A lot of self published authors already have an idea for a book, but not all of them. If you’re interested in writing your first book, but need some inspiration, these book ideas for writers and self published authors are here to help you out.
Book Ideas for Writers and Self Published Authors
People mistakenly think authors are just full of ideas. Or maybe they’ve been struck by some kind of creative genius. The truth is, most authors found a small amount of inspiration, researched it thoroughly, and then worked hard.
How to choose a topic for your self published book
Choosing a topic for a self published book can be tough. If you’re full of ideas, narrowing it down to just one subject might be tricky. Or, if you’re feeling like your ideas aren’t substantial enough to be a book, you might be looking for inspiration.
We’re going to start with non-fiction topics first, since they’re popular with self publishing and sometimes easier to write.
Using your career or knowledge as a book topic
Look at what you’re already experienced with. Are you in a specific career (especially an academic one) where you can write with your existing knowledge that’s a great start.
For example, if you’re a paleontologist that’s made some interesting discoveries that people otherwise wouldn’t know about, put that into your book. Or, if you’re a professional organizer write a how-to guide for others. You get the idea.
Some popular examples of this are books like “The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs” by Steve Brusatte, or “Konmori” by Marie Kondo.
Being an authority on a subject goes a long way when it comes to selling your book.
Write about your personal life or experiences
Has something remarkable happened to you or your family that you just need to share? Whether it’s your grandmother’s adventures in her home country or the twists and turns of your own life that got you where you are, plenty of people lead interesting enough lives to write a book about.
Jann Arden’s Feeding My Mother is a great example of this. It’s based on a true story of her mother’s memory loss from her perspective. While it’s not some remarkable adventure like Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston, it is something other people can relate to.
If you put the right spin on it almost any life can be interesting.
Create fiction from something you’ve seen or done
You know how some media has a disclaimer about it being a work of fiction? While it might be coincidence if your story resembles certain people, that doesn’t mean you can’t draw inspiration from real life.
Micheal Crichton, who wrote Jurassic Park, knew about genetics because he was a real-life doctor. Tom Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October was inspired by a boat called the Storozhevoy that Clancy read about in military archives.
Even if your own life isn’t terribly interesting, can you craft a story around it anyway?
Write about something you’ve been dying to research
This works for both fiction and nonfiction. Is there a certain subject that you’ve touched on, but would love to find out more about? Turn that passion into research and write a book.
If you’re writing nonfiction, you can document your findings in a more academic or informative way. When it comes to fiction, though, craft a story around that subject. You could make the characters involved, or maybe doing it as their profession.
Write the book you want to read
Most writers start out as readers. Do you have a certain genre you like to read? Are there subjects that you think need to be touched a bit more in the literary world? How about writing the next space opera or bone chilling horror that you wish was on your bookshelf?
It’s really important that you always write something you’re proud of and that you’d actually pick up. It’s not just a litmus test for the book’s quality; you’ll be more excited to promote a self published book you truly believe in.
Book Ideas for Writers and Self Published Authors
- Romance book, especially one with a unique story (like one with a paranormal twist or that reflects experiences you’ve had).
- Speculative fiction story that describes what you think the world will look like in 10, 100, or 1000 years in the future.
- Fantasy book full of magic and whimsy, either set on Earth or somewhere else.
- A horror that scares you even to write it.
- Retell an event in history from the point of view of someone involved, either as a fiction story or real accounting of events.
- Write a book about someone you know who’s willing to share their story, or tell your family’s history.
Where to draw inspiration from
If you’re still at a loss for what to write about then you’ll have to keep your eye out for inspiration. It can be lurking pretty much anywhere! People wait around their whole lives for a good idea to strike them, and then it never comes. You have to be actively looking for ideas.
Keep a journal
As you come up with ideas, even small ones, start writing them down. You can use a physical journal or just jot things downs in your phone’s notes. It might be the description of a certain smell, or a career that you heard about and think might be cool. It doesn’t all have to be gold, but it might just help inspire you later.
Visit different places
You don’t need to plan an overseas trip just to draw book inspiration, but a change of scenery definitely can help. Check out a new coffee shop, attend an arts festival, and just generally put yourself into situations where you can observe the world around you. You never know what you’ll find.
Read, read, read
It’s amazing how you can draw inspiration from something without copying it at all. Reading plenty of books, especially the kind you’d like to write, can help inspire your own ideas. Another great idea is to do a lot of informational reading. Whether that comes from reading the reference section at the library or browsing Wikipedia, you never know what cool ideas you’ll come across.
Keep an open mind
While you look for book ideas, whether it’s for writers or as a self published author, you have to keep your mind open to suggestions. Inspiration can come in many shapes and forms. Don’t say no to new experiences, and don’t be shy about learning new things!