Have you ever wondered what to write a book about? Should your write fiction vs. non-fiction? If you are really interested in succeeding as an author, you must consider this question critically. You should also get yourself a very strong and compelling answer through careful thought and observation.
You cannot become a successful author if people only buy your book because they want to “encourage” you and not because they need it. Let’s dive in.
How to Find the Right Topic to Write a Book About
This is very vital because people only buy books and take their time to read it when they know they need it or that it is relevant to their lives.
If they do not find it valuable enough to read, archive and refer to from time to time you are wasting time and resources thinking you would make it as an author-preneur.
At the level of being one who writes as a hobby, that could be acceptable, but if you want to make money from your writing and publishing craft,ndustry, you must offer first class value in subjects, fields and areas that people need more insights into.
Making a fortune from your craft is not a walk in the park, it is largely dependent on the book idea you have and how much people are hungry for the answers your book provides.
That is why for an author-preneur to make his or her craft profitable, he or she must be a creative thinker. Check out this blog for insights on how to develop your creativity or overcome creative blocks.
In this industry, creativity displayed with your book idea is what begets profitability.
I therefore recommend that your book idea falls into at least four or more of the categories or answers enumerated in this blog if you really want to get the best results. Definitely check out my book titled How to Make Millions as an Authorpreneur, if you want to get more insights into Authorpreneurship.
1. What you are passionate about and love talking about
Before you think about writing your book, you must have discovered that thing which you love doing so much. It should be something that you cannot help but talk about the least chance you get. In addition to that, you must be sure to bring a unique angle to whatever it is that you passionately want to write about.
That way you distinguish yourself in your niche and stand out as an expert. To achieve this, you need to introduce an idea that is slightly new into what you love talking about. Someone once said that all you need is an idea that is ten percent new to make a million dollars. How true! It does not have to be something major like a new scientific discovery. It can be a little improvement on what is already being talked about but that could give you a competitive advantage.
One “small” idea is enough to separate you from every other writer in your niche and can fast track your journey to success as an author-preneur. One place to start is to identify your message if you are a thought leader.
What drives me to write books is an unwavering desire to help people become better in every of their endeavours by sharing my insights, knowledge and revelations with them.
That passion keeps me punching the keypad of my laptop, churning out new books that would add value to and solve problems for people. Even when it seems like a waste of time, I keep at it because of the irresistible urge to share the wisdom, insights and experiences that I possess with people around the world.
Every thought leader must have a central message for which he is known and it is usually something he is passionate about. Make sure you build your brand around that message consistently until your name becomes synonymous to it. This is very important especially for budding authors. Write about something you love and are passionate about, something centred on your message.
For you, it could be goal setting, sales, creativity, the mind, leadership, nation building, fashion, personal branding, etc. As soon as you identify your message, then viciously stamp your name on it until your name becomes synonymous with that subject matter.
2. What you can do with ease that others find difficult
I find writing powerful and wonderful books pretty interesting and easy to do. By reason of this, I get surprised to hear that someone lived all his life hoping that one day he would write a book and eventually never did. This has helped me value and appreciate my craft a whole lot more.
It has ignited a fire in me to help others who find developing, completing, publishing, launching, selling or marketing their books and profiting from it impossible. There are a number of other things that people find difficult to do which you find easy or interesting.
Until you write about it, you may never be able to lend your voice to them in order to make the road easy for them. You would be highly limited by time and space.
There are people who are waiting for you to show them the way and would gladly part ways with their money if you would help them. All you need do is write about that thing you have spotted which fits into this description.
It is something you do with flair even when others struggle to do it right. That could really make a good book idea!
As long as you have overcome an obstacle that you know people would always face at one stage or the other in their journey through life, then you have something worth writing about.
For instance, you could write about how you were able to babysit your new-born child without assistance from anyone but your husband.
There are lots of people facing this difficulty but do not know how to handle it. If you have handled it successfully before, then what are you waiting for? It could be a simple story of how you overcame that season in your life.
