How do you figure out if you're interested enough to write a whole book on it?
Books are big projects so, before you start, you need to be sure you're interested enough in your book idea to make it worthwhile. How do you figure out if your book idea is good enough to keep you going? That's what we're talking about today.
I’m Liz, the writer behind Green Goose Ghostwriting. I help entrepreneurs who want to write a book to demonstrate authority in their niche and get more speaking engagements. I write their book in their own voice so they can share their message, inspire others, and finally level-up their business.
Last week I talked about five questions to ask yourself before you start to write your non-fiction book. The first of those five questions was:
Am I really interested in this subject?
I said that books are big projects and you’re going to invest a lot into this book idea. So are you interested in it enough to sustain you through writing and marketing it? Let’s dive deeper into this….
To some of you, the answer will be an easy yes. You know your book idea inside and out, you’ve built a business around this subject, you live and breathe it, and think about it while soaping up in the shower. If that’s you, don’t worry about reading on (unless you want to feel a bit smug because you’ve got all this shit down already. In that case, read on and enjoy the feeling!) If you’re not reading on, read this instead.
For others of you, your book idea will be something completely new, or a new tangent off something more familiar. In that case, you need to decide if you’re really interested enough in this subject to spend time writing a whole book about it.
And, especially if you’re a first-time author, it will take time to write something of quality. You’re either going to spend hours typing away, or you’re going to talk to a ghostwriter about it for hours. Once the book is released, you’re going to speak and write about this subject as you promote it.
If that feels like a drag, if it doesn’t excite you, you need to dig deep and decide if this is the right path for you.
It’s okay not to be excited about the writing, publishing, and marketing process. But you need to be psyched about your subject matter.
It’s also okay to write something because you think it’ll sell well. That’s called ‘writing to market.’ But if you’re only writing because you think this idea will sell and you’re not really that into it, two things will happen:
1. Your disinterest will come through in the writing. You’ll get bored and your reader will get BORED.
2. When you’re spending all your bloody time promoting this book, you won’t love your life. And that’s just stupid. You’re an entrepreneur. You have the power to choose how your life and business look. So choose something you’ll enjoy for the most part.
How do you figure out if you’re interested enough in your book idea?
There’s no set way, but here are some ideas. Try them out, then trust your gut feeling.
- Write a few blog posts or record a few video posts about it. Consider if thinking about what you’ll say energizes or drains you.
- Write and schedule a series of social media posts on the subject. Do you enjoy looking for cool stuff to share?
- Take some quiet time and imagine your future promoting this book. Picture reading articles in the media about it, telling your family, and having it be a part of your identity, How does it feel?
- Think back on comments from friends, family, and coworkers. Has anyone ever commented on you talking about this subject? Do they come to you for advice? Do you have a reputation for “not shutting up” about it? This is a good clue!
Don’t let this drag on
My last tip is not to let this drag on. Set a time limit—say, a couple of weeks—to decide if you’ll pursue this idea or save your brainpower for something else. You might be scared of making “the wrong decision,” but there is no wrong answer; either will move you forward in life. And that’s a win. So set a deadline and make a decision.
Next up: Are others interested in it?
The second question to ask yourself before writing your book is whether other people will be interested in it. We'll talk about this next week. To get that post in your inbox so you don't miss a thing, enter your email address below. You'll also get 15 writing tips from today's top entrepreneurs, and more cool stuff about writing for your business every week.