Honing Your Idea

Janet has been dubbed “the concept doctor” and is a go-to person for literary agents, writers, and thought leaders when they want an experienced guide to help crystallize, frame, position, amplify, and decide on a winning idea and a one-of-a-kind message, whether it’s a first project, a next book by an established author, or a new venture. She calls it “Finding the It,” which gives a book, idea, or launch a sense of clarity, integrity, stickiness, and heart. Concept Labs focus on concept brainstorming and/or a review of a draft outline or proposal and includes reading up to 20 pages of material, You’ll gain insights that can be used over and over again for future projects, including the Daisy Model for Good Ideas.

The Concept Lab is a perfect option when you’re ready to focus on:

  • An overall assessment of a concept–your “It”–from both its creative and sales perspectives along with advice on key elements to develop, refine, or omit.
  • A working title/name, subtitle or tagline, and/or positioning statement.
  • A discussion of the “pitch” that conveys Why You, Why Now, Why This Project.
  • A powerful working outline, list of core concepts, or an “idea set” that will frame the core elements of your book or project.
  • A plan to add urgency, relevance, freshness, fun, or“hookiness” and commercial appeal to your concept.
  • A “Yes, No, Maybe, Later” Assessment to focus your energy on 1-2 key projects, if there are a few directions being discussed.
  • An assessment of why a current proposal or project isn’t getting the response you hoped for and needs fresh thinking. 
  • A review of a proposal in advance of going to market–a reality check and high-level advice to assess and elevate its potential.

How the Concept Lab works: 

  • Upon registration, we will get on the phone for a 30-minute call to jump-start the work and to plan the project, including dates.
  • To begin, you will complete a Project Brief (provided by Janet) that captures your current ideas(s), and delves into your audience, platform, and experience.
  • Janet will review the Project Brief and up to 20 pages of material as well as your website, the competitive landscape, and the market.
  • The centerpiece of the Concept Lab is an intensive 90-minute phone or video call or in-person session. Janet will also provide high-level notes on the proposal (if provided) and key recommendations.
  • 1-2 email exchanges are included to provide editorial feedback and additional creative input on the concept and refinements.
  • A concluding 30-minute call will be used to solidify your idea and/or to define the steps to test, modify, and refine it.

NOTE: Projects with more extensive reading and strategy consulting can be customized.


Janet has helped some of our authors shape their big ideas into sharp, saleable, original book ideas and outlines. Her knowledge of the book market is astounding, as is her editorial insight and understanding of how to shape a book concept that sells.

Trena White

Founder of Page Two

Janet was instrumental in helping me reach for a bigger idea than I had previously imagined. She encouraged me to marry in a holistic way who I am and what I’ve accomplished with where I wished to go, rather than starting from scratch. A very powerful and motivating shift for me. Thank you, Janet!

Kathy Caprino

career success coach, “finding brave” expert, and author of Breakdown, Breakthrough

Janet is the muse, concept doctor, and kindly-cutting-to-the-bone sister who makes books, ideas, and momentum happen.

Samir Selmanovic

PhD, founder of WisdomWorks and author of All About God

I remember the very moment the concept for my new book was born-in your office! You sensed immediately where the real story was and how to go about it.

Donna Jackson Nakazawa

author of The Autoimmune Epidemic

Sample projects from Concept Lab Clients

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