Book Writing Class Tools to Help Organize Your Thoughts Onto Paper
When I was a child, we took family vacations, and each of my parents had a role. Dad was the driver; Mom was the navigator. Poor Mom. Dad wasn’t a patient man, and he had little tolerance for anything but instant, on-point answers. At that time, we used the fold-up maps that gas stations sold, which were a challenge unto themselves.
Most of us don’t use physical maps anymore because we have fabulous phone apps and GPS devices that tell us where to go, turn by turn. All we have to know is our starting and ending points.
And that’s exactly what you know about your book right now. Your starting point is here, where you have nothing. Your endpoint is the purpose of your book, which is reflected in your Purpose Statement. With The Book Professor, we’ll help you create a BookMAP that will show the step-by-step route to that final destination—without all the clutter of the side roads. It’s a Method And Process(MAP) that you’ll use to save time, energy, and emotion—and it’s the shortest route to delivering your audience to the purpose of your book.
“When you’re open and honest you give the reader permission to be open and honest too.”
BookMAP 1: It’s Personal
When you take our book writing class, you’ll learn that your personal story is one of the most important parts of your book. Some writers, particularly if they’re writing a business book, want to leave out this part and simply share their knowledge or instruct the audience. That would be a mistake.
Before you can tell your readers anything, you must earn the right to be heard. Nobody likes to be told what to do, especially if they don’t know anything about you. What makes you an authority on this subject? Why should they listen to you? Those are the questions you answer when you share your own story.
And your readers don’t want the whitewashed version of you. Share your high points and the deep canyons, the wins and the demoralizing losses, the beautiful and the ugly. You must be real and transparent. So shuck off your pride that tells you if they know who I truly am, they won’t like me. That’s bunk. When you’re real, people will love you. When you’re open and honest, you give the reader permission to be open and honest, too.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It takes a lot of courage to be this vulnerable. We all want to put our best foot forward to make a good impression. We like to hide the messes we’ve made, but sometimes the mess has become your message.
That’s what’s so effective about my Executive Group Coaching classes. In this book writing class, you get to share your failures and foibles in a safe place, test out your message with others in the class, and gain strength from doing so—before you bare your skin to the world.
What about you? What personal story do you have inside? Contact us today, and we can help you get it out of your head and onto paper!
As a coach or public speaker, you have the opportunity to influence millions. You have the expertise and solutions that can help others. You know how to tell a story, and you have testimonials. You’re talented and what you have to say matters. But do other people know how credible you are? Do they know you’re an expert in your field? If not, you can increase your credibility and attract a following by writing your book with The Book Professor. But without a book, you’re just another self-proclaimed expert. And trust me, we don’t need any more of those!
Your reputation is on the line. The book you write is either going to enhance your reputation or detract from it. You’ve probably spent quite a bit of time and energy in your business, you deliver excellent products or services, and you want that reputation of excellence to be evident in your book. Your book should be an extension of you, an enhancement of your brand. If you’re going to establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, attract a following, and avoid the “self-proclaimed expert label,” you don’t want to write a book. You want to write a top-quality book.
Work With The Book Professor And Write a Top Quality Book
Writing a top quality book requires you to follow all the writing, design, and publishing conventions—which is a lot to learn.
The good news is, you don’t have to learn all these conventions. You can work with professionals like me who are deep in the publishing industry. Here, in a nutshell, is the process we’ll follow:
Editing and Testing
Once you’ve written your draft manuscript, it’s time to turn it over for editing by one or more professionals and testing by a focus group of readers.
Every top-notch author—and that’s what you aspire to be—has a first-class developmental editor. That professional takes a look at your manuscript and instructs you on critical elements, such as its structure and flow. A developmental editor is crucial for every author, particularly if you are not a professional writer.
Testing Your Message
The best way to learn if your manuscript achieves its goal is to gather a group of six to ten people who are part of your target market—a kind of focus group that works independently.
For this round of editing, you need a line-level editor.Your editor will scrub your work and make corrections in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure.
Book Title and Design
Did you know there’s an entire psychology that applies to the design of book covers? Your book cover and your title work together to invite potential readers to purchase your book. Together, they communicate the essence of your book, while starting to answer a question in the potential reader’s mind: “What’s this book about?”
