book idea

Developing a book idea - 5 strategies for the brilliant idea

Whether in the shower, while jogging or half asleep - rest and distraction tickle out many an unexpected idea. Archimedes, for example, is said to have discovered the principle of buoyancy named after him in the bathtub. Whether you find ideas easy or hard to come by, you can boost your creativity with certain techniques to come up with a brilliant book idea.

How do I find a book idea in everyday life?

There are numerous methods for developing book ideas. An article from the daily newspaper or a conversation with friends can lead to inspiration and unexpected ideas. Become an attentive reader and observer, and you will easily find new ideas to write a bookish.

Read, read, read!

Anyone author started out as readers. Most writers were readers first and foremost. The great works of world literature, whether by Shakespeare or Thomas Mann, had precursors from which they drew their ideas. Shakespeare, for example, drew inspiration from his colleague Christopher Marlowe or borrowed ideas from ancient authors. Thomas Mann drew inspiration from Nietzsche and Goethe.

Exchange with other authors

Some inspirations and ideas develop best when you talk about them, tell people about your idea, and get feedback from fellow writers. In forums, Facebook-groups or local writing groups you can find contact to writers. Also difficulties or Writer's Block can be remedied by the exchange to like-minded people.

Follow current affairs

Which topics are current in the press, television and radio? What material is occupying society at the moment and what of it can be developed into a book idea? Other arts, an exhibition, films or documentaries can also provide a basis for an idea. Good ideas lurk everywhere. To find them, you have to stay curious and alert.

Personal environment as a source of ideas

Many authors draw on their own experiences or the experiences of people from their personal environment for their books. Not only world events, but also your everyday life and the people you meet there can give you ideas. What issues are current with you, your family, and your friends? Can certain character traits become exciting characters? Or conversations into interesting dialogues?

What creative techniques can I use to find a book idea? 

Whether brainstorming, mind maps or writing exercises - there are different creativity techniques that you can use to flesh out and illustrate your book idea. They work like a turbo. With these methods, you can break down the barriers in your subconscious and come up with ideas quickly and easily.


Grab a piece of paper and a pen or open a new document on your PC. Do you already have a key concept from which you want to develop your story? Then write down all the terms that come to mind. Let your thoughts flow and you will be surprised how many ideas you will end up with on your sheet. Important: Write down unfiltered, without evaluating. In this step it is only about writing down everything. You can always sort it out at the end.

Mind Maps

The so-called mind map is a cognitive technique coined by Tony Buzan. On the mind map, you can sort the unstructured thoughts from brainstorming. To do this, arrange the individual concepts with circles and cross-connections into thematic groups that fit together. This will bring structure to your initial ideas.

Creative writing

Every person can learn to be creative. The methodology of creative writing is based on this. It includes special techniques that are intended to stimulate creativity. With it, ideas can be developed, structured and transformed into stories or texts. There are Courses and creative writing guides where authors share their tips and experiences.

Turning finding ideas into a routine

You just can't think of a book idea? You haven't found the right one yet? Don't put yourself under pressure. Even a walk or a writing routine can help get your ideas flowing again. When you write regularly, you get into a disciplined flow of work that makes brainstorming a daily routine. You'll be able to develop and implement ideas faster. When you feel stuck, take a break. Distract yourself, take a breath - and come back to your desk with renewed energy and motivation.

How do you develop a book idea based on the book market?

It can help you know the book market to come up with a book idea. Also classic Publishers work this way. They give non-fiction or reference books because certain topics are currently being discussed and are therefore also in demand in book form. You can also develop your book idea from the market. What's hot right now? Which books and topics are still missing? That's exactly where you should start with a novel book idea.

Spot trends

What would you or your friends or acquaintances like to read? What topics are your readers particularly interested in? Does it really have to be the hundredth Thriller in the style of Dan Brown? Whether it is a novel or a non-fiction book, the reader should not be bored in any case. Therefore, it is important to find stories that he does not know yet. There are online forums, magazines, portals or fairs that track current trends and future developments. These can help you in your sleuthing for novel topics. Then you place a book in the market that has real sales chances instead of regurgitating old content and competing with many other authors.

Which genres are doing well?

To find out, you can look around in a bookstore or the online shops in the individual book categories. Just one look at the bestseller lists will show you which genres are popular at the moment. You shouldn't place yourself in a crowded genre with a debut. Instead, look for niches. Sub-genres where your title won't face huge competition are ideal for developing your book idea.

Of course, you should write in the genre that you particularly enjoy. No matter how topical a subject is, if you don't know it or don't feel like writing about it, don't do it. Instead, you can delve deeper into your individual interests and subject areas - and develop good ideas on that basis.

Analyze competition

What does the competition look like in your genre or niche? What titles are there, how are the cover designed? It can help you to know your competition - and then specialize in ideas and topics that don't yet exist. Read up on your genre. Which authors are particularly interesting? Who can you learn something from? What do they do well, what could you do better?

Turning initial ideas into concrete book ideas

Many writers always carry a notebook with them to jot down spontaneous ideas. You should get into the habit of doing that. In it, you can write down text ideas, character descriptions or dialogues. With these text or idea building blocks, you can later develop your novel or non-fiction book.

How can I structure my ideas?

You've collected numerous ideas, you know what you want to write about - but how can you structure these snippets into an actionable concept? The best thing to do is to go step by step: Formulate your book idea from the notes in a few lines, maybe even just one sentence. The Snowflake Method help. If you are unsure, start a live test before you develop a more detailed concept. What do your friends and acquaintances think of the short summary?

Plan action framework

What is the approximate structure of your book? What aspects are important? Who are the characters and how do they develop over the course of the story? It's best to break the planning down into individual steps. This will make it much easier to implement than if you try to plan everything perfectly straight away. Maybe a suitable Writing softwareYou need a program to help you keep track of your ideas, characters, and plots. There are now many programs that can help you with some aspects of planning and structuring your writing.


To find book ideas, you should be alert and curious. Reading for yourself is the best basic requirement to come up with ideas. Creativity techniques can also help generate ideas. It doesn't hurt to keep an eye on the book market and place yourself in a subgenre with your novel. Don't put pressure on yourself, though. Sometimes just a walk in the fresh air can help you get new inspiration and find that sparkling idea.


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