Unbook and get rich: 15 reasons why writing a book is a bad idea

Why writing a book is a bad idea by Robin Dickinson

Why writing a book is a bad idea by Robin Dickinson

Here are fifteen reasons why you should think twice before writing and publishing your own book:

  1. Because you’re not a writer. You don’t even like writing. Let’s face it: when was the last time you sat down to write for pleasure? Never?
  2. Because no one will ever read it. People buy books but don’t read them. Think of all of those books that you’ve bought but never had the time to read. And they are written by best-selling authors.
  3. Because no one will ever buy it. Best-selling authors have enough trouble getting people to buy their books. The term best-selling actually comes from the fact that they have to do their very best at selling to get any sales at all. And that’s with a major book deal.
  4. Because your business can’t afford it. The precious time and money that you’ll need to sink into the bottomless pit of book publishing will drain you and your business of the very resources that you’re attempting to create.
  5. Because you’ve been conned. You’ve become the victim of a very persuasive sales and marketing programme parading as a ‘Success Formula’ that has deluded you into the mirage of best-selling authorship. (See cheeky toon above).
  6. Because you won’t make any money. By the time you add up all the months you’ve spent (assuming that you value your time enough to actually factor it into the equation), plus the cost of publishing, launching, selling and marketing your book, plus the cost of the books themselves, you end up with a huge amount of cost against which you will have to sell thousands of books to even break even. No, you won’t make any money.
  7. Because you will actually lose money. (See point 5).
  8. Because you’ll miss the real opportunity. The time and money you spend publishing a book will rob you of the resources that will help you discover commercially sound ways of making money.
  9. Because you’re on an ego trip. You just want to see your name on a book cover. Nothing wrong with that. Just realize that this way is one of the more cash and resource intensive ways to stroke your ego.
  10. Because you don’t have the storage space. Once you’ve actually sold – or more likely given away – a few books (100 would be ambitious), where are you going to store those endless cartons of paperbacks you now have sitting in your home office?
  11. Because you can’t sell. You hate selling. Selling books is hard work. Especially when you’ll have to do all the selling. It’s almost proverbial: you can lead a person to the book stand, or get them inspired at your free keynote speech, but you can’t make them buy.
  12. Because your ideas are lame. If you had brilliant and bankable ideas the publishers would have beaten a path to your door ages ago. Such ideas are truly few and far between.
  13. Because you took some bad advice. Those well-meaning family and friends said to you that sunny afternoon at the barbeque, “You should write a book”. They might have well have told you to flush all your ready cash down the toilet and put your life on hold for the next year.
  14. Because you’re boring. You haven’t invented a cure for cancer. You haven’t lead a country nor flown to a new planet. You haven’t even walked around the world on your hands. It’s okay to be boring. It just doesn’t sell books.
  15. Because you’re bored. The idea of becoming a published author is a lovely distraction. It’s that next shiney thing that is exciting to play with, even sounds respectable when you tell your fans, but ultimately keeps you from the real opportunities.

So there they are. Take a deep breath and enjoy the freedom you feel as you ‘unbook’ and let yourself off the hook of having to ever write a book. And then go and get rich doing something that actual makes money.

Any reasons that I may have missed? Feel free to add them in the comments section and we can add them to the list – if they are cheeky enough!

For more cheeky ideas on Business Success refer to Robin’s book, The Fortune 8.

Get motivated and commercially focused by hiring Robin Dickinson as a sales trainer, workshop facilitator or keynote speaker: Email: robin@robindickinson.com

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  1. Desolie on March 21, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Hello Robin

    A couple of days I completed the outline of a blog about that very topic.

    I don’t think people have any idea how much it will cost them, in time and money, to produce even a modest book. Some editors charge between 4 and 5 cents per word. Then there’s cover design, formatting, front and end matters, ISBN and bar code … and it hasn’t even gone to the printer yet!

    Think I’d better end my ‘rant’ and save the rest for my blog.

    My very best wishes

    • Robin Dickinson on March 23, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you Desolie. I look forward to reading your post! 🙂

  2. Madgett on March 21, 2014 at 8:06 am

    So is the answer to pitch an idea for a book and if you get that accepted by a publisher then write the book?

    • Robin Dickinson on March 23, 2014 at 9:16 pm

      Well at least ‘crap-test’ your own thinking before making such a huge commitment. 🙂

  3. Chris Manning on March 22, 2014 at 3:28 am

    Pitch then write – got it…

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. Greg Gazin on March 22, 2014 at 3:49 am

    I just finished writing a book. Corey OutSMARTs the Butterflies. I’m happy with it. I’ve sold a number already, but the purpose wasn’t to get rich, but rather to share wisdom and help young people. And so far it’s been positive.

    • Robin Dickinson on March 23, 2014 at 9:18 pm

      Well done, Greg. Clearly your purpose is non-commercial here. That is the key.

  5. Gil on March 22, 2014 at 4:54 am

    You mades some really good points! Thanks for posting.

  6. Ivor Kellock on March 22, 2014 at 4:57 am

    Brilliant post Robin – tx for writing & sharing ;-0 Ivor

    • Robin Dickinson on March 23, 2014 at 9:19 pm

      Thank you Ivor. I really appreciate your feedback. 🙂

  7. Annabel Candy, Get In the Hot Spot on March 26, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Because it’s a great way to make other people rich – as desolie says the editors, graphic designers, Amazon etc.

    Oh and by the way. I need an ego boost. What are your recommendations now in view of the unbooking advice?! 🙂

    • Robin Dickinson on March 26, 2014 at 7:06 am

      Nice one, Annabel. Yes, more cost effective ways of getting an ego boost will be another post. 😉

  8. Betsy Cross on April 11, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    This is REALLY funny! (Sorry!)

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