Why I love writing:
- It is the best form of publicity
- It is a brilliant way of getting to articulate your theories, thoughts and ideas
- It exposes you and your ideas to a wide and varied audience
- It challenges you to be clear and succinct in your argument
- It creates a platform for speaking, consulting, meeting, networking
- Nothing beats the satisfaction of holding the first copy in your own hands
Why I hate writing:
- Imposter syndrome: I fear that I will be exposed for being a shallow, inarticulate fraud
- While takes less than a week to write the body of the book, it takes weeks of nit-picky reading and re-reading till you have a version that is relatively free of minor errors and typos
- What works on stage doesn’t always translate into the written word
- Readers often love the bits I have no memory of writing. Or this is what I thought was the big message!
The literally frequently asked questions:
To self-publish or not
Anyone can self-publish and you do get what you pay for in terms of design and general feel of the finished product. Publishers create a better product, have a better understanding of the industry and suggest that you have been approved and endorsed as more than just another self-published author. I would try and get a publisher for the first book and then self-publish later.
How easy is it to self-publish?
It all depends on the skills at your disposal. How good is your writing, proof-reading, page and cover design, formatting, graphics and project management? Again, look at nearly any self-published book and wonder why it just feels and looks so amateur despite the author’s best intentions.
How long to write?
I write very quickly. I have an established voice, I have a skeleton framework and a chapter template and I already know what I want to say. 60-80,000 words might take six or seven full days. I then leave it alone for a week or so then revisit and chop and change as I feel fit. It then gets handed over to Trish to proof-read once for grammar and then again for sense through eyes of a reader. It will then get handed to an expert in the field to validate that I am not writing nonsense. It is not quite as tidy as I have made it sound.
Do you make any money?
The answer, from me, is yes. Money is made from volume sales eg 7,000 copies to an enterprise agency, or from customising the cover and foreword, 8,000 copies to an accounting firm. Because I am also a professional speaker, a book is the perfect business card that people just don’t throw away and can be sold to conference organizers, one for every delegate. However it is not enough money to retire on!
On balance, I am very lucky. I love the (intellectual) exercise of trying to write what is highly readable with a clear call to action and focus on results. The books take me places I would never have been – I have been invited to speak in Malawi, Mauritius, Botswana and Zambia because my books were top of the popularity charts at libraries? The books get me to meet more people and this fuels my ability to communicate even more.