“Assume the reader knows nothing, but don’t assume they are stupid.” ― These were the wise words of Ann Handley, the author of the book, “Everybody Writes.”
Writing, at the end of the day, is done to find readers. Writers crave the readers’ validation and regularly study what the readers are looking for in a book.
New writers spend hours mastering their skills and learning process like the snowflake method, but very few writers consider what an audience is looking for in a book. We can always brush-off these remarks by saying, “write honest content, and you will find an audience.”
But honest writing, without an eye for efficiency, is just bad business sense. By understanding the needs of the reader, you can craft better books and potentially bring value to the lives of your readers.
Here will address some of the key points about how to write a nonfiction book and consider these practices from the reader’s point of view. There are as follows:
Writing a nonfiction book in the most elementary form means free from “made-up” facts, stories, or instances. A majority of your time must go into research and re-studying the subject of your books.
Consider you are a subject-matter-expert and can write from your knowledge bank. This understanding does not give you the freedom to skip the research level. Research helps you add additional information and relevant facts to the pre-existing knowledge.
Some readers also like being guided outside of your subject matter. You would have to back your information with “further reads.” These are references to books or links that can give detailed information about a topic you just whisked past.
This research can be an ongoing process for a few months before you put ink-to-paper. Create a separate folder on your computer, or create a binder. Add as much relevant information to get yourself one step closer to a better book.
The next thing that grapples a reader to a book is the ability to solve problems—the narrower the niche of this, the better the reader’s interest.
For example, if you were to write a book about time management, you would capture a much larger readership than from a generic self-help book covering a few points on numerous topics. A niche is one way to attack a single problem head-on.
One outcome many expect from a nonfiction book is actionable change. You must provide your readers with actions outside of the book that they can try. Readers are not looking to skim through pages merely; they wish to make a change.
This action comes from activities, exercises, checklists, or pre-mane resources.
The fluidity of the book can imply two things. One, it means the book is easy to read and flows from one chapter to another. The other aspect is the perfect organization of your thoughts. You aim to take the readers on a journey through the book and not compile blogs.
Planning will ensure that this flow is maintained. You can do this by preempting how many chapters you will write, each heading, and how you would segue from one to the other. A detailed outline or skeleton is fundamental.
One way to keep your readers hooked on a book is by adding anecdotes that provide value to the message. These must be relevant to the topic of discussion, honest, and relatable. These stories also contribute to the flow of the book.
For example, in the book “Atomic Habits By James Clear,” a book about habit change, the writer starts each chapter with a story that explains or provides circumstances to the heading. This practice helps the reader determine the context much better through examples.
Anecdotes also help make the books more engaging. Everyone loves a good story, and one with a message at the end is always appreciated.
However, you must not use this device to add volume to your book. The stories must only enhance the narrative and not function as fluff in the book. Unwanted anecdotes will break the flow of the book further.
The book’s content’s credibility is established when your sources and information printed is one-hundred percent accurate. You can back all your data with sources on each page, refer to real-life narratives, and state examples to better prove this point.
It would help if you also enhanced your brand value to help propel the book’s credibility.
One of the best examples is the writer of the book “Why We Sleep,” Matthew Walker. Apart from publishing his work on sleep-research, he also hosts Q&As on social media, features on podcasts, and seeks publications about his book.
All these efforts help build relatability in his work; since each source can back him on multiple avenues.
Lastly, if you want to keep your readers hooked to your book, you will have to be as creative in your approach as possible. This innovation occurs with out-of-the-box structuring, additional exercise, infographics, images, cartoons, and much more.
The more you stretch your creative layers, the more comprehensive a user base you will attract, and the more your book sells. You may also collaborate with other creators to make a unique product.
Something as simple as better titles to the book or interesting chapter headings will help drive more new users. The cover of your book can also help charm users. They say, “don’t judge a book by its cover,” — but we all do. Whether you’re publishing non-fiction or writing a novel, Amazon KDP Publishing is the fastest way to become a published author.
One way to reach your ideal audience is to lie in the meeting point of flawless content and attractive presentation. Having the best content will fetch you a few readers with a disorderly structure.
In his book “On Writing,” Stephen King mentioned a trick to gain the reader’s attention. He says that we must write out books with a single-ideal reader in mind. This can be your parent, spouse, kids, friend, anyone. Write the book with their readability in mind, and you will find as many reads for your work as it is possible.