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How to Write a Best Seller

Apr 19, 2008
A best seller is every author's dream. You can write a best seller if you follow some key writing tips and it isn't just the inside content. Besides helping your readers solve problems or achieve goals you need to focus on the book cover design. That is the key to getting readers to pick up your book and browse through it.

I recall years ago I was stuck figuring out how to accomplish some tasks. Working in corporate America at the time I was always challenged to try new ways to get things done: improve productivity, identify ways to improve the bottom line, write a report, etc. Some things I tried wouldn't work. I realized that I had a fear: If I couldn't do it I would go so far and if I got stuck I would stop.

Then one day as I meandered the bookstore I saw a book entitled, "Getting Unstuck: Breaking Through Your Barriers To Change," by Dr. Sidney B. Simon. It was published in 1989 and it was a best seller.

The title caught my attention, "Getting Unstuck." In fact it is a popular title that has been used dozens of times since 1989 and probably before that. With the book in my hand I read the rest of the front cover and the back cover. I opened it up and read the testimonials on the inside front cover and browsed the Table of Contents. I fanned through the pages to see if it was my kind of book: lots of sub-headings, some activities to practice and lots of white space.

"This is it," I thought. "This is the book that has the answers for me." I bought the book home and read it from cover to cover. I read that book over and over again, made notes, highlighted important sentences, did some of the activities, and in time I got unstuck. In fact I chose to leave corporate America and get out of my comfort zone and try new things: speaking, writing articles and books, and helping others achieve their goals.

It all started because I bought a book that helped me make a change in my life and know that I could do it with a plan.

Nonfiction books bring us many new ideas and ways to solve our problems or achieve our goals if we apply what we have learned to our lives. We purchase these books because of the change we believe they will make in our lives.

Are you writing a book that can help your reader like Dr. Simon's book helped me? Let's review the steps that attracted me to this book in the first place.

1. Attention-Getting Title. The title captured my attention because it was something I needed at the time. Be sure that your title is short but to the point. You can have a subtitle that describes it further.

2. Attractive Book Cover Design. The book cover design must catch the reader's eye when browsing the many books in the bookstore. Even when searching on Amazon and other online bookstores the colors, artwork, illustrations and photo placed appropriately are important.

3. Sales Information on Back Cover. It is amazing how much can be put on the back cover. This is your sales piece. A brief bio, 2-3 testimonials, 3-4 benefits; all will entice your reader to go further and buy your book.

4. Testimonials on Inside Front Cover. Before your book is finished send a few chapters to people such as CEOs, Presidents, health professionals if your book is about health or fitness, and leaders in the community that are willing to give you a testimonial of 2-3 sentences. Better yet after asking and getting an okay to send you materials on the book, send them the book proposal you have already prepared. Remove the marketing and promotional information, as they aren't interested in that. Send them everything else that pertains to the inside content of the book.

5. Eye-catching Titles for Table of Contents. Create great eye-catching titles for your Table of Contents that will intrigue your reader and make them want to see more.

6. Good Content is still King. If you have done a good job with these five elements for your book you could have a buyer for your book. Remember though, the most important thing is the content you write. It must be helpful information that your reader wants. It must be written in a way that your reader understands and can apply to his or her life. Your book must help your readers solve a problem, achieve a desired goal or be a book of inspiration.

Follow these tips: Have an attention-getting title, attractive book cover design, sales information on back cover, testimonials, terrific titles for your Table of Contents, and good content. You have the formula for a best seller!

Copyright 2008, Joan Clout-Kruse. All rights reserved.
About the Author
America's Book Coach, Joan Clout-Kruse, helps entrepreneurs and business professionals write a book that will get them recognized as an expert, attract more clients and boost their income. Sign up for the Free Sneak Preview of Joan's Writers Retreat where you'll learn how to write, market and publish your book at http://www.BizBookWritersRetreat.com
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