When you are in the process of writing your book, you may be overwhelmed with all the ideas that you could possibly put into your book. You have ideas, stories, illustrations, and quotes flooding your mind, as well as a wealth of blog posts, articles, and other written material to pull from. All these ideas can start swirling around in your mind and keep you stuck instead of moving forward in your writing.
I call this swirl of ideas ‘the curse of a creative mind’, with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek. Most aspiring authors have many ideas for a digital book. In fact, many have more book ideas than time to write them.
It’s possible to research a book topic that you know nothing about and write a credible book. However, it is much more enjoyable process if you select a book topic based on your strengths, interests, and passions.
If you are bored silly by your topic, just imagine how difficult it will be to force yourself to sit at your computer every day and work on it. When you select a topic based on your strengths, you’ll be eager to devote time to writing and marketing it. Plus, you’ll be able to add illustrations and personal examples which make your book unique and authentic.
Many of us are experts in areas and do not realize it. For most of us, our strengths are things that are so easy for us that they feel like no big deal. We take them for granted.
Your strengths are golden topics for digital products. What you know is valuable. If you can save readers time, money or stress, they will love your book.
Use this simple creative exercise to help you discover a winning book topic:
Step 1: Set aside 30 minutes of time when you will not be interrupted. Turn off your phone, don’t check your email, and close your door. If you are able, go outdoors.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. This exercise works best when done by hand, not on a computer.
Close your eyes and think of your ideal reader. See him or her sitting at your kitchen table with you, asking for your help. Spend a couple of minutes bringing that vision into sharp focus.
Then, open your eyes and fill in this sentence starter:
My book helps _______________ (describe your ideal reader) to ________________ (list problem you solve in the book) so that they can ___________ (the ultimate benefit of solving the problem).
- My book helps parents of teenagers stop fighting about chores and homework so that their teen develops personal responsibility and independence.
- My book helps new coaches who hate selling to attract new clients confidently so that their coaching business becomes profitable in 90 days or less.
- My book helps corporate managers spot great candidates during the first 10 minutes of a job interview so that they can build a dependable and productive team.
- My book helps retirees manage their 401K funds so that they don’t outlive their money.
- My book helps new gardeners grow beautiful roses so that they can be the envy of the neighborhood.
I call this sentence the problem/benefit statement for your book. This one sentence statement clarifies your book topic and gives you a sense of direction.