Starting to write a book #1 | Why do you want to write a book?

Posted July 9th @ 2:36 am by Roger C. ParkerPrint

Before starting to write a book, ask yourself, Why do I want to write a book?

This is the first of a series of blog posts introducing 99 questions to help you create a road map to your writing and publishing success.

As you address the questions that follow, (you can preview all 99 Questions here), you’ll probably find yourself referring back to your answer to the first question as you dig deeper into your writing and publishing options.

Your writing and publishing success will depend a lot on how much thought you give to your answer to the first question. Your answer will help you decide the type of book you should write, how you write it, and how you publish it. Your answer will also influence how you market your book.

Initial considerations

The following are some initial thoughts, based on my years of experience writing over 40 books and coaching and advising hundreds of authors:

  • Income. Occasional stories of millionaire authors aside, writing a book intended to be your sole source of income–whether from selling copies of the book yourself or depending on advances and royalties from trade publisher–is a questionable strategy.  There’s just too much uncertainty involved, especially during a time of rapid changes in the publishing world.
  • Marketing. Writing a book and using it as a marketing tool for your business makes much better sense from two points of view, content marketing and lead generation. Writing a book creates a foundation for content marketing–providing helpful, relevant information to attract and retain clients, customers, and prospects. In addition, writing a book creates a tool you can use to generate leads and build your email marketing list.
  • Opportunities. As Jay Conrad Levinson, the father of the 100+ title Guerrilla Marketing series once wrote, “books open doors of opportunity that would otherwise be forever closed to you.” Whatever you goals, they will be easier to attain after you have written a book. Opportunities can take the form of pre-qualified clients for your business, new friends and networking opportunities, invitations to speak, or the ability to create a never-ending stream of follow-up information products; all start by writing a well-positioned book.
  • Reputation. Writing a book that sheds new light on the challenges and opportunities of your field–i.e., a thought leadership book–can solidify your reputation and create your personal brand as the “go to” individual in your field. Your brand will permit you to be more selective in the clients you work with and be better rewarded. Your book will establish a legacy that will live on.
  • Accomplishment. Perhaps the most important reason to write a book, however, is the sense of accomplishment it will provide you. Writing a book will deepen your understanding of your field and help you recognize just how much you know about it. The rewards of writing, publishing, and marketing a book are intensely personal and will provide a lasting sense of satisfaction.

Additional resources

Start your journey to a published book by downloading my free workbook, 99 Questions to Ask Before You Write and Self-Publish a Brand-Building Book.

It’s intended to be filled out by hand and saved in a 3-ring binder. Short on words, long on space for you to record your answers to the 99 questions, it helps you make informed decisions on your journey to writing and publishing success.

Here are two additional resources you might enjoy at this point in your journey:

What’s keeping you from writing and publishing a book to build your personal brand and open doors of opportunity? Share your writing and publishing comments and concerns or ask me a question using my online form.

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