If you want a flawless manuscript, you must hire a professional proofreader after your designer has laid out your book. The fresh eyes of a professional proofreader are needed to catch errors that will undermine your credibility. You skip this critical step at your—and your book’s—peril!
When it’s time to produce your book, you have some options. You can use an on-demand printer, such as Amazon CreateSpace or BookBaby, who only print the books after they are sold. Some authors, however, want to maximize their profits by investing in some inventory. If that’s the case, you can work with a local or regional printer, order a large quantity of books, and warehouse them until they’re sold. Either way, we will guide you on the best option for your book.
You can spend a lot of time and money to write your book and still end up with a substandard product—like all too many self-published authors. If you want your book to establish you as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, attract a following and avoid the “self-proclaimed expert label,” you must work with professionals. There’s no wiggle room here. Contact The Book Professor today and we can help you take the next step!
As a book writing coach, I’ve worked with many students to help them describe seasons in a way that makes the reader feels like they’re actually there in the story. And my favorite season to describe is Fall. Whether it’s taking a long stroll through beautiful foliage, apple picking with the kids, or curling up on the sofa with a good book, there’s something about Fall that brings me a sense of peace and returns me to a concrete work routine. Summer gets me out of my routine and pulls me away from my goals because of vacations, time off with the kids, or just bumming around in the sun; Fall magically helps me to refocus.
And do you know the best aspect about refocusing? It’s refocusing with accountability. When you refocus on your goals for the year, if you include someone with whom you can be accountable, it’s much more likely that you’ll finish 2018 having accomplished what you set out to do.
Refocus Your Goals With Accountability
Last fall, I had to pause my workout sessions with Brent, my trainer, because I had minor surgery that required two weeks’ recuperation. After that, Brent and his wife had a baby, and he took off for ten days of family time. Then I was traveling, and during that trip, I contracted a nasty bronchitis that turned into pneumonia. When I was finally well again, Brent got sick and was out for two weeks because either he or his kids were sick. When we started back up, his new baby was seven weeks old, and I was out of shape. I hadn’t worked out for nine weeks.
Of course, I could have worked out by myself during that time, but I didn’t. I have no excuses because we have a home gym complete with a full set of weights, a workout bench, a treadmill, and a gym-quality elliptical trainer—all the tools I needed to keep up with my exercise program. But when I lost the accountability, I lost my motivation. If I hadn’t restarted my sessions with Brent, it’s quite likely that my exercise program would have ended there.
I don’t know if you’re a goal-setter, but I’ve become one—somewhat reluctantly. I don’t like to set goals because I don’t really want to be accountable to them. I don’t want to set a goal and fail, so I prefer just not to do it. And yet, if I don’t set goals, I don’t accomplish anything significant. This is especially true if I need to refocus back on my original goals.
When I first started the practice of goal-setting as a book writing coach, I’d write down my ultimate goals and hope they’d come to fruition. But that wasn’t a realistic approach. I had to break each goal into smaller steps and execute those steps to move forward. There are tons of books on how to set goals and break them into smaller tasks, and that’s all well and good. But these resources weren’t helpful to me until I added the layer of accountability. I need to have someone to answer to.
This is especially true if you’re writing a book. If you want to write your book, you not only need a step-by-step plan, you also need structure and accountability. It takes a year to write a book, and it isn’t reasonable to expect that you’ll keep going and going week after week, for fifty-two weeks, without a little kick in the pants every now and then from a book writing coach.
What about you? Are you ready to refocus your goals and get back to writing? Contact us today and we can set up with a book writing coach to keep you accountable!
You’ve heard the phrase “content is king,” but it’s time to revise that to “distribution rules,” which is why you need to publish your book internationally.
More than any other book/publishing conference I attend, London Book Fair is a truly international affair, lending readers the opportunity to meet and talk with authors, agents, and publishers from all around the world.
If you’ve attended the conference in the past, you might have heard echoes of a sentiment first uttered by Microsoft’s Bill Gates that has been embraced in the publishing world: the idea that when it comes to publishing, “Content is king.”
It was in the early days of the Internet when Gates expressed this idea, and that line of thinking paid off for him. And there is a lot of truth in it: great stories are a big part of what sell books. That will always be the case. But as I prepared to represent BookBaby at 2018’s London Book Fair, knowing what I’ve learned about the new world of publishing, I offered an updated version of Gates’ guiding principle:Distributionis king.
