In previous blog posts, and in many of my presentations, I explain to authors that the theme of your book is your answer to the question: “So, what’s your book about?” When your theme is well developed – condensed down to a sentence or two – then you’re ready to work on the messaging of your book.
The message is the main point of your book; the lesson or the takeaway for your readers. The message communicates vital information about the content and the benefits contained in your book. This message will be used during your marketing campaign to help develop a solid brand and image for you and your book. So how do you message your book?
Develop your book’s message by considering who your target readers are and what they need that your book offers. In my soon-to-be-released book, How to Market Your Book for Free: The Essential Guide for Authors, Publishers, and Publicists, my co-author, Nicole Antoinette and I describe a simple method to develop a precise, effective message that will help sell your book.
Using the STAR method, you can develop a message that covers the following areas:
Situation: Describe the situation you were in or what inspired you to write your book.
Task: What goal were you working toward when you decided to write your book? Describe the tasks involved in that situation.
Action: Describe the actions you took to address the situation with an appropriate amount of detail. What specific steps did you take?
Results: Describe the outcome, what you received from writing the book, and what readers will get from the book.
Here’s an example of the STAR method of message development:
Situation: I speak to many audiences about what it takes to produce a quality book and how to leverage their book for success. What many authors don’t consider when beginning a book project is how they will turn their investment or expenses into revenue through effective marketing.
Task: Although many authors do not budget for a comprehensive marketing campaign, I want to see every author succeed and reach their goals, so I sought to share several free or low-cost strategies to market a book.
Action: Through a partnership with an incredible author advocate, we researched 101 free marketing strategies and aggregated them into our new book, How to Market Your Book for Free.
Result: With this valuable resource, I can now share a wealth of information with authors to help them reach their book marketing and sales goals.
You can approach this message development process at any stage of your book production, but it’s best to consider it before writing and to keep your message in mind throughout the process of creating your manuscript. During the entire time you’re writing, you should be constantly thinking about your readers. What do they want? What problem(s) do they have? What solution do they seek? What keeps them up at night that you can help with? Why should they choose your book?
Be bold and give this STAR method of message development a try. You’ll find that you end up with a succinct message that effectively communicates the benefits of your book and what readers can expect to get from it. All of that can equal more sales.
Look for the launch of How to Market Your Book for Free, coming to Amazon.com soon.
Anita Paul, known as The Author's Midwife, coaches aspiring authors to write a phenomenal book and helps current authors use their existing books to leverage their business. She is the author of Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and the Book You've Been Wanting to Write, and is the creator of the Write Your Life program, through which she has created a dynamic system to Write Your Book in 90 Days or Less. She has owned The Write Image for 15 years, and has had her freelance articles featured in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also the host of "Book Your Success".