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How to Increase Reader Trust for Your Next Book

Many writers worry that their book is simply, their opinion. This is especially true if this is your first book. However, a great way to gain credibility for your opinion, is to reference other experts.

Reference Other Experts

In academic writing, a writer’s opinion needs to be supported by research conducted by others in the same field, or by research conducted by the writer themselves. The same applies if you are writing a non-fictional book. What facts, proof or credible references do you have to support your opinion? For example, if you are discussing leadership, have you explored other writers and their opinions within this topic? What do they say? With what do you agree or disagree? Who can you refer to in your book that will gain you further credibility?


For instance, if you are taking a stand on women in the workplace, a strong a credible reference may be Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook. You may make reference to one of her books or refer to a point that she mentions in her writing to support your opinion. Your reader will demand that you are knowledgeable in the topic that you are writing about, and this can often be supported by making reference to research conducted in your area of interest (even if it is not your own research), and by referencing other experts in your industry.

Use Case Studies and Examples

Another great way to share your thoughts and gain credibility is to refer to case studies and examples – both your own and those that have been conducted by other industry experts. In David Rock’s book Quiet Leadership, he refers to case studies and examples for each of his six steps to transforming performance. These case studies help the reader to identify the steps, understand the steps more clearly, and relate to the points Rock is trying to impart through his writing. Case studies and examples go a long way in cementing your teachings and clarifying your opinion, while indicating that your theories – when put into practice – work.


There is no need to conduct a huge study, simply think of times where your theories have been put into practice and refer to those. Once you get started in thinking along these lines, you may realize that you have many examples to use throughout your book. A great way to establish this is to write down each of your clients, and then write a short description of how you have supported/assisted them. You may become quite surprised at the number of examples and case studies that you can now use for your book.

If necessary, remember to change company names and client names to avoid breaching confidentiality. However, if you have permission from your client to use their name, even better!

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