- Do you have the information, experience, and knowledge to write this book?
- Why should someone want to read this book?
- Do you have a feasible game plan for developing your book idea?
- Will you be able to market the book effectively?
Let me dive into each of these questions a bit more deeply so that you can better assess your book idea.
Do You Have the Information, Experience, and Knowledge to Write This Book?
When you are well-versed in your topic, writing a book is a lot easier. Therefore having knowledge and experience can be very helpful. This is true whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction. If you are unfamiliar with the genre in which you wish to write, then you may find that your resulting story uses old, worn-out tropes that readers of that genre have grown weary of — and that would be disastrous for the marketability of your book.
Why Should Someone Want to Read this Book?
Do you have a feasible game plan for developing your project?
It is one thing to have an idea for a book. It is another to have an idea of how to make it happen. Writing a book takes a bit more preparation than writing a report or a blog post.
Is your idea solid enough to create a plan?
Vague ideas turn into unfocused, unreadable prose. Make sure you have a clear focus for your book before you write. One exercise you can do, if your idea passes the other tests in this blog post, is to develop a mini book proposal that includes a summary, a projected table of contents, a short competition assessment, and a projected marketing plan. If you can create a 3-4 page document with those four components, odds are your idea is solid enough to develop a fully fleshed out plan.
What value will your book deliver?
Readers only buy and read books that provide them some sort of value or benefit. What benefit does your book have to offer? Knowing this upfront will help make sure you deliver on your book’s promise. I mentioned this in the last section, but it bears repeating. One exercise is to write down all the benefits that someone would get from reading your book. Do this as a brainstorming exercise and jot down any idea that comes to mind without judgement — ridiculous or not. You can evaluate them later and you might be surprised that an idea you initially thought was silly, inspires something of value.
What is your book’s Unique Selling Point (USP)?
What makes your book different? For example, Public Speaking Super Powers uses the superhero metaphor to teach speaking skills. Other books may have used a superhero title or cover, but only my book fully embraced the metaphor throughout. You will need to do some competition research to truly discern how your book stands out from the rest, as well as to make sure that it does.
What is your goal for the book?
Do you want to attract clients? Do you want to be a bestseller? Do you want to have something to share at networking events? You need to be clear on what you want to achieve with your book before you start writing so that everything from beginning to end moves you toward that goal. Most of my books have achieved the goals I’ve set for them because I was clear on that goal from the outset. The books that didn’t, were the books where I wasn’t as clear on the goal or got distracted from the goal along the way.
Will you be able to market the book effectively?
There are a lot of ways that you can market a book. However, the important question here is will you and can you market this particular book the way it needs to be marketed?
Who is your audience?
I’m touching on this again because it is that important. You have to know who your readers are before you write your book…unless all you want to do is say you’re an author and don’t care if anyone reads it. That is a valid goal, but it probably isn’t yours.
Did Your Book Idea Make the Cut?
Now that you’ve evaluated your idea through the lens of these questions, are you ready to start writing? If you’ve done the pre-work, the writing phase is much easier.