In my last post, I share the oft-cited statistic that 81% of Americans say they want to write a book “someday.” And though the question of whether you’re ready to take the plunge into a book-writing project is a good one, there’s an even more basic question you should consider first:
“SHOULD I write a book?”
Here are five good reasons you should go ahead and pursue your book idea.
You have a really important message and a potentially huge audience, but limited ability to reach that audience: My recent client had a really vital and timely topic: religious abuse. However, she knew that there was no way she could reach everyone who needed her message via one-on-one counseling sessions (in her practice as a therapist) or small seminars. Publishing her book gave her a way to increase her visibility and participate in an important cultural conversation at a time when the audience was ready to hear it.
You have something new (or renewed) to say in an ongoing or old conversation: Another recent client was tired of the same old messages in the health and fitness industry—the messages that promote six-pack abs and “fitness at any cost.” She wanted to share a body-positive message—that some movement is better than no movement, that exercise is vital to health, and that everyone—even those with chronic illness—can improve health through exercise. Her award-winning book tackles some of the old, obsolete messages promoted by fitness gurus focused on impossible-to-achieve goals, and it’s a breath of fresh air in an industry full of stale locker-room sweat.
There’s an expectation in your industry that you must write some kind of book: If you’re a thought leader of any kind, a book—even a short e-book—can make all the difference in your career growth. This can be one of the toughest reasons to write a book, though—especially if you don’t consider yourself a “writer!” But if publishing is an important part of your career platform, putting the time and energy into writing a book can give your career a welcome boost.
You need another income stream: Granted, it’s not the best reason. After all, there are no guarantees that your book can make any money. However, books and e-books are an excellent way to create a passive income stream. And if you’re a speaker or presenter, you can take your book to every event. Your audience is already there—they’ll be highly motivated to purchase your book at the event.
You just really want to: Look, I get it—when I’m not writing for other people, I spend time crafting fiction just because I enjoy it. Very, very few fiction writers make a living at their craft. So why do we keep going back to it? Well… we just want to. If that’s you—if you just really, really want to write a book—then do it. (How do you know you're ready? 8 good signs that it's time to dive in.)
There are a lot of great reasons to write a book, but there is one reason you should NEVER use to justify putting the time and effort into a book project—namely…
You want to be rich and famous.
Unless your last name is Kardashian, Rowling, or Godin, it’s highly unlikely that writing a book is your instant ticket to fame and fortune. Writing a book is very rewarding for a number of reasons, but the reality is that very few authors actually become “rich and famous” from their work. Not saying it can’t happen—and if it does, congratulations! But if you want to pour the time and effort into writing a book for the sole purpose of achieving fame and fortune, you can probably find some other way to achieve the same thing.
Want to learn more about how working with a ghostwriter can improve your chances of actually finishing that book project? Contact me!