When I attended the Northern Voice conference last week, I sat in on the session by the fabulous Book Broads. It was extremely interesting. I’ve long had this idea that I want to write a book, but I actually didn’t have either a concrete book idea or any understanding of how one would go about doing that. I suppose I imagined that there is rather a lot of writing involved, but beyond that, I was pretty much clueless.
In their session, Angela, Kim and Peggy did a great job of outlining some of the process involved. And one of the big points that they made was that if you want to be successful, you need to view your book as a business. You need to get some unbiased feedback and understand your niche and market. Because the point of writing a book, one hopes, is that someone else will buy the thing and read it. At least, that would be my hope. I already have more than enough paperweights in my house, thank you very much.
When I got home from Northern Voice, I talked to my husband Jon about the sessions I attended, including the one from the Book Broads. We started discussing my niche, and what I’m interested in, and what I thought other people might be interested in, too. And I came up with a book idea that I’m sort of in love with. I really think it could be awesome. But I need feedback, and I need objective feedback.
My fear is that if I tell you all my idea you’ll tell me it’s awesome because you like me. At least, I assume you do, because you’re here reading. Maybe you read this blog in the same way I listen to Dr. Laura, so that you can yell and work out your frustrations. That’s cool too, but if you do that, you probably wouldn’t buy a book I wrote anyway. And either way, asking for your opinion puts you on the spot and me on the spot.
Then I channeled Mr. Cupit. Mr. Cupit was my grade 6 teacher, the year I entered my first science fair. As the 11-year-olds under his charge released their inner scientists, he talked a lot about controlling for variables and biases. Because variables and biases can ruin an experiment, as I later confirmed in my work as an engineer. So, I asked myself: What would Mr. Cupit do? And I decided that Mr. Cupit would collect feedback anonymously, without letting on which idea was his personal favourite.
So I have created a survey. It opens with 4 possible book ideas, and asks you to give me your feedback on each. Which one is my current favourite? I’ll never tell. And then I ask you a couple of questions about this blog and yourself. It’s all anonymous, and I am not tracking any specific information about you. So please, take my survey. I would be ever so grateful to you. You can consider it a belated birthday gift.
Have a great weekend! As for me, I am off to document what happens when you put food colouring and dish soap in milk, while controlling for variables.