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Does the world really need the book you are writing?

May 12th, 2017 by Bob Bly

My FB friend BL writes:

“We need fewer books by people who feel having a book is good for
their career. If you’re going to write a business book, take time
to put some meaty information in it. It pisses me off when I
spend good money on a fluffy ‘ego’ book.”

It may surprise you, but I agree with BL.

“Wait a minute, Bob, you hypocrite,” you may be thinking. “You
have written dozens of books on marketing and copywriting to
boost your career. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black!”

Well, here’s what you may not see….

Yes, the business books I have written certainly have boosted my
freelance writing career and helped build my reputation in the
marketing field.

But, that was a byproduct of writing the books — although I was
well aware of that benefit and it was a part of the motivation
for doing them.

My main reason for writing how-to books however, has always
been this….

Whenever I learn new skills or information of a practical nature,
I feel immediately compelled to put what I know into a book about
the topic — and teach it to others.

Especially when I feel my grasp of the material is strong and my
application of it has been effective.

So my primary motivation for how-to book authorship is to teach …
to pass on what I know to those who might find it interesting,
useful, or both.

This has three benefits:

First, it creates a loyal readership that appreciates the books I
write, so that they continue to buy new books and other info
products by me.

Second, writing a book builds your reputation as an expert in
your field, which in turn helps promote you and your services.

Third — and this is the one benefit many newbie authors don’t
realize — writing a book on a subject probably teaches you as
much or more as the people who buy and read your book!

That’s because writing a book forces you to do further research
on your topic … think more deeply about it … organize your
material more logically … and then explain it so clearly that
even a layperson can easily understand, enjoy, and profit from

By the way, the same is true of teaching a course in the subject.

So IMHO, writing a book or teaching a course on your specialty is
one of the most worthwhile activities you can pursue.

On the other hand, some people only write their nonfiction book
for the sole purpose of achieving guru status.

This has resulted in a tidal wave of the fluffy “ego” books BL is
talking about.

If you ever read a business book and think, “This is a book that
should never have been written,” you are reading a fluffy ego
book produced solely to promote the author, and not to educate
the world or even herself.


This entry was posted on Friday, May 12th, 2017 at 10:00 am and is filed under Writing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

27 responses about “Does the world really need the book you are writing?”

  1. Eduardo said:

    What I see most today is people writing a book, and I can not understand what these people think, because a lot of them have no experience about the subject they are talking about.

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    You are absolutely right that a writer should write a book according to the demands of the people and according to the Edubirdie review trend. There is a huge number of books which are presenting in the market not getting enough attention.

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    In the end that’s what knowledge is right; to share it with the others. And that’s what you are doing. Not vouching for the fluffy ego book writers, but may be their target was to talk about them and not so much about the topic which they put as the header.

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