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Brainstorming Cookbook Subjects

Coming up with a list of potential book subjects is a critical part of the process. Sometimes you know exactly what you want to write about but it's generally better to have a list of 100 subjects that you narrow down to a handful of options than to only think of one or two ideas.

You want to try and pick a subject that will be successful but be careful picking based on success alone. If you don't know as much about the subject, or care much about it, the book writing process will be a lot harder. In general, it's better to stick to subjects in your niche, that you are passionate about, or are passionate learning about.

There are many ways to come up with potential cookbook subjects, but here are the methods many people prefer.

I always keep a list of potential cookbook subjects around. It's a great way to have a built up reservoir of ideas when it's time to decide on a new book. It also allows me to experiment with some of the subjects on my blog. This lets me see what connects with my readers, which ones I enjoy working on the most, and what subject I may want to turn into a full book.

What Readers Are Asking For

A great place to look for cookbook subjects is through finding areas that your readers and others in your blogging area consistently have a questions about. Often times you will see the same requests in blog posts or comments. If these tie into a single subject it's a great place to look for cookbook subjects.

Message boards and user forums are also good places to find areas that many people are struggling to find information. You can also turn to your blog and poll your readers directly to see what they would like.

Rely on Your Expertise

If you are a successful blogger, you probably have a great feel for what is currently popular in your area of cooking and where it is trending. These popular areas can be mined for cookbook subjects.

Remember though that the cookbook will usually take between 4 and 12 months to produce. This means you have to be careful you don't pick something that is a quick fad that will be over before your book is out. This usually makes subjects that are just becoming popular better options than ones that have been popular for awhile.

Look at Other Writers

There are many places you can find information about what is trending now and in the future. Many food and cooking magazines have sections that look at trending subjects. Reading the larger blogs can also be a great way to find subjects they feel are becoming popular.

Look at the Restaurants

Many of the food trends that emerge get their start in upscale restaurants. Once the food trend becomes popular many books on the subject start to come out. If you can be at the forefront of the books you can capitalize on the emerging popularity.

When you go out to eat at a nice restaurant, start paying more attention to what is unique on the menu, and what you are starting to see on several menus. Going online and looking at restaurant menus is another great way to get ideas without having to actually go to many of the places.

Check Out Some Equipment

There are lots of new types of equipment coming out every year and there are often people looking how to use them or get more out of them. Writing a smaller, dedicated book about a piece of equipment focused around your niche can be very successful. This is especially true if you can find ways that a popular piece of equipment can be used in ways the more general cookbooks don't focus on.

Tweak Popular Subjects For Your Niche

There are many subjects that are saturated with cookbooks describing the subject in general. It's possible to take the general subject and focus only on an underrepresented portion that touches or can relate to your niche.

For example, fresh juices are currently very popular and there are tons of books on juices. But if you write about ice cream a lot, could you have a book focused on making ice cream from fresh juices? You can tap into the popularity of juicing (and ice cream making) but in a way you are still differentiating yourself from the other generalized books.

Once you have decided on a few cookbook subjects, you will want to determine the competition in each subject.