Friday, July 16, 2010

Nine Questions

"Every creature is a word about God and is a book about God."

Meister Eckhart's words above can make you ask,

"So, what kind of book am I?"

Good question. Tough question.

Some days my book's a comedy. Some days a tragedy. Too few days, a love story. Often, my book's a dry do-it-yourself (myself) instruction manual. And every day it's a mystery.

The other day I came across nine great questions asked by Bret Nicolaus, a fellow who's in the book business. He wrote these questions to help books become bestsellers.

If we are the books Meister Eckhart says we are, Bret's questions are worth answering:

1) What makes Your Book DIFFERENT from similar books out there? (This is the most important question of all!)

2) What is the biggest BENEFIT of the thing that makes Your Book different?

3) What specific PROBLEM is Your Book the answer to?

4) WHO are the people out there that have this problem (primary, secondary, and even tertiary audiences)?

5) What is the "DISASTER" waiting to happen if people don't read Your Book?

6) What popularly held MYTH does Your Book explode?

7) What is the BUT of Your Book? (This essentially tells the customer the thing they will be most surprised to learn as they read Your Book. Think of it as the "secret" Your Book will reveal to the reader... Example: "Everyone thinks that milk is good for you, BUT milk actually causes everything from the common cold to serious, life-threatening diseases." The book then exposes all the risks of drinking milk -- a surprise to most people.)

8) What is the FIVE-SECOND description of Your Book (Just the facts, Ma'am)? This is a straightforward explanation of the product. At its most BASIC level (think talking to a first-grader) what is Your Book about?

9) Why are you the right person to write Your Book?


If I was a book looking for a job, or starting a business, or ramping up a new sales campaign, or going into politics, or about to be read by God (yikes!), I'd work really hard to nail the answers so I could be a bestseller, compared to all the other books out there trying to do the same thing I'm hoping to do.

Working through these questions makes me think about the outside jacket cover and wonder if the art on the outside of my book would line up with the art inside.

I also wonder how hard it would be to come up with a title, and even the inside front-cover copy describing my book.

How would you do that?

Here's to finding time and a good beach this summer -- reading, writing, living, mulling Your Book.


--tim


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4 comments:

  1. Hello Tim,
    As always, nicely done! Thank you....this week's post reminded me of these lyrics.
    CheerS!
    Bob G.
    --------------
    I am unwritten,
    Can't read my mind
    I'm undefined
    I'm just beginning
    The pen's in my hand
    Ending unplanned

    Staring at the blank page before you
    Open up the dirty window
    Let the sun illuminate the words
    That you could not find
    Reaching for something in the distance
    So close you can almost taste it
    Release your inhibitions

    Feel the rain on your skin
    No one else can feel it for you
    Only you can let it in
    No one else, no one else
    Can speak the words on your lips
    Drench yourself in words unspoken
    Live your life with arms wide open
    Today is where your book begins
    The rest is still unwritten, yeah

    Oh, oh

    I break tradition
    Sometimes my tries
    Are outside the lines, oh yeah yeah
    We've been conditioned
    To not make mistakes
    But I can't live that way oh, oh

    Staring at the blank page before you
    Open up the dirty window
    Let the sun illuminate the words
    That you could not find
    Reaching for something in the distance
    So close you can almost taste it
    Release your inhibitions

    Feel the rain on your skin
    No one else can feel it for you
    Only you can let it in
    No one else, no one else
    Can speak the words on your lips
    drench yourself in words unspoken
    Live your life with arms wide open
    Today is where your book begins

    Feel the rain on your skin
    No one else can feel it for you
    Only you can let it in
    No one else, no one else
    Can speak the words on your lips
    drench yourself in words unspoken
    live your life with arms wide open
    Today is where your book begins
    the rest still unwritten

    (Gospel)
    Staring at the blank page before you
    Open up the dirty window
    Let the sun illuminate the words
    That you could not find
    Reaching for something in the distance
    So close you can almost taste it
    Release your inhibitions

    Feel the rain on your skin
    No one else can feel it for you
    Only you can let it in
    No one else, no one else
    Can speak the words on your lips
    Drench yourself in words unspoken
    Live your life with arms wide open *****
    Today is where your book begins

    Feel the rain on your skin
    No one else can feel it for you
    Only you can let it in
    No one else, no one else
    Can speak the words on your lips
    Drench yourself in words unspoken
    Live your life with arms wide open *****
    Today is where your book begins

    The rest is still unwritten

    The rest is still unwritten

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