What Elements Make a Great Book?

Hello Black Pearls Family,
We are off and running with the new Give the Gift of Knowledge program. I want to give you a little background to use when reviewing books. First you need to know what's in a good 3-D read. Begin the article below to get an idea of what to look for in a professionally published book or ebook. After reading the entire article, you will have an idea how to rate future books. Does the book you are reading now address these elements?

What Makes a Great Book?
Posted on 25 August 2008 by Wordpreneur

Before You Send Out Your Manuscript, Be Sure These are in Place.
According to National Public Radio, 291,000 books were released in 2006. That’s up from 172,000 in 2005. Seems like everyone wants to write a book. But so many books get unread, unseen, unloved by the readers who could enjoy them. Most people who set out to write a book never do. Why?

Because unlike writing a story, poem, essay, or article, completing a book-length manuscript takes real stamina.

Compare it to a marriage-versus a blind date. You have to work on the relationship, you have to have persistence and belief in what you’re doing. And in today’s competitive publishing arena, books demand more upfront time — even with novels, first-time authors need to know their “platform,” or why the book is unique and publishable and will sell copies for its publisher. It demands getting to know the book concept, even planning and exploring that concept long before the first draft.

Few good books nowadays are written by someone just sitting down at the computer and letting it rip. (Unless they have already written 10 books and know how to do it.)

Over my years of teaching over 2,000 writers how to plan, write, and develop a book, I’ve distilled nine elements that every book must contain to succeed. These are things the writer may not be conscious of during the first draft or even during early revision of their manuscript. But by the end of the process, before they start submitting it, they need to have these elements in place. They are:

--- A solid premise
--- A compelling triggering moment or need (established early) — something that makes the reader want to keep reading
--- A single visual concept or image that evokes theme and repeats or echoes throughout the manuscript
--- A believable location in time and space
--- Real stories
--- A good balance of showing and telling
--- Some crisis to be overcome, a crisis the reader will care about
--- Some resolution or lesson learned
--- Universality — so the reader gets why this book is pertinent to her life, not just the writer’s

What do these mean, and how can you achieve them? Read the article here for full details: http://www.wordpreneur.com/2008/08/what-makes-a-great-book

This is an important article for new authors. I am finding so many books not reaching 4 of these areas! We want to support new authors and to showcase great books, step up your game people...step up your game!

Mary Carroll Moore is the published author of over 300 articles, short stories, poems, and columns and 12 nonfiction books in memoir, how-to, medical, food and health, and inspirational genres; her novel will be published in 2009. She teaches book writing at the Hudson Valley Writers Center, The Loft Literary Center, The Studios at Key West, Borders Books’ Author Series, and American Penwomen.