So… someone had told you to write a book. They tell you that you have a great story or that thing that you have been through would make a good book. You love memoirs, you adore non-fiction how to and oh my goodness anything to do with insert your specialist subject brings you alive.
There is a stack of books by your bed, no you have a stack of books everywhere and you read voraciously. You love to learn, to be inspired and you want to write like your favourite authors, only in your voice.
The temptation of becoming an author is calling you. This could be a big turning point. You could make money and do lots of other things on your bucket list when this book sells. Of course, it will sell because so many people have told you to write a book.
I am sure that your story is interesting and would make a great book, but there is far more to books than just writing it.
One of the reasons that I love to write is because it is cathartic. I have written many memoirs which have served me well because they have helped me to heal and that in my book is a fantastic reason to write. However, these are not books to sell. Well they are but not in the format that they are in.
When it comes to the right book to write there are many factors to explore. Not least knowing who your ideal reader is because they will want to buy a book because of the outcome they get. And no it is not you (I talk about why you are not your ideal reader here).
That outcome could be pure entertainment. I read novels for entertainment. Memoirs are wonderful because they open my eyes and allow me to enter someone else’s life. You can learn a lot from what others have experienced whether real (memoir, non-fiction) or imagined (novel).
All kinds of books speak to the journaler in me and as I am reading, I am writing, reflecting, learning, exploring and being inspired. These increase my knowledge and in turn I increase my understanding and wisdom.
Ok, let’s get back to the point, the all important reasons why you shouldn’t write a book and how to reframe.
Why not write a book #1 – people tell you to
Let’s go back to where we started. Lots of people tell me I should write a book as I have a great story. So how many
With some focused research, you could find that you have a book idea that could build your brand and business.
For me, it’s how we tell the story, what else goes into the book and how we build a brand around your story. It’s also about what else can you use your book for? Books are brilliant for gaining clarity and creating a product roadmap around.
Reframe your goal to my story written in the right way will impact lives and enable me to make a difference in the world. By identifying my ideal reader and what they need this book and the other products and services I create leave a great impression and generate more income.
Which leads me nicely onto to money.
write a book #2 – money
Money. I have a friend who has written a novel, the genre of the book is not important and he believes that it will make him lots of money because a few friends have said it’s a great story. When questioned about how he intended to get his book into the hands of all of these people who were going to make him rich he had no idea.
He is not alone. There is far more to this business of writing books than writing it and expecting people to line up with cash in hand.
Your book needs to be good and your marketing brilliant (we’ll come to marketing in later blogs). However, don’t be put off because having a book will raise your visibility and credibility. You can earn more money from using this book as part of a fuller product portfolio and creating a business around it. Your book will lead your ideal customers to you so that you can support them in other ways.
Reframe your goal to my book is supporting me to generate income for my business. By writing the right book for my ideal reader and being clear about why I am writing it and having the best plan in place, I am raising my visibility and credibility. I have created and implemented my book marketing plan early. All of which has enabled me to profit from my book.
As an aside here’s a list of bestselling books https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_books. It’s an interesting list and could prove useful in your research. What stands out when you look at it? Yes there are a lot of novels, but look closely at the non-fiction titles -what does this tell you about what people need and want?
Why not write a book #3 – fame
You want to be famous. What is famous and what degree of fame would you like? How does famous fit with the dream you have for your life? Are you ready to accept what fame might mean?
Whenever I hear the word famous I am reminded of the Bros song – when will I be famous? And as they sang – I can’t answer that.
There aren’t that many people who make a living being an author and when they do it’s because they are doing a brilliant job of writing books that their ideal reader wants to read and yes they have built up a following. This is a job like any other, in that you have to do the work, but it just looks more glamorous, like being a singer or an actor.
Very likely when you think of famous authors, you think of JK Rowling, Steven King, James Patterson, Paul Coelho springs to mind and a whole host of possibly dead authors. This list talks a little about their story https://www.careeraddict.com/richest-authors don’t be put off that it’s mostly fiction writers.
There are many other proflific non-fiction writers to take inspiration from. Deepak Chopra must have written over 80 books and has a thriving business built around his philosophy. Chicken Soup for the Soul is about changing the world one book at a time. You can do that in your world.
A book that I adored working on is Motivate Yourself by Andro Donovan. Andro is one of the most ‘motivating’ as you would expect, women I have ever met. Andro found me via recommendation. I felt blessed that she chose to work with me because her book challenged and changed me as it unfolded.
In her world Andro is a highly respected and sought after personal leadership coach. She inspires others with her book, but after that it is down to what else she delivers.
Often it’s the other way around and people are usually famous before they write books and then because they are famous their book sells.
A word of caution, do not commit the crime of the century or marry a weird president, that’s all I can
Another sobering note is that even if you hit whatever bestseller list in on your vision board, this does not guarantee you fame. You still have to run your book as a business and deliver value to your ideal client. A book is an investment not a quick route to fame.
That’s the doom and gloom over and out of the way and the reality is that it is not really doom and gloom, it’s more of a reality check.
What I would love is that everyone who wants to write a book and share their story, knowledge, skills and experience does it for good reasons and understands what their book will contribute to their life and business.
Additionally, they know how their book will help them to make a difference in the world.
Please write a book.
Reframe your goal to I want to make an impact in the world with my book or books. By writing the right book for the right reasons I will have fame because I will be more visible to the people whose lives I want to impact.
Here’s some write a book check in questions
- Why do you want to write a book?
- What are you hoping to get from it?
- What will it give you in terms of your life and/or your business?
- Who do you think will read your book and why?
- What will they get from it?
Your answers may include:-
It will help other people to know that if it is possible for me, it’s possible for them
I want to become known as an authority in the area of x and this will raise my visibility and credibility
I want to build a business around my book idea
The cause that I support needs a book like this to raise the publics awareness
I want to switch careers and a book will help me to do that while I am still in employment
Breathe into the reasons you want to write a book
Be honest with yourself. There are no right or wrong answers. My belief is that if you want to write then write. However, if you want your book to help you to raise your visibility and credibility and use it to build a brand and a business around, get clear on which is the right book for right now.
You may not be ready to write a book
Although you have a desire to write a book, you just may not be ready and that is fine too. Get yourself into the habit of daily writing by writing in a journal. You can join 101 days of being me to kickstart the process. I’ll hopefully see you in Writing for the Soul.
Come and chat with me
Chatting costs nothing and having a sounding board is great when you head is in a mush about which way to go. Book yourself in here.
My motto is come to be inspired and leave inspiring others.