So, You Have a Few Craft Book Ideas, What Next?

Blogged under Getting Craft Work Published by Tammy on Tuesday 22 July 2008 at 6:31 am

Here is another article as part of my series in Getting Your Craft Work Published.

Even if you have never written a craft book before, anyone who is really into crafting seriously from time to time might have a book idea or two pop into her head. For those with more veteran book writing status, the ideas are probably coming out of your ears if you are anything like me. Of course, I’m not saying these are all good ideas, but they are a place to begin.

Once you do have an idea or two, what do you do next? Which one do you pursue and which one(s) get set aside on your back brain burner?

Well, unfortunately, the ideas are the easy part of this whole process. I can’t tell you how many well-meaning friends and family members have said to me, “Oh, Tammy, I have a great book idea for you.” As if I need their ideas, like they are doing me some kind of favor, which I believe they are sincere about.

So, first let me say a few things about your ideas. Do not try to push them off onto someone else, like me, to do for you. If you think it is a great idea, then go for it, but I doubt you’ll find any professional writer/crafter sitting out on the side of the road begging for design and writing ideas. Just isn’t going to happen.

If you have an idea and you are ready to take it on yourself, my other advice is to be careful who you talk to and how you talk to them. If it’s your mom, I think you can trust her (wink), but if you want to talk to an editor about it, document it. A casual phone conversation can easily become hazy after a year or two while a detailed email complete with a working title, table of contents, project overview, and project images attached may be more easily remembered. I’m not saying it protects you from someone borrowing your idea, and actually, you can’t even be sure your great idea wasn’t someone else’s at a publishers and already in the works. However, let’s just say I’m talking from experience here.

Once you have decided that you are ready to take on one of your great ideas, the next step is to figure out which one. Here are some things to think about as you try to focus on one:

  • What sort of titles are out now that have a similar focus? Make a list by either using Amazon or actually go to a bookstore.
  • How does your book idea add to what is already out there? How does it do it better or fill a void? You’ll want to include this type of information in your book proposal.
  • How are you positioned as an expert in the topic? Are you more of an expert in one book idea than the other (for example published work or awards you could point to in your proposal to show that “you” are the right person to write this book)?
  • Since it’s a good idea to have completed projects in the proposal, which of the book ideas do you already have some projects finished for that you could add to a proposal right away?

Answering these questions can help you narrow down and focus on one book idea at a time, which I know can be difficult. I’m actively talking with an editor now about one book idea and have four on my back burners, so that’s kind of the story of my life!

10 Comments »

  1. Comment by Gina Smith — July 22, 2008 @ 2:39 pm

    Well, this was timely! I could have written your post by heart as I think I’ve already memorized your email from reading it so many times. Thanks again,

  2. Comment by Tammy — July 22, 2008 @ 3:19 pm

    You inspired me to write this Gina. I posted it after my email back to you :) I realized you had some good questions, so other people may want to know this information as well.

  3. Comment by Margot — July 31, 2008 @ 2:44 pm

    Tammy

    Great advice and well spoken. I too am plagued by well meaning folks with an endless parade of “great ideas” for me. Ideas I have plenty of, it’s time I’m lacking!

    Cheers,
    Margot

  4. Comment by Tammy — July 31, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

    Exactly, Margot! The ideas are cake!

  5. Pingback by More artsy links! — August 1, 2008 @ 7:31 am

    [...] Crafty Princess Diaries Have a book idea or even a few book ideas but not sure what to do next? Which one do you devote your time to? The Crafty Princess has some answers or actually some questions for you. [...]

  6. Comment by Cyndi L — August 1, 2008 @ 11:17 am

    This is such great information, Tammy! Thank you :-)

  7. Comment by Aileen — August 2, 2008 @ 12:06 am

    Very timely and great food for thought Tammy, thank you!

    PS: I sent you couple of emails I think might have ended up in your Spam folder…

  8. Pingback by The Crafty Princess Diaries » August Etsy Sale, the Real Craft Links, and Attempting 200 Tasks at the Same Time — August 2, 2008 @ 8:11 am

    [...] Crafty Princess Diaries Have a book idea or even a few book ideas but not sure what to do next? Which one do you devote your time to? The Crafty Princess has some answers or actually some questions for you. [...]

  9. Comment by Connie G. — August 3, 2008 @ 11:20 am

    It is a lot easier to come up with ideas than it is to actually implement them, isn’t it!

  10. Pingback by The Crafty Princess Diaries » Book Ideas from Unexpected Places — January 25, 2010 @ 1:25 pm

    [...] Admittedly, I need another idea for a book like I need a hole in the head. I mean it. I have tons and tons of ideas, especially when it comes to making jewelry. I have even written on here previously about how I don’t need people to give me their ideas. [...]

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a comment