3 Ways to Generate Self-Publishing Book Ideas

I need an idea for my self-published book.

I was very lucky when I decided to write about my life using self-publishing to publish the book. The idea for my book came from my husband when I told him about my wild past. I ran away with a pimp when I was a teenager. I moved from Chicago IL to Cleveland., OH. It was a running joke in our family that I should write a book about “my adventures”. My college educated son even joked with me about it when I complained about my job. ‘Mom” he would say, “write that I should have been a $7 whore book and we can all retire”. I would laugh and say, “someday”. Well “someday” is now. My book, “NEVER A $7 Whore” will be live on Amazon on August 05. It is the first of three self-published books about my life coming out in the next 2 years.

How Do You Generate Ideas When Self-Publishing?

For others that love writing, book idea generation while self-publishing is a harder task. How do you go about determining what to write? Three of my favorite techniques are:

  1. Brainstorming
  2. Mind Mapping
  3. Fish Boning

Brainstorming is the well-known technique of facilitation of a free flow of ideas on a topic. Nothing is out of bounds. Every idea is captured and considered. The brainstorming is more effective if more than one person participates. But if the brainstormer is passionate about the subject, the variety and volume of ideas produced can be magnificent.

Mind Mapping is the technique of writing down the central idea than following up by writing down everything the person would put in a book. I knew of this technique but perfected it when I attended Chandler Bolts Self-Publishing School. Mind mapping clears all the spider webs out because it forces the gears in your head to turn. Letting all the ideas out, putting them on paper, and evaluating them quickly shows you if you have enough material for a book in addition to clarifying the idea. If the paper is not full of the items that would be in the proposed book, perhaps more thought is need on the main idea.

Fish Boning is a Lean Manufacturing technique that is like mind mapping. Imagine the skeleton of a fish. The main idea is the head of the fish, the tangential ideas are the bones along each side. The writer fills in the bones with the ideas that support the idea detailed in the head. This technique works well for nonfiction leaning ideas.


Any of the three techniques can kick off idea generation. It is the author’s choice to determine which one works the best for them.

Originally published at www.tonicrowewriter.com on July 25, 2018.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top