Creative LeadershipCreativity

Why You Should Write A Book

Today, literally anyone can write a book.  That photo of me is my first realization that I loved writing.  I was trying out my mom’s church typewriter.  Now, a wide range of companies (like us) like can easily take your manuscript, typeset it, design the cover, and even get the ISBN number and have it listed at amazon.com and other retailers.  The reason to do it isn’t just raging ego, it’s getting your story down on paper.

Now before you blow this off thinking writing books isn’t for you, these reasons might change your mind:

1.  It helps your perception as an expert.
After all, if you’re a pastor, dentist, executive, teacher, or consultant – having a couple of books to your credit can’t hurt your perception.  Plus, should you ever leave your current job, you always have your books as solid credentials.  While others are waving resumes, you’re waving published books.  Big difference.

2.  It forces you to think through your message. Most leaders go through life with a half-baked idea of what they’re really trying to say and do.  But the process of writing a book forces you to think it out and express it clearly.  It helps give your message structure.

3.  It builds your legacy
. After all, you’ve spent a lifetime learning.  What are you going to leave behind?  Your ideas and perspectives matter, so consider getting it all down for future readers.

4.  Finally – if nothing else, do it for your children and grandchildren. Leave your detailed story so that future generations can know who you are, where you came from, and what you did while you were here.  My parents never did that, and now as we comb through their documents after their death, it’s a huge challenge trying to sort it all out, and really understand the story of their lives.

Serious writing is tough.  But at least the production and distribution of books is easier than ever.  Take a shot and see what happens.

Remember that you don’t need an agent or traditional publisher.  With on-demand publishing, anyone can be an author.  You may not have a best seller on your hands, but at least you wrote it down as a witness and testimony that you were here and made a difference during your lifetime.

Any stories out there of those who have done it?

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15 Comments

  1. I like your encouragement to write for one’s family…especially if a writer is just starting out. Good writing, as you say, is tough. I’ve purchased self-published books to help out aspiring writers, and found out why they were self-published.

  2. self publishing isn’t cheap, so if you’re writing for your family consider going to Office Max or some such place and they can copy and bind your book.

  3. I have four “real” books (published by Harvest House and Howard) and one I self-published (iUniverse, 2001). The self-pubbed one is the story of my student teaching experience in Okinawa, Japan. I’m so thankful I have my story written down. I may do it again.

  4. Great Blog! I like the leave a legacy #4. In addition to my own writing career, I am pondering publishing some of my father’s sermons. They were well crafted and I have his notebooks. I’ve been writing a book for 10 years that God put on my heart. My 14 year old daughter said last year that “delayed obedience is disobedience” so I finished that one and am working on the publishing aspect of it. When I am finished, I might work on the legacy of my father. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. For those who want to write specifically for family and friends, Amazon’s CreateSpace offers an inexpensive option (along with more expensive packages). For those in ministry who, for example, want to offer their own books at speaking engagements, find an on-demand publisher who doesn’t charge to publish and can offer the author discounted books for direct sales. Most of the “optional services” charged by the larger on-demand package publishers are standard for any on-demand publisher (most use the same centralized on-demand printer, Lightning Source). Those who have the time, basic computer and editing skills, and decent desktop publishing and graphics software can even set up their own on-demand publishing company. There are yahoogroups for POD publishers and POD authors that provide a wealth of information on affordable options.

  6. Here are some of the reasons I decided to write books…

    Why Should You Write a Book?

    1. Books help believers grow spiritually. One of the challenges of every evangelist is to turn converts into disciples. How can a new believer grow from saying a salvation prayer into a strong follower of Jesus? I believe one key to solving this problem is putting a book in the hands of the new believer. God did not call me specifically to be an author; God called me to be an evangelist, and I decided that writing books help me be a better evangelist.

    2. Books continue to preach the Gospel long after you return home. Books can go farther then I can go, stay longer then I can stay, and impact lives I can never reach. By writing books, I am imitating God. A book can go where you cannot go and speak where you cannot speak. Our heavenly Father sent his Son for a season, but He left His Book forever.

    3. Book are often shared and read by many different family members and neighbors. After one of our festivals we did a survey and discovered an amazing fact. Each book that we gave away is read by an average of ten people. So, if we give away ten thousand books, we can potentially impact over one hundred thousand people. A book is a seed that keeps producing all over the world.