Some have likened the concept of distribution as the “queen” to Gates’ “king” content, but I’m of the mind that these roles should be reversed.
Call it what you want — transmitter, network, bullhorn — distribution is the vital infrastructure that broadcasts authors’ messages. Without distribution, there is no discovery , no matter how brilliant the content.
Many authors still don’t lend credence to this fact. They believe that as long as they’re on Amazon, people will find their book. But that just isn’t true. For one thing, Amazon commands only a portion of US readership, let alone worldwide readership. And getting your book in the hands of readers who aren’t on Amazon and don’t live in the United States is becoming more and more paramount.
And while eBooks may have plateaued in the US, other countries around the world have embraced the technology. Tons of emerging nations, beginning with China — which now boasts the largest middle-class population in the world — are using their phones in ways that Americans don’t. They’re using it as a bank. They’re using it to conduct transactions. And, above all, they’re using it to read books.
In fact, in some countries, people canonlyread using their mobile devices. They don’t have bookstores and publishers don’t have the opportunity to sell print, either. Digital reading mechanisms have become the preferred medium for distribution. In some cases, they’re the only formats readers have ever been familiar with.
One of the reasons authors chooseBookBabyis what I term our “books without boundaries” approach to retail store distribution. We’ve been at the forefront of printed book and eBook globalization, supporting the rise of digital publishing throughout the world.
The physical logistics of print books didn’t allow self-published authors to reach such widespread international audiences, but digital truly changes everything. It is called the World Wide Web, after all.
We’ve placed tens of thousands of books into Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo — all the major players — but eager readers can now find our authors’ books in stores such as the German eBook giantCiando, the UK’sGardners, andeSentralwith its stores in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.
The reason why we do this is that it’s so inherently valuable to sell your book internationally. In fact, the international English-language eBook market will soon surpass the US market. Some numbers shared by theeBook Bargains UK (EBUK)newsletter illustrate this point.
Sampling EBUK, you can see there are upwards of 75 million English speakers in the Philippines, over 40 million English speakers in Germany, 30 million in Bangladesh, and tens of millions in countries like Egypt, Turkey, and Thailand. In just India, Pakistan, and Nigeria alone, the number of English speakers exceeds the entire population of the United States. A very conservative estimate puts the number of English speakers outside the US at around 750 million, and that figure doesn’t include the UK (60 million), Australia (20 million), New Zealand (4 million), and Canada (25 million). To reach all these readers, authors need to make sure their books are available in the leading stores in each country.
The publishing world still operates in a primarily US-centric, Amazon-centric fashion, but we at BookBaby have seen the value of redesigning that focus. As of this year, almost 50 percent of our authors’ sales came through stores other than Amazon, and we anticipate our largest area of growth in the eBook market to come from emerging nations.
A survey recently conducted by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication reports the percent of adults in the country using their phones to read books increased in 2016. In 2015, 60 percent of adults in China used their phones to read; in 2016, that figure jumped to 66.1 percent.
Another 2017 study revealed that about 33 percent of the population preferred eBooks to print books — up from 25 percent as recorded in 2015.
At the end of the day, everyone on the planet has the potential to create eloquent, even life-changing, content. But without an audience — or, more precisely, without the right means of reaching that audience — that content will never be fully appreciated.
Which is to say, the key to availing your book to the largest possible audience is international distribution. Sorry, Mr. Gates.
Join Steven and a host of great presenters, speakers, and exhibitors at BookBaby’s2018 Independent Authors Conference, November 2-4 at The Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia! The Independent Authors Conference is the only writing conference dedicated to helping independent authors publish successfully.Register now!Don’t miss this opportunity to listen and learn from some of today’s leading self-publishing experts!
As a creator of book writing classes and the mother of two daughters, I can remember the bittersweet “back to school” season very well. I was secretly excited to return them to a structured routine, but I also missed having them with me. Time with my children was priceless. Both daughters are now grown with children of their own who are going back to school, and I imagine they’re feeling the same way too. There’s something about the “back to school” time that not only gets kids back to their school routine and learning, but it’s also a time for parents to think about their own “work” outside of their family. By work, I’m referring to your personal goals, dreams, and aspirations. Have you thought about your goals lately? If not, now’s the time.
