I work on the fringes of the publishing industry. Our clients are authors and looking to build a following so they can spread their ideas and change the world. It is very satisfying work to be part of helping someone reach more people with their art and ideas.
And, of course, the question gets asked of me from time to time:
“Have you written a book yet?”
On one hand, it completely makes sense that I should have a book or at least be working on one. I know a lot of great book agents and editors at the big publishing firms. I know plenty of great authors that would share their contacts with me and endorse the book. I also am the creator of the Instant Bestseller Formula so I know a thing or two about launching a book.
So why haven’t I written a book?
I don’t have anything worth saying yet.
Publishing a book now is easier than ever. Editors are more accessible and they are more desperate than ever to sell books. And if you want to skip the whole trade publishing process, you can self-publish your book and have it for sale in the biggest book store in the world in a matter of weeks.
However, just because the tools exist does not mean you should use them.
Earlier this century everything changed with the advent of blogging software. All of a sudden you didn’t have to rely on a handful of geeks that knew how to put content online. You could do it yourself free and easy. Fast forward a few years and the number of ways to publish your content are more than you could ever keep up with.
But If I take a cursory glance at how they are being used by a lot of people, I come to the same conclusion:
Just because the tools exist does not mean you should use them.
Even if you take out the clearly horrid things that people accomplish by spreading their bigotry and hate, so many of the tools are used for vapid and useless things. Facebook is used as a narcissistic cry to the universe to prove that you are interesting and matter. Twitter is used to spew useless drivel 140 characters at a time. “Internet marketers” start dozens of blogs and post thousands of words of worthless content in the hopes of gaming the system and making a few bucks.
And we have all read a least a few books that should have never been allowed to reach the light of day.
I haven’t published a book yet because I don’t have anything worth saying yet. When I start thinking through what I could write, my mind immediately goes to what a published book could do for my career, speaking rate and social status.
Until I’m writing a book for the people that are going to read it, instead of for myself, I’m not going to do it.
The tools exist. They are there, easily accessible, for you to use. If you’re reading this, odds are you are using at least a couple of them. So what are you using them for? Merely to make a few bucks? To prove to yourself and the world that you exist?
Or, are you trying to make the world a better place by putting your art and ideas out for all to see?
April 14, 2011