1. CrystalWriter
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    CrystalWriter Member

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    Non Fiction - When an Idea becomes a great idea for a book

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by CrystalWriter, Nov 20, 2011.

    How do you know when a general idea for a non-fiction book, is a workable & sell able, idea?

    How would you go about researching whether there's a market out there?
     
  2. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    the only way to know is to write it read it to yourself and check that you actually do like what you are reading.
    I would say go with your feelings and once it is done the only way to tell is by getting people to read it.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    actually, it does require doing your homework and researching the market to see what's already out there on the subject, to know whether your idea is really workable/sellable...

    if you just go blindly ahead and write it, you could well be spending a year or more of hard work on a book that either can't survive the competition, or won't have enough people wanting to buy it to make it worth the time, effort and money you put into it...

    how you go about that is to do searches in the library of congress, at your local public library, amazon's website, and on major bookstore shelves, to see what's been done on the subject and find out if what you have in mind is truly fresh, original and needed or just a rehash of what's currently available...
     
  4. picklzzz
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    picklzzz Senior Member

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    However, I would think that even if your topic is similar to others out there, your twist may be original. Is this acceptable? I have two books underway and the ideas are perhaps similar to books / movies already out there, but I'm approaching them in a different manner. It's hard to know what will sell, but I think the topics are interesting. Every time I run the ideas past people and ask them if they'd be interested in reading something like what I've written (without actually having them read the 50+ pages I have), they seem to be very intrigued with both ideas. I hadn't considered researching my ideas before, but perhaps I should as well, now that I've spent considerable time on each!
     
  5. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    where is the fun in that?
    by researching means you are following the trends and not you ideas.
    where is the writer in you ?
    Just another samy book.
    I am sure writing is more then just doind what others are doing.
    I would not want to start thinking writing is like the cat walk.
    one designer 10 models and thousands of copycats.
    I am not saying don't design or create but I do not wish to buy my ideas of writing from a shop window.
    I much prefer to do it my way at least I know I will enjoy first.
    writing is creativity and something different.
    I am just saying:)
     
  6. CrystalWriter
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    CrystalWriter Member

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    Thanks for all the tips.

    * The idea came about from my nanowrimo novel (must be mad).
    * It is a twist on current formats out there, but one that is aimed at another part of society, which hasn't been done.
    * There are very few books on the matter. Only really the legal aspect of the subject
    * I have no idea whether the idea is something people want, I'm planning on putting out a few feelers on the subject after november is finishd
     
  7. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    We're talking about non-fiction here. This means it needs to be accurate. Research is paramount. You don't have to write it the same way as other people, but you certainly have to have your facts right.
    Also, marketability is hugely important too. It needs to be on a topic people care about and will purchase.

    I'd almost look at pitching the idea to a publisher first, but then, they may not take up a submission from an unpublished author.
     
  8. Acid001
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    Acid001 Member

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    If you want to look a non-fiction writer whose books have made him staggeringly popular (or unpopular, as the case often is), regardless of your opinions of him, try Peter Singer. His books target specific problems in society which are both topical and important, and provide what he perceives to be workable solutions. They're well researched, which is a must, and they're packed with controversy - which is a fantastic way of getting people to talk about you, but you have to be sure that it's the kind of controversy that a reasonable percentage of your target audience will agree with. Like Jetshroom said, people need to care about the topic, whatever it may be.

    I'm intrigued already. :p
     
  9. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    whilst I agree that topics are important and that selling an idea is as important doing research for non fiction canbe tiresome.
    I was in the know that SF was but research but I am obviously wrong.
    Ithought SF you can make things up as you go along otherwise it is not what it says it is.
    if you take Star Wars all the basic of a SF is there. the whole concept of it is made up, characters, the way they look, their shipments equipmens and their conflicts is all a makeup.
    all I can say is that I am glad I do not have to write SF.:p
     
  10. Jetshroom
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    Jetshroom Active Member

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    Yeah, see CrystalWriter was talking about "non-fiction" this is true stories, historical accounts, fact.
    You're talking about Science Fiction, stories set in the future. Sci-fi you can certainly make up completely. Non-Fiction you can't make up at all, otherwise it becomes Fiction.
     
  11. CrystalWriter
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    CrystalWriter Member

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    I hope I didn't confuse people, when I said the idea for the Non-fiction book, came from a fictional story being written for NaNoWriMo
     

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