Those of you who follow this blog know that I am a serious book lover. Last year, an email from Amazon.com informed that I purchased 118 books over the last 10 years. I was surprised they didn’t send me a coupon or discount card, but this post is not about customer service.
My love affair with the written word started when I was a little girl. For my birthday, my dad bought me an electric typewriter – and I was hooked. In the eighth grade, I decided that I would be a journalist and by the time I finished high school, I was the assistant editor of the school newspaper. My favorite class in college was editorial writing. Throughout my journalism career, I always wanted to write a book. After more than five years, my goal is finally about to be realized. My first book, Become You Own Boss in 12 Months is to be released by Adams Media in February, 2010.
The road to becoming a published author was not an easy one. The only easy part was to write the first draft. My book went through five drafts in the end. At one point last year when the market crashed, my book was postponed twice. I wasn’t convinced that Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months would ever be published. I was so depressed about my book situation that I banned all family and friends from even asking about it – unless they were willing to hear me whine about the irony that that so many people were being laid off, creating such incredible demand for my book — and yet, my publisher wasn’t rushing it to market.
One day, a friend was walking through a Borders book store and spotted, Get Known Before The Book Deal by Christina Katz. She immediately called and insisted that I buy it online. I wasn’t happy about this…remember, I had banned all book project conversation. But I complied and bought the book – and I cannot thank my girlfriend enough.
Get Known was a great read for me and it came just in time. It changed my attitude about my book, my writing career and my growth strategy for my business. This book helped me to understand three critical points about the book business.
1) I needed to create a built in audience for my book,
2) I needed to build a platform for a business and a book,
3) Book publishers are not interested in making you famous they are interested in capitalizing on the fame you create for yourself.
Last year I read Get Known Before The Book Deal. I was already the @Smallbizlady on Twitter, but I refocused my efforts a bit and launched #SmallBizChat and I developed this blog. The community that has grown out of this has enriched my life and work far beyond what I expected.
I also reached out to Christina Katz to share with her the profound effect her book had on me and on my business. She was so kind and gracious; she actually asked me to send her an early version of my book – which she read in a week and then provided me with a quote for the back cover.
Successful entrepreneurs are lifelong learners. Reading books is just part of the program. You never know when a book can change your entire outlook on your business.
What books have you read that transformed your business?
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Melinda Emerson “SmallBizLady” is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Expert and Social Media Coach who hosts #SmallBizChat on Twitter. #Smallbizchat is the trusted resource on Twitter to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business. Melinda’s first book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months! A Month-by-Month Guide to Start a Business that Works! which will be released by Adams Media Feb. 9, 2010.