As of late I’ve been indulging in reading self published, nonfiction print books as well as ebooks for some of my clients as well as books I am reading for pleasure. Some of them were beautifully written. Unfortunately many others left a lot to be desired.
This is what I’m finding when I read the opening of your self published books:
- I’m a coach, entrepreneur, expert, etc.
- I have a thriving business in _____ city.
- My clients come to me to learn how to do _____ better.
- I’ve been a speaker at _______ conference.
- I’ve worked with _____ corporation.
- I have been featured in _____ magazine, blog, newspaper, website, etc.
Then after you establish what it is that YOU find important about yourself, you go into detail about the topic of your book.
Those details about your current profession are wonderful because they tell us who you are TODAY. These are the things you tell someone that serves as proof of your EXPERT STATUS. However, when people buy your book, they want to know more. How did you get to become this expert with a thriving practice who has been featured in XYZ magazine?
Tell Readers About Your Transformation
Many nonfiction authors write books because they want to help their readers transform. That transformation can be in one’s health, finances, getting rid of an addiction, losing weight, learning how to improve your speaking ability, etc. In essence, you want to take your readers from where they are today, and help them become a different person.
The best way for nonfiction book authors to help their readers to transform is to share your own process of transformation. People like to learn from people they can relate to. You weren’t always the perfect consultant, weight loss coach, or talented speaker. Maybe your story is that you had 2 or 3 failing businesses before you stumbled into this one business that finally worked. Perhaps you were the chubby kid who always got picked last during gym class. Perhaps the very thought of speaking in front of an audience of strangers made you lightheaded! Your story of pain and triumph, whether it’s big or small, helps to make you look more human to your readers. USE YOUR STORY TO YOUR ADVANTAGE!
I used this story telling technique in my own book, Loving My Fibroids Away: A 10-Day Detox Plan. The title clearly tells readers that I am speaking to women with fibroids. In writing the book, I could have gone straight into the details of the detox. However I wanted to make a connection with my readers. The second paragraph in my introduction to the book reads as follows:
For close to 10 years I dealt with all of those feelings until I had a myomectomy, a surgery to remove the fibroids through a nine inch vertical incision. I stayed home from work for four weeks to recover. I would have stayed home an additional two weeks had I not run out of money. However the bills were calling and I felt well enough to withstand an eight hour work day. To be honest, I felt better than I ever did when my fibroids were at their worst. My iron level was almost normal so I was not fatigued all the time. I did not fear any embarrassing accidents. Everything was looking up until I learned 6 months post surgery that the fibroids were growing back. I was devastated. I went through the hell of preparing for, suffering through, and eventually healing from an invasive surgery only to learn that the surgery had been a shortcut to getting rid of fibroids. There was a world of internal work that I had never given any consideration.
Notice how I shared with my readers that I had gone through a big scary surgery that many of them may be considering? I told them that I was worried about my finances after not working for several weeks. I shared that as a result of the surgery, I was feeling stronger due to higher iron levels (a BIG problem for women with fibroids). However, even after going through all of that, a major surgery that required at least four weeks to recover did not keep the fibroids from growing back. That final statement, “There was a world of internal work that I had never given any consideration,” serves as a setup to the preface of the book detailing my own mistakes in trying to find an answer to my fibroid problem. The chapter goes on to explore my story in further depth.
But, Halona, My Readers KNOW Me Already!
Maybe you’re a blogger who has written your story to death. Perhaps you go through this same story every time you make a professional appearance. However, unless your people can recognize you by your first name (think OPRAH…), then you are not that famous. Repeat your story so that people never forget it. Remind them again why they should pay attention to you.
In addition, remember that the people who buy your book may have heard about it through word of mouth. These people may never have read your blog, attended any of your seminars, or had the privilege of working with you. Talk to them as if this is the first time they are meeting you.
So how can you make your nonfiction book a bit more interesting for your readers?
- Know what kind of transformation you want your readers to make as a result of reading your book.
- Think about how your own story of transformation relates to what your readers are going through.
- Make a list of the events in your story of transformation that are the most intriguing for your readers.
If you can keep these 3 tips in mind while writing your book, you will be able to capture your readers at the very beginning of your story rather than have them wonder about who you are.
Have a Question About Your Book?
I want to help you write your book! I am offering FREE 15 minute Write My Book Chats to help you get clear on your story — or answer any questions you have about the book writing, publishing, and marketing process. Interested? Email me at info@HalonaBlack.com to set up a day and time.
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