Over 80 Ideas for Making Books with your Creative Skills

We could all use a little extra income, especially the kind that we earn as we sleep.

How about that, and becoming better known by those that matter to you?

How about something that you can leave behind as a legacy for decades to come?

Something you can use as a source of value that will draw people to you and your vision?

Does the idea of having your product in the hands of thousands of people around the world interest you?

Writing your own books gives you all of this.

There is no doubt that creating your own books is a challenge. It can be bloody hard, and harder still to get them actually read.

I’ve written eight of them, and it has never been easy. But it was never impossible either, and the process was always a nourishing and character-building one.

With each new book project I set my mind to, it has been a little easier; quicker; more encouraging, and more fruitful.

The experience has motivated me to continue writing and making books for as long as I live.

Though I am by no means an ‘established’ author, the opportunities and benefits that have come from writing books have been substantial.

Requests for speaking engagements, workshops and interviews; healthy residual income and more freedom; a growing network and following; added credibility, and most of all — a growing and enlivening passion for the craft of writing and creating books.

No, not all the book ideas have been taken, though it can seem that way. Not by a long way.

The opportunities for writing books are expanding every day. New readers from all kinds of backgrounds are entering the market daily, and book sales are growing.

People have a myriad of problems that need solving, and — in a complex world — these morph and evolve continuously.

Millions of people are looking for others to guide, entertain, encourage and enlighten them.

Our hunger for books shows no signs of relenting.

We’re all capable of sharing in- and carving- our own niche in that web. Creating something with our own voice, our own set of experiences, and our own angle. The world needs fresh perspectives.

A book is still one of the best ways to bundle your unique take on things in a coherent, and appealing package. There are more people than you think who are out there looking for it.

I will talk about the nitty-gritty of the process of writing and selling books in future posts, but I wanted to first whet your appetite regarding what is possible in book-creation.

I’ve compiled a varied list of book-making and writing ideas to get you thinking about what is possible, and how you might start considering making your own.

Please note, that there is little rhyme or reason to this list. It is an idea explosion. The emphasis is on creative people, but of course, anyone can use these. Ideas will overlap, split, merge and feed into each other.

Maybe somewhere here, you’ll find a seed that grows into a whole new career for you.

Let’s go:

