Can you state what your non-fiction book is about in one sentence? If not, you may not have a clear purpose or theme for your project and you run the risk of writing a book without a point to it. Completing the following sentence is not as easy as it sounds: “My book is about….”
Your books description, developed from this single sentence, will be used in many ways, such as:
- Discovering your book’s angle
- Writing query letters to agents / editors
- Speaking to agents / editors at writers’ conferences
- Preparing your book proposal/synopsis
- Writing catalogue blurbs
- Writing promotional material for news releases, flyers, etc
- Giving media interviews
Your book’s description should run about 150 words and must generate excitement, clearly describe the subject and scope of the book, demonstrate its uniqueness, show its benefits and the features that deliver them (sidebars, templates, illustrations, etc.), identify the audience and, lastly, reveal the author’s credentials. “All this in 150 words,” I see your eyes rolling…
Answering the following nine questions will help you develop your mission statement:
1. What problem will your book solve for its readers? (One only, in one sentence)
2. Describe your typical reader in 2-3 words
3. What is the subject of your book? (One simple phrase)
4. What makes your book unique?
5. What makes your book better than others on the same subject?
6. Why is it a good time to have a book like yours available?
7. List the benefits of your book to its readers
8. List the features that deliver the benefits
9. Describe yourself in two or three words: author and ….
Yes, it takes a lot of work and much re-writing but it is well worth it. Many aspiring authors say it clarifies their thoughts and helps them create a more marketable product.