Books aren’t dead—hooray! But writing a book is still really hard. Despite technology’s inexorable advance, creating a book still calls to mind deeply solitary work—completed in a room of one’s own—and a superhuman ability to conjure up a world using only words.
That effort is still very real, but today, the author category includes a few more entrants. At MWS, we’ve seen an uptick in authors whose first calling isn’t books but business. These are thought leaders who want to write a book to develop ideas, communicate secrets, explain the stories that helped bring about their success, and establish a longer, more meaningful relationship with readers, clients, and colleagues.
For these authors, books function as a long-form (a very long form) business card. A book communicates a seriousness of passion, but it also displays depth of thought. A book can help communicate—by its very existence—a major commitment.
Over the past year, we’ve fielded queries from new entrepreneurs who want a book to substantiate legitimacy, from professionals poised to make late-in-life career shifts who need a book as a claim to belonging, and from authors who want to develop ideas into something that will sustain a series of speaking engagements.
These authors reach out to us because they don’t always have all the tools—for generating ideas, producing polished researched writing, facilitating publication, establishing distribution, creating a marketing plan, or repurposing book content—to produce a successful book.
Our work with these clients has given us some insight into the writers who are ready to become authors and the writers who aren’t. In our next post, we’ll explain some of the differences between the two.