Have the desire to create and share your ideas but not the know-how of writing a book? Then take a peek at the process of choosing a type (or model) of book to write.
Starting out, mulling over ideas
There are already millions of books published and available on Amazon, so here’s a question: what is the one thing that none of them already have?
Choosing the Best Book Model
Breaking down complex and dry topics, a good writer draws out the ideas for their reader to digest. This is best done with a particular model. If you don’t choose a good model to begin with, your book will wander. It can possibly annoy a reader who likes one type of books, and half-way through the type has changed.
Tips books can be good if prefaced with a note on why you need these tips and how to use the content. Power Marketing was in this style, with 60 tips on marketing a small business, but I made the mistake of also putting business advice in the front and so mixed my types.
Insider Advice–or ‘How to’–Style
Insider advice style, with a direct voice (‘you’/’your’) can be ideal for a senior coach or business owner. Usually the focus is on solving the individual’s most common problems and preventing some of the pitfalls in starting out that you witnessed or experienced. It is normally written in the ‘you’ (direct) voice. Excellent examples are:
Ready to Soar by Naomi Simson
Bounce Forward by Sam Cawthorn
Reading these books, you’ll soon see the way the author (with help from an editor) has given the best of their story and also laid out a framework for the readers to follow. Highlighted pull-outs and quotes make it more enjoyable to read and easier to take in.
Insider Experience Style
Insider Experience is similar, but with the focus on the author’s lived experience. This can actually be effective and get cut-through, if told in a narrative or other relatable way.
Examples of this style are:
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
Wealth Magic by Peter Spann
Business as Unusual: Anita Roddick (uses pull-outs in the text, bolded quotes on bronze pages opposite the content)
The Model Book
Another style of book is the model book. No, not fashionistas but your very own diagram, acronym or concept. For instance, Amplify is a book about podcasting, with a step by step system built around the acronym.
Whatever it is, make it yours and never borrow someone else’s special code. You can conjure an acronym up with a generator (or better yet, use your grey matter). The model is normally explained at the beginning of Chapter 1… along with a nice diagram.
The ‘why’ you need it is as important as the ‘what’ it is.
The model book lends itself to case studies that prove the model works. Do you have clients that have solved their problems with your help? There might be a model hiding there, in plain sight. Points of note:
- Very reader-solution focussed
- Very targeted to their stage (a beginner or slightly experienced)
Business Model Generation (a popular book about models and outside the box thinking),
Eat That Frog.
ANSWER to mulling over ideas: Your experience is the thing that is unique. Your writer’s voice also should shine through.
Now that we’ve discussed some types of nonfiction books you could write, it’s important to note one thing: Stick to one type!
Jennifer Lancaster coaches authors on how to write a book, through regular monthly Zoom sessions and targeted writing feedback (developmental work).