Authors should ask, How will my ideal readers benefit from my book?, as early and as often as possible.
Focusing on your ideal readers (Question 10) and the benefits your book offers them before starting to write helps you write a better book.
It also paves the way to more effective marketing and promoting, leading to higher book sales.
Writing a better book
Asking How will readers benefit from my book? focuses your attention on the practicality of your ideas. This saves time and simplifies your writing.
It saves you time by eliminating the need to write about topics that aren’t needed in your book. As a result, you have more time to focus on the ideas that readers will most helpful.
In addition, focusing on reader benefits, gives you an easy way to evaluate the facts, ideas, and stories you’re considering writing about in your book. Only those most relevant and useful should appear in your book. Judging relevancy becomes quicker and easier when you have a handy measuring stick available.
Cheat sheet versus encyclopedia
When writing a book, there’s often a temptation to write a textbook, or an encyclopedia, containing everything you know, or can find out, about a topic. Textbooks and encyclopedias tell too much, they include more information than readers often need to solve a problem or achieve a goal.
Not only does this type of book take more time to write, it takes more time to read…and readers don’t have any more time to waste than authors!
Today’s readers are in a hurry; they have problems to solve, goals to achieve…and not enough time. Your readers don’t aren’t reading for entertainment or style, they’re reading for results.
By constantly going back to basics–evaluating the benefits and relevancy of your content as you’re planning your book’s table of contents–will result in a better book and eliminate a lot of unnecessary research and effort.
Better book marketing & promotion
Asking how readers will benefit from your book also provides you with a marketing orientation that save you time later, when you prepare your book proposal or book marketing plan for your self-published book, when you start to plan the back cover of your book, and when you begin to blog about your book.
The earlier you start thinking in terms of translating the ideas and information in your book into reader benefits, the more productive you’ll be when you switch from writing your book to promoting your book. You’ll have already done a lot of the work that needs to be done!
Learn more about writing a book and reader benefits by attending Published & Profitable End-of-month Book Coaching Call, Tuesday, August 28, at 4:00 PM Eastern Time. You can attend for free. To participate, just call 605-475-6150 and enter PIN 513391#. You can ask questions during the call and I’ll be distributing handouts and worksheets. You can also ask questions before the call, as comments, below.
Before starting to write and self-publish a book to build your personal brand, I encourage you to download a free copy of my 99 Questions to Ask Before You Write and Self-publish a Brand-building Book. You can also access previously-answered questions here.