A good book leaves me feeling emotional. It inspires me to think, to feel, to change. There is an unexplainable feeling when I’ve finished a book with an incredible message.
Sometimes that message is practical and inspires me to make a change in my business. Other times a book inspires me to personal reflection. And sometimes its just a good story that leaves me with a feeling of satisfaction–the good guys won and the bad guys lost.
How will your book inspire readers?
We all have a story to tell, whether it be true or fictional. But sometimes as writers we can have doubts about sharing that story.
Recently I watched a video from Marie Forleo, a life coach and entrepreneur. Her message was about what marketing and how to do it well, but it inspired me to think about her message in terms of writing and publishing. Fear, she said, keeps us from telling our stories. But she noted that we must change our thinking about what marketing really means. If you had something that could help someone, would you withhold it, or give it freely? Marketing, she said, and I paraphrase, is giving something to others that you know will help them in some way.
So, why should your book be any different? If you have something important to share, don’t fear. Instead, think of yourself as giving a gift to readers.
Tell your story without fear
Maybe you have feared the writing process. Perhaps you have feared that no one will like your story. I’ll tell you about a book I read recently that inspired me to self-reflect. I found myself in one of the characters. I identified with certain aspects of several of the characters in some way. The overall message of the book spoke to me, but even more so did the lives of the characters who faced challenges, struggled with life, and looked for hope in dim places.
I was reading about the lives of two friends and their families; but I felt like the author was speaking to me. The book made me laugh. It made me cry. It made me question my priorities, my values, and my decisions. When I put the book down after reading the last page, I sobbed. I cried for the characters in the book who had known grief and joy. I cried for myself–for my own losses and the incredible gifts of my children and family.
I don’t know anything about this author. I had never heard of her; but I know this was a first novel from her. What if she had not told this story? What if fear had kept her from writing it? She would have robbed me of an important experience–one, I may add, that may change something about me for the positive.
Have faith in your story
I’m guessing this new author also had doubts about publishing. She probably sent her manuscript to many agents and publishers and, no doubt, received many rejections. Maybe I’m wrong; maybe the first agent and publisher who read the manuscript knew it was going to be a keeper.
Nevertheless, if she had not overcome fears and doubts that I’m sure she had, as we all do when we open ourselves up to others with the possibility of rejection, I would never have had the opportunity to read her published book and feel inspired.
Sometimes, as a publisher, I get bogged down in the nitty-gritty, technical details of getting a book to publication. I forget to remember why I’m publishing “this” book. The publishing process is a lot of work, whether you are the publisher or the author. But don’t let the process discourage you.
And never lose sight of the goal: you have an important story to tell. Publishing is the process by which you get to tell it.
Offer others the opportunity to be inspired
Marketing is one of the most difficult pieces of publishing for most authors. Many find it hard to put themselves out there and tell people about their books. It feels like bragging. It feels pushy. Once again that fear of rejection rears its ugly head. But what if marketing is really what Marie Forleo says it is? What if marketing is simply helping others? If readers don’t know your book exists, how will they ever be inspired by reading it?
Okay, maybe not everyone would react to my recent read in the way that I did. Some may put the book down and just say, oh, that was a good book. Others may read it and say it was too heavy. A few people may find fault in the writing style or critique the grammar.
But someone, like me, will be inspired.
Need some inspiration? I would love to send some inspiration to your Inbox every now and then. Click START HERE and become a publishing friend. I’ll start by sending you my 10 favorite Twitter handles for book promos.
Then head over to my Facebook page and leave me a comment about why publishing your writing is so frightening!
The book that inspired me: After Anne by Roxanne Henke.