Periodically people inform me that I should write a book about… well whatever it was I was talking about that they’d probably heard enough of. I dare say this happens to a lot of us.
I find this suggestion easy to resist because I know how hard it is to write just one chapter of a book. I rationalise that writing books is a waste of time, based on purely anecdotal evidence from one or two disillusioned authors I know.
But I have been given pause for thought by this survey: The Business Impact of Writing a Book. This is based on a survey of 200 authors of business books. Here are a few fab facts. I always take these sorts of percentages with a generous pinch (huh?) of salt, but looking at the whole report, a coherent picture emerges.
39% of authors reported a strong or very strong influence on improving relationship with current clients
84% of authors reported a strong or very strong influence on brand improvement
74% of authors reported a strong or very strong influence on publicity and PR
53% of authors reported a strong or very strong influence on their ability to charge higher fees
As for the discontent, I was not surprised that authors were underwhelmed by their publishers. Many find they invest their own money in promotion, and it’s clear that there’s a lot more to this than the writing and hoping for sales. A great deal more revenue comes indirectly to authors rather than in book sales.
Some of the best parts are the verbatims from authors, which I think make fascinating and provocative reading. The full report is not cheap at $175 so most of you will find the highlights quite enough. But if you are giving serious thought to writing a book, it could be a very good investment, considering the vast amount of time you are about to devote to the project. There’s a lot of experience there to draw upon.
Disclosure: Mike Schultz sent me a completely free preview copy of the report so be warned that this post is influenced by The Hawthorne Effect. (I’ve been reading about that in the book Connected Marketing, on which I’ll post more another time.)