Exercise: Personal Guarantee Mad Libs

Try finishing one of these sentences:

  • “In every book, I offer _____________.”
  • “My writing stands out because of _____________.”
  • “My work always makes my readers _____________.”
  • “I can promise that every one of my books _____________.”
  • “My readers love my books because _____________.”  

Here are a few more things to consider:

If you’ve got work out in the market, describe the emotional rides reported to you by people who’ve read your work.

  • List three unique, positive qualities that reviewers or fans mention consistently about your writing.
  • Write a one sentence advertisement that distills your authorial voice/style and sells it to a nonreader.

Now that you’ve articulated some parameters, you’re going to draft a quickie personal guarantee that nails the singular appeal of your work. Trust your instincts and answer with an eye to clarity and practical steps.

I am the only ___(name your niche)___ author who ___(name a unique talent/skill you possess)___. I write for _________ (describe your ideal reader segment)________ who admire and acquire books that show _________(unique strength of your work)________ and offer them _________(characteristic emotional experience)________ which is why _________(give supporting evidence/examples from comments, reviews, awards)________. Unlike _________(list 2-3 similar book/author options)________ my work appeals to my readers because it _________(how it pleases your distinct audience)________ and improves my genre by _________(how it develops/expands your genre)________.

Emphasize emotional appeal of your work, and make liberal use of active verbs that describe the effect on any potential reader. As always when defining your brand, avoid clichés, negatives, and vague or complicated language. Keep your personal guarantee simple, punchy, and precise.

© 2016 Damon Suede & Heidi Cullinan, All Rights Reserved

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