Does your Blogged Book Have a Reason to Exist?

Your book's purpose gives it a reason to exist.How to Blog a Better Book: Lesson #8

Many writers believe writing a book fulfills a sense of personal purpose or that their book has its own purpose to fulfill. The book’s purpose could be an extension of their own personal purpose as well. In fact, every book should have a purpose. This gives it a reason to exist and provides benefit to readers.

Your Personal Purpose vs. Your Book’s Purpose

Indeed, your personal sense of purpose can overlap with your purpose as a writer or with the purpose of your blogged book. For example, in my new book, The Author’s Training Manual, I hope to help aspiring authors become published and successful authors. My larger, overriding personal purpose, though, revolves around helping people achieve their goals and fulfill their potential.  All my books align with my greater purpose, including How to Blog a Book.

Purpose Promises Benefit to Readers

Included in your blogged book’s purpose lie the benefits your blogged book will provide. For example, Seth Godin’s bestseller, Tribe’s has a simple purpose: to inspire readers to lead. He states it this way: “We need YOU to lead us.” Godin’s book promised to make readers “think (really think) about the opportunities for leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, readers.” That’s the benefit of the book.

“Purpose” speaks to why you think your blogged book must exist, why people must read your blogged book and why you must write it. Your reasons have to resonate with those you ask to invest in it—publishers or other backers (like those you ask to invest in a kickstarter.com or indiegogo.com campaign) and your buyers (readers). If you strike an emotional chord with your work, readers will hear it.  You need only read the first pages of Brené Brown’s bestseller, Daring Greatly, to find yourself feeling what she has felt. Who likes to feel vulnerable? No one. Her book’s purpose lies in showing us how we can succeed in all areas of life by learning that vulnerability makes us stronger and more capable. That’s the benefit it promises to give us.

When a blogged book fulfills its purpose, readers finish the last page and feel the author has kept his or her promises. For example, Eckhart Tolle’s bestseller A New Earth claims it will show “how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world.”  Additionally, it is a “manifesto for a better way of life—and for building a better world.” That’s a strong purpose statement.

Most novels won’t make such clear promises because they don’t have as strong purpose statement, but you might find something similar if you search. In bestselling author Lisa Scottoline most recent novel, Don’t Go, she tells the story of a soldier who discovers what it means to be a man, a father, and ultimately, a hero. This is the purpose of her book. That purpose delivers benefit to readers, who also discover what this means in the process of reading the story.

Purpose Offers Writer and Reader a Goal to Achieve

Your blogged book’s purpose represents a goal. It’s what you and your blogged book set out to accomplish. When you clearly define this purpose, you have an easier time fulfilling that promise while writing your manuscript.  That means you end up with a published book that keeps its promises to readers, too.

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Comments

  1. says

    Great website! Heard about blogging a book but never read anything as extensive as this one! I started blogging to express my passion for writing as well as explore the business side of it. Then I realized that the passion I have that is worth blogging about was writing books! I’ve always wanted to write a book but that never came into a reality. I am taking blogging more seriously now to come up with a product that is most likely focused on a book. Thanks for this inspiring blog!
    Rob Leonardo recently posted..9 Lessons I Learned on Making Awesome Presentations

  2. Nina Amir says

    That’s great, Rob. Just be sure you plan out your blogged book….don’t just blog and hope for the best. I offer coaching if you need some help. But most of the info is right here on the blog or in my book. Best of luck and thanks for the lovely comment–and for reading my blog.

  3. says

    You ask such interesting questions.

    You said: “Most novels won’t make such clear promises because they don’t have as strong purpose statement.”

    But the ones that capture your heart and lead to re-reading, even years later, are the ones that DO.

    They take tough questions, topics that matter, and handle them well. They provide answers. They give you enough to help you create your own answer.

    Take the oft-maligned ‘Bridges of Madison County.’ It isn’t perfect, and in my opinion could have handled a lot of things a lot better, but it took the question ‘What does a woman owe herself and her husband and children,’ where do duty and responsibility and promise-keeping lie – and it answered it. For one woman, and one man – but in such a way that the question itself made people want to recommend the book (and movie) to their friends. It matters for yourself, how you answer that question.

    You can only do that so much in the real world, where questions are interconnected, and contaminated by real life, and don’t have clear answers.

    I think this is what great novels do for us. Make us think.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt recently posted..Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 3, Scene 2

  4. Nina Amir says

    Lovely response to the question, Alicia, and you are right on the money. I’d love to use your response in my new book. May I?

  5. says

    Certainly – what’s the book?

    Or should I go look at some other posts and figure it out for myself.

    I ALMOST feel I have to step up for fiction, because it so much easier to blog non-fiction and blog a book with it. Almost, but not quite.

    I don’t know how many DIY and How To books we have from the Ancient Greeks, but we do have stories. AND we still read some of them.

    Makes you think, right?
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt recently posted..Added PRIDE’S CHILDREN – Chapter 3, Scene 2

  6. Nina Amir says

    Alicia,
    The new book is called The Author’s Training Manual. Much of what I’ve written about here on this blog in April is based on the process in that book. I formerly called it the proposal process. It will now be called the Author Training process. You can follow some of the posts, which I’ve blogged, here: http://writenonfictionnow.com/about-nina-amir/the-authors-training-manual/. However, the first four chapters have changed considerably. No more glasses and hats, for instance….just a focus on attitude. But the info is still good! It’s a first draft, like any blogged book. It will be released by Writer’s Digest Books in 2014. And please do stick up for fiction being blogged. I’m always looking for more info on how that is being done….

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