A common mistake nonfiction writers make is to write a book that’s all about them.
You write the book you want to write.
You write because it feels good to express yourself.
You write it the way you want it to be.
From a purely creative standpoint, this is exactly how you should write. You want to be inspired, and you want to create a book you’re proud of.
However, this process can lead to writing a book that no one wants to read. And that’s bad news for you if you want to get your book published or become a best selling author.
The key is to find a balance between following your creative inspiration and creating a book that readers love.
“What’s In It For Me?”
Readers have one question in mind when they are looking at a nonfiction book, “What’s in it for me?”
Your readers have a problem, and your job as a nonfiction author is to solve their problem.
If you fail to help them, they’re not going to keep reading.
When you write a book you have to help your readers find solutions to their dilemmas.
You also have to let them know that you’re going to solve their problems.
The first chapter of your book should be all about the reader, and not just about you.
If the first chapter doesn’t tell the reader exactly what problem you’ll be helping them solve, they’re not going to keep reading. And you’re not going to get many people to buy your book.
Readers care about themselves more than they care about you. Don’t write about yourself or your stories or experiences unless it matters to the reader.
If you write a book that’s all about you, you may feel like you have written a great book
But If you write a book that’s all about your readers, then they will appreciate your effort and know that this book is about them. It’s about putting yourself in their shoes and identifying with them.
This will result in more sales of your book and more money in your bank account.
Find Out What Your Readers Want
For your book to sell, it’s important that you write for your ideal reader. Here are some important questions you should be asking about your readers:
- Who are they?
- What do they want?
- What is their biggest problem?
- How are you going to help them solve their problems?
It’s vital that your book resonates with your audience. Researching your ideal reader will help you target your topic to the person who wants to read your book so they “get it” right away.
Make sure you invest the time in doing book market research so you know exactly who your ideal readers are and what they want. If you’ve already written a book without doing this market research, go back and do the research now. Then revise your book with all that new information you have.
There’s no shortcut to writing a great book. You have to put in the work, time, and commitment to writing a book that will truly improve the quality of your readers’ lives. If you’re not willing to do that work, your competitors are going to outsell you—and for good reason.
If you don’t know exactly what your readers want and what they’re looking for, then invest some time in book market research now.
Write in Their Language
You need to write your book in the language that your readers know and understand. For example, if you’re writing a book on time management, then use clear language and actionable words to get your point across. Show your readers how they can manage time productively with the language you use. Writing in an academic textbook style will be boring and slow for your readers and you will end up wasting their time instead.
If you’re writing a book for beginners, make sure you don’t use complex language and jargon. If you have to use jargon, make sure you define it immediately so that your readers don’t get lost.
If you’re writing a book for experts, don’t waste their time by writing several chapters on the basics of that topic. Being experts they already have that knowledge and are looking for something new to add to their knowledge base.
Give Your Readers What They Want
Once you know what your ideal reader wants, you can go about writing a great nonfiction book that resonates with your readers.
Write a book that provides value to them. Address their pain-points and solve their problems. Write it in their language and make it easy to follow.
Stand out from the competition and add your unique perspective to the solutions you are providing your readers.
Go back through your book and make sure there’s no fluff or wasted space. Anything in the book that doesn’t serve the reader must be rewritten or removed.
If you want to learn how to write your nonfiction book effectively then go through this informative post on writing nonfiction books.
By following this simple process, you’ll be well on your way to writing a nonfiction book that readers love and recommend to their friends.
Tom Corson-Knowles is the founder of TCK Publishing, and the bestselling author of 27 books including Secrets of the Six-Figure author. He is also the host of the Publishing Profits Podcast show where we interview successful authors and publishing industry experts to share their tips for creating a successful writing career.