Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker, PharmD
Alex Barker is the founder of The Happy PharmD, which helps pharmacists create an inspiring career, break free from the mundane “pill-flipping” life. He is a Full-time Pharmacist, Media Company founder, franchise owner, Business Coach, Speaker, and Author. He's also the Founder of Pharmacy School HQ, which helps students get into pharmacy school and become residents.

Why Every Pharmacist Should Consider Writing a Book in the New Year

DECEMBER 27, 2016

The New York Times reported that 81% of Americans want to write a book. That means that more than 250 million people want to write a book—and yet, less than 1% of those people actually do.

 

Writing books is a great way to open new doors, or open the doors that currently might be closed to you. I’m going to share 6 ways that writing books has opened doors for me and other pharmacists:

 
  1. Extra income.

 

Tony Guerra, a fellow pharmacist, blogger and YouTuber, once told me during an interview that he was able to secure a few thousand dollars by reviewing books for pharmacy technicians and contributing to the books. Big publishing companies want pharmacy experts in the field to report on standard practices. This is a great way to get started with book writing—and to be paid up-front—for your expertise.

 

Dr. Thomai Dion, a writer of children’s science books and a pharmacist, started writing her own books because of a need she saw in the marketplace. She looked all over for a book that would engage her young child and expand his curiosity about the world of science. As a pharmacist, she knew that she wanted to teach her son some of the things that she's passionate about and interested in. Her books have opened new doors for her and resulted in speaking engagements and additional income.

 

I have written quite a few books. In the world the pharmacy, I wrote Master the PCAT Essay, which was fulfilling the needs of kids who needed help passing the essay portion of the PCAT. We all remember what that was like many years ago, and there wasn’t a whole lot of great information out there on the PCAT Essay. So, I decided to compile my thoughts, notes, and expert reviews on how to write a great essay and geared it toward English as a second language students.

 

I invested about 15 hours in writing my PCAT Essay book. I hired an editor, a cover designer and someone to publish it on Amazon. During the past 2 years, I've made more than $1,400—which works out to about $100 an hour. I found that writing this book was easy, and also a great earning opportunity.

 
  1. Establish credibility.

 

You can easily become an expert on any subject. The old saying goes that you’re an expert if you live 100 miles away from anyone.

 

An expert online is simply someone who has read more, studied more, and practiced more than the average person. If you feel like you need to establish credibility in a certain area, you should do some research and write a summary. You don't necessarily need to sell this summary; you can give it away for free online just by building a simple, easy website for anyone who is interested in learning more.

 

Let's say you're a student and you want to become a resident in the world of managed care. Well, why not write a book compiling all of your notes and thoughts with the goal of helping other students? Because you were already a student, compiling it into an easy-to-read format rather than a boring academic book should be a no-brainer for you.

 

You don't even have to claim to be an expert on your chosen subject. You can simply write a book by compiling your expert notes. Hundreds of authors over the years have done this to establish credibility in a range of subject areas.

 

For example, Gary Keller, founder of one of the world's largest real estate agencies, interviewed more than 100 real estate agents and investors when writing his books. Even though he was extremely successful in this area, he interviewed other people to validate what he thought it took to become a successful real estate agent. This established credibility could push your career forward in a new direction and could even open up a completely new job field to you.

 
  1. Everyone has 20 minutes a day.

 

My good friend Azul Terronez helps busy people publish their books. He’s told me multiple times that everyone has 20 minutes every single day to work on their book. That's all it takes—20 minutes a day.

 

Writing your book in 20-minute increments will help you get better at writing. Even though a lot of people complain about writer's block, it's really just an excuse to not write. Your writing doesn't have to be perfect. It can be terrible. It can be awful. But, you can work to improve it over time.

 

If you establish the habit of writing every single day, you are making progress toward writing your big book. The easiest way to get started is to create the habit of writing every single day, no matter what.

 
  1. It could lead to a new job.

 

Blair Thielemier wrote a book about how to start a pharmacy consulting business. She compiled all of her knowledge about what she did to start her own consulting business and created a book about it. Then she sold it on Amazon.

 

Sharing her expertise has led to new jobs for her and has cultivated a following of people who look to her as an expert in this field and often ask her questions. Now, she's creating more and more content and ideas for how to grow her own consultancy business.

 
  1. It could lead to speaking engagements or consulting opportunities.

 

Whenever you have the ability to speak in front of others and educate them about certain topics, new opportunities arise for you to use and apply your knowledge.

 

I once spoke at a leadership conference for pharmacy students. That opportunity only came because I had written quite a bit about leadership, especially for millennials. Although I hadn’t written a book about the subject, I did have the opportunity to write quite a bit on my own personal blog several years ago.

 

By writing down my thoughts in my blog and making it known that I was a pharmacist writing about leadership, I was identified as someone who could help other people improve in that area. You can do the same thing. Write about what you're learning. Be vulnerable and share what's in your heart and on your mind.

 
  1. It's great fun.

 

There's nothing like watching other people enjoy your work—and raving about it. Giving back to the world with something that you've created is one of the greatest enjoyments in life. Albeit, if you’ve put your book on Amazon, you may need to deal with a few haters here and there who give you bad reviews.

 

But, on the bright side, you potentially could help a lot of people who will send you their appreciative feedback. There’s nothing in the world like receiving an email from someone halfway across the world who says your book helped them.

 

If you have a big book idea, I would love it if you would reach out to me by going to alexbarker.co/spark. Or you can find me on Twitter at @itsalexbarker. I'd love to talk with you and help you to begin writing your own book.

 


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