Should You Really Write a Book?

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Did you see what he tweeted?

Did you watch her Instagram story?

Did you stream his podcast?

Did you watch their Facebook Live?

With so much flashy content available, it’s easy to wonder if there is still room for the printed book, and if anyone is still asking, Did you read her book?

You may feel that books are going the way of the dinosaur… or the CD player. And if so, is it really worth all the time and effort? In fact, you may be tempted to set aside your manuscript and focus exclusively on pithy tweets, profound blog posts and your Instagram account.

Our advice? No. Don’t give up on the printed word. And here’s why.

Books open doors

It isn’t often that a conference speaker is chosen based on her tweets. Few churches bring in workshop leaders due to their YouTube account. Organizations of substance want experts of substance. And nothing proves substance like a book.

In his article for Harvard Business Review, John Butman writes,

The book is the most widely-accepted credential at the largest number of content venues. “Has new book” is a standard, and often required, box to tick for the gatekeepers who control access to areas of the ideaplex you would most like to enter: lecture halls, television studios, boardrooms, media pages, special events, people’s minds.

Book establish credibility

In his article for Forbes, John Hall writes,

People look at you differently when you’ve published a book. They assume that if you’ve literally written the book on a topic, you know what you’re talking about. You’re a leading voice in your space, and they’ll defer to your insights over those shared by influencers who aren’t authors.

Any freelance writer can do some quick research and pump out a 750-word blog post about a topic. But not just anyone can write a 20-chapter book on a single topic, survive the editing process and have it published. Doing so says something about you. It says that…

  • You are passionate about the subject of the book.
  • You have made a commitment to thinking about and researching the topic, as well as seeking out other experts.
  • You felt the subject so salient that it was worthy of this effort on your part.

Michael S. Hyatt, former Chairman and CEO of Thomas Nelson Publishers, wrote the following in a recent blog post,

People work for years to land an important job or get a graduate degree. Both of these can be important steps in your career path, but neither provide the level of credibility that comes with having a book with your name on it. In our culture, this is still regarded as the ultimate proof of your mastery.

Books have longevity

Long after a live-streamed talk has faded from memory or a blog post has been overtaken by newer posts, a book remains. It remains on the pastor’s bookshelf, on the business man’s nightstand, or on the student’s Kindle. It sits on library shelves and families’ coffee tables. It is ever ready to be read again, referenced or gifted to a friend or colleague.

Yes, blog posts and Facebook accounts last forever (even if we wish otherwise!) but there is something more permanent about a printed book. It maintains a type of authoritative weight unmatched by its digital counterparts.

So pick up that manuscript again with a new appreciation for its importance. Tweet, post and stream all you want, but let the work of authoring a book remain your ultimate task.

At Certa Publishing, we are passionate about partnering with writers who are doing just that. We look forward to working with you in pursuit of this consequential achievement.

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