Why Should Readers Read Your Book?

Identify Your Why For Stronger Nonfiction Writing (Part 3)

Cassandra C. Stirling

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Image by Anand KZ from Pixabay

Step One on this journey of writing a book is to figure out what you want to write about. Step Two is writing and editing the book. Step Three is sharing it with readers and the world. This article series is all about Step One, but it will also get you a long way toward finding your superfans and readers in Step Three. In part one and two, we covered what you’ll write about and why you’re credible to write it. If you’ve not read either, I recommend you read them first. In this part, we’ll tackle the key ingredient for selling your book — what’s in it for the readers. When you sit down to write a book, the one thing you must never forget is the reader. They are, after all, the end consumers of the product. You want them to not only read it, but love it, share it, highlight it, recommend it to others, and hear your intended message. So, how do you get them to do that? You answer the question of why readers should read your book. You answer their ‘why’ in what you discuss and how you discuss it. So, what does that look like?

Why Do Readers Pick up a Book?

Reading is subjective. What one reader likes, another could hate, be it your cover, your writing style, the formatting, or the stories you share within. You’ll never please all the readers all the time, and that’s okay, because there are plenty of readers out there. However, something you want to keep in the forefront of your mind is this: readers are selfish. People read books because of what it does for them, what they gain from content, not what writing it does for you. In fact, in a 2012 study by Pew Research entitled “Why People Like to Read,” 26% of respondents who had picked up a book said, “what they enjoyed the most was learning, gaining knowledge, and discovering information.” While it’s an old study, its findings are still valid today, especially for nonfiction books. If you fail to ask yourself what that reader will take away knowing, thinking, or having learned from reading your book, you’ll not only fail your readers but also yourself. Self-absorption is great when you’re brainstorming your book, but not so great when you’re actually writing it. Readers don’t care about you; they care about themselves and what they get from your book…

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Cassandra C. Stirling

Writer, editor, writing coach, and videogamer. I write about writing, books, and occasionally videogames.