What If My Book Idea Isn’t a Book?

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 your book idea isn't a book? Alternatives

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.

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
  • Article
  • Teaching series
  • Webinar/podcast episode/video
  • Booklet/novella
  • Screenplay

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.

Other articles about publishing

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.

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.

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Thinking Like a Boss by Kate Crocco

If I learned anything from Thinking Like a Boss author Kate Crocco it’s this: the lies we tell ourselves hold us back more than anything else. This applies to our businesses, our relationships and spills into our entire lives.

Thinking Like a Boss: Uncover and Overcome the Lies Holding You Back from Success

Thinking Like a Boss: Uncover and Overcome the Lies Holding You Back from Success

When mindset coach and now author Kate Crocco first popped up in my radar I didn’t think much of it. While I believe things like setting healthy boundaries and managing decision making is important, I had trouble relating it to my business.

It’s funny, in a way, because now it’s all I see. My mindset directly impacts my emotions, my attitude and my work ethic. My mindset affects the way I go after what I want in life. Heck, my mindset either propells me towards thinking big or locks me into a negative victim mentality.

In her new book, Crocco addresses 12 common lies we tell ourselves and offers tips and strategies for overcoming them. She also shares personal anecdotes and lessons from her own life and business. Reading through I noticed I resonated with some lies more than others, which I think is normal. I used this as a signal for areas I should pay attention to and spend some time on.

Which lies? Making Money Is Greedy (Lie 5), I Need My Friends’ and Family’s Understanding in Order to Succeed (Lie 8) and I Am My Business (Lie 11) stick out in particular.

If you run your own business, or even if you’re thinking about starting your own or trying freelancing out one day, Thinking Like a Boss will allow you to move past your limiting beliefs and find the success you’re dreaming of. No guilt or shame allowed.

Today is the day! Thinking Like a Boss releases February 18, 2020 on Kindle, audiobook and hardcover.

We all want to be seen, heard, and understood by those around us. But when it comes right down to it, no one in your life will truly understand what your business requires except for you, and that’s okay.

Thinking Like a Boss, Lie #8

Thinking Like a Boss: Uncover and Overcome the Lies Holding You Back from Success synopsis

With over 11 million female-owned businesses in the US today, more women than ever are taking the reins to create their own success. Maybe you feel the pull to start a business but deep down you’re afraid that you don’t have what it takes. Maybe you have a great idea but wonder if you’re actually qualified to make it happen. Or maybe you want to expand your business, but you’re worried about how it will affect your family. If that’s you, it’s time to start thinking like a boss.

In this practical and encouraging book, Kate Crocco exposes the 12 limiting beliefs that are holding you back from your true potential, such as

  • I should have it all together and I don’t
  • I’m not ready or qualified to start
  • I don’t have enough time
  • It’s already been done before
  • and more

With plenty of inspiring true stories and actionable steps you can take—starting now—Thinking Like a Boss will help you turn your limiting beliefs into limitless opportunity.

Other Book Reviews

If I've learned anything from Thinking Like a Boss author Kate Crocco it's this: the lies we tell ourselves hold us back more than anything else. This applies to our businesses, our relationships and spills into our entire lives.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy 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.

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8 Literary Podcasts for Book Lovers

Book lovers everywhere, rejoice! There are so many wonderful, literary, bookish podcasts to binge, consume and otherwise indulge that it could become overwhelming. Here are eight of the best book podcasts to try in 2020, everything from author interviews and coversation to book recommendations, reviews and more.

Podcasts for Book Lovers

8 literary podcasts for book lovers

The Literary Salon

Damian Barr’s Literary Salon tempts the world’s best writers to read exclusively from their latest greatest works and share their own personal stories. Star guests have included Bret Easton Ellis, Jojo Moyes, John Waters, Helen Fielding, Diana Athill and Louis de Bernières—all in front of a live audience at leading glamourous locations. Suave salonnière Damian Barr is your host. Don’t worry it’s not a book club—there’s no homework. Salon Selective!

