guest post: Author Cynthia Kocialski

Written by Darlyn At Monday, October 03, 2011
How I Wrote My First Book on a Whim


As a first time author, I am new to writing and publishing. I never planned on being author. In fact, a few colleagues mentioned I should write a book over lunch one day and on a whim, I decided to do it. No pursuit of a lifelong dream, no grand plans, just a spur of the moment decision. I am sure I made plenty of mistakes, many of which I am not aware of yet. I’m sure there are better ways to approach writing than the way I went about it. I was na├»ve, but I’m learning.

My first challenge was deciding what I should write about. I knew I would write about entrepreneurs and start-up companies, but I didn’t know exactly what. I started with a blog. I noted which posts were more popular than others. Since it takes time to build a substantial audience, I can say that I didn’t build a blog for long enough. When I started, I had no idea how much effort would be in blogging and now I fully understand why so many people start blogs and then abandon them.

Then I got involved with social networking. I was unprepared for this effort as well. Like blogging, the writing part was easy, it was the promotion and audience building that was seemed all consuming. At this point, I prefer Facebook to Twitter. I can summarize a business point in about 100 words for a Facebook posting, but the 140 characters limit on Twitter is too short for me. I consider tweeting a shorten link directing the reader to a longer article a way of circumventing the intent of the limit.

As I attend many business meetings, conferences, and networking events, I started to look at these events through a different lens. I would always note which events were the ones with more attendees. When it came to the Q&A portion of the meeting, I started to jot down the questions being asked of the speakers. I started to categorize and group the questions together to see what topics seem to garner attention.

As I was sitting through a break-out session at a conference, I had that spark of inspiration about what I would write. I had already reached the conclusion that the bulk of the audience was the first time entrepreneurs, who had an idea and wanted to start a new business. I had also reached the conclusion that business people were more interested in stories or information that would help them solve their problems.

Many newbie entrepreneurs didn’t know how to launch a company, or they had gotten started and had quickly stalled. Almost every entrepreneur thinks their idea is so brilliant that investors will fall in love with it and hand them a mountain of funding to bring the idea to market – which of course, doesn’t happen. There is a format that investors want to see business proposals presented to them, and them there is an evaluation criteria. The chapters in my book follow this format sequence, with more chapters devoted to areas that are more heavily weighted in the evaluation.

So finally, I had my topic. Before I started writing, someone suggested I research similar books on the same topic. Amazon.com can be a wonderful research tool. I wanted to know what readers thought about those books, why they really liked or disliked them. I focused on reading the 5-star and 1-star reviews, and I tried to include what readers liked and fix what readers didn’t.

I am impatient. The effort outlined above was not a day, a week or a month activity. By this point I was ready to write my book, which took months to write. In a nutshell, now that I am six months into promoting my book, I learned that being an author is the same as being an entrepreneur and starting a new business. It’s just on a smaller scale.

My book is Startup From The Ground Up - Practical Insights for Entrepreneurs, How to Go from an Idea to New Business”. It explores why an entrepreneur can only go so far with just an idea. New businesses don’t fail because companies are unable to build a product or offer a service; they fail because the business factors needed to bring that product into the market are misunderstood, neglected or ignored. “Startup from the Ground Up” provides practical advice for how to get an entrepreneur gets moving down the right path and thinking in the right direction with practical tips, strategies, techniques and stories on how to transform an idea into a company.

So there you have it, how I wrote my book. However, like any other start-up, I can say that marketing the product is 2 to 3 times as much work as the writing.



About the Author

Cynthia Kocialski is the founder of three tech start-ups companies. In the past 15 years, she has been involved in dozens of start-ups. Cynthia writes the Start-up Entrepreneurs’ Blog (www.cynthiakocialski.com) and has written the book, “Startup From The Ground Up - Practical Insights for Entrepreneurs, How to Go from an Idea to New Business” (www.startupfromthegroundup.com).


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