STEP 2: RESEARCH YOUR BOOK
If you don’t want to look like a self-interested fool, here’s what you need to do
It’s not your book
The biggest tip I can give you for this step is to remember, your book is NOT all about you, the Big Shot, Le Grand Fromage, the Head Honcho. It’s all about the needs of your readers. (Go back to step 1 if you missed that point.)
We’ve all been lumbered with a duff “ego” book like that in the past, and it sucks, yeah? You don’t want waste the book opportunity banging on about yourself and how clever you are… blah blah blah. Ugh! No one wants to read that.
Meet your readers goals
You need to clearly establish what your readers want from investing their time, money, effort and trust into your book. Your readers have specific goals, that they want to achieve when they follow your advice.
Step 1 revealed how to come up with a brilliant book idea that will appeal to your target audience. Then you need to define stepping stones that guide the way for your readers. These become your chapters.
Fortunately, as an expert, you have walked a mile your readers’ shoes. You know where the stepping-stones to success are, how they fit together and why they are so important to master. You have a system you walk people through time and again.All you need to do is write it down.
To refine your chapters, ask yourself
- as a… person in my target audience
- I need to… know or be able to do something
- because… there is a powerful benefit to learning that
For example, if I was thinking of your needs, my stepping stones could be
- as a… budding author
- I need to… know how to plan my book outline
- because… I want to write a good book I am proud of and avoid the risk of harsh reviews
- as a… budding author
- I need to… learn how to ‘draft’ my book content rather than ‘write’ it
- because… I need to be confident I can write the gist of all my ideas down tand refine them, not get stuck in a loop rehashing chapter 1
At this stage, it’s a good idea to look at some reviews on Amazon on competitor books at this stage. What has worked well. That will be in the good 3-, 4-, 5-star reviews. And of course, what got people tearing their hair out, will be in the dreaded 1-star reviews. Make sure you avoid those criticisms!
You’ll need 6 to 10 of these big needs. Each one tends to lend itself to a chapter of your book.
If you’re struggling with this, have a look at some similar books, and see how they laid out the stepping stones. Spend a bit of time reviewing tables of contents to see how other author structured their processes. While you’re there have a look at some of the good and bad reviews to learn more about how to strengthen your book.
Once your reader needs are defined, the next step is to work out precisely which
- facts and concepts
- skills and processes
- tools and resources
- motivation and encouragement
your readers need to get the results they want. We’ll plan your chapter sub-headings around those stepping stones.