Five reasons why freelance writers should write an e-book

A version of this article was originally published in Indian Freelance Writers.

Thou shalt now be pronounced author—ever wanted to hear that about you?

Of course you have. As a freelance writer you’ve written a lot for your clients, written a lot for your blog, and you have plans to write an e-book someday but life keeps getting in.

You have to acquire more clients, moderate comments, reply to e-mails, look after your family, go to the market, and hence writing that e-book keeps getting pushed down in your To-do list.

You think you’ll write the book when you’ll get some time but you never get that time.

I know, I know. That has happened to me.

One fine day I sat down to write my book but didn’t complete the work. I couldn’t.

I was working on a full time job of content writer which was quite demanding and the weekends were spent resting. Though I did work whenever I could find time, it wasn’t enough.

It took me about one and a half year of intermittent work just to complete the first draft! And a further three months to refine, redraft, and re-edit it.

You can download the final version of my book Concision for free to see how it looks now.

To cut the long story short, I understand how long and tedious a book writing process is. And if you don’t have a strong reason or a good motivation to pursue it, you will lose heart and won’t complete the book.

In this article I intend to give you some reasons and motivations to complete that draft which is collecting dust in your hard drive.

1. It’s the holy grail of publishing

There is something in the title “Author” which commands respect.

No matter how many articles you have written, how many guest posts you’ve published on top notch publications, how many words you’ve ghost written for your clients, nothing beats it when people know you as an author.

Irrespective whether you are self-publishing your book or going with a traditional publisher, if you have completed and published a book then you can attach the author title in your bio.

2. It’s about authority

A PhD is not the only way to demonstrate your expertise on a topic. You can do so by writing a book too.

And it’s not only about showing off to other people. After writing a book you will find that you know the subject in a better, more comprehensive way.

You’ll come across some points you wouldn’t have thought about before requiring you to do research; you’ll start getting new ideas to present the topic; and you will come away having more knowledge on the topic than you had before you sat down to write.

3. It’s what people prefer

If you have several articles on the same topic, you can bundle all of them into a nice little PDF, hire a designer to create a cover, and voila! You have just created a book for yourself.

There are many bloggers who do this all the time. Some even convert hundreds of their old articles into book form and sell them in the market. And guess what? People actually pay for that information which they can freely read on their blog.

One good example of this is the Problogger Book. This book is nothing more than a collection of old blog posts of Darren Rowse and Chris Garret. Yet Wiley published it and people paid to buy it. I know I did.

Why so?

Because people still prefer books. Or at least many people do. Which leads me to …

4. It’s about reaching more people

If you have a blog you would know how difficult it is to retain people’s attention.

When you publish a new blog post, when it is displayed above the fold on your home page, the post will get all the visibility, shares, and comments it can get.

But after a few days have passed, the post will get buried in your other articles and will be no more than an entry in your archives.

However if you convert your old articles into an e-book, you can (just count):

  1. Put the banner image of the book in your right side bar and ask people to download it.
  2. Ask your readers to share the e-book with their friends through e-mail. (Ensure the file-size is not big enough if you are taking this route.)
  3. Give that e-book as an incentive to e-mail subscribers.
  4. Self-publish it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple, etc.
  5. Upload it on a torrent site. (Piracy is not the enemy of the artist, obscurity is.)
  6. You get the idea.

Thus you won’t just increase the reach of your brand but will also let your old blog posts see the light of the day again.

5. It’s about evergreen income

Any entrepreneur worth his salt will tell you that you should never depend upon a single source of income. This is the business equivalent of not putting all your eggs in the same basket.

It’s true for any business and freelance writing is no exception. Writing, by the way, is a business.

So it’s not wise to depend on your freelance writing clients only to generate an income. Writing a book is one way to diversify your income.

Another good thing about it is that it allows you to collect the royalties one month, one year, or even fifty years after the book is published. Work once, earn forever.

Are you writing a book? Facing any problems? Tell me about it in the comments below.

(Image courtesy of Ryan McGuire at Gratisography)

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