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Key Lessons of Writing a Nonfiction Book: Lesson #2

Updated: Jul 3, 2019

In the last update, I shared lesson #1, knowing your reason or purpose for writing your book, in this series of key learnings based on my experience writing my first non-fiction book. Today’s post is lesson #2.

So, now that I had a book concept, an outline, a place to write, and I was clear on my purpose for writing the book, what came next?

As with knowing your motivation for writing your book, you should define upfront, the purpose of the book itself, the intended audience and how it will benefit them.

Lesson #2:
Define the books purpose, audience and benefits

For me, these three points go hand-in-hand, are interconnected, and cannot be separated. Establish upfront what you want your book to achieve, what you want it to do. Is it awareness, do you want it to provoke an action, do you want to inspire, and so on?

If you want to get your book in the hands of others, wouldn’t you need to know who those hands belong to? Defining your audience upfront and knowing what’s in it for them, helps target your message and tone.

When writing, it helps to stay focused on the fact you are writing for the benefit of others, not yourself. Of course that’s if you want others to read your book. Your audience is not interested in the benefits to you, so define and focus on what’s in it for the reader, your audience, not yourself.

Continue to remind yourself, it’s not about you, it’s about them.

This doesn’t mean they’re not interested in your story, if appropriate, certainly leverage or incorporate your story in your writing; after all, everyone likes a good story.

Like knowing your motivation for writing your book, defining your books purpose, audience and what’s in it for the audience will keep you on track.
It will help define actions you need to take, will help you stay focused and keep you focused, should you find yourself stuck or derailing along the way.

So, ensure you define your books purpose, audience and benefits.

I would love to hear about your writing experiences. If you’re new to writing nonfiction, what questions do you have?

In the meantime, stay tuned for lesson #3. Happy writing and happy journeys,


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P.S. I’m excited to share that is undergoing a transformation and will be relaunched on July 1, 2019.

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