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Freelancing 101: Should You Write a Book?

OK, admit it: You’ve thought about writing a book at some point, right? I am convinced that no matter where I go when I tell people I am a writer and an author that they will inevitably say, “Oh, I’m going to write a book.” That sentence is usually finished with the word, “someday….”

I think, no matter what profession you’re involved in, there is a book that could be written about it. Pet blogger. Yep! Funeral director. Why not? Time management coach. Of course! Manufacturer of pet clothing and pet products. What’s stopping you!? Unless you’re operating in a field in which you are the only one, I’ll bet there are other people who would love to read your book. I’ll bet there is a trade group, networking niche, interested bunch of people on meetup.com who would love to hear what you have to say… once you’ve written your book.

Let’s delve into the reasons you might want to write a book, shall we?

freelancing 101 why you should write a book You have a lot to say

If you’re a prolific pet blogger, you have something to say, right? In fact, you’re saying it every week; in some cases, you’re saying it every day. Why not bundle that knowledge and put it into a book? Do you have a niche in which you excel and in which others seem interested? Perhaps you’re a raw feeder like Kimberly Morris Gauthier (she boldly wrote a book); or you have mad skills in social media management; or you have lived with a dog with cancer; or a cat who has, what you believe, are mystical powers; or you’re writing a book to raise awareness and maybe even money for a pet cause that’s near and dear to your heart.

If you have a plethora of blog posts, why not gather them up and put them into book form? You can sell your book on Amazon as an eBook, or you can sell it on your website or you can give it away as incentive to get people to sign up on your website to get your newsletter.

You want to garner speaking engagements

“A book as your business card” is one of the ways in which bloggers turned authors get to be on stage and share their words with the world. If you have written a book, chances are you can get up in front of a group of people at a networking event or a pet conference and talk about aspects in it, correct? Does your book (the one you’re going to write) lend itself to a workbook? My Field Guide To Becoming A Pet Blogger, for example lends itself to workshops, a workbook and online coaching.

Look at your book and see how you can repurpose it. If you’ve written about how you helped your dog live out his or her bucket list before they passed, that could lend itself to several types of speaking gigs, for example:

  1. How to travel with a sick animal
  2. Where are pet friendly places you can take your pet to help her live her bucket list
  3. How you coped with the knowledge that your time together was limited
  4. Ways in which you moved through your grief once he passed
  5. How you opened your heart up to a new pet

Uncover the various themes within your book and I’ll bet you will be able to find a group that is offering speaking opportunities into which your book would fit and would make you the expert in that field. You’ve written a book, after all.

write a book to build your pet blogger authority You want to set yourself apart

Let’s face it, if there were a dozen bloggers all writing in the same niche, but only one of those took the bold step to write a book about it, who do you think you would look to as the expert in that niche? I’ll bet it’s the one who gathered all of that knowledge and turned it into a book. It may be a subconscious awareness, but it’s probably there.

Holding a book in your hand, displaying it on your website and being able to put into a speaker proposal, “Author of XYZ book” could surely set you apart from the crowd. Gone, too, are the days that self-publishing was frowned upon. Many authors self publish simply because it’s easy to do, they want more control over the royalties they earn, and they don’t want to wait a year or more for a publisher to accept the proposal and get the book to market. Don’t fall into the belief that if you get a publisher that he or she will hand over a check that will give you funds to travel the country promoting your book or that you will get outward facing shelf space at the local Barnes and Noble. Unfortunately, marketing budgets have gone the way of the unicorn. A publisher will almost surely expect you to come to him with a large social media audience and following and a well-detailed plan for how you will market the book. You have to sell the publisher on why they want to put their resources into your book.

Why not put those efforts into marketing yourself without going through a middle man.

If you self publish I urge you to:

  1. Hire an editor
  2. Hire someone to develop your cover so it is professional and showcases your work
  3. Hire an editor

Yes, I have “hire an editor” in there twice for a reason. That reason is you want your book to be the best it can be and it stops short of being the “best” when it is filled with typos or grammatical or factual errors. An editor is well worth the money you spend on one. When you’re hiring an editor, make certain you interview more than one. You want to get not only the best price, but you want to work with someone with whom you feel comfortable.

You want to build your authority

Blogging is a great way to build your authority. With your blog you have a body of work that points to your expertise. Writing a book skyrockets that level of authority. It’s great to tell people, “I’ve blogged about topic X for the past decade” it’s another to say, “I’ve blogged about topic X for the past decade and have recently written an Amazon best seller on that topic.” What?! Amazon best seller? Yes, friends, there are ways in which to make your book be an Amazon best seller — even if only for a few minutes, it is a title you carry with you for the lifetime of your book.

If you want to raise your rates or bring in bigger clients or market yourself as a teacher or coach, your book gives you that authority.

Are you ready to write your book?

  • If the answer is a resounding “yes!” what’s stopping you?
  • If the answer is, “Well, I’d like to write a book but am not sure what to write it about or even how or where to get started,” there are people who can help you realize your dream of authorpreneurial success! (Yes, becoming an author could help launch your entrepreneurial endeavors)
  • If the answer is “yes, if only I had the time…” This quote speaks to me, even more so after a cancer diagnosis I realize I can’t blithely believe I am immortal. “A year from now you may wish you had started today.” ~  Karen Lamb

What are you waiting for? What’s stopping you? Let me know in the comments. 

Robbi Hess is an award-winning author, full-time writer, newspaper columnist, writing coach and time-management guru.  She works with bloggers and solopreneurs and blogs at All Words Matter.

Images: Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com and file404/Shutterstock.com

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