5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Write a Book

Jun 5, 2024 | Writing A Book

Yes, everyone does have a book in them. That doesn’t mean that getting it out will be easy.

You may imagine getting your book out as akin to opening the door to a cage and letting a bird fly away. Alas, it’s more like mining ore, ripping it out of the ground, refining it, designing a product made of it, and then manufacturing and selling it.

Writing a book and making it successful is hard work, and the odds of success are stacked against you. If that’s OK with you, great, go for it. But before you do, read the following five reasons you should not write a book.

Don’t write a book if you think it will bring fame and fortune.

Sure, best-selling authors like Danielle Steele and John Grisham make millions, but that’s not likely to be you. Today, the average book sells less than 300 copies over its lifetime. You won’t get much fame from that and probably won’t make any money from book sales either.

Don’t write a book if you expect it to be easy or quick.

Even if you have a ghostwriter or work with a writing partner, there will be plenty of work for an extended period. We’re talking about significant chunks of time for a year or more. We’re talking about disrupting your life for that same period.

Don’t write a book if you’re unwilling to do the work to make it a good book.

When your book is published, people will use it to judge you and your work for as long as it is available, which is pretty much forever. Don’t gamble on getting away with shoddy work. That’s almost impossible in today’s connected world.

The competition is too fierce for OK. As of 2020, there were more than 40 million ISBN registrations. That’s a lot of competition. You won’t do well in that kind of crowded marketplace without putting your best work forward.

Don’t write a book if you’re not passionate about your subject.

It’s natural to be excited about writing your book initially, but that excitement drains away after about a week. From then on, you can’t depend on motivation. You can build good writing habits and exercise your discipline muscles. That’s a lot easier if you love your subject and are passionate about learning more about it and how to express it to others.

Don’t write a book if you’re unwilling to do the marketing.

I don’t care how great your book is, it won’t sell itself. You may believe your great work will receive special attention from the success fairy, but don’t count on it. Writing a book is hard work, but it’s only part of making your book a success. You can buy lots of help, but if you’re the author marketing your book is a big part of your job. Of course, you can spend a bunch of money and just hire marketing services, but that’s a poor bet.

Here’s the bottom line. Writing a book is hard and serious work. Don’t decide to do it unless you’re fully committed. You can choose not to write a book today, but that doesn’t mean forever. It only means that now is not the right time.

Thanks to Salwa Emerson, whose LinkedIn post started the train of inspiration that led to this post.

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