5 Ways to Test Your Next Book Idea


 Writing a book can take months, or years. Even if you’re writing a short ebook, it’s likely to take weeks, unless you have a plan.

 While there are endless ways you can test book ideas, let’s look at five ways which have worked for me. I’ve written many dozens of book-length projects, not only for major publishers, but also to self-publish… and as a ghostwriter.

 I never write a book without testing the idea. Over time, I’ve learned that failing to do that is a great way to write yourself into a corner.   

Here are five  ways, starting with the simplest. If you wish, you can use these five ways as steps to writing your book.

1. Write a description 

Basic, and elementary. If you can’t describe the book, whether it’s nonfiction, or a novel, the chances that you can write the thing are precisely zero.

For example, I once got an idea for a humorous novel. The central character didn’t want anything in particular — everyone around her wanted her to do something for them. 

Luckily I wrote the description and spotted that. You can’t write a novel around a character with zero goals; there’s no conflict.  All I had to do was give her a big goal.

2. Journal

Start with the description, then journal. You can brainstorm plot, write as each character, list locations, think about motivation and emotion… just think about the book on paper, or on the computer screen.

If the book still sounds good after a week of this, you can go on to…

3. Create a blog

I love blogging, and I have a lot of them. A blog is a commitment. It’s also the first step in promoting your book — AND in creating your platform, if you’re not already busily engaged in doing that. 

Creating a blog is useful for both fiction and nonfiction, but perhaps more so for nonfiction. You’ll discover very quickly whether there’s interest in your book idea.

4. Create a mind map

 The big problem with writing a book is that you can’t keep it in your head. I love mind maps because they help me to see the book, from the overview, right down to each chapter and scene.

Freemind is a great free application which helps you to create mind maps.

5. Write and publish a “lite” version

If you’re writing a novel, write a short story and publish it on the Kindle platform. Ditto for nonfiction. Using your mind map (if you created one), write a bare-bones version, and then get it online and selling.

Got sales?

You’re in business — go ahead and write your book.



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Angela Booth is a top copywriter, multi-published author, and writing teacher. She offers many guides, courses and classes to help writers to enhance their skills on her websites. She also provides inspiration and motivation for writers on her writing blogs. Angela has been writing successfully since the late 1970s, and was online in the 1980s, long before the birth of the Web. Her business books have been widely published.