Knowing what to write about can be confusing for authors, particularly if you’re new to it. It can be easy to give in to the temptation of procrastination – “I can’t decide what to write about, I obviously need to give this book some more thought” – so to navigate this tricky part of the planning process, we take all WBR clients through a simple exercise we call Topic Selection.
Topic Selection asks the author to list every question, problem, opportunity and strength their ideal reader has or is likely to have. Don’t worry about how many things you come out with – this part is a brainstorm so get as much down as possible. When you’re done and have nothing more to add, go through the list and eliminate anything repetitive, and anything you don’t want to allocate business resources to in the future.
The points you’ll be left with are either:
Potential topics for your book – in that case, you can choose the one that best supports your top business development objectives over the next one – three years
Potential chapters for your book – you might find that what you have left on your list all links together under one overarching theme. In that case, you can come up with a working (i.e. temporary) title that unites these points, and assemble them in a natural order as chapter headings.
Some books, such as legacy books, can require a slightly different approach but this is a quick and easy way to narrow down and select the right topic for the vast majority of all business books.
Try it and see what you come up with!
Topic Selection is one component of an 8-step planning process necessary for the smooth running of any book project. To learn more, my book on book production
and marketing walks you through:
the initial stage of the planning we do with all WBR clients
explains the self-publishing process, and
kick-starts your book marketing campaign with a planning tool and 80 marketing strategies
If you have a book in you and would like to discuss your ideas, our team would love to hear from you. Just contact us on 020 3752 7057 or firstname.lastname@example.org
with your questions or comments, and a member of the team will get back to you to schedule a time to speak.