We were seated at The Tattered Cover bookstore, here in the Denver area. Kristen Krueger, a Columbine High School shooting survivor, was hosting a book launch party for her Illumify release, Healing the Invisible Wounds of Trauma. In it, she tells her story of survival, not only from the shooting but also from the PTSD that victimized her for years.

After reading a few excerpts from her book, Kristin asked if anyone had any questions.

“I do,” a voice said from the back.

“Last night,” the woman began, “I saw your book here at the bookstore. So I bought it and read it in one sitting. I couldn’t put it down.

“When I was a child, my dad poured gasoline over himself and then lit himself on fire. He died—and my mom blamed me for what happened.

“What kind of advice would you give me to work through the trauma?”

I’m not making this up.

With the skill forged from her experience in trauma and education as a therapist, Kristin gently walked the woman through some insights that helped her find healing.

When Kristin finished, I looked around the room. Everyone’s eyes were filled with tears.

Afterward, I walked up to Jen Clark, our Operations Director. I could barely talk, but I was able to mumble, “THAT’S why we’re in this business.”

Click here to schedule a strategy session with Michael J. Klassen.

Do You Want to Make a Difference with Your Book?

Most authors like you and me don’t have a dramatic story to tell, but my hunch is, you want to make a difference with your book. Even if you haven’t started it yet.

So how do you make it happen?

In my twenty-four years in publishing, I’ve come to the conclusion that transcendent books change the world.

Publishing transcendent books is my passion. It gets me out of bed every morning.

And what is a transcendent book?

1. Every transcendent book begins with the desire to make a difference.

What is your powerful idea?

  • Healing from trauma (like Kristin)
  • Parenting emotionally healthy kids
  • Forgiveness
  • Grace

Even “how to” books can make a difference. Perhaps your goal is to alleviate your readers of the stress that comes from choosing which financial instruments best fit your clients’ goals and dreams.

Please don’t settle on writing a book only to make a lot of money or to attack someone or to be famous. You’re aiming dreadfully low.

Write a book that helps you sleep better at night, knowing you’ve made the world a better place.

Do everything in your power to release a book that brings healing, forgiveness, hope.

If you’re going to build a platform of credibility, use it to make a difference.

2. A transcendent book reflects the relentless pursuit of excellence.

It means honing your writing skills. Reading books on writing. Attending writers conferences and writers groups. Subscribing to blogs (like this one) on writing and platform-building. Surrounding yourself with writers who are better than you.

I love hanging out with people who are better writers than me. Why? Because I want to glean all I can from them. Rather than being intimidated by them, they inspire me.

Lisa Hawker designs author websites and writes back cover copy for our authors. Before she became a USA Today bestselling author, she spent 25 years honing her skills.

The relentless pursuit of excellence includes an unwavering dedication to your readers. Authors of transcendent books constantly ask themselves throughout the writing process:

  • Is what I’m writing interesting?
  • Is it clear?
  • Do I have something to say?
  • Most importantly, Is my writing compelling?

What we’re talking about here is the pursuit of excellence, not perfection. The pursuit of perfection will drive you crazy because you’ll never attain it.

3. A transcendent book is the result of what we call “collaborative publishing.” A team of seasoned professionals committed to maximizing your book’s potential.

More on that subject next week.

4. Finally, a transcendent book imparts authority to you as the author.

When your book aims its sights on making a difference in the world, reflects a relentless pursuit of excellence, and it’s the product of a collaborative publishing team, you get a world-class book.

Think about it: where do you think the word “author” comes from? Authority.

People take you seriously.

Research shows that books have a greater impact on perceived authority on a given topic than:

  • Keynote addresses
  • Company websites
  • Blogs and articles

Now—if you throw a book together that looks…thrown together, it actually works against you.

But a book done well builds a platform for you to be heard.

If you want to write a transcendent book—a book that emanates excellence and in turn imparts authority to you as an author, a book that makes a difference—then you’re a perfect fit for Illumify.

Because that’s what we’re all about.

Need help finding or refining your powerful story or message? Let’s talk.

Are you driven to make a difference with your book? I want to hear more about it.