From Systems Engineer to Book Publisher: A Conversation with Nancy Erickson
Hello everyone, I’m Doug Thorpe, your host for the “Leadership Powered by Common Sense” podcast. In one of our recent episodes, I had the pleasure of hosting Nancy Erickson, an expert in book publishing. Today, I’d like to share some of the key insights from our conversation.
Nancy Erickson: A Journey to Publishing
Nancy Erickson, my guest on the show, has an intriguing background. She started her career as a systems engineer but later transitioned into writing and publishing. Her personal experiences led her to establish a publishing house that focuses on high-impact nonfiction books. Nancy firmly believes that everyone has valuable stories and knowledge to share, and by becoming authors, they can provide hope and help to others. I couldn’t agree more with her sentiment about the importance of sharing our stories, regardless of our writing abilities.
The Art of Writing a Book: Nancy’s Step-by-Step Process
Nancy shared her step-by-step process for writing a book, emphasizing the importance of getting the story out first and not getting caught up in editing too soon. She suggests starting with a series of foundational questions to crystallize the message and define the purpose of the book. These questions include understanding the motivation for writing, identifying the target audience, and considering how the audience will be changed by reading the book.
Book Mapping: A Visual Approach to Writing
One of the unique methods Nancy introduced is “book mapping.” This involves visually representing everything that will be included in the book, such as stories, object lessons, and key points. By mapping out the chapters and problem-solution sets, writers can stay on target and avoid writer’s block. The book map serves as a logical flow for both the writer and the reader.
The Role of AI in Writing
We also discussed the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in the writing process. Doug explained that the human brain is a pattern recognition engine, and AI can enhance this process by recognizing patterns in thoughts and generating expanded thinking. Nancy suggests using AI as a tool to accelerate writing and editing, especially when feeling stuck or unsure about the next steps.
The Timeline for Writing a Book
According to Nancy, writing a book typically takes a year. She emphasizes the importance of breaking the process into small, manageable steps to ensure progress while balancing other commitments. Nancy also mentions that writing a book can be a transformative experience, as new ideas and experiences often emerge during the process.
Motivations for Writing a Book
We touched on the different motivations for writing a book, such as establishing credibility or becoming a bestselling author. Nancy advises focusing on reaching and helping as many people as possible, rather than solely pursuing accolades or rankings. She dismisses the idea of Amazon bestseller lists, highlighting the importance of authenticity and the impact.
The Importance of Authenticity
Nancy emphasizes the need for authenticity in storytelling and the dangers of trying to imitate others in the industry. She believes that being original and true to oneself is the key to success. I agree and highlight the importance of standing in one’s own power and telling their story in their own unique way.
Connect with Nancy
Nancy invites listeners to reach out to her through her website, TheBookProfessor.com, to schedule a call and discuss their book ideas. She assures them that there is no obligation and she enjoys helping people vet their ideas.
I want to thank Nancy for her insights and encourage you to check out the video version of the podcast available on our YouTube channel, Leadership Powered by Common Sense. Also, don’t forget to check out Nancy’s impressive collection of books in the background and make the most of your day. Stay tuned for our upcoming episodes!
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