Writing a book can be a daunting task. The Book Midwife is there to help top business leaders get their books to the market
The Book Midwife, founded by Mindy Gibbins-Klein, is located in London, UK and was started in 2001.
Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?
I speak to top business leaders and entrepreneurs about REAL Thought Leadership™ and writing and publishing strategy; I run courses for people who want to write powerful non-fiction books; and I work with a handful of private clients to get their books into shape and into the market quickly.
I have helped hundreds of business leaders and entrepreneurs to get books started, and over 100 client books are in print now. Several of my clients have had major publishing deals and many have achieved bestseller status and received excellent media attention.
What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?
I have been in sales, training and marketing for 20 years. I originally founded my consulting company in 1991 and re-formed ten years later!
Where did you get the startup money?
I am pleased to say the company has been self-funding since Day 1. I only expanded and re-invested when we started to make money.
Who are your main competitors? How do you compete against them?
There are people out there who call themselves "writing coaches" and even "book coaches". My work is different in that I look at all areas of the executive's personal communication strategy, help them make plans and then work through book and article projects from a serious marketing and PR angle.
How has your experience in running the business been different from what you expected?
I originally thought people would need more help with the writing and the psychology (areas that also interest me). It turns out that they come to me to treat the book as part of a high-level business strategy and they need much more commercial advice.
Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
I wish I had invested more in my own PR in the early days. No matter what business leaders write and publish, they must always be complemented by media coverage.
What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?
Networking, without a doubt. I have networked online and offline, morning, noon and night and it really does pay off. After several years, I now have a loyal group of contacts that send me good referrals on a regular basis.
What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?
Don't try to do it all yourself. Surround yourself with other like-minded people, as well as people whose skill sets complement yours. Be honest about your strengths and weaknesses, then delegate our outsource tasks in your weak areas.
Great advice, Mindy! Thank you for sharing your story about how you started The Book Midwife.