Is this a good idea for a book? (or, From idearist to author)


Clients often ask me: Is this a good idea for a book?

Generally, I say yes. Because most, if not all, ideas are by nature good. But a good idea doesn’t necessarily make a great, or even good, book, blog or article. So, I quickly follow up with a whole bunch of questions designed to understand how well developed the idea actually is.

Responses range from:

A.    Not developed at all. (The idea is pretty much it.) If this is you, try this method to take it to the next step.

B.    Somewhat developed. (Have been pondering for a while, jotted a few notes, read some related articles/books and talked to peers so know something about what’s been published before on the topic.)

C.     Quite developed. (Well thought through. Just missing a few links between main points. You know there are a couple of gaps – not sure of how to structure or need to strengthen the theme.

D.    Fully developed. (Author needs affirmation to help with confidence, not much intervention from an editor or coach, though may need us to flesh out an idea, clarify a point or edit the prose.)

Responses ‘A’ and ‘B’ come from idearists. This is my very own made-up term. (I’m gunning for a new entry in the Macquarie, again!)

I distinguish an idearist from an idealist – ‘a person who is guided more by ideals than by practical considerations’. Idearists can be practical as can be, but the idea is still unformed and needs cognitive slog to develop its potential.

Responses ‘C’ and ‘D’ come from authors, or soon-to-be authors, who have already taken their idea/s and held them to the light, whether in discussions with colleagues, reading rigorous text on the subject, reflecting quietly or arguing loudly in public forums.

ASTT story coaches at can guide both idearists and authors to their next thought, development or action. We know everyone starts somewhere. Some people have loads of ideas but not the time, druthers or interest in developing a single one of them. ASTT can help you work that out, too. We help people turn their good ideas into clever concepts and powerful stories.

May your words pour onto the page,