Why Books Still Matter to Idea Entrepreneurs

Beautiful_BooksDo you own the work of an idea entrepreneur that’s published in several formats—book, audio or video programs with workbooks, or recordings of live presentations?

Compare the content of each format. Which one offers the idea entrepreneur’s material in its most depth and detail?

Answer: The book.

The book’s greatest limitation—its relentless linearity—is also its greatest strength.

Books consist of one sentence that follows another. One paragraph that follows another. One page that follows another. Those sentences, paragraphs, and pages better connect.

And there better be enough pages, or readers won’t consider it a real book. (Do you know anybody who’s still willing to pay $25 for a 25-page ebook?)

The prevailing expectations for coherence, length, and substance are why books still matter. Writing a book forces you to develop your ideas in depth.

Other people make this point better than me. For example, see this long and fascinating post by Ben Casnocha on the process of writing a best-selling business book.

And as John Butman notes in his seminal book Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas:

… a nonfiction book is the most natural home and comfortable haven for the complete expression of an idea. Unlike a video, blog, an article, or a long talk, a book can contain a nuanced and extended argument, relate a complex and detailed narrative, and house a huge amount of accumulated material, as no other form of expression can.