Writing a book is definitely one of the most common dreams on the average person’s bucket list.
Unfortunately, it can be pretty difficult to know where to begin when writing an informational book. What do you write about? What do you call the book? How long should it be? How will you get it published? If you had a dollar for every decision that had to be made during the book-writing process, you’d already be signing the lease for your new two-story house on the upper side of Manhattan.
Thanks to all of these daunting decisions, most people shy away from the prospect of ever writing a book, and the potential reality of them becoming a published author fades into nothing but a dream.
Does that sound like you? Wishing you had the answers to all of those pesky decisions that need to be made before you even begin writing your book?
Well, my friend, you’re in luck! In this post, we’ll be tackling one of the most important choices involved in the book-writing process:
What in the world to write about in the first place.
1. Write about one of your hobbies/interests
This may seem like a simple suggestion, but you wouldn’t believe how many people overlook this option when trying to think of book ideas.
One of the easiest ways to pick a book topic is to choose one of your interests. For example, if you’re super into photography, write a photography book! Or if you feel at home in the kitchen, write a recipe book, or some other food-related book.
Whatever you enjoy doing, write about that.
2. Write about how you got where you are right now
No matter how exciting or boring you may think your life was, writing about how you got where you are is always a great choice when it comes to choosing book topics.
If you’re a mom to two kids, write about the emotional and physical journey you experienced in order to have those two bundles of joy in your life.
If you’re an entrepreneur, write about how you got your business off the ground, the highs and the lows, and your tips for aspiring business owners.
People want to know what you went through–so tell them.
And if you don’t want to write your book to sound too much like an autobiography, then you can incorporate some informational tips and advice into your book as well. Using the entrepreneur example from above, you could tell little stories about your business, and then in between each story, give some tips for growing a small business, getting traffic, and selling your first product.
3. Write about what you wish you had known
A classic topic for eBooks and regular print books alike is a “what I wish I had known about ____” or a “what I wish I had known before ____”. These kinds of books provide an insane amount of value to readers.
This book topic is essentially about what advice you would give someone if they were about to undergo an experience that you have gone through. For example: Revolutionize Your Blog: 20 Game-Changing Tactics I Wish I Had Known When I Started Blogging.
4. Respond to a topic or idea that you strongly agree or disagree with
Are there any topics or methods out there that you have strong feelings about? If there are, then it looks like you have yourself a book topic right there!
If the topic you strongly agree or disagree with is too small to write an entire book about, consider grouping several similar topics together and comparing them.
5. Look for best-selling books in your field and build a book topic around them
Try looking around on Amazon and checking out some of the best-selling books written by people in your field. What do they all have in common? Which topics do the authors address? Which don’t they address? What questions, comments, and concerns did the customers who bought and read the book have (check out the reviews of the book)? When you go to write your own book, try to touch on all of the remaining, unanswered concerns or questions that the reviewers of the book remarked on.
6. Imagine that you’re a beginner in your field
Another great way to generate book ideas is to imagine that you are a beginner, just getting started in whatever field you currently serve. Create a beginner’s guide for success that will help newbies understand and thrive in your job or current position!
If you’re unsure of what a beginner might want to know, check out the list of prompts below:
- What questions did you have when you were first getting started?
- What struggles did you face?
- What did you find the most daunting about your field?
- What is the #1 most important tip/idea/method you wish you had known?
7. If you have a blog, try turning one of your blog posts into a book
If you have a super epic blog post or series on your website, try turning it into a book by elaborating further on some of the points you touched on in your post.
Look through the comments of the post(s) to see if any of your viewers had any questions that weren’t answered in the post. Try to answer them in your book!
8. Ask your audience
If you have a blog or website, try asking your audience for insight as to what they have questions about, or what they struggle with. You can use a survey for this (Typeform is a good choice for this!) or simply ask your followers on a social media platform! Chances are, when you go to promote and sell your book, your viewers will be the ones buying it, so you’ll want your book to appeal to them and solve a major problem or answer one of their unanswered questions.
But if you aren’t a blogger, you can always search through social media groups and hashtags, or even other blogs relevant to your industry, and see what questions constantly pop up in regard to your field.
9. What mistakes did you or others in your industry make?
To help your readers avoid making some common mistakes that you or others in your industry made, try writing about some of the frequent mistakes made by people in your field. For example: Don’t Be A Noob: 10 Common Rookie Blogging Mistakes.
10. Your routines and systems
Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, or a full-time freelancer, try writing about how you organize your tasks and projects on a daily basis. What systems do you use to stay organized and productive? How do you sort through all of the craziness in your life?
This post is just about over…
But I did promise you a free workbook, didn’t I? 😉
Click below to grab your free 25-page workbook and start picking the perfect book topic!
I hope that these tips and prompts helped you decide on a book topic for your first book! If you’d like more tips, free workbooks and resources, and guidance like there was in this post, then make sure to follow along with the blog to stay updated!