Book Launch Success Secret #2: Your Book Must Have a Big Idea
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If you want your book to accomplish its purpose, you need to make sure it stands out from the crowd and speaks directly to your target audience. You need to give your readers something that will stick with them and inspire them to not only take action in their own lives, but also share your book with others around them. You need a big idea.
In Part 2 of the Book Launch Success Secrets series, Coach Tam lays out this essential ingredient to launching a successful, impactful book. You have a calling to get your message out to the people who need it — and you can’t do that without a strong big idea.
In this episode, you ‘ll also hear:
- 5 reasons your book needs a big idea
- How this concept differs from a theme or topic
- How to identify your big idea
- The next step to take in your book launch journey
Be sure to read all the way to the end for a link to the book launch checklist and video training!
In today’s crowded author space, it’s essential that you have a solid book launch plan in place if you want to stand out and make an impact. There are far too many books out there that never get the traction or success that they deserve. As an author, it can be extremely frustrating to pour your heart and soul into a book and try your best to market it, only to end up with disappointing results.
Last time, we talked about the first step in a successful book launch process, the one thing that you absolutely must do before you launch your book: to clarify your book’s purpose and target audience. Understanding who your ideal readers are will help you craft a message that speaks directly to them, which exponentially increases your chances of success. In addition, having a solid understanding of what your book is supposed to accomplish will help guide you as you move forward with your marketing and promotion efforts.
Now, let’s take a look at Book Launch success Secret #2: Your book must have a big idea.
A big idea is a unique, attention-getting concept that captures the essence of your work and has the power to inspire your readers and move them to action. As you might imagine, we talk about this concept a lot in the marketing space.
Big Ideas can take many different forms. Some are rooted in groundbreaking theories and research, while others are rooted in powerful stories that change our perspective on the world around us. You may not realize it, but big ideas play an important role in just about every industry — not just book publishing, but also business, politics, and even religion. They are what people or businesses use to become backable. Big Ideas are what draw the right people in and repel others.
5 Reasons Your Book Needs a Big Idea
Before we get into how to find your big idea, let’s talk about why it’s important to have one. Here are five reasons your book needs a big idea.
1. A big idea makes your book unique.
As authorpreneurs, we cannot afford to ever forget that we have competition. There is a sea of millions of books out there, so we’ve got to do something to make our books stand out and grab attention. And that’s exactly what your big idea is designed to do.
2. A big idea makes your book memorable.
This is important, because readers will remember a book that had a big, attention-grabbing idea at its core. Much as it may pain us as authors, the truth is that the reader may not remember the details of the plot, the characters, or even all the steps in our signature process. But they will remember the feeling they got from reading about a new and exciting concept (that is, your big idea!).
3. A big idea helps you sell more books.
If readers are intrigued by the concept you break down and your big idea, they are more likely to tell their friends about your book and leave a positive book review online. This taps into the principle of helping your audience overcome their “hurdle bias.”
You see, we all have hurdles to overcome and things we want to do. It’s not that your audience doesn’t believe in your book or doesn’t want to show you love — it’s just that they have a never-ending to-do list. Even something as simple as thinking of what to say in their book review can seem really difficult when they have so many other things to think about.
But when your book has a really profound big idea, it becomes so consuming that they can’t help but take that extra step and tell other people about it. That’s called word-of-mouth marketing: When something gets us really excited and we find it truly transformational, we can’t wait to tell others about it and encourage them to try it out, too. Word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective ways to sell books, and your big idea is a huge part of giving that word-of-mouth marketing a boost.
4. A big idea helps you build your platform as an author.
Imagine for a moment that you’re in a convention center, a conference room, or at church. What’s at the front of the room? Chances are, there’s some type of stage or platform. And what is that stage or platform designed to do? It’s designed to get everyone in the room to focus on one central place. Typically, the speaker or minister steps onto that stage, and it’s all eyes on them.
That’s exactly what your big idea has the potential to do — to create stages for you. It creates opportunities for you to share your message, because it gets people talking about your book and focused on you and your unique ideas. That’s why having a big idea is actually the key to all the other things that you want to fall into place, like boosting your social media following, growing your email list, and (of course!) selling more books.
5. A big idea makes your book timeless.
Trends come and go, but a big idea will never go out of style. Think about it this way: as believers, we are following principles in a book that is literally based on someone who was here thousands of years ago! The messages contained in our Bible were spoken so long ago, and yet they are so relevant in our everyday life.
And it’s not just the Bible — there are so many other books that are still here, that are left on record for us, even though the authors have been long gone. Their message is timeless, because they captured a big idea. Likewise, if your book has a timeless message or concept, it will be relevant for years to come and continue to sell long after it’s published.
More Than a Theme or Topic
There is a very important distinction that we need to make here. A theme or a topic is not the same thing as a big idea.
Some examples of themes include:
- The Hero’s Journey: The story of a character who goes on a quest or journey. That character may be fictional, or they may be the author or the client or group that the author serves. Throughout their journey, they must encounter obstacles that test their resolve. This theme is found in works like The Lord of the Rings, The Odyssey, or Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
- The Power of Love: Stories where characters experience love in many forms, whether it be romantic love, familial love, platonic love, etc. these characters must also grapple with the challenges that come along with love, such as heartbreak, loss, and betrayal. This theme is found in works like William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, War and Peace, and The Handmaid’s Tale.
