Cynthia Burnham – Book Journeys Author Interview
Angela Lauria interviewed Leadership Consultant Cynthia Burnham in her second episode of Book Journeys . With her book, The Charisma Edge: A How-to Guide for Turning On Your Leadership Power, Burnham brings in more than 30 years of experience from the corporate world and as an independent consultant. As the title implies, it is a guide for people in leadership who want to develop their ability to be inspirational and commanding, and to connect better with the people around them. While it is a business book, it is not the typical heady and philosophical type, but instead provides very practical tips and things to do to become more powerful and compelling in an authentic way.
As a business coach, it was natural for Burnham to know from the start that her book was going to be about business coaching. Her internal goal in writing the book was to make sure that what she had written would work for the market that she had chosen and be confident enough to say that the book will definitely help the person who picks it up. Her more external goals involved having the book drive a certain amount of business to her website, workshops and one-on-one coaching that she does. Burnham adds that while she already had outstanding credentials, she saw the huge difference that her book made in terms of raising her credibility and how people viewed her as an expert in her line of work. It has gotten her higher numbers of speaking engagements because people prefer speakers who are also published authors. It has proven to be an effective marketing brochure for her business, which is what she had envisioned it to be.
She decided to be independently published through CreateSpace because she wanted a process that would give her complete control, allow her to get things done quickly, and give her a higher percentage of the royalties. And in her experience, a book’s acceptability did not depend on who published the book, but rather on the author’s credentials. She however decided to be extremely careful with the people she hired to do the cover design, the copy editing, and proofreading because these are critical to the credibility of the book. She emphasizes the need to take more personal control of the process for those who would like to take the route of self-publishing, if they want the product to be up to their standard. She also found it very helpful to have a book coach who kept her on track with deliverables so that she had to perform and come up with chapters.
One of Burnham’s biggest surprises in her book process was finding out that after writing more than half of the manuscript, she realized that it was the wrong book and it was not set up the way that she wanted it. She found out that the more she wrote, the more she learned about her topic and developed different opinions about it. But once she knew exactly how she wanted to write it, it took only about a month and a half to complete the book. Her advice to would-be authors is that they should not be afraid if they make a decision to change what they’ve written because it usually leads to something better. On the other hand, they should also not let “perfect” get in the way of “done.”