Researching Your Book Topic: A Complete Guide

February 5, 20213 min. Read

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Research can be complicated, and many authors don’t know where to start. When researching your book topic, it’s easy to get bogged down in the details and stalls the whole process or, worse, derails the book from your initial idea into something you no longer feel passionate about writing.

In our complete guide for researching your book topic, there are two things you need to know:

  • -You know enough to write the book but want to add sources and citations to make the text more persuasive and robust.
  • – Or you don’t know enough, but you love the topic, so you need to learn more to make the book believable.

Palmetto Publishing has some useful research tips that will help you build a more substantial book while showing you how to get through the research process without wasting time.

Book Research Methods 

Our most salient advice for book research methods is to wait until you finish your rough draft. The problem with researching while you’re writing is that you slow your momentum if you leave your train of thought just to verify a fact. 

Your draft will take longer to finish, and it will be harder to write if you need to jump out of your writing mindset to switch over to research. Trust us on this, don’t do any research until your draft is done but do make notes throughout that make it easier to return to points of the story or narrative that need additional information.

Read Texts on your subject 

When you first start research, you need to understand the big picture and your subject’s context, not so you can tell the readers, but also understand what is necessary for your book. 

With a clear picture of what’s going on to write your story successfully through your research, you can then translate your perspective to your audience.

Delve into other forms of media 

“Write what you know” is standard advice, but you never know what might inspire a chapter, provide a setting, or make a perfect anecdote. There’s no such thing as researching too much: watch documentaries and YouTube videos; Look at art and photography; Talk to friends and strangers alike; Read fiction and nonfiction books that cover similar ground.

It’s antiquated to think your research comes from text sources on the internet or in books. The first-hand experience is best, but not the only way to immerse yourself in a subject. Get creative about what you want to learn about and make it happen. 

Speak to people related to your book topic 

When thinking of where to begin your research, consider another expert in the field. Get an expert’s perspective on the topic and save yourself valuable research time. You should consider speaking to professors, editors, authors, journalists, CEOs, thought leaders, etc. 

However, not all ideas for book topics are going to resonate with people. You can start your research by asking your social media followers for thoughts on your book topic, which can be quite insightful. Also, it would help if you put an abstract together; this will help you reach more people and experts instead of having to explain your idea over and over.

Establishing a system to organize and store research 

Before you start researching or writing, you need to figure out two main things: your audience and your message. This is called book positioning, and it’s an essential part of the book writing process.

You need to compile all your resources together in one place so you can find them later. The organization of your research now will make adding research to your manuscript later easier and quicker. The most important system to use is one that you’ll use. For example, don’t buy an additional software program to separate information if word documents in folders on your desktop work for you. 

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