Plan your non fiction book #25 – How do I bring vision, reader, content and strategy together and write the right book?

Bring vision, reader, content and strategy together and write the right book

Unless we are very clear about where we are going relative to the position on the map, your book may end up reaching for the moon, aiming for the stars, or worse still wavering between all points on the compass.

The heart spot for your book is where your vision, the business strategy, the reader you are writing for and the content, which is most relevant, intersect. As writers, we tend to want to deliver content without a thought to how we might use it and who will be reading it.

Review time

Review your previous work:-

  • Values to vision
  • Competitors
  • Market environment
  • Who is my reader?
  • Business strategy

Once you have mapped the four parts out, where they intersect is your heart spot for THIS BOOK.

  • Vision: Where do your personal vision, business vision and your book vision intersect? Your vision will have an impact on how you write, present and market your book
  • Reader: You now know who you are speaking to when you write your book. You know where they live, what they like to read, their hobbies and how their values map to yours
  • Content: You will now either have the ONE idea or have a number of ideas for your book. What is on your ideas wall? All of these ideas could be worth pursuing; however, we are looking for the ONE idea. When you have clarity, you can start to think about which content you will use, write or research to fill the gaps (see knowledge audit later to uncover this)
  • Strategy: You will know how you are going to use your book and this will shape how you write and present your content

Decision time: What is the ONE book you are going to write NOW?

There is one more test…

Heart, gut, head

Which book idea speaks to your heart, intuitively feels right and which your head tells you makes the most sense to write? Work it through in that order:-

  • Heart
  • Intuition
  • Head

There may be many books which you could write. There will be one, the ONE that is right for you, right now. After all of the discovery and mapping out of your ideas you have to choose. Which ONE is it? which is the right book?

Get your copy on Amazon and start to write the right book

Plan your non fiction book
Plan your non fiction book

 

Plan your non fiction book in a weekend has been designed to help you to be able to undertake all of the vital planning tasks that make writing a book – simple and stress free

Each day to help you create your book, I am going to answer these essential planning questions:-

  • What kind of planner am I and why is this important to know?
  • What tools and resources do I need?
  • What is the process and cost of writing and publishing a book?
  • How long will it take me?
  • How do I get ideas for my book?
  • How do I choose the ONE big idea for my book?
  • What is an outline and how do I create one?
  • How can I structure my chapters?
  • How do I create and use a book proposal?

Plan your non fiction book #24 – Create a clear book business strategy

Think book business strategy before you start to write

Before you rush off to pen your bestselling brand-building business book, let’s take a reality check and think about your book business strategy.

Start to plan your book business strategy before you start to write...A book is part of your overall business strategy; it is not the strategy. When working with my clients, the conversation is about the vision for their business and then considering how their book will help to bring that alive.

Remember, it is a rare author who makes a mint from books alone. The key is to see your book as a product and not a creative outlet (although of course it is a creative outlet…). You need to use your entrepreneurial mind-set to visualise it as a product which you have designed to open up other opportunities. If one of your business objectives is to become an after-dinner speaker, your book could lead the way to your first engagement. That speaking opportunity will recoup the cost of writing your book.

Even bestselling “Chicken Soup for the Soul” is much more than ‘just’ books. The creators turned their speaking careers into books and then built a personal development community. They have sold over 122 million copies and now also sell greetings cards, flowers and even pet food.

The great news is that having a book for your business is even more accessible than ever.

Bowker counted more than 391,000 self-published titles in 2012, which is a 59% increase compared to the year before. From 2007 to date, that is a staggering 422%. Out of all the ISBNs counted in 2012, 40% were self-published books.

This is because it is easier than ever, with companies like Amazon offering publishing through Kindle and CreateSpace, to publish your brand-building book.

Book sales are just one small piece of your marketing armory. If you spend your energy in marketing your higher- priced products and services, which are based around your book, you will bring in more income and build greater influence. It is worth remembering that the sales of products and services, including speaking, online courses and workshops, will impact your bottom line more than what you will make from direct sales of books (unless you are very lucky).

