life or direction of someone else. Someone is looking for what’s hidden inside you. Whether your message is about your business, lessons you’ve learned, or about how to connect on a soul-level with your dog, if you have a passionate solution, someone else needs it!

Your legacy is about the lives you touch and the change you create. When you share what you know, what you’ve learned, and what you’ve overcome, you can make a lasting impact that extends far beyond yourself.

International Book Marketer, Public Speaker, Book Coach, and Author Advocate, Nancy’s passion is to change the world, one reader at a time. She is the creator and owner of Bookarma (www.bookarma.net), the international book marketing platform where authors help authors market their books globally through shared social networks. She is also known at The Book Professor (www.thebookprofessor.com) because she gives everyday people the courage to tell their truth and the tools they need to write a nonfiction book that will change lives, saves lives, or transform society.


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