Many people ask me, “I have a great idea for a book…but what do I do now?”
My first response is usually, “That’s great! What’s your book idea?”
They’ll tell me their book idea and then ask the dreaded question, “What do you think?”
With a straight face I ask them, “Do you really want my honest opinion?”
I have learned through experience that it is essential to ask this blunt question. Some people don’t want an honest opinion. They want me to pat their hand and tell them it’s a great idea, even if I think it’s crap.
If they say yes, then I will give them my opinion on their book idea and if it will appeal to the masses. If they say no, I will smile and politely tell them good luck.
Let’s focus on you, the writer. You have a book idea and for this blog post, I will assume that it’s a great book idea. You need advice on how to proceed and I’m here to help. My qualifications? I’m an author, blogger, reviewer and have been in the industry for almost thirty years.
Hack One: Google your book idea
There is someone in this world who has written a book on every topic. But if you narrow your topic correctly, there will not be any books out there dealing with your book idea. Even if there are books out there dealing with your book idea, you’ll have to figure out how your idea will stand out.
Hack Two: Talk to at least 5 readers in your circle of influence (family/friends)
Ask them (stressing your desire for them to be absolutely honest) if they would be interested in reading a book about your book idea. Like in everything else in this world, people have varying tastes. But if more than three people like the idea, then you are on the right track.
Hack Three: Create a rough outline
I know most of you are groaning here as this step reminds you of school. But trust me, this is an important step and is a good exercise for you as a writer. Start with a very basic outline and work from there. If you need help with it, please let me know and I can provide you some guidance.
Hack Four: Start Writing
I know this may sound simple and it really is. Writers write. Whether you use pen/paper or are typing via a device, start writing. Write whatever comes to your mind and get it down. You can edit it later. Ideas will start to flow and you will get a feel for where your book is going. By the way, you don’t have to start at the beginning. You can start anywhere.
Hack Five: Set up a writing schedule for yourself
I write in the afternoon Monday through Friday. I have a goal of at least 300 words a day. Set an attainable goal for yourself and stick to it. Make it a part of your to-do list for the day.
The best thing about writing and having a really great book idea is that it is all yours. Treasure it and just let the ideas flow out of you. You can do it!
Have any writing hacks you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you!