How to create passionate readers

I have been a huge fan of Kathy Sierra since the days of her extremely popular blog, Creating Passionate Users. She has become a huge success in the publishing industry and recently gave a talk at O’Reilly’s Tools of Change in Publishing conference that was amazing and is a must-watch for any author.

If you’re interested, here are a few of the notes I took while watching:

  • People don’t buy the book because they like the book (or author). They buy the book because they likethemselves.
  • The goal of your book is not to get people to like you or your book. The goal is to help the reader think “I’m awesome!”.
  • Don’t try to reverse-engineer successful books. Reverse-engineer successful readers of books.
  • The #1 goal of your book is to help the reader “Kick Ass”.
  • What really matters is what the reader does after reading the book.
  • Have a relentless focus on the results of someone reading your book. Ask on every page, “How is this helping the reader ‘kick ass’?”.
  • Who cares about your Table of Contents? What is your “Map of Superpowers”? What power to act and succeed are you giving to your reader?

My notes are a sad reflection of what she actually said in the talk so make sure you watch it above.

Tim Grahl
Tim Grahl
Tim Grahl is the author of Your First 1000 Copies and the founder of He has worked with authors for a decade to help them build their platform, connect with readers, and sell more books. He has worked 1-on-1 with over a hundred authors including Daniel Pink, Hugh Howey, Barbara Corcoran, Chip and Dan Heath, Sally Hogshead and many others. He has also launched dozens of New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post bestsellers.
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