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The Secret of Book Structure: Writing a Book That Gets Results

Picking a book structure is one of the most important tasks in crafting your book—a task that should come before pen ever hits paper. Your book’s structure will determine how effectively the book achieves your intended goals, whether that’s establishing authority, securing clients, building an audience, or cementing paid speaking opportunities.

So what’s the secret to picking the perfect book structure? As with most of life’s greatest challenges, start with the beginning in mind. Let’s dive in.

Your Outcome Determines Your Book Structure

Here at Difference Press, there are three main types of books that we see work time and time again.

The first is what we call a lead generation book, or a list building book.

The second type is called a platform speaking book.

And the third is a client conversion book.

Before you can effectively determine your structure, you must get crystal clear on the concrete outcomes you wish to achieve.

Are you looking to establish an audience in a new business area? Then a list-building structure should take priority. Hoping to secure high-value speaking gigs instead? Consider a platform-elevating book structure showcasing thought leadership. Or maybe you already have a successful program and simply want to convert more qualified leads into paying clients.

Let your current business goals point you towards the appropriate conversion-centric structure. Regardless of specific aims, defining target outcomes first can help you decide on the best book outline format later. Clarity of purpose comes before outlining structure or content.

Now, let’s dive into each type of book and their corresponding structures.

List Building Books

When it comes to book structure, list building books have a very specific purpose – to grow your lists (whether email, social media, or another list) by capturing leads. The goal is to get readers to opt-in to receive more content from you, ultimately turning them into loyal followers.

So how exactly should you structure a book focused on list building? First, identify the core “hook” that will convince readers to hand over their email address. This is typically something that enhances the book, like a free video series, workbook, shopping lists etc. Successful list building book structure seamlessly incorporates this lead magnet while providing immense standalone value as well.

For example, Gallup’s iconic book, StrengthsFinder, featured a scratch-off code to take the fascinating personality assessment. The assessment results were essential to fully benefiting from the book’s guidance on leveraging personality strengths in different areas of life. This brilliant book structure instantly convinced readers to join the email list to access to this exclusive content upgrade.

When structuring your own list building focused book, consider adding a lead magnet like a quiz, videos series, worksheets, or templates that readers must provide their email address to gain access. Then, structure your book content around this, explaining the value of your opt-in offer early on and referencing it frequently so it feels core to the reader experience.

It also helps to include calls-to-action at logical breaks in content, prompting the reader to access your freebie. If crafted effectively, over 50% of readers should voluntarily join your email list thanks to smart list building book structure – far higher than average conversion rates. So leverage strategic book structure design to grow your audience fast.

Platform Speaking Books

When it comes to book structure, platform speaking books have a very specific purpose – to establish you as an authority and boost your visibility as a public speaker. So how do you structure content to specifically elevate your speaking platform?

First, platform speaking book structure centers around one key, captivating idea that sparks curiosity. This central theme should be woven throughout connected stories and examples that reinforce why audiences should hear you expand on this idea in-person.

For example, Malcolm Gladwell’s books dive deep into singular fascinations like rapid decision-making or underdog triumph. The book structure relies on engaging anecdotes to showcase that main message from different angles, building intrigue that makes readers eagerly await Gladwell’s next talk.

Successful platform speaking book structure requires planning content around 5-15 lessons on your core idea, illuminating it through vivid storytelling. Stories should surprise readers while supporting core concepts, ideally leaving them yearning to learn firsthand how you crafted such a compelling narrative arc. This emotional component is key for book structure aimed at securing speaking gigs.

To accomplish this, identify stories that relate different applications of your central theme, while embedding opportunities to convey your unique viewpoint within the telling. Think which live speaking elements like humor or personal connections will be most compelling to audiences based on sample anecdotes, then intentionally structure those signature elements into your book’s content flow.

Client Conversion Books

When it comes to book structure, client conversion books have a laser focus on guiding readers to become paying clients. The key hallmarks of successful conversion-centric structure include establishing your expertise, building trust, and clearly outlining the transformation consumers can expect by hiring you.

One of the most brilliant examples is Brooke Castillo’s weight loss book If I’m So Smart, Why Can’t I Lose Weight? She utilizes book structure to methodically detail every step of her coaching program, equipping readers with eating tools, exercise tools, emotional tools and more. This serves the dual purpose of showcasing the quality of her offering while also making it incredibly easy for motivated readers to follow.

However, Brooke’s book structure also anticipates the sticking points clients inevitably reach on their journey. By highlighting common pitfalls within the content flow, she primes readers to recognize when they need the more customized support only her coaching can provide. The book structure establishes immense value upfront while guiding consumers to the necessity of her premium program as the next logical step.

When structuring a client conversion focused book yourself, aim to teach a complete, replicable framework that grants readers immense tangible value independent of hiring you. Sprinkle in stories that humanize these structural components for increased relatability. Most importantly, address common frustrations or areas readers may need additional support, easing their pathway into your paid offerings when they seek to maximize outcomes.

Key Takeaways

When embarking on your book writing journey, one of the most important early decisions is getting book structure right. Why does intentional structure matter so much? Because this directly impacts your ability to achieve desired outcomes from all the effort poured into page creation.

The key is matching defined book structure to concrete goals you wish your content to produce, whether those are list growth, expanded speaking platforms, or increased client conversions. Without clarity around ideal outcomes, book structure risks becoming ineffective or disjointed.

For example, list building book structure hinges on seamlessly integrating opt-in incentives and calls-to-action at logical intervals within content flow. The structure motivates readers to voluntarily offer their email address in exchange for delivering added value.

Meanwhile, platform speaking book structure relies on impactful narrative components to spotlight your unique voice and gift for storytelling. The goal is making audiences hungry to learn more from you in person.

And client conversion focused structure grants a replicable inside look at your offering, building expertise and trust through teaching while subtly directing those needing extra support to hire you as the next step.

In each case, intentional structure caters to the specified aims. So before outlining any book, clearly define the concrete results you are working towards. Then creatively craft book structure emphasizing elements that directly lead readers to desired outcomes.

Let your ambitions guide structural decisions from the very first words typed, keeping end targets at the forefront to maximize your book’s effectiveness at producing real impact. Conscious book structure alignment sets you up for writing success.

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