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What’s New In What You Do?

Beneath the Cover, building a business, make it newIn our last post, we looked at the things you ask yourself as you create a “journey” for your buyer – this helps you truly identify what it is that you offer, what it is that you want your clients to do (how you want them to act or feel in using your product or service) and what your ultimate goal is.

Think now in terms of crafting a story about what your service or your product does for the buyer (or reader). The thing is, many of the people with whom we work are interested not only in knowing more about their purpose in doing what they do, but in writing a book about it.

Books are a step in the process of building a business. And while everyone has a message, and perhaps a book, it’s important to determine what it is that sets your book apart. You can do this by figuring out what sets you apart.

First of all, what is it that you’re doing that no one else is doing?

Look at it this way. The late Hollywood screenwriter director and producer Henry Bromell, who counted Showtime’s acclaimed Homeland among his achievements, used to ask himself five big questions for every scene he wrote or directed:

1. Have we seen this scene before?

2. Is there a conflict?

3. Is there a subtext?

4. Does it go from A to B (have a shape)?

5. Are the language and tone interesting?

These questions helped Bromell to produce compelling film and television. We can apply versions of these questions too, to your book. Let’s look at the first question here:

Have we seen this scene before?

This basically asks: What’s new? And for you, what’s new is this: What’s your big idea? What differentiates your take on this subject from everyone else’s? This is not easy – this might be the hardest thing you do when coming up with your book concept, because you need to be brutally honest with yourself, your concept, your very notion of originality compared to what others are doing.

If you’re book is just like the last five books that came out on this subject previously, and there’s no new conceptual blockbusting that’s going on, well, your audience probably won’t find your book all that compelling. In fact, you probably won’t have an audience… so be upfront with yourself before bringing your idea to the public. Make it new.

In our next post, we’ll continue to look at these components.

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