Why Every Leader should Self-Publish a Book [Book Giveaway]

This is a guest post by my friend Tim Chan who wrote about why its important as a leader to self-publish a book.  Tim will be giving away two e-books of his new book Then Came the Baby: The Wonder, Mayhem, and Hilarity of Our First Year as Parents. To enter to the book giveaway contest, follow the three steps:
1. Subscribe to my blog (Salt+Light) by entering your email on top right side of my blog.
2. Share this blog post on your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account.
3. Leave a comment on this post on what books you’d like to write as a leader
I will randomly announce two winners by Friday, March 29 and contact them individually. Enjoy the read!

My wife and I self-published our first two books this past year. The first book has been downloaded by over 4000 people in 4 months, and has made it to Amazon’s bestseller list in its category. The second book was just released this week (and you can win a free copy).

It is my belief that every leader should self-publish their own book. Here’s why:

Your Voice is Needed

There are many people in the world that need to hear your voice and your story. Your experiences as a leader are unique, and there are others that learn much from hearing what you have to say. The problem is that many of those people will never meet you face to face. Writing a book allows people from all around the world to benefit from your experience and expertise.

A Book Influences More People

John Maxwell is famous for saying, “Leadership is influence.” As a leader, you influence the people you interact with on a daily basis, whether it is people that you work with, your friends, your family, or even acquaintances you interact with occasionally. Writing a book increases your influence, and allows you to broaden your reach. You have only so much time that you can spend with people. By writing a book, your influence is multiplied, as it is not limited by the amount of available time you have.

Writing a Book Sharpens Your Thinking

When you have to write a book, you are forced to think deeply about your experiences and articulate it in a simple and understandable way. This will sharpen your thinking and deepen your expertise.

Writing a Book Builds Your Credibility

According to Seed Magazine, only 0.1% of the world’s population has written a book (based on the year 2009). By becoming an author, you join a small minority of people in the world. Also, the world perceives authors as more credible and more of an expert. Having the distinction of being an author adds more clout to your resume.

The Barriers to Publishing are Low

26 of the Top 100 books on Amazon are self-published. Self-publishing is becoming more common and more acceptable. Gone are the days where you need to jump through hoops of having a traditional publisher accept and print your book. The cost and time to publish your eBook are minimal, which allows more people to write more books that help more people.

According to the New York Times, 81% of Americans believe they have a book in them. Yet so few actually write that book. If you’re a leader, I urge you to seriously consider writing and publishing a book. Don’t wait for a publisher to choose you, self-publish and let the world hear your voice.

Acover-finalbout the author:

Tim is a cheerful pessimist and always thinking. He proposed to his wife Olive with a goat (and no diamond ring). He and his wife’s first book, Fight With Me: How We Learned to be Married, has been an Amazon Best Seller in its category. They recently released their second book, Then Came the Baby: The Wonder, Mayhem, and Hilarity of Our First Year as Parents. Tim and Olive blog together at www.timandolive.com and live with their daughter near Vancouver, BC.


  • DS

    A cheerful pessimist – nice! Here are a few things I’ve got within me to share: you are created jaw-dropping talent; the power of surrounding yourself with good stuff; words of encouragement for the adoptive family.

    • Those all sound like interesting books!

  • I believe I am part of the 81%. What percentage believe there a few books in them though? I’d like to write at least one novel, one non-fiction book, and one children’s book. Hopefully each of them will be as powerful as the Butter Battle Book by Dr. Seuss!!

    • I hope you write all 3 books Justin!

  • Pingback: The Inside Scoop on Self-Publishing a Book | Tim and Olive()

  • I agree with you, Tim, writing a book should sharpen the author’s thinking and may indeed influence others and affect the leader’s credibility. Sometimes that influence and shift in credibility may be negative.

    As a passionate student and practitioner of worthy leadership, I served my time as a business consultant, motivational speaker, and successful horse trainer. I am also the author of four books (to date.) The best leaders are effective in two areas, (1) accomplishing goals and (2) building faith and confidence in those who follow their lead.

    Not all leaders are great speakers or gifted writers. My education continues daily, and hopefully my ability to share it in print improves as well. But I am still far more effective in person than on paper.

    Leaders should be very careful about publishing a book if they are not accomplished writers. Credibility is easily lost by errors in grammar, spelling, poor design, and cumbersome language.

    With more than a million titles published annually there is no shortage of books. Great leaders know what they should be doing and how they should be doing it. If and when a gifted leader feels a book will serve their followers, he (or she) will write it.

    • You make a valid point Lynn. At the heart of your argument is what is commonly known as strength-based leadership. Writing can be served as a tool for amplifying your leadership but again it goes back to whether or not writing is one of those strengths in your leadership repertoire. However, as a believer in the 10,000 hours rule, with ordinary talent coupled with extraordinary persistence, I believe a leader is able to write a decent if not excellent book. The deeper question I believe is “why is he or she trying to write a book?” I think sometimes, writing may not be the best or most appropriate way. A leader can use a plethora of other leadership tools (aligned with his/her strengths) that may yield a better so-called return on investment. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this matter Lynn!

  • One of my favorite quotes by Andy Stanley, pastor of a church in Atlanta, is “Leadership is Stewardship; it is Temporary, and YOU are Accountable”. I love books that are written from firsthand experience. For example, the book “It’s Your Ship” is a great book of a persons account of leadership, and how he changed. That would be the type of book I would like to someday write.