How to Develop a Book Concept That Has Bestseller Potential
“Recently a writer friend told me about her desire to write a book that wakes people up. ‘Everybody’s asleep,’ she said, ‘they need to be woken up!’
“OK,’ I said, ‘but look at it from your readers’ perspective. What’s the need they would tell you they have that you want to help them with?’
We talked for a while and figured out that the need this writer wanted to address is a lack of fulfilment. She wants to help readers get more intentional and experience a thriving, meaningful life as a result.
Let me ask you. Which is more appealing to you:
- a book that will ‘wake you up’
- a book that will help you live a more fulfilling life
The second option, to my mind, is a much better way for this writer to frame her concept. Why? Because it meets a need that real people really have.
The problem with writing to a need readers don’t have, or don’t believe they have, is you end up writing a book few people want to read. But if you write to a need readers have, now your book has bestseller potential.
How do we identify a need readers have and still get to say what we want to say? That’s what this blog post is all about.
Acknowledge the Gap
The first step is to notice when a gap exists, and it often does. On the one hand is what you want to happen for your reader when they read your book. On the other is the need readers actually have that will bring them to your book. Notice the gap, be honest about it.
Don’t Judge Their Need
At this point we can be tempted to get on our high horse and think, ‘Well, that’s not the need they should have. They should want this instead.’ But we don’t get to determine what other people want or need. All we get to do is decide whether we’re going to serve their need or not.”