  • Write a non-fiction book on a topic you know a little more than most about. Something you can help with that few others have attempted. You need only be a few steps ahead of a sliver of people who need your words to be in demand.
  • Self-help booklets — reminders, gift booklets, with encouraging ideas, quotes, jokes.
  • Activity books for children.
  • A course composed of pdf booklets.
  • A book with illustrations that show something from a different perspective. Like world maps of the world’s animals, or drinks, or museums, or coffees.
  • A graphic novel or a book of comic strips. Graphic novels and visual narratives are exploding right now.
  • Use services like CreateSpace or Ingramspark to create physical print-on-demand books that you can sell in Amazon or via hundreds of retail outlets around the world.
  • Write an ebook for Kindle, and open your words up to a huge market online.
  • Use Blurb to create your own books to sell via your own website; sell them via a fulfilment service elsewhere; or create books that you can use as valuable leverage to give away and build new opportunities.
  • Use a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr to help you edit, format, design your books at low cost.
  • Write a book that makes others aware of a cause you are fighting for, spreading your ideas into more hands.
  • Design your own planner to help others improve their well-being, or get organised.
  • Write many stories that you love to write, and build a career through being a prolific writer with your compiled stories (Learn how to write and create books fast to motivate you to make books quickly).
  • Vivid picture books for children that you made on your tablet.
  • A colouring-in book for children or adults.
  • Make books full of illustrations for younger adults.
  • Make illustration-heavy non-fiction books on topics you can enjoy researching.
  • A magazine that you share with your tribe once a month. In paper or pdf, or an iPad magazine.
  • Use a packing and fulfilment firm like Whiplash or Amazon to handle your printed books, so you don’t have to deal with it.
  • Create a small, printed booklet that you send to potential clients to drum up business.
  • Use Alibaba to find a factory to print your books in bulk so that you save on prices. The quality in China can be very good. I have tried them with my recent book (Joining the Dots).
  • A book that prompts people to write things down, like the Daily Stoic Journal by Ryan Holiday.
  • Your own pop-up book for children or adults. Learn how here.
  • A pdf booklet sharing something you learned that really helped you, that others would also find useful, that you can use to give away to your subscribers for sign-ups.
  • Use Canva or Gimp to design cool book covers for free.
  • Create a zine or magazine, featuring the work, comics or art by you and others, and sell online, or giveaway to generate interest, and promote everyone involved.
  • Turn any of your books into audiobooks, and take advantage of the increased interest in audio over print books.
  • Create a series of books, and link them to each other, so that you generate repeat sales to the same buyers.
  • Create an animated children’s book for tablets, even with sound. There is a growing market for this.
  • Side note: Take a book you wrote and expand it into a course that you can sell as a premium product to readers of the book.
  • Write a book featuring the best ideas based on successful tweets, blog posts, and online content you have shared that is your own or with permission.
  • Write a beautiful book of poems and shorter pieces.
  • Compile a book of your favourite quotes, and draw the faces of those who said those quotes in your own art style.
  • Create a beautiful book of your (Instagram) photos using Blurb or Edition One.
  • A book of niche photographs, such as a portfolio of tiled walls in your city.
  • Create a book explicitly for someone (and about them) who you love or admire, and send it to them as a gift.
  • A humour book compiling funny tweets or texts you have come across on a particular subject, taking screenshots of the photos. Or ask people to send them in to a blog, and compile them into a book.
  • Do a compilation book of the work of your favourite photographers or on a certain subject or both, and either pay the artists a share/percentage royalties of sales, or a flat fee, or send them free copies of the book.
  • Write a story, a memoir, a how-to book or a comic about a particularly impactful experience in your life that others would benefit from understanding.
  • An interactive book for children featuring sliding doors, popups, and other ‘paper-magic.’
  • A book collecting designs and art on a specific topic to help other creatives use them for reference or be inspired, such as a book on floral patterns, photoshop brushes, web design, minimalist graphic design, fabric design, digital illustration, typography.
  • An ebook or pdf of ideas on a particular topic with links, and earn money using the affiliate links inside the book (no affiliate links in this post, if you’re wondering).
  • A book of illustrated or photographic portraits of people or animals.
  • A book written entirely by hand for a hand-drawn feel.
  • Use ideas from online research found on Quora (Quora) to solve specific problems filtered through your own take on it.
  • Write a short-story fiction collection of tales that make the hairs go up on the back of your neck.
  • Have someone ghostwrite a book for you, based on your notes, so you don’t have to write it.
  • Blank sketch- or notebooks with your art on the cover, or with quotes inside.
  • A calendar book featuring your art or photographs.
  • Write your memoirs about all the interesting parts of your life that would entertain and help. Spice it up with photographs, art, scrapbook pieces, doodles, etc.
  • Collect your travel-writing/journal entries, and write travel books, with images. (Thanks, Colin Wright)
  • Do something outlandish; something no one has done before, and document it.
  • Travel somewhere ‘unusual,’ and document it.
  • Travel somewhere ‘normal,’ but find a unique side to it.
  • A book of tutorials, teaching your creative craft, particularly something that won’t go out of date quickly.
  • Write a book of jokes or cartoons on specific topics. Compile your previous comics. Break up your books to use on your Instagram or blog feed for on-going marketing of the book.
  • Write about something that a very specific kind of person would find useful.
  • A book that creates an augmented-reality experience in tandem with your phone’s camera.
  • An informative guide done in the style of a graphic novel or comic.
  • A fun book that would be perfect for a birthday gift — something jokey for the toilet or holiday-reading.
  • Collection of infographics; diagrams; interesting visual representations of reality.
  • A collection of visions of the future, through your perspective.
  • Write the kind of book you’ve been trying to find in bookshops, but can’t find.
  • Puzzle books for children and adults — crosswords, sudoku, spot the difference, etc.
  • Where’s Wally-style ‘find people/objects in a crowd’ books; maze puzzle books.
  • Interactive books of all kinds like Keri Smith’s: ‘Wreck this Journal’, or Adam J. Kurtz’s ‘1 Page’ — to inspire expressive creativity.
  • Side note: Take a book you wrote and expand it into a course that you can sell as a premium product to readers of the book.
  • Create a new version of an old story — illustrated, for younger audiences.
  • Unconventional use of a book, like a book-version of an eight-ball, in Carol Bolt’s ‘Book of Answers.’
  • Unusual-combination books, like a flavour thesaurus; a visual dictionary, a ‘visual audiobook’ — or other creative twists that take one idea and present it in another way.
  • How to draw certain things, in a certain style — your style.
  • Sketching guides.
  • Compilations of drawings to inspire.
  • Book of postcards, prints, notecards, posters that can be detached.
  • Small booklets that can be added together in a series, or a box set. Like Penguin Modern booklets.
  • Templates and text that can be re-used, on certain topics, like client-acquisition.
  • Pre-written plans, lists, brainstormed ideas on certain topics.
  • Personal organisation books from planners, to managing accounts, to travel-planning, journaling, and recording recipes.
  • Books made for particular professions, like a book for story-boarders, or a book of prompts for writers.
  • Recipe books, how-to guides on niche topics.
  • Collections of motivating interviews, like Tim Ferriss’ ‘Tribe of Mentors.’

Feel free to add your own ideas or questions in the comments below.

Keep an eye out for my post on promoting, sharing and selling your books!

Follow the Red Lemon Club newsletter to stay posted on when it comes out and for more ideas like this. 

Alex

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