This month’s guest blogger has truly inspired me, and not just with her PR acumen. Writing a book has been an off-and-on affair of mine for some time now. Coming from the world of academia, I’ve published academic articles in a peer-reviewed journal here and there, however when it came down to writing (and publishing!) an actual book, I quickly learned it was a whole other story.
Here, Paula Garder of www.doyourownpr.com shares her insight by talking about how writing her books “Get Noticed” and “Do Your Own PR” made people take her, and her PR coaching business, more seriously:
It took me two and half years of running my PR coaching business before I felt ready to write my book. It was interesting how, once I’d made my decision, everything seemed to fall into place. I found myself sat next to Debbie Jenkins at a Christmas networking lunch and found out that she co-owned my publishing company, Bookshaker, and, what’s more, she knew who I was and was interested in my idea to write a PR coaching book for entrepreneurs and micro businesses.
I also realised that after two and half years of religiously writing a newsletter every Monday I had more than enough material to rework into a book and that the whole process was not going to be an onerous as I thought.
Get Noticed was published in 2005 and Do Your Own PR followed four years later. Once again, I made the process as easy as possible for myself, this time choosing to use an A-Z format. I now attribute both of these books to raising my game and taking me to a whole new level each time. Here’s what I’ve learned from my experience:
Writing them was easier than I thought
Once I had made the decision, the question was not shall I write a book but how am I going to get it written, and that brings practical answers. I’ve worked with some clients who have taken time off to write their books, and one who allots himself some writing time every day, whether he’s working on a book or not (it’s good for discipline, he says). If you really want to do it, you will.
It was difficult to get decent speaking engagements without one
Being a published author makes a whole difference out there in a world where almost everyone calls themselves an experts or guru. Once I had a book under my belt I started to get paid offers to speak, and could even charge a higher figure and include a book for every attendee as part of the package.
A new type of client wants to work with you
Writing a book shows that you know your stuff, that you have staying power and you are willing to invest time and effort. I don’t know about you, but that’s the sort of person I want to be working with! When I became a published author the people picking up the phone to speak to me started to change. They really wanted results, were happy to pay but, above all, were willing to work to reach to their goals, which made them more successful clients.
I made money!
You’re unlikely to become super rich from writing a book but it’s a very handy extra stream of income that just keeps trickling in. I’ve narrated DVDs on the back of my books and receive a small amount of royalties each year from the PLR or public lending rights, which always tickles me given the amount of time I used to spend in libraries as a student.
It’s part of my personal brand
I now know that I can do it. I have the creativity to come up with an idea for a book, the staying power to write it and that’s part of who I am. I’ve since gone on to write a couple of children’s books and wrote a book on Backpacker safety for Essential Travel. Writing, both fiction and nonfiction, has become part of who I am. It’s a fluid thing. I’m currently writing a travel blog over at www.soothedinthecity.com and this is where my creativity and discipline are currently being flexed on the writing front. That may change in the future, but having a creative outlet has become a significant part of my personal brand and the package I present to the world.
Thanks Paula, I think this is just what I needed to dust off that draft!