You’ve finished your first draft.

All your stories are in place.

You have a terrific first chapter that grabs the reader, and you have a marvelous final chapter that makes readers want to work with you.

Are you done?

No, unfortunately, not yet.

What’s missing? The icing on the cake.

To stretch the analogy further, you baked a wonderful cake.

The aroma entices you to take a bite.

Now wouldn’t the cake taste even better if you added gooey frosting, colorful sprinkles, and perhaps a few dark chocolate shavings?

Back to your book.

Wouldn’t each chapter start better if you led with an inspiring quote that enticed and excited your readers?

Type “quotes for…” on Google and you’ll find lots of resources from famous people.

Maybe you have readers who are convinced by numbers?

Do you have statistics?

Again, go to Google and type “Statistics for…”

Your readers could be visual.

A chart can say more than words can.

You know the drill.

Now tap your creativity and add “coaching questions” that inspire the reader to put your work to use.

Don’t forget to summarize your chapters with a summary, or bullet points.

Some people will read only summaries!

Some may choose to pick-and-choose which topics interest them most, or are most relevant to where they are right now.

Some may simply not have the time right now, but still want to get the essence of what you’re saying.

Skimmability increases the chance they will stick around, dig beneath the surface, and go for the diamonds sprinkled throughout your book.

Last but not least, if your book is all about you and your stories, you need to involve the readers.

You can do this by asking anchor questions like, “Has this ever happened to you?” or “What would you do in this situation?”

Of course, ask relevant questions.

Don’t overdo it, or you’ll sound like you’re pandering.

One of my clients color-coded the anchors, the statistics, and quotes.

What a terrific idea!

Now you can visually see what added-value information you have – and what is missing.

Then, you’re done with the next draft!

Show it to your beta readers, get feedback, update and then you’re off to production!

And don’t forget to put the cherry on the top!