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How to Make Your Book Compelling, Marketable, and Memorable

Posted by in Books for Sale on October 28, 2010

An interesting take on writing Non Fiction books taken from –

More often than not, this blog focuses on how to sell books via promotion and platform. For a refreshing change, today we go back to the basics: writing and ideas. After all, books are born from ideas and created with the words we put on paper.

Today my guest blogger, Shennandoah Diaz, business development and marketing assistant at Greenleaf Book Group LLC, shares with you concrete tips for writing content that sells—to readers and to publishers. Of course, you want to consider her advice before you begin writing your book! If you do, you’ll increase your odds of composing a compelling, marketable, and memorable manuscript.



Content That Sells: Make Your Book Compelling, Marketable, and Memorable
By Shennandoah Diaz

The foundation of any great book is great writing. Design is important, and, yes, marketing gets your title in front of willing buyers, but none of that matters if you don’t first have compelling, marketable, and memorable content to share.

Compelling content always contains intriguing ideas and has a hook that makes someone say, “I want to learn more.” Your compelling content might be about losing weight on a budget, reducing credit card debt, developing winning marketing strategies, or raising kids with values. People are interested in all of these topics (weight loss, debt, child-rearing, etc.), but in order for your content to be truly compelling, it also needs to be differentiated from other titles that came before it. For example, if you are writing about leadership skills, you need to explain exactly how you address leadership in a way that is different from your competitors.

You can differentiate yourself in many ways:

  1. Take an opposing viewpoint: Do you propose a philosophy or strategy that is the polar opposite of the norm? Of course, you should be able to support your reasons for why you think your opposing view is viable.
  2. Tell it in a different way: You may not need unique content if your delivery is unique. Do you have a distinctive way of sharing the information? Are you more entertaining, authoritative, or friendly than other writers in your area?
  3. Propose a new solution: Have you identified a new strategy or way to address the issue? Novel ideas are hard to come by, but if supported they are always welcome.

In order to “have feet” on the bookstore shelves, your content also needs to be marketable. This means the content must appeal to a large enough number of people to justify the cost of publishing a book. You want your material to be targeted, but too narrow a focus you can severely hamper your book’s sales potential (and its chances for publication). A book for mid-level mangers is narrow enough to deliver targeted and relevant information without hindering its sales potential. A book for mid-level managers of canning factories located in the Northwest is far too narrow and too small of a market to warrant the cost of publication.

Lastly, your content needs to be memorable; it needs to stick with readers long after they’ve closed the book. Memorable content is not so much about what’s being said but about how it’s being said. It’s about the quality of the writing and how it appeals to readers. Whether it’s touching, funny, or honest, the content needs to be well crafted in order to appeal to the reader in a visceral way and in order to encourage them to recommend the book to others. This is where the writer’s skills come into play. Memorable writing propels a strong idea, can save a weak topic, and can help make even the most tedious material enjoyable.

All three attributes of strong content—compelling, marketable, and memorable—come together to create content that is crafted with the reader in mind. The reader’s satisfaction is your ultimate goal. Everything you do must satisfy the reader’s needs and wants, not just the publisher’s or your own. By developing an idea that is of interest to a significant number of people and delivering it in a memorable way, you are giving readers something truly valuable.

About the Author

Shennandoah Diaz is the business development assistant at Greenleaf Book Group, a publisher and distributor serving independent authors and small presses. Diaz is responsible for developing case studies, white papers, and other materials that educate potential and existing clients on the publishing industry, branding, marketing, social media, and Greenleaf’s model. Diaz also handles social media and community outreach projects including Austin Publishing University and serves on the Membership and PR Committees for the Writer’s League of Texas. To learn more about Greenleaf Book Group and the publishing industry visit

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