Write A Book In A Weekend?

Posted by Doug Davidoff

Sep 11, 2008 4:33:23 AM

The hits keep coming.  Recently I wrote about the bad idea called Salesconx that lets people put their trusted relationships up for auction.  Today, someone sent me a link for something equally deserving of criticism – Write A Book In A Weekend.

Yup, in one weekend (and for $97), you can have a book that (in the words from the website) can:

    • Get more of the highly coveted clients you desire

    • Charge higher fees—even as much as quadrupling your current asking price

    • Establish your expertise overnight—expertise that you don’t have to explain because no one will question you

    • Speak volumes about your professional knowledge and credibility—24 hours a day, 7 days a week!

I have written or co-written five books, four of which have been self-published.  I am also in the process of marketing a book idea to publishers.  Some may claim that I’m just “old school” trying to keep people out of my "club."  Others may claim that as someone who is self-published, I’m merely the “pot calling the kettle black.”

Let me be clear – I’m a big fan off authoring books (and blogs), and I endorse the idea of self-publishing (obviously).  I also don’t have a problem with ghost-written books (some of the best books in the world have been ghost written and my company, Imagine, provides ghost writing services).  The problems I have with this idea are:

    • It’s a fake promise – there’s no way someone is going to be able to write a book that will deliver results in a weekend, and they shouldn’t even try.  The focus of the offer:

A fill-in-the-blanks book template, already designed in “book format,” so you can craft your book in a matter of hours. (Remember the word game “mad lib?” It’s a lot like that!).

That’s the author’s words – not mine.

    • It adds meaningless noise to what is already a crowded and noisy marketplace.

    • It treats customers as unsuspecting at best, and stupid at worst.  The idea that merely because your name is on a "book", you become immediately transformed into an expert commanding "4 times what you used to charge" is absurd.  It is true that authors get treated to (at times) unreasonably favorable treatment.  The reason is because writing and publishing a book is hard work.  It's like a college degree - it doesn't necessarily prove that your capable, but it does provide a degree of separation from those who don't have it.

I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes of all-time.  Former heavyweight champion, Joe Louis, once said, “Everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die.”  Just yesterday after making a presentation to CEOs, I was asked how hard implementing a particular idea would be.  I responded by saying that anything easy doesn’t provide any value or advantage because everybody is doing it.

Look, I understand building thought leadership is hard.  Randy Pausch, in his famous The Last Lecture talked about “brickwalls.”  He said brickwalls of there for a reason – to keep those people who don’t really want something out.  Brickwalls are your advantage – stop trying to bypass them.

So if you want to write a book (or do anything else), I encourage you to do it.  But, give it the time that it deserves – and stop looking for shortcuts.  You’ll be happier with the result.

Topics: Performance