Do you have a book idea? If you’re like most people, you do. I don’t know what it is, but so many of us want to write a book one day.
What if my book idea isn’t a book?
There are a few reasons your idea may not be a good fit for a book. For starters, books (in general) should be evergreen.
“Evergreen” is a jargon term meaning “always relevant.” I guess “timeless” is another fitting definition. The point is, your topic needs to have some shelf life if it’s going to be a book.
Another point of measurement is you’re not qualified to write the book you have the idea for. Is it a specialized non-fiction topic you’re not trained in? It’s probably not a good fit for you.
And sometimes the idea we have isn’t big enough for a book. Like, you literally don’t have enough words to fill a book on this subject. It’s best to understand this before diving in and saving yourself some blood, sweat and tears.
Wondering if your idea is big enough for a book? Check out this post on average book lengths organized into genres.
By the way, I have created some planning worksheets to help you vet your book idea available in my resource library.
This is a free download but you’ll need a password to access it. Just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send it to you!
Once you’re there, navigate to the writing section and look for “You’ve Decided to Write a Book Worksheet.”
So what do you do if you discover your book idea isn’t a book?
Rather than letting the idea go full stop, here are a few suggestions for repurposing the idea so it still gets out there into the world.
Alternatives for your big ideas
While on the surface it may seem devastating that your idea isn’t a book I say don’t lose heart. There may still be a place for it. Consider these outlets.
- Blog post
- Teaching series
- Webinar/podcast episode/video
If you have your own website, then writing and publishing blog posts is an easy way to share your ideas and foster conversation.
Alternatively, you can take a freelancer approach and pitch articles to magazines, websites and other outlets.
A teaching series could involve a series of articles or blog posts and could address a different topic or takeaway in each piece.
Producing your idea as an audio or video piece could allow you to explore new areas of your business and reach a different audience.
And even if your idea isn’t a book-length one, it could still be a short booklet, novella. And who’s to say it can’t be developed into a screenplay?
See what I mean? Just because your idea doesn’t turn out to be a book it doesn’t mean you should give up on it. Just apply a little creativity.
After all this, there’s one question you may still be wondering.
Is my book original? How can I know my book idea is unique?
We all know on some level that there aren’t any new ideas out there, so how on earth can we think of an original book idea with all the books out there?
Rather than fixating on originality, find a book idea that represents who you are. Make sure it’s something you’re interested in and passionate about, and something you know a lot about (and can’t write an entire book about!). Make it unmistakably YOU and it will be an original.
Other articles about publishing
- Self-Publishing Versus Traditional Publishing, Which is Best?
- Books You Should Read If You Want to Publish a Book
- When to Query a Book
- Got a Book Idea? These 4 Steps Reveal if it Will Sell by Carol Tice
One more thing. You may be interested in my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.
This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.