How to Write a Book: Who Is Your Ideal Reader?

How to Write a Book: Who Is Your Ideal Reader?

(This article was originally posted to the National Association of Baby Boomer Women, to which I am a Contributing Associate.

Proud Associate of NABBW - National Association of Baby Boomer Women

As an author mentor, I attract poetry and fiction authors as well as nonfiction authors. Truly, any author needs to think like an entrepreneur and develop an entrepreneur mindset, because there is more to writing the book than simply writing and publishing.

The big question of how to write a book is bigger than writing!

One of the biggest stumbling blocks that causes my students to fall and skin their knees is getting to know your ideal reader.

Who is your ideal reader?

Knowing your audience is key. Here are just a few questions to get you thinking. These work no matter what you write (fiction, poetry, nonfiction):

  • Who is my ideal reader?
  • Where does she live (not only city VS rural, but what kind of dwelling, with whom)?
  • What are her hopes and fears?
  • Where does she hang out?
  • What motivates her?
  • What does she crave?

I started my own journey as a fiction writer. Creating a character sketch is something I brought into my entrepreneurial world from fiction writing. I'm really a fantasy author at heart!

Character Sketch

Doing a character sketch for your ideal reader is the same ideas as crafting one for a character in a novel or story. Simply a different application.

Here is how well cozy mystery novelist Susan Santangelo knows her audience: These quotes are all from an article she wrote for a blog tour, posted on the National Association of Baby Boomer Women blog. See the original article source.

The subtitle for all the book titles is: “Every Wife Has A Story.”

I write about situations that thousands of Boomers, especially women, identify with.

At least, that’s what my readers tell me.

Many women have contacted me to say that I’m writing their lives, and wonder when I’ve met their husband. Hmm. Gotta think about that one.

She clearly writes directly to the understanding of that perfect reader, a boomer wife.


Susan writes a Baby Boomer mystery series, which thus far has these books:

Another important aspect of Susan's ideal reader is she is a dog lover. She knows this and incorporates it into the series. Here is what Susan says about her dog:

You’ll see my muse and partner in crime, Boomer (get it?), my three-year-old very spoiled English cocker spaniel, who’s the cover model for the books.

In the series, Carol and Jim Andrews have two English cocker spaniels, Lucy and Ethel. Boomer doesn’t like posing as girls, but he works cheap. A few dog biscuits and he’s a happy guy.


If you are a boomer man or a college student, these books may not be as appealing to you, and that's fine. They're written for boomers.

Hanging out with your ideal audience can inspire! Here's how Susan found her latest book idea:

I recently attended my high school reunion. Had a great time. And as I looked around at my classmates, I wondered what secrets they were all hiding. And if any of those secrets could lead to…murder.

And I decided to write the next book in my series about a high school reunion. None of the book’s characters are based on anyone in my class. Honestly.

* * *

Oh sure…right! (wink)

True confession from Ronda: While I don't duplicate real people, I have to admit that some people who have annoyed me have lived up to a saying on a shirt I own:

“Careful or you'll be a villain in my next story!”

But I digress.

When you get it right, you will receive comments like the ones Susan says she gets so often: “Many women have contacted me to say that I’m writing their lives, and wonder when I’ve met their husband.”

More Help Knowing Your Ideal Reader

Need more help understanding your ideal reader?

The free 30 Day Awakened Author Challenge is a complete course on how to write a book, publish it, and sell at least one copy.

You'll also get help on researching and understanding your ideal reader (Module 5 and 6).

Being an author is more than writing. It's the way for you to follow your BLISS.

Awakened Author Challenge BLISS Butterfly

Develop your own BLISS Butterfly when you join the FREE Awakened Author Challenge,and let your dreams take wing!

FREE 30 Day Awakened Author Challenge Membership Card

Join free NOW at

Will YOU be the next boomer to follow your BLISS? I sure hope so!

Follow your BLISS,

Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady -Entrepreneurial Authoring Associate

#1 bestselling nonfiction and fantasy author * Celebrity Author Mentor * Transformational Speaker

Creator of the BLISS Butterfly and the 30 Day Awakened Author Challenge


How to Write a Book: Do Your Chapter Titles Sizzle or Stink?

