It takes hundreds of hours to build a quality business book. It only takes a few hours to pull together a quickie book and post it on Amazon. Why not save all that time and effort?
What’s wrong with a cutting a few corners? After all, you could be a “published author” in less than a month.
The only problem with this is that it advertises to the world: this so-called author is just checking a box, they’re not serious, and you shouldn’t expect quality work from them.
Telltale signs of the half-assed quickie book
Frankly, every potential reader can spot your half-assed quickie book a mile away. But so you can make sure you’re not mistaken for that kind of author, here’s a short list of telltale signs that an author isn’t serious.
- It’s self-published by Amazon, or the publisher has no other books, or the other books are a strange mix of memoirs of unknown people, sci-fi novels, and children’s books.
- The book has a cover that appears to be designed by a first-year design student.
- The margins are symmetrical and too small.
- The body text is sans-serif.
- It’s less than 120 pages long.
- The graphics, if any, look like they were created in PowerPoint.
- There are no case studies.
- It includes no original statistics or data.
- It’s based on ideas that have already been published by other authors.
- It has less than 20 reviews on Amazon.
- The table of contents is missing, or poorly organized.
- It’s full of typos.
- There is no index.
- There is no ebook.
- There is no audiobook.
One or two of these flaws aren’t a problem. There are plenty of excellent self-published books, for example. But taken together these qualities are telling the reader “this author just wanted to get a book out, quality be damned.”
Why you shouldn’t publish a book like this
Hey, it’s better to have written a book than to have none, right?
Think ahead. Think about what happens a little later in your career, when you are a senior executive in a growing company, or are earning seven figures from speeches and consulting.
Do you still want that half-assed quickie book floating around telling people you used to be a corner-cutting hack?
Do you think a traditional publisher considering publishing your next serious book will be impressed, or appalled, by the crappy book you published earlier?
Do you want your critics — and all serious thinkers have critics — to be waving this book around and citing it as an example of what a hack you are?
Half-assed books generate half-assed benefits . . . until they turn into a liability.
Don’t publish that quickie book. Write a few blog posts or contributed articles instead. Those might actually build your reputation, rather than hanging around to damage it later in your career.