Logo Horizontal

The Book that Changes Your Life

In the early 2000s, I decided it was time to fulfil my lifelong ambition to write a novel. I took time out of my day job – being a work-life balance consultant to organisations from blue chips to SMEs on how flexible working could improve their business – and started to write a fictionalised version of my journey of adopting a baby from a Russian children’s home. I had two older birth children, and in Blood and Water I wanted to explore the difference (or not) in the family relationships. 

I had already written two non-fiction books (about work-life) which had been commissioned by the publisher and this time I wanted to be ‘creative’, so I sat at my desk, got into the flow, and wrote what felt like a deep and meaningful, inspired story. I sent the manuscript to an agent I knew, and she responded very quickly. Instead of the praise I had convinced myself she’d be giving me, she told me my manuscript was both boring and unbelievable. After remonstrating that it couldn’t be unbelievable because this was my actual life experience, I had to admit she might be right. A book with no structure, no plotted, thought-through journey for the reader, wouldn’t hold their attention and was, let’s face it, self-indulgent on the part of the writer.

I licked my wounds, then read and educated myself about the structure of fiction and non-fiction books. I rewrote Blood and Water and entered it in one of the UK’s biggest novel competitions. It didn’t win, but it was shortlisted (out of 47,000 entries!) and published in 2006 by Macmillan. I wrote two more novels and started on a fourth, a comedy about women trying to change their lives through different self-help methodologies. But as I researched all the different books they would be using, the project morphed and I decided to write my own self-help book by taking some of most robust strategies and combining them into a short guide for a happier life.

It was through that process that I realised that although books you read can have a profound impact on the way you think, feel and experience the world, the books that really change your life are the ones that you write. 

In fact, writing and publishing The Real Secret (an antidote to Rhonda Byrne) changed my life quite radically, because it was published by an independent press called Bookshaker, whose founder, Joe Gregory, was to become my business partner in Rethink Press and Book Magic AI.

In 2011, Joe and I co-founded Rethink Press on a hybrid business model: our market of expert and entrepreneur authors, whose primary aim for their book was to build their business rather than make retail sales, would pay for the production of their books, keeping them in control of the design and positioning, owning all copyright in their intellectual property and with the specific aim of using their book as a business tool. Print-on-demand and online retailers like Amazon had broken the traditional publishing business model and allowed hybrid publishers and self-publishers to avoid the old school gatekeepers.

Our experimental startup was a two-person business – Joe did all the design and publishing while I did all the writing and editing. And then we went into partnership with the Key Person of Influence entrepreneur accelerator programme, and I began a 10-year stint of mentoring 2000+ business owners to position, plan and write their book. 

Since then, Rethink Press has grown into a team of 40+ international publishing professionals, published over 1,000 titles, and in 2024, we founded the unique book-writing app, Book Magic AI (https://www.bookmagic.ai) that has taken a decade of mentoring and coaching experience and combined it with the best that AI can offer (which is NOT writing a book for the author, but helping to position, plan, prompt and refine). Our aim is to inspire and support even more experts and entrepreneurs to author the book that will transform their lives and businesses.

Make no mistake, writing and publishing a great book that will transform your business is an intense project. But the benefits it will bring you personally, your business, your clients, colleagues, family and friends are exceptional. My experience tells me that there are five predictable, life-changing outcomes. 

1. Clarity and confidence

Every author we work with finds that the process of planning and writing their books is both personally and professionally illuminating. Organising your thoughts, knowledge, experience and expertise into a detailed structure – the blueprint of a logical and enlightening journey for your reader forces you to interrogate the steps of your process, your client or customer journey, and the way you want to present your practice and your data to your readers. Then writing the manuscript through several iterations gives you the opportunity to unpack and review everything, from the currency of your views to the whole premise of your business. 

Creating that manuscript brings a new level of confidence in a wide range of situations. Your book is probably the most extended piece of writing you will do. It creates an archive of content that you can re-purpose into blog posts, articles, podcasts, workshops, courses, presentations and keynote speeches, saving you time and assuring you that whatever format you deploy your edited book manuscript in, it will be the most eloquent and articulate formulation of your knowledge.

2. Authority and influence

There is literally nothing that confers the status of authority, or expert in your field, like being the author of a published book. In the increasingly online environment your printed book stands out as a physical product, representing you as well as containing your knowledge and skill in an iconic format. Your ebook is an electronic asset that can be given to prospects, clients, colleagues and partners at the touch of a key. And your audio book speaks your voice of authority directly into the ear of your listeners.

Your book’s ability to go far and wide, across continents, speak to people you don’t know and would never be able to contact, be passed on through recommendations and via online booksellers is an extraordinary kind of influence.

3. Prospects and clients

And a well-leveraged book is the best undercover salesperson for your business. Precisely because it is not a business card, marketing brochure or sales pitch, but a convincing journey through your in depth knowledge and effective process or working model, with plenty of practical case studies, personal anecdotes and supporting data or research to back up your own experience, the clients you most want to work with will come back to you for implementation of your ideas.

4. Speaking and platforms

If you would love to get more or better paid or higher profile speaking engagements, then your book is your entrée to guesting on podcasts, speaking at industry events, appearing in the media as an expert or pundit. When do you not hear speakers and guests introduced as ‘the author of…’? Their book is the source of their authority to comment on their specialist subject. Not only does their book define their expertise, but it’s very likely how the organiser, podcaster, producer or journalist found them in the first place.

Amazon is one of the most powerful search engines, and if you have a book published on Amazon its algorithm ensures that you and your book will appear at the top of any search page for you or your subject.

5. Book magic

Confidence, authority, influence, clients, income and speaking platforms are all predictable and massively positive outcomes of writing and publishing your book. 

But there are always some unique results for each author from publishing their book – sometimes seeming almost magical. Authors have found their book connects them with their heroes or other influencers; many have won awards, been invited onto prestigious committees, got international speaking gigs, unexpectedly doubled their business, found their perfect client, become media pundits… we have so many magical stories our authors have told us about their books. 

And this is why we named our book-writing app Book Magic, and why we always say, the book that changes your life is not the one you read, but the one you write.

Lucy McCarraher

LUCY McCARRAHER is the co-founder and CEO of the recently launched Book Magic AI book-writing app; the co-founder of Rethink Press; and founded the Business Book Awards. She is a Director of Dent Global and the Publish Mentor of the Key Person of Influence programme. Lucy is the author of 13 books – three novels, four self-help books and six books on writing, including A Book of One’s Own – a manifesto for women to share their experience and make a difference, and Bookbuilder.

Or Share This Post!

Most Recent Articles:

Read Our Latest Issue:

Subscribe To The Best You Magazine: