Are you writing a good book?

Do you worry about whether you’re writing a good book? In a recent survey, I asked aspiring authors what they feared most about writing a book. They told me their greatest fear was that they might not write a good book.

But here’s the thing…

Fearing that your book isn’t any good can make it difficult to commit to working on it. This fear could paralyse you every time you sit down to write. In the end, you’ll just procrastinate and your book will never get finished – or (possibly) even started!

So, what can you do to stop this fear getting in your way?

Woman reading book
Does your book spark ideas and engage your reader?

It’s not up to you

Of course, the only person who can decide whether your book is good or bad is your reader because the judgement is subjective – it’s their opinion.

You can influence that opinion by delivering what the reader wants, but you can’t change someone else’s assessment. You simply have to do all you can to make sure your book meets your readers needs. Because it’s the degree to which you solve the reader’s problem that will influence whether they judge it to be good or bad.

Do you need to change yourself or your book?

Sometimes, the fear that your book isn’t any good is just that: a fear. But sometimes you intuitively know your idea is flawed or not working in some way.

So, before you go any further, you need to figure out whether you’re experiencing fear or whether you have a genuine concern that needs to be addressed.

Here are some examples of fear-based thoughts:

  • ‘Nobody will want to read what I have to say about this.’
  • ‘I don’t know enough to write about this!’
  • ‘This is rubbish! I should just give up now.’

If this is what you’re thinking, you’re experiencing your negative inner chatter. These thoughts are normal but unpleasant. If you want some reassurance, ask someone you trust and who understands your topic to read your book for you. Sometimes feedback will help you see what’s of real concern and what’s the result of your doubts and fears.

However, if you think thoughts like the ones listed below, it could be a sign that you have a genuine concern that you need to deal with.

  • ‘My writing isn’t flowing very well.’
  • ‘The order of the content doesn’t feel right.’
  • ‘I’m not sure what I’m trying to say here.’

If you realise that there are aspects of your book that aren’t working, you need to figure out where the flaw is (or at least the potential flaw) so you can fix it.

3 practical ways to check you’re writing a good book

  1. If you haven’t already done your market research, do it now. Check out Amazon for similar books and look on your competitors’ websites to see whether your topic is one that has already been covered (this can be a good thing as it proves it is a solid topic that you can write about in your own way).
  2. Put out some social media posts around your book topic and see if you get any response to it. You may need to be persistent to get the attention of enough people. Keep at it. You don’t have to declare that this is what your book is about, you can simply explore the key idea through a series of blog posts, social media posts or in your newsletter. Ask questions around the problem you believe your ideal reader is experiencing. Use their language so your ideas resonate.
  3. Get feedback from a few people you trust. Put together a brief book proposal laying out what the book is about, who it’s for and what you’re setting out the achieve. Include three sample chapters (or more if you wish) and then ask for comments and feedback.

Focus on building your confidence and belief in your book. Because when you do that, your work will flow, and when you write from a state of flow, your book will almost definitely turn out to be good.

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Deborah Taylor
Deborah Taylor

Hi, I'm Deborah Taylor and I'm a publishing consultant and book-writing mentor. I work with established business owners who want to share their message by writing a book but are struggling to get started (or finished). I help them write, publish and launch a stand-out, attention-grabbing book that will raise their profile, reach more of their ideal clients and grow their business. I am a trained editor with over 15 years' publishing experience with major blue-chip UK publishing companies such as Hodder & Stoughton, BBC Books, Cassell and Pearson. I have produced books on every subject under the sun and with professinals and experts from a wide range of professions, from chefs and gardeners to life coaches and career consultants. I would love to help you write a book you love and that will raise your profile, attract new clients and bring you exciting new business opportunities.