Just the Right Book!

Just the Right Book is a podcast hosted by Roxanne Coady, owner of famous independent bookstore R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, CT, that will help you discover new and note-worthy books in all genres, give you unique insights into your favorite authors, and bring you up to date with what’s happening in the literary world.

Between the Covers

Author interviews with today’s best writers—established & up-and-coming—in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Hosted by David Naimon, Tin House & KBOO 90.7 FM, Portland, Oregon. —The Guardian’s 10 Best Book Podcasts —Book Riot’s 15 Outstanding Podcasts for Book Lovers —the most intense and awesome podcast I’ve ever been a part of—Gary Shteyngart.

Nerdette

Nerdette is a safe space for nerding out about all the things you’re watching, reading, and encountering IRL. Interviews with your favorite (or soon-to-be favorite) authors, artists, astronauts, and more.

What Should I Read Next?

What Should I Read Next? is the show for every reader who has ever finished a book and faced the problem of not knowing what to read next. Each week, Anne Bogel, of the blog Modern Mrs Darcy, interviews a reader about the books they love, the books they hate, and the books they’re reading now. Then, she makes recommendations about what to read next. The real purpose of the show is to help YOU find your next read.

Literary Friction

A monthly conversation about books and ideas on NTS Radio hosted by friends Carrie Plitt, a literary agent, and Octavia Bright, a writer and academic. Each show features an author interview, book recommendations, lively discussion and a little music too, all built around a related theme—anything from the novella to race to masculinity. Listen live on NTS Radio.

Fully Booked

Get the ultimate insider’s scoop on the best new books. The editors at Kirkus Reviews interview your favorite authors, tell you whether or not the books on the bestseller list are worth the read, give you behind-the-scenes insights, and introduce you to great books you may otherwise never find.

Book Club for Masochists

A Readers’ Advisory Podcast about becoming better library staff by reading books we hate! Every month we read books from a new, randomly picked genre; then on the podcast we discuss our reading choices, experiences, opinions, appeal factors, and other related topics as friends and library workers. (Warning: Language)

Other Podcast Related Posts for Writers and readers

Book lovers everywhere, rejoice! There are so many wonderful, literary, bookish podcasts to binge, consume and otherwise indulge that it could become overwhelming. Here are eight of the best book podcasts to try in 2020, everything from author interviews and coversation to book recommendations, reviews and more.

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.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

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Books You Should Read If You Want to Publish a Book

If you’re wondering what books you should read to advance your authorship dreams then you’re in the right place. These are my top five pics for laser-focused, practical advice for everything from finding your story to deciding what type of publishing to pursue.

5 Books You Should Read If You Want to Publish a Book. If you're wondering what books you should read to advance your authorship dreams then you're in the right place. These are my top five book recommendations.

Books you should read if you want to publish a book

I’ve arranged my “books you should read” recommendations into a bit of a road map: figuring out what to write, outlining and drafting, deciding whether to self-publish or pursue traditional publishing, collaborating with other writers and influencers and getting book reviews. It’s the publishing journey if you will. The actual writing, that’s up to you.


The Creative Compass: Writing Your Way from Inspiration to Publication

This book could be for the writer who isn’t exactly sure HOW to write a book. Yes, it’s that practical. It could also be for the writer who has an idealistic outlook on what writing and publishing will be like. Kind of a reality check without being a jerk about it.

When it comes to writing, we can develop our skills and boost our talent through thoughtful practice…. By continuing to write, we build stamina and patience, eventually exceeding our own standards to the extend that we can raise them.

The Creative Compass (117)

What I learned: every idea starts with passion, meets with discouragement and must be battled with persistence. When writing the most important thing is to find a way to keep going despite the hard work, stress, lack of confidence and insecurity.

