Just because you know stuff doesn’t mean you have to become an author, so why do so many marketing people recommend writing a book as a promotional activity?

Being an author does carry a certain kudos. 

  • It says that you have enough wisdom and knowledge to help other people.
  • It’s a good way to show potential clients the wealth of expertise you can put at their disposal.
  • It may get you invitations to speak about your topic at conferences and business events.

But if the idea of labouring over a whole book of at least 40,000 words makes you rush to the fridge for comfort food (or whatever your preferred displacement activity is) don’t worry, you DON’T have to write a book.

I’m not suggesting that you outsource it to a ghost writer – there’s nothing worse than not being intimately familiar with your ‘own’ book.  Maybe Robbie Williams can get away with admitting that he hasn’t read his own autobiography, but it won’t do you any favours to follow his example.

What to do instead of writing a book

  • If you don’t mind writing, then write blogs. Share your expertise in short bites of 300-1000 words to help your readers to learn something that will help them.
  • If you hate writing, but don’t mind talking, create podcasts. You can have a podcast channel or simply load your audio file onto your blog.
  • If you are comfortable in front of the camera, get yourself a little tripod and set up a video recording (there are ways of doing this with your mobile phone – but probably worth investing in a plug-in lapel mic for decent quality).

Sneaky ways to write a book anyway

Give your blogs to an editor and ask them to edit them into a book.

Give your podcasts or videos to a transcription service and ask them to transcribe them – and then give them to an editor to edit into a book.

Start small and write a short ebook around a specific topic – again you can edit a handful of blogs into shape for this.  An ebook doesn’t have to be any particular length so it could be 3,000 words or 30,000 words or anything in between.  Most people have a short attention span so short is good, as long as it’s got a strong message and really useful tips with your narrative alongside them.

Remember that you may not have any new ideas, but you have your spin on things.  Your experiences and case studies will bring your tips to life.

So you don’t have to write a book – but you could create a book over time writing or speaking your ideas in short bites.