Maybe you haven’t brought your book ideas to life yet because you’re afraid it means hiding away, churning out page after page of a novel that may never be finished. 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 titles, prompts, genres, and topics where you might find your next 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 a 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, 90 days and document your experience.
11. Write the story behind your favorite things
What are your favorite books, albums, songs, films, or paintings? Use each of these as story starter ideas to craft a creative and relatable memoir.
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 $5,000 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:
BIOGRAPHIES AND MEMOIR 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/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 DIETING BOOK IDEAS
33. Inspire someone with 10 life lessons in food
Maybe you lost 50 pounds, 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 what to eat and why
Use your scientist-meets-foodie skills to create a guidebook with nutritional tips, health facts, and dietary 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 save 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!
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 it 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 or make, and know that the books that come before it can take many different shapes.
What are you waiting for? Start your book today!