Written by: Benjamin Wann
As an entrepreneur, writing a book can have several benefits and drawbacks. Below, we explore why you should and shouldn’t consider writing a book.
I’ve now written 18 books, and I’ve learned a lot along the way I can share. For me, the best parts about writing books are sharing my knowledge for a great price and validating what I know (or don’t).
However, there are reasons why you should or shouldn’t write a book and I will prove them to you.
Reasons You Should Write a Book as an Entrepreneur:
Table of Contents
1. Establish credibility and authority
Writing a book can help you establish yourself as an expert in your field, enhancing your credibility and authority among peers, clients, and potential partners.
2. Share valuable knowledge
A book provides an opportunity to share your experiences, insights, and lessons learned, which can help others in their entrepreneurial journey.
3. Build your personal brand
A well-written book can contribute to your personal brand, setting you apart from competitors and increasing your visibility in the market.
4. Expand your network
Writing a book can open doors to new business opportunities, partnerships, and collaborations by connecting you with like-minded individuals and influencers.
5. Generate additional income
A successful book can create a passive income stream through royalties, as well as open opportunities for speaking engagements, consulting, and other related revenue streams.
6. Enhance your marketing effort
A book can be an excellent marketing tool, helping you promote your products or services and attract new customers.
7. Personal growth and development
Writing a book can be a rewarding and enriching experience, helping you develop new skills and a deeper understanding of your industry.
Reasons You Shouldn’t Write a Book as an Entrepreneur:
1. Time-consuming process
Writing a book can be a lengthy and time-consuming process, which might detract from your core business activities and responsibilities.
2. Opportunity cost
The time and resources invested in writing a book could be used for other business growth activities, such as developing new products or expanding your market reach.
3. Financial investment
Self-publishing a book requires an upfront financial investment in editing, design, marketing, and distribution, which may not yield a significant return on investment.
4. Market saturation
Many entrepreneurs have already published books in various fields, making it challenging to stand out in a crowded market.
5. High competition
The publishing industry is highly competitive, and it can be difficult for new authors to secure a traditional publishing deal or generate substantial sales through self-publishing.
6. Potential for criticism
Writing a book exposes you to public scrutiny, and not everyone may agree with your ideas or perspectives, leading to criticism or negative feedback.
7. Limited shelf life
Depending on your book’s topic, the content may become outdated as your industry evolves, reducing its long-term relevance and value.
Before deciding to write a book, entrepreneurs should carefully weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks, considering their goals, resources, and the potential impact on their business.
Stats on Book Publishing, Sales, and How Many Actually Do Well
Because recent data is a little tricky to obtain, the data shared below is from 2020 and still reflects the most recent trends in the book publishing industry. These figures can still give you an idea of the general landscape of book publishing, sales, and success rates.
Stats about the number of books published
In 2020, it was estimated that over 2.7 million books were self-published globally, with more than 1.6 million books published in the United States alone. This figure includes both print and digital formats. Additionally, traditional publishers in the United States released over 300,000 new titles and editions in 2020.
Stats about book sales
In 2020, the U.S. book publishing industry generated an estimated $25.71 billion in revenue, with over 2.1 billion units sold. The global book publishing market was valued at around $114.13 billion in 2020.
It’s difficult to determine the exact success rate for books, as success can be measured in various ways, such as the number of copies sold, revenue generated, or critical acclaim. However, it’s widely accepted that the vast majority of books, especially self-published titles, do not achieve significant commercial success. Some industry experts estimate that only 5-10% of self-published authors earn more than $1,000 annually, and less than 1% become bestsellers.
It’s crucial to remember that these statistics represent averages and trends in the book publishing industry. Individual success rates can vary widely depending on the author’s platform, marketing efforts, target audience, and the book’s quality.
Deciding to Write a Book or Not?
As an entrepreneur, publishing a book is an excellent opportunity to highlight your expertise, knowledge, and passions.
While the odds of achieving significant commercial success might seem low, many authors still find value in writing and publishing a book, whether for personal fulfillment, establishing credibility, or other non-monetary reasons.
It’s even better to share your book with others for free because that helps market your work and activates the reciprocity principle. People appreciate it when they receive something of value for free and will be more likely to purchase more books from you in the future. Additionally, giving away books can help create word-of-mouth promotion which results in organic sales growth.
Overall, there are several benefits to sharing your published book. The main word of caution is to never buy into the hype that writing and marketing a book is easy and profitable; unless you spend a significant amount of time doing public speaking or have a massive audience, you’ll have a modest return for your efforts, at best.
Feel free to check out my books here and ask anything you’d like about the process: https://benjaminwann.com/writing-portfolio-books