    4. Books are treasured by new believers. In all our festivals, I have never seen one of our books thrown to the ground and trampled underfoot. Each one is valued and read. Recently a woman named Maria gave her life to Jesus during one of our Great Gospel Festivals. After a counselor handed her a book, tears poured from her eyes as she said, “Thank you!” I saw her reading the book as she walked toward her bus. She would take a step and read a page, then take another step. I am sure she read the entire book before she ever arrived home.

    5. Books are more durable than the spoken word. The written word is more permanent than the spoken word. Cassette tapes, videos, and DVD’s are rarely listened to more than once, but a well-loved book is taken off the shelf and referred to repeatedly. A book is simply more credible, more believable, and more enduring than other mediums of communication.

    6. Books help you spread your message. Recognize the value of a book. If God has given you a message for mankind, you should share it by writing a book. If your message is worth preaching, it is worth putting in a book. If you are preaching something that is not worth putting in a book, why are you preaching it? If it is worth putting in a book, it is worth giving that book away to thousands.

    7. A book is your lasting legacy. Robb Thompson said, “The only thing you’ll ever leave in this life are your books. If you leave money, someone will spend it.” At the end of the 1800’s there were two well-known churches in London. The first was called City Temple and the pastor’s name was Joseph Parker. The other church was known as Metropolitan Tabernacle and it was led by Charles Spurgeon. In their own time, both pastors had large congregations and were equally famous. But, today no one knows who Parker was but every preacher has heard of Spurgeon because of the lasting impact of his books. A book creates an enduring legacy that will live on longer than you. Mike Murdock points out, “A book is a way of arguing your point without listening to someone else’s.”

  7. I have written several novels, and am just getting into publishing them online as downloads. My first, Uncle Flynn, is an adventure story for children aged 11 plus, but adults will enjoy it too. You can download it at Amazon.co.uk. Here’s a blurb:

    “When timid eleven year old Max Bradley embarks on a hunt for buried treasure on Dartmoor with his mysterious Uncle Flynn, he discovers he is braver than he thought. Together they decipher clues, find a hidden map and explore secret tunnels in their search. But with both police and rival treasure hunters on their tail, Max begins to wonder if his uncle is all he seems…”

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Uncle-Flynn/dp/B004HO5LYU/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1295165161&sr=1-1-spell

  8. I believe everyone has at least 1 book in them. And you have listed several of the same reasons that I have considered.

    Personally, I’ve published two books so far… Transition: Breaking Through the Barriers (Autobiographical anthology) and Speedsuit Powers (Young Adult fiction that deals with bullying and other issues).

    It’s been a real process, struggle and journey getting to this point. It was in a 12th grade creative writing class where I discovered that I loved to write (although I was already keeping journals). I began writing my first book in college – although it took me 10 years to finish it. My second book took me 1.5 years. Now it’s like the floodgates have been opened! I have several manuscripts that are in the works.

    -Allen Paul Weaver III-
    http://www.speedsuitpowers.com

  9. Another great encouragement Phil. There is a book called The Story of Your Life and it’s a book that asks you questions about every stage of your life. It helps people write a book about their lives.

  10. I’m late in commenting, but I hope you’ll follow up with advice on how to make independently published books a *quality* product, rather than just a personal record that gathers dust in the spare bedroom’s bookcase. It’s hard work and requires expert advice (or paid help). And then there’s the discussion of the M word, as in marketing …

  11. Thanks Phil for this great e-zine. Richard Rossi here. I recently released my first novel, “Stick Man” a coming-of-age story about a young man’s journey from fundamentalism to freedom. I self-published on Createspace.com and my novel has been selling really well and now I’m fielding offers from publishers. Like you said in your article it’s been a chance for me to share what I believe about God’s grace and recovery from rigid religion.
    Graced,
    Richard Rossi
    p.s. here’s the link to the Amazon page for my novel if you want to check it out: http://www.amazon.com/Stick-Man-long-awaited-coming-age/dp/1456368680/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1300301575&sr=8-1

  12. I have it in my heart to write books since years… However I am not sure about the self-publishing part. I would not be satisfied with just getting it published, I am eager to have people read what I write. I hope what I write would make a positive difference in the lives of the readers.

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