Imagine your book is about mindfulness. You explain the benefits of meditating to becoming more mindful. Meditation is useful for most of us. But what if your reader is clinically depressed or even suicidal? What if they don’t follow your instructions and instead ruminate on their mistakes during their daily meditations? Have you considered these groups of people might be exceptions?
In my new book, Overnight Authority, I provide seven questions to flesh out your chapters. Questions five is: Are there any exceptions?
If your advice is to get exercise every day, should they check with their doctor first? If you want them to start a self-managed share market portfolio, should they have paid off their mortgage?
Have you ever taken a small child to a playground only to find they used the swing to hit another kid instead of to have fun? The right way to use a swing might seem obvious to you, but not everyone sees the world your way. Consider whether your point is relevant or helpful to everyone who picks up your book. Might some find it harmful or misuse it?
Or perhaps your reader needs most of your advice, but not all. In Chapter Three of Overnight Authority, for example, I suggested that experienced authors might not use the why, what, and how structure for their book because they’re experienced in developing structures.
Be careful about giving advice in your book. As an author, you have a responsibility to address controversial issues with some care.
Be yourself (an example of a proposition that needs an exception).