I have nearly 100 books on Amazon. Some of them only my mother has read. There is nothing more depressing than writing a book that no one reads. Here’s how you can do better.
Perhaps the greatest waste of time is to write a book that no one will read. I recently sent out an email to my people about a book project I was considering. I was really fired up about the idea, so I fired off a quick email. It was a short email with the closing that read, “If you are interested, please let me know.” I didn’t get one response. That email saved me hours and hours and hours of work.
The next time you get an idea about writing a book you might float the idea to some trusted friends who will give you honest feedback. The keyword is “honest.” The last thing you want is people who will tell you that this is a wonderful idea when it is not. Post something on Facebook that asks, “If I were to write this book would you buy it? Would you read it?”
I believe we have good ideas by having lots of ideas. I am a card-carrying member of the “Idea of the Day Club.” I love ideas. I have lots of ideas. I actually took a personality test once that revealed my number one strength is that of ideation. But what I’ve learned about ideas is this: you can never be sure which ideas will fly and which ones will not. Try to get -the most honest feedback you can before you start.
Writing a book is hard work. Even with dictation software, it is hard work. Even if you get someone else to do the editing, it is hard work. The last thing you want to do is to toil all night and write a book that no one reads. Been there; done that.
Reader’s Digest titles; biblical answers
Books that sell offer a benefit to the reader and put that benefit in the title. The titles sound like a Reader’s Digest cover article and offer biblical solutions. Here are some examples
How to win over worry.
How to pray.
How to forgive when forgiving is hard.
What to do when you feel like a grasshopper.
The world has its solutions to these issues; you are a preacher. Offer biblical solutions.
Be interesting. Constantly ask yourself, “Will the reader turn the page?” Be pithy. Include lots of short, one line, and proverb-like takeaways. Include sentences people can Tweet.
Include lots of stories. Jesus was the greatest communicator who ever lived and constantly used stories when He taught. I love this verse, “All Jesus did that day was tell stories—a long storytelling afternoon.” Matthew 13:34 (MSG)
Do research. It is amazing to me how the latest scientific research corroborates what is in the Bible. We can now demonstrate that grateful people are happier than ungrateful people. We can demonstrate that people who forgive are happier than people who don’t. I wrote a whole book on this topiccalled Obedience. Include this kind of research in your books.
Tell them something they have never heard before.
Above all, be practical.
In short, do the same thing that you do in the best of your sermons.
A Pastor’s Quick Guide will show you how you can get your completed manuscript on Amazon in both print and Kindle version in about an hour.