Most of the sports clients who come to me to find out how to write and publish a book have left the game for one reason or another. Many left the game due to one crushing injury that ended their playing days. For some, it was the constant erosion of their bodies, battered and bruised from the beautiful yet brutal game of football. For others, it was simply time to stop because the game had run its course in their lives.
Whatever the reason, by the time they come to me, their financial resources are depleted yet they desperately need to revive their brand and reputation. They didn’t realize they’d become so invisible. So obscure. And it happened so fast.
This is why you as an athlete need to write and publish your book WHILE you’re still playing! While you still have money.
Thinking about having someone ghostwrite their book, or writing a book themselves and self-publishing was probably the farthest thing from your mind when you were playing. The I’ll do it when I retire or It’s not that important right now or It’ll take too much time mentality will come back to bite you in the butt a few years later when your pockets are full of nothing but lint and your entourage is long gone. Believe me, I’ve heard the stories.
There are 5 main reasons why you as an athlete need to write and publish your book while you’re still playing.
1. Leverage Your Sports Career. This is it…this opportunity will not come again to play at a high level. Oh, you may coach or go into broadcasting, but playing? Nah. What you have is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Real estate people say, “Location, location, location.” I say “leverage, leverage, leverage.” You’re the one who can visit your local restaurant manager and get a banquet room when there are no banquet rooms for you and some buddies in exchange for some game tickets. Voila! You’ve just made a serious business connection while making a restaurant manger very, very happy. Likewise, write and publish your book when your name and position on the field or court is “a thing.”
2. Strengthen Your Personal Brand. This one’s pretty obvious. If you can get endorsement deals while you’re playing to strengthen your personal and player brand, why not write and publish your book so your brand stays strong? There is prestige in being a published author, especially a bestselling published author! There’s also a wonderful feeling of satisfaction in knowing your knowledge and wisdom is available to the global community.
3. Tell Your Story of Guts and Glory. Fans love this stuff! They want to know what you were thinking and feeling during miraculous victories and crushing defeats. They want to know about what you learned, the pitfalls you overcame, and what you’re doing now. They really do care.
…when you’re playing.
4. Boost Your Post-Sports-Career Speaking Revenue. Most of the former athletes I’ve talked to either already have or want to use speaking as an income source after their sports career is over. When you speak at schools, corporations, non-profits, and team clubs, it’s an added bonus when you say you’re a published author and that you’ll autograph books after your speech.
5. Monetize Your Future. After I talk with potential clients on Zoom, I always send them my 20 Ways to Monetize Your Book. Ideas include speaking, workshops, workbooks, mastermind groups, business retreats, and leadership camps based on their book content. Of course these ideas work the best for principles-based books and not memoirs. I also tell my clients that a book will NOT make them rich…it’s how they leverage their book that will produce additional income streams.
There you have it. If you’re a current athlete or know someone who is, please share this blog post with them. I want to see you thrive and prosper in your post-career!