My husband and I had been going to our favorite sandwich shop for several years. We had even recommended it to our friends.
You can imagine our disappointment at our last visit when there was hardly any meat on our sandwiches.
I went up to the counter to talk with the manager, knowing that there had been some mistake. He said, in fact, that the sandwich had been made correctly. He had been faced with a tough decision: put less product on the sandwich, or raise the price.
He had opted for the “skinnier” sandwich, so we went away hungry…angry…feeling cheated. We haven’t been back since.
When your customers read your books, you don’t want them to feel disgruntled. You want them to feel like they got their money’s worth—a generous helping of meat in that story sandwiched between the front and back covers.
That doesn’t mean that the book has to have a spine of a certain thickness, but the content has to be satisfying.
So, how do we achieve this? There are several ways (and if you think of more, please share them).
First of all, create characters which seem real and with whom readers can identify in some way. Write them in such a way that the readers become invested in their story and cheer for them to succeed.
Secondly, deliver a main character who struggles—and then succeeds—in reaching his goal.
Thirdly, take readers on an emotional journey.
Give them a satisfying “ride.” Depending on the genre you write in, deliver to the reader what he is expecting.
Sci Fi or Horror readers want thrills, goosebumps, heart throbbing action, even fear.
Those who read Christian devotionals expect comfort, peace, or uplifting content.
A humorous book should give readers a good laugh, while non-fiction should supply information.
It is important that we make each book we write fresh and unique in its own way, while still meeting the expectations of our readership.
Don’t leave them feeling cheated.
Give them the meat!
Then, give them a surprise…more than they thought possible. Exceed their expectations.
Throw in some free fries!