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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