When is a writing a book a waste of time?

I’m asking because, if you’re just starting to think about writing a how-to book, this might be on your mind. 

It’s a decent time and energy investment, and you probably don't have much time or energy to spare. You can't afford to waste your time.

Well, to answer this, it helps to think about the two main approaches an author can take to non-fiction books. 

Support an existing business

The first approach is to write a book to support your existing business. This applies if you’ve been working with clients for a while, you know how to help people in a one-on-one situation, and now you want to spread that message to a bigger audience. 

Or maybe you want to create a lower-priced product for those who can’t afford to work directly with you, or you want a book to act as a business card for your existing services.

Build a business around a book

The second approach is to write a book first, then create a business around your book. You don’t need to have a successful business before you write the book. It can come after.

There’s actually a great dude called Jim Kukral who talks all about this on his site, which is literally called Business Around a Book. Check it out here.

Both are smart ways to use a book for business.

But if you want a non-fiction book to make you money on its own, then you might be sorely disappointed.

That’s when it might be a waste of time. 

(One quick caveat: If you don’t care about selling the book, spreading your message, or anything like that, if you just want to have done it for yourself, your family, and just to know you did it, then have at it! Do it however you like.)

When we’re talking about building your business or creating income, a book on its own is likely a waste of time and energy. 

Because a book isn’t a business. 

It needs to be part of a bigger plan. I’ll talk about this more next time. We’ll look at how a book fits into a business strategy for service-oriented entrepreneurs. 

But for now, start thinking about how your book fits into a bigger plan for your business or income goals, so it doesn’t become a waste of time. 

See you next time!