11 Reasons Why You Should Write a How-to Book

Yesterday I wrote a post, 12 Tips for Writing a How-to Book. I thought I'd do a follow up with a post on why you should write a how-to book. Here goes, but first, consider this thought: If you think you can you can, if you think you can't you can't.

The photographs here are from our latest book on Route 66. You can order here.

1 - A paper book gives a photographer credibility, much more so than an e-book. Thousands of photographers have e-books, but only a few hundred have paper books (most of which are also available as e-books). A book also separates you from the crowd . . . of millions of photographers. A book also gives you a wonderful sense of accomplishment.

2 - A paper book is the best calling card. For example, say you want to do a trade off with a tourist office: some photos for a comp or discounted trip. Sending a paper book is much more impressive than sending a link to an e-book. Therefore, a paper book increases your chances of achieving your goal.

3 - Looking for sponsors? Well, among other things, sponsors want to know if you can spread the word about their products or services? A book is a great way to prove that you can do it.

4 - Speaking of doing it and proving it, writing a book is a lot of work. Having a book proves that you are organized and dedicated – and that a publisher believes so much in you as to invest their money in your project. When a publisher believes in you, it's easier for others to believe in you.

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5 - Speaking of getting organized, a book is an efficient way to organize your images, as well as your ideas. I've written 38 books, and I "see" the chapters and pages in my head and on my computer, so I know where to find my pictures in the book folders on my hard drive.

6 - Knowing that your images will be "set in stone" on the pages of your book, you just may work just a bit harder on your image editing. Once your book is published, there is no going back.

7 - Book publishers allow you to recycle some of the content of your book, usually around 10 percent. So, you can transform a chapter, for example, into a paid article for a magazine, and add a promo for your book at the end of the article.

That's me at the Denver IMAX. My books are on stage at the bottom right of the photo.

That's me at the Denver IMAX. My books are on stage at the bottom right of the photo.

8 - Book signings at seminars are fun! At book signings, I often say, "Sometimes, writing a book is not fun, but autographing a book is always fun!"

9 - Become an expert. There's an old expression: "If you want to become an expert at something, write a book about it." I agree. While writing my books, I did a ton of research to make sure I was providing accurate information.


10 – Compiling your images for a book is perhaps the best way to select your very best images from the thousands you have taken. You become your own photo editor, which is an important skill to acquire.

11 - And last but not least, you can "talk" to people when you're dead! :-)

Explore the light,

P.S. "What about making money," you ask? Well, as with all things in life, it depends - it depends on the quality and appeal of your book, as well your social media presence and marketing skills. Have a big name and you'll get a big advance. Have a big following on social media and sales should be good.

You may not be able to buy a top-of-the-line BMW with the profits from your book, but if it does well, you should be able to ride around in comfort in a Chevy or Ford.

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