How to Write a Book: Do Your Chapter Titles Sizzle or Stink?

by Ronda Del Boccio

When someone is one of my mentoring students, I ask to look through their book before they publish. I'm looking  for things like:

  • book title
  • book subtitle
  • cover
  • back cover material
  • endorsements and testimonials
  • stories
  • book structure
  • optin
  • call to action

My observation is that the chapter titles are the orphan children of the book. The author gets caught up in the content of the book, but forgets that before a potential buyer reads a word, she's likely to first read the table of contents.

I remember helping my friend and student Lasse Rouhiainen with his first book, Smart Social Media. He said, “I never thought much about the chapter titles until you pointed them out to me.” Most of his did their job well, but I helped him add some hot sauce to a few.

It's ok to have boring chapter titles ONLY to keep them as placeholders. Go back and spice them up before you publish.

Copywriters often spend a large amount of time on headlines and subheads, which are their equivalent of the book title and chapter titles.

Model your own chapter titles after successful books. The 4–Hour Workweek is one excellent example. Here is an image showing some of the chapter titles from the book:

Three Things NOT to Do when Crafting Chapter Titles

Here's some helpful guidance about chapter titles from another article.

How to Write a Book: Writing Chapter Titles that Turn Browsers into Buyers

by Ronda Del Boccio, NABBW's Entrepreneurial Authoring Expert

One of the most neglected considerations for how to write a book is the chapter titles. Yet perusing chapter titles is a critical step a book browser makes when deciding whether or not to buy a book.

If the front and back cover (or cover and book description online) make the browser look inside the book, guess what they’ll see first?

That’s right, the chapter titles!

So here are 3 things NOT TO DO as you write your chapter titles.

  1. DO NOT overlook the importance of the chapter titles. A potential buyer takes 4 steps before making their decision: front cover, back cover, chapter titles, and a peek inside.
  2. DO NOT be boring. “The ABCs of design” is a boring title. Even a chapter title should make you want to know what the chapter will convey.
  3. DO NOT shrink. Be bold. Write captivating titles that arrest the reader’s attention.

Three Things TO Do when Crafting Chapter Titles

  1. Look at the table of contents' of books and make note of those which ignite your curiosity. Another excellent model for chapter titles is YES by Robert Cialdini.
  2. Think like a copywriter. Take inspiration from Prevention magazine or The National Inquirer. .They KNOW how to grab attention.
  3. Sell the Sizzle. Titles should make you want to read more. Fascinate the reader and she'll click the buy now button.

This video shows the principles in action, using The 4–Hour Workweek as an example:

Watch the video now.

Put some spark into your chapter titles and you can turn browsers into buyers.

Putting Your Book in Context

Writing a book is only 1 of 5 key aspects of your journey as an author.

Before you write a word, it's important to get clear on your bigger purpose.

The system I teach is called e BLISS Butterfly Plan, and you'll l earn all about it as a FREE participant in the 30 Day Awakened Author Challenge.

Share your message - follow your B.L.I.S.S!:

want more help with how to write a book? The FREE 30 Day Awakened Author Challenge walks you through everything from identifying your purpose and vision to writing, publishing and promoting your book.

Become a free member now at, and be sure to watch for a chance to get ongoing help from me when you upgrade to Level 2 GOLD Member at a very low tuition.

Will you be the next author to follow your BLISS? I hope so!

Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady

#1 bestselling nonfiction and fantasy author and Celebrity Author Mentor

Creator of the BLISS Butterfly and the Awakened Author Challenge

See the original article source.


Can Storytelling Techniques Help Develop a Powerful Mindset?

Can Storytelling Techniques Help Develop a Powerful Mindset?

Check out storytelling techniques in action by remembering the thoughts that run around inside your head. These might be thoughts about:

  • The economy
  • Business
  • Your love life
  • Your kids
  • Your partner
  • The job market
  • Losing weight
  • Breaking a bad habit

Whatever thoughts run around inside your head are your own storytelling techniques in action!

People are constantly telling themselves stories about the day. A musician just complained to me that he is having a hard times getting gigs (jobs) because of the current leader of his country. What the  WHAT???

Catch yourself telling stories about your life.

What story do you tell yourself about things that happen?

