How to Choose the Topic for Your Book–Or Any Big Marketing Project

Writing & publishing books–for sale–has been my marketing secret weapon for the last 5 years.

But I can hear you saying now: What the heck am I going to write a book about?

(Even if you’re not, you’re probably wondering how to turn your idea into something really engaging and effective for your readers.)

I’ve got an easy exercise you can use to figure it out.

Now, what if you’re not writing a book? This technique works great for any big marketing project you want to embark on (a free course, video series, conference, etc…).

How to Choose Your Idea

Imagine sitting down with the top podcaster, journalist, or writer in your space. They’re really interested in what you do and how it’s different from the rest of the field.

They’d like to know more and you’re excited to answer their questions.

Write down the 5 questions you’d most like to be asked in an interview about what you do in your business.

Then, answer those questions.

Once you’re done, look for the ideas or insights in your answers that separate you from the rest of your space.

Also, look for the things you feel most passionate about, the rants & raves you have about the problem you solve (as my friend Dr. Michelle Mazur would say).

Choose one. Select a differentiator, a rant, or a rave from your interview.

That, my friend, is the topic for your book (or any big marketing project).

Want more? Watch the video clip above or listen to this week’s episode of Profit. Power. Pursuit. where I jam on what publishing books has done for my business and how self-publishing has changed since I was a bookstore manager.

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Then, mark your calendars for my FREE class on writing & publishing your first (or next) book on CreativeLive. 



words without end – or – on the obfuscation of our digital language

There is a trend on the net today with which I’m rapidly approaching my boiling point.

Everywhere I go: words.

While there is much beautiful writing, many transformational stories, and an abundance of powerful thought, there is also a deep cavern of meaningless words on the internet. Words modifying words strung together with other words.

Glittery sparkles of fresh fun words.

See what I mean?

I can read a whole blog post or ebook and not know what was said. The words sound pretty – they fit a niche or target a market – but they don’t mean anything.

When I see words coupled in unusual ways, I drill down to understand what deeper meaning the author is trying to expose by using words in that way. This likely stems from my ever so brief introduction to deconstructionism.

Deconstruction is not a dismantling of the structure of a text, but a demonstration that it has already dismantled itself. Its apparently-solid ground is no rock, but thin air.
— J. Hillis Miller

Layering words, creating relationships between them, and generally making writing “prettier” doesn’t aid in others understanding you. It obfuscates your meaning.

Do you know what your meaning is?

Do you know what your trying to say?

Or are you applying word after word to your digital page in order to try to understand yourself better?

Strip down. Get bare. What do you really want to say?

I don’t mean this to be a lesson in writing; I am hardly qualified to teach.

I do, however, mean this to be a lesson in getting real with what you really want to say to the world. We talk often about finding our “authentic selves” but talk little about our “authentic message.”

You are what you think. You are also what you say.
Natalie Sisson

We get clearer about how we want to be in the world without getting clearer on how we want to engage the world.

We don’t exist as solitary beings. Even authentic ones. We exist as people in relationship to others – and our words are a very big way we understand those relationships.

To be clear, direct, and always mindful of our deeper meaning in language is one way to strengthen those relationships and better understand who we are.

Use beautiful, powerful words – but consider them carefully.

Some of my favorite wordsmiths – those with deep meaning & winsome words – are Kelly Diels | Alexandra Franzen | Elizabeth Howard | Kristen Tennant.

{ image by soukup }