10 Ideas How to Find Out Which Book to Write

Know this: fiction and nonfiction are only different techniques of storytelling.

I’m sure you already know that a nonfiction book would gain you credibility and authority within your target market.

But maybe you don’t know where to start. You may be having trouble thinking of even one idea that seems worthy of a whole book – that would help you move closer to your goal of becoming an expert on your topic or being seen as an authority or thought leader.

If you find yourself sitting and staring at your computer screen. Or watching as other entrepreneurs or, worse yet, your competition, produce not only one bestselling book but two or three… and you wonder, “How the heck do they come up with all those great ideas?”

Here are 10 ideas you can use to come up with your next great nonfiction books:

1. Ask Your Audience

Survey your subscribers by email. When you speak to a client or prospect in person or on the phone, never end a meeting without asking what they would most like to know about your subject, business, service or product. If you don’t yet have a mailing list, contact them using Facebook or LinkedIn. Once you have asked 10-50 people, analyze the answers. I bet you’ll have enough data to produce several books.

2. Answer Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re already in business for a while, your prospects and clients tell you everything they want to know… All you have to do is listen, and capture all those questions that keep coming back. Find a creative way to structure their questions and your answers in the most valuable format for them… and you’ve got a book – made to order…

3. Find Ideas in Your Website Stats

Use your website analytics data to check for the most read posts on your blog. Once you know which posts are most popular, you know what topics interest your potential readers – and what topics to focus on when writing your nonfiction book. (Hint: Just expand on your popular blog posts!)

4. Find Trending Topics on Amazon

One of the simplest and easiest ways to find popular book topics is to check the Amazon bestseller lists. When you click here, you can see (on the left side of the screen) all the different kindle books categories on Amazon.com. Go through the categories and subcategories that are relevant to your expertise and analyze the book topics and titles that show up. Make sure you are looking through the ‘Top 100 Paid’, not ‘Top 100 Free’ books, because you want to generate topic ideas for a book that people would pay to get.

5. Teach the Solution to the Problem You Solve

This works well when your expertise is related to a personal journey you went through (weight loss, dealing with grief, building a business…) First, identify a problem you had, one that created real pain for you. Second, describe the solution you came up with to solve that problem. Third, ask yourself, “Is this a problem for other people, and if so, would they find my solution valuable?” If the answer is, “Yes, there are people who would like that knowledge,” then you probably have a good book idea in you.

6. Write the “Everything You Wanted to Know…” Book
It all started in 1970 with the book “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex” by David Reuben. Its question-and-answer form is perfect for focusing on what you want to know and skipping sections that don’t concern you. The book was a huge success and its format was copied and created hundreds of bestselling books. Pick up 100 questions about your topic your reader would want to know the answer for and write a 1-2 page answer for each.

7. Compile a Series of Blog Posts
If you’ve already published daily or weekly blog articles, you’re well on your way! Look for a common thread or topic running throughout, organize your posts into chapters or sections, and take your stories to the next level – in a book format.

8. Transcribe a Course or a Workshop
My book The Enlightened Millionaire started as a sold-out one-day workshop. I’ve got the audio recording transcribed and cleaned up. Then I spent a couple of days adding valuable sections, deleting some repetitive or unclear paragraphs, tweaking the text and format. Then a professional editor did a final round to make everything coherent, and voila… a book was born. Total work for me – 6 hours to deliver the workshop and 2 days improving the transcription.

9. Collaborate With Other Experts

Most experts think that they need to write their book alone. But, when you’re trying to run and grow a business, you don’t always have the time to write your book alone. In this case, you might want to consider collaborating with other experts: find a co-author(s), you could hire a ghostwriter to turn your bullet points and unorganized notes into a coherent book, or, if you have a lot of content that’s broken into distinct pieces, you could interview other experts to fill in the holes.

10. Write a Fable that Illustrates Your Client’s Journey

Published in 1968, The Greatest Salesman in the World (by OG Mandino) is the original business fable. Using ancient scrolls to tell the story of a poor camel boy Hafid, the tale teaches readers how drive and determination lead to true success. Another example I like is Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results (by Stephen C. Lundin) – inspired by Seattle’s famous Pike Place Fish Market and its enthusiastic employees, a fictional manager applies simple leadership principles to create a much more effective and cooperative workplace.

Now It’s YOUR Turn

For five minutes… come up with as many ideas as you can… what books could YOU write to support your target audience and establish you as the expert and authority?

Let's Brainstorm


Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

Top Commenters – last 30 Days

Let's Brainstorm


Please share your ideas (all of them or just one) in the comment box below… and let’s get WOWing.

