In just 12 months, Leah Mether took her business book idea and turned it into a reality. After completing the Australian Writers’ Centre Write a Business Book course, Leah published Soft is the New Hard: How to Communicate Effectively Under Pressure, which has been featured alongside the likes of The Barefoot Investor and Brene Brown.
Leah has always been an avid writer, starting out with short stories in primary school, then moving into journalism and corporate communications as an adult. She was confident in her ability to write a book, but knew that she needed practical tips and insider information to make sure it was a success. Enrolling in Write a Business Book gave her the motivation, accountability and permission she needed to get the job done.
“Holding my book in paperback for the first time was completely overwhelming and one of the biggest and proudest achievements of my life,” Leah says.
And the impact on her business has been phenomenal. “Bookings for my trainings and keynote speeches have gone through the roof. Publishing Soft is the New Hard has opened many doors and certainly does act as a supercharged business card. It is the biggest lead generator my business has ever had.”
The road to success
Although Leah had been writing her whole life, finishing a complete manuscript remained a dream until she took the advice of novelist Stephen King.
“If you write 300 words per day at the end of the year you have a novel, so I did that: 300 words per day, 2100 words a week,” Leah says. In 2014, she set herself a goal that she would complete her first fiction manuscript by the end of the year and at at 11:58pm on New Year’s Eve she did exactly that!
Despite reaching her goal, Leah put her writing ambitions on hold while she focused on her family and building her business. She was an avid listener of the So you want to be a writer podcast, and thought that doing a few courses with the AWC was a great way to keep her toes in the literary waters.
“Even when life got crazy and hectic, participating in these courses reminded me that at my core I am a writer,” she says.
After changing the direction of her communication business to a thought leadership practice, Leah knew that publishing a book was a great way to showcase the communication model and techniques she was teaching in her workshops.
“2018 was the year I decided to do it and that’s what prompted me to sign up for the Write a Business Book course,” she says.
Just like with her novel, Leah set herself a clear goal. “In this case, I set myself a target of 500 words per day and I had to do it first thing in the morning before my day was overrun with kids and my thriving business. That meant I set the alarm earlier than normal and got up at 5am or 5:30am each day to write.”
“I knew from the start I wanted to self-publish because I wanted full control over the process and I also wanted to be able to get my book out quickly,” Leah says. Doing the Write a Business course with the Australian Writers Centre was invaluable in that process.
“I would never have known things like how to get an ISBN or to send a copy of my book to the Australian National Library without the course. The biggest benefit was probably Valerie’s detailed advice on how to get great recommendations and endorsements for the book. I would have never thought to approach the people I did if it wasn’t for this! As a result, I ended up with some brilliant endorsements from respected leadership experts across Australia and was able to feature these on the cover which added credibility to my book.”
Not content to just publish her book, Leah led a brilliant campaign to promote it too. She had two book launches (one for business, one for family and friends), leveraged her networks, had a fun social media strategy, and got featured on her local radio station. A highlight was when she was contacted by the hosts of London’s Leadership Podcast to appear on their show. They had heard the audiobook version she had created on Audible. Leah really had covered all her bases!
Although Leah’s focus is on helping people to improve their communication, mindset and self-management through the development of soft skills, she hasn’t lost sight of her writing dreams.
“I have plans to write another communication, leadership or mindset-focussed business book in the next two years,” Leah says. “And that novel I wrote in 2014 is still in my desk drawer. It hasn’t left me and I know I will get back to it.”
Congratulations Leah! Soft is the New Hard is already a brilliant success and we can’t wait to read the next one.
Have you got a great book idea that will supercharge your business? Enrol in the Write a Business Book course now.