Just as there are good reasons not to write a book, there are some darn good reasons why you probably should write one.
I’ve listed four important ones here.
I’m tempted to say if these four don’t apply, don’t bother, but I know better.
I’ve worked with lots of folks on books over the years – everything from ghostwriting whole books for people to coaching others through the book writing process – and there are all sorts of reasons to write a book or get one written. These four do cover the basics and are worth considering if you think you want to write a book.
You understand that what other people think of you is none of your business
“What You Think of Me Is None of My Business” was written by Terry Cole-Whitaker a long time ago, and it still holds true today. Even if you don’t read the book, the title alone will give you great insight if you let it.
The reason this understanding is necessary is that the whole business of writing and selling a book is likely to be filled with naysayers and rejection. If you can get passed that your book writing life will be easier and maybe even more productive and profitable.
Knowing this helps you avoid the pressure from those folks who say you should write a book. It needs to be your decision.
You have something important to say and/or a great story to tell
You’ll do better with getting a book written if you’re truly passionate about the topic and/or the story. I say and/or because even the driest of non-fiction books do better when they tell the story of whatever.
You’ll need that passion to sustain you both through the writing, even if you hire a ghostwriter, and through the marketing of your book. Believing in yourself may be as much as half the battle when it comes to writing a book.
You look forward to marketing your book
Okay, maybe looking forward to marketing is a bit of an exaggeration, but if you’re not willing to step out there proudly with your book in your hand, you’ve got a big problem.
Guy Kawasaki’s book, APE – Author | Publisher | Entrepreneur will give you a great overview of how to start marketing your book even before you start writing – seriously. Just ignore the tech details and pay attention to the rest. You’ll end up with a good feeling about what’s required.
The same is true for Peter Bowerman’s Well-Fed Self-Publisher. Even if you’re pretty sure you’ll be working with a trade publisher, both of these books will help you understand the marketing of your book.
You can block out time every week to get the book written and marketed
Writing a book takes serious time. Oh sure, there are some ways to get organized that will help you maximize your time and waste less of it, but it’s still a serious time commitment.
This is also true if you hire a ghost to write it. You have to spend the time getting the ideas to the ghost, and the editing time to make sure it’s right.
How much time? It’ s really hard to say… a book can actually be drafted in a month or less, but it often works better if you give it some spaciousness. When I talk with clients about ghostwriting I want the timeline to be between 90 and 365 days, give or take.
It also seems to work better when you commit time on a regular basis – like two hours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, or an hour every weekday. I also suspect that two – four hour periods work best. But there’s lots of variation.
There you have it, the four basic reasons you should write a book. Are you up for it?
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Write well and often,