Writing Your Book is Like Going to School
Writing your book is a lot like going to school. You have this major project that you work and work and work on, and you think you’ll never get finished, you’ll never get out of school. Then one day—voilà! It’s over! You have your book in hand, and you can start doing the other things you love again. The year it takes to write your book is going to pass anyway. You might as well have something to show for it. I assume that you’re a busy professional and you’re not looking for extra things to do. Life is busy enough with work, but when you layer on the more important things like faith and family, there’s no wiggle room, no gaps where you can sneak in a major project like taking a book writing class to learn how to write your book. And yet it’s something you want to do. You want to make a difference.
You Have the Time
You actually have the time to do the things you want to do—if you make those things a priorityYou just have to change your attitude. It would be ridiculous, of course, to think that you’re going to drop everything or possibly even quit your job take a book writing class to write your book. That wouldn’t be healthy or wise. But it’s not unreasonable to expect you to shift your schedule for the next year to make the project a priority.
You can’t create time, but you can capture pockets of it and repurpose its use. Don’t get me wrong. Your life is going to be busy, perhaps busier than you like. But if you simply get up an hour earlier each day, or commit your lunch hour to your book, or give up a TV show to write, you can absolutely accomplish this, step by step by step. Just like there’s a season for going to school, there’s a season for writing your book. But it’s only a season. You must adopt this mindset.
What are you waiting for? Book writing classes start the week of September 10th. The kids are back to school so now it’s time for you to get back to writing your book. Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!
As someone that teaches people how to write a nonfiction book, I—like everyone—need a day off every now and then. But before you venture out for that last trip to the pool this weekend or enjoy some barbeque before back to school really kicks into gear, have you ever thought about the real meaning behind Labor Day?
Labor Day was created because workers felt they were spending too much time on the job. In the 1830’s, a time when manufacturing ruled, workers averaged 70-hour work weeks! Yikes! They were overly exhausted and had no free time to spend with their family. These long working hours caused many union organizers to focus on winning a shorter eight-hour workday. They also focused on getting workers more days off, such as the Labor Day holiday, and reducing theworkweek to just six days.(Source)
So while you’re enjoying your well deserved day off today, I’d like to ask you one question. Are you where you want to be in your career? Have the hours you’ve put in at the office panned out into the career you’ve always dreamed? Think for a moment before you respond. Many of us still spend countless hours working to climb the invisible corporate ladder, but is it working? If you’re not in corporate America, maybe you’re a coach or speaker that’s desperately trying to book speaking engagements to no avail, yet you have a powerful message that could change someone’s life if you had the opportunity to get that message out to the right audience.
If I’ve just described your career situation and you want to fix it, keep reading.
Write a Book and Recharge Your Career
Some people look at writing a book as something to check off their “bucket list.” While it feels good to mentally check off items on our bucket list, let’s not wait until we’re old to learn the value of writing a book! Let me explain.
Whether you’re a coach, speaker or business executive, you’re a different entrepreneur. You have the expertise and solutions that can help others. You know how to tell a story, and you have testimonials. You’re talented, and what you have to say matters. Perhaps you’ve been a mentor to others, and you know that what you know could benefit more than you can reach in one person. But do other people know how credible you are? Does you’re boss or audience know you’re an expert in your field? The truth is that you can increase your credibility, recharge your career and attract a following by writing your book. But without a book, you’re just another self-proclaimed expert. And we don’t need any more of those!
If you want to know how to become an author, you’ll want to work with an Executive Book Coach. When you have a book, it establishes you as an expert in your field, increases your credibility, and makes you attractive to your employer—all while building a personal following.
Not sure how to write a nonfiction book or even get started? Watch below and we’ll show you how!
What about you? Are you ready to make all those long work hours pay off through a job promotion or speaking engagements? Then let’s write your book.Contact us today and we can show you how to write a nonfiction book!
Sometimes, when I look at the latest headlines in the news, I can’t help but wonder what in the world is going on? A few years ago, after I became a writing coach online, I completely stopped watching the news on television. The reason is that I’m an INFJ, the rarest of the sixteen types on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment. As you probably know, the MBTI helps people gain insights about themselves and how they react to the world. Well, one of the hallmarks of an INFJ is that we “abhor violence.” Abhor is a pretty strong word, but it hits the nail on the head with me. But my aversion to television news doesn’t mean I’m uninformed. I catch the news on the radio or find it online, where it doesn’t affect me as deeply as when I viewed it.
