Alison Jones has had an enduring love affair with books since she was a little girl and so when it came time to choose a career, faced with the options of becoming a Ballerina or Lawyer or moving into Publishing, it was an easy choice!
“I was entering the world of publishing as the age-old rules were changing and the industry was being disrupted and eventually being cast into crisis, so as you can imagine, it was demanding. But I loved it – the creative and commercial combination was so satisfying. I got to make books!”
Alison’s final role with MacMillan was Director of Innovation and Strategy. She explains that she would have stayed with the company, but when they moved their offices deep into the heart of London, a window of possibility opened.
She asked herself “if not now, then when?”.
And so she leapt, launching her own pioneering partnership publishing company, Practical Inspiration, in 2014.
A new chapter began for Alison, in the truest sense of the words, as she began to guide business owners and entrepreneurs into the world of publishing, helping new writers to “move the conversation in their industry, forward”.
If you have been looking for the combination of inspiration and practical guidance to kickstart your business book writing goal, this is the episode for you!
- The process of writing itself, not just your actual book, maximizes your business.
- The book that most changes your life is the one you actually write – a quote by Seth Godin.
- You do need to have a platform to support and welcome your book, so make sure you are building it/have built it first, or right alongside your writing
- FEAR – every author has it and the realty is just because you are great at business, it doesn’t mean you are automatically great at writing. But the good news, writing is a skill and you can definitely develop it.
- Although you can choose to lock yourself to write your book the process of writing gives you permission to reach out to people in ways you normally, couldn’t and wouldn’t – make the most of that! Involve your tribe as well as peers and partners in adjacent fields.
- How do you get your book out there? Start. Just start. Create a “Frankendraft” (credit to Derek Lewis for this colourful analogy!) You can only improve on something that already exists.
- Align your reader and your clients. Make sure you are writing to the one who is both so that you book sits at the heart of your business.
- Put your very best stuff in the book – this puts high mental value on you by the reader.
- Authority and author come from the same root – so write from your own expertise, share your methodology and client stories that show how it actually works. This consolidates that wealth of expertise and experience you do have.
There are TONNES more valuable insights in our conversation, I really encourage you to listen in!
About the speaker
Alison Jones is founder of Practical Inspiration Publishing, helping businesses with something to say create superb books that are deeply integrated with their wider platform.
A veteran of the publishing industry, she worked for 25 years with leading companies such as Chambers, Oxford University Press and Macmillan (she was Director of Innovation Strategy at Palgrave Macmillan until she left to set up her pioneering new partnership publishing company in 2014).
She also provides executive coaching, consultancy and training services to publishers and regularly speaks and blogs on the publishing industry, is on the board of the Independent Publishers Guild, and hosts The Extraordinary Business Book Club, a podcast and community for writers and readers of extraordinary business books.
She has written and edited several books, most recently This Book Means Business (2018).
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