seven reasons why to write a book

books seven reasons why to write a bookThis is an odd post to write given that I have no immediate plans to write a book.

But there are a lot of good reasons to write one.

Here are two reasons not to write a book.

1) To make money.

2) To become famous.

The publishing industry has changed so much in the past decades. The idea of being discovered and given a huge upfront payment of money to write the book and then make millions off the sales of the book are . . . unlikely. Even for authors who sell a lot of books, it’s far from the fame producing, lucrative strategy it might seem.

Realistically, for most people, it’s going to take time to become known as an author – and to make a living at it. My colleague Dan Blank has a lot of good things to say about the basics of this platform building process for authors here.

But still, there are plenty of good reasons to write a book.

Here’s my take on seven good reasons to consider.

REASON #1: You love writing. This is the most important reason. You love to write. You love the written word. You love to express yourself. You find yourself writing a lot anyway. You already do it even though no one is paying you.

REASON #2: To clarify your point of view. I think this is profoundly important and so often missed in marketing. Yes, you need to understand who you’re trying to reach, the problems they face and they results they crave most. That’s the heart of marketing. But you also need to be clear with people about your take on the process or system or series of steps that can get people from where they are to where they want to be. You need to be a map maker.

Most of us have an intuitive sense of our approach to the problems our clients face. But few of us have really taken the time to sit back and reflect on it and spell it out. People aren’t buying your product or service half as much as they’re buying into your point of view. Don’t wait to write your book until your clear – writing your book can be the process that helps you get clear.

And getting clearer about your point of you will make you far more effective in what you do. Clarity is attractive.

REASON #3: Stories are so compelling. My colleague Michael Margolis has spent years trying to advocate for the idea (point of view) that story telling is the currency of marketing. And I think he’s right. Not only will a book express your perspective, but, if done well, it will do it through stories and case studies.

REASON #4: Your book is a sales letter. An extension of the above reasons – your book is like a long, long sales letter to your clients. Do you think Eckhart Tolle would get a fraction of the people he currently does to his seminars if he’d not written those books? Your books give people a way to get to know you, safely, at a distance and decide whether or not it’s a fit to work with you.

REASON #5: Being an author makes you an authority. Culturally, we respond very differently to someone if their name is followed by ” . . . author of _____.” Simply the fact that you have written a book gives you an enormous degree of credibility that you can use to command higher speaking fees and workshop rates. People might even ask for your autograph and stuff.

REASON #6: Word of mouth. Books can help with word of mouth. Think of all the books you’ve passed onto friends that you thought they’d love or that might help them. Plus, if you decide you write your book via your blog and publish it in bits like that – you can start building your following long before the book ever comes out. And simply writing a book is a buzzworthy event. You might get local media coverage. It’s a wonderful chance to reach out to your list.

REASON #7: Deepen your connection with your tribe. Forget getting new people. Many of your existing community will read your book and that will help them ‘get you’ at a deeper level. They’ll appreciate you more.

About Tad

  • http://twitter.com/ZenAndGenki Anne’s Zen and Genki

    Love the article, and all of your reasons are wonderful :) Just wanted to point out, in Reason #2, there’s a small grammatical error, “… People aren’t buying your product or
    service half as much as they’re buying into your point of view. Don’t
    wait to write your book until YOUR clear – writing your book can be the
    process that helps you get clear….”

    Really enjoying your posts, Mr. Hargrave! Looking forward to reading more :)
    Anne

  • http://twitter.com/ZenAndGenki Anne’s Zen and Genki

    Love the article, and all of your reasons are wonderful :) Just wanted to point out, in Reason #2, there’s a small grammatical error, “… People aren’t buying your product or
    service half as much as they’re buying into your point of view. Don’t
    wait to write your book until YOUR clear – writing your book can be the
    process that helps you get clear….”

    Really enjoying your posts, Mr. Hargrave! Looking forward to reading more :)
    Anne

  • Biba

    Great advice. With the explosion of e-books and online e-stores, reading devices and mobile technology it’s never been easier for writers to publish and sell their books online.

  • MichaelCenkner

    doesn’t it take a really long time to write a book? who reads books any more? why a book and not a blog, canticle or epic? i guess you could just say, i wrote a book? even if you didn’t?

  • http://www.ledasammarco.com/ Leda Sammarco

    You share some great points here, Tad – possible outcomes of writing a book (e.g. give you credibility) and what makes a good book (e.g. stories or a series of steps to take the reader on a journey).  I would like to suggest another reason.  The title of your post is ‘Seven Reasons Why to Write a Book.’  I think you need to be clear about your higher purpose for the book i.e. why you want to write it and tune in to your mission.  This is the heart of the book and when you know that, then the structure and the content can really flow.  

  • http://www.heartofselfcare.com/ Sharon

    Tad, great post and pretty much why I did finally go ahead and get a book completed and into publication with Balboa Press. I was probably most surprised and gratified by #2, clarifying my point of view. Even before rolling off the presses, it has helped me to streamline my message and speak more directly about what everything I do is based on, because I went to the trouble of organizing my thoughts and all I’ve learned into a simple set of practices and inspirations. And I  know that those in my tribe who read and edited along the way did get to know me in some new ways — including my husband! Very worthwhile project and it’ll be interesting to see where it takes me and where it goes once it is out in the world.

  • MichaelCenkner

    i wonder if people would be up for collaborating on this.