Great question! Aren’t books kind of old-fashioned in a world filled with online interactions?
At first glance, yes. Book sales have to compete with a lot of other ways to communicate. If you dig a little deeper, however, you can see that books have kept pace with human’s evolutionary need for diversified information. No one is restricted to paperback books for reading enjoyment anymore. Instead, we can read books on our phone or listen to them using earbuds. While the distribution has expanded, we still start with the format of a book. A book is a polished and permanent collection of ideas. It’s more thorough and refined than a YouTube video or a late night Facebook post. Its more in-depth than a blog post and makes a better gift than an Instagram photo. A book is still where it’s at!
Many people have ideas that they want to share with others.
Writing a book is a great way to share those ideas with your ideal reader. You get to connect with them at their convenience.
Instead of catching you at a live event, finding your clever tweet, or stumbling across your posted blog, they can learn about your book and purchase it in whatever form they prefer. Many readers feel strongly about consuming the books in print, digital or audio form. Ask almost any reader and they will have a preferred platform for “reading” new material.
When you write a book, you’re also allowing your audience to develop a relationship with you as they read your carefully crafted words. While the reading of a book is one-sided, it’s still extremely impactful. Again, compared to other mediums like a live event or a timed webinar, a book can essentially meet a reader’s need for information or entertainment anywhere and at any time.
But the part of the title question I want to address is why you should write a book. If you have ever thought about sharing your mission, your vision, your business, your life story, or information that would help others, book writing might be a logical next up step. But if you’re not clear on what your message would be, I’d suggest you continue working in your field or simply living life until the message (and a sense of urgency) dominates your consciousness.
You should only write a book if you feel called to do so.
Writing a book is a long process. Publishing and marketing a book is a long process. Making money from a book is a long process. By “long,” I mean months (sometimes years), but that amount of time can feel almost never-ending next to the rapid-fire pace of other communication. Because writing your book is an arduous project that must be tended to over time, you will need to have layers of support surrounding you as you work through rough drafts, edits, and layout design. You want a team cheering you on; a group of people who understand the steps and encourage you along the way.
So, ask yourself how much you can commit to your story. Determine if you are willing to go through the months of refinement that your message will require.
Ask yourself if you should write a book.
If the answer is yes, then the adventure will begin.