For Genevieve Hawkins, author of “Mentally at Work: Optimising health and business performance through connection”, what made her sit down was almost a prescience. She tells the story in my info-pack, “Author to Author: Stories of personal and business transformation after writing a book”.

“Well, before COVID hit, I could see the tsunami coming. It was clear that the developed world was going to have all sorts of problems with mental illness. That was scary, and I was frustrated with the way people were thinking about the problem. That’s why I wrote the book, to help senior leaders connect the dots in a different way.”

And there was another reason: “Also, my team were saying to me, “For God’s sake, you’re like bloody Dumbledore. You need to pull this stuff out from your brain and put it on paper. That way, you can scale the advice you can give to people.”

“That scale was important to me. I wanted to give people practical ideas, which is how I ended up writing the sort of book that I love to underline.”

Unlike most of my clients, who run businesses (or practices), Genevieve has a (very) full-time job. The impact of the book came (almost) as a surprise.

“I would have been happy if a few leaders had said to me that the book had changed the way they chose to lead. That would have been a pretty awesome thing. Beyond that, I hoped to get back all of my costs. Both things happened faster than I would have imagined.

Three times, McKinsey has had me speak at their leadership program. I’ve been brought in by a range of other organisations to work with teams. We go through the issues I talk about in the book, and we work out what they need to do. These engagements can mean selling up to 400 copies of the book, as well as the fee for speaking. Pretty quickly, every single book I sell and every single speaking gig has been extra because the costs were covered.”

Impact. It’s what most would-be authors I speak want. To change the conversation. To open their reader to new ideas. To see success instead of failure.

Want to know how Genevieve made such a success of her book?

Send me an email at [email protected] and receive my infopack, “Author to Author”, with five case studies and marketing and promotion tips from each of these successful authors

FYI: One of the secrets of Genevieve’s success was using “old-fashioned” marketing techniques.