In a Forbes article from 2013, it was estimated that somewhere between 600,000 to one million books are published each year. Each year. When you decide to pour your heart and soul into a book, it does not mean that anyone will care. Unfortunately. That’s not to discourage you, it’s to first just help you to be realistic. Now with that out of the way, I want to get you to truly realize that building your concept is hella important.
I know, I know, says the girl that wrote books about love. Here’s the thing though, in my estimation, which someone could challenge, I think that I had a unique perspective. First and foremost, I’m 30. Fairly young in my estimation to have so many opinions on love. And two, I wanted to get people to think about love through a Godly lens. Sure there have been books written in that same vein, I’m sure, but this was my thought process in building my concept. It all started with this idea that Love is Choice.
What is your book’s value?
Truly, why would someone want to pick up your book instead of the twenty million others that are available to them? And it can’t just be because you think it’s great.
This really ties into your platform as well. When you spend time building a platform, you actually have people that will care that you’re releasing a book. In addition, to those people, you will want to hone in on what separates your book from others. Why would they read your poetry instead of Nayyirah Waheed’s or Rupi Kaur’s? Or in addition to those?
CLICK TO TWEET /// When you spend time building a platform, you actually have people that will care that you're releasing a book
Writing is creativity. In that, we should have ideas and concepts that differentiate. There is an adage that says “there is nothing new under the sun.” I tend to agree with that sentiment. But no matter how old of a feeling and idea love is, there will always be people experiencing love for the first time. That cycle never ends. So each writer, each person is simply giving their personal spin to it and introducing their concept to a generation of people that may have never felt these emotions before.
So what do you want to write about?
Is it a passion? What story are you trying to tell? What special interest do you have? What topic are you looking to explore? That’s the beginning.
When I started writing my first book Dear Love, it was from posting love letters on Instagram. Those love letters were based on what I felt I was learning about God’s love. I wanted to share that idea with people. That we should be using God as our greatest example of how to love extravagantly. Love on Purpose was really birthed from that first book. I wanted to dig deeper. I wanted to lay out the steps to actually love on purpose and to be intentional and mindful in the process. The positioning was that so many things that we consume make us think that love is a fairytale and the disappointment that we face when it is not, is sometimes Earth shattering for us.
Sure, building a unique concept matters, but it also matters that you think this is a subject matter you can speak intelligibly about and explore through various chapters of a non-fiction book. Novels are a bit different. But ultimately, they all have an interesting concept, something that will pull the ideal reader in. Fiction still explores different themes and have a way of showing a different perspective you may have never thought about through a more creative lens.
Building the outline.
Once you have solidified this idea, the best way I have found to build it out is an outline. I used to hate outlines, but in the book writing process, I don't see a way around them. What are the supporting topics to help round out your concept? Flush it all out first. Sometimes I utilize index cards so that I can move them around and put them in order.
And then the biggest goal here is to write! Write everything that you ever thought about that concept. Do the research and just write. It’s so important in my opinion not to edit in that process. Or like me, not to start formatting in that process. (I’m the worst with that.) Just get your ideas out because there is going to be a lot of editing, re-writing, and more ahead of you.
If ever at a lost, just ask yourself, "what is the point of my book?" What do I want people to get out of this? What am I writing it for? There is always a reason. Sometimes we think, "oh it's just something I did," which is well and good but if you want to be intentional about it, if you want people to care about it, it's important to know exactly what your book is trying to say, who it's for and why it stands out!
If you are looking for some direct help with your manuscript or questions specific to your book project, be sure to sign up for the Working Lunch to conclude the series.