Entrepreneurs often ask me, “When is the perfect time to write a book to serve your business?” This isn’t a cop-out answer, but truly, there isn’t one. Lots of factors play into when the “right” time is for people, but here are three guidelines that I discuss with author-entrepreneurs to gauge whether it’s the right time for them. (Note that these will look different for every entrepreneur.)
You’re ready to uplevel.
Think of your book as a marketing tool. It offers credibility and visibility for you and your business. Want to set yourself apart from your competitors? A book is a way to do just that. Perhaps you already a signature course. Not everyone learns the same way, so you can reach people who don’t “do” courses with a different avenue—in this case, a book. Or maybe you have a one-on-one service. A book offers a low price point for potential clients to get to know you, see your expertise, and decide if they might want to purchase your one-on-one package.
"Think of your book as a marketing tool." - @jodibrandon
You’re not in it for (just) the money.
Writing a book probably isn’t going to make you rich. There, I said it. A book can bring in money, but likely not the way you’re thinking—and perhaps not as quickly as you’re thinking. A book can lead to clients, which increases your income. A book can lead to visibility, which can lead to speaking engagements, which increases your income. But even when you self-publish and keep more of your royalties, writing a book is the furthest thing from a get-rich-quick scheme. Book marketing is a long game, so you need to be prepared for that. This is the number-one reason why I encourage author-entrepreneurs to think of a book as a marketing tool rather than an income stream, at least to start.
"Writing a book probably isn’t going to make you rich. There, I said it." - @jodibrandon
You have time/space on your calendar.
Can you fit book writing into your schedule? I truly and firmly believe that every one of us can find 30 or 60 minutes a few times a week to write, but we’ll only do it if it’s a priority. (I also acknowledge that there are seasons when finding larger chunks of time is more difficult. If that’s you, don’t worry: You can write a book in small pockets of time, too.)
Just as there are “right” times (and right reasons), there are “wrong” times (and wrong reasons) to write a book. Here are some that I hear sometimes that make the warning siren sound in my mind:
- I need a quick boost of income.
- My business partner wrote a book.
- I’m bored in my business.
- I have an opening in my schedule, so why not?
When deciding when to write a book to benefit your business, remember Goldiliocks and the Three Bears: You want the timing to be just right—for you.