Take a look for yourself. Here are some headlines you might have seen:
When you read headlines like the above, it’s easy to feel down and wonder “what’s the point of it all anyway?” and think “no one seems to care about anybody but themselves.”
The writer isn’t made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century.
—E. L. Doctorow
People Are Still Changing the World
In spite of what you might read or watch in the news, people are still providing solutions and changing the world. In my world, that’s done one reader at a time. Think about what you’ve learned and how you can be a force that changes lives, saves lives, or transforms society. Don’t waste your pain and struggles. Hire a writing coach online and share your experiences with the world, put them to work, and let the mess become the messenger—the messenger of hope and help.
It might not seem like there are people that care about changing the world, but there are. Don’t believe me? Check out these headlines of people that are changing the world RIGHT NOW:
What about you? What will YOUR headline be? If you or someone you know is ready to change the world and provide hope and help to someone else, please contact us today and we can set you up with a writing coach online!
May I share my philosophy as owner of The Book Professor with you? There are so many problems in our world, so many confounding issues, that we don’t even know how to name them anymore, much less solve them. But we do know what doesn’t work. Top-down solutions from government and other institutions don’t solve these problems. In fact, in many cases, they make them worse and spawn further problems, don’t they?
Don’t despair. I firmly believe that our problems – every one of them – can be solved.The answers are trapped inside of people like you, and when you simply share your experiences and what you’ve learned, what you know, what you’ve discovered, or what you’ve developed, you can actually change lives, save lives, and transform society.
Two Things People Cannot Live Without: Hope and Help
People need real hope, not some platitude that says, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” You can offer real hope when you tell your story and show others what you’ve been through and how you came out on the other side, how you endured your trials and survived them – changed, but also whole.
People also need real help, not empty counsel that says, “this, too, shall pass.” If anything, that makes you feel even more isolated and less understood. Real help is when you show others the steps you took to get from where you were to where you are now. It gives them something concrete to model, so they can walk through their own situation.
People like YOU who have the answers, and other people, in some cases, are literally dying as they wait for your answers. At The Book Professor, we’re just the hallway that can connect you.
Be The Solution
The time is now. What do you know, what have you learned, what have you overcome, or what have you developed that will help others? We help people write high-impact nonfiction books that will change lives, save lives, or transform society. We’re already eight months into 2018, and 2019 is just around the corner. Imagine if we had 219 solutions in 2019 to some of the worlds biggest problems!
What about you? Will you be one of the 219 solution finders? If you or someone you know is ready to tell your story and solve a problem, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step?
When my first self-published manuscript returned from an editor’s desk carved in violent red ink, I learned one huge lesson: a book simply won’t be publishable without professional author services like editing and design.
Several years ago, I wrote a book that I planned to self-publish. My company, BookBaby, didn’t have its own in-house editing service yet, so I decided to use an outside firm. The first step was to send them my manuscript. After mailing it over, I remember thinking, “Hey, I’m a journalist. I know my way around a comma. There shouldn’t be too much revision necessary.”
I was dead wrong. Several weeks later, my manuscript was returned with pages carved in violent red ink. My book was hardly recognizable. Every sentence appeared to need revising.
The experience taught me one huge lesson: the importance of focused,professional editing. A book simply won’t be publishable without it.
The same is true ofprofessional marketinganddesign servicesthat ensure your book can compete in the marketplace. Independent authors lack the resources provided by big publishing houses; investing in these services helps level the playing field.
That’s why Amazon’s announcement that it isdiscontinuing its author services — the division of CreateSpace that offers independent authors editing, marketing, and design — is a significant development. These are important, necessary investments for independent authors to make. Amazon or no Amazon, skimping on these services won’t just limit your book’s potential, it could render your book irrelevant.
Professional editing is the most important investment you can make for your book. A poorly-edited book will turn off potential readers almost immediately. If your book is riddled with grammatical mistakes, structural problems, or spelling errors, it won’t have a shot at competing with books that have been professionally edited. In fact, self-publishing an unedited book can damage your reputation.
