Why Would Someone Read Your Book

One of the most common doubts I hear from aspiring nonfiction authors is: Why would someone want to read what I have to say?

Even if they don’t start their writing journey with that thought in mind, it will come at some point.  Because there is a very uncomfortable space between aspiring and published where an author feels completely exposed, and vulnerable, and self-conscious about how their book might be received by the world. It’s almost rite of passage.

I mean it really is putting yourself out there in a big way when you share your thoughts and your experiences – both personal and professional – in a way that leaves you open to scrutiny and to the opinions of virtually anyone and everyone. 

OMG. It can be very scary.

Inevitably there is the realisation and an even bigger fear that, maybe, no one will actually read your book.  What if that happens?

I read this post recently in a self-publishing forum and I really felt the author’s pain. He was a fiction author which is a different beast to nonfiction, but his experience is common. He wrote:

I can now officially retire. After 3 years of bloody hard work, teaching myself to be a writer and self-publishing my first two books, I have joined the ranks of the super-rich. I have earned $38 in Royalties. Thanks to those of you that made it all possible.

The average author in Australia earns less than $10K per year from their writing and I know writers who would love to earn that much.  Based on this fact, I think what actually shows up as a fear, who would want to read my book, is actually a valid question and one we have to ask ourselves as authors – preferably before we start writing our book. 

But it’s never too late to ask the question seriously, because even if we’ve already written our book, it will direct our marketing efforts so that we can reach the audience who actually do want to read our book. 

There are people who want what you know. Trust me.

And if you publish to a print-on-demand platform, as we teach in the Authorpreneur’s Bootcamp, you can tweak the contents of a book that’s already been written and upload a new file and actually market it as a new edition that will meet your target audience’s needs.

So tell me, really, who wants what you know, and why would they read your book? If you can answer this, you can make money from your writing. 

Here are four things you can do to start making money from your writing today:

  1. Think of your book as a steppingstone to a bigger product or service like coaching.
  2. Make a list of what you know and prioritise the list in order of what you are most passionate about.
  3. Make a list of the groups of people you want to help and start listing their pain and their challenges in order of most to least painful.  Ask them to be sure you are on track.
  4. Put your lists side-by-side and decide what you will write about and how you will present your knowledge so that your target audience will jump at the chance the read your book.
  5. Put your book in front of your audience and do what you need to do to go outside of your current circles.

When you market your book, go to where your audience is hanging out, highlight the pain points you are addressing in your book and tell your audience what they are going to get from reading it.

If you can go where your audience is hanging out en masse, even better.  That would be other people’s blogs or podcasts or expos or anywhere your audience is gathering.

I want to finish with the response that was written to the gentleman who I quoted earlier.  They wrote:

I understand what you are all feeling. The only royalties I received, and I am so grateful, were from my friends and relatives. I gave someone money to market my book. They told me they would advertise everywhere including 100 magazines. I kept track of how many I had sold to friends, neighbors, relatives, and when it was time to get my royalties- guess what? Most of it was from my people and just a few strangers! At least the reviews were great- the ones I received. Now I am going to do a book signing. Maybe I will sell there. Just keep trying.

I love the positive note at the end to just keep trying and that’s a great tip.  But try getting clearer on your message and on your target audience’s pain, so you can reach more of them and have a bigger impact.

I encourage you to download our free ebook, 7 Things an Author Must Know about Writing and Publishing a Book Before They Take the Plunge.  It will help you get clarity around your audience and your message before you start writing, but it will also help you tweak those things if you have already written your book.

And if you would like help to write and publish your book and would like to join our author community, check out the Authorpreneur’s Bootcamp at disruptivepublishing.com.au/jointheclub.  We would love to have you join us.

That’s if for this week.  I will see you next week with our latest blog.

Bye for now x

Deb

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