Can’t decide which book to write?

Are you trying to decide which of several book ideas is best for you to spend your time on?

If you’re in this position, you need to determine which potential book will best advance your career. In what area do you want to be known as an expert? Are you solving a big problem for your audience? Can you differentiate yourself? Will the book generate revenue, and if so, how much and for what kinds of offerings: speeches, workshops, or consulting, for example? And compared to those benefits, how much work will the book be to create? What topic would you want to spend the next year working on?

I recently helped a friend make this choice. He thinks I should offer it as a service.

Here’s how it would work: You tell me a little about yourself as a writer. Then you present me with several alternative books you could work on: titles, subtitles, and a short description for each. I evaluate each based not only on my perception of market potential, but on whether I believe you are the right person to write them. I also describe what I feel are the strengths and weaknesses of each idea and how it might be improved.

My friend said I should call it “Judge Josh” or something similar. He’s an unusual kind of author: he is extremely prolific and can rapidly write about a variety of ideas. You can see why this might appeal to someone like him, but does it appeal to any of the rest of you? Is it something you might pay for, or do you know people who might pay for it? If so, how much? Let me know in the comments.

My existing services, for comparison purposes

My current offerings for nonfiction authors are:

  • Idea development: Help you focus and develop your idea: generate a title, subtitle, and treatment.
  • Proposal development: Help you create a book proposal that you can use to pitch traditional publishers and agents.
  • Developmental editing: Edit your completed manuscript, providing feedback on ideas, structure, content, and writing.
  • Writing coaching: help you to help you become a better writer as you work on your book.
  • Ghostwriting: Write a book for you based on your ideas.

My intuition based on eight years of working with authors is that these are the best services and ones for which I can get paid for my expertise. So what do you think. Does “Judge Josh” belong in that list?

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One Comment

  1. I like the idea of having someone guide as to traditional publishing and polishing my writing. I prefer to write my own books however. Editing is always nice to have someone help with that.