Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Contract Between the Writer and the Reader

As I was listening to the 15th of 25 hours of the Steve Jobs Biography by Walter Issacson audiobook, I realized the depth of the promise the writer must make to the reader, and the trust the reader gives the writer. It doesn't have anything to do with the retail price, or how I downloaded the book, or how pretty the cover is -- those are publishing issues. Who in their right mind would choose to listen to 25 hours of an author reading his book? Who has 25 hours to listen to any audiobook?  What is the "reader" going to get out of this book?  At that moment, I thought this book better deliver what it promises for that much of my time.

We ask all new authors:  What is your intended goal? What do you want the reader to come away with from your writing?  Then we use that stated goal as our Reader Contract for all decisions throughout the publishing process.  If something about the book does not fit within the stated goal, it needs to be changed, added to or deleted.

Walter Issacson's work is nothing short of genius in this contract, and I appreciate that he never wavers from his promise that each reader is experiencing his books in a way that he has visualized.

Are you visualizing your reader while you are writing your book?  What do you want your reader to get from your book?

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm never really looked at it like that. Great point. Mike


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