How to write a great nonfiction book title: update

Writing a book, or looking into to options to do so? Book titles and taglines are even more important now than they ever were before. Why?

book titles and sales

If your book is going into bookshops and it’s displayed ‘spine out,’ all people will see is the title on the spine – not the tagline.

SEO. Much as we love to communicate directly with our readers we, as authors wanting to promote our books online, have to buckle down and accept that we’re communicating with ‘bots’ and other digital machines … not just humans, although they are still important.

Sets the scene for your writing project 

Some people like to leave the title until last, rather in the way that you ice a cake: the concept here is that you can’t ice a cake until you have prepared and baked its innards. But there are a couple of good reasons for creating the title right at the beginning of your book writing project. Here they are: [Read more…]

Writing at speed: how can this benefit authors?

Updated January 21st, 2020. Do you regard having to write stuff for work or other pursuit as a tedious chore to be done as fast as possible?


via GIPHY

Is writing really one of those boring jobs like your accounts or your filing or washing the coffee cups that you want to get done and out of the way so you’re then free to do something interesting?

Has writing really become pure gruntwork along with these other humdrum procedures?

[Read more…]

10 quick reality checks to tighten up your writing

Updated Jan 8th, 2020 When you’re writing – especially for business – it’s helpful, sometimes, to get a colleague to check through what you’ve done and feed back their impressions to you. But what if you’ve written some text that needs you to hit the “publish” button now, and there’s no-one else around to give you the reality check you’d like?

Quick tips on how to tighten up your writing – even if there’s no-one else around to critique it

Here’s a checklist that will help you. It’s harsh, but it should be – if you don’t judge it harshly, your readers will.

1. If I were reading this, would I find it interesting?
Separate yourself from your job or business, and just look at the text objectively. Put yourself in the shoes of whoever your text is aimed at. If you were them, would it ring your chimes? Or send you to sleep? Be honest with yourself.

2. Is this true?
OK, in business and other forms of writing we often, er, shall we say, paint an attractive picture of what we would like our readers to absorb. Making stuff look attractive is OK, but lying isn’t. Ensure that what you say is true, because if you don’t someone will find out and destroy your credibility.

3. Is it convincing?
Even in our highly abbreviated online era, there is always room for some quick-but-effective substantiation. People may warm to your text and feel inclined to believe it, but there’s nothing like some cool, hard facts to back you up.

4. How does it look?
You may think that you can dismiss the cosmetic look of your writing because such things shouldn’t matter when much more important things are at stake, i.e. what your words say – not how they look. Wrong. A good layout with plenty of white space around it and plenty of paragraph breaks and cross-headings make your writing more easily absorbed.

5. Is this fresh, or have I seen it before?
There’s no point in producing a document, blog, article of other piece of writing on a subject which has been done to death by dozens of others. On the other hand if it’s a topic that’s on everyone’s mind, there’s always a need for a new, fresh viewpoint. Is your viewpoint really new and fresh?

6. Is the key message clear?
What distinguishes business writing from most other forms is that business writing seeks to bring about a change in the reader … whether a change in buying habits, thoughts, attitudes, voting preferences, etc. If relevant, does your key message make it clear to the reader how you want them to change, and how they should do so?

7. If I removed this paragraph, what difference would it make?
Look through your text and choose, at random, a paragraph and take it out. Does that make any difference to its overall value? If not, look at your text again and see where else you can tighten it up.

8. Is it correct?
Have you checked all your facts, double-checked that all links in your text go to the right sites, and generally ensured everything in your piece of writing rings true? It’s very important that it does. All it takes is once instance of a goof and your credibility can go straight down the toilet.

9. Is every thought complete?
We all know that the thought process should flow from one sentence to the next and from one paragraph to the next. Does yours do this? Or are there some leaps of logic? Check these out and if there are some hiccups, sort them out.

10. Does it grab you by the throat?
That’s the “bottom line,” to use a horrible cliché. If your text seizes your imagination and fires up your enthusiasm, it’s a winner. OK, if it’s a blog post about tax planning it may not create quite this effect; but all the same it should make you think when you have read it through for the umpteenth time, “yes – that’s what I wanted to say, and it achieves that properly.”

Now, get ready to tighten up your writing some more:

How To Write Brilliant Business Blogs … the no-bullsh*t guide to writing blogs that boost your brand, business and customer loyalty buy now from all Amazons
How To Write A Brilliant Nonfiction Book … No-BS support to get your book planned, written, published and out there – coming soon from Better Books Media

Photo credit: Image by krzysztof-m from Pixabay

 

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