DREAM, DRAFT, DEVELOP, REFINE, SHARE

I spent a lot of time in the last third of the book. I underlined, wrote notes, even wrote “Amen!” beside especially good quotes (“If a sentence expresses an essential idea, advances plot, reveals character, or conveys relevant sensory detail that contributes to emotional effect or atmosphere then it’s probably worth keeping…. If not—snip, snip” Amen! [175]).

Fast Fiction: A Guide to Outlining and Writing a First-Draft Novel in Thirty Days

Even if you don’t call yourself a writer you might want to write a book. There are so many stories waiting to be told and, who knows, you might be the person to tell it.

What’s great about author Denise Jaden’s latest book Fast Fiction: A Guide to Outlining and Writing a First-Draft Novel in Thirty Days is she makes you feel like digging out the story deep inside you is possible. And the 30 days thing? Bonus.

I’ve wanted to write a book for a while now, maybe forever. As a kid I drafted a 100-page Choose Your Own Adventure of twin girls who get lost in Mexico while trying to find an orphanage (scary part—I experienced this trip IRL 10 years later with a friend…) and for the last two years I have felt like it’s time to try for real.

And I have. Tried that is. But I keep getting stuck and I have never known why. Fast Fiction tells me why: I didn’t know how to write a book. I didn’t plan it beforehand, I just sat down at the computer and expected it to come together. After reading Jaden’s book I finally get it. I do have a book in me I just didn’t have the tools to dig it out.

How Do I Decide? Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (A Field Guide for Authors)

Although the title aptly summarizes the six chapters, I wanted to add it’s not just for those wondering which method of publishing to pursue. This book works to change the question from “Which one should I choose?” to “How can I utilize these tools best to support my goals?”

I loved Rachelle Gardner’s straightforward approach to this complex question. She spends time analysing the pros and cons for both traditional publishing and self-publishing. As well she works to dispel common self-publishing myths and makes it crystal clear that self-publishing should not be an excuse to publish poor writing.

This short read is packed with material and is perfect for people who aren’t quite sure where to start with publishing, people who want to understand all the different publishing options, and people looking for credible resources to get started.

Did I mention chapter six is all about resources? In my opinion, this is where the real value of this book comes in. It lists further information on self-publishing, how to get an agent, where to look for editors, reputable book cover designers and more.

Creative Collaborations: How to Form Lasting and Lucrative Partnerships without Being Smarmy

The Internet says collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something. OK, that makes sense. And Kirsten Oliphant says it’s like roller derby. I had to think about this for a bit because I don’t know anything about roller derby but I think I get it: you stop being a lone wolf and instead become a teammate. You work with others to achieve a common goal.

That sounds nice in theory, but isn’t setting up creative collaborations with your competitors risky?

The risks: You could get burned, you could have your work stolen, you could be let down. All of this could happen when you work with others.

However, there are also potential benefits:

  • You could grow strategic partnerships that bring you further than you could go on your own
  • Also, you could make new friends
  • Another possibility is you could join a tribe where you feel encouraged, strengthened and inspired to keep moving forward

Throughout Creative Collaborations, Oliphant overviews different types of collaborations, builds an argument for why we need creative collaborations, teaches the difference between good and bad collaborations, cautions about legal implications when collaborating, and gives tips for creating life-changing collaborations. If you’re wondering how collaborations can change your business (and maybe your life), you will love this book.

How to Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career (HowToDoItFrugally Series for Writers) (Volume 3)

Why you need reviews (I’m borrowing from the book’s argument here, but I hold it as well):

Reviews are platform builders

Regardless of negative or positive, stars or lattes, reviews give you the chance to be a better writer, learn more about your genre, and know your target reader better.

Reviews are resources for endorsements

Blurbs, praise, bullets, whatever. Need some nice quotes? You can get them with book reviews!

Reviews can be networking tools

Both getting and giving reviews gives you contacts with editors of review journals, contacts with other reviewers who are potential reviewers of your books, contacts with other authors who need quotations for their books or referrals.

