Who Me, Write a Book?

“Why should I write a book? There are so many others out there already. How can I possibly have anything new to say on the topic?”

This is probably one of the most frequent objections I hear from would-be authors, many times leaders in their fields who have been urged to think about writing a book. They ask, What do I have to contribute that someone else hasn’t already?

inspira-10-6-2016To a certain extent, this is true. There probably IS someone somewhere who has already said what you have to say. As they say, there is very little new under that sun. But, that being said, no one else will say it quite like you! And no one else has the unique audience you have.

All of us have a “tribe,” a group of people that looks to us for direction, insight, wisdom, authority, or “how to” on a particular topic. Your tribe may be small (e.g., your family). It may be medium size (say, you are a community leader or you own a small business or pastor a congregation, etc.). Or, your “tribe” may be large (e.g., you are a thought leader in your industry, a well known professional athlete, or a celebrity in one regard or another). Whatever the size and scope of your sphere, these are people for whom you are uniquely positioned with something to offer. This is why your book, no matter what the topic, will have something unique to offer your particular tribe.

What does your tribe want to hear from you? They look to you for:

  • how to/teaching on a particular topic
  • encouragement
  • your perspective
  • direction
  • life wisdom
  • your story (ies) or experience(s)

Having a particular demographic in mind makes writing a book a whole lot more meaningful and compelling. Plus, identifying your own tribe is helpful for a number of reasons:

  1. It helps clarify your target audience (helpful for marketing your book, and/or in submitting it to an agent or publisher if you choose to traditionally publish your book)
  2. It sets you up as a thought leader in your industry or area of expertise
  3. It can be a powerful marketing tool for your business, program, or product
  4. It can be an effective motivator for the discipline of writing since you’re writing with real people in mind

So, if you’re contemplating (or in the process of) writing a book, ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is my tribe?
  • For what kind of information, insight, encouragement, or expertise do they look to me?
  • How am I already delivering that to them?
  • How could a book in hand make that process simpler or more satisfying?
  • How could writing a book get my message to more people?
  • How could that impact my business, product, or program?
  • What steps should I take now that I’ve identified my tribe and what they need from me?

Chances are, there is an audience just waiting to hear your message, uniquely from you! And a book is one of the best ways to deliver it.

Arlyn Lawrence is a developmental editor and the founder of Inspira Literary Solutions. She has written and published books of her own, but gets considerably more joy out of helping other people write and publish theirs.

Writing Workshop Success!

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It was a day of recognizing dreams and putting them into action. For our Inspira team, hosting a writing workshop has been a long-time dream that finally became a reality. With tested principle and strategies, we have brought over two dozen books into print. We wanted a way to make that expertise available to authors who are not quite ready for the full menu of our services, but wanted some tools to get started on a dream of their own: writing a book.

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Last Saturday, we hosted part one, “So, You Have a Story: Now What?” Wanting to honor our name, Inspira, we chose the beautiful and inspirational Gig Harbor Marina as our workshop location. While it wasn’t exactly sunny, the sky was clear and the harbor view was the perfect backdrop for our participants to get inspired.

“This workshop will be a success,” Arlyn began, “if each of you leave feeling inspired to write a book and equipped with the tools to do so.”

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One thing we think is unique about Inspira is that while all our clients are authors, they are not all necessarily writers. We believe that each client, workshop participant, and person (that means you, too!) has a unique message to share, and a unique sphere of influence with which to share it. We specifically reach out to those who may not be writers, but have a powerful message that deserves to be in print. This workshop’s participants included fiction writers, businessmen and women, faith leaders, and community leaders with wisdom and stories to share.

The workshop covered how to establish your book’s objectives (this is key!), developing a plot (fiction) or outline (non-fiction), getting your ideas flowing, titling, the components of good writing, and how to refine your manuscript. It was a full day! Many people came into the room doubting their abilities, and/or felt overwhelmed at different moments throughout the day. We were able to assure them: this is a normal part of the writing process! Fear, uncertainty, and doubt come with the territory. Successful authors make peace with this and just keep writing!

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In the afternoon we took a break for lunch at JW’s Trolley for some fish and chips (the best food to fuel a writer!) Then, refreshed by the ocean breeze, it was time to put pens to paper, and write. The silence was filled with pens scratching and keyboards clacking, and an atmosphere of excitement grew in the room. As the participants shared what they had written, there was a palpable sense of “we can do this.” It is a beautiful thing to have a room full of people passionate about their dreams. However, it is even more beautiful to have a room full of people actively pursuing their dreams, equipped with the confidence and know-how to do so. “Thank you for such an encouraging and practical workshop,” said one participant. “I am excited to see these dreams in print!”

At the end of the workshop, each and every person said they felt inspired and equipped to make their dream a reality. With our criteria met, we consider the workshop a success!

We invite you to join us for part two, “Steps to Publishing Your Manuscript” on Saturday, September 24th at the Gig Harbor Marina. Visit https://inspiralit.com/workshop/ for more information.  

Post by Kerry Wade, Assistant Editor

New Book Launch! Pulse: Understanding the Vital Signs of Your Business

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I’m excited to announce the publication of Pulse: Understanding the Vital Signs of Your Business by Frank Coker, a project on which I was delighted to serve as developmental editor and publishing project manager.

If you own–or know someone who owns–a business, I hope you’ll order a copy right away. Pulse is full of practical and useful techniques for running a business by the numbers based on “predictive analytics.” I, being a “word person,” personally knew next to nothing about predictive analytics before signing on to work with Frank on this book. But boy, did I learn a lot and I’m so glad I did.

Frank Coker offers the unique perspective of serving as both a faculty business professor at the University of Washington iSchool and CEO of Corelytics (a financial software company). Under his leadership, Corelytics has been recognized as a Top 25 Emerging Vendor and won Intuit’s Grand Prize App of the Year. In Pulse, “Professor Frank’s” easygoing informative style makes easily understandable the important concepts that need to be mastered by business leaders and entrepreneurs who are not experts in financial analytics, and who want to build teams that have a clear picture of where they are headed.

With over 30 expert contributors, Pulse covers an array of topics ranging from Effective Analysis and what your numbers are telling you, Diagnosis, Symptoms vs. Problems, Metrics that Matter Most, Strategic Cash Management, and Activating Your Team. This book is a great practical guide to running a healthy business.

And since I am not only an editor but also a business owner, that’s important information I’m glad to have in my hip pocket. 🙂

FrankCongratulations to Frank Coker and his colleague Kris Fuehr, who was instrumental in the development of Pulse. I wish you both every success!

Get your copy of Pulse: Understanding the Vital Signs of Your Business by ordering direct or on Amazon.

Quotes and Endorsements for Pulse: Understanding the Vital Signs of Your Business

“Running a business is a LOT harder than most people think. Frank Coker offers the insights and framework for starting, growing, and sustaining a business with essential methods to manage metrics and analytics.”
-Mike Eisenberg, Ph.D., Dean Emeritus & Professor and academic entrepreneur,
University of Washington’s Information School

“Are your investments in people and assets really producing meaningful results? Supplying your value-based partners with real, measured insight as to how you are driving results together is priceless. This books shows you how to get there.”
–David Nour, Author, thought leader in Relationship Economics®

“Learning to read and interpret financial data is imperative to understanding a small business. But not just reciting the sums at the bottom of a balance sheet. This means fully understanding what these elements actually mean, what they are based on, and what they predict about the future.”
–Jeff Levy, Author, Making the Jump

“This brings complex business analytics to business owners who are not financial experts
in an easy-to-understand view of what is happening in their business .”
– Harry Bruce, Ph.D., Dean of the University of Washington Information School