When was the last time you went into a bookshop?

Why you need to hang out in bookshops if you want to write a book

When was the last time you went into an actual bookshop and just hung out? Picked things up, put them down. Meandered through sections. Stroked covers (ok that one might just be me). 

Because if you have even the smallest inkling of ever, ever wanting to write your own book, then you need to be getting up close and personal with the physical product.

What makes you pick up one book over another?  Is it the cover? The title?  Because you recognise the author name?

Why do you carry on reading? Is is the back cover copy? What makes you dip inside it? What makes you take it to the till and hand over some money? Are you one of those weirdos who stands there and reads the last page? (srsly -what's THAT about?)

If you want someone to buy YOUR book one day, then you need to think like a reader, like a customer. It's not all about you. (Spoiler: It's *never* all about you).

Whilst there is a ton of useful online research you can (and SHOULD) do as part of the process of putting your own book together, there is no substitute for actually picking up physical books and engaging with them in a tactile sense.

What works for you as a reader? How is the copy laid out? Does the structure make sense to you? Are there signposts along the way? Are you being taken by the hand and gently lead through the pages, or are you being booted through the front door, shouted at and then abandoned?

Reading a book is going on a journey. Understand the psychology and the emotion behind why someone buys a book. 

Because what they are actually buying is a promise. This book will make them thin. Or smart. Or able to cook really really good tacos. Or help them leave their job. Or able to get themselves around a small French town without having an argument with their husband about the best place to go for an Aperol Spritz. (as a random example)

What is your book going to promise them and how are you going to deliver on that promise? What's going to make someone walk out of that store with your book?

What's going to turn the idea in your head into a real, physical book?

PS: Please support your local independent book shop! Go buy something this weekend.

Radio JKill: W.O.R.D


Psst: Want to get some help writing a BOOK THAT MEANS BUSINESS? Then download my guide to the 7 steps that will score you some shelf space. 

Jessica Killingley