No doubt you have heard the advice. When writing a book, read books like yours. It is good advice. Beyond the obvious, so you see what books in your genre are like, why else read/study books like yours?
Here are five reasons to read books like yours.
#1 Write a Better Book
The first and most obvious, help you write a book. You want your book to fit into your genre, meet, and exceed reader expectations. You don’t want to write a book that is too similar to what is already on the shelves. You want to write a better book, so know what is out there, what works, and how you can do better. In other words, how can you write better content?
#2 Describe Your Book Better
While reading other books, you can compare what is similar and contrast what is different. So when someone says, what’s your book about…not only can you answer that question, you can describe what is unique or special about your book. This is going to come back later when you need to promote your book and people start asking…why your book? Why review your book? Why buy your book? Why help you promote your book?
#3 Find Categories
Books live on shelves, whether in a physical store or on an imaginary shelf in an online store. If you can align your book well by choosing the right categories, it will sit next to the best similar books. Readers will browse those shelves and whether they are looking for your book or not, they might find it. This is true for online stores too. We often see a section called, ‘People who bought this book, also bought.’ This is based on sales, categories, and keywords so getting those right will help position your book well.
#4 Find Keywords
If you find out what common keywords people search for when looking for a book like yours, your book will be more easily discovered. Finding books in the same category and then figuring out the keywords, or better stated key phrases, helps your book get into the hands of the right readers.
#5 Write better promotion materials
Popular books in your genre likely have better covers, front and back, than other books. Look at the books that are doing well. Study the covers and the descriptions on the backs of these books. Take the good ideas and let them help you write your promo materials. Ask yourself what information is there that might help people not just pick up your book but buy it too!
Bonus: Build a Better Author Platform
While you are reading the books, check out the author’s website, social media, and any promotional strategies they used do get their book found. You can learn a lot by studying the work of those who came before you and learning from their successes and their mistakes!
That’s five reasons plus a bonus. Knowing your genre, understanding the right categories, and finding the key phrases that readers use to find books like yours will help your book land in the hands of readers.
– Keep writing and promoting.
Author Nation is your go-to resource for becoming a successful nonfiction author, from planning to promotion and everything in between. Download the resource for the stage you are in.