Evaluating Your Book Idea
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"Roundheads and Ramblings"

Evaluating Your Book Idea

Nina Amir is back this morning with some tough questions about the book you always wanted to write.

Before you begin writing your book, short book or booklet, blogged book, or e-book -- any type of book -- you must know why you are writing it. If you don’t know that, your readers won’t know why they should read it. A book should have a purpose, a reason to exist. Often this rises out of the message you want to convey. More often it comes out of the solution you want to provide or the benefit you want to give the reader.

To get clear on your book’s message, ask yourself, “What am I trying to say to my readers? What do I want readers to remember after they put down my book?”

Here’s another way think about this question: Why do you want readers to read your book?

Try visualizing the back cover of the book. What type of copy might you print there? What would it say? What message would you want to convey about what lies within the pages of your book? If you are planning a virtual book, such as a blogged book or an e-book, consider the marketing copy you will produce to go with it.

This may seem like a silly question, but why do you want to write or to blog a book? Think about it…What’s your purpose? You see, your book must share that purpose. It must have a reason to exist. If it doesn’t, no one will show up at your blog to read the posts day after day (the equivalent to turning the pages of a physical book). No one will pick it up off a book store shelf or display and take it to the register. No one will click on it and then hit “buy” in an on-line store so they can read it on their e-reader.

What’s your mission? What do you want to accomplish by writing this book? Do you have some driving reason you must write or blog this book now? Does doing so fulfill your soul purpose? Do you want to help others? Do you have knowledge you feel compelled to share? Do you feel you can change the world with your story? Is the timing just perfect? Have you been waiting for years for science to catch up with your theories and just yesterday new evidence was revealed to support what you’ve known all along? Do you have a unique solution to a problem?

What’s in it for you? What will you get out of writing this book? Wealth? Fame? New clients? Expert Status? Satisfaction?

Why must you write this book? Get really clear about the answer. Write it down. Compose a mission statement.

When you’ve answered all these questions and gotten really clear on your message and purpose–and your book’s message and purpose, you are ready to write -- or maybe not. Maybe your message or purpose is too weak and you need to find a subject with a stronger one. A book must have a strong message and purpose, and that comes from you -- the writer.

The other day a potential client asked me what I thought about her book idea. She said, “The book I want to write is just like all the books I read.”

Hmmm. That could be good or it could be bad.

If lots of books exist on your topic and have been written in a similar format, that means readers exist for those types of books. Publishers keep publishing books “just like” those books. However, for each one of those books to make it onto a bookstore shelf, it had to fill an empty spot on the shelf -- a hole. It had to offer something unique that none of the other books offered.

So, if you want to write a book just like the books you like to read, ask yourself, “Does my idea have something new to offer? Will my book fill an empty spot on the bookstore shelf? Will my book be similar to successful books in its niche but unique at the same time?”

If you can answer “yes” to these questions, you very well may have an book idea worth pursuing.



Nina Amir, Your Inspiration-to-Creation Coach, inspires writers to create the results they desire—published products and careers as writers and authors. She is an author, freelance editor, and writing and author coach who blogs at Write Nonfiction NOW, How to Blog a Book, As the Spirit Moves Me, and writes the National Jewish Issues and the National Self-Improvement columns for www.examiner.com. Her blogs also appear at www.vibrantnation.com and www.redroom.com. She is the founder of Write Nonfiction in November, a blog and a challenge to start and finish a work of nonfiction in 30 days. Find out more about her services at CopyWright Communications or discover all she does and writes at www.ninaamir.com.
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