Believe me when I say it can add value to someone. Do not undermine your story whatever it may be. Document it, publish it and sell it to the market it was designed for.
3. Write about other people’s success stories
There are many unique stories of great men and women who have traversed the world. Most of them live unique lives and some made mistakes that brought them to their tragic end.
You can choose to create a collection of stories about different people in an organized and harmonious fashion and sell same to people who would be inspired by them. You could even draw lessons from those stories in your compilation.
That is what Roberts Liardon did when he wrote the book series he titled “God’s Generals I, II, III”.
Another author named Leke Beecroft followed the same pattern and decided to gather facts and stories of Nigerian preachers whose stories are worth telling.
He used those volumes to tell Nigerians and the world at large about the bastions of leadership in the Nigerian church, their secrets, mistakes and success stories. This book has opened the veil that covered the lives of these great men of God for decades. What a book idea!
Jack Canfield & Victor hansen Story
When Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen used this method to generate their book which is titled “Chicken Soup for the Soul”, they were told that their book would not sell.
It was a book containing 101 inspirational stories of different people but publishers rejected their work and said “short inspirational stories don’t sell”.
Despite these discouraging responses, they did not let that stop them but rather they kept trying new options until they got a publisher who took up their work. That book eventually got their names into the Guinness Book of Records because people fell in love with it.
Chicken Soup for the Soul ended up becoming a registered enterprise and a brand that sells other commodities alongside a vast series of books.
4. A subject you have research-based expertise on
I did a google search on what research based expertise is, and this definition from Taylor and Francis online popped up so I thought to share the screenshot. You see, there are some basic issues that you may not know much about but have genuine interest in, this could spur you on to research on the issue of concern.
If you have a knack for research, you could write a book on something you researched about with facts drawn from your exploration.
Not everyone has the skill and discipline required to pull out relevant information from different sources and put it together into a useful product. By being able to research and put helpful data and valuable information together for easier access, you’ve got what it takes.
Not everyone has the time to search for answers, neither is everyone research savvy. So when you compile such answers into a book with a professional touch, you are cooking up a pain reliever that people would gladly patronize.
All you need do is to find out areas in which there seems to be a lot of confusion and where there appears to be limited books about. It is an indication that not much research has been done in that area.
You can pick it up and gain research-based expertise in that field by digging out information, running surveys and analysis in a bid to gain valuable and helpful information.
When you do this, find a connection between the different facts discovered and observations made. Then draw up a sensible and applicable conclusion that would enhance the knowledge of people. Do not just compile your research without making intelligent inferences and valuable discussions based on your research.
If you want people to buy your research-based book and derive 100% value for their money, then, you must make sure the book has valid arguments, reasonable theories, interesting scenarios and actionable insights.
5. A subject you have result-based expertise on
People are always keen to learn from a person who have done something they desire to do and has succeeded at it. They hold people who have achieved results in a given field or area of expertise in high credibility.
Before the average reader decides to buy your book and read it, they want to know who you are and what you have done that makes you qualified enough to write on the topic your book is about.
That is why the moment you begin to get results in anything at all that is legitimate and worthwhile, writing your secrets to success or to productivity is one way to generate more streams of income. People are always eager to learn from someone with experience who has results to show for his accomplishments.
Even fools do not doubt proofs because they are infallible.
That is why for a non-fiction author, you must not only practice what you teach but also teach what you practice.
You would be surprised to know that there are many things you have achieved that could be worth writing about. Think about the things you have achieved over the years and find your unique secret to that achievement which you believe can help others also duplicate your results or get a better outcome.
If someone wrote a book on “How to write a Bestseller eBook in 30 days or less” and that is his first book, he would not make much impression. It would be obvious that he does not know what he is saying. But if someone who has written 5 or more books within a short timeframe on something he knows quite well and has got results, writes that same book, people are more likely to take him serious.
This is because he has developed credibility by his previous achievements as a writer and has demonstrated expertise overtime. That would help him generate a greater buying interest from prospective customers compared to someone who has not written any book before but wants to teach others how to write bestsellers with his first book.
