You’re excited to write your short book to share a segment of your knowledge. Now let’s make sure your short book has the ingredients to make a big impact.
Here are some guidelines:
- Present your perspective. If its uniqueness and value are strong enough, you could find yourself in the happy position of Jeffrey Gitomer: After half a decade he’s still able to charge $15.99 for the Kindle version of Get Sh*t Done.
- Stay narrowly focused on the main topic or purpose of the book.
- Organize your thoughts well – make the information easy to find and follow, and easy to absorb (you could borrow some pointers from The Art of War).
- Use design elements to make key points absorbable at a glance: graphics, charts, images, infographics, other visuals.
- But don’t try to fluff out lack of substance with design. It’s popular to use large fonts and bold colours and have an entire page with only eight words on it — that’s fine to direct the reader’s attention to important points, but make sure the rest of the book justifies the price the reader is paying for it.
- Which brings us to the most important guideline: Make sure your small book has substance. People don’t like to feel they’ve been gypped – that they’ve paid $14.99 or even $5.99 for something that could have been said in ten pages.
- Likewise, don’t just keep saying the same thing in different words. Make sure each chapter – each paragraph – adds something new and valuable. After all, you don’t want readers to get to the end of your book and say to themselves, “Well, there’s not a lot in here, is there?”
If you find you don’t have enough for a ‘real’ book, what you do have could be ideal for a lead-generator PDF download on your website or a value-add giveaway at conferences.