A Baker’s Dozen Reasons to Write a Book and 6 not To
This list of a baker’s dozen reasons to write a book came about as a result of a book I wrote (which is coming out this fall) and an episode of the Mark Struczewski podcast I went on. The book (and some podcast interviews) came about because of the book-writing program I lead, Your Book Bakery: 12 Weeks to a Manuscript.
A baker’s dozen reasons to write a book
Before we get into the baker’s dozen reasons to write a book, first, let’s see six reasons not to write a book. Not everyone should write a book, after all.
- You are just in it for yourself, such as you hope to become famous, get rich from book sales, amass power, and take over the world. This is the most common of the reasons not to write a book. Enough books by narcissists exist already, so please spare us.
- You deliver your value in other ways and feel no need to write anything. This applies to some people, but most people who believe this actually should write a book.
- You have nothing to contribute to the world except a bad example, or you don’t care enough about other people to put forth any effort. Sadly, this does apply to some people. One of my relatives prides herself on marrying a fourth-generation lifetime welfare recipient (their family has been on welfare and not holding a job since the birth of the welfare system). Even people who are bad examples can write helpful books: Here’s what not to do!
- You are unwilling to put in the work required to write a book.
- You have no desire to learn and grow.
- You have unreasonable expectations that you’re not willing to adjust. See reason 1.
What all this means is that the only people I would say should not write a book are the ones who are most likely to want to write a book. Ironic, isn’t it?
The importance of writing in society really can’t be overstated. As Kent Sanders often says, “Writers rule the world, really. From books to movies and television shows to speeches—someone has to write all of those, and they have a big influence on the way people think.”
There are so many reasons to write. It’s quite possible that there are more reasons to write a book than I have listed here. And certainly they could be worded differently. That said, here are 13 reasons why you should write a book. We’ll start with the generous reasons to write a book.
Ways your book benefits others
1. By writing a book, you can serve people in many ways. This is the first and most important reason to write. Books change lives. It is no exaggeration to say that books even save lives. Imagine receiving a message like this from one of your readers: “Your book saved my life. I was going to kill myself. I had a plan and had given away my most precious belongings and said goodbye to the people I loved. Then I saw your book. I’m alive because you wrote it. Thank you.”
One of my clients showed me a screenshot of a message just like that one. Then we bawled together. He said he had no idea that his book could have such an impact.
How many lives would your book need to save to make it worth it to you to write the book?
Just one, right?
Write the book.
2. Clients who need what you offer will learn from your book and be drawn to you for more help if you do it right.
3. Writing is a good way to raise awareness for a cause or create a movement. One example is The Magic of Everyday Giving, a book that helps people effortlessly donate to causes they love.
4. Your prospects may appreciate a book as a gift, and it can help you build relationships and authority with them.
5. The research and writing process give you great opportunities to build relationships.
6. A book can contribute to a legacy. When you die, what will you leave behind? How will you influence future generations? Writing is the best way to continue talking to people.
7. Your readers can meet you in person if you use the research, writing, and marketing of your book to travel. For example, think about where you’d enjoy going, and then set up some book signings and a book thank-you tour like the ones Vincent Pugliese sets up after his books come out. He did a thank-you tour for Freelance to Freedom and for The Wealth of Connection.
Ways writing a book benefits you
8. A book can show your thought leadership and expertise. The word authority contains the word author. Writing a book can establish you as the expert in your field.
9. The contents of a book lend well to a signature talk, workshop, etc. Many products and services can spring from one source. One of the books I edited, Your Book is not a Business Card, by Kary Oberbrunner, lists 18 streams of income that can be developed from one book. That right there is a stack of reasons to write.
10. You can use your book as a call to action (CTA) for your podcast, YouTube videos, TikTok videos, blog posts, and more.
11. The expenses associated with researching, writing, editing, publishing, and marketing a book can be a tax write-off for you. (See your tax professional for advice.)
12. Gathering market research for your business can take place not only during the creation of your book but also for decades after its publication. Readers will tell you so much via reviews, emails, questions or comments on social media . . . John G. Miller, author of QBQ! The Question Behind the Question, is still learning from readers of his book, which he published in 2001. He posts questions on Facebook on a regular basis, and quite a few people respond.
13. The personal growth you will experience as you go through the process is astounding. You will learn from other people through conversations and research you do for your book. You will learn about yourself and have opportunities to face your demons and conquer them. When your word count chart or other tracking graphs show exactly how much you’ve been procrastinating on that difficult chapter, it’s hard to deny it. If you push through that, you will grow. You’ll be able to face other challenges in life confidently because you wrote a book. You may develop a deeper awareness of your circadian rhythms, your energy patterns, and your body’s needs. It can help you learn self-care.
Which of the baker’s dozen reasons to write a book appeal to you the most?
Will you write your life story, or will you teach people how to do something?