16 Jan 113. 6 Ways to Make Your Readers Fall in Love with Your Book
There’s nothing worse than being disappointed by a book you just bought.
Your readers deserve better, and as an author, you deserve to write and publish a book you’re proud of.
Luckily there are ways to make sure you write a book that delights your readers, so they tell their friends about it, leave you great reviews, and can’t wait to buy the next book or service you offer.
Listen in to discover six simple tips to help your readers fall in love with your book.
Mentioned in This Episode
Hey there and welcome to Nothing but the Words. I’m your Book Coach Candice L Davis, and I hope your week and your writing—we’re just starting off the new year—hopefully you’re sticking to your writing goals so far.
I hope your week and your writing are both going really, really well.
And if you have a goal, a resolution, an intention, whatever you’re calling it, to write your book this year, I really want you to invest in making that book the best that it can be.
I really want you to really invest in making a book that can serve you and also serve your readers.
So that’s what I wanna talk about today.
I wanna talk about how your book can really serve your readers so much so that they fall in love with it, that they’re telling people about it, that they’re writing you great reviews, that they’re leaving you reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, all that good stuff, and they’re inviting you to speak and to be on podcasts and all the things you may want your book to do.
So why is this on my mind? Well, recently I met a woman at a conference.
I really clicked with her. I thought she was super smart—he is super smart, there’s no doubt about that—she’s super accomplished.
And when she told me she had written a book, I immediately ordered it. Like I just assumed her book would be as great as she is, right?
So I ordered the book, it arrived at my house, and when I picked up the envelope—the amazon.com envelope—it was really light, y’’all.
If you’re watching this on YouTube, this is my first time doing a live video on YouTube.
Usually I just do the audio and you can see I’m, like, trying to hold an envelope, like how light it was.
But it was super, super light and my heart just sank because I thought, this is not a book.
I thought she’d written a book. This is not a book.
And so I just opened the envelope and I was greeted with disappointment. And you don’t want to disappoint your readers.
There are few things worse than that, but in fact you don’t have to.
There’s some simple steps you can take to really make sure your readers fall in love with your book.
So I wanna give you six of those in today’s episode.
And this is really all about making a promise to the reader, keeping your promise to the reader, and then going a little bit further with what you give the reader.
So the first way to do that is to align your title and your subtitle with the content.
Often you will pick up a book and you think you’re getting one thing and you really get another.
So several years ago I ordered a business book and the title, which I won’t give you obviously, because I’m not about to say something flattering, but the title seemed very much like a prescriptive book. It was a how-to style title.
So I expected to open it and be taught something about business. In fact, it was a memoir.
There was very little teaching. There was even very little insight shared, which you should share typically, in a memoir.
Instead, she did a beautiful job of telling her story, but that wasn’t the book that I thought I was buying.
So make sure your title and your subtitle really align with the content of your book so that the right people buy it.
Because it doesn’t matter how great the content is, if the wrong people are picking it up and expecting something other than what you’re giving.
The second thing you can do to make sure your readers fall in love with your book is to match your cover and your content.
So it’s not just the title, but the cover design itself really should match the content.
If you click through Amazon, walk through a bookstore, even a library, and look at different genres, you’ll see that there are certain themes and certain styles that are common to different genres.
That does not mean you need to make your cover look like every other cover in the self-help aisle. You don’t want that.
You want your book to stand out visually, but you don’t want your self-help cover to look like a sci-fi cover.
Recently, speaking of sci-fi, one of my coaching clients, wrote a really great sci-fi novel, and she went through a process of having several covers designed and then having her audience vote on which cover they liked best.
And she had to really nail down the cover that matched her story.
So it not only had to fit the sci-fi genre, but it really had to match the stories she was telling.
Well, even with non-fiction, that’s what you want. You want the content to be in alignment with the cover.
So if you have a really sad book, I recently read last year, actually, I read a sad memoir called Punch Me Up to the Gods. It was a hard read.
If that book had a bright, sunny, happy cover, I would’ve felt deceived.
It had a pretty serious cover, and that cover was in alignment with the content.
So make sure your title and your title and your subtitle tell the truth about what your content is going to be, but that your cover also matches that content.
Okay, the third thing: every book should make a promise to the reader.
Part of that will be covered in your title, but you need to make a direct promise to the reader.
With a novel that promise might come through dialogue, the opening image of your book, somewhere in that first scene.
Early on, you make a promise to your reader of what this book is going to be about, what kind of book it’s going to be.
If you’re selling a prescriptive book, you make a promise to teach something, right?
