Need for Subject
Many writers think they have a unique idea for a book. Perhaps. Let’s review some criteria to determine if there is a real need for that “unique idea.” With more than seven billion people on this planet, truly unique ideas are one in a billion, give or take a few million. What then do we do with your “unique idea?”
Before we jump into this topic, let me start with a story that author Holly Lisle shared. This story that she shared will help make two vital points. But first the story:
Holly wrote: So I received this e-mail… “were not haven trouble written sences and its two of us written it… that’s why it dnt really get boring I mean like theres alot of action… were never really bored… everyone that read it tells us to hurry up and finish it… but we are calling it exspect the unexspected.. its good. We know how were going to end it so we can start the next book.what all does it take to get a book published?”
That was the email sent to her (with the writer’s name removed). She was kind. She called it “protecting the identity of the creator of this monstrosity.” The rest of what she wrote was supposition about what an editor or publisher might think after taking a good slug of bourbon. I must give Holly credit she was nice in a grating sort of way.
Two things jump out from the email. One, the writer was a failure at common grammar, structure and spelling. Two, the thought line of the writer was extremely disjointed. Not to mention that the writer had not done any research whatsoever on what editors and publisher require of articles and manuscripts. It is this last thought that we will flesh out. On one and two, please do not be guilty of writing such horrible trash, much less attempt to waste an editor’s time on it. The foregoing thought is very applicable to the need for a subject.
In real estate, there is a saying that three things are important: location, location, location. For writers the three important things are: research, research, research. With the internet access we have today, research can be done quite easily. It may take some time depending upon the subject, but adequate research can be done very well and quickly.
What kind of research and how much, you ask? Good question! First who has written on your “unique subject” and what kind of credentials do they have and what is the extent of the research done? This is a must! You have to know who your competition is and how many have written on your subject. Does that last statement need to be repeated? Read it again to be sure. Once you have done this first type of research, you then need to review those articles and books to see what angle was left uncovered. That would be your unique subject to write about.
Next, you need to research everything you can about your angle. You need to become the expert. Without this wisdom, your writing project may fall flat. Spend the time. Hone the ideas. Polish the verbiage. Make it as simple to read as possible and the concepts clear to the reader. If your ideas are fuzzy to the reader, all of your work on the project will not fly with editors, publishers or your target audience.
Finally, you must have some idea of the desire of readers regarding your subject matter. It may be important to you, but that is not what will sell it. It is the reading public and what they are showing an appetite for. It takes eyeballs to sell articles and books. No eye’s no $$. That is your last area of research. Get to know your genre, your arena of battle. The better you know it, the more likely you will succeed.