When it comes to taking on the challenge of publishing a book there are a number of personal qualities and business skills that will get your book done. These qualities and skills will be critical to your success. Some of the personal qualities you need include self-confidence, determination, resilience, leadership and courage. Business skills include: planning, organisation and the ability to manage your money, time and energy.

Personal qualities

  • Self-confidence
  • Resilience
  • Determination
  • Courage
  • Leadership

Writing a book is demanding; it requires you to give of yourself. No matter how practical and straightforward a book it may seem, it will ask questions of you: do you really think that is true? Why did you say that? How will that help your reader? Is your tone of voice right for your reader? Will your reader understand what you are saying?

These apparently innocuous questions can eat away at your confidence and self-belief and you may begin to wonder if you know what you’re talking about or if you are just a fake. This is where the qualities of resilience and determination come in. If you display both of these qualities, even though your self-confidence has a bad day your ability to keep on keeping on will give it time to recover so you can fly again. In this way, resilience and determination will keep your momentum up even when your mood is down.

Of equal significance is your ability to be a courageous leader because if you are not prepared to step forward and stand out, you are unlikely to be able to take the step of finishing and publishing your book. You will find yourself prevaricating indefinitely if you do not have the courage to step forward and make yourself visible.

Being courageous is something we are all capable of but often forget that we are able to do. We forget how to be leaders in our own lives and therefore find it difficult to be leaders for others. Courage and leadership are qualities you must cultivate if you are to be an author because authorship is a form of leadership.

Business skillsleaning rocks

  • Vision
  • Planning
  • Management
  • Organisation
  • Implementation

Once you have made a decision to publish a book, you need to use your skills as a business person to bring the idea to fruition. Your personal qualities will be crucial to your ability to keep you engaged with the project but your practical skills will provide significant support.

Envisioning is the first skill you need to learn, because if you can get a picture of the book you want and the way you want to use it. Your vision may be easy to create or may take longer, not everyone gets that clarity from the start. Planning may help your vision to fall into place.

When you start to create a plan you have to think about the details of your book. This is invaluable, and even though it may not be your favourite job, it can be surprisingly inspiring and motivating. I have talked a great deal about planning; for me, a plan is the first step towards making your idea feel real and substantial.

Being able to manage and organise yourself and your material are both skills that are instrumental to you being able to progress and complete your book. Without being able to manage your book and organise your time and other resources, you will struggle to implement your plan or make your vision a reality.

So, you can see that being able to develop or use your personal qualities – even if they do not match the ones listed here – is instrumental in you getting your book done. Making a logical decision to write a book may be the starting point of your authorial journey but without your personal qualities and business skills you will probably struggle to do the work that get your book published.

The personal qualities and business skills needed to write a book all work together to enable you to achieve your outcome.

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Deborah Taylor
Deborah Taylor

Hi, I'm Deborah Taylor and I'm a publishing consultant and book-writing mentor. I work with established business owners who want to share their message by writing a book but are struggling to get started (or finished). I help them write, publish and launch a stand-out, attention-grabbing book that will raise their profile, reach more of their ideal clients and grow their business. I am a trained editor with over 15 years' publishing experience with major blue-chip UK publishing companies such as Hodder & Stoughton, BBC Books, Cassell and Pearson. I have produced books on every subject under the sun and with professinals and experts from a wide range of professions, from chefs and gardeners to life coaches and career consultants. I would love to help you write a book you love and that will raise your profile, attract new clients and bring you exciting new business opportunities.