Ideation—the formation of ideas or concepts.
This activity represents a mainstay for most writers. Without ideas, you’re lost…or, at least, you’re not writing or making money.
How do you work with your ideas so you can become an author? How do you work with them to become a multiple-book author? And how do you work with them to create a business around your books—to become an authorpreneur—so you can earn a living?
If you have one idea, you can turn it into a book—or give it the structure of a book—with the mind mapping process I discussed in my last post, How to Start Your Nonfiction Book Easily and Effectively Every Time. Then you can write it.
How to Generate Multiple Book Ideas
But what about if you want to write more than one book? Cool! It’s possible you have many ideas. You can use the same mind mapping process discussed in that earlier post to get all your book ideas out of your head and onto paper.
Place your book idea in the middle of your mind map and do your brain dump. Basically, brainstorm your ideas, and then organize them. What you might end up with is something that looks like this:
What this indicates is that you generated both ideas related to your original book idea and ideas unrelated to your initial book idea. That’s what happens for a lot of writers.
That’s okay…if you don’t care about branding yourself as an author. Branding yourself as an author will help you sell more books. So, you might want to rethink your ideation strategy.
How to Ideate for Optimal Author Success
Instead of starting with your book idea, start with your general topic area. What do you want to write about over time? Is there a theme or a subject that floats your boat and for which you’d like to be known? This is a good place to start.
Now, do a brain dump—a mind map around this topic. Think outside the writer box. Don’t just brainstorm your spin-off books, the additional books you will write that are related to your first book idea, but also products and services related to all the books you might write. Consider how you might build a business around this book. (Books tend to not be the big money makers for authors…) Brainstorm how you could become an authorpreneur.
When you ideate in this manner, you might end up with a mind map that looks like this:
Your map can include a description of each book, product and service. And each book can be planned out so it follows logically from the next.
Every Author Needs a Map Before They Set Out
Numerous times I’ve heard bestselling author Brendon Bouchard say the time for a map is before you enter the forest. The same holds true when you set out on your career as an author. You need a map of where you are going—where you want to end up—before you start writing and before you enter the “forest” of your publishing career.
Believe me, I know. I’ve taken a bit of a winding path and found myself lost in some dark places. I like to help aspiring authors cut down on their travel time and avoid those scary detours by teaching them (from my own experience) how to take a straighter and more direct path to success. Mind mapping your career is that way.
I love taking aspiring authors through this ideation process as they start their journey into authorship. It’s so exciting! I hope you’ll consider ideating your book, your books, a business around your books, and your career as an author. Let me know in a comment below how it goes! And visit your-author-coach.com if you need help with the ideation process.
Copyright: marincas_andrei / 123RF Stock Photo
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