This is because people would prefer to hear from someone who has been there before and has results to show rather than someone who has nothing but empty words and borrowed ideas.
By the way, at the time of this writing, I have written 17 books, so you can tell I know what I am talking about.
6. A subject that people always have questions about
There are billions of questions that are yet unanswered or could be answered again from a different perspective and a better angle. As long as there are billions of people on earth and these people keep multiplying daily, it means people would always have questions to be answered or answered in a better light.
For example I discovered from my interaction with people, and from the kind of questions people throw at me privately, at my seminars and speaking gigs, that a lot of people desire to be authors but do not know how to write and what to write about.
I also discovered that some know how to write but do not know how to publish, where to publish or when to publish. I also discovered that many published authors were flat broke when I kept getting good alerts every other day in my sleep. It was then I got inspired to write this. It was designed to help these folks answer some critical questions they may have as they go through the process.
This would help them experience the kind of success I am experiencing and even beyond. I decided to answer these very painful questions and that got me working. Today you are reading this blog, getting your questions answered and your problems solved.
You would be amazed to know that you also can actually look for such questions that people always ask because they have a strong need in that area and proffer their answers in a workable, practicable and result driven way. Make sure the questions are real and practical and make sure the answers are tailored for your target audience.
Another very vital thing to put into consideration is you should write your book in the language that your niche audience or typical potential reader speaks; can understand or can relate to. There are sites on the internet that can give you all this information on the go with just the use of the right search words and keywords. Make use of sites such as Google, Quora, Reddit, etc, to research what people are asking about online.
You would be amazed at what you would find. Also search for answers on the web to add to the answers you may already have or to fine tune it. With this simple technique, you can gain a general idea of what your audience is looking for and know what would sell as a book idea.
If you want insights on how to write a book or you have ever been asked, “Can you write a book with no experience?”, read this blog: 7 Reasons You Should Write a Book Even If You Have No Experience.
7. Write about a Unique Solution that gets rid of a problem
The world in which we live is ridden with so many problems. If you can identify a pressing problem that people have, for which they are in dire need of real solutions that work; that would do just fine as a book idea to develop.
For example, a lot of people are trying to get rid of their weight. Weight has become a problem for them. They are looking for the weight loss program that would work for them. You can provide that solution to them and would it sells fast especially if tested and proven. You can also write a book that teaches people how to speak a language you are well versed with.
That is a problem especially in Nigeria where the children of this present age and generation cannot speak their mother tongue. You could even write a book/eBook to teach people some vital tips to pass the IELTS or TOEFL exam. Or you could teach people how to settle down in a new country as an immigrant. As long as you have a compelling expertise or skill in that area, you are good to go.
You can write a book to help people use computer softwares that you are proficient with like Microsoft Excel, Adobe Photoshop, Corel Draw, etc. A lot of people in Nigeria and beyond are not computer literate.
The problem most people have is that they think what they know is not so important and they assume many other people already know about it. Your assumptions may be costing you too much! Can’t you see that you are leaving so much money on the table?
It is time to wake up! Many people do not know how to cook and you were brought up in a home where you learned to cook different African dishes and delicacies.
You know how to bake so well and you have a shop but there are not enough clients. Instead of allowing your knowledge waste away, it is time to package your knowledge into products and sell it. It is time to launch a career as a published author-preneur because as the Nigerian proverb goes, “common sense is not common”.
Now is the time to look out for a pain you can eradicate and write a simple eBook to teach others how to eradicate it.
8. If you have achieved a degree of success in any challenging area, write about your past mistakes and how others can avoid them
A book by a notable achiever would always have a market for because such a person already has a group of admirers and raving fans who are hungry to learn from their mistakes. An example is a book by Sam Adeyemi titled “What I Would Do Differently”. This book talks about 7 costly mistakes he made on his life’s journey and how to avoid making those mistakes.
