How to be a successful author is a difficult question to answer. Each writer has a message that she or he wants to communicate to readers. He or she must find his or her own unique approach to sharing ideas, stories, and information with readers in a manner that captures and holds attention. This is sometimes referred to as the author’s voice and means nothing more than your style of writing. This is what separates the best-selling authors and writers from the wannabees.
If you are writing fiction, think of books you have read in the past that have captivated your attention; the ones that kept you hanging on every word. Those are ones that you were willing to stay up all night and miss meals for, or otherwise not want to put the book down so that you could get to the next page to find out what happens. What made those books different from others you had read that could not pull you in like that? Try to capture the same essence in your own writing style. Additionally, when you are creating characters for a non-fiction work, they need to be new, interesting, memorable, and “speak” to readers rather than being copies of those found in other written material or media.
Should you prefer to write non-fiction, decide what you will provide to readers in the form of information. Focus on a format that will make it meaningful and valuable to readers. Words are not enough. You must also consider other aspects that will hold attention while adding to the theme of the topic. This might include elements such as:
- Subject-related cartoons.
- Sidebars of information (e.g. bulleted lists, resources, or other complimentary information).
- Photos that relate to the written words.
- Graphs or other visual content that help people picture what you are explaining in the words.
- Visual aspects can aid comprehension for many people who tend to best assimilate information by picturing it in their mind. Just do not go overboard with images and graphics that might detract from your written message. This is true in your books and in your marketing materials.
Just remember that anything you use should have a purpose and point directly to your overall message.