How to Know if Your Book Idea Works

I have had publishing hopefuls ask me whether their book ideas were good, and I have to admit it’s a tough question to answer. There are many factors to consider when setting out to publish a book.

It’s most important in my experience to summarize the book succinctly, to have a solid title in mind, and to know exactly what you need to say in order to evaluate its merit. The details of each chapter may be fuzzy, but at least the main idea, controlling metaphors, and outline should be pretty clear before evaluating whether or not a book could work.

Some sample chapters will help you sort through how substantive your ideas are and if you can carry on for an entire book. Many good book ideas work better as magazine articles.

There are several factors you’ll need to consider when evaluating whether your book idea works. I’ll give you a hint right now, it won’t be enough for the idea to be good. I’ve seen my own good ideas and the good ideas of others fail the editor test.

They need to be better than good, and that’s what I’ll discuss in my next post.