December 1, 2014
Have you thought about writing the great American novel, or a best-selling non-fiction book?
Many of us feel we have a book (or several books, maybe even dozens of books) in us. But my guess is that maybe 1 percent of us actually write the book, and maybe .01 percent or less get published.
As with many consultants, I wrote my first book, a non-fiction book geared to the nonprofit sector—the area in which I consult—with the thought of enhancing my credibility in the consulting arena, and generating some extra income. But my primary reason was that I felt I had good information to share with the nonprofit community. And, as with probably every author there is a bit of ego—seeing your name on the cover of a real, published, book, you can’t beat that for an ego trip.
Since that first writing venture in 2003, I have authored, co-authored, co-edited or been a contributing author to more than a dozen books for the nonprofit sector, and finally achieved the dream of publishing my first novel. I am currently working on one non-fiction book in the For The GENIUS series, have three co-authored books to be released through CharityChannel Press, and am working on a second fiction book. (Lesson learned—I will not self-publish this one).
For me writing has always been about leaving a legacy—in two ways. First, royalties on books go on forever, at least as long as the book is in print and selling, so the legacy for my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren is that they will have income from my writing. The second way my writing is a legacy, is that fifty years from now, if some novice in the nonprofit fundraising arena picks up one of my books, it will be as though I am still alive and sharing my knowledge. When I wanted to learn more about the business of nonprofit fundraising, decades ago, I looked to some of the great authors who guided my career and will be eternally grateful that these authors took the time to write down their experiences and expertise. Today, one of my greatest thrills is when I am at a conference or meet someone in the fundraising field through social media or speaking at conference and they say… “I am so delighted to meet you, your book is so great—my copy is dog-eared and highlighted all over the place.”
So, can you make a career out of writing? Well I still do a limited amount of consulting to pay the bills, but the legacy to me is more important than the money. It depends not only on your motivation for writing, but also what kind of books you plan to write. Fiction is much harder to get published. Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, you must have a platform in place to market your book. Publishers will ask what your marketing plan is, and if you self-publish, the marketing is all up to you. So, can you make money writing? Maybe, but you have to write a great book, get it published, and be prepared to market it.
What my writing has done for me is several things:
- Enabled me to command a higher fee for consulting and training
- Landed me a lot of speaking engagements in great locations all over the world
- Introduced me to the publishing business, where I now serve as an Acquisitions Editor for CharityChannel Press and For the GENIUS Press.
For more stories from published authors, see www.webeducator.com
Info About Me:
Linda serves as Acquisitions Editor for CharityChannel Press and For the GENIUS Press. In this role she has edited dozens of books.
In addition to her role as editor, she is an accomplished author. Linda is the author of:
- Recruiting and Training Fundraising Volunteers
- The Development Plan
- Fundraising as a Career: What, Are You Crazy?
- Capital Campaigns: Everything You NEED to Know
- Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign workbook
- Raise More Money from Your Business Community
- Raise More Money from Your Business Community—The Workbook
- Fundraising for the GENIUS, 1st and 2nd editions
- The Matriarch (a novel).
She is also a contributing author to:
- The Fundraising Feasibility Study—It’s Not About the Money
- YOU and Your Nonprofit Board
- YOU and Your Nonprofit and The Nonprofit Consulting Handbook
- The Nonprofit Consulting Playbook
And co-author of:
- The Essential Nonprofit Fundraising Handbook
- The Leaky Bucket: What’s Wrong With Your Fundraising…And How You Can Fix It
- The New Donor
- Nonprofit Strategic Planning
A graduate of Alvernia University and AFP’s Faculty Training Academy, she is a Master Teacher. Linda is one of one hundred professionals worldwide to hold the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive designation. She is president of Linda Lysakowski, LLC, dedicated to inspiring creativity and philanthropy. In her twenty plus years as a philanthropic consultant, Linda has managed capital campaigns, helped hundreds of nonprofit organizations achieve their development goals, and trained more than 27,000 development professionals in Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Egypt, and most of the fifty United States.