There is much advice about selecting topics for your book. Some advise consulting which keywords are being searched or the best sellers on Amazon as a gauge for what people are buying. Almost all advice says write about what you know or want to know about.
Some of the most exciting books on the market are the ones that pop into the writers’ heads while they are doing something else.
Take Jason Bailin, master of culinary arts, of Chicago, IL, for example. While he and friends were drinking wa-a-ay too much in a bar, his friends Leslie and Dave recalled the amazing recipe he had given them so Leslie could whip up something special for Dave’s birthday. They told him “You should write a f%@king cookbook!”
Jason’s slurred response “”I will tell you what I do think though… I think that you two bit@hes oughta get in the kitchen, and pay me back for giving you that damn recipe.” The next morning when the idea still seemed fun and plausible, Jason began planning.
A year later the result was “Get in the Kitchen Bit@hes! This Ain’t Your Grandma’s Cookbook.”
It was not a straight road to publication. None of the literary agents he approached thought it had a chance for success. What they didn’t understand, apparently, is that readers are hungry not just for delicious and easy-to-follow recipes, but for making cooking fun.
It is this strong belief in a book idea that lead many successful authors to ignore the forecasts of traditional publishers and forge ahead to self-publish their own work.
There are a number of factors that make Jason’s book a success:
1. He saw a need in the marketplace to make cooking more fun and filled it.
2. He was already a great cook and culinary creative.
3. He was willing to be edgy, knowing that he would embarrass, upset and alienate some, but delight and entertain others.
4. Kept the tone going through out his book from the title to the name of the recipes, such as South of My Border Pasta
Bend Me Over Beef, Artichoke The Chicken and Thai Me Down! Chicken
5. He actually reads and responds to the comments left by readers on Amazon, even taking some of their advice for improving the book.
I’m not advising you to work yourself into a drunken stupor to see what creative ideas emerge. I’m definitely not advising that you try to be edgy if it’s not the real you. You can only pull off a book with sexual references, for example, if it fits your personality, funny meter and world view.
What I am saying is don’t discount that idea that seems to come from left field. It may fill a hunger the reading public
didn’t know it had and best of all, is an idea that was looking for you.
Watch the video trailer for Jason’s book above, then tell me your take on choosing book topics?