Write a Successful Book by Focusing Content on Benefit to Readers

Successful books provide benefit to readers.How to Blog a Better Book: Lesson #5

To blog a successful book—one that attracts many readers and subscribers and later many book buyers (and maybe even a publisher)—you must conceive your idea with the “WIIFM Factor” in mind.  The WIIFM factor represents the value your blog and book will add to readers’ lives or how they will cater to readers’ interests and needs. Simply said, your book must focus on providing readers with benefits.

Think of benefits as concrete “things” you will “give” readers in the oosts of your blogged book and later in the pages of your ebook or pbook.

In his book Sell Your Book Like Wildfire: The Writer’s Guide to Marketing and Publicity, Rob Eagar suggests authors remember that people purchase books that appeal to their self-interest. “If you miss this fundamental principle, you will fail to create the sparks needed to sell books like wildfire,” he writes. When potential readers ask what your book is about, he explains, “Actually they are wondering, ‘What’s in it for me if I buy your book? Is it in my best interest to read what you’ve written?”

To blog a better book—a successful book, concentrate on conceiving an idea that provides a huge amount of value to readers. Once you are clear about what benefits your book will provide, you can write about those benefits. You will compose your blogged book, post by post, always keeping your readers’ interests forefront in your mind. Every post will provide a minimum of one benefit to the reader.

Determine The Benefits Your Novel Will Provide

Every book can and should provide some sort of value to readers, even if it’s just a belly laugh. Fiction often simply provides entertainment. The benefit of your novel might be:

  • the fabulous journey on which you will take readers
  • a window into lives readers always wanted to lead
  • a look at lives just like those your readers live but in which people find solutions to common or universal problems
  • a trip to a never-before-imagined world

Granted, readers don’t necessarily need the things fiction offers, but they may want them or be interested in them. If you find it difficult to conceive of true benefit from reading fiction, consider Jasinda Wilder’s bestselling novel, Falling Into You. Readers of this story learn how a person can heal  from grief by entering into another relationship.

Determine The Benefits Your Nonfiction Book Will Provide

Nonfiction offers readers information and service. Through the pages of your book you:

  • help readers do or achieve something
  • solve problems
  • answer questions
  • fulfill desires
  • learn

Think of current bestsellers, like Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell, which offers readers benefit by explaining why some people succeed and how readers can, too. Or consider The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, which stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for186 weeks and provided the benefit of information and tips on how to have a positive attitude and achieve better results because of it.

Your nonfiction book doesn’t have to be a how-to book to add value to readers’ lives, though. Even bestselling memoirs, such as Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed, solve problems and add value. Strayed shows how someone can pick up the pieces of a broken life and put it back together. In his memoir, Proof of Heaven,  neurosurgeon Eben Alexander shows us why we should believe in life after death.

Choose Benefits that Resonate Emotionally with Readers

Consider if the benefits your blogged book offers will resonate with readers emotionally. Often what they feel is more important than what they think when it comes to purchasing a book. To figure this out, reverse the idea of benefit from “gain” to “lose.” Ask yourself, “ What will my readers lose if they don’t read my blogged book?” This can provide a more emotionally-driven answer than the opposite question, “What will my readers gain if they read my blogged book.”

If you find your blogged book idea does not add value to readers, retool your idea until you conceptualize it in a way that offers high value to readers. That’s the only way to produce a successful book.

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  1. says

    Without fiction we’d only get one life to live, and if we were not lucky enough to have fame and fortune, it would be boring as well.

    Escaping is as important now as it was in any previous age.

    The details change, but humans still get 24 hours each day, and need to eat, and work to eat. So much of our life is consumed in doing ‘things,’ even when we are lucky enough to love a lot of the things we do.

    I’ve ridden The White Dragon of Pern, and been there when Frodo couldn’t throw the ring into the abyss.

    I’ve hunted with Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of the Four. I’ve read James Bond. And Travis McGee. And Jane Eyre and Tess of the D’Ubervilles, Animal Farm, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451.

    At the same time I was getting a doctorate in Nuclear Engineering.

    I don’t understand those who can read – and choose not to.

    So, yes – fiction adds value. Those of us who write it are just giving back.
    ABE recently posted..10 MORE rules for writing with CFS (CFS/ME)

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