Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book Publishing: Do You Want Your Writing to Stand Out or Blend In? by Cheryl Pickett

One of these things is not like the other... I'm guessing at least some of you know what follows that line from the famous Sesame Street song. For those of you who aren't familiar, the gist of it is that one of four items is not like any of the others displayed together. It might be an orange vs. three apples or three blue items vs. a yellow one for example. The simple sing along lesson reinforces shapes, colors and the skill of comparative analysis.

Along with that, the exercise can give the impression that it's not good to be the one that's different-the one that doesn't belong. It's better to be in the group of what is the same. In truth, sometimes that concept can serve you well. There are times when we don't want to stand out in the crowd, or when we should go with the flow. However, there are also situations when that strategy is detrimental. It's likely you've experienced both being odd person out and blending in perfectly. In publishing, you'll find that, most of the time, you'll need to do some of both.

First, your book needs to be in the "like the others" category in that it falls into a recognizable heading or spot on a shelf, whether physical or virtual. If it's aimed at a particular audience like entrepreneurs or home cooks, it needs to fall within expected norms of what a reader would expect from that kind of book. Even if you publish independently, you still have to be able to speak to the attributes your potential reader will identify with. Go too far to one side or the other and you may only appeal to a fringe audience, which often means fewer sales.

That said, the crazy thing remains that at the same time the book needs to be clearly defined, it also needs to be the attention grabbing yellow one among the blue ones. It's good for it to stand out because it gives a reader who has hundreds of choices an incentive to at least consider it first over the others. If they like it, it makes a recommendation easier instead of comments along the lines of "it's like most of the other ones you've probably read".

The vast majority of holding this fine line will come in the writing. As you write the content of your book, you'll need to develop your unique voice, yet not get too far out of line with regard to common expectation. It's a very tricky balancing act for sure. Walking this line with the right amount of skill means you'll keep the readers happy and your wallet full as well.

If you would like to learn how to create quality content and write your B.E.S.T right now, I invite you to visit my website http://www.cherylpickett.com.

Cheryl Pickett has been writing articles, blogs and books for well over a decade. Her mission is to help message driven entrepreneurs, authors and other thought leaders create compelling content faster, easier and with less stress.


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