50 book ideas for writing a book you can start today

Maybe you haven’t brought your book ideas to life yet because you’re afraid it means hiding away, churning out page after page, writing a novel or short story that may never be finished. Or maybe you’ve been trying to get your writing fix by writing book reviews. But writing a book can mean anything you want it to—it’s not just for novels. There’s the old saying that we should write what we know, and you may know more than you think.

Unless you’re a born novelist, try your hand at non-fiction first. Not only do you get to start from a place of passion and familiarity, but you also have the market on your side. It’s easier to write, sell, and promote. Non-fiction has a bigger market for both traditionally published books and self-published books. More publishers publish non-fiction than fiction, more book buyers purchase non-fiction books, and it’s easier to build a career out of it by writing articles, giving seminars, and selling related products. Non-fiction writers have it a bit easier than novelists.

To get you started, here’s a list of 50 book ideas, including possible story title ideas, prompts, genres, and topics where you might find your next book.

Ideas for Writing a Book

Ask yourself questions

Your everyday life is a goldmine of material for your creative work. Ask yourself these questions to figure out your next book idea.

1. What challenges are you facing? 

Telling your story about where you struggle can help other people feel less alone. Think about goals and obstacles in your personal, professional, or creative life and how you approached them.

2. What are you learning right now? 

Share whatever you’re working on and however you’re learning it—whether it’s about relationships, health practices, work efficiencies, or athletic competition, other people might benefit.

3. What’s happening in your day-to-day life?

Are you going through a big transition? Is there a weekly routine or yearly celebration that means something to you? Don’t overlook these things. Sometimes what has the most universal meaning is actually the most particular and personal.

Look around you

Be an explorer of your world and the people in it. Ask questions. Make observations. Travel down these paths to find out where your best book ideas are hiding:

4. Compile your family history

Who in your family has a story that needs to be told? How did your family (and you!) come to be how you are? A family history book is the perfect way to tell your story.

5. Explore your hometown history

What are the stories of how your town came to be? Highlight the famous people that put your town on the map, or include fun facts about local landmarks and insider tips for places you love.

6. Share your personal history

What were the key factors in your personal origin story? Reflect on the events and relationships that made you who you are today. 

7. Draw attention to a meaningful cause

Have you done any volunteer work that deepened your understanding or perspective? Do you have stories of how your organization changed lives and made a difference? Get the word out!

8. Talk about special events

Maybe you’ve been to over 30 Pearl Jam concerts, and you have the set list and memory for each one of them. Maybe you hosted a speakers’ series at your school. Maybe you attended a rally, and the conversations inspired you.

9. Share your travel stories

Put together a travel book filled with your writing and discoveries made while visiting distant lands, then combine them with your photographs.

Become your own storyteller

10. Try an experiment

Do something for 30, 60, or 90 days and document your experience.

11. Write the story behind your favorite topics

What are your favorite books, albums, songs, films, or paintings? Use each of these as story starter ideas to craft a creative and relatable book.

12. Highlight your biggest success

How did you set this goal? What led up to your achievements, and who helped you along the way?

13. Reveal your biggest failure

What did you learn? How can you help other people deal with fear, failure, or recovery and be resilient? 

14. Do something epic, then write about it 

Raising $20,000 for cancer research, tackling a big life obstacle, summiting a peak, visiting all 50 states—if you have an eye on writing a book, you’ll do these things differently and keep careful records. Wanting a story to tell might also inspire some pretty incredible adventures.

Pick a non-fiction genre to get started

15. Write a big idea book

These kinds of stories focus on a new concept, tool, or learning that will change how people love, work, and live. Teach other people one big thing you know.

16. Make a list book

The lists you keep for yourself—like a gratitude list or a list of local restaurants—can inspire and inform someone else. Take one of your lists and make it into a creative book!

17. Publish an educational photo book

Pair your most impressive photographs with interesting captions or stories of the local geography, history, flora, and fauna.

18. Compile a series of letters

If you have been part of an enlightening correspondence (and the other party involved is willing to share their story, too), document your dialogue in a book.

19. Create an interview book

Compile interviews with inspiring individuals in your life, community, or professional field. Organize the book around a particular theme, or turn the conversations into a series of essays that change the way people think.

Consider content you have already written

You might already have created a body of work that can fill the pages of a book, it just needs to be compiled, organized, and formatted. The process of pulling these ideas together might even inspire another project of new material.

20. Print a series of blog posts

If you’ve already taken the time to compose daily or weekly articles, you’re well on your way! Look for a common thread or topic running throughout, organize your posts into chapters or sections, and take your stories to the next level—in print.

21. Make a book of postcards

The art of snail mail doesn’t have to be lost forever. Make a fun, quirky, or insightful coffee table book of postcards you’ve received or ones you’ve collected.

22. Publish love letters

Making love letters public is not for everyone—but if you and your beloved agree to the project, you just might find yourself with a one-of-a-kind collaboration featuring poems, stories, and reflections. You can also get creative and write a series of fictional love letters to people, places, objects, or events you adore.

23. Turn your journal entries into a book

The unique journal pages of artists, writers, photographers, travelers, and introspective individuals are a fascinating genre all their own. Sharing your personal reflections can inspire readers of all kinds.

