One of biggest marketing mistakes we non-fiction authors can make is to confuse the benefits and features that a reader will get if they buy our book. And, at first glance, it might seem a little difficult to understand the differences – especially if you are writing a book for the first time. And, if you the author don’t understand how to explain the benefits and features of your own book, the reader/buyer will certainly be confused – which means that they won’t buy your book. So, here is a quick explanation to help you understand the basic differences between a book’s benefits, and a book’s features.
What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn how to quickly define your book’s benefits.
2. You will learn how to quickly define your book’s features.
3. You will learn how and why benefits and features work together to help you sell more books.
Why You Must Understand the Differences
One of biggest marketing mistakes we non-fiction authors can make is to confuse the benefits and features that a reader will get if they buy our book. At first glance, it might seem a little difficult to understand the differences – especially if you’re writing a book for the first time. And, unfortunately, if you the author don’t understand how to explain the benefits and features of your own book, the reader/buyer will certainly be confused – which means that they won’t buy your book.
So, here is a quick explanation to help you understand the basic differences between a book’s benefits, and a book’s features.
A. What Is a Benefit?
Benefits are what the readers will get out of reading your non-fiction book – the end result from reading your book. Think in terms of a product (your book), that produces helpful results that promotes a person’s (the reader’s) well-being. Your book’s benefits are the value that the readers will receive by applying your advice to their own problem.
Your book MUST convey your information and advice in such a way that the reader can realistically apply it to their own situation and problems. If they can do this, they will view your book as a very great value. The price they paid for your book, and the time they invested into it, will then be viewed as irrelevant – as long as they benefited from reading it.
Some common examples of a non-fiction book’s benefits:
1. They will learn specific steps to solve a problem that they want to fix (the main reason that they bought your book in the first place)
2. They will learn how you, the author, fixed your own problems
3. They will learn how other people with the same problem fixed it and improved their own life, career, relationships, and business, etc.
4. Spend less time on problem solving, and more time on making money
5. Learn how to lose 30 pounds in 30 days
6. Learn how to get 5 more clients in the next 30 days
7. Learn how to turn your hobby into a profitable business
8. How to fix your failing business, marriage, partnership, career, etc.
9. How to start a new business
10. How to help a family member that has Alzheimer’s disease
Obviously, this list is endless, but you get the idea, and can now easily define what your book’s benefits are – or should be.
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B. What Is a Feature?
Features are the things that your non-fiction book has in it – the attributes, design, and appearance of your book. Think in terms of a product’s (your book) structure and appearance, that a reader (buyer) can look at and compare to other books.
Your book’s features can, and should, if developed properly, give you a competitive advantage over other books covering the same subject matter. They can help differentiate your book from the others. A book’s features can go a long way to helping a book-buyer choose your book over all the others.
Some common examples of a non-fiction book’s features:
3. Annotated bibliography
4. Large print
5. A famous person wrote the foreword
6. Lots of graphs and graphics
8. Real-world examples
Obviously, this list is also endless, but you get the idea, and can now easily define what your book’s features are – or should be.
Benefits and Features Work Together to Help You Sell More Books
In order to create a great book, that truly helps readers fix their own problems, you MUST understand that a book’s benefits and features work together, hand-in-hand. If your book’s features are well thought out, and well presented, they will do their job and help your readers reap the benefits that you are trying to help them achieve.
This is – and should be – the main reason that you wrote your book in the first place. If it’s not, you and your book will not help anyone – and your long-term sales will suffer. And, just as a reminder, book sales that go on and on and on, for the long-term, is what it’s all about for successful self-publishing.
Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. What is the main benefit you are trying help your readers achieve from reading your book?
2. Can you list a few of the main features of your book, and how they will help and support your books main benefit, so that your readers can solve their problem and personally benefit from reading your book?
Let me know in the comments section below.
— Brant Forseng (@BrantForseng) August 14, 2019
— Candace Johnson (@ChangeItUpEdit) July 28, 2019
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