Selecting a hot topic for a book is so easy. People are hungry for
information, and people are buying books and e-books to feed their
hunger. After you read this article, you will know how to choose your
own book topic and feel confident you can write a best-selling book
based on your topic.
Step 1: Observe what's going on around you.
If you're smart enough to read this article, you're smart enough to look around and determine what interests you and people around you. Think of what problems you've recently solved, and what problems others have solved. A solved problem could easily be the subject of your next book. People love to read how others have solved a similar problem that they currently have.
So, brainstorm a list of problems in your life and in the lives of people around you. Your friend Bob lost his job? Your sister's child had chicken pox? How did they cope or find solutions? While you're at it, start another list of unsolved problems evident in your corner of the world. Write down problems you wish you had solved. A-ha! These subjects will really interest people!
* How to lose the last ten pounds.
* The truth about UFOs.
* The straightest path to becoming a millionaire.
* From your personal corner, your step-granddaughter is pregnant at age 14?
* Your grocery bill is double what it used to be?
* Your roof leaks?
These are problems waiting for book solutions! Unsolved problems make great book topics.
Step 2: Spend a few minutes searching the Internet.
The Internet is a wonderful way to find what people are looking for at any given moment. You can search for almost anything. Search Google, or you can use Yahoo! or Bing.com. Type in phrases like "top concerns of Americans," "best-selling nonfiction topics," or "popular how-to manuals." Common worries of 2009; etc.
Step 3: And while you're on the Internet...
Find out the most popular nonfiction books from the New York Times bestseller list, Amazon, and a Google's "search for books." Your findings will tell you what book subjects people are buying right now.
Try this. Go to Amazon.com. From the tabbed menu running along the top of the Amazon home page, click "Top Sellers."
I did this one day in March 2008 and found a Harry Potter book, several other fiction books, and titles such as Natural cures "they" won't tell you about, How what you wear can change your life, How to profit from the demise of the dollar, and The official SAT study guide. I've paraphrased to some degree, but you get the idea.
Here's what I learned from spending a few minutes on Amazon that day. People are reading good fiction from already bestselling authors (Da Vinci Code, the Harry Potter series, and others). Secondly, Amazon buyers, buying over the Internet, are interested in non-fiction topics such as improving their lives and making more money. For these books, just about any author will do, even unknown authors or people who went to prison for lying to the American public.
The straightest route to book profits is the nonfiction book market. This is true for a number of reasons. Fiction readers prefer to curl up in a chair with a physical book. Fiction readers tend to purchase from authors they know and like. Fiction can be more difficult to write and deliver well. Also, many of the classics in fiction are available as free books. A reader interested in fiction could just download those. So stick with nonfiction unless you're feeling particularly bold and experimental.
Here is some more good news... ideas are not copyrighted, therefore any idea you see, hear, or read anywhere anytime, is yours to use for a book! You can create books around the same ideas that are covered in the Amazon best seller list, and turnaround and create a book on the exact same subject!
Copyright law protects the way in which authors express their ideas, so you want to make sure you do not plagiarize or copy book text outright. Additionally, you cannot use the title word-for-word either. But nothing is stopping you from creating a book that covers the same subject with a different voice. It's legal and guilt-free. This is why looking at bestseller lists are a great way to get book topic ideas.