I am constantly thinking of ideas for books. I read two or three newspapers a day, blogs, online publications, and several magazines weekly. There are fresh and original concepts everywhere. The problem, though, is who will turn these ideas into a book.
In fact finding a writer for many of our ideas is extremely difficult. We start, of course, by talking to our own clients and, surprisingly, most of the time they turn us down. They simply don’t see the idea as being material for a book, as we do. Then, we go beyond our client list and ask our contacts if they know qualified writers (we mostly come up with non-fiction ideas as fiction is such a personal creative process) who might be interested. Again, it’s hard to find any takers.
One would think that because we have all of these years of experience selling books it would be easier to find people who would be interested in taking our suggestions more seriously. But, you would be wrong. Most of the time writers want to come up with their own ideas. It takes a long time to develop a book project and so rather than adopting one of mine, their ideas are “owned” by them. I get that.
Still, though, I think many of my ideas and those of my colleagues (we actually have an ideas meeting every two weeks) are very worthwhile. And so I thought I would throw out a couple here and see if there are any “takers.” I would love to hear from you if there are.
The first idea is about the New York City Opera which collapsed last year. This would be both a human interest story (there are some very colorful people involved) and a business story (the fate of this organization resulted from colossal mismanagement). I have spoken to a number of writers about a book about its rise and fall but all have dropped out after considering it for a short time.
Then, there is a book about Friendship (with a capital “F”) modeled after Gail Sheehy’s Passages. I believe that we go through many stages of who our friends are – they and we are different (sometimes sadly so) through the many cycles of our lives and I would love to explore how and why this evolution occurs.
So let me know if any of you want to pursue one of these or have any thoughts or opinions about why this process can be so difficult.