Who is your book for? How to identify your ideal reader.

This weekend, I had a book coaching session with my own book coach. We were reviewing my Book Blueprint – the foundational pieces that need to be in place for a book to work.

I’ve been trained in this methodology and have spent many many hours studying it and working with clients on it, so I felt pretty confident with what I submitted to my coach. I thought I was clear on most of the elements, and I noted where I was struggling.

She noted more parts where I struggled. Areas that I thought were clear were not. At all.

Like the fact that I thought I had nailed a clear audience and knew my idea reader, but she pointed out at least three different audiences that I mentioned in different sections of the Blueprint. Each of these audiences would require a pretty different book.

This is a problem! We must know who we’re writing our books for because that will guide what content we include and how we structure it.

Lacking clarity on my ideal reader led to me failing to include important pieces of information in my content. Information that they need to know in order for my book to deliver the intended promise.

This means I need to do some restructuring of my content as well. 

This is why it’s key to know who we’re writing for when we’re tackling a transformational nonfiction project. We also need to have this clarity early on in the writing process.

Do you know who your book is for? 

If not, you can ask yourself the following questions as you begin to dive into defining your intended audience and ideal reader:

  • Where are they on their journey? Are they beginners? Experts? Passionate about the topic or just dipping their toes in?
  • How much background information do they need to have?
  • Will the information/story/argument that you want to include serve them? Will it move them forward on their journey? If not, cut it. If so, keep it! 
  • What’s the problem they want solved?
  • What do they want from your book?
  • What transformation are they looking for?

How will this information impact your book?

  • Will the information/story/argument that you want to include serve them? Will it move them forward on their journey? If not, cut it. If so, keep it! 

If we want our readers to actually have or make the transformation that we’re promising, we need to know exactly who and where they are in relation to our topic.

We need to know what skills/knowledge/dreams they’re bringing to our book. We need to know the problem they want help with and where they are in their own journey.

Knowing this information, and understanding our readers, will impact our book’s promise, argument, structure, and content. 

Diving into really knowing your reader and where they are is important work. I’m also grateful that I had a coach point out my lack of clarity before I started drafting.

This is why working with someone can be so incredibly helpful at the idea stages of your book writing process. We think we’re clear but feedback from others can help us find where we’re not communicating what we want to communicate.

Good feedback is so helpful in getting clarity on your own thinking and building a solid argument before you spend hours and days drafting a book that doesn’t work.

If you need help with this, you can check out my offerings to help you get that clarity you need.

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