Over the last 10 years, I have written five "how-to" books, which are books that teach people about aspects of business that they would like to learn more about and improve on. Everyone who visits my Web site or sees my business card -- which lists the five books I've written -- asks me what it takes to write a book and get it published. They ask me why I write books to begin with.Writing books is very rewarding on many levels, but it is a lot of work for typically very little money. The average advance for a first-time writer is typically $5,000 to $10,000, and it takes about 16 hours a week for a year if you are fast. That translates into $6 to $12 an hour, so financial gain is pretty low on the list of benefits. It's certainly on my list of 10 reasons I write books, though:
- Learning: When you write a book, even if you are an expert in the area, you tend to learn new things about your craft. Writing a book makes you think about parts of your business that you may have overlooked.
- Accomplishment: Few experiences in business give you the high that seeing your book on the bookshelves of a bookstore or on the Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Borders Web sites.
- Educating others: It feels great to know you are having a positive impact on other people's businesses by providing information that they can use in their business.
- Fame: I love it when people read my books and send me emails. I like it when people ask me for autographs.
- Media coverage: Books are a great way to generate media coverage. I have been featured in magazines and have been a guest on radio and television shows and on Internet sites.
- Business contacts: Through writing books, I get to meet a variety of experts who can provide me with information I can use for my clients; I also get to meet interesting people.