The four pillars of your book: 2. Your purpose

Lille Saint Maurice Pillar 2009 08 29Your book rests on four pillars: your expertise, your purpose in writing it, your audience, and your passion.

Why are you writing your book? You need to be able to answer that question, specifically, and have it at the forefront of your mind – quite possibly at the forefront of the wall above your desk, too! In a large project, it’s easy to forget the overall goal as you work further into the depth and detail of the thing you’re creating. Sometimes your enthusiasm grows and you start to lose sight of your goal as your plans turn ever more ambitious. Passion is one of the four book pillars, but it needs to be balanced out by purpose. Sometimes your enthusiasm wanes: if, three months down the line, you start bashing your forehead on your keyboard wailing “WHY AM I WRITING THIS BOOK?” you need to have your answer at the ready. Large projects also change shape and evolve, and writing a book is a large project. The book you hold in your hands is a small, tablet-sized thing. When you open it, the information inside expands like a pop-up on a city-sized scale. As the project evolves, you need to keep your eye on the purpose. If you change your purpose, you need to do that consciously.

Your book’s purpose will also help you select what part of your expertise you write about, who your readers will be, how long your book will be, and whether you choose self-publishing or traditional publishing.

So, why are you writing your book? What is your book’s role in your business? You need to be able to answer that, and if you have multiple answers, you need to be able to put those answers in order of importance. Do you want to raise your status to get more speaking gigs? Do you want to earn passive income? Do you want your book to advertise your coaching services for you? Do you want to give it away as an ebook in return for email sign-ups? Do you want it to reach people your coaching and speaking won’t reach?

Work out your purpose, write it in large letters, and stick it on the wall.

If you want help getting your book’s pillars in place, the Find Your Book pack is packed with quick, focused exercises to make sure your book has its four pillars in place from the start. To get a free copy, email me at megan@thoughtleaderbooks.co.uk with a few details about your area of expertise. And for more on starting your book, read these posts.

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