Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Should You Tell Everyone You’re Writing a Book?

There is a school of thought that says if you’ve decided you want to write a book, you should announce it publicly. The logic behind this strategy is that when you tell other people you’re going to write a book, you’re basically assembling an unofficial accountability team. These are the people who are going be watching your progress. The fact that your progress is being “monitored” provides an added incentive for you to sit down and get to work.  

Before you buy into this strategy though, think about what else gets set in motion. If you announce your goals to others, you are putting yourself in a position to be judged, and possibly even publicly shamed if you’re book doesn’t appear on Amazon within each person’s arbitrarily determined time frame.

  • What happens if you write slower than the people who know you’re writing a book think you should be writing?
  • What happens if life gets in the way and you have to stop writing?
  • What happens if, with all the best intentions in the world, you sit down to start writing and just don’t have a clue about how or where to begin?

Needless to say, I am not a fan of this strategy. Everybody should have goals, and writing a book is an extremely valuable and worthwhile goal. It’s just that while most experts know their content inside and out, they aren’t professional writers, and the process of transferring someone’s knowledge from their head onto the page requires a very different skill-set.
The one time this strategy is a good idea is when you’re within two to three months of the book’s publication date, and you’re telling people about it to build some buzz. By this point, your book is written, and it’s both exciting and inspiring when you get to say things like, “I just saw the cover for the first time and it looks great” or “I’m putting together a launch team for people who want to get a preview of my book before it’s released on Amazon.”
Fortunately, there is something you can do to set yourself up for writing success before you write one word of your book—create an outline. If you go to any of the books on Amazon about writing non-fiction books, creating an outline is one of the first things they tell you to do, regardless of whether their book proclaims that you can write and publish your book in 9 days, 21 days, or 2 months.
You can further set yourself up for success by enlisting the help of an editor or book coach to make sure your outline is succinct enough to result in a book that does a great job of sharing your expert information, knowledge, ideas, and wisdom in a way that successfully meets your audience’s needs.
If I can be of any assistance in helping you set yourself up for writing success—even if it’s just to answer questions—I’m here.  Valerie@ValerieUtton.com


  1. Good article Valerie. Definitely tell people you are writing a book and get a good editor!

  2. Interesting point of view. I say if your acquaintances are shaming you, get different ones!