4 Reasons You Probably Shouldn’t Write A Book

by Anne Wayman

no signI both ghostwrite books for people and coach people through writing their book. I firmly believe writing a book and getting it published and even sold is a truly satisfying activity.

It’s not, however, for everyone.

I also know that lots of people start books for all the wrong reasons. The usual result is disappointment because the book never gets finished.

You shouldn’t write a book just because…

“Everyone” tells you you should write a book about your life

Sure, you may have a great story and when you talk about it with folks someone always says “You should write a book!” Flattering, yes, but the chances are the person telling you this has no idea at all what’s involved with writing a book.

The truth is, getting a book written is a heck of a lot of work and if you don’t feel pretty much compelled to turn your story, idea, experience, etc. into a book, the chances are you’ll get started but will bog down and never finish it. This is true even if you hire a ghost or coach. While these pros can help, they can’t do it without a lot of work on your part as well.

Go within and see if you really want to write that book – if you do, fine, but if you don’t it’s probably better to leave it alone, at least for now.

Promoting your business or yourself is the only reason

While a book can be an ideal promotional tool for you and/or your business, if that’s your only reason for writing it, chances are you won’t finish it or it won’t be a very good book. Again, you’ve got to have something to sustain you during the writing process and that’s usually a passion about, in this case, what you’re promoting.

Of course, you can hire a ghostwriter to do a promo book for you, but if you aren’t intimately involved with the writing by taking time to talk with your ghost, and to read and edit every chapter, chances are it won’t reflect enough about you to actually engage the reader.

You’re  not willing to involve yourself in the marketing of your book

Although I suppose there are a few books that fly off the shelves with no marketing effort on the part of the writer, don’t count on it. These days writing the book is just the beginning. You’ve also got to market it, or hire people to market it for you – which can get expensive, although it can work.

Obviously, this is true for self-publishing, but it’s also true for writers who land contracts with trade name publishers. Unless you’re already famous, publishers want someone who can help them sell the book.

Marketing is key to the sales of a book – being willing to market it or at least help market it is key to the success of the book.

You don’t have or won’t take the time it takes to get it done

Asking how much time it takes to get a book written is one of those how long is a piece of string questions – there’s just no way to answer with much specificity. That said, in general books are 40,000 words or more – this blog is just under 700 words. It takes serious time to write a book.

True, if you write a page a day, roughly 300-400 words, at the end of the year you’ll have 365 pages and more than enough for a book length manuscript. Between the writing, rewriting, and editing you simply have to be willing to devote enough time to get it done – if you’re not willing to do that, don’t start until you are.

On the other hand, if you truly want to write a book you might consider taking Get Your Book Written with Vision & Spirit - a 21 lesson course with a supportive forum and coaching calls with me to help you through the process. Early registration ends soon, so register now and save.

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Are you thinking about writing a book? Tell us about it.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Susan Talbot November 16, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Would you consider this a as a reason not to write a book: “I love writing and it’s the only thing I can imagine doing to make a living.”?

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Amandah November 6, 2013 at 7:57 am

Lol!

I’ve learned so much about publishing since 2008 that my head hurts. :)

I need to develop my author platform, but I’m busy developing my content writing and marketing and social media business. I see it expanding into other areas. I think I need an office outside of the home and employees. :)
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Amandah November 5, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Great post!

Writing a book is not for the faint of heart. It doesn’t matter if you self-publish or go the traditional route, you still have to market your book. If you pitch literary agents they will ask you, “Do you have a website? What social media networks do you use? How many follows and likes do you have?” These are just a few questions they’ll ask you.

I started a middle grade book and have to finish it. I finished two books in my children’s picture book series but would like to hire an editor to review my books. Self-publishing and traditional publishing are involved.
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annew November 6, 2013 at 7:54 am

Sounds like you know the ropes, Amandah.

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