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Writing to Various Readers

Your ideal reader doesn’t really exist.

A lot of writers think of their so-called ideal reader when putting their book together – perhaps it’s their first reader, their spouse, their old teacher, their best friend – thinking that if they keep this person in mind while writing, they will be at their most relaxed.

That’s a good strategy. But readers, especially readers of business books – and if you’re reading this blog you’re probably an entrepreneur looking to capitalize on his or her expertise by writing a book to expand your business – aren’t necessarily that ideal reader.

Readers of nonfiction, and readers of books that outline a system or process that will make business better or life easier, are not one-size-fits all.

You have your reader who wants lists of your pertinent points.

You have your reader who wants detailed explanations of your process.

You have your reader who only looks at sidebars that give a précis of what you’ve explained in more detail elsewhere

You have your reader who will skim.

You have your reader who will take time to read everything.

You have readers who want both a list and an explanation.

You see? You have a variety of readers.

So what you do is write to that variety. You write the same way you’ve been writing – perhaps to that ideal reader – but you also write to your “non-ideal” reader, someone who might not have your personality type but whose business you want anyway.

So if you’re describing your process include a list that a certain type of reader can scan quickly to get the point of. If you’re including a list of the relevant points in your process, make sure you also have a list that also details the process. And make sure you’ve described your process thoroughly in a way that shows another kind of reader just how this will help him or her beat the competition.

This holds even if your book has a narrow focus. Even within your niche you’ll find you have different readers of different personality types, and you need to appeal to each. It’s simply a matter of organizing your material so that you present it in different ways.

Readers won’t be annoyed by the repetition of stuff: those who want it will like it in the format that appeals to them. Those who don’t will skip it.

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