Should you write a book? When it makes sense and when it doesn't...

The rapid decline in benefits of traditional publishing, and the concurrent ease of self-publishing is a fantastic opportunity for executives and entrepreneurs to make their mark with a self-published book.

But it also means there are a lot of terrible quality books hitting the market, and never making an impact.

What is the point of that?

If you’re going to write something, get it right. Make it high quality. Make an impact. Leave a legacy.

In this short article, I look at when it makes the most sense to write a book, and what to consider when you do.

In this article, we will cover:

Why spend the time writing a quality book?

I’ve heard other people in my industry say “Your book quality doesn’t really matter because nobody will read it anyway. Don’t spend too long over-thinking it.” What terrible advice!

Don’t assume nobody will read your book – invest the time and effort into creating a quality book, and then invest the same into promoting it – and not only will people READ your book, but it will inform them, change them, inspire them, and ideally – motivate them to hire you or work with you.

Accept nothing less. Write it for the right reasons, and get it right.

There is no doubt that writing a high quality book can position you as an authority. It’s a great way to communicate value quickly.

When does it make sense to write a book?

In my view, a book needs to be part of an overall strategy where you use it to reach new audiences and open doors of opportunity. For example, a quality book is a great idea if:

  • You are a business owner/entrepreneur who is making regular income from your business, and you are ready to raise your prices and stand out in your industry
  • You want to create more visibility through speaking gigs and media
  • You are already speaking at events and want to get paid higher appearance fees and/or get more prestigious events
  • You are a C-suite executive and are looking for a new role (and want to differentiate yourself)
  • You are a celebrity, retired Olympian/pro-athlete and you want to share your story of inspiration to others (being in this category means you have a good chance of being traditionally published with your book)

This isn’t an exhaustive list, but you get the gist.

What to consider before you write your book

When you’ve made the decision to write a book, here are some things you need to think about in the initial stages:

  • Who is your audience? – who do you serve, and what role do they ultimately play? (eg. Are they your ideal business client, and would ideally work with you one-on-one as a result of reading your book?)
  • Your objective for writing the book. What will it do for YOU (not for your reader)?
  • What stage will your book appear in a larger strategy? For example, will you use it to get local speaking gigs, and then video/photograph those gigs to get larger, international gigs as a keynote?
  • If it takes six months to write, edit and publish your book (and I believe it should, if you want high quality and you’re balancing on top of work/business), what do you need to be doing along the way so that you have an audience ready to buy it when it’s launched?

And those are just a starting point. I work with my clients to get really clear on these things, so that they know why they’re writing and what they will do with it once done.

When it makes less sense to write a book

Sometimes people come to me to write a book because:

  • They want to get something ‘off their chest’
  • They want to share their story (for no particular reason)
  • They want to ‘help others’ – with no business, service, program or offer to help those people once they’ve read it

In my experience, the people who fall into these few motivation categories are setting themselves up for failure. It’s much more challenging to weather the storm of book writing when you aren’t clear on WHY you are writing, and also when you have non-business related reasons for writing a book. It’s these people who tend to fall off the wagon when life gets in the way – even with me encouraging them every week for their latest chapters!

Of course, you can most certainly write a book for any reason you like, but the more focused and motivated you are with strong, impactful reasons, the easier it is to see the finish line.

But if you do write one… wow.

And wow, what a great feeling it is to finish your book – it’s honestly the best feeling I’ve ever had. That sense of achievement is hard to match.

You can make an incredible impact when you share what you know. You can change lives and inspire action.

Even with the fun novel I wrote a few years ago, I still get regular ‘fan mail’ to this day – and I haven’t promoted it for years. And this was ‘just’ a novel – it wasn’t a life changing book like many of my clients are writing.

So, get clear on why you’re writing, and what you will do with your book once it’s done, to reach your ideal reader. What stages would you like to speak on? What brand do you want to build? Who do you want to help? What do you want the reader to think, feel or do as a result of your book?

Once you know where you are going, everything becomes much simpler.

And yes, it’s still a big, sometimes overwhelming process, but when done right, it’s well worth it.

You still want to write a book – what now?

If you were going to write a book, what would you write? Who would you want to impact?

If you want to talk about your book idea, I’m available for a limited number of free Book Clarity Calls each week. This is for people who feel very ready to write a book, but just need help fitting it into a strategy, then assistance with actually getting it written in a timely manner.

My aim with book coaching is to provide you with all the guidance and support you need to:

  • Know exactly the book you need to write to reach your target audience and attract them to you.
  • Know exactly the steps to take throughout the entire process from concept to finished book.
  • Create an outline which gets the reader hooked from page one and say “OMG I need to work with this person.”
  • Know exactly what to write each week and receive feedback on your writing so that you know where you’re doing great and where it needs work.
  • Have all the crazy logistics of professional editing, book cover design and printing all taken care of so that you can focus on growing your business.
  • Know how the book will grow your business, achieve your goals, and work with me to co-create your roadmap to promoting the book, speaking on stage and attracting media so that you can be seen as an expert in your industry.

Access my diary using this link. You’ll have to answer a few questions before your call is confirmed, to ensure we’re on the same page (no pun intended).

Look forward to helping you finally write that book!


Until then


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If you’re keen to get started on writing your book, you will find my 45 Step Book Writing and Publishing Checklist very handy. Just click here to tell me where to send it!