Here’s How To Figure Out If Your Book Idea Is Any Good

Great book ideas start with the premise!!!

The very first step you should take when trying to figure out which book you should pursue first is to sit down and write out a premise of your book idea. The premise of your book is basically its thesis statement.

“What are the important factors I should consider 
when I am developing my book idea?”

The premise doesn’t have to be long. Start with 2-3 sentences. A good way to think about the premise is to imagine if you were at a lunch date with someone, and you told them you were writing a book. And then they turned to you and said, “What’s your book about?” THAT is your premise. 

A good premise lays a foundation for where your book is going to take readers. That central idea might answer a question, solve a mystery, or tell a story. The most important part is that it does something. 

The reverse is also true about the premise: if you’re having trouble pulling the premise together or having difficulty explaining the book idea to that person at lunch, you might need to further develop the book idea or think about another idea. Without a premise, navigating the book’s writing will be like being lost without cell reception. 

But what if you have two book ideas and can’t decide which to write about first? The premise is a great way to compare ideas and share them with friends and fellow writers. There’s a lot of power in putting an idea on paper. As agents, after we hear a writer tell us about their new book idea, we’ll say, “Okay, let’s put it on paper.” That’s a great place for us to wrestle with the idea and try to make it better. Without a premise, that book remains just a thought in your mind.

There are a lot of important factors to consider when developing your book idea and creating this premise. Here are a couple of key questions to get you started: 

  • What is it you want to say?  
  • What is the central idea of your book?  

Don’t forget to have fun with this. Creating a thesis statement might give you flashbacks to that awful course you took in college. Or maybe distilling your book idea down to a statement makes it feel like it’s lost some of that magic quality we give to art. Don’t let it. You’re simply giving yourself a handle for your idea. 

And if it helps, go to lunch with a friend and share your book idea with them. The best way to craft a better premise is to talk about it. Take the first step to figuring out if your book idea is good and write your premise.

Take Action: Learn the Rest of the Process for Developing a Good Book Idea Here.


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