Start Here to Write an eBook
Want to write an ebook? You can. Start with an idea, build on it, and before you
know it, you've got a book. (I'll be using 'book' and 'ebook' interchangeably in this
article, because any idea you find for an electronic book will certainly work as a print
book as well.) Here are some ways to get ideas for books only YOU could write.
Work through the following exercises. Work through them quickly. Don't allow
yourself to bog down. Do them as quickly as you can, and then go and do something
else for a few hours, to let the ideas gestate and bubble in your subconscious mind.
When you come back, read through the ideas you generated, and add to them as
you read through your lists. PLEASE DON'T DISCARD ANY IDEAS AT THIS STAGE. This is
because the way to a brilliant, fantastic NEW idea is by twisting an idea slightly,
reversing it, or by combining several ideas into a new one. Don't discard!
Ideas from: What you're good at
Make a list of 20 things you're good at. Don't think too hard about this. Maybe
you're good at buying presents for people - you've got a knack for choosing just the
right gift. Maybe you're a good cook, or a good parent, or a good swimmer or a good
tennis player. Or maybe you used to be good at one or more of these things.
Ideas from: Your past experiences
Experiences sell. If you've been abducted by little green men from Mars, it's a book.
If you're a bigamist, it's a book. People have written books about their illnesses (see
Challenges below), their addictions, and their pets. Browse through the bestseller lists to
see what personal experiences people are writing about.
Here's where you walk down memory lane. If you're in your twenties, it'll be a
short stroll. If you're in your forties or older, it will be a hike. Don't get bogged down
with this, list 20 experiences you've had that spring to mind.
The easiest way to come up with experiences is work backwards through the
stages of your life, or through decades. Again, don't take a long time over this. Set
yourself a time limit - ten minutes is enough.
Ideas from: Your knowledge
What do you know? Start by making a list of all the subjects you were good at in
school. Then list all the jobs you've had - yes, part-time work counts. Also list:
Your hobbies. Are
you a keen Chihuahua breeder? Do you quilt? Take photographs?
Your current job.
What are you learning in your job that other people would pay to learn?
you've lived. Your hometown may be boring to you, but guide books sell well.
Your family tree.
What special knowledge do your nearest and dearest have that you could write about?
Spend around ten minutes writing down as many subjects as you have knowledge about.
Ideas from: What you enjoy most
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson freely admits that she cooks because she loves to
eat. Nigella has turned her love of food into a career. She regularly produces bestselling
books. (Her chocolate recipes are brilliant.) What do you love? People have written
about garage sales, cosmetics, cars, vacations. If you love something, chances are that
thousands or maybe millions of others will love it too.
Watch the newspapers and take note of current trends. Or better yet, listen to
what your children are talking about, or asking you to buy for them. Children tend to be
well up on what's happening.