Sunday, January 28, 2018

The 15 Vital Elements Your Nonfiction Book Can't Live Without


Shortly after I started The Book Doctor Is In back in 2011, I received a pretty big shock. 

I discovered that the level of someone’s education, the depth of their knowledge, and their professional success had nothing to do with how well they could write a book about their subject of expertise.

You see, before I immersed myself in the world of publishing, I had always assumed that if a person was educated and experienced, he or she could write an excellent book.

But I quickly found out that I was wrong.

I also found out that it wasn’t that smart, knowledgeable person’s fault.

A shining example of this lies in a prospective client who once enthusiastically reached out to me with his near-finished manuscript. He had a PhD and was highly successful in his practice, so I admit, I expected his manuscript to be top-notch.

Only it wasn’t.

In fact, it couldn’t even be called a manuscript.

As I read through it, my heart dropped. It had no cohesion, no logical flow, no structure that made sense, and no clear audience. Perhaps worse, the stories that were supposed to help illustrate the material didn’t even have context—they simply spotlighted the author’s own accomplishments.

It was then that a lightbulb went off in me.

Without a clear checklist of the vital elements that every nonfiction book needs—especially one that seeks to help, guide, or inspire the reader toward a particular goal or to achieve a specific outcome—an author, despite being highly educated and experienced, would likely founder.

And their aspiration of increasing their credibility, strengthening their reputation in their field and with colleagues, filling a gap in their niche market, and/or having a top-quality book to sell at events or speaking engagements? It would never come to fruition. Instead of a dream realized, it would be a dream dashed.

This realization completely broke my heart.

Now, this author—after he recovered from his own shock and came to understand that the manuscript he’d written needed a complete overhaul—had me to help him rebuild his book from scratch with all of those critical elements in place. Subsequent nonfiction authors who approached me, with varying numbers of "crucial missing pieces," had my guidance as well.

But what about the self-taught experts, industry professionals, entrepreneurs, and bloggers who didn’t have me or someone else to guide them?

Well, a lot of them—and I mean hundreds of thousands—have self-published those inferior manuscripts believing they’re perfectly fine.

The result? Diminished credibility. Embarrassment. Poor reviews. A shattered reputation.

And that substandard version? It’s forever stuck on Amazon, even if the authors realize their mistakes and have their books redone the "right" way the second time around.

It’s certainly NOT what they had in mind.

But, sadly, they didn’t know any better. Maybe worse, they truly thought their own knowledge was enough to write an excellent book.

But writing a nonfiction book on a topic of expertise is an endeavor that requires a blueprint.

And if you want to fulfill those dreams of boosting your credibility and reputation, wowing your readers, and receiving great reviews, that blueprint requires careful examination of the marketing end of that book BEFORE anything else.

What does that marketing end look like?

Well, to bring it all into perspective for you, I’ve brought the elements together into a single page in the form of a fun mind map, and it’s yours for free just for being part of my community.

Download the Mind Map PDF

This mind map highlights the 15 essentials that every nonfiction book needs to find any level of success in today’s crowded literary marketplace.

Missing even ONE of these elements could prove disastrous for a nonfiction author, and I do NOT want that happening to you!

So if you don’t want to be one of those authors who didn’t know any better and published a substandard manuscript with regret, use this mind map as your checklist.

Grab the 15 Nonfiction Book Essentials Checklist

Or if you prefer to watch the mind map presented in video format, I made a brief video version just for you!

The Essential Nonfiction Book Planning Mind Map Video

I hope you find it super helpful on your journey of becoming a published author with excellence!

Much love,
Stacey

P.S. If you want even more super guidance for your nonfiction book endeavor, register for my upcoming free webinar6 Secrets to Building a Marketable, High-Value Nonfiction Book (Even if You're Not a "Writer"). It's going to be jam-packed with good stuff!