Experts tell us that 81% of Americans want to write a book.  So chances are pretty high that if you’re reading this, you are one of them.  There are many reasons people want to write a book.  Your motivations are probably a combination of these factors:

  1. Communication: Having a book is a wonderful way to communicate your message to a broader audience.  If you are a speaker or teacher you can exponentially increase your audience with a book.  If you have any area of expertise, a book can help you leverage that expertise.  Writing a book will help you find your own voice.  It will help you trust that you have something important to say.  You have a message that must be told.  A true writer is someone who cannot not write.  I didn’t start out wanting to be a bestselling author – I started by struggling with people who were trying to find meaning in their work and wanted to share those principles with more people.
  2. Fame: Yes, there is a certain amount of celebrity status that comes instantly with having a published book.  Many sports, political, and media figures have arranged to have a book about them or their field of knowledge.  A book says that you have moved up the ladder significantly.  A book will leave a legacy of thought and insight that will hopefully continue long after you are gone.  It’s a thrill to run into someone in an airport, on a cruise ship or at the mall who has read your book.  And you’ll get emails from people on the other side of the world who have been impacted by reading your words on a page.
  3. Fortune: Okay, we certainly hear about the John Greshams, Dan Browns, Joel Osteens and Rick Warrens of the world – where sales of their books made them millionaires over and over.  But recognize how extremely rare that is.  It does happen but the odds are stacked against you.  There are lots of ways to make money more easily than hoping it will come from a book – but keep planning for it to happen to you.
  4. Credibility: A book does help to position you as an expert in your field.  If you are a consultant, speaker, coach, pastor or trainer, having a book is a valuable tool for establishing your credibility as a person who is an expert.  It has been said there are two ways to document your credibility:

Get a PhD or write a book.  (Quick aside:  I completed my doctoral studies and had only to complete my dissertation.  But when I weighed the work required to produce a document that only 4 old guys would read against the value of spending the same amount of time writing a book that potentially millions would read, I elected to write 48 Days to the Work You Love.  And I am confident it has established me as a unique expert far more than if I had written that dissertation.)  Writing a book will force you to grow intellectually by reading more, researching more and then assimilating that information into a format that can be easily understood by your reader.

I tend to view my books as powerful business cards for drawing people into the other aspects of our 48 Days business.  People who have read my books then purchase more expensive materials, attend seminars and workshops, and request personal coaching.  If you view your book as the end product and put all your hopes on the sales of that book you may be disappointed – but if you position it as one part of your larger business, it can be a vital component of your larger success.  Every product you sell should promote and help sell another product or service you have.  Your book creates a sales funnel, leading to speaking, consulting, ebooks, audio products, and workshops.

So why do you want to write a book?


 Dan Miller is today's leading authority and personality on careers and 'Work You LoveTM'. As bestselling author of 48 Days To The Work You Love, and now No More Mondays, Dan reaches over a million people every month in his newsletter, podcast, and blog with the best trends and opportunities in the workplace and small business. For more information, visit http://www.48days.com.