Imagine you have a day in which these things happen:

  • the delivery boy throws your newspaper into the bushes; plus the sprinkler is on. Your paper is drenched and unreadable.
  • A computer virus wipes out your entire hard drive.
  • Your tire blows out on the way to a big meeting and you have to walk miles. And it's raining hard.
  • Your child continues to give you the silent treatment for no apparent reason.

The typical response one might imagine for each of these is some version of “oh NO!” (with or without cuss words).

Eeyore (from the Winnie the Pooh series) comes to mind. He complains that things like that always happen to him. Here's one of the great Eeyore quotes:

Nobody tells me. Nobody keeps me informed. I make it 17 days come Friday since anyone spoke to me.

A series of orange juice commercials catches my ear, because they are a fantastic mindset lesson.

When the person who is going to have a series of “bad” things happen in a day, his or her response is “perfect!” (said with enthusiasm, not sarcasm)  rather than dread.

Here is one of those orange juice commercials:

Watch the video now.

Perception Shapes Reality

There is no “set response” to a thing happening.

Here is my version of responding to a “bad day” with positive expectancy and a great mindset:

Imagine I'm looking into a crystal ball that predicts my day…

Crystal Ball: “Your website will be down for six hours.

Me: “Excellent! Right after I send my customers a special coupon?”

Crystal Ball: “Yep.”

Me: “Perfect! Anything else?”

Crystal Ball: “The order button link will not work for no apparent reason.”

Me: “Great! And I'll spend several hours trying to track down the problem, right?”

Crystal Ball: “Sure will.”

Me “Good thing I had my mindshift!”

Use storytelling techniques to aft a powerful story

1. Catch your typical story running in your mind.

2. Decide the more positive, profitable story you wish to tell yourself.

3. Write down that new beneficial story

4. Rehearse saying it often.

5. Join the Miracle Mindshift Month and transform your mindset in just 31 days.

“Good Thing I Had My Mindshift!”!

your mindset is 100% under your control. It is not dependent upon your nation's leader, the economy, the weather, the day of the week, or anything else.

The Miracle Mindshift Month provides simple yet potent tools that can help you change your mind for the better.

Click the banner to join the Miracle Mindshift Month now.

Get Started Today and SAVE with this Miracle Mindshift Special Offer!

Will you practice storytelling techniques that move you toward your goals? I sure hope so!

Follow your B.L.I.S.S.!

Ronda Del Boccio, the Story lady

#1 bestselling nonfiction and fantasy author * Celebrity Author Mentor

Creator of the BLISS Butterfly and the Awakened Author Challenge

(See the original article source here)


Entrepreneur Mindset for Authors: Ready for Adventure?

Entrepreneur Mindset for Authors: Ready for Adventure?

by Ronda Del Boccio

Once I had a dream that a company in Minneapolis offered me a job paying $150 thousand per year with excellent benefits. Although this is much more than many people make, I turned down the offer.

I told my mother and her husband about this dream. He said, “You should have taken it. Why would you turn that down? You're crazy!”

Funny how he got so emotionally invested in my decision in a dream.

When is a dream a nightmare?

A cushy salary and benefits sounds like a good thing, right? But there are trade-offs with any decision.

I would have to work 60+ hours and would have nothing like what I would consider quality of life.

  • Why have money and no time to spend it?
  • Why have to ask “how high?” when someone else says “JUMP”?
  • Why give up freedom just for supposed comfort?

For me, a cushy salary and benefits would not be comfortable if I had to work for someone else. I truly have an entrepreneur mindset!

Like my guinea hens in this picture, I am ready for adventure. Are you?

Entrepreneur Mindset: Ready for Adventure?

Why develop an entrepreneur mindset?

Here are some reasons why you as an author of any format may find it beneficial to develop an entrepreneurial mindset.

  • Just writing does not get your work out into the world.
  • Just publishing a book is not a success guarantee.
  • There is more to being a successful author than posting about your book in social networks.
  • You are not likely to find a salaried position with benefits as an author.
  • You're probably a free spirit anyway!

How to Develop an Entrepreneur Mindset

Here are some actions you can take to become more business minded without selling your writer's soul.

