Nobody Cares What Your Book Is About

The number of books published every year now tops one million, but the uniqueness of being an author still fascinates people. Authors have (or at least should have) developed an expertise in their subject area in order to write about it. Whether you are already published or just starting on your manuscript (#1 Tool For First Time Authors), you have been asked the question, “What’s your book about?” It is a simple question, but if you answer it without thinking it through your book sales will die before they even get started. In fact, you should almost NEVER answer that question.
When someone asks “So, what’s that book about?”, what do they really want to know? Rob Eager, author of

, puts it this way: “That’s not really the question they’re asking you. Actually they are wondering, ‘What’s in it for me if I buy your book? Is it in my best interest to read what you’ve written?” In other words, if someone asks what your book is about, they really want to know why they should read it. Below are a few tips on making sure you answer in the right way.

1. Always talk about the benefits the reader will receive, never the features of the book. Saying “I will help you reduce your debt and have more spending money” is much better than saying “This book has a list of 7 ways to reduce debt on a budget.”

2. Emotion works. Work on making your value statements about the book emotional rather than logical.

3. Use the word “because”. For more on the power of because, see this post.

4. Be specific. Don’t use common phrases or general language to explain the benefits the reader will get from you book. Be specific.

5. Avoid religious jargon. Don’t use religious jargon when telling someone about your book. If your potential reader is not already in the church world, you don’t want to explain each word. The same goes for scientific jargon, business mumbo-jumbo, and the like. Make it easy, make it simple.

6. Use your answers. Put the answer to this question on your book cover, on your website, in your newsletter, and on any advertisements you use. You may get asked this question many times, but you won’t always be around to answer it.

Pick up a copy of

. It has some of the best marketing and publicity advice for authors that I have read, and it focuses on the right things. How do you answer that question about your book? Post your own answers to the question “What’s you book about?” in the comments below?