Friday, April 15, 2016

How Do Authors Convince Readers To Agree With Them?

Whenever I debate with friends and family over differing political views, I always feel amazed at how difficult it is for me to persuade them over something that seems deeply obvious to me.  I grow incredulous over their stupidity, ignorance, or nerve to take the opposing position, one that seems riddled with errors and prejudice.  But if their argument seems so blatantly weak or wrong, why can’t I convince them to see the light?

What should it take to sway another?

*Passion and emotion
*Facts and statistics
*Slogans and catchy phrases
*Good intentions and strong ideas

The problem is, the opposing side will come back at you with the same thing.

Then you end up just shouting at each other, restating, if not repeating, your best statements, and growing frustrated with every passing moment.

Perhaps you change tactics and break it down, point by point, looking to attack the weakest point and build from there.  But something is blocking others from agreeing with you – or even understanding you.

So, if you were to write a book on a controversial issue – abortion, gun control, or equal rights – what would be the best way to do this?  It depends on your goals.   There are different kinds of people out there:

·         People who agree with you.
      Your book will reaffirm their beliefs and inspire them to action.

·         People who are unaware of the issues/sides.   
      Your book can persuade them, especially absent the voice of the other side.

·         People who disagree but are open to change.     
      Your book can convince people who are uncertain or only lightly supportive of the other side.

·         People who disagree and will not change their minds, unless something fundamental to their argument is shown to be false.
      Your book likely won't win over those that oppose you unless you have a big surprise for them.

You don’t just want a book that preaches to the choir.  You need to bend over backwards to think of how the opposing side views things and to go, point by point, to show there is another way to see things.  In the end, you are debating beliefs, philosophies, and instincts as much as you are history, facts, or statistics.

Too often we look to defend that what we know is right.  We need to keep an open mind and look, not to stay stuck in our ways, but to find compromise and common ground.

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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. 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 © 2016

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