In 2013 I spent a lot of time on my book. With the main focus on design I wrote a book about business cards. The subject of the book is the field of my profession, but the whole process I went through turned out to have a huge impact on my personal development. What I call hitting two birds with one stone.
Why write your own book?
Why did I want to write a book in the first place?
Numbers say that in the States 82% of the population wants to write a book, in Holland it’s a modest 20%. I am not sure about either number, but I know for a fact that a lot of people want to write a book.
My own reasons are that I want to establish my expertise and want to pass on all the knowledge that I have built in 30 years of being a graphic designer. My book is not a how-to-book per se, but gives a lot of tools to small entrepreneurs and business owners who can’t afford to hire a graphic designer and want to do their design themselves.
Good for business
Authors say that their business grew because of the book they wrote. Some claim that their book isn’t even read and still has that impact.
I can’t confirm it yet, as my book has been published only a few weeks ago.
Impact on self development
Writing the book took me a month. I have made a lot of examples of business cards and designed the interior of the book and the cover, which also took me a month. The following 5 months were spend on trying to find a publisher, looking for people who wanted to proofread my manuscript, asking people for reviews and finding a printer.
When I was in the middle of that process there were a lot of occasions that I hated everything involved with the book. Although I knew that persistence is key.
Dealing with hearing NO
The hardest part was hearing all the NO’s.
“No, we don’t want to publish your book”.
“No, I don’t want to spend time on reading your book and reviewing it”.
The advantage of these answers was that it was a clear response.
An even harder part – being the conscientious and meticulous person I am – were those people who said YES while meaning NO and who let me call them several times to hear all kinds of excuses.
During a training last year I played a game with the other participants: the goal was to meet as many people as possible within 10 minutes and ask them your business question and vice versa. The first 9 times you had to say NO, the 10th time you had to answer YES. No matter what the question was.
It was a great way to learn that a YES would eventually follow if you persist and that a NO is not meant personal.
People want to help
Another thing I learned is that most people really want to help. Some publishers said NO but also gave tips whom I should contact and even gave me permission to mention their name.
Colleagues proofread the book and gave lots of valuable remarks.
A bookstore owner spent three mornings with me to explain the world of books and to give tips. The book presentation was in his store, making the birth of my book official.
It made me so grateful for all the efforts done by others.
Reaching the goal
It wasn’t one of the big publishers I wanted the most, who said YES, but a small publisher who gave me a chance. In Holland the situation is very different from the States and probably from other countries as well. The way my book is published is some kind of a mix between self-publishing and being published.
Making me all the more proud on reaching my goal.
The feeling I had during the book presentation is indescribable. It was such fun to tell about my profession and about the content of the book. And the signing session afterwards was great!
Persistence is the most important part
A year ago I bought Brian Tracy’s course “How to Write a Book and Become a Published Author” and one year after that my book is in the shop. It’s more than writing that I have learned in this year.
Do you plan on writing a book? And what will be your subject? Please let us know in the comment box below.
[For the time being my book is only available in Dutch, but I am planning to make a translation.]