Most of us don’t realise that we have the ability to inspire and help others through our own unique experiences. Ann McIndoo, a professional author coach, has helped nearly 1,000 people find the book within their own personal life experience. Kristen White asks her how we do the same.
“I had always been a writer,” says McIndoo. She reinvented herself as an author coach after an accident. “I always say the universe sends you a feather, a brick, and then a bus. It sends the feather first, and if you don’t pay attention, a brick, and then hits you with a bus.” Ann fell down the stairs and became wheelchair bound during her recovery. During this time her inability to do anything but write led her to an assignment with self-help guru Tony Robbins, in which she helped him write his book.
“He was the start of many authors. Here I am, almost 1,000 books later. It’s been an amazing journey.” As the author of the bestselling book, 7 Easy Ways to Write Your Book, Ann takes people through the process step-by-step.
But it wasn’t as simple a process as it may sound for Ann. When she decided she wanted to become an author coach, she began to research other authors who had written about the same thing. “I went into a book store and found all these books about how to become an author,” she said. Ann wasn’t sure why people would choose to buy her book among the shelves of books on the same topic.
According to Ann, this is what often prevents aspiring authors from sharing their story. So how can you make a bestselling book on a topic that is already saturated with books?
“Here’s what I have found,” says Ann. “Bestselling books are unique and different. They offer value; they offer a solution. If you can put those ingredients into your book, it will be a bestseller. You don’t have to be better than anyone else, you just have to be different.”
I often talk about so-called “fingerprint expertise,” which is expertise based on life story credentials, unique only to us, like a fingerprint. When we get specific and not try to converse in cliché, we are courageous enough to just be authentic individuals. We are able to find that very specific, unique, fingerprint expertise where it doesn’t matter how crowded we perceive things to be, we will stand out on our own merit.
So how can you make the leap between having a significant, life changing event and turning it into something you can share with others? And what is the power of doing so?
“People love to be inspired and motivated by stories. If you have one of those stories, it is a powerful tool. It’s easy to write because it’s already all in your heart and head.”
A book can do so much more than solidify your legacy and help others. It confirms your expertise, gives you credibility, allows others to view you as an expert, and puts you head and shoulders above the competition. Handing someone a published book shows commitment to your work and business more than business cards or brochures ever could. It shows your dedication to your field. Having a book published with your name on it not only helps you to be seen as an expert, it’s almost a requisite to claiming your expertise.
So what is the first step you can take toward turning these life-story credentials into an actual book in 2014?
Ann says the first steps are to answer the four ‘W’s of book writing: “why” you want to write a book, “what” you are going to do with it, “who” your audience is, and “where” your audience is.
According to Ann, it’s easier than you think. The first thing you need to create is a resource pile. Pile up between 50 and 100 tangible or intangible things that remind you of what you want to write about. These could be articles, books, journals, magazines, blogs, postcards, ideas and emotions written on post-its, etc.
The second step is to organize your reference piles into chapters, or themes. Then order those how you want them to appear in the book.
Ann takes a quality over quantity approach to book writing. “It’s about the quality of the message that you want to teach and share, not the length of the book.”
As for results, Ann’s clients have gone from idea to manuscript in as little as two weeks.
The most important message from Ann is this: You are the expert in the experience in your life. Make 2014 your year to take the story out of your heart and into a book, and begin inspiring others!