Last night a Facebook thread popped up about why were so many people being encouraged to write a book by so called gurus. With my curiosity piqued, I read through the thread of disparaging remarks. I almost responded with all of the good reasons that people write books, but stopped and decided to stay out of the drama. What I wondered lay beneath the comments? Having slept on it, I can conclude (in my opinion) that:-
- They have been unfortunate to buy books with poor content, layout, bad grammar and poor spelling
- They are tired of ‘guru’s’ popping up and having written a book (or done something) have decided that it’s a good way of encouraging the masses that they too can do it, believing that the guru is only after the cash of hopefuls
Throughout history, there has been poor product development. Does anyone remember Sir Clive Sinclair and his funny car? As a child, I can remember being bitterly disappointed in my slinky present. I bet masses of them were sold and they didn’t work or last. In Clive’s case he was probably ahead of his time, and then it became too late to salvage. However, there are many products that have hit the market which have not been fit for purpose. It is the way of the world and books are no different.
All that has happened is that the aspiring author may have not considered all of the finer aspects of becoming an author. They have taken shortcuts, for example, not used a cover designer or a proofreader or not considered why they are writing it, that it is a brand building product and how it can leveraged. When you write a book, there is more to it than the words being pushed into chapters.
And what of the guru’s?
When you look at it the guru’s that pop up for pretty much anything are innovators. They have spotted an opportunity and are modify and exploiting it. People have done this for years. All that is happening now is that with social media it is in your face. Plus if you are a person with strong values or have differing values, you may view this as manipulative. As you watch people with big followings take desperate people and persuade them that they can be like them, and all they have to do is write a book, you may feel anger. What is beneath this anger I wonder? This is a natural response because you want to protect people. However, anyone who follows any guru and does not think it through does so at their own risk. Sad but true.
What is a guru? It is a teacher, an elder and a wise one. Nothing wrong with that within this context.
When I think of some of the people I follow, I wouldn’t call them guru’s, they are however great teachers. For example, Sarah Arrow who provides a fab 30-day free blogging challenge knows a lot of stuff, and she gives a lot of value, not all for free (of course). However, I never see her manipulating anyone — she adds value and gives of herself and with that others follow. She also demands action. Don’t work with Sarah unless you are prepared to put in action. She is realistic and authentic.
Let’s go back to why you should never write a book
ONE — You think you know why you are writing one, but in reality, you have been lulled into the trap of thinking that a book will make you millions. Personally, in my humble opinion that is a lie (yes, there are some author millionaires) and partly true. A book is a:
- lead magnet aka a marketing tool
- source of knowledge which can be used to clarify your thinking and your processes
- starting point for a full suite of products and services
- profile building object aka a brand building tool
TWO — You will never make the time to write a book. How do I know that? Because I have written lots of books and coached, mentored and trained enough people to know that it takes a lot of mindset power to write a book. You have to make time, and for procrastinators, that is a tough call.
THREE — You are a starter and not a finisher. You suffer from idea overload and love a new idea but rarely complete it. To get a book written, you have to make yourself focus on one thing, your book, work to your plan, take action and get it done.
FOUR — You don’t have a plan. You have gone straight to outline and done a brain dump and voila you have a book to write. What about your brand vision, your business plan, your product development roadmap or your marketing / personal brand plan? What about how else you will use this book?
FIVE- You don’t think you are a writer. In the recesses of your mind is a little gremlin that says ‘I can’t write’ or ‘I am not a writer’. If you tell yourself that, then, of course, you won’t be. The truth is you are a content creator — however that is expressed.
You have knowledge worth sharing and how it gets written is how it gets written.
There are other people who can support your writing and others who can help you edit it. And you will have all heard the saying that first drafts suck. That is true. Your job is to get your content out and to flow. Then you have something to work with. The magic comes in the edit. Guess what you need a plan and time for that too.
SIX — You could use your knowledge in another way. Yeah, don’t even bother, do something else. I know revolutionary! You could bring innovation to something else. Perhaps an app, a course, a physical product — who knows. Start brainstorming now.
How could you turn what you know into something that is not a book?
Things to consider before you write a book
The bottom line is that unless you dedicate a big chunk of time to your biz strategy, personal brand strategy, book plan, outline and chapter framework before you start writing, you are probably setting yourself up for failure. And if there is another way to build your brand that resonates with you and your ideal customers, why would you do this?
Additionally, if you don’t have time, willing to make time or don’t want to write, it won’t get written. There are ways to get it written fast in other ways, and I’ll cover them off in another blog.
Before you shoot me, I am not telling you to not write a book ever, I am asking you to think about it.
Consider why and how and if you are prepared for the work ahead of you. I am asking you to consider how to leverage your book so that you can turn this one thing into many things. I am asking you to plan and reflect, get yourself ready and then go for it.
First published on www.jacquimalpass.com