I asked the question contained in the title of this post in a community I moderate on Google+ (Consultant Exchange– join us if you are a coach or consultant)
Somewhat predictably answers fell into two camps – those with a book said yes it was very helpful and meaningful to their business. Those without a book said no they didn’t think it was necessary and that a well written blog might be more important.
In my business having a book (and now three) made a significant difference in terms of creating more speaking, branding and consulting opportunities. Now, a key measure in the equation is that these books are well regarded and sold well enough to stand on their own – but there’s no question my books have led to a bigger brand for Duct Tape Marketing.
I posed the same question to my friend Guy Kawasaki and his take was a little more reserved – “Writing a book to open other opportunities is the wrong reason to write a book. You should write a book because you have something to say or are passionate about promoting a cause or idea.”
Kawasaki has written twelve books, including the just released APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur – How to Publish a Book. Kawasaki wrote the book to reveal everything he’s learned along the way as an author and entrepreneur with the added lessons gained from publishing his last two books without the aid of the traditional publishing machine.
APE is meant to introduce the concept of “artisinal publishing” as a powerful avenue for anyone wishing to get their message heard in the form of a book much like an artist practicing and promoting their craft might do.
As someone that’s written several books I can tell you that if you have a desire to write a book, but have no desire to publish on your own, the section on writing a book is worth the money. If you do plan to write and publish your own work the guidance on the very specific elements of editing, formatting and submitting digital books is a gold mine.
I do believe that we have come to a point where honing and communicating a specific point of view is an essential practice in the worlds of coaching, consulting and marketing and a book is one format to do so.
More importantly perhaps is that you practice your craft in a way that allows you to gain the experience and insight needed to construct a point of view worth sharing – do that and you’re on your way to writing that book.