Great books are not abstract-they have clearly defined messages.
As a reader, I don’t mind not knowing all the answers up front and gradually learning details as I go, but I don’t like reading books that have random streams of thought that are never tied back in to the main message because they are not relevant.
If you define your key messages before you jump into writing your book, you will make the writing and editing process much, much, much easier on yourself and produce a book that will be much, much, much more enjoyable for your readers.
Think of your book’s message as what you want your readers to remember about your book after they finish reading it and put it down. This is your “why” behind writing the book.
If your reader doesn’t remember anything else after they finish your book, what is the one thing you want them to remember?
Do you remember the children’s television shows like Barney that always had a scenario that the kids dealt with but ended with a lesson? Your message is that lesson for your book.
For example, if you are a mortgage lender who wants to write a book that addresses the most common questions your first-time home buyers tend to ask, your message may be about describing the home buying process and helping them avoid common mistakes like buying a home that is more expensive than they can afford or buying without understanding all the terms of their mortgage lending responsibilities.
If this is your message, it is easier for you to build on this by listing the different steps and tips for avoiding these common mistakes. This list can be grouped into chapters. By the time you have done this, you have quickly created a rough outline to guide your writing process and you have created a great sound bite to use in your book’s marketing and promotion.
Defining your book’s message before you take on the task of writing can help take the mystery and frustration out of what you should do while you write your first draft.
Question: What is making it difficult for you to define your book’s message.
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