Live fully, stay awesome,

Nisandeh Neta

  1. >> I am going to identify the BEST topic for my Expert How-To Book<<

    Day 3 – More possible book topics

    1) Knowledge management-as-a-Service
    2) I love being a SUPER HOST – As will you!!!
    3) The Gift of Resistance
    4) Everything you want to know about knowledge transfer
    5) Everything you want to know about peoplemanagement
    6) Becoming an Airbnb host in 10 steps – and a SuperHost in 20
    7) Life events which shapes us – and influence our parenthood
    8) My life as a Cameleon
    9) The gift of grieve -
    10) The gift of Burn-out - Beliefs and traditions which have influenced our lives

  2. - a book on small windmill legislation for home owners in NL
    - second opinion of solar panels
    - understanding household power, power storage, usage and saving power
    - back up system in case electricity shuts down
    - simple mathematics of energy consumption
    - how to design an electricity map of your house from scratch
    - monitor performance + optimise
    - secure energy supply for the next 30 years
    - healthy off grids
    - DC houses
    - DC grids
    - sharing energy security with your neighbors
    - invisible power made visible and measurable, if you see it you get it

  3. - je stresscircel doorbreken,
    - balans en ritme in je dag
    - de gouden 5 voor balans
    - je stressbron te lijf
    - je doet ertoe, lees hier hoe
    -mooi mens. Ga lekker leven!
    -relax no stress
    - bore out or burn out? FIND your love mission LIVE. 😀
    -NEVER AGAIN, stop hiding start living fully.

  4. 1. Use your intuition by asking yourself this question just before you go to sleep. You will probably get an answer in the following days through a hunch or something that attracts your attention.
    2. Ask your clients and followers; and if you have some suggestions, present the possibilities to a small group of your best customers and ask them what they like the most and why.
    3. Ask a connection in a publishing house what search words are most commonly used on their website and see if you can spin it towards your expertise.

  5. I am teaching miniature bookbinding five.
    times a year world wide.
    During the courses applicants have questions book/bookbind related.

    I have written down the most interesting questions, and the answers I have given.
    Those answers mixed with parts of the manuals of the DIY kits could be a book that will sell well.

    Some colleagues think that sharing tricks and ins and outs will trow them out of business.

    Sharing your knowledge is not giving away your secrets. It inspires other people which will inspire you in return.
    As soon as your book is written, you brain will run to your next project or idea while your readers start reading.

  6. Here's another general idea. Write a series.

    I am now writing a book about how to do online meetings. It's a general book. I can follow it up with a book on online brainstorming, online decision making, online strategy sessions, online one one one sessions (that's specifying), or I can follow it up with book on hybrid meetings (make it broader). I could also choose to write a book specifically for government, for chain partners, for IT companies doing projects, etcetera. SOO many ideas:)

  7. * about things going wrong. It' s not only informative but often fun to read.
    In addition, write how you yourself made mistakes, write how you deald with those, and how and where you found a/the solutions
    * In my profession it's quite easy to take one technical subject of building a house and look for all kind of products on the web and review them. So like, when I choose the subject of heating, I look for different brands and types of heaters and boilers. And for instance, compare the cheap with the expensive ones.
    * What to check before starting.... A project, a trip, a business, anything. Not like a checklist but more elaborate. Kind of like a soul-search, to find out if this is really your thing to put your energy in. For example, how to think and explore your plan and your mindset before investing in real estate

  8. Interesting list! The first 3 points are very important, no matter what book you write. If people don't need your book, it's going to be a great disappointment and very hard to write another book in the future. I like #10 too. People love stories, I think it's a powerful style for a management book.

    I did the brainstorm for my specific business, but I think the ideas are easy to translate:

    1. Make a compilation of anecdotes - I'm sure every business owner has inspiring stories to tell from his daily practice or his clients. In my case, I could write a book with anecdotes about all the amazing little wonders people experience in the first short period after their loved one died.

    2. Write fiction - I realize writing fiction is a serious profession, but there's so much power in a good fiction story. Metaphors are often easier to remember than the non fiction version of a lesson. A story can truly move you, encourage you, comfort you and make you cry. Qualities that can help people in grief, for instance. I guess you could always find a professional author who can help you out when you're stuck..? @Bina?

    3. Make a compilation of other peoples work - This kind of book is for inspiration and entertainment. You can compose an interesting collection en tell why you - as a professional - think the work is worth highlighting.

    4. Make a coffee table book filled with beautiful images - You could do a collaboration with a visual artist when you don't produce images yourself. Even the most theoretical content will be easy to digest (by people who wouldn't read your book in the first place).

  9. I have two types of target audience but for this specific challenge I guess I'm focusing on my clients who I teach creative writing and scriptwriting, so here are a few ideas on books I can write about:
    1. Structure Hacks
    2. Loglines Hacks
    3. Accuracy and Authenticity in writing Historical novels
    4. How NOT to write female characters
    5. Ultimate Story Structure
    6. How to write a movie and novel synopsis
    7. Foundation of Writing Craft
    8. Writing & Selling Drama Screenplays
    9. Writing Diverse Characters
    10. The Art of Storytelling

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