A few years ago, we worked with apreacher from Texaswho served as the president of two Bible colleges near Dallas. He rushed to publish a book he wanted to include in his curriculum for the upcoming school year. He didn’t have it edited, and he printed 500 copies.
Once he had the book in his hands, he sent copies to his family and friends. Soon after, he began to get texts saying, “Page 6, there’s a typo.” “Page 14, there’s a typo.” In time, he wished he’d never published the book at all. Luckily, there was a happy ending. He sent the book out for editing, andBookBabyreprinted all of his books.
There simply is no substitute for professional editing. At BookBaby, the first question we ask when someone brings a manuscript to us is: “Have you had it edited?” If an author tells us they don’t have much money budgeted for their book and can’t afford editing, we advise them to print fewer copies and invest the rest of their budget in professional editing. That’s how necessary it is.
Your words are the most important part of your book. Treat them as such.
Another investment independent authors should consider is in marketing strategies and resources. The better equipped you are with tools and strategies to market your book, the more successful that book will be.
One mistake independent authors often make is assuming their book will sell itself. This isn’t the case. All authors need to put in some marketing work. You need to identify your niche and you need to strategize how to establish relationships with your audience. Without putting in that work — which might include investing in services or consultants to help you — how can you expect your book to sell?
It’s not enough to make this investment just once, either. Publishing your book is not a singular event, it’s the start of a long adventure. Before you publish your first book (or even before you begin writing), you should create a Twitter account, an author website, and an email list. Once you’ve established these things, you won’t be using them just once. You’ll be building, polishing, and tweaking your use of them continuously. Using these tools is a skill that needs to be sharpened and honed.
This is why we encourage independent authors to learn how to market themselves and their books. There is not one blanket strategy or solution that works for everyone; yours will have to be built to meet the demands of your individual market space. Authors backed by traditional publishing houses are doing this stuff. You need to do the same.
In 1964, when United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart described his threshold test for what constitutes “obscenity,” he famously said: “I shall not today attempt to define [obscene] material … But I know it when I see it.”
The same threshold can be applied to book formatting: You can just tell when it’s been professionally done. And for independent authors attempting to compete with the big players in the publishing space, meeting that threshold is absolutely necessary.
At BookBaby, our designers turn what would normally just be text on a page into a pleasing reading experience. We do this work purposefully, considering what type of colors, textures, typography, and placement is appropriate for each book based on the genre and story.
Books designed without this level of artistry or care are going to prove less attractive to readers. Because the ultimate truth is, yes, peopledojudge books by their covers. This is perhaps even truer for readers looking for books on Amazon. On Amazon, authors have milliseconds to attract the attention of potential readers. If you don’t have your act together on the front of your book, you’ll miss out on a lot of readers.
At the end of the day, your book is a reflection of you and all the time and effort you put into making it. It is your legacy, and you don’t want your legacy polluted by something you’re less than proud of. Treating the editing, marketing, and design aspects of the publication process as seriously as you did the writing is the best way to ensure you are proud of your final product.
Kids. Who doesn’t love them? They can be some of the most loving, funny, forgiving, and brutally honest little human beings. But they can also be quick to ignore a request if it’s not something they want to hear. Let me explain. My first husband and I raised two amazing daughters. When they were first born, I stayed home with them before creating The Book Professor and our book marketing division. Any parent can recall that feeling when your precious, darling little angel, first decided to ignore you. Argh! If it’s something they don’t want to hear and have determined in their little mind that your message is most certainly NOT for them, you’ll know it when they ignore you.
I laugh at those early days because my daughters are now grown and have children of their own. But it reminds me of some writers I’ve met who tried to write a book for the wrong people. Of course, as parents, our kids aren’t always going to like what we say or ask them to do (even if they need to hear it). But if you’re writing a book and it’s for the wrong audience then the response will be the same: they will ignore you. In the case of writing, that “ignore” translates into zero book sales. Not the book marketing goal most writers have in mind.
Research First, Then Write
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’re writing about a 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 boo—a primary market and five secondary markets. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to customers, so be thorough.
Define Your Goal
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.
If you or someone you know is ready to write your book for the right audience, please contact us today. We can help you take the next step and market your book to the right people when it’s complete!
