Books have transformed more lives than anything else I can think of for under $30. Yet, most of the world is paying less and less attention to them. In fact, many publishers are shrinking. Even dying.
Still, spiritual entrepreneurs and personal development leaders often have dreams of the Quiet Writer’s Life. You know – leisurely writing sessions by a brook somewhere. Your words of wisdom flowing forth effortlessly. And then your publishing company writes you a big check and whisks away your precious words to bookstores around the world. Where your beloved books sell like hotcakes …
Radical Changes in the Book World
Due to technologies like Amazon Kindle, blogging, and self publishing, the world of books has radically changed. If you wandered onto this post looking for the Fairy Godmother publisher to take care of all the details and write you lots of big checks , I’d suggest your best bet is to find a time machine and set it back to 1999. 🙂
Most publishers today are focusing their resources on authors who have already demonstrated that they can deliver sales. Here’s a post on the new realities book publishers face. And a quote:
“After centuries in which books and the process of publishing them barely changed, the digital revolution has thrown the entire business up for grabs. It’s a transformation that began with the rise of Amazon as an online bookseller and accelerated with the resulting decline of the physical bookstore.”
Does this mean that writing a book is a bad idea if you are an emerging author? NO! Writing a book can be a fantastic use of your time – if you think outside of the old models. The place many spiritual entrepreneurs and personal development professionals get in trouble is when they cling to old realities of the publisher doing most of the work of production, distribution and marketing for an emerging author.
Release that, and wonderful opportunities arise …
5 Great Reasons to Write a Book
- Write a book as personal growth. When you commit to write a book, you enter a personal growth journey that lasts for months or even years. Perhaps you don’t need to sell a 100,000 copies of your book. Growth is a tremendous gift. Maybe that’s enough.
- Take an existing tribe deeper. The ideal situation is to develop a community who loves your work (Seth Godin call these Tribes) BEFORE you write a book. In this case, your book is a vehicle to take that tribe deeper. Though most traditional publishers want a LARGE tribe (think 100,000 Facebook fans or 25,000 on an email list) before considering a new author, a self-published book can make sense with as little as 1000 true fans.
- Sell higher value packages. With your entrepreneur glasses on, you can create a range of offerings that your book can help sell. For instance, to go along with the launch of Write a Game Changing Personal Development Book, Sasha Allenby and I developed a range of offerings from a $10 ebook to a $4000 comprehensive book coaching and marketing package. This way, your book can help bring in lots of revenue even if you don’t have massive sales.
- Launch your speaking career. If you want to be a professional speaker, it’s almost mandatory to have a book. It’s what your potential audience expects. The person making a decision about who to book for the gig probably wants to read your book before deciding. Chances are really good that the other speakers she’s considering have one. And there’s just about nothing better for book sales than WOWING a live audience.
- Establish yourself as an authority. A good book boosts your business by helping you become known as a “go to person” on a topic. For instance, Russ Hudson’s book The Wisdom of the Enneagram has sold over 1 million copies. There are very few people interested in the Enneagram that aren’t familiar with his name. That’s opened up a range of opportunities for him. When you are a “go to person” on a topic people are interested in, being in business gets a whole lot more FUN! 🙂
5 Silly Reasons to Write a Book
Though there’s lots of wonderful reasons to write a book, I also see spiritual entrepreneurs create lots of suffering for themselves through the printed word. Here are 5 Times When It’s Silly to Write a Book:
- Because your ego tells you to. Some people write a book to feed their own egos. Their egos LONG to say “I am a BESTSELLING author”. Underneath this are often unconscious wounds around not being seen. When it comes to a book, I’m old school – I want you to write a book that has a clear intention to be of service.
- As a plan to make money fast. There are still coaches and internet marketers who promote writing a book as a fast way to make money. It’s not. Good books take many months – even years to write. And the process of growing an audience for a book can take even longer. Patience and persistence, especially if it’s your first book, are essential.
- When you are very new. In the first several years in business, things are likely going to shift and change a LOT. And those changes can make trying to write a book a miserable experience. Instead of trying to rush into writing a book, give yourself some time to create smaller blogs, newsletters and/or videos. This will give you a chance to hone your message before jumping into a larger book project.
- When you are allergic to marketing. Some authors – particularly in the spiritual and personal development sector – have magical thinking when it comes to book sales in today’s economy. Though hardly anyone knows they exist, they hold beliefs like “If I just write a great book, people will hear about it and buy it.” Of course, no one is going to buy your book if its terrible. And, a conscious marketing plan is essential.
- Instead of providing services. I know a LOT of spiritual entrepreneurs and personal development leaders. Early on, we all make most of our money through individual sessions, retreats, workshops and ongoing groups – providing services. Almost no one starts out making a full-time livelihood as an author. If that happens, it tends to be after years of working with people in live settings.
Could You Use Some Help?
One of the reasons I have books on the brain is because this week I just launched Wisdompreneurs Publishing with best selling Hay House author Sasha Allenby. We got tired of seeing wisdom based entrepreneurs struggle to write good books and then not be able to impact the number of lives they were wanting to.
So we are offering a free summit starting Thursday May 8th. The summit includes wonderful speakers – like Eckhart Tolle’s publisher and several best selling Hay House authors – exploring all aspects of writing, publishing, and marketing a book in today’s realities. It’s a great place to get support and great information. And it’s FREE! 🙂
Time for Your Questions
Do you have a book in you that’s wanting to be born? Do you have questions about writing, publishing, editing or marketing a book? If so, I’d love to hear about your project or questions related to it in the form of comment below!