Kristen Eckstein, the “Book Ninja,” spends the bulk of her time helping people get their books in print through Ghost Publishing–a term she coined to define her exclusive done-for-you independent publishing program, “I am Published!” When she isn’t working with her publishing clients, she loves to read, write and share her experience with others. She is two time best-selling author and award-winning international speaker, and someone we consider a dear friend.
Thanks, Kristen, for sharing your thoughts with us!
Q. What events, places or other writers have influenced your work?
A. I primarily write non-fiction, so events of my own experience and answering questions I’m often asked from others make up the core of my work. I am influenced by other writers who I can count among my personal friends, including Bob Burg and Guy Kawasaki. Bob’s storyweaving ability and Guy’s use of humor and factual representation are two areas I’m attempting to grow in myself as a writer.
Q. What books are you currently reading?
A. This could be a long list! By my bedside is The Charge by Brendon Burchard. My office is in our home library, so a few of the books I’m working myself through are Accelerate by Dan Caughlin, Orbiting the Giant Hairball by Gordon MacKenzie, The Art of Persuasion by Bob Burg, and The Book of Business Awesome/Unawesome by Scott Stratten. I recently finished reviewing Guy Kawasaki’s latest book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur and I have an entire shelf of my clients’ books as well.
Q. Describe your writing process. (Where do you write? Do you have a routine?)
A. Despite what works for most of my clients, I don’t have a routine. I prefer to “batch write,” meaning I sequester myself away somewhere without Internet and crank out as much content as I can. The Internet is my biggest distraction, so if for some reason I can’t access it, I find the urge to write. I especially like to get away to the beach or mountains, where connectivity is scarce. My most recent book, 21 Ways to Be a Kid Again was written in the mountains of Tennessee in the summer of 2012. My previous book was written at the beach, while most of the articles for my blog as well as my first 21 Ways book were written in my office with the door shut, instrumental music blasting, and email and phone systems turned off.
Q. In thinking about your writing, what do you know now that you wish you had known in your early writing days?
A. My writing is secondary to my career as a coach. I can’t say there’s anything I wish I’d known in my early days, as I started out backwards from most writers. I started my career in publishing, then worked backward toward writing my own books. Most of my authors tell me they wish someone had explained the publishing process to them clearer when they first started, but for me I guess I’d have to say I wish someone had told me not to get a Facebook account… those notifications keep bothering me to go check them, even while I’m trying to write this!
Q. What are you working on now?
A. Right now is the busiest season of the year for my business, so I’m working on helping my clients release their books to the world. I have two unfinished 21 Ways books sitting on my hard drive, with another that I’m super passionate about sitting as an outline in the Notes program on my iPhone. I also recently released my latest publishing training program, and have more ideas for that sort of project in the works. Books are my passion, but teaching people how to create their own high-quality (non-this-deserved-the-slush-pile) books is an even bigger passion.
Q. Why do you write?
A. Because people have questions. Really, why is most non-fiction written? Because someone asked an author the same thing one too many times, and that author finally figured out others might have the same question, so they decided to sit down and write out the answer to reach more people. This is also why I write. To reach more people with my message than I could reach in any other medium.
Learn more about Kristen Eckstein and her work at UltimateBookCoach.com and check out her books 21 Ways to Write & Publish Your Non-Fiction Book and 21 Ways to Powerfully Network Your Business, 21 Ways to Be a Kid Again & Get Adult Results on Amazon.com.