Workshop: Understanding Your Book


This is an introductory workshop, designed to clarify the core vision and mission of your book(s), and then connect that vision and mission to the realities of the publishing marketplace and to the readers you care about speaking to. If you have an idea for a book, but are not sure how to go about writing and publishing it, I’ll guide you through a series of questions that will help bring your book into focus and enable you to create a strategic writing and publishing plan.

Through clarifying your vision and mission, we will be able to weigh up publishing options and choose the approach that best fits you, as well as exploring potential collaborative processes, and determining next steps in bringing your book to market. If you’re already clear that you want to publish traditionally, this workshop will provide the foundations for writing your book proposal.

Ideally, this workshop is held over two days, in person, although it can be adapted if needed. I am happy to travel to any city in the U.S., or it can be held in my home town of Oakland, CA. You are welcome to invite any colleagues, friends, and collaborators to join for any of the sessions, as it is always helpful to include a variety of perspectives from people connected with your work.

Before the workshop, I will send you a list of questions and tasks you can do in preparation.

The schedule below can be tailored to fit your specific needs.

Day 1: The 4 Key Questions 

The first day of the workshop will focus in on four fundamental questions:

  • Why do you want to write this book?
  • Who are you writing it for?
  • What is the essence of the message you want to share?
  • Where will readers find your book in the bookstore? *

*Ideally, we will spend part of this session in a bookstore if there is one close to the workshop venue.

Day 2, Session 1: Publishing Strategy

In the second day of the workshop, we will turn our attention to the important questions around how you might publish the book to best serve your intentions and the needs of your target audience. This may include:

  • Self-publishing vs. traditional publishing – pros & cons
  • Book proposals – what they are and why they matter
  • You and your “platform” – how are you uniquely qualified to write this book, and what avenues do you have to market it?

Day 2, Session 2: Collaborative Possibilities

In the final session, we’ll discuss various possible approaches to creating your book’s content, and explore what form of collaboration might work best for this project. Understanding your strengths, needs, and particular circumstances can help me to suggest a cocreative strategy that will best support you with my skill-set and resources.


At the end of this workshop, you will have :

  • Clarity on the kind of book are you writing (for example, a memoir, a business book, or a self-help book.)
  • A defined target market.
  • A list of key “competitors” – other authors writing on your topic.
  • A publishing strategy.
  • A writing strategy, including collaborative options.
  • A customized “Book Publishing Blueprint” detailing the next steps in making your book a reality.


Two-Day Workshop fee, inclusive of preparation time: $5000

NOTE: If the workshop is held outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, I will also bill you for travel and accommodation expenses.

NOTE: For clients who decide to contract with me for a book proposal or book project, this workshop cost is deductible from the project fee.

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