Something like that from a notable achiever always works wonders. You may not be a public figure or have not attained celebrity status yet. Regardless of that, if you have achieved a degree of success that is notable before the eyes of people around you or in your level, then it is worth writing about. This is what spurred me to write How to Make Millions as an Authorpreneur. I wanted to share from the wealth of self-publishing knowledge I hade gained writing and publishing 7 books at the time I wrote it.
Do not wait till you grow old before you write a book. Do not wait till you have become a celebrity before helping someone who admires your “little” achievement to become something. Success is a journey and not a destination. That means at every stage of the journey, you would always have something that can be used to measure your progress.
9. If you always give counselling to a large number of people on a particular subject matter, that could be a good idea
I discovered that people always come to me for counsel when they want to embark on a book project. They ask me things that I used to think every aspiring author already knew. It took me time to discover that there are hosts of other people who have these same questions.
I saw that the best way to help them overcome their challenges and even help them avoid some common mistakes was by writing the book in your hands. You too should do same if you have people always thronging you with their questions in a particular area or subject matter. You would be freeing up your time by creating that book product.
10. Write about a memorable life experience or a story
One thing that makes the contents of a book stick to the memory of its reader is the ability of the author to connect with the readers on a personal and emotional level. This can be done with the aid of stories, memorable experiences, events and happenings. Due to the way our brain is wired, we are creatures of emotion.
We appreciate and value a learning process more if we hear a story than when we just read a completely logical lesson with no experience we can relate with. That is why fiction writers are making millions today even more than writers of non-fiction, especially when it is a romance fiction or something associated with emotions.
It is because of their ability to create graphic pictures in the mind of readers with the use of words. So despite it is not a real life story or event, as long it can captivate the emotions of its writers, it is almost an easy sell.
Even if you cannot write a fictional story, do not forget that your life is an endless story. Write about your most memorable experience. Tell the world how you survived one, two, three miscarriages; or how you overcame infertility, or how you dealt with a marital challenge you faced. You could birth a bestseller and even make a fortune from telling your unique stories. Do not be afraid of sharing those experiences you had in life when you almost gave up.
Steve Harris was a two-time university drop-out as he was kicked out from University of Benin and then after gaining admission into another university known as Madonna University, he dropped out. His parents gave up on him and it took a man named Fela Durotoye to salvage his destiny and mentor him to become a great Management Consultant in Nigeria. After some years of learning from his mentor, he decided to use his story and experience to inspire others.
He wrote his first book titled “From College Drop Out to Corporate Sell Out”. He chose to tailor his message to students because his story was peculiar to them. He knew that anyone who ever schooled in a Nigerian State University or Federal University, would find it easy to connect with his story and experience. That was how Steve Harris became a hot shot in the Nigerian speaking industry.
He not only sold thousands of copies of that book, he landed hundreds of speaking gigs. How? He told his story by writing a book. If you have a very compelling story, then a book that could fetch you millions is in you, waiting to be fleshed out. It is time to get to work!
11.A topic or subject matter you know a lot about
If you are into anything at all or you know something really well, then you can write an eBook on that thing you know so well. You could be a web developer, a graphic designer, an instrumentalist, a footballer, or an instructor. As long as you know enough in that area, you can develop a book to share your knowledge with others.
Mind you, do not jump into the bandwagon and write anything that comes into your head just for the sake of making money. Do not write what you do not know because you cannot give what you don’t have. You have to know enough of what you write about that could be worth teaching others. Then and only then can your packaged knowledge help someone out there and fetch you some good passive income.
This is what inspired my writing “Ignite Your Creativity“. Creativity is a subject I have come to know a lot about. When I read some confusing or poorly thought-out content about creativity, it further fuels the need for me to pen down my thoughts on the subject.
12. Write something that can help people pass an important exam
Everyone who intends to win an award, bag a degree, pass an academic course, go into a profession or become something “white collar” must write exams and also pass those exams. Many people fail professional exams, academic tests, language assessments, job interviews, driving tests, etc across the world.
