This is an excerpt from my book, “The Book Idea Workbook: 10 Can’t-Fail Steps to a Book Your Prospects Can’t Wait to Read (And You’re Excited to Write!)”
Imagine sitting down at your computer, putting fingers to keys, and being excited to share your passion with the world. Feel the feelings of knowing you’re making a difference in the world with your important message. Imagine how good it feels to share your story with someone who desperately needs to hear it.
Your book needs to be fun for you to write about. It really does need to be a topic you’re excited about. If you’re dreading spending days, weeks, maybe even months delving into your topic
IT’S THE WRONG TOPIC!
You may think, “But Kim, it’s the best topic to prove I’m an expert in my field!” And I’ll say: your lack of excitement will shine through every word and every page. The book will be a chore to write and a bore to read.
Trust me on this one! I’ve experienced it myself and I’ve seen it in my clients. It’s a 1,000% easier to write a book about a topic that excites you. And even if it’s a narrow area of your business, that excitement will help you get your butt in the chair, fingers on keyboard, and words on the page.
Your excitement about the topic and your excitement to get started writing will really help on the days when you just don’t feel like it. Sometimes you’re not going to enjoy the writing process. But if you try to write a book you feel you SHOULD because it proves you’re an expert or you think it will be easy to market and you’re not joyful about the topic, it’ll fall flat.
You’re writing your book because you want to:
- Establish your credibility and expertise
- Bring in new clients who found your book
- To differentiate yourself from your competitors
You know what makes you excited. Now it’s time to figure out where YOUR excitement intersects with what your prospect really wants to know about. So you’re going to ask them!
You’ll want to create a survey for your prospects that will help you refine your book’s topic. You may have created surveys for your business before. Here are three things to keep in mind as you create your survey questions:
1. Write good questions!
You want something that is opened-ended but not vague. It’s the difference between: ‘What’s your biggest challenge about your business?’ vs ‘What’s your biggest challenge in marketing your business?’
2. Survey the right people.
You don’t want to ask everybody on your Facebook friend list to take your survey when your friends are 95% people you went to school with. Ask people in your target market!
3. Ask questions to gain clarification on what you THINK they’re saying.
It’s an open-ended question but it is leading just a bit. Don’t be afraid to change the question later if you’re not getting answers that give you plenty of usable information.
It’s really difficult to write “good” survey questions that both gather the information you’re looking for and don’t create a bias toward an answer. Thankfully, you’re not writing a scientific survey! This is just to help you take the ideas you love the most and see which ones your prospects also resonate with.
I like to use SurveyMonkey.com for my surveys. I try to keep the survey laser-focused and with just a few questions. The key is to make sure you know which to ask as open-ended questions requiring a few sentences and which will be “check all that apply” type questions.
Thankfully, it doesn’t take a huge number of survey responses to start to see patterns in what your prospects are interested in. And you can always re-write the questions so the answers help you refine your book’s topic.
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