Friday, May 16, 2014

How To Write A Great Book

Many authors want their books published – and millions will find a way to get a publisher or resort to self-publishing. The best path to publishing is to beef up the manuscript and make it better. Every single book can be made better, even those already published.

So what would you do to improve your manuscript?

The first step is to have others read it, so you can receive feedback. However, many friends and family won’t be brutally honest, nor are they fully invested in thinking of all potential changes, deletions, and additions your book needs.

The second step, if you have the budget, is to give it to one or two respected editors and ask them for corrections and constructive feedback. You may get conflicting advice, but it’s good to be exposed to multiple viewpoints.

Third, compare it to your competitors. Don’t look at other books with a jealous eye, but rather like a kid in a candy store. If you see something you like, grab it and consume it. Adopt the styles of others, and take ownership of them so they seem like your own.

Fourth, think of things from the eyes of the consumer that you are targeting. Are you giving people what they expect and something extra? Do you meet their needs and desires?

Fifth, are you able to easily give a 15-second elevator pitch as to what your book is about and why people must read it? If you struggle to find your unique selling position, you either failed at the task, or your book fails to provide you with what’s needed.

Sixth, maybe your content is good but the order it’s presented in or the overall design and layout need a second look.

Seventh, is the book too short or too long? Neither is good.

Eighth, does your book appeal to a marketable group? For instance, is there a built-in audience for it? Will parents want it or business executives? Will people who want to improve their sex lives or finances or health buy it? Will fans of movies, baseball, music, or something else buy it? If the book lacks at least one central core consumer group, you have a problem.

Of course, a book will do well if it entertains, enlightens, informs or inspires. If it covers something people value or reflects a relevant in-the-news topic or features a celebrity, it has a better chance of succeeding.

In the end, all you can do is write the book that is within you, and if you do it well and seek the help of others, you will position yourself better than most. The book market is highly competitive; but if you at least have a great book, you can compete at a high level. Of course, without solid book marketing and publicity efforts, even most great books will die. But that’s for another blog post.

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2014

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