Thursday, February 02, 2012

Muse Review – How to Create Non-Fiction Book Ideas That Sell by James Thomson

So why is the book only 4 stars instead of 5? A couple of reasons: First, the book is ambitious, too ambitious and it starts moving beyond the premise on the cover of generating non-fiction book ideas and spills into details about the writing process and the publishing business which is all good information, but it feels rushed and incomplete, as if the writer combined content from 2 or 3 books into this one book.

As a person always looking for new ways to generate writing topics and ideas, I’m always on the hunt for more resources.  As one of the first titles I downloaded on my Kindle Fire, How to Create Nonfiction Book Ideas That Sell was full of many ideas that I had not considered before and the book also took advantage of one of the major features of eBooks: providing links to other resources on the web, which is perfect for a book of this nature.

Although the book is geared toward self-publishing audiences, any writer can benefit from the tips and techniques discussed within it.  Thomson provides spot-on advice for writers about selecting topics to write about, how to identify possible trends that might be an excellent opportunity for writing and publishing a book, and how to tap into your own interests and experiences to find content.

I particularly like the Quick Idea Formula; Slant Your Book Ideas for Success, and Questions to Ask Yourself About Book Ideas sections in the book.  The Appendix with all of the links to other resources is worth the $.99 price alone.

As a result the flow of the book is somewhat chaotic and in several places becomes repetitive, often repeating the exact same phrasing from earlier in the book.  The book could use a massive developmental overhaul to eliminate these redundant sections and maybe reorganize the sections to help improve the overall flow of the book.  Thomson might even consider taking the Judging Ideas, Taking Action and maybe the Enhancing Ideas section and expanding each of them into a separate book.  The book would also benefit a wider audience if it was available in print or other eBook formats

But these issues are minor and most readers are not going to care. The content is excellent, the links very helpful and the advice wonderful.  It is well worth the purchase price (right now as a Kindle eBook on Amazon, for 99 cents), and I’d pay much more for a book with this excellent content.  If you have a Kindle and want to write non-fiction or are struggling with coming up with writing ideas in general, buy this book.  You won’t regret it.

Rating **** (Buy on Sale/Discounted)

About Ratings: ***** -- Well Worth it at Full Retail Price; **** — Buy on Sale/Discounted; *** — Buy Used; ** — Borrow It from the Library; * — Waste of a Good Tree

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