Many writers feel a strong sense of purpose or mission. This might feel like your soul purpose—something almost spiritual, a benefit you want to provide or a legacy you want to leave. It might feel like an overriding mission for your life or work—what you want to achieve. A book’s purpose revolves around the benefit it provides to readers; readers should finish the last page and have achieved some sort of outcome or be equipped with the knowledge to do so.
When you can clearly define your purpose and your book’s purpose, you will have an easier time fulfilling both while writing. Additionally, the book you compose book will more than likely inspire readers to take action of some sort—action that produces change in their lives or in the world.
You will have authored change.
What changes might you inspired in your readers? Try writing down the benefits your book will offer them. These often are listed on the back cover of a book. For example, on the back of Mark Victor Hansen and Robert G. Allen’s New York Time best seller, The One Minute Millionaire, you can find a list of things you will learn from reading their book, such as “the power of one great idea, how to develop multiple streams of income, six forms of leverage, and the essentials of marketing success.” These constitute three of seven benefits promised to the reader.
Also on the back cover of The One Minute Millionaire it says, “In every city, often behind the scenes, there are thousands of enlightened millionaires who acquire their wealth in innovative and honorable ways—and then give back to their communities. This book will show you how to become one of them…more quickly than you ever imagined.” The benefit to the reader—the promise of the book—is that they will quickly learn to become enlightened millionaires who can give back to their communities. This is the outcome the authors promise.
The idea of “purpose” speaks to why you think people must read your book. Your reasons have to resonate with them. If you strike a chord, they will hear it.
To discover what important goals your book will help readers achieve or what benefits it will provide for them, answer these questions:
- What outcome do you want your readers to achieve from reading your book?
- What benefits will readers take away from your book? What will they gain by reading it?
- What commitments is your book making to readers?
If you come from a place of purpose when writing your book and communicate that well, you can find readers who share that same sense of purpose. If you also communicate the benefits of the book to potential readers, they will join in.