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Why would you write a book in 2023?

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
2 min read

It doesn’t make much sense to write a book in 2023 — especially a nonfiction book.

In fact, your readers would likely pay 10X as much to get the same information in a video-based course. But, for many reasons, some of us still prefer creating books over any other medium.


  1. Books have an end. It’s rare for a creator to reach an “end” to anything these days. Books have a clear, physical end.
  2. Books have a clear and easy-to-understand offer. The reader knows they can pay for it once, keep it, read it, and share it.
  3. Books are a clearer offer for the seller as well. While it’s true that most writers could make more money from other forms of media, some have a greater chance of profiting from the larger audiences, with a wider distribution of messaging, that a book offers. This is why professional speakers, consultants, financial experts, and lawyers choose to create books first. The chance for the upsell to their services (which are far more expensive than a course) is greater with a book. Why not just give that content away for the upsell? Because…
  4. Books are weighty. Books have both gravitas and physical heft. The general public still understands that publishing a book is hard work. If you have a book, it’s proof you’ve run a gauntlet that is not to be taken lightly. It’s gotten so a politician isn’t considered a true contender for a weighty position without having written (or have had ghostwritten) a book (that is then usually used as a funnel for dark money, of course).
  5. Books are the royalty of text. Text is the starting point for every idea in publishing. It may be a book idea now, but it could be a course, talk, movie, or anything else a year from now. Text is foundational. You can always do more, but why not share the foundation?
  6. Books are clarified thoughts. Writing clearly is thinking clearly. A book is an unforgiving constraint in this way. Half-ass ideas do not survive long in book world.
  7. Books are slow. Slow productivity works. As crazy-making as the authoring process may be, it is not the multitasking, inhuman craziness of modern knowledge work. It’s focused. It’s a crazy of your own choosing, which makes it much more sane.
  8. Books contain multitudes. After a book is complete, it can become a physical book, ebooks (in many formats), an audiobook, a podcast series, a newsletter series, YouTube videos, blog posts, or social media posts — all translated into any language. This is also all automated now by AI (including the audio/video). Extra work is encouraged, but not required. This means every completed book is now 10,000+ pieces of content that can be used to spread your message (or just help you sell).
  9. Books last. Most everything else is forgotten.
  10. Books put your best foot forward. Yes, it takes a long time to create, edit, and publish a book. But that quality makes for the best possible introduction to new clients, bosses, friends…anyone. It’s a great relationship starter.