How to support your book ideas

How to support your book ideas - Lake Effect Creative

Today, I put the finishing touches on the draft of a 70,000 word book manuscript.

I’m collaborating with a financial advisor, describing how near retirees can achieve the income they need in retirement. We’ve began working on the book in May and expect to have it ready for publication at the end of March.

During the past nine months, we’ve established a wonderful working relationship and friendship. Writing a book demands a close level of collaboration because it’s really a labor of love. The advisor is entrusting his ideas to me, a trust that I deeply value and am determined to repay with a manuscript he can be proud of and can use to grow his business.

I think he’s been surprised that the process hasn’t been more time consuming. We settled into a rhythm of a once a week calls, supported by emails in between and exchanging edits as chapters were drafted and edited.

That’s one of the major benefits of hiring a ghostwriter — we do the heavy lifting, leaving you free to run your business.

4 ways to concretely flesh out your ideas

The book succeeds because it supports this particular advisor’s methodology in four ways:

#1: Credible research: All the major points are backed up by research and data. This lets readers know that the advisor just didn’t dream up his ideas on his own. Instead, they are supported by credible, sourced research. We brought in many data points in the forms of charts and graphs to illustrate his ideas and demonstrate how and why they work.

#2: Examples: To make sure readers understand how to apply the principles in the book, there are abundant, real-life and relatable examples. Your audience must make the connection of how your ideas relate to them, and they can’t do it in a vacuum. The burden can’t be on them to figure out how to connect your ideas with their life. They need help and support to do it.

#3: Client narratives: Client stories are weaved throughout the book to showcase real life problems and how the advisor solves them. Of course, these stories are anonymous to protect client confidentiality. These narratives provide another way to get the advisor’s ideas and points across without overt repetition. Readers won’t get ideas unless you explain them clearly and throughly and use different techniques to get those points across.

#4: Life experiences: Sharing experience, strength and hope from the advisor’s own journey helps the audience relate to him and humanizes his advice. Advice doesn’t spring up in a vacuum, so placing the advisor’s methodologies into the context of his life experience provides further support and illumination for his readers.

Why it works

This formula works for any type of thought leadership, whether a book, white paper or article. They enliven what otherwise might be dry ideas and apply them to real life.

You also provide your audience with multiple entry points into your content through the data, research, narratives, examples and experiences. Some readers will love the data and research, while the stories and examples will resonate with others.

These techniques also allow you to explain your ideas in different ways, ensuring that readers can understand and relate to them.

It’s a recipe built for success that you can use again and again to get your message across.


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Helen Jerlach