24. Publish your own cookbook

Do your friends and families love gathering around your table to taste your culinary creations? Are you a foodie inspired by certain ingredients, dietary trends, family traditions, local or international cuisine? Share your favorite recipes.

Look to the non-fiction bestseller categories from Amazon

Here are some possible book-writing ideas that fall within categories that represent Amazon’s bestselling non-fiction. Try these on for size:

Biography and memoir book ideas

25. Try making a new city home

Most people can identify with the challenges of relocating to a new place—whether it’s a different city, state, or country. Take your readers through the ups and downs of that transition.

26. Share your 25 best or worst date stories

Do you have a history of finding love in all the right (or wrong) places? Do tell.

27. Write a biography of a family member

Chances are, there’s at least one person in your family with a unique, inspiring, or powerful life story to share. Maybe you have a distant ancestor or living relative who defied all odds to make an astounding journey, overcome hardships, find personal success, or pave the way for others.

Self-help book ideas

28. Describe the experience of intuitive eating

Have you made personal strides in your approach to healthy eating and food? Share your story of empowerment from start to finish.

29. Explore new rules for dating

Take a lighthearted, compassionate, or serious approach to a popular topic. Depending on your area of expertise, you might include research, personal anecdotes, observations, or interviews.

Religion and spirituality book ideas

30. Design an inspirational gift book

Gather all your favorite quotes and pair them with photography, illustrations, or designs to create a motivational book.

31. Publish a religious study or devotional workbook

Share the divine wisdom and traditions that you know best, including classic teachings and lessons for personal growth.  

32. Write a religious memoir

Create a memoir based on personal events, learning, or transformations that led you to your current religious beliefs.

Health, fitness, and nutrition book ideas

33. Inspire someone with 10 life lessons in food

Maybe you learned how to maintain a healthy weight, or you discovered how the food on your plate affects your mood, sleep, or overall health. Don’t keep your success a secret!

34. Summarize your experience of 30 days on a specific diet

Ketogenic. Intermittent fasting. Low sugar. Mediterranean. Gluten free. If you tried it, it’s time to tell all.

35. Compile a research summary of how to exercise

Use your scientist-meets-fitness skills to create a guidebook with training tips, health facts, and exercise inspiration.

Politics and social science book ideas

36. Explore public policy, ideologies, or politics

The debate lover in you already has plenty to say about these big topics, so you bring your persuasive book to life with data and insights.

37. Forecast political and cultural trends

This kind of book takes a knack for research—so use your authority as a demonstrated expert or passionate professional to tell it like it is (or like it soon will be).

Cookbook, food, and wine book ideas

38. Collect recipes from the family restaurant

Cultivate a love of cooking and share your special kitchen traditions, recipes, and food photography with an audience who’s craving more. (Just make sure to get the a-ok from the original chef!)

39. Print a guide to local wineries with photos and reviews

Malbec or Shiraz? Moscato or Chenin Blanc? You don’t have to be a sommelier to share your love and knowledge of great wines.

40. Explain 10 things you learned about cooking

What do you know about baking the perfect cake? Got tips and tricks for southern barbecue? Write what you know.

Business and money book ideas

41. Tell your story of getting out of debt

Did you learn financial lessons the hard way? People of all ages are eager to know how you did it.

42. Write about securing investments for a project

You organized a first-of-its-kind fundraiser or wrote a grant that saved the day. Offer your best money advice to project leaders everywhere.

43. Offer tips on how to earn a living from creative work

Think of it as your gift to the next generation of artists, writers, filmmakers, and photographers.

44. Share advice on running a large business

Money makes the world go round. What’s your secret to managing a successful company?

45. Show what you learned from the failure of a startup

Big dreams, harsh reality. If you had to do it all over again, what would you want to know?

Education and teaching book ideas

46. Publish a classroom curriculum you designed

Did you create lesson units that your students absolutely loved? What kind of project materials were successful, and how could other people use them? Make a workbook, ebook, or even a magazine that details your process.

Crafts, hobbies, and home book ideas

47. Develop a guide to meaningful photography

These days everyone fancies themselves a photographer, but there’s more than a filter to making great images. Tell them what to aim for.

48. Make an instructional knitting or sewing guide

If you can stitch like a pro, share your project tips and expertise in a practical craft book.

49. Create an interior design guide book

Put your creative instincts in print by sharing your style advice and favorite trends, from Boho chic to French country to modern minimalist.

50. Encourage people to learn a new hobby

Beginner projects in woodworking. One room, twelve ways. Introduction to jewelry making. Your creative skills and talents are invaluable to others who are just starting out, so lead the way!

What are You Waiting For?

Just pick one book idea and start writing

Print-on-demand makes it easier than ever to create one copy or a thousand. Whatever your next project idea, think of it as just that: your next project, not your only one. If the first book you create isn’t the book you know you have in you to write or make, that’s ok! This is just your first book. Once you do one, you’ll have what it takes to do the next one and the next one after that.

The key is to start the journey toward the book you want to write by reading more books to help you improve your writing skills, gain inspiration, and discover new ideas. And then making your next, knowing that the books that come in your future can take many different shapes.


What are you waiting for? Start your book today!


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