Benefits Vs. Features: A Crucial Key to Selling More Books

Synopsis
One of the 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 challenging to understand the differences – especially if you’re writing a book for the first time. So, here is a quick explanation to help you understand the fundamental differences between a book’s benefits and a book’s features.

The Professor Can Help You Sell More Books!

What You Will Learn In This Post
1. You will learn how to define your book’s benefits quickly.
2. You will learn how to define your book’s features quickly.
3. You will learn how and why benefits and features work together to help you sell more books.

Introduction
Why You Must Understand the Differences
One of the 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 challenging to understand the differences – especially if you’re 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 undoubtedly be confused – which means that they won’t buy your book. So, here is a quick explanation to help you understand the fundamental differences between a book’s benefits and a book’s features.

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to my blog post from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #106

Thank you to Joel Friedlander of TheBookDesigner.com for linking to my blog post from his blog Carnival Of The Indies #106

So, here is a quick explanation to help you understand the fundamental differences between a book’s benefits and a book’s features.

A. What Are Benefits?
Benefits are what the readers will get out of reading your non-fiction book. In other words, the end results from reading your book. Think about a product (your book) that produces beneficial results that promote 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 problems.

“Your non-fiction book MUST convey your information and advice in such a way that the reader can realistically apply it to their own situation and problems.” (Tweet)

Your book MUST convey your information and advice so that the reader can apply it to their situation and problems. If they can do this, they will view your book as a very significant value. The MONEY they paid for your book, and the TIME they invested into your book, will then be considered well spent – but only if 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 lives, careers, relationships, 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 five 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 could go on forever. But you get the idea. And now you can easily define what your book’s benefits are – or should be.

Benefits Vs Features A Crucial Key To Selling More Books Infographic

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B. What Are Features?
Features are the things that your non-fiction book has in it. In other words, your book’s attributes, design, and appearance. 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 non-fiction book’s features can, and should, if developed properly, give you a competitive advantage over other books covering the same subject matter.” (Tweet)

Your book’s features can go a long way to helping a book-buyer choose your book over all the others. Your book’s features can and should, if appropriately developed, give you a competitive advantage over other books covering the same subject matter. They can help differentiate your book from the others.

Some common examples of a non-fiction book’s features:
1. Interviews
2. Checklists
3. Annotated bibliography
4. Large print
5. A famous person wrote the foreword
6. Lots of graphs and graphics
7. Questionnaires
8. Real-world examples
9. Charts
10. Images

Obviously, this list could go on forever. But you get the idea. And now you can easily define what your book’s features are – or should be.

Conclusion
Benefits and Features Work Together to Help You Sell More Books
To create an excellent book that genuinely helps readers fix their 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 you are trying to help them achieve.

Helping the reader 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. As a reminder, book sales that go on and on and on, for the long-term, are what it’s all about for successful self-publishing. (See: Understanding the Long Tail Strategy)

Questions For Us To Think About And Discuss
1. What is the main benefit you are trying to 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 book’s main benefit so that your readers can solve their problems and personally benefit from reading your book?

This article also appears in Joel Friedlander’s online publication Carnival of the Indies – Issue #106

Thank you for reading this. I hope you found it helpful. Please share it.

Hashtags: #selfpublishing #bookmarketing

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About Joseph C. Kunz, Jr.

I am a husband, father of twins, grandfather, and co-founder of a medical training and publishing company near New York City. With this website, I hope to encourage others who have a passion for a subject and a desire to help others - to also self-publish to achieve their own personal, financial, and creative goals.
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