Since I’ve launched 40 Days To Finish A Book, I’ve had a bundle of questions and conversations about the why + hows of book writing and publishing.
So I thought I’d take some time and write some posts for you to answer them.
First up: Why do SO MANY Successful Women Entrepreneurs Choose To Write Books?
Take a look around at your favourite women entrepreneurs, and chances are, they’ve written a book.
From global billion-dollar entrepreneurs like Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook) and Sara Blakely (Spanx) to your favourite online coaches and sometimes even your local yoga teacher… chances are, they’ve written a book.
WHY would they do that? Books can be a huge investment of time and yet are a lower-end pricing strategy. What are the business reasons behind writing a book?
In the post I’ll be sharing some of the most powerful reasons successful women entrepreneurs write books, and give some examples as well!
I’d like to clarify as well – I’m giving examples of how peep’s books work for them. I don’t presume however to know the reasons for them being written. Sometimes books are a strategic decision, sometimes they are pure gut instinct, sometimes they are a fire inside you that must be born into the world. Always, at their heart, books are a gift to the world.
Reason #1: Books give you “expert status”
Having a book with your name on it positions you as knowing more than most other people in your industry. It’s one thing to say you are a freelance monkey milker (can you imagine THAT JOB? HA!)… but it’s another thing entirely to be a freelance monkey milker AND the author of a book on the Art of Monkey Milking!
Brigit Esselmont’s Everyday Tarot is a great example of this. Brigit is the founder of an online school teaching people how to read tarot. By creating a book on it, she is showing just how much knowledge she has on the topic! Not only does it affirm to her existing audience that she is a teacher, it signifies to new potential customers and even mainstream media that she is someone to turn to in the marketplace.
Reason #2: A book is a giant business card people pay for
Let’s face it: business cards are NOT memorable, and they get lost/thrown out at the earliest chance.
Books however, are basically a giant business card. They teach people who you are, how you help and how to find you… AND they pay for the pleasure of having it!
Denise Duffield-Thomas’ Get Rich, Lucky Bitch is an awesome business card. DDT is a money mindset coach which is one of those unique jobs that people don’t instantly understand. Read it, and you’ll get to know exactly who DDT is, who and how she helps, and how hot she looks on a cream couch!
Reason #3: A book attracts more clients
I know sometimes entrepreneurs worry that by writing a book that shares their knowledge, they will cannibalise their own market. Why would people sign up for your coaching or course if they can read your book instead?
It’s a legitimate worry, but it isn’t one that is substantiated by evidence.
What ends up happening instead is this:
- Your book becomes an easy, low-cost way for people to start working with you.
- Your book helps them understand you, your process and the results you get.
- They are more motivated and committed than ever to working with you, or buying your thing!
Kerry Rowett’s Align and Attract is a great example of this. Kerry is a kinesiologist who works with entrepreneurs to reach their goals. She has both coaching services and an e-course. Her book is a fantastic way of starting the process of working with Kerry’s methods and falling in love with her (it’s the only natural thing to do). And her existing customers (i.e. me) have bought it and it makes us even more thrilled to be working with her!
Reason #4 – A book can be a creative side project
Entrepreneurs are a kooky breed. We get bored and often need creative side projects to keep ourselves amused and our brain challenged.
I’ve had so many creative side projects over the years – from a network marketing company to retreats to podcasts to tarot card reading! It’s a beautiful thing to expand and express yourself in new ways.
This can be really useful as well when you’ve got a really large business with a very defined purpose, and you’re wanting to create something outside of that. Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx, did just that with her The Belly Art Project. Is it completely off brand for Spanx, a tight undie company? Yep! Is it something she wanted to do anyway? Fuck yaaaa.
These creative side projects can be an awesome way to test a new market or business model without affecting your existing one. Ariel Meadow Stallings, owner of the excellent and long-running Offbeat Bride blog, also produced a high-end erotic memoir as a way to do just that.
Reason #5 – A book helps you collect Amazon search traffic
Amazon is one of the most popular search engines in the world. It has more people searching for products on there each day than Google and other search engines combined.
There’s a LOT of people on Amazon searching for information on that very thing that you teach… and they are ready to BUY NOW.
Why wouldn’t you want to get in front of that traffic, and get brand new people falling in love with you?
Hibiscus Moon is a gorgeous crystal healing teacher and her book Crystal Grids is an awesome way for Amazon traffic to find her. It shows just one part of her expertise, and positions her as a teacher and expert to learn from.
Reason #6 – Books are a great way to Pay It Forward (and mentor while maintaining your sanity)
Once you’ve reached a certain level of success in your business, a LOT of excited peeps come out of the woodwork. They want to learn exactly how you’ve done what you’ve done, and how they can create some of that same success for themselves. They want to meet up for coffee to “pick your brain” or ask your thoughts on a new business idea.
And of course, we all want to be able to help as many people as we can. But we just don’t have hours in the day to give everybody what they are wanting.
Books are an awesome way to condense all that experience and hard-won lessons into something ANYBODY can access. It’s our way of paying it forward to anyone who is struggling, or wants guidance and support, but we don’t always have the time to be able to give.
Sonya Driver is really honest about this being the reason for her writing The Nudge. Founder of ECO TAN, Sonya sequestered herself away on a Byron Bay holiday to bang out this business manual just so she could give it to people who wanted to be mentored. I love that I found it serendipitously in a bookstore and got to hear her common-sense advice and success story… without it eating up her valuable hours! Plus, I could read it in the bath with a beer and chips. It probably would have been a bit awkward if I did that over a brain-picking sesh with Sonya! HA!
Reason #7 – Books are a great passive income stream!
Constance Hall is a straight-talking Australian mum who shares honestly and vulnerably about motherhood. She’s amassed a huge following online, and converted it into an income stream through writing books and designing a fashion label. Still A Queen is her second self-published memoir that has become an Australian best-seller.
Reason #8: Write the book you wish you could buy
If you go into a bookstore and can’t find the book you are longing for… CREATE IT YOURSELF!
It is 100% the reason I created my Shining Year goals workbooks. Back in 2009, pregnant for the first time, I knew I needed to set myself goals to hold onto when shit got tough.
But when I looked around, I couldn’t find ANYTHING that guided me through the process, step-by-step. And anything I did find was drab, black and white, and felt super corporate. It didn’t feel fun at all.
So I made the workbooks for myself. And after I was finished writing and painting them, I realised a few other people might find them useful too. So I put them online. Nearly 10 years, and 350,000 people later… that divine inkling has come true. You can find them right here.
Reason #8: Books are an incredible source of good in the world, and help people in so many ways!
At the end of the day, I reckon that’s why all books are created. Books have been one of the greatest blessings of my life.
Reading business, marketing and finance books are the reason I’ve been so successful in business. I’m not someone who loves travelling to go to conferences. I’m way too much of a hermit to learn anything but in bed, with a book.
Self-help books have been just the thing I’ve needed at the right time. Memoirs have helped me feel less alone in the world. Graphic memoirs have given me the gift of empathy. Romance novels have brought me so much joy and sweet brain holidays over the years.
All of them. All of them. All of these books are angels.
And I want you to know: whatever it is that inside of you. Please know it will go out and help the world. That it will touch the people it is meant to help and heal. And it will heal you too as you birth it into the world. That is how it always works. Bringing your book into the world will heal you first, and then heal so many others.
We need you. We need your book. We need your story. We need your wisdom. It’s how the world will change.
All my love,
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