Flashback to high school English class. I wish I had paid more attention or had a teacher that made it worth listening to. That English teacher is one of the teachers who inspired me— not so much in a positive way, but in a way that caused me to reach certain goals.
I actually found I love to write almost as much as I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with others to help them succeed. That in itself was one of the main reasons I felt I should write a book. I mean, not just because I had a teacher that told me that I wouldn’t amount to much. In hindsight, I think what she meant was—you won’t amount to much if you don’t take the time to learn English. But as teenagers, we hear what we think we hear. Okay, we do the same as an adult sometimes too, right?
I decided the reason why I should write a book was to share what I had learned with those that need or want to learn it. You see when I started online, there weren’t the tools we have available today. I’ve seriously been online longer than Google. There were some early search engines such as Yahoo, followed shortly by Dogpile and a few others. But as far as learning HTML and how to build a web page you were pretty much on your own.
To be honest, at that point in my life I had no idea that what I was doing actually had a name. I just know that I wanted to take my passion for graphics and genealogy and get it online for two reasons. One to share my work and secondly, to make money. Little did I know that 25+ years later I would still be doing both. And yeah, I’m still not that good at English and Grammar.
I say that, to say this. You shouldn’t allow your inability to become a disability. Way back in 2011, Stephen Hawking said, “Disability need not be an obstacle to success.”
Too many times I’ve heard people beat themselves up emotionally calling themselves dumb or stupid. Obviously, that sets a fire off in my mind from high school. I have to educate these people by explaining that they shouldn’t label themselves for something they hadn’t yet learned.
Let’s look at the definitions for those two words. Stupid means having or showing a great lack of intelligence or common sense. And the definition of dumb is lacking intelligence or good judgment; stupid; or dull-witted. In the heart of both of these statements of meanings are the words “lacking intelligence.” Once again, that doesn’t mean you can’t learn, it simply means you have yet to learn it.
It is impossible for a person to know everything. When you are first born, you can’t walk, talk, or even feed yourself. The same is true when you start anything new. You discover how to get done what you need done. Eventually you get better at it—some things you even excel in with that topic, even to the point where you become a Master of It. It is at that point where you have the ability to share your experience and knowledge with others.
Sharing this knowledge by means of teaching, coaching, and writing builds not only your credibility but can also be lucrative in terms of income. Think about this, before the creation of the internet where did we go for our information? The library, where the books are.
Since the internet? We go online and Google information that takes us to websites, blogs, and Amazon for books. What do they all have in common? Written words about the information you are looking for. That should be a wakeup call that you should be writing about what you know. Not only will you find gratification in knowing you helped someone else reach their goals, but it also gives you the possibility of expanding your income. Aren’t those things we all strive for? To help, learn, and earn.
IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PERFECT
Believe me, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Just start writing. As I’ve already mentioned I’m horrible when it comes to grammar and punctuation. I’ve learned more through my writing. Many of your word processing apps will give you suggestions on spelling, grammar, and where to add commas and periods.
Side Note: When typing/writing in these apps that make suggestions, I feel it’s best to just keep writing and fix the mistakes afterwards. It’s best to get your thoughts down and edit after the fact. It can quickly derail your train of thought if you try to fix them midstream.
There are even apps such as “Grammarly” that you can use that will help with not only spelling, grammar, and punctuation, but also style and tone of the piece you are writing so you look and sound good too. There are several apps that help you write more efficiently. Check out “Frank Reviews” this month for a review of Grammarly.
Most importantly, write! If you’re just getting started, go with what you have such as the built-in spell check, or other apps. Microsoft Word has a new “editor” section that can help a lot. If needed, have a coworker or friend read what you’ve written. If it’s something you’re going to publish, hire an editor. You can find them in the freelance sites online such as Fiverr.com.
One tip that works for me on anything I write such as articles and blog posts is to read it out loud after I’ve finished writing. You’ll be surprised how things sound different when read loud as opposed to just reading over them quietly. When reading out loud, sometimes words don’t flow off the tongue as easy and you stumble. These stumbles allow you to rearrange or rewrite what you’re trying to communicate.