If you know you are pretty good at passing any such exams probably because you have passed it yourself or have taught people who passed these exams then you could write a book that might help others achieve results also. People would learn a lot from that and you could be the bridge to their success in that endeavour. This kind of book can be short and concise but packed with loads of value.
13. Write about a recent trend and tell people how to make money with it
One of the easiest ways to identify what is trending is by paying attention to what people are craving or what is in vogue. A lot of people are always interested in anything that can help them get trendy or take advantage of a fad in a profitable way. That makes them in need of desperate help in order to stay in vogue. One way to spot trends in this era is through top blogs and also social media.
Twitter and Instagram has a way of making you know what is trending based on your interests, the things you post and like. If you notice a trend and you are smart enough to create an eBook teach others how to profit from it then that’s a profitable book idea.
You could be a savvy photographer; that could be another profitable niche being that most people who sell their products with pictures taken from Smartphones are constantly trying to produce better Instagram-friendly pictures with their phones. Many of them do not know how to go about it.
A book that teaches people how to take killer pictures for Instagram business in a result producing manner would work wonders. Note that this approach is going to produce a product that would lose value as the trend or fad fades away.
It is something you do to make money while the trend is on.
14. Write about what people are eager and curious to know or learn about
There was a lady who wrote one of the best-selling weight-loss books ever published. Her name is Wendy Stehling. She worked in an advertising agency but got fed up with her job.
She wanted to establish an agency of her own but needed $100,000 to do that. She did a research and asked people what she could do to raise $100,000 in three months and she was told to sell a book. She therefore decided to be an author-preneur by writing a book guide that could sell 100,000 copies for $1 in 90 days.
Before writing the book, she did a research to find a painful problem for which people would be eager to find answers and solutions to. From her findings, she was told weight loss books are the kind of books that could sell that fast.
Instead of going ahead to write the book, she went further in her research to find out what way she could distinguish herself as an expert in that subject matter. She found out that if she could make her book help women lose weight in their thighs in 30 days, she could hit her target.
Practical Book Topics and Tips to Inspire Your Book Idea
Having done a thorough research by finding out what topic people would be most curious and eager to learn about, she went ahead and wrote a book titled “Thin Thighs in 30 days”. In 3 months, she hit her financial target and had her $100,000 in her hands1. Why? She helped women satisfy their curiosity to learn how they could lose weight around their thigh region and that gave her book the traction it needed to fetch her six figures.
The internet has made life easy for authors in this present age. Any writer who is not leveraging on the benefits of the internet is passing over too many opportunities that could help one make it big as an author.
You can visit marketplaces on the internet where online courses sell like Udemy, Teachable or SellShare in order to find out what people are paying money to learn about.
You can also use the Google keyword planner to find a hungry market that needs a book product you could create. If you are a graphic designer or computer programmer, or what have you, conduct a quick search on Udemy to check out which books, programs or courses are selling the most. Find out about the ones that are most expensive and what online learners are eager to sign up for.
This will give you a clear direction and broaden your mind on what you can capture in your book in order to attract your target audience like a magnet and help sharpen their skills like a sword smith.
For example, you can go to the search pane of Udemy and run a search for a keyword like “how to lose weight” or “how to create an app” or whatever it is that concerns you. Run the search and see the results. How many people have created a course or written a book on that subject.
The more the competition, the more profitable it is. All you need do is to look for an extra value to add to your product in order for it to stand out in a unique way and you are good to go. Just be sure that you can solve problems in that niche you have spotted with your gift, skills, experience, knowledge or expertise!
Concusion: What do you want to Write a Book About?
In conclusion, the process of deciding what to write about is both an exciting and crucial step on your journey as a writer. By exploring different ideas, considering your passions, and evaluating the needs of your target audience, you can uncover a book topic that truly resonates.
Remember, the topic you choose will shape the entire narrative, so take the time to find the perfect fit. With these insights and strategies, you’re now equipped to embark on your writing adventure and confidently write about a subject that captures your creativity and captures readers’ imaginations.