This is the fifth installment of our serialisation of our upcoming book The Recordalife Guide to Creating Your Memoirs. Every post will be a chapter from this book, which we will make available at the end of the serialisation.
Part 4 was Questions To Ask Yourself When Writing Your Autobiography
How to Resonate with Readers
Most people are actually brighter and cleverer than they are given credit for. This is why in order to resonate with readers you must first thoroughly understand who they are and what they’re looking for in order to make changes and improvements in their life.
You must present people with a very powerful reason or reasons for wanting to read, or indeed purchase, your autobiography. Of course this may be far easier if you are a celebrity or some type of respected entrepreneur or other professional that can impart excellent advice that can help people. If you’re not, don’t worry!
This is because there are always things that people want to know and once you understand this, you can actually build your autobiography in such a way as to resonate with readers.
In order for you to resonate with your readers is absolutely critical that you understand as much as you can about them. This means you may have to actually build a “market” around the right kind of people first before you actually attempt to write your autobiography. This can be just family and friends for your private autobiography, or the general public or interest groups if you want to publish your book publicly.
While this seems counterintuitive, you are actually “reverse engineering” people’s likes and desires and then plugging in your autobiography and information in a way that will get these people excited about what it is you have to teach them. Keep in mind that you must follow certain ethical codes when you write because people have a way of seeing through lies and BS:
- Your words should be clear, unambiguous and truthful.
- You may be the subject but it is about the reader, not you.
- Be unique by telling your story in an interesting way.
- Teach and inform something that few people can do.
For example, Steve has been metal detecting for years and collected some very rare objects. People want to read Steve’s memoirs to learn how he did it. So Steve should write a book with that focus and how his life led him to be one of the best metal detectors in the world.
Steve could then compile his memoirs, give examples, pictures and even video along with his written words that teach and instruct people how to effectively metal detect for profit and fun. Steve already knows that there are a large number of people that want to become involved in metal detecting, especially looking for minerals such as gold.
This “market” is constantly looking for new advice, tips, tricks and strategies for making money with a metal detector. With this knowledge, Steve could send out surveys asking people exactly the kind of information that they want to learn and then combine his life story with each of these points in such a way as to deliver this information.
Resonating with readers is actually just that simple.
“Surveys” are your best bet because you can ask all kinds of personal questions. People love to give up information to surveys because they believe they are impacting the final product that you will produce. Those “surveys” may be just asking friends and family what in particular they want to find about you or your family history – maybe about your ancestors or a particular part of your history that they know little about. Similarly, if you wish to write about your life as a metal detectorist (a niche, we admit!) then asking the hobby community is a good way to research and find out what people would like to know.
This is actually a good way to build your view on your requirements and you should utilise constructive criticism as well as your surveys to build a marketing profile of the typical person and what they are looking to learn from you.
At Recordalife, when it comes to the personal histories and private biographies we create, we have developed many questions and our interview system from understanding what family members want to hear and read, and on the positive feedback and further suggestions we have received.
Now you can easily resonate with readers because you know the kind of information they want to have. Now plug in the answers they want and use this to create, and potential sell, your books.
In Part 6 we will look at writing style and recording a compelling story.
In the meantime, we love chatting with people about their lives, so if you have any questions or need advice, please do Contact Us for a friendly chat.
You can also see a sample Life Story chapter by clicking on the link below, to get a good idea of how your memoirs may look in a professionally-designed, edited and printed book.
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