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  • Laura Schaefer

Your Book is NOT for Everyone

I was wrong yesterday.


Okay, not WRONG wrong. Just incomplete in my teaching.


Here is what I wrote:


Books succeed beyond the author's first-level connections when they offer something new:


1. An argument no one has ever heard before

2. A style that's so unusual it gets people talking

3. A voice that no one has previously met

4. A level of personal sharing that is rare


How will *you* stand out? What about you or your message is unique?


You don't have to know in an instant, but it is worth mulling over ahead of writing.


Here are two examples of what I am talking about:


Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton stood out because no one had read a book narrated by a sassy Cheetos-loving crow before. Yes, you read that correctly. A crow as in a bird.


You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero stood out because no one had ever really brought punk-rock humor to self-help books before. Jen's voice and rakish personal perspective is so funny and cool.


What makes you weird? What makes you different?


Let's celebrate it and write from that place.



This LinkedIn post was about being unique with your book...owning your unusual perspective, style, or voice to stand apart from the crowd.


That's a great thing to do.


But there is danger in this notion and I'm going to address it right now.


Don't use this idea against yourself by saying something like, "But my ideas aren't new!"


Or, "I'm not that unique!"


Record scratch.


It's *not helpful* to put on the brakes because you think your material or personal story isn't fresh or unusual enough.


There are many ways to write a great book. But they all start with honesty. Leave the resistance behind and just talk your story through. Let it out to breathe. One of the things I provide when we partner as collaborators is my belief that your book matters.


I also bring a looseness and diligence to the table. It's a paradox: calmness and flexibility borne of experience paired with a stick-to-it attitude shaped by the exact same thing.


I like to think I have the enthusiasm of a very young and bouncy soul alongside the tactics and gravity of an extremely old one.



I know the way forward when it comes to big projects. I know it's a mixture of magical inspiration and just plain old-fashioned effort.


I know you will break through the noise by connecting with a specific reader.


Yourself.


Teach what YOU needed to know.


Explain your own internal shifts and transformations. Tell us how you did it. Tell us how you had to change and what that felt like. Tell us when it got hard. When it hurt the most. How you grew.


There is someone *just like you* who is out there right now, waiting to learn how you made it possible. How you changed the world, if only for your own sake. How you created something that mattered.


Your book is NOT for everyone.


It's for you.




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