As a publisher, I have the opportunity to read many, many books and manuscripts. Some are wonderful, some need a bit of polishing, and others make the back of my neck tingle because they are tremendously good.
And then, there are a few books that are not ready for publication. These books have a common problem. They all sound alike!
I’ve coined this writing challenge the ‘Me-Too Syndrome’. This happens when an author writes a book which repeats information he learned in a training program, workshop series, or from reading other popular books on the topic. The problem with these types of books is that readers feel like they’ve heard all the information already and usually don’t take the time to finish the book.
Thankfully, there is an easy cure for ‘Me-Too Syndrome’.
It’s important that your book is unique and brings something new to the conversation about the topic you are exploring.
By the way, right now you may be thinking that you don’t have any fresh or unique content to share with your readers. Don’t listen to that fear. It’s an old story and untrue. You can do this!
To create unique content for your book, examine all the information that you want to share with your readers. Look for ways that you can combine that information with stories from your personal life or from the lives of your clients. Stories illustrate points powerfully and add unique content.
For example, if you are writing a book on goal setting, what successes and failures have you experienced with goal setting? How has mastering goal setting impacted your life? What benefits have you seen in your career, health, relationships, and finances now that you use goal setting techniques?
Explore these questions and you’ll uncover a wealth of stories that only you can tell.
Next, look at your material and see how you can present it in a fresh way. Can you create a new process, devise a shortcut, or teach readers how to ensure that they can implement what they read?
If you cannot find a way to present your material in a new way, start to teach it in workshop or teleclass format. As you teach others, you will naturally find ways to communicate your core information that are unique and true to you because you will filter the information through your experiences and values.
Finally, be choosy about what material from others that you use in your book. Let me pick on coaches for a moment because I’m a trained coach. When I went to coaching school in 2001, I learned a great tool called the Wheel of Life exercise. I loved it and seriously considered using it in my first book. Thankfully, my editor dissuaded me from doing so. That particular exercise was developed in the 1960’s and is copyrighted material. I thought it was new because it was new to me but actually, it’s been around a very long time.
Evaluate your material and use only the very best information in your book. It’s okay to use concepts you’ve learned from others if those concepts support your premise and are surrounded by information which you create.
When you take these three steps: using stories, creating unique methods, and carefully evaluating all the material in your book, you will fashion a book that is juicy, special, and different from every other book in the world.
How does this information inspire you? Share your ideas by commenting below.