How To Evaluate Your Book Idea?
You have a writing idea – whether it came to you spontaneously while on vacation, or was caused by a particular action, process, or situation. Reading something can stimulate the process, or a conscious development of passive thinking and research over weeks, months, sometimes even years – there it is: an idea; that you think you can turn into a book.
However, coming up with a writing idea – no matter how novel it is, is only the tip of the iceberg. Writing a book about it is the hidden 9/10ths. From hundreds of hours of research to acquiring a publisher, making countless revisions, creating a promotional plan, and so much more, a writer invests a lot of time, energy, and money while writing a book. You must prepare yourself for all the hard work that’s coming your way because that’s what it’s going to take to get the success in the market.
Here Are Some Techniques That Will Help You Evaluate Your Book Idea:
Write An Article Or A Blog series
Write an exhaustive article or a 3-part blog series on your idea. This is not only a great way to get feedback on your writing idea from your target audience and understand their initial perceptions but is also a great way to gauge how much content you have on that idea. If at the end of your articles, you feel like you’ve said everything you needed to say, that’s great. However, if you feel like it’s only the beginning and you have a lot more to say, you know what your next steps are!
Sometimes, a writing idea may seem big in the beginning, but once you start writing it down, you realize that there isn’t much to say after all. In those cases, even if you don’t have a 200-page book, you have written an amazing short story or an excellent informational piece that will be appreciated by your audience. At the end of the day, a good book is not repeating the same idea a number of times, but it is the most concise version of a big idea.
These articles do not need to be very heavily researched and you may have not even developed the right style of writing, but it is enough to know whether you can write 60,000 words more on that topic.
Research The Target Market
Once you know that you’re still interested in writing the book, the next step is researching your audience for the book. What are the groups of people who would be interested in purchasing your book and why would they find your book relevant or enjoyable? Does your idea appeal to a large market, many markets, or a niche? What genre does your idea best fit into? What do the readers of this genre seek i.e. what theatre or movies do they prefer in this genre?
Researching your target market should also help in giving some insight into the potential sales and the level of profitability of your book.
Analyze The Competition
Next, take a look at the previous books in that genre/niche. How is your idea different from the books that already exist in the market? Is your book filling a gap and is it a necessary addition in that category? Try and evaluate how much more your book is going to bring in the same category of the genre. Try and make it a strong creative idea based on your research.
These are important questions that you will need to answer anyway when submitting your book proposal to your publisher. By researching these answers before you start writing the book, you can be certain of how to differentiate your book while also potentially saving yourself from too many revisions of the main storyline.
You should also look at the level of competition in that genre. Are there many best-selling titles? If yes, what are the distinct aspects of these best-selling books? Could you implement these aspects in your book?
Write An ‘About The Author’
Now, you need to write something about yourself. A short biography to highlight why you’re the best person to write this book can prove to be helpful. What are your writing credentials? What is your media experience? How do you compare to other authors writing in the same genre and how are you different from them? Writing an ‘about the author’ section can help you develop confidence in your abilities as well as make you actively seek out what makes you and your approach to writing in this genre differently.
Write Down Your Mission Statement
Your mission statement is essentially answering your why. Why do you want to write this book?
Your mission statement can be that I want to sell millions of books and make a lot of money or I want to be a famous, bestselling author. It can be anything you want it to be.
It is also imperative to focus on the benefits to your readers – the purpose your book can also serve in the society, there are high possibilities that it might add value to your readers’ lives or the contribution it will make in a specific industry.
Your mission statement preferably should be 1 or 2 crisp sentences about your book’s theme and the takeaway value for the reader.
Writing down your mission statement is important as it will be your guiding force throughout your book writing journey and it will help ensure that you don’t deviate from it.
Draft A Contents Page
Your next step should be to make a draft of contents page. It’s basic hygiene to have an actual structure present and imagine the content for the whole book. If you can’t come up with a logical structure for your idea, writing a draft contents page could also lead to a lot of buzzing ideas in your mind and you may want to explore the possibility of turning your idea into a book series.
Write A Plot Synopsis (Or Chapter Summaries)
Finally, it’s time to layout your content. Depending on whether you’re writing a fictional or non-fictional book, your content summary will be different. For a fictional book, it’s best to write 2-5 pages that summarize the main plot of your book from beginning to end. This is because most fictional story details develop as the plot moves forward. In case of a non-fictional book, you should write a paragraph that summarizes each chapter’s content.
Once you’ve followed the checklist, there will be a lot more clarity and a clearer direction for you to follow. The next step for you will be to complete your book!