Beyond Jane Austen-- It Takes a Community to Create an Ebook!

Have you ever written a book?  Or thought about writing one?  I know when I had something I wanted to share I assumed that writing an article about something was a quicker, more useful way to communicate my ideas and thoughts to others.

Just over a year ago, however, I realized that I had enough professional material about life coaching to organize into a book, and I felt the energy inside me to go forward with this plan.  When I began actually outlining what I wanted to say in my book last February, it quickly became clear to me that I was not going to be Jane Austen writing and seeking publication in private ways.  I would be writing and self-publishing an ebook that would require a lot of input and guidance from people both known and unknown to me to make a showing in the world.

From the start, my book was a communal venture, based on the interactions between me and my clients during our coaching and body-energy experiencing sessions and teleclasses.  Requesting permission to draw from some of their responses and discoveries was a special way of affirming and coalescing what they had found of value in coaching together for their professional and personal transitions.

During the five months I was actually writing, my companions in community were friends who were also writing books, and my own coach.  With them, I began to understand that writing a book was moving me onto a larger platform in my professional development.  Now I had a larger message and a bigger vision to share!

As I moved into completion of my draft, I realized I needed permission from various authors I’d quoted.  I also wanted to find people whose opinions of writing I valued to read over my book and give me feedback.  Thirdly, I had to find authors and practitioners whose ability and integrity I appreciated to write testimonials.  The process of connecting with these authors, colleagues, friends, and family members was inspiring!-- and broadened the parameters of my “book community.”  What I tapped into was a wealth of generosity, insight, and support that brightened the transition from writing into the next step of creating a professional product.

The next people to enter my community have been professionals in the new worlds of editing, book design, formatting, and “platforming” to ebook distribution sites such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.  Here began another round of learning how to collaborate with and finally, turn over, my ebook “baby” to others who could midwife its debut into the world.

For example, the image on the cover of my book was a collaborative effort between me and my book designer, Mark.  Imagine trying to find one image to convey the words in my book title-- “success,” “soul,” “loving your livelihood,” and/or “living in balance.”  Where would you even begin?  What I found was that the first step was like asking a powerful question in coaching-- what was it I most wanted to express about the message of my book?  In the end, I followed my instinct and went with “The Wave” as an image of energy, empowerment, and forward motion-- while Mark’s skill made it radiant for the cover.

As I now begin the next big transition into spreading the word about my book, I’m reflecting on the power and support of my evolving community that unfurled organically as my book, Success with Soul-- Loving Your Livelihood, Living in Balance, gradually took form.  In this next part of the journey, I’m looking forward to spreading my arms wide to the ever-growing community that will open as my book moves out of my hands and takes flight!