The book that I have written is about advice on how to develop an interior design scheme like a professional. It guides people through the interior design process and how to avoid those common mistakes when re-decorating the home. They are then able to confidently put together an exciting and imaginative interior design scheme that meets all their objectives.
Why I wrote it
Over two years ago I decided to invest in a six month intensive business course to help me make a step change in the development of my Interior Design business. I had never given any thought to writing a book although there are many Interior Designers who regularly publish books. The business course explained why. Writing a book sets you apart from your competitors as someone with valuable knowledge and insight into your industry. So we were strongly recommended to write a book. It was both exciting and terrifying to decide that this was something I can and will do. I announced it to my family who are used to me taking on new challenges so it was met with a sharp intake of breath and an encouraging smile.
Writing the book
I actually found deciding what to write about, creating a structure and writing the first draft relatively easy. In fact I surprised myself how much I knew about all aspects of Interior Design. I have never written so much before but when it is a subject you are passionate about and you have a lot of experience with, it is easy to put all your thoughts, however badly written, down on paper. The business course had a suggested timetable, which initially I was keeping up with, but life was going to strike a blow, which would stop me in my tracks. Just before Christmas 2011, when I had almost finished my first draft, my father died suddenly. All thoughts of writing were put to one side as I dealt with the shock and sadness at loosing my father. I didn’t have enough energy or mental capacity to give to a major task such as writing a book. My focus was my family and working in the business.
Then a month later I had a fantastic offer to decorate an art gallery for a month to demonstrate to their clients how art can work in the home. This would give me exposure to a new audience and demonstrate the quality of my design work. My business course told us how important it is to give your prospects something that they can take home, something that demonstrates your knowledge, expertise and how they can contact you for further information. My large book was never going to be ready in time and anyway I had fallen out of love with it. Just at this point Kevin Birmingham of 90-Day Books, was promoting how to write a short book in two weeks as long as you committed to a strict timetable. This really appealed to me and would give me what I needed for my exhibition. Working intensely for short periods of time under supervision was something that had brought me success in my running career so I was happy to sign up. It worked brilliantly for me and I had the short book in time for the exhibition, which was a great success.
A year later I revisited my large book, which needed a lot of crafting and designing. At last it will go off to the publishers in the next month to be officially launched early next year. I am very proud of the final product and of course I will dedicate it to my father who never knew that I was capable of writing a book.
Now I have finished
It is great to be able to call myself ‘Interior Designer and author’. It certainly adds to my credentials as someone with knowledge about my industry. It has improved my confidence and given me a tool to demonstrate my expertise to both my prospects and suppliers.
I often use my small book as something I give away during a sales conversation, which gives me a competitive advantage over my competitors. The process of writing under Kevin’s supervision has been the impetus to finishing my major book, regularly writing a blog and actively seeking opportunities to write for magazines and web sites about all aspects of interior design.
What has happened since?
There is always a chain reaction to anything that you do. It isn’t one thing that brings success. It is the amalgamation of many things, which only makes sense with hindsight. The short book I wrote prompted me to update my website so that it could be accommodated and promoted. By updating my website it ranked far higher on the search engines so that when my barn conversion clients were looking for an Interior Designer they found me. I submitted the project to this year’s International Property Awards and won! So now I am an award winning Interior Designer and author!
That is why
When I was immersed in my business course I was aware of how many celebrities were interviewed after publishing a book. It had never occurred to me what a fabulous advertising exercise it was. I thought that books, were only written by professional writers, but of course that isn’t true. Anyone can write a book and now it is easier than it has ever been before. Most people will be put off taking on such a task, which is great, because this is what will separate you from the crowd. I am so pleased that I had a go and I am really looking forward to my next book. There is no doubt I will write again, it is a bit like a mental workout, pushes you out of your comfort zone, but gives you an amazing business advantage.