“Writing comes more easily if you have something to say.”
- Sholem Asch
A book is always more than just a book. Writing a book could direct the course of your career for the rest of your life. It could lead to infinitely important connections, multiple revenue streams, spin off products, breakthrough ideas, and international relations. It would definitely send more business your way. It could pay for a trip to Maldives or just pay the rent. It could change one person’s life for the better. Or it could start a revolution.
I know what it’s like to get to the finish line. I’ve done it many times – on my own and with my clients. I’ve worked with and inspired top entrepreneurs with big vision as we slam dunk deadlines to birth the books of their dreams. When you hold your printed book in your hands, or when you see it glowing in full colour on screen for the first time, it’s an incredible feeling. The smoothness of the cover, the page numbers, the accent font. Your name. On. The. Cover. It’s enchanting, mesmerising, like a unicorn. And then it seeps in. This is your work. Your life’s work. Your big idea. Your bread ‘n butter. Ten to thirty thousands words coherently strung together to somehow, some way have an effect on someone, somewhere. You did it! Pop the champagne :)
To thrive in this business, you need passion, bucket-loads of it! Otherwise, you will never get over the inertia, fear, gruelling writing, mind-numbing editing and rejections. Here’s the good news: publishers are constantly trolling for dreams and good ideas, for the next great book. Their jobs depend on it. They need you as much as you need them. So try this mindset on for size (repeat it out loud every time you pull up to your keyboard): “Publishers are praying for me to show up. My work is the answer to their prayers.” Do it…and see the difference!
Whether you’re writing a memoir you only want your children to read, outlining a breakthrough formula, or crafting a self-help book on living or working smarter, I believe you’ve got wisdom to share. The world needs what you’ve got to give.
It is a crazy, amazing time to be involved in the world of publishing. The Chinese saying, “May you live in interesting times,” is so apt for this industry. Anybody who tells you that they know where publishing is going can only be half right - some parts of the business are moving at light speed, some players are stuck in the Stone Ages. One thing is certain: everyone in the industry is hustling to keep up with the change. Few people have yet to get in front of it.
This book is not about the future of publishing. I am not here to make predictions about whether print books will be around in five years (okay, I say absolutely!), or how the publishing industry will shift. I am here to help you make a great book now and get it out tothe world. Whether your book will live on an e-reader, a shelf in the bookstore or library, you need to hatch a plan. No matter your packaging and delivery mechanism, books will always need to run on the rails of a development strategy. Form. Function. Value. Beauty.
In this blog, I’m going to flow back and forth between print books and digital books, traditional deals and web-based publishing. I’ll talk about bolstering your online presence as much as I’ll talk about crafting a book proposal that wins. And here’s why: because getting a deal and creating a revenue-generating product, depends as much on being visible to your audience as it does on the merit of your idea or your talent. Who will know about your amazing book if you can’t even be found on Google? The function and the form are inseparable. We are living in a holographic atmosphere in terms of idea production and broadcasting. Raising your platform is all part of the Plan.
Here’s the deal: I am going to walk you through every single element that makes up an entire book proposal. From the hook page to how you describe your audience. Heck, I’ll even share with you examples from my own personal clients that led to published books! I am aiming to give you more than you need, while not being exhaustive (which is exhausting to read). Armed with real-deal examples + essential insight from experts + a range of examples that will fit your situation and/or allow you to see more direct paths to your success, you’ll be good to go. For one book. Or a series.
There will be a lot of experience packed into this blog. Seven years to be precise – this is my entire publishing existence packed into a concise (and hopefully) webpage-turner. Expertise and blood, sweat and tears. Memoir and non-fiction. New talent and legends. Details and empires. My blog posts will be designed to get you thinking strategically and systemically, micro and macro, about what you’re creating and putting out into the world.