Author Question #13 | What are your readers looking for?

Posted July 21st @ 12:31 pm by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Before starting to write and self-publish a brand-building book, authors should ask themselves, what are my readers looking for?

If you’re thinking about writing a nonfiction book to build your personal brand, success requires providing the information your readers need to solve their problems and achieve their goals.

This is in contrast to fiction books, which readers purchase for pleasure and escape.

This is the 13th in a series of questions, ideas, and tips to help authors and business professionals write books to build their personal brands.

Reader problems

Reader’s typically consider their problems and goals in terms of either more or less:

  • When readers want more. When readers think in terms of more, they’re usually looking for ideas, cures, and resources for solving their problems and overcoming their frustrations and obstacles. They’re looking for cures, opportunities, and productivity tools to increase their efficiency and provide more income, time, and satisfaction.
  • When readers want less. In many cases, however, readers may be thinking in terms of less, such as fewer (or improved) symptoms, less clutter and distraction, reduced expenses and overhead, less responsibility and inefficiency.

Both approaches are valid. As an author, if your job is to identify and prioritize your ideal readers’ goals, and address them in the same language your readers use to describe them.

In general, however, try to be as aspirational as you can be in offering assistance. Consider a positive approach, like emphasizing increased benefits or opportunities, rather than stressing reduced costs or pain.

What about goals?

When addressing their problems, readers typically convert them into goals. Goals are the strategies and tactics used to address problems by describing the intended solution.

  • If a reader’s problem is that they are 10 pounds overweight, their goal can be to lose 10 pounds.
  • If a business owner’s problem is that they aren’t taking home enough money, their goal could be to come up with an idea for a breakthrough technology, increase sales by 20%, or to reduce expenses by 20%.

In any case, before writing a book, you have to be know what information your readers are looking for, so that you write a book that delivers what your readers want.

Get a head start planning your brand-building book

The easiest way to write and self-publish a brand-building book is to review your goals–and your reader’s goals–with the head of my (currently) free workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before Writing and Self-Publishing a Brand-building Book.

It’s like having an expert book coach by your side as you review your goals, analyze your readers, examine your competition, and–at every step–assess your options and make better-informed decisions.

I also offer a variety of 1-on-1 resources and book coaching services to help you address every step of writing and self-publishing a brand-building book.

Have you thoroughly explored your ideal readers’ problems and goals? Have you created reader personas that not only describe who your readers are, but also what their problems and goals are? Share your experiences and questions about exploring your reader goals as comments, below. You can also ask me a question about identifying reader goals and review earlier posts in this series.

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