You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation. A building requires a firm foundation to withstand nature and hold up under use. A cracked or insufficient foundation results in a structure that is unsuitable for habitation.
Everything we build requires a solid foundation to survive. Books require a firm foundation to stand against the competition. This firm foundation begins with your writing and the promise you make to your readers. It extends to the physical package of your message (layout and design of the book) and includes the price readers pay for the book.
To ensure your book has a solid foundation from which to launch, ask yourself the following six questions.
1. Is my book well-edited and free from grammatical and spelling errors?
A poorly written book or one that contains numerous grammatical and spelling errors will not gain readers’ approval. Books that are not well-edited do not become solid fixtures in the book industry. Instead, they tumble and fall into oblivion.
2. What promise does my book make to readers?
Does your book promise something that readers’ value and need? Do you offer a solid promise for information or entertainment that is not readily accessible elsewhere? Your book’s promise is an important piece of your foundation.
3. Does my book deliver on this promise?
Information or entertainment that fills a need is not enough. Your book has to deliver on its promise. It has to live up to what the reader is expecting.
4. Does my book speak its target audience’s language?
To reach people, we must speak their heart language. This is the language that they hear the best. Your book must use the lingo your target audience knows and share stories or examples that they can relate to.
5. Does my book look professional?
In the book world, books that look vastly different stick out like sore thumbs. Books must conform to basic requirements for them to look professional. If you are unsure what elements a book needs to look professional, I encourage you to learn. Members of Christian Small Publishers Association have access to a “Checklist for Publishing a Professional-Looking Book” as well as on-demand seminars that teach them how to produce a book that meets industry standards.
6. Is my book priced competitively?
Pricing is an important part of a book’s foundation. A book that is priced much higher or lower than the competition will not do well. Your book must be priced competitively to stand strong.
In Matthew 7, Jesus tells his audience:
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Your book is like a house. It needs a firm foundation to withstand the assaults from the competition and from critics. Is your book’s foundation firm?
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