For example, I make more money from online courses, than I do from book sales. This was a very deliberate strategy. Each of my books has an associated online course and one of them I use for a writers retreat and other face to face courses. I always knew that the greater potential lay with other products built around the books.

Many entrepreneurial authors don’t look to book sales as a source of income, preferring instead to give away (or make them low cost) copies of their books. They use the books as marketing tools to bring in other benefits and income.

They invest in producing the best possible book, with the intention of exploiting that book to create business opportunities that will bring in real income.

Questions to ask yourself

  • Do you need to be seen as an authority in your field? Yes! Having a book will help you to be able to reach a larger audience
  • Do you want to reach more people with your message? Yes! Books are distributed globally and your message can be read all over the world, and from there you can consider how you can maximise that opportunity
  • Do you need to develop your brand? Yes! Having a book will raise your profile and help to establish you as a credible go-to source for your subject matter

What or where are your greatest opportunities?

Is there one opportunity that currently speaks to you? Consider which book idea that might be.

  • When you know which opportunity, consider how you will exploit it. What are the steps to bringing that idea to market?

Note: If you are not planning to build a business strategy around your book, but you are going to use it for personal reasons, please consider what those reasons might be. You may be writing this for your family or for a support group.

You are looking for the most relevant opportunities to exploit now. For example, you could use your book:-

  • For an online course
  • For a workshop series
  • As the basis for a speaking career
  • To establish your credibility as a thought-leader
  • As a business card at networking events to encourage membership of your community
  • To target it at corporates and position yourself as an expert and run courses and coaching around it
  • To grow your community
  • All of the above

Knowing your business strategy is one part of the puzzle. Review who the reader for this book is and how you can address their needs, concerns or challenges. If you find that you have a number of ideas, consider a series of books. Then work out how to create your book business strategy. Ask how does that fit with your overall business strategy?

Get your copy on Amazon

Plan your non fiction book
Plan your non fiction book

 

Plan your non fiction book in a weekend has been designed to help you to be able to undertake all of the vital planning tasks that make writing a book – simple and stress free

Each day to help you create your book, I am going to answer these essential planning questions:-

  • What kind of planner am I and why is this important to know?
  • What tools and resources do I need?
  • What is the process and cost of writing and publishing a book?
  • How long will it take me?
  • How do I get ideas for my book?
  • How do I choose the ONE big idea for my book?
  • What is an outline and how do I create one?
  • How can I structure my chapters?
  • How do I create and use a book proposal?

Plan your non fiction book #23 – How to write a back blurb to attract your ideal reader

How to write a back blurb for your book

Now that you have worked out who your reader is, try writing your book-pitch. This is the written sales pitch on the back of your book, usually called the back blurb. It provides your potential reader with an insight into your book. The book blurb should arouse curiosity, rather than provide answers. You are looking to draw your reader to “Look Inside”, browse through the first few pages and make a purchase.

  • Read the blurbs of books you own; what attracted you to them?
  • What do you like or dislike about the way the blurb is presented?
  • Take the ones you like, what do they all have in common?
  • Take three books whose blurb hooks you in and model yours on theirs
  • Imagine if you had 15 seconds to sell your book, what would be in those vital seconds?
  • What are the benefits?
  • How will your book fulfill its promise?
  • Is this the first of its kind?

Blurb

Practice writing your blurb

  • Write three versions of your blurb. Try them from different perspectives or starting points
  • Read each of them aloud; what needs to change?
  • Have you repeated any words?
  • Have you covered the senses of seeing, feeling and hearing (if relevant)?
  • See: We will show you how to….
  • Feel: We will touch on….
  • Hear: If you like the sound of x, then you will….
  • These may not all be relevant. Most blurbs use visual words – “we will show you”
  • Leave them for a few days for reflection

Letter to

Imagine that you are writing a letter to your friend, who knows you and your subject matter well; describe your book. Now do the same thing for someone you don’t know. What considerations did you have to make for the person that you know for and the stranger? Now rewrite your blurb.

