So What?

I have been working on a book proposal and everyone has been giving me the same feedback: “That is really interesting, but why does it matter?”

Getting that feedback is tough. The cause is what the Heath Brothers refer to as “The Curse of Knowledge”. This is when you write or explain something and don’t even realize how little those listening know about the subject. You think they have been with you the whole time as you have been researching the awesome idea. This causes the terminology to be too complicated and you leave out important steps that others need to understand what you are so excited about.

Good business books can always answer three questions:

  • What?
  • So What?
  • Now What?

If you are reading a book, the first two questions should be answered before you leave the introduction. If those answers are missing, proceed cautiously and don’t be afraid to walk away from the book.

And, the Now What? is the reason you are willing to spend $20 on the book. The book needs a solution to the pressing problem the author has presented. Without the solution, the best the book can offer is interesting and while that might be fine for a magazine article, it is not enough for a book.

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