One of my author “soapbox” issues for 2019 is how to approach book writing from the mindset of a professional author, rather than as a person who “happens to be writing a book.” In other words – amping up the quality to amplify the impact of your writing.

One way to do that is by making it a habit of studying the work of other authors with an analytical, expert eye. For our January Writers Club Live meeting, I asked my members to talk about a book that they LOVED so we could do a bit of reverse engineering to determine what made it so great.

A Book Study Exercise for Authors

Here are 3 of the questions I asked each member about the book they spotlighted:

  1. How far into the book were you when it grabbed your attention (in a good way)?
  2. What kind of writing elements did the author use to structure the book and carry you seamlessly from point A to point B? For example – pullout case studies to break down complex concepts.
  3. What lessons did you learn from the book (good or bad) that you can apply to your own writing? For example, was there something the author did well that you know is one of your weaknesses and could therefore learn from?

Try this exercise on a book you LOVED (or flip the questions for one you didn’t love) and then think about what you can learn as an author from your answers. Let me know what you discover in my Ink Authors group on Facebook!


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