Once you’re convinced you should get book reviews, then you’re ready for the rest of the book. It walks you through alllllllllllllll the things you need to think through and plan for. It’s a lot, but they payoff is worth it. Not only that, but once you have the reviews the fun is not over! You can reap the benefits of past reviews for years to come.

If it’s time to do marketing, get this book.

These are my top five books you should read

All five of these books you should read recommendations are quick and practical with a ton of actionable advice. The big idea is you’ll read through them and then apply what you learn. My hope is you’ll move the needle forward as a result of reading these books.

5 Books You Should Read if You Want to Publish a Book. If you're wondering what books you should read to advance your authorship dreams then you're in the right place. These are my top five pics for laser-focused, practical advice for everything from finding your story to deciding what type of publishing to pursue.

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.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required

Set the Page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers

Do you want to set the page on fire? Write as fast as you can and clean it up later. At least, that’s what author Steve O’Keefe says, and I tend to trust someone who has 25 years’ experience teaching writing and publishing and has written several textbooks.

Set the Page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers

Set the Page on Fire review

I love writing craft books. I also wanted to learn what Steve O’Keefe thought the secret to success is. Turns out it’s not so secret as I thought: writers write.

If you can put words on paper or screen and convey meaning with those words—and everyone who has language can do this—you’ve got talent. Are there some folks who are just better alphabet stringers and word slingers than others? Yes, but not because they are more talented. It’s because they’re more practiced, more authentic, more careful.

Set the Page on Fire, 28

But maybe that is a secret. So many wannabe writers talk about writing, think about writing, read about writing, and study writing…but don’t write. Other writers manage to finish their tasks but spend a lot of time staring at the blank page. So how does one set the page on fire?

O’Keefe challenges writers to make time for writing and spend that time writing. No matter how terrible it is. Even if all you write is “I don’t know what to write,” over and over. Write and keep writing and you’ll see the page set fire.

There are some interesting creative exercises throughout Set the Page on Fire to help writers get into the fire-writing zone, which I’m excited to try out.

Here are a few examples

  • Write a 50-word description on what your moon looks like
  • Keep a fake book filled with phrases and quotes you come across and love. “Collecting a writer’s best lines … can impart an understanding of an author’s technique that will inform your own writing” (52)
  • Learn to recognize “the writer’s warm-up”
  • Making up words to get into the writing mind

Although I don’t do a lot of creative writing I think these exercises will be good for my writing.

One point O’Keefe makes throughout the book is everyone has something to say and everybody is valuable.

At a writing conference I was reminded of this idea as I spoke with a woman who wants to publish a book of poems she has written over the past 25 years. She wrote them as a way of working through past trauma and wants to help others walking through a similar situation by giving words to their pain.

I thought it was such an incredible reminder of the power of words. Sometimes your writing can give vocabulary to others who are feeling a thing but don’t have the words. You give them the words and help them identify their experience. You help them name it. Your writing means something and is important. So write.

Set the Page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers Synopsis

Discover the Tricks and Tools of the Pros

Successful writers write, rather than just think about writing, talk about writing, or plan what they’ll write when they get a cabin in the woods. Yet even accomplished writers sometimes get “blocked,” losing access to their in-the-zone writing mind. Steve O’Keefe offers proven techniques and practices for jump-starting stalled ideas, honed during his many years of working in virtually every aspect of publishing. His innovative, often unconventional exercises will get you writing and accessing your own unique voice — a voice the world wants to read! Containing a career’s worth of writing and publishing savvy, as well as the advice of expert authors gleaned from hundreds of interviews, Set the Page on Fire is the kind of nuts-and-bolts coaching and encouragement invaluable to novice and veteran writers alike.

Set the Page on Fire: Secrets of Successful Writers by Steve O’Keefe was published on June 11, 2019.

Do you want to set the page on fire? Write as fast as you can and clean it up later. At least, that's what author Steve O'Keefe says, and I tend to trust someone who has 25 years' experience teaching writing and publishing and has written several textbooks.

Other Writing Book Reviews

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.

Get Access to My Free Resource Library

* indicates required