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Looking for a Damn Great Book Topic to Write About?

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?

What Will You Write About?

Many writers wonder what to write about. One place to get started is to go back through your memories. Some are warm and fuzzy, while others are sharp and painful. Either way, they are great starters for your writing projects.

One way to recall those memories is to visit your old photos. Today while I was taking a break from my work, I picked a few photos from my past and recent history and made the following video using Animoto. They have a free version, stock photos and music and more advanced versions for longer videos.

Maybe creating a video like the one I created below will inspire your writing and give you content for your blog and social media accounts as well.

Tie Observances to Your Niche, Uncover Hidden Riches

Just as news tie-ins can help you get media attention, pairing your writing with monthly observances can help uncover hidden riches in your business.  Every month of the year is full of monthly, weekly and one-day observances.

When you can find a way to share your knowledge, expertise and skills to help your readers, website visitors, workshop attendees, and customers, you enrich your value and uncover profits you may otherwise have missed. These tie-ins are also prime content for compelling press releases.

Here are a few of the ways my clients could create articles, tips, booklets, ebooks or audio guides that tie into monthly observances, followed by a list of  some of the August and September observances.

Back to School Month

  • Feng Shui consultant– how best to arrange college dorm rooms
  • Parenting consultant– how parents can to prepare their youngsters for school success
  • Image consultant–fashion advice on styles on which parents and teenagers can agree

Family Meals Month

  • Plant-based nutritionist–how to transition your family to a whole foods diet

College Savings Month

  • Personal finance coach–ways to begin or continue college savings progams

Self-Improvement Month

  • Life coach–how to set and accomplish personal growth goals

Mold Awareness Month

  • Contractor–ways to prevent, spot and rectify mold in your house or office

Library Card Sign-up Month

  • Author–little-known benefits of using your local library

What are some ways you can use the following observances to uncover hidden riches in your niche?

August Observances

American Adventures Month
American Indian Heritage Month
Back to School Month
Black Business Month
Cataract Awareness Month
Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month
Children’s Vision & Learning Month
Get Ready for Kindergarten Month
Family Meals Month
Golf Month
Motorsports Awareness Month
National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month
National Immunization Awareness Month
National Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
National Runaway Prevention Month
National Truancy Prevention Month
National Water Quality Month
Neurosurgery Outreach Month
Pedestrian Safety Month
Psoriasis Awareness Month

September Observances

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month
Baby Safety Month
Backpack Safety America Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
College Savings Month
Gynecology Cancer Awareness Month
Library Card Sign-up Month
(World) Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month
Mold Awareness Month
National Chicken Month
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
National Childhood Injury Prevention Month
National DNA, Geonomics & Stem Cell Education Month
National Coupon Month
National Head Lice Prevention Month
National Organic Harvest Month
National Osteopathic Medicine Month
National Prime Beef Month
National Sickle Cell Month
National Preparedness Month
National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
National Skin Care Awareness Month
Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month
Self Improvement Month
Shameless Promotion Month
Sports and Home Eye Health & Safety Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)

Get Media Coverage with a Compelling Press Release That has a News Tie-in

The media continually scrambles to fill the news, on and offline. You can get free  and invaluable promotion for your book, blog or other writing with a great press release.  To get  published your press release must tell a  compelling story and have a news angle or a hook that grabs the media’s attention.

A press release is a pseudo-news story that will convince an editor of the newsworthiness of an event, product or service.

If you can tie together a press release about your writing with some connection to a news story, you can generate immediate attention which can lead to increased sales for your book or traffic for your blog.

News tie-ins are great because a lot of the work is already done for you.

For example, when a portion of one of the major freeways in south Los Angeles, the 405, was closed for widening, the city, county and whole state were abuzz. In anticipation of this one weekend, July 16-18, 2011, some businesses closed, some lifestyles were altered and the media garnered tremendous attention by dubbing this event Carmageddeon, warning drivers to stay away from the area. 1,000’s of tweets, Facebook messages and many news stories were spun from this event.

Retailers, such as www.cafepress.com, were ready with Carmageddon t-shirts, mugs and iPhone cases and more. Some local bars and restaurants offered special deals to help ease the stress on local residents, and of course, get them to still shop during this period.

Clever authors, bloggers and writers  could have tied into Carmageddon if they cover topics about stress relief,  handling adversity, resilience, time management, happiness, child’s play, crime and so on.

During the same time frame, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony  parted ways. Coaches and therapists could tie in to this news story with an article about what we can learn from celebrity breakups that can help our own relationships.

Back to school stories are popular in August.  Can you write about how back to school is different for K-12 students enrolled in online programs?

With news stories, there is a very short window of opportunity. The good part, however, is that there are always news stories, though not equally dramatic, but always with possible tie-ins that can mean visibility for you.

What is happening in the  news that you can tie in to promote your topic or niche?