As I mentioned earlier, one of the reasons why you should write a book is to build credibility. Think about it…you wouldn’t buy a book on how to fix your plumbing from a seamstress, would you?
No! You pick up books where the author knows what they’re talking about. They become the obvious expert in that industry. You could do the same by publishing a book in your area of expertise. Think about it for a moment. What gives you more credibility? Saying you know what you are talking about or proving it with a published book.
Not only does having a published book give you credibility, but it also gives you the keys to open other doors. Podcasts are growing ever more popular these days. And being asked to be on a podcast introduces you to markets and communities you may not have reached otherwise. So where do you suppose podcast hosts look for guests to interview? Bookstores.
When I look for someone to interview, or when I’ve helped clients and customers look for speakers for their events, I go to Amazon or Google and enter the topic they need a speaker for. If they have a published book, that immediately adds a check in their column as a potential speaker or interviewee. Obviously, more research should be done by checking out their website and other credentials, but a physical book definitely makes them stand out.
You may be thinking, “But Frank, I have no desire to be a speaker.” That’s okay! Books open other doors. I’ve used my book 50 Biggest Website Mistakes to get my foot in the door to work with clients I may not have been able to otherwise. Imagine mailing a signed copy of your book with a letter to someone you want to work with or for. You could write them a letter that states you admire their work and feel you could help them be even more successful utilizing your services. They then have on the desk in front of them every reason why you are the obvious choice to fill their need.
Sometimes, I don’t even have to send out a book. I’ve had clients contact me because they’ve seen or read my book. Just like my need to have an editor, they need my services and sought me out. The obvious choice was the web guy that had a book.
BUILDING YOUR SUBSCRIBER LIST
As I mentioned, a book gets your foot in the door. It can also help you increase your following. Several of the people I coach or work alongside have a void in their social media presence. They often say they’re too busy for social media or don’t know what to post. Many of these people are avid bloggers or have a book or multiple books. It’s easy to grab excerpts from a book to add to posts. I think of them as little nuggets of wisdom. This not only provides content for those on your social feeds but also builds awareness for your books which could potentially help you sell more copies.
As an author or any business professional actually, you want to build your list. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, a list is a collection of contacts that have subscribed to follow you for information, tips, or even just updates about what you are doing.
If you’ve published a book, one strategy is to give a free digital download of a chapter or two of your book. People exchange their name and email for the ability to get access to that free
content. This not only gives you the potential to sell more books but also delivers you leads when you release your next book, article, podcast, speaking engagement, coaching, product, etc.
One final suggestion as a reason why you should write a book is to share something you are passionate about. Whether it be to build awareness to a hardship that you’ve found resources for or build encouragement for something you are supporting. Writing a book is a good way to get that information out.
Sometimes writing a book is also therapeutic. I’ve shared in the past that even writing a blog about something you’ve been through is like free therapy. You can then actually take those blog posts and turn them into chapters of a book. You will find that you are probably not the first to face these issues and there are others out there that can find solace in reading about your struggles and successes.
I’ve been wanting to write a book on a non-business topic. I followed my own advice and started Googling and searching Amazon. Turns out I stumbled across an author that’s a friend of a friend that wrote a book that coincides with what I was mentioning above. The title of her book is Make Your Mess Your Memoir. It is written by Anna David. In this book she talks about the mess ups in her life and how she was able to overcome them and in turn wrote about them. If you think about it, we’ve all had mess ups in our lives. Granted many of them are not story worthy but, you may just have a story in you that makes a difference in someone else’s life.
As I think about what I’ve already written here I can’t help but think I may have outlined four chapters in a book. Honestly, writing can be just that easy. Think about how you like to write. Maybe 13 topics turn into 13 chapters that fill 150-200 pages. That’s a book depending on how you plan on utilizing it. Maybe you prefer to write 50 short chapters as I did in one of my books. I simply sat down and wrote 50 pain points or places I see people struggle and then write about it in each chapter.
I hope I’ve shared some insight and reason why you should write a book. My wish is that I’ve provided a spark in you for something I’ve found myself to be quite rewarding. Drop me a line if I’ve inspired you!