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Before you start writing a business book to build your business and brand, you’ll need to make four foundational decisions that will determine your book’s success. This post is about the third of those four — choosing potential book topics your top audiences will care about. If you don’t make these decisions thoughtfully, you won’t accomplish your book-generated business growth goals. The four build on each other and need to be made in order. So if you haven’t already, read about the first one that defines your book’s Why and the second about your book’s most important audiences before continuing.

Always remember a business-building book can only succeed if its topic matters to the audiences tied to your book-related business goals. Now let’s dive in!

Choose topics your top target audiences will appreciate learning — from you!!

Identify Possible Topics

The first task for today is a big one, but it can potentially lead to significantly reduced time spent creating your book. Conduct an inventory and list the information you already know, have in your files or want to learn or compile while writing this book. These are your book’s possible topics. And the first two of those three can be your big time savers. You’ll likely have 100 or more on your list if you’ve been working in your field for several years.

Choose Topics for Top Targets

Review what you know about each of your top three or four target audiences. Then create a list of no more than a dozen topics from your inventory list for each audience — topics they’d likely appreciate learning from you. Their recognition and appreciation of you as the source is the dynamic that leads to your desired results. These topics should solve an important problem of theirs, provide something they want or need, end their pain or confusion or motivate or inspire them. Consider evergreen topics as well as ones you can update frequently. And be especially alert to topics that could serve more than one of your top target groups.

Research Competing Books

Using, your favorite bookseller or your field’s professional associations and trade publications, research the books in your field that are broadly related to the topics you’ve selected. See what information is currently available. How much exists? Is it up to date? And what’s missing that your targets would welcome? Make especially detailed notes about the books about topics you have on your list. Don’t necessarily shy away from a topic that’s already been covered if you’re the best person to deliver it to your audience. And spot the topics you can cover differently or add something to that complements, augments or updates older versions.

Refine Potential Topic Lists

Now, revise your top targets’ topic lists. Do this by removing thoroughly covered topics you can’t improve upon. Then eliminate the approaches to your surviving topics which you found already well-covered and will avoid. But retain the less well-covered approaches you might modify. And add approaches and topics inspired by your competitive research.

And with that, you’ve gotten to the end of the highlights of your third foundational decision and identified topics your top audiences will appreciate learning from you. Keep going to your fourth and final decision.

For the full details about all four foundational decisions related to writing a business book — plus a link to our free printable interactive PDF worksheets — see our free workbook, 77 Book Types For Building Your Business & Brand, in the sidebar to the right. Or check out more highlights in the related posts below.

How else can we help with your business book? 

Our multi-award-winning, groundbreaking workbooks showcase hundreds of book types for you to review, be inspired by and choose from.

And our Getting Started on Your Business-Building Book consulting program provides individual help making your four strategic decisions.

The early stages of writing a business book depend on many ideas and concepts.

Related Posts:

Starting a Book to Grow a Business Begins with 4 Key Decisions

Write a Business Book to Grow Your Business — Initial Steps

Creating a Business Book That’s a Game-Changer — 11 Tasks

How To Start a Book for Your Business via 6 Steps About Your Why

Create a Business Book Only After Defining Audiences Related to Your Goals

Grow a Business with a Book that has the Right Topic-Type Combination

Our Books to Help Aspiring Executive Authors

Getting Started on Your Business-Building Book consulting program

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