  1. Set lifelines (most people call them deadlines) for yourself even though nobody is looking over your shoulder.
  2. Reward yourself for reaching your lifelines and for making great progress.
  3. Celebrate every success –  whether that is the sale of an article, surpassing a goal, winning an award, the completion of a chapter, or your first book sale.
  4. Expect a miracle! Things don't have to happen slowly or in stepwise progression.  Open yourself to be AMAZED on a daily basis, and you will discover your mind, heart and spirit opening to bigger ideas and greater BLISS!

Jumpstart Your Entrepreneur Mindset in 30 days!

I've been sharing my own experiences in a transformational program called the Miracle Mindshift Month. Though I am already a creative person, I have found myself taking more productive actions with my writing and with my business –  and getting better results –  as a consequence of participating in the mindshift.

My dear friend and #1 bestselling author Chris Downs also participated in the Miracle Mindshift Month. In his video , he talks about how the mindshift helped him gain clarity and focus for h is business.

Chris has been making huge miraculous leaps in his business, including being an expert on a prodigious site in his niche. And he has continued go, as he says, “grow a new heart.”

As someone who was supposed to need a heart transplant, in the past 12 months, he has no need of a new heart.

Will you be the next person to declare: “SHIFT Happens”?

Miracle Mindshift Month

Because I am an Ambassador (contributing expert) on the mindshift creators' site, I am empowered to bring this program to you at a special tuition.

Please give yourself this gift that will give you simple tools to help you transform your mindset, improve your health, become a more successful entrepreneur, boost your creativity, or bring about whatever results you desire for your life for less than you would give for a latte.

Invest in yourself once and you can continue following the program for months or years to come, as many of us are doing.

go to and I'll see you inside!

Follow your bliss!

Ronda Del Boccio, the Story Lady

#1 bestselling author –  Celebrity Author Mentor -.transformational speaker

Creator of the BLISS Butterfly SYstem

Original article source on


Writing Prompts: What Story Can You Tell in 100 Words? #microflash

Writing Prompts to Spark Creativity: What Story Can You Tell in 100 Words? #microflash

Writing prompts can get your writing juices flowing. Since the project is short, it won't take you away from your book. You may find that writing something in 100 words is just what you need to wake up the creativity within you.

Hen In Snow


by Ronda Del Boccio

We instinctively feel the danger. We cackle and run under the nearest bush, tree or shelter where death cannot take us. From my hiding place, I look at the empty yard. Relief! Nobody will die today.

Peeping in the tall grass. The babies! I rush toward them, cover them with my body and wings.

Hawk soars down, down, down. Big sharp talons stretched to kill. I will give my life for the babies.

Heavy weight lands on me, flies away. I feel a harsh prick. Stunned, I cannot move. Peeping from below rouses me.

I live! Hawk hunts.

# # #

For me, writing fiction is great fun. Your story can be fiction or nonfiction. Whatever pleases YOU and serves you.

LIFE itself provides wonderful fodder for creativity. Your own consciousness richly provides you with plenty of material.

Want to open yourself to greater creativity, self expression & even problem solving? The Write On Purpose Package provides a number of specially chosen journal writing prompts that give you insights into your life and emotions, plus a fabulous audio and guide.

Chief Robert TallTree and his wife Terri TallTree talked with me about the power of writing as a tool of stress relief and self expression that helps you in every aspect of life.

Write on Purpose Banner: Click to ClaimDownload your Write On Purpose Package now and open up to the gems within yuor own life!.

What inspires you?



6 Word Memoirs Writing Prompts: What Is Your Best Advice in 6 Words?

I've just discovered 6 word memoirs this week and I'm enthralled! Why?

Because writing prompts can be a really fun and USEFUL way to get creative juices flowing, I'm entering a writing contest that asks for 6 word memoirs on several topics relevant to writing.

inspiration: 6 word memoirs writing prompts

What I love about 6 word memoirs as writing prompts is that you aren't spending a lot of time writing something you feel may be a 'waste of time" (even though I personally believe NO writing is a waste of time!)

Writing Prompts Play Time!

Even busy people can take a minute to write 6 words, so let's have it! Give your BEST advice you would share with your readers/customers in your book - in just 6 words. Add it as a comment below.