Perhaps you are thinking this is the year that you will write a book. Maybe your life story, how you overcame huge obstacles and succeeded in life. Maybe something that shares your expertise. Or maybe you just want to write a story with elves and trolls, or vampires and werewolves, or football players and cheerleaders. Any of these are great. It’s a big challenge, and for some, a huge dream. It’s a major life accomplishment. But…
It’s often said in sales that a “quick no” is better than a maybe. If you’re thinking about writing a book and can find a “quick No”, a solid reason NOT to do it, this could save you a whole lot of time and even more headaches. You only need one good reason not to write a book. If you’ve been thinking about writing a book, and you get to the end of this blog without a “No”, that doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD… But it may be a signal you should talk to a writing coach for even more clarity. There are many, many good reasons to write a book, but let’s take a look at three reasons not to do it.
Reason Number One: Your idea to write a book comes from a desire to share your expertise, for any number of reasons, building your network, bringing in clients to your business, etc… but you’re a lot better speaker than you are a writer. Good for you. As a writer, I envy you. People watch a ton of Youtube these days, and they don’t read so much. If you’re dynamic on camera, use that medium instead. You’re more likely to get paid to speak. If you’re interested in the residual income from book sales, think about selling video series instead. Capitalize on the strengths you have rather than pounding your head until your ears bleed against the brick wall of the editing process. Frankly, if I was a dynamic speaker, I might not be writing this blog. If you’re dynamic in that way, give yourself the freedom to just be a great speaker. Or do something else, other than writing, and do it really well.
Reason Number Two: You want to drive clients to your business by proving your expertise and you need clients fast. Okay, I’ve heard people talk about writing an e-book in a weekend. Please don’t. The world doesn’t need more noise. A good book, even a short one, (especially a short one!) is the product of a lot of thought. But a lousy book, well, we don’t need more of them. How many short e-books have you seen that regurgitated stuff from “How to Make Friends and Influence People” or “The E-Myth” in a slightly different way? Were you really impressed? If you really have something new to say, that’s going to take a lot of work. There are lots of better ways to build your business in a short amount of time than writing a book hastily and giving it away for free. That tells us two things: first, you didn’t think it was worth doing well, and second, you know it isn’t worth anything. You’ll leave people wondering: why did you bother? This may just be my personal opinion, and rather anecdotal, but I’ve seen quite a bit of this over the last few years, and I’ve never hired any of these “writers” to help me. In a nutshell, if your plan was to have an amateurish result… don’t.
Reason Number Three: Everyone tells you you should write a book about _______, but you don’t want to. Ah. You’re probably the person who clicked on this blog hoping I would convince you not to write that book everyone says you should. Okay, permission granted, don’t write it. Writing a book, and doing it well, is a TON of work, especially the first time you do it. It therefore takes a ton of motivation, and if you don’t have that, don’t even start! Enjoy your 2018 doing the things you want to do!
Bonus Round: What’s the one biggest reason you should write a book? It’s a dream you’ve always had, and you can’t get it out of your head. You can’t get it out of your heart, and it’s beyond the whimsical stage of thinking about it for a week. You’re ready for the work. You may have lots of questions, not know where to start, how you’ll publish it, whether or not it will sell, whether or not anyone will care, or even what are the right questions to ask before you begin, but you really want to accomplish this life dream, and it’s worth a lot of energy and focus to get there. Don’t worry! I can ask, and help you answer, all the rest of these questions, from making an outline to publishing and marketing.
I’ve written six books (four are works of fiction, two non-fiction; one traditionally published and five self-published. All are available on Amazon, just search Adam G. Fleming,) and one of my major long-term life goals is to write and publish ten books. Check out my profile and you’ll see my gigs for coaching writers, I’ll be happy to help you.