What Makes a Book Great?
I really get into the books I read. I fall in love a little with the story, the author, and what I’m learning. In one captivating, well-written memoir, I connected with the author and felt her pain as she took me with her through growing up, creating a life, and then going through traumatic experiences and years of therapy. At the end, I felt let down. Why? What happened at the end was… nothing. No lessons learned, no personal growth, no transformation.
For me, life is about growing, learning from hard times and good ones, and making a positive impact. Authoring a nonfiction book is about sharing that impact with others who are seeking a similar path.
What Does It Take To Be A Successful Author?
If I ask a room of people, “Who has ever considered writing a book?” A lot of hands go up. But how many of those dreamers have what it takes to make it happen?
Becoming an author is an adventure that’s not for everyone. It takes knowing that the greatest gift of the journey is the self-growth that happens as a result. In my experience as a book coach, helping authors to peel back the layers to discover the power of their stories, here’s what I have found:
The creator of every book that keeps readers turning the page is an author who has captured their hearts and minds. Elizabeth Gilbert says in her book, Big Magic, “Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart. The rest of it will take care of itself.” Your stories help readers see the world through your lens, one they couldn’t imagine otherwise.
Passion can come in the form of anger and pain, but those alone don’t provide the kind of transformation that most readers are looking for. Without some kind of positive perspective, some growth or expansion, readers learn very little. Readers deeply connect with you authors who are brave enough to share your pain and your transformation. Book lovers see themselves and their own experiences in a new light that helps them make a similar positive change.
Being authentic and vulnerable about your life takes real courage. Why do you think it takes so many people years to write their books? Fears crop up at every stage from, “I don’t know where to start,” and “Who am I to write a book?” to “Who would read it, anyway?” These fears keep on chattering away, no matter how much of an expert you are or how much experience you have.
Successful authors acknowledge those fears, pat them on the head, and get back to writing.
Book writing can be a long and lonely road. It takes commitment to forge ahead on an untraveled path. It can feel like you’re slogging away in the dark. Some writers love to stay to themselves and go it alone, as Hemingway famously did.
But for first-time authors, having some publishing guidance and writing accountability is the support that lights the way. Relying on friends and family is great for emotional support. Keep in mind that your friends and family may not be your ideal audience. And they probably haven’t been down this road before, either.
Collaborating with a book coach, editors, designers and other professionals helps you create a world-class publication you can be proud of.
As an author, you don’t need to have all the answers. But you can contribute your passion and unique perspective to the conversation. Instead of letting your readers down, you inspire, motivate, teach, or entertain. You make a positive impact.
Look to these brave souls who have recently taken the plunge and are now published authors!
When you’re ready to explore the possibilities, let’s talk!