What Would Mr. Cupit Do?

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.

Take the Strocel.com ‘What Would Mr. Cupit Do’ survey!

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. 😉

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  1. Tammy Graves de Wit says:

    Loved Mr Cupit! Best teacher ever!Saw him about 10 years ago working at Margeret Stenerson Elementary! teaching gr 7 still I think…it was wierd as an adult to see an old teacher!

  2. Naomi Ruth Peters says:

    teachers can be some of the best people in our lives tammy graves de wit. sometimes the good ones shape us more than r parents do

  3. Amber, I am really excited for you about these ideas and love that you decided to use a survey to poll your audience. I can’t wait to hear what your poll tells you and what you decide to do. 🙂

  4. I took it! Are you going to publish all the results? I haven’t decided whether to publish my results yet. I only have a couple weeks left to figure it out because I only paid for one month of the pro-plan. I started with a free survey, then realized in the first 10 minutes that it wouldn’t let me see any more than 100 responses, which I’d already passed. So, I paid the $20 for a month, but I’m not gonna keep paying it. Anyway, would love to see your results!
    .-= TheFeministBreeder´s last post ..As the Beatles Say: Here, There, and Everywhere =-.

  5. I took your survey 🙂 I hpe you figure out what you want to do…and if you do, can you tell me what I should do?

    We should take a weekend long “writing sabbatical”. No kids, no spouses, just some laptops with internet connections in an isolated location so the writing can get a good jump start 🙂 Well, maybe not toally isolated…I think a need for Starbucks will be high on the priority list! And ice cream…oh and CHOCOLATE!!
    .-= Carrie´s last post ..Just because… =-.

  6. Ron Kroeker says:

    I remember my grade seven teacher, Ms. Farrell. She was/is a great teacher. We always did murals for the back wall depending on what we were reading.

  7. Hey I did your survey and hope it helps out. I also would love to write a book, I would try to tackle the teen readers with fantasy or adult romance. I love reading and writing and blogging! I really enjoying reading your blog, I try to look everyday!

  8. Tammy Graves de Wit says:

    I agree with that totally!what an awesome responsibility they have!

  9. I can’t believe how organized you always are. Multiple choices didn’t use to exist in my country until recently, and make me hyperventilate, but I went ahead. Can’t wait to learn your choice.
    .-= Francesca´s last post ..green revolution on our pizza =-.

  10. I have to admit, when I first read the title of this blog I was highly confused.

    “Does she mean Cupid?” “It’s not even February–she’s a couple months behind.” “Oh wait, maybe she’s going to be playing matchmaker!”

    I needed to know more.

    You are absolutely spot-on with this poll idea in that it’s the best way to get unbiased feedback. I haven’t looked at the poll yet, but I will. Just keep in mind that believing in your own idea is equally, or maybe more, important than how a handful of people feel about it. You will only put passion into that which you are passionate for.
    .-= Jennifer´s last post ..Absent much? =-.

  11. Brava Amber! I’m so happy to see you take the “books need a business plan” point to heart from The Book Broads talk at Northern Voice. Time and again Kim, Peggy & I meet authors who have been duped into self-publishing a book that has no market or wasting an incredible amount of time pitching a book to agents/publishers that just won’t fly. Good on ya for taking this time!

    The other thing I love about this post is realizing how much we have in common – moms, book lovers, writers, bloggers and – who know – science geeks. Love it! One of these days we’ll connect in the real world for a real chat. I look forward to it.

  12. Best of luck with whatever you choose to do! One thing I didn’t see on your list was an eco-family book, which I think would be kind of cool. (As if you needed more ideas to choose from!)

  13. Mr. Cupit would be proud of you! I really enjoy your writing and think you would put an insightful slant on any of the topics…
    .-= Susan´s last post ..Partiers at Grandview Park on Commercial Drive protest park’s one-year closure =-.

  14. I hope that the results of the survey are in favour of your book!

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