One of my Twitter contacts asked this question yesterday and a very good question it is too. Many people have an idea for a book, but very few go through with it and actually get their ideas written and published.
81% of adults express a desire to write a book some day. Most never start it and of those that do, very few get to the end. (John Eggen)
I think a lot of this has to do with fear, as well as lack of information on how to make it happen. I guess the fear is that it’s just going to be another ‘vanity publishing’ project – only really of interest to your close friends and family. (I recognise that fear well as I’m writing my own book).
These days you don’t have to rely on a publisher to decide whether or not your book is worth getting into print. There are plenty of valid self publishing options. It’s up to you. But you’ve got to be sure in your head that you really want to make your book happen. You need to be 100% committed to the project to see it through to the end.
Here are a few hard questions which I hope will help as you think this through:
1. Does your book have an audience?
Will it deliver real benefits to real people? Does it answer a question that enough people want to know the answer to?
2. Does it say something distinctive?
A compelling new angle to an old topic or a new avenue altogether. Do you have something interesting to say?
3. Are you the right person to write this book?
Can you build a case for you, the author of this book? This is not to say that you have to have years of experience, just that your story stacks up.
4. Will it help you build your business?
A book is a superb marketing and business development tool but, if you want business results it’s important to write the right book, on a subject that’s central to what the business is all about.
5. Do you have the energy and commitment?
Are you passionately interested in the subject? Writing a book can feel like a hard old slog at times. The only thing that will get you through is a genuine love for your subject and deep desire to get your message across – a good support team around you really helps.
Whether you are looking to publish or self-publish, I hope these questions help you decide whether to commit to taking your book idea forward. Good luck with the thinking and let me know if you want to bounce your ideas off me at any time.
Some careful planning will help you decide how to proceed.