15 replies
Let's say you have a book with 30 chapters. Each chapter is about something you are supposed to change or do daily. And each chapter has a set of "rules", tips, guidelines, etc. about how to make the change stick but this part is the same for every chapter.

How would you present this repeating information?

Would you put it in each chapter for ease of access and to serve as a repeated reminder about how to make the necessary changes "stick?"

Or would you put the information in one place such as in front of the book?

In this hypothetical situation, the total of the repeating content would be let's say 10,000 words out of 70,000 for the entire book.

Thanks.
Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    My initial reaction was to say place the generally-applicable material at the front of the book - probably as the opening chapter - with an explanation of how these instructions should be applied.

    But then you said:

    Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

    In this hypothetical situation, the total of the repeating content would be let's say 10,000 words out of 70,000 for the entire book.
    So, by my calculations, the repeated content comes to about 300-400 words (10,000 divided by 30: tell me if I've read this correctly). In which case, it might be better to feature them as a reminder/refresher at the end of each chapter.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Many books have a chapter summary. This feels like a relative to that. I would put it at the end of every chapter, perhaps on the left hand page with the summary on the right.
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

    Let's say you have a book with 30 chapters. Each chapter is about something you are supposed to change or do daily. And each chapter has a set of "rules", tips, guidelines, etc. about how to make the change stick but this part is the same for every chapter.

    How would you present this repeating information?

    Would you put it in each chapter for ease of access and to serve as a repeated reminder about how to make the necessary changes "stick?"



    Or would you put the information in one place such as in front of the book?

    In this hypothetical situation, the total of the repeating content would be let's say 10,000 words out of 70,000 for the entire book.

    Thanks.
    Mark
    I like the put it in the front chapter idea. But, also, consider sending a one page BONUS, which they can print out (if digital) and keep in front of them daily, or if a real book, maybe a laminated bonus with the repeatable thing on it.

    I have a one page HOTSHEET called THE CREED, and I frequently send this along as a bonus, although it is a stand alone product (two page PDF).

    GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author Janice Sperry
    My thoughts...

    Anytime you are encouraging someone to take action make it as easy and as motivating as possible!

    I vote for putting it at the end of each chapter. If the individual needs to flip/scroll/search to another part of the book they will likely never do it.

    Just to spruce it up - it might make a great infographic?
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  • Profile picture of the author Nick Wood
    If I've understood correctly, I would put it at the end of each chapter as a reminder of what to do especially as it's the same. Repetition I think is really key for getting changes to stick.
    Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Mark,


    Just my personal opinion ...


    If the repeated content was placed at the end of every chapter ... at about Chapter 3 ... when I recognized the content was repeated, I would skip that content in all of the remaining 27 chapters.


    To me at least, the greatest failure of authors is to write something that's boring. Repeated content gets boring extremely fast.


    My suggestion would be to find a way to avoid the repeated content.


    Since you mentioned it (the repeated content) is "a set of 'rules', tips, guidelines, etc. about how to make the change stick" - I would think you could give one tip or suggestion at the end of each chapter so that this became new content. Let your set of rules build from one chapter to the next. Readers might even become excited to see or anticipate what the next tip or guideline might be.


    The reader will figure out what's going on quickly and will know that by the end of the book, he/she will have the whole set of guidelines in one place that can be referred to often, if needed.


    The best to you in this project,


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      Mark,


      Just my personal opinion ...


      If the repeated content was placed at the end of every chapter ... at about Chapter 3 ... when I recognized the content was repeated, I would skip that content in all of the remaining 27 chapters.


      To me at least, the greatest failure of authors is to write something that's boring. Repeated content gets boring extremely fast.


      My suggestion would be to find a way to avoid the repeated content.


      Since you mentioned it (the repeated content) is "a set of 'rules', tips, guidelines, etc. about how to make the change stick" - I would think you could give one tip or suggestion at the end of each chapter so that this became new content. Let your set of rules build from one chapter to the next. Readers might even become excited to see or anticipate what the next tip or guideline might be.


      The reader will figure out what's going on quickly and will know that by the end of the book, he/she will have the whole set of guidelines in one place that can be referred to often, if needed.


      The best to you in this project,


      Steve
      Agreed...I was more thinking about a reader picking up the book two months later and flipping through it. Having forgotten what they read initially, the content is there to remind them.

      For self-help / "follow me" books I tend to read through entirely once, then flip around for implementation.

      For first time readers, I definitely agree with your interpretation.
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  • Profile picture of the author mostCPA
    For me, word repetition can really weigh down your writing and slow down readers. .I see to do the following:
    - use images as you can
    - use a thesaurus.
    - repetition isn't only about words. Think sentence variation.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
    Thanks for all the input guys and gals. Good food for thought. Let me explain a bit more.

    Each chapter includes things to do to improve in the area discussed in the chapter.

