Guest Blog: Sarah Bolme, Prepare to Publish Conference Speaker

Sarah Bolme is the Director of Christian Indie Publishers Association. Through this organization Sarah provides assistance to small publishers and independently published authors marketing books to the Christian marketplace. Sarah is also the author of the award-winning book Your Guide to Marketing Books in the Christian Marketplace. The fourth edition will be released in February 2019.Have

 

 

You Found Your Unique Voice?

Elvis Presley has long been known as the “King of Rock and Roll”. His legend lives on, and other singers make money by impersonating him. One impersonator, Shawn Klush, was crowned the “World’s Greatest Elvis” in the 2007 BBC competition show World’s Greatest Elvis.

Shawn may be known as the World’s Greatest Elvis, yet, he is not Elvis, nor will he ever be. True Elvis fans can tell the difference between a song sung by Elvis and a song sung by an impersonator.

Many Elvis impersonators believe that they can find better success in pretending to be the King of Rock and Roll than just being themselves. Sometimes newer writers and authors operate out of this same premise.

Whether you are a singer or a writer, you must find your unique voice. For writers, finding your voice means cultivating your own unique view and style of writing.

Sometimes newer writers try to copy a more successful author’s style. This rarely works. Readers can tell when an author is not being authentic or is trying too hard. Your best writing comes from your own voice.

To help you find your unique writing voice, ask yourself these three questions.

1. What is God Calling Me to Write?

If you are a Christ follower, then God has gifted you with a unique call for His Kingdom. If writing is part of that call, then He has given you a special message that only you can deliver. He is calling you to write because there is a select group of people who need to hear this message from your perspective.

Don’t write something because it is trendy. Don’t write something because other people suggest the topic. Write what you believe God wants you to write. Your unique voice will flow when you follow God’s prompting and write the message that he has laid on your heart to share.

2. Who is My Target Audience?

Ask yourself: To whom am I writing? Your target audience is the group of people to whom you are writing. You have a unique message that is for a select group of people. These are the people who will benefit the most from what you have to say.

“Everyone” is not a target audience. Neither is “all Christians.” A target audience is generally a subset of a larger group. Maybe it’s those Christians who want to start seeing answers to their prayers. Maybe it’s single moms of disabled children who are weary of fighting the parenting battle alone.

Knowing your target audience makes your writing stronger and clearer. When writing, keep your ideal reader in mind. It helps you write so that your target audience hears and connects with what you are communicating.

If you are unsure who the target audience for your book is, ask yourself: Who am I writing to? What is this person’s:

·         gender?
·         age?
·         economic status?
·         relationship status?
·         employment?
·         spiritual level or interest?
·         special interests?

3. What is My Unique Message?

According to King Solomon, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” This includes your storyline or the subject matter of your book.

If there is nothing new under the sun, then the information or story you cover in your book is already available to readers. So why would anyone read what you write?

Readers want to read your book or article for the spin you put on the subject or story line. In other words, they want to read what you write for the unique way you solve a problem or tell a story.

To garner attention in today’s information-rich society, you must tell a unique story. Your book or article is in competition for people’s time and attention. Readers have numerous reading options. You must handle your topic in a manner different from everyone else.

To discover your unique message, ponder these four questions:

·         What deep-seated human need or desire does my book fulfill?
·         What do I offer that other books on my topic don’t?
·         What will readers get from my book that they won’t get from other books on this subject?
·         What differentiates me from other authors writing on this subject?

When you answer these three questions, your writing becomes clearer, stronger, and more authentic. Don’t impersonate, be yourself and write from your heart.

 

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