Why do people buy non-fiction books? Most readers buy books to solve problems or help with fulfilling a need. For example, when I started speaking for a fee I went out and bought a couple of popular books about speaking. Browsing in the bookstore, I was attracted to Lilyan Wilder’s book “7 Steps to Fearless Speaking” I read the back cover. I noticed she could help with 7 easy steps. I skimmed the table of contents, read a few lines and immediately liked her easy to read style. It went in my purchase basket.
Because I wanted to hear from several authorities on the subject, I picked up another book by Nido R. Qubein, “How to Be a Great Communicator: In Person on Paper, and on the Podium.” His cover design was white with clean lines and a personable picture of him on the front. His style of writing was not as easy to read but it still went in my purchase basket as well. Which brings us back to my original point; people buy non-fiction books to solve problems. To identify your targeted market, pinpoint a problem they have and the solution of course.
Problems come in all shapes and sizes. Usually a general category problem applies to all types of markets.
• Hobbies. Is your tennis game, golf game, bridge game as good as you’d like? Are you considering taking up horse-back riding? Want to improve your computer skills? What ever the case may be, your desire to improve or change your level of performance is considered the problem.
• Health. The first thing you do when your doctor diagnose your cholesterol is high and you need to lose 20 pounds. You go look for a book that will walk you through step by step to lose weight or lower cholesterol. You turn to someone that has solved the problem to learn from their experience.
• Mental State. Are you feeling stressful about the economy? Are you noticing unexplained physical symptoms possibly related to stress? Once again, you have a problem and you are looking for a solution in book form. Someone who has outlined easy steps or ways to de-stress in our society.
• Personal Finance. Worried about lay-offs, down-sizing, retirement? Books that offer financial solutions to economic problems during shaky times are guaranteed to succeed.
• Marketing. We live in a competitive society. Small business owners and managers everywhere need a growing database of customers and clients. Therefore, they seek out how to books that offers solutions on improving their advertising copy, improving their business image or their website.
Each of the problem categories describes a problem and a need for a solution. The main goal of your marketing plan is to identify the problem your book solves and then present the solution. The more intense the problem and the easier you can make your solution, the more readers will seek out your book.
Your task becomes to re-structure your knowledge into bite-size reader solutions. Appeal to the masses, by letting them know what’s in it for them and how easy the solution is with your book. For example, let’s consider the book title I mentioned earlier about speaking. The title could have been: “How to Overcome Your Fear of Speaking” instead of “7 Steps to Fearless Speaking” The latter is more appealing because it alludes to only 7 steps to my solution.
Don’t put it off any longer. If you wait, you can be this time next year without fulfilling your dream of writing a successful book. You have the solution. Now write it down. While you’re at use the tips above and write a book that sells well. Make it different. Make it count. Make it yours.
© Earma Brown, 15 year author and business owner
helps small business owners and writers who want to write their best book now! Author of “Write Your Best Book Now”, she mentors other writers and business professionals through her monthly ezine “iScribe” at http://www.writetowin.org Subscribe now at