Linda Dessau has just written a book, The Customizable Style Guide for Coaches Who Write: Look Smarter, Write Faster and Get Better Results from Your Writing. Since I always talk about how coaches need to be able to write well to be able to market themselves, get clients and create products, I decided to interview Linda about the book and about why writing is so important for coaches. Here is my interview with Linda:
1. Linda, why did you decide to write this book?
There were a few reasons, Biana. I’ve heard from a lot of coaches over the years that they’re hesitant to write, or hesitant to publish their writing, because they’re worried it’s not good enough. I want to help them get over that, because I LOVE helping coaches polish up their writing. But if they can’t get over this hump we can’t get to this stage.
Another big reason was so that I would have a desktop resource for all of the things I was constantly looking up as I was editing. As I heard once in a seminar, a great editor doesn’t know everything, but she knows where to look to find the answers.
2. Could you please explain what a style guide is?
Sure! A style guide is basically a collection of writing rules and guidelines that you can refer back to when you’re writing anything for your business (including articles, emails, special reports, books and more).
3. Why do coaches need a style guide?
It will save you time and energy while you’re writing, because you’ll have a clear cut answer to the writing questions that come up. And if you’re like me, and the same question pops up over and over again, it’s guaranteed that you’ll handle it the same way you did the last time it came up. If you always refer back to the same style guide, your writing will have a consistent, professional appearance and that helps to reinforce your credibility and your brand. And Biana, you and I both know how important those things are for a successful coaching business.
4. What’s the one mistake you wish coaches would stop making in their writing?
Trying to say too much. The coaches I’ve worked with are so prolific and creative, and sometimes they don’t know where one article ends and the next one begins. When it comes to articles, book chapters or each section of a special report, try to make just one main point, and then support it with sub-points.
5. What did you learn about writing a book that you can pass along to your clients? What is your one recommendation to a coach that wants to write a book?
Here are a few key lessons I learned:
- Books can change a lot from beginning to end, so draft your outline and then make room for the book to become what it’s going to be.
- Talk about your writing process as often as you can, with people who will offer enthusiastic support.
- People are incredibly generous! My volunteer reviewers gave me such a valuable perspective as the eyes of my potential readers.
- Invest in the support people you need to get the best finished product– I worked with a coach, (Kathy Mallary), an editor (M. Lisa Forner) and a designer (Victoria Vinton).
6. Tell us more about the book: is it a book or e-book? Are there any bonuses included with the book?
This is a print book only; I really wanted coaches to use it as a desktop resource. There are online bonuses as well, available on an exclusive readers-only website. There’s a list of troublesome words and phrases to watch out for, writing tools such as a sales page generator, a template to create a customized style sheet, links to all of the resources in the book and updates and additions as they become available.
7. Who is this book aimed at?
The Style Guide was written exclusively for coaches, and the entire second half of the book is dedicated to mapping out the specific writing projects that coaches use the most. That being said, I noticed that the virtual assistants who reviewed it for me found it just as helpful. I’m sure most service professionals and other small business owners could relate these guidelines to their own writing needs.
Looking for more information about Linda’s book? You can learn more about it and get your own copy at The Customizable Style Guide for Coaches Who Write: Look Smarter, Write Faster and Get Better Results from Your Writing.
Yesterday, August 6th the blog tour kicked off in great fashion with Chris Dunmire at Creative Slush. Great start Chris!
Tomorrow, August 8th, the blog tour continues with Teresa Morrow with her own interview with Linda.