Let’s select three things that are important to you, so we can use them to find a topic based on your own personal values.
THE THREE ‘P’s OF PURPOSE
When you choose to write a book on a topic that satisfies your values, you can be sure it will be a great topic and worth writing about – for you!
Ask yourself the following three questions and write the answers on a piece of paper. Just write each answer as a word or a short statement. Later, when your answers are combined within a single sentence, you’ll find the basis of a topic that’s worth writing a book about.
What’s the one problem in life that you feel most strongly about and you really want to solve? What problem makes you thump the table or shout at the TV?
For example, you may be frustrated continually seeing underperforming children grow into dysfunctional adults.
What are you most passionate about? This is something that you love doing and would miss if you had to give it up.
For example, you’re passionate about teaching others.
What’s your particular proficiency? This should be something you’re good at – not necessarily what you’re in business for. For example, something that’s easy for you to do but your friends always ask your help with. Consider what you are an expert in, or what knowledge, experience, skill, expertise or belief you have that could benefit the lives of other people.
For example, your success at balancing your role as a lone parent with the pressures of a demanding career.
Now take a moment to combine all three answers by simply selecting one word or phrase from each of these three ‘P’s and incorporating these words or short statements into a single sentence.
For example, you could try the following format that I use with my aspiring authors. Just fill in the blanks with your answers to the three questions, inserting an appropriate verb after the word ‘to’.
I want to use my (passion for) ……….. and my (proficiency in) ………. to ………… (the problem of) ………..
After completing your three ‘P’s, you will be much clearer on what’s important to you, which you also feel passionate about – and as a bonus, it’s easy to write about because it’s something you are good at!
Here’s an example:
“I want to use my teaching qualifications and my experience as a single parent to solve the problem of underperforming children who become dysfunctional adults.”
YOUR BOOK’S TOPIC
Here’s how to select a specific book topic that’s right for you. Take the sentence that you’ve created and boil it down until you can summarise it in just one to three words.
This word or pithy phrase is your book’s topic.
In the previous example, it might be Childcare. However, other topics might be, Health and Wellbeing, Marketing, The Non-Profit Sector, Website Development, etc.
Now, take your topic and try it out on others. Test it on someone by saying it aloud. How does it sound? Make a note of what they say about it – their view is important.
It’s worth the effort, because the result will be to find the best topic for your book. Your motivation will always remain strong if you base your book’s topic on the results of this exercise.
When you have asked at least three people for feedback, make your final choice and write it down.
YOUR BOOK’S TITLE
In some cases, your book topic will already make a very good book title. In others, it will need a little ‘tweaking’ and refinement.
For example, Childcare for Lone Parents, Health and Wellbeing for people on a low budget, Marketing for the Non-Profit Sector, Website Development on a Budget.
You might have a serious topic like, ‘How to Write a Book Quickly’, but feel it needs to be livened up a bit: so you might change it to ‘Write a Money-Making eBook in a Weekend!’
A strategic book’s title is intended to grab your ideal reader’s attention and then the subtitle is used to explain what the book is about. For example, in the case of my own book, the title and subtitle are:
The Seven Secrets of Successful Author: A Proven System for Writing a Strategic Book That Avoids Costly Mistakes and Creates More Profit!
Contrary to popular practice, I truly believe that you should decide on your book title before you start writing. Your title is the single most important part of your book. In fact, it’s the only part of your book that everyone reads – and that’s often true for people who’ve actually bought your book.
So don’t listen to those book coaches who foolishly suggest ignoring your book’s title and will tell you that one mysteriously ‘pops into your head’ as you write your manuscript. Your book and its title are very closely intertwined, so the title should be selected right at the start.
The more that you focus on what you want, the closer you will get to achieving your goal. So the sooner you know the title of your book, the better the picture of your book in your mind as you write it.
As Stephen Covey said in his famous book, The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, ‘Begin with the end in mind!’