    An example may be if the book were about 30 ways to build a strong online business. Each chapter would discuss a certain element like let's say mindset and another chapter discusses your unique sales position, etc.

    The repeated content are reflection type items. An example may be:
    • How are you doing in this area? What have been your results so far?
    • Do you need to improve or are you happy with the current status?
    • Besides the strategies outlined in this chapter, what else could you do to improve in this area?
    • If you need to make changes, are you willing to do so?
    • When will you start? Why not today? Action is vital to success.
    • What specifically are you going to do to improve in this area?
    These are just examples, of course.

    Each of these blurbs are about 440 words and a full 8 1/2 x 11 page. Out of 177 pages, at least 25 would be this if included in each chapter.

    Mark
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    • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
      While it may be repetitive...
      it sounds like it is pretty much a mandatory step for each chapter.

      The "action" step.

      Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

      Thanks for all the input guys and gals. Good food for thought. Let me explain a bit more.

      Each chapter includes things to do to improve in the area discussed in the chapter.

      An example may be if the book were about 30 ways to build a strong online business. Each chapter would discuss a certain element like let's say mindset and another chapter discusses your unique sales position, etc.

      The repeated content are reflection type items. An example may be:
      • How are you doing in this area? What have been your results so far?
      • Do you need to improve or are you happy with the current status?
      • Besides the strategies outlined in this chapter, what else could you do to improve in this area?
      • If you need to make changes, are you willing to do so?
      • When will you start? Why not today? Action is vital to success.
      • What specifically are you going to do to improve in this area?
      These are just examples, of course.

      Each of these blurbs are about 440 words and a full 8 1/2 x 11 page. Out of 177 pages, at least 25 would be this if included in each chapter.
      Because of the repetitive nature, I think I would include this ONCE... as a FINAL chapter - and at the end of each chapter I would include a hyperlink to that last chapter.

      That accomplishes a number of things.
      1. Eliminates the redundancy
      2. Increases the importance of this step by elevating it into its own chapter
      3. Allows a "chapter 31" entry in the Table of Contents to make it easy to navigate to the "action steps" from the TOC, as well.

      Note - rather than a final chapter inside the document, you might even want to consider creating this section as a separate document (i.e. a cheat sheet) which still provides for hyperlinking from each chapter of the main document.

      That chapter might be provided as an infographic (as mentioned by Janice), a separate HOTSHEET (as mentioned by Gordon), or even an Excel workbook to make it more interactive.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Singletary
        Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

        Because of the repetitive nature, I think I would include this ONCE... as a FINAL chapter - and at the end of each chapter I would include a hyperlink to that last chapter.

        Thanks. What about the hard copy version?
        Mark
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        • Profile picture of the author Sid Hale
          Originally Posted by Mark Singletary View Post

          Thanks. What about the hard copy version?
          Mark
          Sorry... I missed any prior reference to a hard copy version.

          For that, segregating the "final chapter" into a separate document (i.e. infographic, or HOTSHEET) works even better from the standpoint of "perceived value". Instead of a hyperlink, include a simple text reference to the separate document - at the end of each chapter.

          If it is a single sheet, have it laminated rather than binding it into a "booklet" form - and use a colored stock (i.e. pale yellow or green).
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          Coming Soon... Rapid Action Profits (Pro)

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          • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
            Originally Posted by Sid Hale View Post

            Sorry... I missed any prior reference to a hard copy version.

            For that, segregating the "final chapter" into a separate document (i.e. infographic, or HOTSHEET) works even better from the standpoint of "perceived value". Instead of a hyperlink, include a simple text reference to the separate document - at the end of each chapter.

            If it is a single sheet, have it laminated rather than binding it into a "booklet" form - and use a colored stock (i.e. pale yellow or green).

            Here is one almost exactly like Sid described.
            http://www.angelfire.com/biz/gjbiz/influence.jpg

            It was used as a gift, a bonus and as a front end lead generator.

            Once you create one of these things, you can follow this path. I invested in a laminator a long time ago, now they are very affordable.

            And even recently, my tests have shown that people STILL like to receive mail, so I surprise them with a gift, only thing is today, I just have a 9 x 12 postcard printed on 14 pt stock, and of course, there is an offer buried in it. I like calendars or event type gifts, because they expire and can be updated.


            So, with a book, you may announce an event you are having, or something relevant to the book.

            Long ago I mailed out little coupon clipper devices, small little branded devices which you could use to cut out articles and coupons. I still see PROMOTIONAL items too, with a book, maybe a BOOKMARK with your repeatable or a summary on it?

            GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Each chapter should cover completely different subject matter then no need to repeat anything. Or if you want to stress certain points, just stress these ideas once in the book. Readers will get the drift and there will be no need to keep repeating.
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    I'd do something like a "For Dummies" book.








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