Tips for choosing the right content strategy for your book

Posted April 11th @ 6:35 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Choosing the right content strategy sets your book apart and saves time organizing your ideas & writing your book.

Peachpit Press’s Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans: 365 Design Sins & Virtues…A Designer’s Almanac of Dos and Don’ts is a new design book that provides a template, or model of efficiency, for authors of all types of books looking for a practical book content strategy to organize 100′s of ideas into a coherent table of contents.

It also demonstrates a content strategy that can dramatically position your book apart from existing books in your field.

Why an Almanac?

The Almanac image in the subtitle proves the power of choosing the right content strategy for your book.

Almanac provides a context for organizing the book’s contents in terms that project an easy-to-read image.

Everyone is pressed for time these years. Everyone–especially readers–are in a hurry. In today’s environment, few graphic designers might want to buy a book that looked like it would take a long time to read.

If Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans had been titled The Ultimate Guide to Graphic Design Ideas and Techniques, or had been titled 365 Ideas & Tips, it would not be the Amazon Top 100 design book that it is.

Almanac, however, presents a totally different image

Almanac communicates concisely-communicated ideas that are organized and presented in an easy-to-read, “one-idea-per-day” format.

That subtle repositioning presents a much friendlier image than a book with more than 350 pages!

Content strategy and writing to fit

The Almanac content strategy offers two additional major benefits:

  • Efficiency benefits. The Almanac makes it easier for authors to organize and write their books, especially if they limit each idea to a single page. Committing to a 1-idea-per-page limits the number of words for the headlines, subheads, and body copy on each page. Writing becomes easier, because each page can only accommodate a certain number of words. There’s a world of difference between starting to write a 10 to 20-page, not knowing if you’re going to end up with too few or too many words, and starting to write a 1-page chapter. The stress level goes down when you’re writing to fit a format.
  • Quality benefits. More important, writing to fit makes better writing easier, because it forces authors to self-edit while they’re writing. When you can only use a limited of words to say something, you’re more conscious of making every word count and the need to write as concisely as possible, eliminating unnecessary ideas and words, and replacing long words with short words. Writing to fit makes writing fun, an almost game-like challenge!

I’ve been impressed by the benefits of writing to fit since I discovered it while writing my One-Minute Designer way back when.


If you’re a graphic designer, you’ll find a year’s worth of necessary, thoughtful, and practical design and production ideas and tips in Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans.

  • If you’re a new designer, you’ll feel like you’re sitting down and pleasantly conversing with four world-class designers, (Tony Seddon, Sean Adams, John Foster and Peter Dawson), at a design conference or seminar.
  • If you’re an experienced designer, you’ll rediscover ideas you may have forgotten. You may also find yourself pleasantly engaged and energized by having some of your favorite opinions and practices challenged.

In addition, if you’re an author or entrepreneur, Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans offers a content strategy that can shows you how to organize hundreds of ideas into a reader-friendly format while introducing you to the benefits of writing to fit. Non-designers will also gain a new respect and understanding for designing books and marketing materials…plus the tools needed to deal more efficiently with graphic designers. Read more about book titles and writing to fit. Designers, What do you think about Thou Shall Not Use Comic Sans?


  1. Conor Neill
    April 13, 2012

    Interesting idea… ;-)

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