Tuesday, December 4, 2018
Book Review: 'The Influential Author: How and Why to Write, Publish, and Sell Nonfiction Books that Matter' by Gregory V. Diehl
Author Gregory V. Diehl is an educator, podcaster and an entrepreneur and has published several books on identity development for businesses and individuals. He is also the founder of Identity Publications. Diehl travels to more than 50 countries and enjoys homesteading in Ecuador and Armenia
This book follows the author’s own rules! His object: to guide writers of self help books in a way that avoids the barriers and hurdles most new authors face when taking on such a project. IN this introductory message he sates, ‘Today, due to blogging, vlogging, podcasting, and (most pertinent to our purposes) self-publishing, it is easier than ever to communicate your ideas to the people most desperate to hear them. However, you may never have pondered what your message is, the forms it could take, or its influence upon those who will receive it. You might not yet appreciate the power of your influence over the thoughts and emotions of other people. As a self-published author, you will be the master of your own destiny. You will need to ask yourself many questions about what you are trying to say. Even if you think you know what you are talking about, do you have a detailed idea of the type of people you are trying to say it to? Do you understand how they should change after having read your words and assimilated your ideas? Without a specific purpose to your actions, your communication will fall flat. Ideas accomplish nothing without viable presentation. You will need to convince strangers, in moments, that the contents of your book constitute a worthwhile claim on their time and money. Your ideas will need to keep the reader’s attention throughout the text, so they will feel compelled to keep the pages turning. An influential author must wear many hats: as the creator, presenter, promoter, and consumer of valuable ideas. Understanding how human knowledge has been passed on throughout the generations and the importance some books have had for how we think and live pushed me into nonfiction writing and self-publishing.’
Gregory establishes seven aspects of the relationship between an author and their nonfiction book: philosophy, strategy, creation, refinement, presentation, promotion, and reward. Each of these areas is explored thoroughly and it becomes readily apparent that the ‘rules’ apply to all writers of nonfiction, no matter their stage of experience! Highly recommended.
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.