I have this amazing idea for a book that has never been done before and will sell like hotcakes. (No, seriously!) But I have absolutely no idea where to start. What do I do?
I am very into local history, and I am astounded -- ASTOUNDED! -- that nobody has ever written a book about Local Phenomenon X. (Sorry to be so coy; I know it's annoying. I'm doing it anyway.)
For the purpose of explanation, let's say that I'm talking about the Empire State Building: you look at it and say, "You're kidding me, right? Surely people have written SOMETHING! I mean, it's the fricking Empire State Building!" Maybe people haven't written about it because it's too big of a subject, or they assume it's been done. Whatever the case, I know that there's nothing out there. Maybe a few historical booklets, but nothing of substance.
The thing about writing a book about the not-Empire State Building is that it could be so awesome. I have access to a huge repository of photos and stories, both in historical archives and from tourists. It's a beloved physical landmark with a great history, but people also have really strong feelings about it: working there, being tourists, the way it looks, what it means to the city, rumors, legends, you name it.
And that's just it. I know it could be a beautiful coffee table book, or even a bigger book with stories and a Website and and and... where do I begin? How do I focus my idea? I have ideas for the divisions (history, famous people who have been there, a tour of the area) but I want to make sure it's not too much of an overload.
(Also, I have ADD. Ooh, is that Julie Andrews over there?)
Things I have on my side:
--I've seen this thread.
--I am a writer and media professional, so even if I don't do it myself I can give it to someone who is good.
--I know the perfect people to get involved with it; one is a great photographer and the other has been involved with Local Phenomenon X for many years. They're young, but they've written a somewhat-similar book that is getting good press.
--People in my area will buy it, no doubt. I'm not concerned about making money, but I could price it really high and they'd still buy it. This is a huge nostalgia item.
--I work for the university and, as I've said, have access to all sorts of public information, experts and the historical society archives.
--My dad has written multiple books (coffee table and nonfiction) and operated his own publishing company, so I know he could be realistic with me about what has to happen.
--I have many contacts at our university press, who would probably publish it (or at least tell me where else I could take the idea).
Am I crazy?