I love meeting people who want to write stories. But you know what I love more? Meeting people who want to write stories that have a purpose, which is something I stress in my book writing courses. I recently heard a podcast, and the speaker suggested that not everyone has one true calling. She dubbed people who have many interests and talents as multipotentialities. She said that living in a society that asks “what do you want to be when you grow up?” can have a detrimental effect because it makes people feel they have to commit to one thing forever—and that many of us don’t have one “one true calling” or one purpose. Interesting.
I know what it’s like to go through life doing jobs that were never suited for me in the first place. (Yes, I was once the owner of an asphalt paving company!) But I do believe that we were all put on Earth for a purpose. Before I developed my book writing course, I spent years pursuing things that I could do fairly well but left me feeling aimless, directionless, and without a purpose. My life felt like it didn’t have a point. Ultimately, my true gifts of writing pulled me back, and that’s when life got amazing and I knew my true purpose.
Give Your Nonfiction Book a Pointed Purpose Statement
The Purpose Statement for your book is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a statement—a single sentence, not a paragraph—that states what your book will accomplish for its specific audience. If you want your book to make an impact, it must perform an action.
Here’s a fill-in-the-blank formula that will help you craft your Purpose Statement:
The purpose of this book is to do ___action_____ for _audience_____.
What do you want your book to do? Hard question. Maybe it’s easier to explain what you don’t want it to do: You don’t want your book to raise awareness. Seriously.
You might think, I think I do want to raise awareness. Actually, you don’t. If you write a book to raise awareness, you miss an opportunity to change lives, save lives, or transform society.
You could write the most captivating, awareness-raising book in the world, but at the end, your readers’ response will be, “Well, that was interesting. Now I know about that.”Then they’ll shut the cover and promptly forget about it. Or maybe it will stick with readers for a few days, and they’ll think, “Somebody should do something about that.”But that’s as far as it will go. In the end, you’ve spent your time, energy, emotion, and money to write a forgettable book.
You want to create change in a specific, targeted audience, and you can use this formula to write your Purpose Statement:
The purpose of this book is to _action_ for _audience_ so they can result.
What change do I want to invoke in my readers? Change implies action.
Here’s an example from one of my clients:
Nancy Nelson, Lessons from the Ledge: The purpose of this book is to guide women in crisis to dig into their resilience, to push past the pitfalls, and to reframe the pain so they can thrive instead of merely survive.
Let’s analyze Nancy’s Purpose Statement in light of our formula:
The purpose of this book is to guide(action) women in crisis(audience) to dig into their resilience (result 1), to push past the pitfalls (result 2), and to reframe the pain (result 3), so they can thrive instead of merely survive (result 4).
Your Purpose Statement is the foundation of your book. It defines your mission and describes your job as the author: to deliver your audience to realize the purpose of your book. It should be clear, concise, and specific. It’s the guide for everything you’ll write.
What about you? If you or someone you know is ready to tell your story with purpose, please contact us and we can help you enroll in a book writing course today!
As a nonfiction book coach, I often find myself reflecting about the legacy I’ll leave behind. I’m blessed and beyond grateful to have experienced love, success, and the joy of having children and grandchildren in my life. But my journey hasn’t always been filled with sunshine. Like you, I’ve had trials, tribulations, and problems to endure. It was in some of my darkest moments that I learned many lessons about life for which I’m grateful because those lessons brought about the biggest changes in myself. Those events, while painful, forced me into an awareness of self that I couldn’t have learned any other way. Awareness truly is the first step to change.
Once You’re Aware, Share Your Change With the World
You might be thinking, what does awareness and change have to do with writing a book? Everything. When I meet aspiring authors, I’m often given a surface idea for their book. It isn’t until they hire me as their nonfiction book coach and we start working on their book that they realize their book is actually working on them. Often, in the middle of writing their book—especially if it forces them to remember and write about a painful event—they become more self-aware and start to explore new areas of their life.
The beauty of this awareness, especially if it occurs during the writing process, is that the reader reaps the benefit of the transformation the author shares in their story. That is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to offer hope and help to someone. People need solutions, but they also need to read about people that have gone through something similar and are still standing on the other side, changed for the better.
What about you? What event in your life has forced you to undergo a period of self-awareness? How did you change? I promise, you’re not the only one out there that has gone through what you’ve been through, even though it might feel like it. Someone needs to hear what you have to say. If you or someone you know is ready to share their story, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step. It would be an honor to be your nonfiction book coach!