Getting published – a vital step up

John Simmons reflects on what it means to get published, and shares a reminder of our social gathering on 12 September with publishers and authors. 

What kind of writer are you? In 26 we have writers of many different kinds but ‘writing for business’ reflects our origins and is a continuing focus. It’s how most of us earn our living. And no doubt for many 26 members the thought also occurs that ‘writing a book could help me develop myself and my career’.

If so, what kind of book? It could be a business book. But to write a business book is not necessarily the first choice you make – you might feel you have a novel or a memoir or a poetry collection in you. Writing a business book might not be the easy choice either: you need to have something to say, something that will set your book apart. Publishers are not looking for boring books, because they won’t find readers; and they are looking for distinctive writers, people who can write well. People like members of 26.

Different kinds of writing share common skills – enjoyment of the craft of writing, an appreciation of the potential of language to move people, a recognition of the value of storytelling. And I’ve always believed that business writers can learn from fiction writers, and vice versa – and that the two can be the same person. Skills from one genre can be useful when applied to another.

So, there is an important exchange to be had – important for all our professional lives. How can we write a book that is true to ourselves, that gives us personal satisfaction as well as influencing others? After all, it’s a serious commitment, to take the step of writing a book. It needs thinking about and talking about.

We also like to enjoy the company of other writers. Perhaps the best ‘learning opportunities’ come from social situations, networking, conversations over a drink. That’s where our social gathering with the business book publishers LID could be of great value to 26 members. Do you have a book in you? Perhaps a book that could make all the difference? How do you go about getting it published?

Come along to a joint social evening on 12th September when you’ll be able to talk informally with the publishers and authors at LID Business Media. It’s a great chance to meet other writers who have had books published (not just by LID) and for you to ask all the questions you might not have been able to ask before. Where will it lead? Who knows – there is no obligation involved in the evening except a commitment to friendly and honest conversation.

Of course, it could change your life. The publication of my first book on business writing (We, Me, Them & It in 2000) changed my life. It contributed to the thinking that led to the foundation of 26. For me personally it helped shape a successful career as a writer for brands and later to the publication of novels and poetry. And, coming full circle, last year it brought the republication by LID of my first book We, Me, Them & It in a 21st anniversary edition.

We all follow different paths, but first you have to set out. Take the first step and join other writers from 5:30pm on 12 September at:

Bury Place
London, WC1A 2JR

It’s two minutes from the British Museum. 

Please let me know if you plan to be there.

– John Simmons

– Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

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