What value are you offering the reader?
In my last post, you learned how to name your reader – the ideal person or persons (not a vague concept of ‘audience’) you will be writing to and for. As an example, I identified my two ideal readers for ‘How to Write a Book in 30 Days’ – Molly and Max. Now that I’ve chosen Molly and Max as my ‘ideal’ readers, I’ve got to ask, “What value is my book going to be to Molly and Max?” How will the book I’m writing speak to them as new authors and help them through the process of turning an idea into a successful book?
Molly and Max are each unique as individuals, but many of the hurdles they will face as new writers will be similar. So, when I think about the value I want to offer Molly and Max, I’ve got to ask, “What challenges will Molly and Max face as they begin this journey?”
I remember the hurdles I had to overcome as a new author. As a publisher I know the challenges my authors face as they turn an idea into a manuscript and, together, we turn a manuscript into a book. Even though each of us is unique as a person, as authors we experience similar challenges inherent to writing a book. And, through experience, we develop similar strategies and tactics to overcome each of those common challenges new authors face.
I know that through my own experience both as an author and a publisher, the greatest value I can offer Molly and Max is to walk with them through the process, from a blank screen to a finished book. As I continued to think of the next steps Molly and Max would be going through as they progressed on writing their books, remembering my own experiences and lessons learned as I went through those same steps, and from subsequent years of being a publisher and witnessing my authors going through their versions of those same steps, I began to formalize a process that could apply almost universally to anyone attempting to write a book for the first time (or second, or third …). The steps in this process became the chapters in ‘How to Write a Book in 30 Days’. In gathering those steps – the same ones successful authors have learned to employ as a habit, in arranging those steps in a logical progression and explaining the ins and outs of each step, I created a valuable resource for Molly and Max, and for all the other Molly’s and Maxes that believe they have a book in them waiting to get out.
Now that you’ve identified your ideal reader, your ‘Molly’ and ‘Max’, what value will you provide to them through your book? In the context of your message, what are some of the hurdles you can help your reader over? What are some of the questions you can help them answer? Now is the time to ask yourself, “What value am I offering my reader?” Don’t wait until you’ve finished your manuscript, ask yourself now. Then, once you’ve identified the greatest value you can offer your ‘Molly’ and ‘Max’; go back to your manuscript and write to them, share your wisdom and your story with them.
P.S. Who are your ‘Molly’ and ‘Max’? Who are you writing for? I’d love to know.