4 questions to make your complexity or systems book compelling

by | 11 Jul 2021

If you are thinking about writing a book, make it relevant to readers with 4 questions.

1) What’s my unique position? List experiences, models, methods, stories and insights.

2) Think about the different audiences:

  • never heard of it
  • curious but new to it all
  • read a couple of books or articles but not done anything
  • tried a bit on others’ projects
  • practitioner: intermediate/advanced
  • academic
  • academic/practitioner hybrid

For list (2) which do you help or can help the most. Where is the overlap with list (1) and your favourites from list (2)? Given that, what approach would suit that topic the best?

3) Then you can start thinking about book approaches including:

  • how to
  • method/approach description
  • stories from the field (yours and/or others’)
  • make others’ ideas accesible
  • a new way to see old ideas and practices
  • academic tome
  • combination of above

4) And which of those suits your style:

  • authoritative
  • explanatory
  • narrative
  • conversational
  • questioning

Another tip is to look back at old blogs, articles and tweets to see what got the best response. Or if you have come up with something from the various lists above, try to write short pieces or tweets to see if it gets a positive reaction.

Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

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