Story Time:

One of the fun things we do here at The Author Incubator is company-sponsored Taco Tuesdays.

We order tacos for everyone on staff who works from our Georgetown office in Washington, DC (we have staff all around the world from California to Poland!).

At lunchtime our local team of about 25 descend into our 1st floor conference room to take part in the spoils.

But – as you can probably imagine – ordering tacos for 25 isn’t as simple as it seems for one major reason: individual dietary restrictions.

Some of our staff are vegan. Some eat meat, but not from animals with four legs. Some are text-book carnivores. Some are allergic to corn, which would prompt flour tortillas for the win but alas, others eat gluten-free.

But we want everyone to be happy.

If you’re like most aspiring writers, you’ve probably experienced a similar dilemma with your book.

You want to help and heal as many people in the world as possible with your message, but you have so many different ideas and can solve so many different problems.

So how do you please everyone with a single book?

Your logical mind would probably say, “Make the book as general as possible.”

Or in taco-speak, “I’ll just serve a taco shell since most people will generally be able to eat it.”

Except there’s one problem: the shell is just the delivery system… it’s what’s INSIDE the shell that fills people up and makes them smile. The ingredients are the gold.

“Well, then I’ll just put everything in it so that every reader can find something useful.”

In other words, order a single taco with all the things that everyone would want to eat.


Let’s order a taco with fish and chicken and ground beef and carnitas and onions and dates and tartar sauce and ketchup and sour cream and onions and corn and asparagus and eggs and lentils and avocado and mushrooms and olives and cheese and beans and… and… and…

Except, all of these things can’t FIT in a taco and NO ONE is going to be looking for a taco with all of those things in it… It’s too much to handle and therefore not digestible.

It’s not about putting everything into a single taco… no one will eat it.

In the same way, if you put every idea you have into a single book and try to market it to every person on the planet NO ONE will be looking for it and won’t read it because it’s NOT DIGESTIBLE.

Your book can’t be all things to all people. It has to have the specific ingredients that your ideal reader would devour at first sight. That’s when you know you have a winner.

Every book idea you have is actually a different type of taco that will be sought after by a different eater.

Make a fish taco for the pescatarians.

Make a veggie taco for the vegetarians.

Make a steak taco for the meat-atarians.

And here’s the thing, when your taco is created for a specific person, say a pescatarian, it doesn’t prevent anyone else from buying it too. Anyone who likes fish can buy a fish taco, but it was made with the pescatarian in mind.

Other readers will still buy your book, but it has to be written for one specific reader if you want anyone to read it in the first place.

And maybe you agree with the premise here, but you’re concerned about which idea to choose first.

Great news!

Hunger comes every few hours.

Tuesday comes every week.

You can always make more tacos and you can always write more books.

But here’s some expert advice: you might want to start and finish your first taco before you go for a second 😉

Happy Eating!

The Author Incubator Team