Get your copy on Amazon

Plan your non fiction book
Plan your non fiction book

 

Plan your non fiction book in a weekend has been designed to help you to be able to undertake all of the vital planning tasks that make writing a book – simple and stress free

Each day to help you create your book, I am going to answer these essential planning questions:-

  • What kind of planner am I and why is this important to know?
  • What tools and resources do I need?
  • What is the process and cost of writing and publishing a book?
  • How long will it take me?
  • How do I get ideas for my book?
  • How do I choose the ONE big idea for my book?
  • What is an outline and how do I create one?
  • How can I structure my chapters?
  • How do I create and use a book proposal?

Plan your non fiction book #22 – What questions does your book answer?

Think about how well you know the ideal reader for your book. People buy books because of some sort of outcome, solution or result that it gives them. In this series of articles, we explore what makes an ideal reader and how to find yours.

What questions does your book answer?

The questions that your book answers, or the problems that it solves, is the next piece of the jigsaw. Think outside of who you currently consider to be your ideal reader. Who asks you what questions? Who are they and what will they get from reading your book?

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Look at old questions in new ways. What questions does your book answer?Problem and results

Look at what potential problems your readers may have and ask, what results do they get as a consequence of reading and using your content? List out all of the problems and what you believe the benefits will be for your readers. For example, a book on nutrition and sleep.

  • Problem: My sleep is disturbed
  • Results: By understanding which foods help you to produce the right chemicals in your brain, you can change your diet and learn to sleep well

Look at each of the problems and ask yourself, if this were my problem:-

  • How do I feel?
  • Why do I feel this way?
  • What are the facts?
  • What do I know to be true?
  • What do I have?
  • What don’t I have?
  • What other forces are influencing this problem?
  • What if I could solve it?
  • What if I couldn’t solve it, what then?

Do this for as many problems you think your book will help your reader solve. Once you have worked out what each of the problems are, and how they will be resolved, you will be able to map them to chapters.

Complete the ‘problem and results’ worksheet (below) to help focus your mind on what issues your reader may be facing and which you could help them with

Ten questions

Choose ten questions that your book answers for your ideal reader. If you know these, it is easier to stay on track when you come to writing your content and connecting to your reader.

E.g. What foods do I need to eat to ensure a good night’s sleep?

What is great about your questions is that they also make brilliant chapter headings.

To unlock your questions and answers worksheet  – share the love

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18 Problems and results

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Get your copy on Amazon

Plan your non fiction book
Plan your non fiction book

 

Plan your non fiction book in a weekend has been designed to help you to be able to undertake all of the vital planning tasks that make writing a book – simple and stress free

Each day to help you create your book, I am going to answer these essential planning questions:-

  • What kind of planner am I and why is this important to know?
  • What tools and resources do I need?
  • What is the process and cost of writing and publishing a book?
  • How long will it take me?
  • How do I get ideas for my book?
  • How do I choose the ONE big idea for my book?
  • What is an outline and how do I create one?
  • How can I structure my chapters?
  • How do I create and use a book proposal?

Plan your non fiction book #21 – Creating Ideal reader archetypes

Think about how well you know the ideal reader for your book. People buy books because of some sort of outcome, solution or result that it gives them. In this series of articles, we explore what makes an ideal reader and how to find yours.

Who is your ideal reader?

Reader archetypes

Trying to come up with ‘your reader archetype’ is a lot of fun. This is where you create a written profile of your reader, looking at what they may read, what they drink, where they go on holiday. When you have finished, leave it and reflect; then come back and draw your ideal reader. After this, collect pictures of things that connect you to your reader and create a scrapbook page.

Complete the ‘reader archetype’ worksheet which is available for a share below.

