We already know that one of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert, a leading voice, an authority, a sage is to become an author. Write your story and tell it like only you can. But your book won’t move readers to action or inspire them unless it answers three important questions:
- Who are you?
- What do you know?
- Why should readers care?
This is true whether your book is a memoir, an autobiography or a how-to book. Think about it, readers want to learn from someone who has been there and done that. They want to know that you aren’t just making up this stuff; that you’ve been in the trenches and you’ve come through it, a little bruised, but with a whole lot of lessons learned. So consider each question as you write your book and make certain you address them effectively, always keeping your readers in mind.
Who are you?
Here’s where you describe your background, establish the theme of the book, describe an incident that affected you deeply, allowed for your growth and finally led to your writing the book. Readers want to know that you’re real, so tell the truth, be authentic and transparent.
What do you know?
Tell of your experience, touch on the knowledge you’ve gained. This doesn’t necessarily have to be professional, intellectual or academic experience. It could be what you’ve learned from the school of “hard knocks.” Life teaches us amazing lessons. Your book is your chance to share what you’ve learned. If you’re writing a how-to, dig deep and offer some little known insights, trade secrets or valuable tips you’ve learned.
Why should readers care?
Here’s where you draw your readers in and cause them to hold up a mirror, stare deeply into it and find themselves in the pages of your book. Read them their personal mail. Let them see themselves in your situation and help them discover how they too can triumph, prevail and become better by living the lessons and applying the tools you are sharing.
Your book is a tool for readers to learn something. So, determine what you want to teach and then make it your mission to do so with authenticity and clarity. Keep them turning the pages, wanting more. Best of all, make sure they close your book and know for sure that you are the expert you claim to be.