My first book isn’t even out yet and I’m already seeing the benefits. Here is just the latest example that popped into my inbox this morning:
Hi Josh, I host an event where each month I bring in an author to speak about their book and I invite local entrepreneurs to attend. There are no advisors, lawyers, CPAs, Bankers, etc. only owners of real businesses $5M – 100M+ in sales. I am a financial planner working exclusively with these people.
I run this on a shoestring budget but I can pay for your travel, buy 50 copies of your book, and put you up a swanky hotel. The meeting is on a Friday. We have dinner on Thursday night in the hotel restaurant which is the nicest restaurant in Fort Lauderdale.
Please let me know if this sounds like something you want to do! I promise it is a lot of fun and you will make connections with some great people.
Am I interested? Of course! Writing a book has been huge for me. Here are 10 reasons you—regardless of what you do–should write a book, but especially if you are an entrepreneur, consultant, or other type of influencer.
1. Education. When you write, you learn. But that’s only the beginning. I interviewed 30 chief marketing officers for my book. Do you think I learned a thing or two about that role? About marketing? You betcha. I’ve also learned how to conduct important interviews long distance, how to market a book, how to work with editors and publishers, how the book writing and publishing process goes, and on and on.
2. Connections. In conducting 30 interviews with top marketers I not only connected with them, but with their assistants, PR reps, and all the other CMOs I wasn’t able to interview but still connected with. I would estimate I added more than 500 new connections on LinkedIn as a direct result of writing my book. That doesn’t include all the connections I’ll make after the book is published.
3. Content marketing. In Content Inc. by Joe Pulizzi he tells everyone to write a book. It’s great content marketing. Writing a book brings attention back to you, your business, or might help you launch a new business.
4. Credibility. It’s a lot of work to write a book. I can’t believe how much work it has taken to write my book, and I didn’t even write it! I just interviewed people and am publishing those interviews, but oh, the work that went into getting those interviews, scheduling them successfully (in one case I rescheduled with the interviewee 10 times and it still never worked out), getting the interviews transcribed (that’s where my advance went), then edited (more expense), editing myself, getting release forms, then endorsements, etc. Once you write a book you gain credibility simply because not that many people do it. It sets you apart from the vast majority who haven’t.
5. Confidence. Completing a book is a big ego booster, even if nobody reads it. Just the fact you took on such a large project and finished it is something you can always look back on with satisfaction. You’ll know that writing a book is hard, but you can do hard things. If people like your book so much the better.
6. Material. Writing a book means you have lots of material to use in ebooks, blog posts, articles, podcasts, video, infographics, etc. Going back to content marketing, you can use parts of your book in a hundred ways to produce content that will generate leads for your business and sell more books.
7. Therapy. Don’t get me wrong–writing a book is stressful. But so is running a marathon, and there’s something similar about the two exercises. They’re both hard, but once you’re done, you feel good. That is, you feel good a few days after you finish.
8. Service. You have knowledge and experience that can help others. You have a moral obligation to share it. Writing a book is a great way to get it out there and reach people.
9. Recruiting. All things being equal, would you like to work for the guy who has written a book on what his business does, or the guy who hasn’t written a book? As I near publishing my book I’m surprised how excited my team members are at MWI. It’s great to see them getting behind it and eager to read it and share it.
10. Pay. It’s the last reason on my list, because a lot of authors never get paid directly for the books they write–which is the case for me. I’ve already spent much more writing the book than what I got paid as an advance, and I’ll be lucky to recoup the remainder on commissions. But you could get lucky and have a runaway best seller that actually pays some bills.
So what’s keeping you from writing a book? Let’s talk about it in the comments below.Liked it? Share it!
This helps reframe my negative thought that there are so many books out there that hardly get read, why should I try?
I suppose I would add to #8 that no matter what you write, there will be an audience for it. Somehow, someone will find that your book connects with them better than anything they’ve read. For some people that may only be a handful, and for others a crowd, but if you could write something that was a huge help to just 100 people, wouldn’t even that be worth it? And just about any book will do that.
Hi Josh. I took up that challenge 3 weeks ago, and started writing a book on Sales and Negotiation. Now I’m inquiring about the publishing process, and realized that finishing the book is just 25% of the work. Finding an agent or publisher, then going through the editing phase, then formatting and release and marketing AND distribution… all in all I’m looking at a 6 – 12 months timeframe. How did you go about finding the right agent/publisher to support you through that process? Btw, I live in China and thinking about releasing here in China after translation.
Hi Abdelhak, yes, writing a book is a ton of work! I’ve detailed the process I went through to get a book deal. Sometimes there are counter intuitive ways to go about it.
Regardless of what you think of his achievements as a political leader, Winston Churchill has one of the best quotes I’ve ever heard on writing a book:
“Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.” – Winston Churchill
Very well put! Thanks a lot for your guidance!
Several of these reasons resonate with me (Connections, Content marketing, Credibility). Legacy and having an impact are also on my list.
Legacy is definitely top 10 though implied in some of the reasons.
It is a great list. But wouldn’t “timing” be playing a role? Would you start with a book at the beginning of becoming an influencer – when you have no real audience yet?Wouldn’t it be similar to crowdfunding – where the golden rule is that if you can’t deliver 1/3rd of the funding before you start your campaign is unlikely to take off (with strangers)? Wouldn’t you need a community to help propel the book? Or is the fact you wrote a book sufficient legitimacy. And do you leverage it to garner an audience?