The picture of your reader

Which hat does your ideal reader wearDraw a picture of your reader. Do this by collecting images of things that you think encapsulates who your reader is. Collect photos of: –

  • Where you think they may live
  • What would they eat?
  • Their perfect holiday
  • Pets
  • Hobbies

As you can see, there are many ways to classify your reader, these are included to stimulate your thinking.

Leave these exercises for a day or two. When you come back after a period of reflection you should be clearer.

Knowing your ideal reader is one part of the knowing what the heart spot for your book

To unlock your reader archetype exercise  – share the love

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17 Reader archetype

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Get your copy on Amazon

Plan your non-fiction book in a weekend

Plan your non fiction book in a weekend has been designed to help you to be able to undertake all of the vital planning tasks that make writing a book – simple and stress free

Each day to help you create your book, I am going to answer these essential planning questions:-

  • What kind of planner am I and why is this important to know?
  • What tools and resources do I need?
  • What is the process and cost of writing and publishing a book?
  • How long will it take me?
  • How do I get ideas for my book?
  • How do I choose the ONE big idea for my book?
  • What is an outline and how do I create one?
  • How can I structure my chapters?
  • How do I create and use a book proposal?
  • How to I get my book written?

Plan your non fiction book #20 – who is your ideal reader?

Think about how well you know the ideal reader for your book. People buy books because of some sort of outcome, solution or result that it gives them. In this series of articles, we explore what makes an ideal reader and how to find yours.

Who is your ideal reader?

How well do you know the wants and needs of your ideal reader? When you write you are looking to connect to one reader. A single reader. Why?

  • Much easier to write because we are speaking to that person
  • It will make a better book, one which creates a connection
  • It is more likely to be read and enjoyed. If we write for one reader he/she will implement what we are teaching, will hear or enjoy what we have to say.
  • When you adjust your voice for your reader, it becomes just as if you were talking face to face
  • It is more likely to sell. There is a place for a book as a personal journey for ourselves, but the reality is that most of us want our books sell and to be read

It may not seem like a ‘nice’ idea to see your reader as a self-centred creature only out for what they can get, but the reality is that our reader wants to know WIIFM – what’s in it for me? Unless it is a present for someone else, they are not going to buy your book on “better health for menopausal women if they are a young gad-about-town twenty-something. Menopause is far away and is what their granny has.

It's easier to write and sell your book when you know who your ideal reader is

[Tweet “It is easier to write and sell books when you know who they are for.”]

For clarity, a target market is made up of buyers and readers:-

  • Buyers – people we attract to buy (these will be the reader and anyone who buys for others)
  • Readers – these are the ones we want to connect to and communicate with emotionally
  • Readers and buyers = your audience

Knowing who your buyers and readers are, and why you are writing for them, will help you clarify what to write about

Keep asking yourself: –

  • Who are you writing for? This might be you, someone like you, someone you have solved a problem for or another reason
  • If you were buying this book, why?
  • Who do you think your ideal reader is, right now?

By knowing who your ideal reader is it makes it easier to write for them, because we can speak directly to them. By speaking directly to them we have a better chance of making an emotional connection and by connecting, we have a better opportunity to sell more books or supplemental products and services.

You want to speak directly to your one reader by connecting to them on an emotional level. Try this archetype exercise, have some fun in this first step to uncovering who you will be writing for.

To unlock your reader archetype exercise  – share the love

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17 Reader archetype

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Get your copy on Amazon

Plan your non fiction book
Plan your non fiction book

 

Plan your non fiction book in a weekend has been designed to help you to be able to undertake all of the vital planning tasks that make writing a book – simple and stress free

Each day to help you create your book, I am going to answer these essential planning questions:-

  • What kind of planner am I and why is this important to know?
  • What tools and resources do I need?
  • What is the process and cost of writing and publishing a book?
  • How long will it take me?
  • How do I get ideas for my book?
  • How do I choose the ONE big idea for my book?
  • What is an outline and how do I create one?
  • How can I structure my chapters?
  • How do I create and use a book proposal?