Choosing your topic

One of the challenges many new authors encounter is deciding what to write about.

The easy answer is something you know well and that you want to share with others.

  • This might be a topic you have studied for years.
  • It might be your secret sauce that makes you successful with your clients.
  • It might be a hot topic that you have a strong opinion about.

One of the decisions you need to make is whether or not you want to write something topical that has a short shelf life or something that has a long standing appeal to your audience.

Topics with a short shelf life are frequently better for articles rather than books. However, there are times when a book is the best choice. If you can add something new about an issue that everyone is talking about – a political candidate, gun control, abortion, terrorism – a book may be the way to go.

Keep in mind that what you are writing in this instance may become a reference in the future for what people believed about a particular topic at this time.

Including dates or references to specific events such as the dance club shooting in Orlando or the bombing of the Istanbul airport put an easily identified timeline on your writing.

Most books are written about topics that are essentially timeless. You may present a different perspective than another author, but the topic was of interest a week, a month, and a year ago and will be of similar interest into the future. This style of writing is frequently referred to as evergreen because of its ongoing value.

In these types of books you avoid timely references. Instead you make no reference at all to time or you work with the passage of time. For example, you could refer to steps one, two, and three in implementing a marketing plan. As a part of this you could state that step two is initiated a week after completing step one, and step three begins two weeks later.

Your reader has a sense of how long it will take to complete the plan without tying it to a specific month or holiday.

Timing is particularly important for a currently trending topic. This will be easier to complete as a book if you have already done some writing on the topic and just need to add a couple of chapters to make it responsive to current circumstances.

If you are starting from scratch with your writing, especially if it is your first book, you will find the process easier and less frustrating if your goal is an evergreen book that shares your knowledge and guidance on a topic that you can continue to sell from your website indefinitely.

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Not sure which way to go with it? Give me a call and let’s talk. Schedule your Enchanted Book Session here.

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