Are your concerns like most of my book coaching clients?
“Will my book be readable enough to sell well?”
“Will the time and money invested to learn a chapter-writing blueprint that makes my writing more engaging be worth it?”
“Will this blueprint skills set work for both my non-fiction ebook selling and hard copy selling?”
The problem with most how-to writers is that they tell rather than engage. They tell what they know and don’t answer their readers’ concerns. Your ebook or print book should answer the concerns of your primary audience. You need to write your book so your readers easily get their questions answered while enjoying themselves. They don’t want a lecture or telling. They want your words to engage them! If you engage them, they will listen, and eventually finish your book and then possibly buy from you.
Start with a hook in the chapter’s introduction. The best hook is to pose questions based on your audience’s concerns about your topic. Most authors tell what they know, (you already said that) and it sounds flat and boring.
Follow the 2-3 questions with why they should read this chapter. What are the benefits of it to drive them to want to read it? This omission is so common, even among professionals, and does not give your readers a reason to read on. Without benefits, you can lose your readers at the very first paragraph.
Answer your reader’s concerns as noted in the introduction in the middle part of your chapter. Use headlines and make some of them questions. You need to hand-hold your readers to get them to your “gold.” They don’t respond to just telling and will not finish your chapter if you don’t make it easy and readable for them.
Most experts and other authors blast away telling what they think the reader needs. It’s not the book; it’s the hook! Don’t tell your fantastic ideas and stories. Engage your readers. Include their problems or where they are now, and give them what they want so they finish each chapter and recommend your book. When they finish fully, they can become your 24/7 sales team and give great word of mouth on Social Media and other online forums. When others recommend your book, your audience that needs it will check you, your book, and your website out.
Stop writing general copy that bores and interests no one. Knowing your primary audience who wants specific information before you write your book makes your marketing and selling so much easier later.
Speak directly to your primary audience and give them specific answers to what concerns them. For example, send out a survey asking “What are you worried about specifically in this topic?” Put a face on your readers. If more than one audience, offer a question aimed at each audience in each chapter, so they know you care about them.
Do you include a summary, a 3-5 Tip Ending, or a headline “Things to Ponder From this Chapter”? If you do, that’s great. You need one more powerful sentence or two after this.
For example, say something like this: “Now that you’ve finished this chapter, are you ready to get these benefits (name them) in the next chapter? (number and name the chapter)”
Review this report often to keep you on track and remember to always engage your audience.
And that means he will recommend it and become one of your 24/7 sales team. His testimonials will show you to be the right choice for your information! His word-of-mouth will bring many books sales. This is pre-marketing at its best.
And one your readers will love to read because it’s not a lecture.
More than you ever dreamed of by making your book the best it can be.
A recent client Joanne, who is writing a book for her young women audience of compulsive food bingers, said this after two coaching sessions:
“My ahas? I found my voice! It’s great to know my chapter will inform and entertain the young women who need my information. When I tightened this up early, I dropped a lot of passive verbs and replaced them with action verbs, I replaced adverbs such as –ly words with more specific substitutes. In the chapter middle, I added four client case studies with dialogue that showed and didn’t tell, but illustrated how I work – giving specific steps and solutions for these young overeaters.
As I wrote the first chapter draft. I didn’t notice these old writing habits before my book coaching session. The time I invest will be around 6 sessions. It will pay off, because I can be confident this book will sell well to my best audience – young women bingers.
Once I get in the new active sentence writing habit that engages my readers, my chapters will almost write themselves. Getting feedback early on makes me know what to do for engaging chapters in the rest of this book and the next.”
What do you want? Certainly not selling only 150 copies that disappoint many authors. Find a way to do it right the first time. Don’t overlook that non-fiction writing should include these creative non-fiction skills. Even if you wrote a few chapters, you can still get early feedback before you leap into continued mistakes that keep your audience from recommending your book.
Please feel free to comment and tell us about your chapter writing mishaps and best format. What do you do that makes your chapters exciting and engaging? What do you need help with?
Published by Judy Cullins