Why Write a Book?

(Excerpt from my new book “Write a Book!”. Get the whole book for free (this week only!) at Amazon.com.)

Introduction

So why write a book? Quite simply: A book brings you opportunities. You will be offered speaking engagements, projects, jobs, dates, invitations to join advisory boards, and invitations to start companies.

Why do books matter so much? Because people know from their own experience that it’s really hard to write a book. It’s hard to get the motivation or find the time. The process is complex and mostly unexplained.

This gives you an advantage. The Pareto Rule shows that in any field, about 20% of the participants get 80% of the revenues. Why? When people want help, they could research, investigate, compare, and do many things to solve their problem. Or they take a shortcut and go to the top experts. That’s why the top people get most of the business and revenues in their field.

The more opportunities you have, the greater your security. Patti Wilson, a leading Silicon Valley job counselor, says, “Job security is the ability to get another job.”

It’s not about making money with books. As you’ll see, most writers don’t earn much from their books. But by writing, you’ll get opportunities, which lead to revenues.

One Book… or Six Books?

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s, I wrote a book every few years. Each book was a stand-alone project: I wrote the book, made a website for it, did marketing for it, but there was no connection between the books.

That changed when I wrote a book about content marketing. As I began to look at the role of books, I realized I had to write books not as separate projects, but as parts of a larger project. I also realized I should be writing a book every year, which is what I will do from now on. In 2013, I released The Big Book of Content Marketing in March, #TwitterBook (a book about Twitter) in October, and the SEO eBook in December. For 2014, I wrote this book on how to write books. I’m also researching for a book on influencers, which will come out in late summer.

Books are also a social activity: you deal with many people as you write your book. You interview experts, talk with other writers, and meet people in companies. You work with developmental editors, copyeditors, subject matter experts, and illustrators. You’re interviewed by magazines, radio, and TV. You speak at bookstore events, tradeshows, and conferences. You’ll also meet and talk with quite a few of your readers. All of this brings you connections.

When you write a second book, those meetings also happen. Your connections start to rapidly expand. The more you write, the more people you’ll meet.

So stop thinking about that one book you will write. Start thinking you’ll write six books!

You’re wondering where you’ll get so much material for six books. Don’t worry. You’ll see how to do that in this book.

Should You Go for Quantity or Quality?

Okay, so can you write just anything? Does quality matter?

Yes, it has to be really good. Why? Because good stuff goes far. The higher the quality, the less you’ll need to promote your book. People seek out the best work. People share great information with their friends. Nobody shares just-okay stuff. So write good books. In this book, I’ll also show you how to do that.

Why Will Anyone Listen to You?

Several people have said to me, “But I’m not an expert! Why will anyone listen to me?”

If you have a bit of experience in your field, do a bit of research, and write clearly. That will put you ahead of most of your colleagues. They want your experience and knowledge. You don’t have to be #1. Just be ahead of many others.

Get the Book for Free

Want the rest of the book? Get my book for free (this week only!) at Amazon.com.