More on Standing Up to the Competition: The Complete Package

You as a writer can draw in your readers by demonstrating that you have given your book the thought, time, and care it deserves. When readers see that you respect your own work, they are more likely to return the feeling.

Indeed, this thoughtfulness shows you respect your readers, and that can go miles in building the trust needed to win over a reader.

One way you can demonstrate this respect is by putting forth a complete package. By that I mean you have not simply written the bare bones of a book. You have put meat on those bones through front matter, back matter, multiple formats, and more.

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Copyright Gary Woodard | Dreamstime.com

How It Works

Building a complete package for a nonfiction book begins with crafting a solid preface and introduction. These are what is known as front matter, and they set the tone for the book. They also serve as important marketing copy.

Back matter includes reference sections, resource list, and appendixes. These can establish your reputation as a thorough and careful researcher.

In the case of memoir, the goal for these pieces may be to share a deeper understanding of the context of your story.

Other elements that enhance a nonfiction book include:

  • Photos or illustrations
  • Maps
  • Charts and graphs
  • Sidebars that present case studies, tips, or further information

Nonfiction books also benefit from well-developed ancillary materials—workbooks, videos, websites, and so on—as appropriate for the book. All of these pieces together allow your reader to get inside the topic you are writing about and learn more.

Fiction requires a different approach to the idea of a complete package. Nevertheless, you have likely experienced the novel that implemented this concept to its fullest. For example, a complete fiction package may include:

  • A note to the reader
  • A note to parents
  • A call to action
  • A glossary of terms
  • Maps and illustrations

Audiobooks, videos, and other ancillaries also appeal to readers and encourage them to buy your book as well as these additional materials.

Did the video cause the consumer to buy the book, or did they watch the video because they had read the book?

In either case, you are building a relationship with that reader that can lead to further sales and readership.

As you plan your book, you must study the competition and think through your reader’s needs and desires. When you create a complete package around your book, you have, to the best of your ability, filled those needs and desires.

 

PerfectBound front cover 2019 9-6 low-res

 

 

Like this blog? Find more insights and advice in the Updated and Revised Edition of Perfect Bound: How to Navigate the Book Publishing Process Like a Pro, winner of two Book of the Year awards, now available on Amazon!

 

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