If you’re selling a memoir, you make a promise to share some part of your story.
So you really wanna make sure that whatever that promise is, you deliver on that promise. So when you read a subtitle of a non-fiction book, often the promise will be there, right?
“Six ways to blah, blah, blah so you can set yourself free from financial shackles.”
When you finish reading that book, you better know how to set yourself free from financial shackles.
Whatever promise you make to your readers, make sure your book actually keeps that promise.
Let’s look at number four.
Number four, the fourth way to make your readers fall in love with your book is to put in enough work to generate enough content for a whole book.
Now, there are ways to write and sell a shorter book.
If you’re writing a how-to manual, that could be short. People are fine with that. They just want to learn how to do the thing.
If you’re writing a gift book or if you call it a short read or a quick and easy read, people know what they’re getting—you set the expectation.
But if you say you’ve written a book and the Amazon order brings an 80-page, I hate to use this word, but pamphlet, people are going to be disappointed and it’s likely to be reflected in your reviews and in your book sales.
So if you say you’re going to write a book, put in enough time and effort to write enough content for a book.
How much is that?
Some book organizations have determined that that’s about 30 to 35,000 words on the low end, right?
Most books are gonna average 50, 60, even 70,000 words depending on the genre.
Yours does not necessarily have to be that long, but give them enough content so they don’t feel like I could have gotten this in a couple of blog posts.
Give them the full content of a book or set expectations that this is going to be a gift book or short read.
Our fifth way to make your readers fall in love with your book is to include some special features.
Now, I used to think you really couldn’t do this with novels, and that is not true.
One of my clients and my dear, dear, friend Dolley Carlson wrote a historical fiction novel called The Red Coat, it’s set in Boston. It’s a deep, long book like most historical fiction books are, and it covers several generations of an Irish immigrant family living in Boston.
Dolley has little windows of texts, it’s picture and text, sprinkled throughout the book, and they are of the real places in Boston where her characters are having their scenes take place.
So she might have a famous church in Boston. She has a little picture of it, a little black and white picture, and a little description.
Those windows are sprinkled throughout her book.
It’s delightful as a reader to open the book and be reading, you’re getting this great story, and then you’ve got this sort of a side that makes the story that much richer.
So you can even do this in fiction work, but in non-fiction, you have so many options, right?
You might include images, where they’re appropriate. You might include graphs and charts.
If you’ve designed a framework of your own process, then you might actually have a designer create a visual image of that framework.
Don’t try to do it yourself.
You shouldn’t do it yourself if you’re going to create these kinds of extras, it’s even that much more important that you have a professional layout, your book, because it can look a little crazy when you kind of do it yourself.
It doesn’t have the same impact unless you are a designer, a book designer, and you know how to do it.
So if you’re going to do that, have a professional do it, have a professional,create those images for you.
It’s not very expensive to get that done. Well, expensive, it’s relative, right?
Depends on your budget, but it is accessible. It is within reach to get that done.
So I really, really, really recommend that you add special features.
That is more than keeping the promise of your book, right?
That is going above and beyond what you promised in the book.
And remember that some of your readers are more visual learners, they will take that image and remember that even better than they remember the text that you’ve written.
And our sixth and final way to make sure your readers are so delighted that they can’t stop talking about your book is to offer something extra.
Give them extras.
Now, I coach my clients to include what we call leads in their book.
So put these little seeds of extras in your book where they can come over to your landing page, your website, sign up to get a resource list that you update regularly to get access to your content, or a video to go with your book or some kind of audio program to go with your book.
Just something extra to really supplement your book.
Now that serves the author, right, because it allows you to accumulate more people on your email list, be able to reach more people with their message, with your ideas, with your products, whatever it is that you want to send them.
However, it also serves the reader.
You’re giving them something that they won’t get from every other book that they buy. Just make sure it adds value.
You don’t have to disappoint your readers.
They don’t have to have the kind of experience I had when I received that wonderful woman’s book.
She truly is amazing. She’s brilliant. She’s accomplished.
I still admire her greatly because I already know her, but if I had encountered her book, before I encountered her.
I might have a different thought in my mind about her and I’m glad I encountered her first.
Your book is going to lead the way for you into rooms that you might not ever physically enter, so make it something that you can be proud of and that your readers will love.
That’s all for this week’s episode, my friends. Thanks for listening to Nothing but the Words. I’m your book coach Candice L Davis. For more writing tips and inspiration, follow me on Instagram @candiceldavis and I’ll see you next time.