Throughout history, countless books have been written on the same basic themes of love, resilience, self-improvement, or success. These topics have become the foundation for countless novels and nonfiction books alike. But what sets some of these books apart from each other is their big idea: a lesson or concept that taps into our deepest hopes and fears, things we struggle with but don’t know how to overcome.
This big idea acts as a powerful hack. It’s like a magnet that draws us to that particular book, because we’re excited about its potential to transform our lives for the better. It provides us with unique wisdom or a set of practical tools that we can apply to our own situation in order to achieve greater success and happiness.
This is what makes a book truly timeless. It goes beyond simply telling us about a particular idea or strategy; instead, it provides us with actionable advice that we can take on our own journey of self-transformation. So if you want to make a real impact with your book, it’s essential that you find your big idea, this unique piece of advice or wisdom that really resonates with the target audience you identified in Book Launch Success Secret #1.
Finding your big idea is more than just saying what you think or teaching readers how to do something. To identify your big idea, you need to dig deep and really explore what sets your book apart. What is the one key insight that makes your work truly stand out? And how is it relevant to the struggles or questions your ideal audience is facing right now in this season of their lives?
Once you’ve identified this big idea, it should act as the foundation for everything else in your book. It should be reflected in the title, the structure, the tone of voice, the content of each chapter, and even in your marketing. With a strong big idea at the core of your book, you can successfully launch for the first time — or resurrect a dead book and revive its impact on readers around the world.
How to Find Your Big Idea
Let’s be real, finding your big idea can seem like an overwhelming task. How, exactly, do you stand out from the crowd and come up with something truly original and innovative?
Start by praying and asking God for guidance. Remember, God is concerned about everything that concerns you. He’s the one who gave you this message to share with the world, so He has all the answers you need. He can help you brainstorm unique angles and ways of thinking that are sure to make your big ideas stand out from the rest. So make sure you’re inviting God into this process, not only in coming up with the original concept or message, but every step of the way as you prepare to launch.
Second, make sure you are spending quality time with your ideal reader and getting to know their needs and desires so you can create a big idea that will truly resonate with them. Unfortunately, this is where we often miss the mark as Christian authors. We get the message — the download, if you will — and it’s true that God has given us this message to share with the world. But what we miss is that there still has to be an emotional connection between our audience and us.
There’s no way you would ask someone to marry you if you just met them, right? You haven’t spent any time with them, so you don’t really know who they are or what they’re about, or even any of their likes and dislikes. It’s the same with selling books. If you ask someone to buy your book, but you haven’t spent any time with them — meaning you don’t have any idea what things are important to them — then why would they want to buy your book?
Just like you need to spend quality time with someone you’re dating, you need to spend quality time with your ideal reader. You want to know your ideal reader so well that if you were on a game show, you could answer all of the questions and get them all right. You want them to feel amazed that you know them so well.
To make that happen, you need to spend time with your audience in Facebook groups, on Reddit or Quora, and through conversations with people in your everyday life who fit in with your ideal audience. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to jump on a Zoom call and have a conversation with you! The more time you spend with your ideal audience, the clearer you’ll get on what their struggles are and how the message God has given you can impact them in the form of a big idea.
You Have an Assignment
Yes, identifying a big idea that makes you stand out is work. And if it were just about satisfying your personal goal to write a book, then it might not be worth all that effort. But this is bigger than a goal. You have a call — an assignment. There are people who are waiting for you and your message.
There may be thousands of books on the concept or topic that God wants you to focus on, but when you really get in tune with God and your ideal audience, your big idea will impact a segment of that population in a way that no one else can. You are literally the answer to their prayer! You are the key that unlocks the door.
That means you can’t afford to not do the work. You’ve got to get in touch with this big idea, because when you do, you can launch an unforgettable book that will truly stand out to those that matter the most: the people who are waiting for you.
Does your book have a big idea? If your answer is no, or you’re not sure, there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. But there is something you need to do. Take the matter to God in prayer and ask Him to guide you. Then spend time with your ideal audience. The investment of time and energy will be worth it, because it will help you fulfill your calling to impact the world with your message.
Ready to take the next step in your book launch journey? Head over to the Christian Authors Network Facebook group and follow along with the book launch checklist and video training.
My name is Tamara “Coach Tam” Jackson and I am a published author, Facebook© Certified Digital Marketer, host of the Top 100 Publishing Secrets podcast, and founder of The Christian Authors Network (C.A.N.) Facebook© community. I specialize in helping mission-driven authors, coaches, and entrepreneurs increase their exposure, impact, and income through strategic self-publishing and digital media appearances. Just say yes and we will work together to attract a tribe of loyal followers that 1) “get you”, 2) love what you do, and 3) are happy to invest in your book, business, cause, or movement. Plus, we will accomplish all of this without fake, salesy, sleazy, or manipulative tactics. Yes you CAN write, publish, and profit in a way that honors God; join the community today at https://christianauthors.net/fbgroup.
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