Define your knowledge and experience

In this step, I want you to consider your knowledge and experience.

You probably have a handful of ideas you could turn into books and I want you to think about which one will interest you most.

During the research phase, if you can feel yourself tiring of your topic, that should set off alarm bells. If you can feel your excitement building during the research, then that’s a great sign you’ve made the right choice.

Your personality

Make the most of your personality

  • your life story and experiences
  • your tone of voice
  • your way of describing something

It’s a great way to make your book different. In real life, you use body language and intonation for emphasis.

You can speak

  • s-l-o-w-l-y or quickly
  • loudly or quietly

You can demonstrate a process with hand gestures. You can lean forward and whisper to share a secret… *shhhhh*

With your book, you only have pages, pictures, and paragraphs to convey your information. That’s why bringing your personality into your writing is so important.

Don’t put yourself on a pedestal and end up with a dry, authoritarian tone. You can avoid this by

  • writing using the same words and turns of phrase that you use when speaking face to face with someone
  • adding feature boxes with attention-grabbing anecdotes
  • injecting a little humour with some light-hearted snippets or cartoons about your trials and tribulations as you mastered your subject

This adds warmth to your book. People get to discover more about the real you.

As they read, they get to know, like and trust you, the author, because you are upfront and honest about yourself, your experiences and your subject expertise.

Readers’ needs

Remember, your book isn’t all about you. It’s also about your readers. Think about your readers’ needs during this definition phase.

Reader’s needs are the things that your readers want to know and the goals they have.

You can define them by using the following phrase

  • as atype of person
  • I needto know / be able to
  • so I canget a useful result

Here is an example

  • as avegetable gardener
  • I need toknow how to prepare the soil
  • so I can… grow a bumper crop of vegetables at the end of the season

Think about

  • who your readers are
  • what they want to know
  • why it matters to them

That way you can make sure you write a book that has value for your readers, stays on track, doesn’t ramble and gets you the credibility boost you deserve.

Bestselling books

Have a look at other bestselling books – how did they describe and lay out their information to meet readers’ needs.

  • how did they organise the information
  • what is the sequence followed
  • what level of depth did they go to
  • did they use pictures to explain particular points or did they rely on words
  • did they provide any quizzes, templates, forms or exercises to help the reader feel confident they are mastering the topic and making good progress

Your unique idea

Once you’ve made your assessment of

  • your abilities and interests
  • your readers’ needs
  • a selection of successful books on your topic
  • how to bring it to life using your personality and experiences

you will have everything you need to come up with your unique idea – your take on this subject. That’s how you make your book different.

(TIP: check out my post on 16 ways to find your unique book angle)

That’s it for today’s lesson. See you tomorrow for the next one 🙂

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