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Your Book Needs a 10 Word Purpose Statement

Your Book Needs a 10 Word PurposeWhen you do a Visioning for your book, you’re opening up to wider possibilities. Next comes your 10 Word Purpose Statement.

The Purpose Statement helps you hone that vision to the laser-like focus you need to get your book written.

When you couple vision and purpose you’ll have a book that says exactly what you want to say, with clarity, clear organization and in the best of your own voice.

A 10 word purpose statement works best

I strongly believe that a purpose statement for a book, or any other writing project, works best when you hold it down to 10 words or less.

I’m often asked why only 10 words, particularly for something as big as a full-length book. The truth is, I don’t know why 10 words seem to work so well. However, every time I go over 10 words the result isn’t as clear and focused as they are when I use 10 words or less. Maybe it’s magic!

The site, The Numinous, says, in part, this about the number 10:

Destiny is indicated through the 10.  It’s a starting point and a launching pad for us to tap into our individuality, independence, creativity, and leadership.  The number 1 encompasses all these traits – plus self-confidence, innovation, and failing forward.

In Numerology, the 0 is the intensifier. Whatever the 0 is grouped with, it amplifies. So when we experience this 10/10 day, the energy of the number 1 is magnified. This is an invitation for us to take a stand, claim all aspects of ourselves, and boldly go forth into uncharted territory.

You can find the whole article here: https://the-numinous.com/1010-numerology/

Another truth is that I suspect I got this technique from someone else. I’d like to think I dreamed it up and maybe I did. But I’m not sure. It could be some expert told me 10 was the right number words – 10 or fewer. However I got there I can sincerely say that your book needs a 10 word or fewer purpose statement.

A final truth for me on the number of words needed is that once in a while I’ll allow myself 11. I only do this if I’ve worked pretty hard reducing the number of words and got and I’m stuck. The reason I don’t say it could be an 11 word statement is that I know myself well enough to know I’d start pushing for 12. So for me, 10 it is.

How I create a 10 word purpose statement

I’ve been nattering about writing a cat book for some time. Let’s see how I work through the purpose statement for that book:

  • The purpose of my book about cats is to show people how well Mz Tiz[i] and I learned to communicate with each other.

That’s 14 words – far too many. I’m also not at all sure I want the book to be only about me and Mz Tiz. Or maybe I do.

  • The purpose of my cat book is to show how I enjoyed putting words in Mz Tiz’s mouth.

Okay, that’s exactly 10 words. I could probably work with that but it doesn’t feel right yet. What’s missing is the Visioning.

Here’s another stab at the purpose statement:

  • The purpose of my cat book is to show people how amusing and delightful cats can be.

Well that’s nine words and I could work with this statement too, again however, I’m feeling the lack of strong Vision for this book. Which is why I say you need both the Vision and the Purpose. When it’s time to write this book I’ll do a Visioning.

If I started to write the book now chances are I would bog down in the process; if I forced it through to X number of words it would end up sounding exactly what it was dull and strained.

Even though I’m lacking the Vision, this demo should give you the sense of how to write a purpose statement for your book, and why your book needs one.

Your 10 word purpose statement helps with marketing too

When it comes time to market your book, and it’s really never too early to start, the clarity of the 10 or fewer word purpose statement will help enormously. Your marketing message must be brief and clear. You really have only seconds to get a buyer’s attention.

Sometimes your 10 word purpose will actually end up also being a marketing slogan. Even if it doesn’t you’ll find it helps you write your marketing copy.

I generally put the Purpose Statement right at the top of my manuscript so it’s there when I find I’ve lost track of what I’m doing. I do the same for my ghostwriting clients. At least once in every book project I’ve felt like that Purpose Statement has saved my ass, and helped me get back on track.

Write well and often,

Anne Wayman, freelance writer



[i] Mz Tiz was a lovely small tabby that lived with me for over 20 years. There have been several other cats that I might well include.



Image at the top of the page

{ 2 comments… add one }
  • DebraRebecca C. Alexandra'

    For Mankind to Hold on to Dreams and Gods Purpose!

    Believe that is my 1o word purpose because it was right there

    • Debra… maybe that’s the purpose, but it’s pretty general… and doesn’t reference anything about the book. How would something like: The purpose of this book is to tell my son’s story and how it reveals God’s purpose.

      Do you see what I mean?

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