Big Ideas and Business Books

writing a book, business Every book needs a big idea, of course. But the big idea should also be refracted throughout the book, so that it sticks with the reader.

Each chapter should reflected an aspect of the big idea, but have its big idea too.

So, if you’re writing a book about your service, whatever it is, that approach is your book’s Big Idea. Each chapter should be an explanation of how that service works. So that explanation becomes the chapter’s Big Idea.

A reader needs something to grasp quickly. If you’re writing a business book that you’re using to build your business, then your main selling points need to stand out. Your book can reflect what’s new, but it can also be a synthesis of things others have done that also work for you – your interpretation of the work of others.

Few books – perhaps none – are entirely original. We’re always recycling ideas. But if your Big Idea is strong enough, and the Big Idea is reiterated in an engaging fashion through each of the chapters of your book, then your book will stand out.

This reflects a pet theory of mine regarding films. If a comedy has at least three big laughs, it will probably be a hit. If a horror movie has at least two big scares, it will probably be a hit. If a suspense film has at least three close encounters or near misses, it will find an audience. Think back to hit movies of the last few years, and try to remember where you laughed, gasped or held your breath. See how my theory works for you.

Along these lines, if a book has at least one Big Idea, it will get noticed. If that Big Idea is distributed and reiterated in each chapter, it will become a book that people buy.

This isn’t easy, actually. Think about it. Coming up with a Big Idea takes thought based on your experience and your reflection of what the market is like. Coming up with a Big Idea that you can shape throughout a book is harder still: you’ve got to look at every angle of your Big Idea to see how it plays for someone who wants to find something new, someone who wants a process or method, someone who wants results, someone who wants a competitive edge.

What’s your Big Idea?

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One Response to “Big Ideas and Business Books”

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