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067 - Brainstorming Book Ideas

content passion Sep 02, 2020

Hey Guys!

Let’s talk about brainstorming book ideas…

I think you’ve heard me say this a few times, but I’ll say it again…you have to identify your passions, purpose, and values before you begin writing!

It’s important that your book and your business line up. You’re going to have a hard time sustaining energy about a topic that doesn’t interest you in six months to a year. You have to build your passion into the topics you write about and into every aspect of your business. You will do whatever it takes to push forward a mission or purpose that aligns with your passion and values. This is your inspiration.

Let me start by asking you…what reason do you have to bring into existence the information you are providing to your readers?

Whatever your answer, this all should be coming across in the branding of both your book (or books) and your business platform and social presence. Anyone showing up on your website or peering into your ecosystem should know what you stand for immediately.

Choose topics that you feel passionate about, that help you accomplish your mission, and that help you express your values. Knowing your goals, values, visions, objectives, and passions makes authoring books and building your brand that much easier. Being clear on all this will always strengthen your brand and help give clarity to your overall message.
And, you know, occasionally I get clients that just kinda want to write a book but swing all over the spectrum with their content and ideas. I used to wonder why they are writing in the first place, but now I simply ask. Why are you writing and what excites you? Some clients come to me for design work and others for both design and coaching so I don’t always get to educate everyone, but I try. When they only come in for design work and already have their manuscript done the only thing I can really do is ask what they are trying to do with their book and try to design a book cover that helps get them there. When they come in for coaching, by the time they get to design their book cover they are very clear on what they are trying to do and can better coach me on what they hope to accomplish with the look and feel. It’s a very different approach. When someone doesn’t know what they want the book cover to look like I generally know they haven’t well-thought-out their why.
Once clear and you know what topic you want to write about and how it ties into your passion, purpose and values—it’s time to come up with book ideas! That’s right…not just one book idea but many related ideas. It’s time to brainstorm!
Get out a sheet of paper and start writing. Write down every passion, goal, value, vision, and objective you have and don’t stop writing til you have them all down.
Once you have brainstormed ideas, prioritize them. Decide which book you will write first, and then which ones should follow. Keep in mind how each book will help you become known as an expert or as an author who writes about a particular topic or theme. Create the ideas so one book logically leads to another. This helps you build your brand and not just sell more books but it creates listeners and followers on your topic. But you have to get out from behind the book to make this happen, as the book won’t do it alone.

And to get out from behind the book you need to go through this same brainstorming exercise to identify every passion, goal, value, vision, and objective as it relates to how you will interact with your reader. Do you have a passion to speak? What goals to do have for where this is and how it looks? Do you speak to small rooms of people or large groups? What are your goals you wish to achieve as it relates? When you speak will you hold strong on your values and visions? And are you speaking with certain objectives in mind? It’s important to understand what this looks like outside the book because as you write you need to speak to this audience. Are you planning to launch a new YouTube video series? And what will you say?

Once you have made a brainstorming list then its time to start prioritizing it. What are the things you just know have to be in your book? What are the broader topics and what are the sub-topics? Now, how do these align with what you’re trying to do with your book? Think about the usable topics…the ones that can go into supporting a speech, align with a training program, can be used for coaching, or can be useful content for social media posting, podcasting, or YouTube videos. You want to do the hard work once so that it’s leverage-able for life. You don’t always make this kind of time to evaluate or build out a business plan so truly make it a time out to do so. The book that will work for you for some time to come is the book well worth taking the down time to write. If it doesn’t work for you then why are you writing it? Is it an ego booster? Is it a legacy project? And honestly, why wouldn’t one of those work for you? Why not, right?

There are a few tools I discuss in my Let’s Get Your Book Published book (starting on page 109) that help you identify your topic and audience further. Perhaps you’ve heard of these techniques.

Brain dumping or free writing or sometimes called mind-mapping is when you just dump everything you can think of on a page or whiteboard until you have no further ideas and basically exhaust yourself. You can then start identifying subjects and branching ideas off of them. Every new branch becomes a chapter or section or subsection in your book.

Cubing in another technique. It examines a topic from six points of views and was created to help students develop their thoughts when writing essays. It goes like this:
Describe the topic. (What is it?)
Compare it. (What is it like or unlike?)
Associate it. (What does it make you think of?)
Analyze it. (What is it made out of?)
Apply it. (How can it be used?)
Argue for/against it. (How can you support or oppose it?)

There are a few other ways I talk about in my book to get your brain storming going, such as:
Writing forward to a first draft
Choosing a center of expertise

You can buy the ebook for just $2.99 on Amazon, so go ahead and get that to get you going. We can build on it from there. Meanwhile, just keep jotting down notes everywhere you are and eventually the passion and purpose and why will become clear and the desire to write will overtake you. For me, when this happens I just can’t stop it. I don’t care what’s going on around me, I’m overtaken with my purpose to get it done. I’m not sure if this is how it works for everyone, but (for me) writing is definitely one of those things that requires an author to be fully engaged in the process.

As I said in the beginning, you’re going to have a hard time sustaining energy about a topic that doesn’t interest down the road. You have to build your passion into the topics you write about and into every aspect of your business. You will do whatever it takes to push forward a mission or purpose that aligns with your passion and values. This is your inspiration.

OK guys, may your day be blessed!

Wishing you peace, love, and light!


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