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What Kind of Author Are You? 3 Types

There Are Those Who Dream, Don't and Do

Writing a book has been a bucket list item for many people for many years. In the past, writing and publishing a book set authors apart, elevating them in street credibility, esteem and as connoisseurs of their trade or topic. The same is true today, however, the barrier to entry has been removed with the advent of self-publishing. Even better, reader attention span has decreased, so there’s no longer an expectation that a book has to be 80,000 words or more.

Books remain an invaluable, yet affordable, tool for learning and entertaining. Readers still love to be engaged in the author’s eye-view, to be inspired, wow’ed and intrigued. They would love to jump into your skin, feel what you feel, and benefit from you story.


  • Most people who say they “should” or “want” to write a book, never do.
  • Most people who begin writing a book, never finish.
  • Most people never write a book because they just don’t believe anyone will care.

In my experience, and this may be overgeneralizing, there three types of authors:

  1. The Dreamers — Many people fall into this category because they dream of having their story published and read by millions of people and becoming an overnight sensation. Or perhaps they have more modest expectations, but still would dream of checking off “write a book” from their bucket list. They see the value. They tell others that someday they will write their book. They believe it will help others. They sincerely want to do it, but they don’t. They continue to kick the can down the road, dreaming of a day when all the stars will align and they will finally make it happen.
  2. The Don’ts — These folks don’t dream of writing a book, but believe they have a story or information that would be very helpful. They just don’t have the time, know how or have the desire to write a book. Although whatever knowledge they have to share may be critical to someone else, the don’ts just don’t prioritize it ahead of virtually anything else. They’ve been told they should write a book, but they shrug their shoulders.
  3. The Do’ers — Obviously, the doers get down and do it. They “figure it out” on their own regardless of taking bumps and bruises along the way. They see the opportunity and believe in their message, and they go for it. There’s nothing holding them back, except themselves. They charge forward until they’ve achieved their goal. They make it happen.

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being any of these types. But what may surprise you is the majority of my ghostwriting and book coaching clients fall into Type No. 2. That’s right, they don’t write a book — until, that is, they ask for my help.

I would love to help more dreamers and doers because I am 100% confident I could help them be more effective and efficient. It just happens so often the dreamers never commit, and the doers are off and running without asking for professional guidance. The “Don’ts” flip over when they see:

The Opportunity — Most books today are self-published, and can be accomplished in less than six months with around 90 days or so devoted to actual writing — if that. Of those 90 days, only an hour or so daily is used for writing. The opportunity is created, with a little hard work, to build their business, credibility and expand on their knowledge and customer base. The book can become an exit plan of sorts, or career Plan B. It can lead to something greater, and so they decide the opportunity outweighs other perceived reasons NOT to write a book.

The ROI — The bottom line is self-published books earn incredibly high profit margins. Whereas traditional publishers may offer a 2-5% royalty, self-published books earn 75-90% profit. Plus, books are products with a never-ending life cycle. They will always be available to earn extra cash with the right promotional support. Books can become like exploded business cards, or the “backstory” that helps explain to potential customers all about their business, product or methods. It’s more than a website because websites are so contriving to get clicks, whereas books are meant to be experienced. Add an online course, and now the book offers even more value. Simply put, the return-on-investment is too good to pass up.

The Ease — You don’t have to be a Shakespeare to write a book. Just start with a premise and a promise, and readers will want to know more. With tools like Rev, you can record your thoughts, have them transcribed, and edit the material into a book. You can tag-team with a ghostwriter or editor or book coach too, which makes things go faster, easier and better. Today’s readers don’t need a super long book anymore. Thin is in. Handbooks with know-how can be 10,000 words. Memoirs can be 30,000. More in-depth books can be 40,000-80,000. Don’t let word-count fool you. In this case, more is not always better. The right length is what it takes to tell your story without boring the reader.

And, that’s what I want to avoid going any longer here…

So, I’ll end with this — Regardless what type of author you are, you can begin with a short little course I’ve created that answers the most common challenges authors face. I’m offering it until Sept. 1, so check it out here.

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David Jahr, APR is a distinguished ghostwriter and public relations (PR) master reforming health through the mind, body and soul. He has worked with four New York Times best-selling authors, brands, and related websites. He has also received an ESPY Award nomination for “Most Inspirational Sports Story of the Year” by ESPN. David has helped write and/or launch 15 books and more than 100 blogs about physical, mental and spiritual health.