Whatever Happened to My E-book on Home Based Business?

Wondering whether the world needs another book on home based business

The Book of Good IntentionsThis post is partly confessional and partly fishing for suggestions or advice.

Having a bout this morning of “what will I write about today?” I went to take a look at some older posts, to see if there was something I’d written previously which might do with an update.

In doing that I was taking a leaf from my own book, having spent a lot of time yesterday on another blog updating what had consistently been the most visited post since I wrote it nearly two years ago. That task took longer than I’d anticipated, partly because I had learnt a lot more about the topic and had more to share than with the original post.

So it was with a touch of trepidation that I decided today to go the whole hog here, a bit over five years back to the beginning of Thinking Home Business and the first post in August 2004. Or, as it turned out, the first post and another on the same day.

My trepidation was justified

I found that in those early posts I had declared for the blog an intention or purpose which has not eventuated.

In the first post I wrote:

… I intend to write an e-book to help people setting up and running their home based business.

Then in another post on the same day I went further:

…it is my intention for this blog to chronicle the development of the book and any related outcomes

So much for intentions.

What happened?

Or rather, why did the book not happen?

I can think of lots of reasons, including of course procrastination. But one thing that happened was that as I experimented with blogging and then became more involved in social media more broadly, my focus of attention shifted. Writing a book about doing home based business dropped off the to-do list, it seems.

Mind you, in the meantime I have authored one book and co-authored two others. But none on home based business.

What now?

Actually, the question “what now?” begs another question, which I flagged in the heading at the top of this post.

And it’s this:

Is the world ready for another book on home based business?

Or more to the point, would enough people be likely to get valuable information and insights from a book by me on the practicalities of home based business to make the project worth doing?

There is of course the excellent, comprehensive Undress for Success by Kate Lister and Tom Harnish, which I reviewed here in September. But I’m not even thinking of trying to compete with that book: as I indicated in my review it is full of valuable information and advice, and I commend it highly. But it’s not the kind of book I’m thinking of doing.

If I were to proceed now or in the near future with a book on home based business, I think I would be doing so with my coach’s hat on and with an emphasis on helping home based business owners with the “inner game” of owning and managing a business. How you (we) deal with any sense of isolation from the mainstream of business, how we deal with our own reactions to clients whose demands seem unreasonable. How we balance the big picture for our business with the daily details. And so on.

And I would be hoping to interview some people who have success stories to tell about their home based businesses and sharing some tricks of the trade.

Would there be a perceived need for that, do you think? And not to put too fine a point on it, would people be likely to pay for something like that?

Or is there another book, another topic, that would be of more interest, more useful – and yes, more saleable?

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About Des Walsh

I show business owners and other professionals how to navigate the social media maze and use LinkedIn effectively. I'm an author, speaker, business coach, social media strategist and LinkedIn specialist. Connect with me on LinkedIn, Google Plus and Twitter. And to stay in the loop, get my weekly Social Business Bites.


  1. Des, the way I see it, there might be other books, but your book will be unique because you’re writing it. There are many books on management, yet every once in awhile one person’s voice finds a way to resonate with the crowd and become a big time success.

    I say if you still have it in you go for it. Otherwise, do other things and go for them.

  2. I don’t know the answer to this question and so I won’t pretend I do. I can only say that for all those already involved in home business out there, it’s my belief that even more have thought about the possibility of getting involved. (Especially in the current economy.) I think the idea should always be to offer something that hasn’t been offered before. A different angle. A different approach. There’s no telling whether the books to date are helpful to all the people who would like to get started. Is there an open niche, a void? If so, and if small business is your passion, I say there’s always room for another voice…and for someone to say something about the same old subject that has never been said before.

  3. Hi, nice article. I have thought of writing a book for years and years. It was 10 years ago we were at the end of a journey of a wildly successful home-based business and I thought “I should write a book!”, with the next thought being “Who would care?”. It seems that in writing my blog, I do have an audience of…well…10 or so. But hey, it’s a start.

    I like writing and I intend to continue to write for my blog on a daily basis if possible. Keep writing and eventually that book’ll come out… Good luck to you.

  4. Thanks Des!

  5. Great comment, Kate

    It troubles me too, to see how much “information” about home-based business is just Scamology 101.

    That’s why one of the most valuable sections of your book Undress for Success is how to sort out the genuine home based opportunities from the rip-offs.

    (Kate’s book is linked in the post above and yes I got a review copy but it’s brilliant anyway 🙂 )

  6. I dunno about the home business book market. As you kindly pointed out, I wrote one myself. I’ve been on and off consulting with small businesses for 25 years and run three successful businesses myself. My sense is that the large majority of existing home/small business owners are either know-it-all’s or too busy to read.

    The larger audience is people who want to start a business. They tend to be sponges for information, or in many cases, misinformation–a trait that scam artists are quick to exploit.

    My advice would be to focus on very specific how-to’s, delivered in bite-size chunks. You could charge by the report, or have an all-you-can-eat subscription program.

    My own struggle is with trying to deliver good content and trying to make money at the same time. If I was willing to cross over to the dark side it would be easy. Just offer hope–that’s what seems to sell–but my conscience won’t allow that.

    What to do, what to do.

  7. Thanks Dave

    Love the “boots in the oven” analogy. I will use that!

  8. Great article Des…

    I struggled with this when I first got into online business. Do I put something out that is already widely available just to offer something? Or, do I actually want to help myself and other people get to where they want. The ironic thing is I figured out that if I want to be successful I need to help other people be successful.

    I can’t just put stuff out and try to lure people into buying it. I have to make the content valuable but at the same time make myself available and back up what I’m telling them and selling them. So I think that a book documenting what you do and what you know to be successful is a good thing.

    Putting out a “book” just to put out a book reminds me of the old saying “just because you put your boots in the oven, that don’t make them biscuits”. Thanks again for the article. It really hit home.