Writer/editor Jacqueline Pretty has, like me, migrated from a copywriter into an editor and book publishing coach. There is no better background for a book editor to have ;-). So in this “Book Blueprint”, I expected nothing less than sheer genius. Was I fulfilled?
The key to finding your message is explained both in the introduction and in Part 1: The Right Idea. In case we think that writing and forming a book (for business) is just a matter of writing up our topic of the moment, the Grammar (Factory) girl sets us to rights: will we still be game to promote this book’s core idea in three years’ time?
She then goes into the fun stuff: “What would you love to write about (that relates to what you do)?”…. along with the practical: the target audience.
“Who are you writing for?” she asks. “Will this topic solve those people’s biggest problems?” I like how she guides our thoughts around the reader audience’s common habits and characteristics, or possibly responding to a major ambition of theirs, rather than focus on demographics (e.g. females 40 – 60).
I’ve also always believed that tapping into a reader’s fears/concerns or burning desire is the right focus. Jacqui brings up the idea of tapping into a journalist’s mindset with a media-friendly topic, and further, how to target a book to potential partners in business. These ideas give the novice author in business alternatives to simply writing about their client’s problems, the most obvious focus.
‘Test your idea’ could well be the most valuable tip in this book. After all, if you do spend three months writing and $4 – 9,000 producing a book, you don’t want it to languish unloved on your web page. You want it to be met with enthusiasm by your crowd.
Choosing the right book type for your idea. Did you know there are at least four types of book you could write… the thought leadership book is just one? Jacqui goes into the process of each type, which I’m certain I haven’t read anywhere else.
This book has Action boxes for each section, so don’t be expecting to sit back for a holiday read! This mind-mapping and journalling will help most nervous writers get started on their outline, and come hell or high water, be prepared for the structured writing sessions ahead.
Jacqui hits a nail on the head with her tale in about “why not just write an eBook?” I was there at that KPI event, so I know exactly how loud that book thudded on the floor when Andrew Griffiths dropped it—thud value indeed! She talks about the reciprocation factor, as well as how a high-quality book demonstrates value.
Fleshing out the structure (or skeleton) of your book is often the slowest part, so Jacqui offers us tips on the three kinds of content: what content, why content, and how content. I think these pillars help the novice author craft their chapters in an orderly way – and stops the overwhelm authors normally run into when researching and writing their book content.
Most of us know we need to include great stories in our book; but when and how? The ‘craft your plot’ story arc on page 150 is going to help anyone trying to tell an anecdote, along with the tip on minding your objectives.
So the answer to my earlier question is, yes, my expectations were met! If you’re looking for a writing coach, available 24/7 for a paltry one-off cost, then you best get this book.
Buy Book Blueprint at Grammar Factory