BIRTH YOUR BOOK
I specialise in supporting women who want to write self-development books and (teaching) memoirs
Your book is about your story, why you do what you do and how you do it, and the programme(s) that you offer in your business
Your book is about your life, your learnings, your teachings, your approach to life, business and wellness and your philosophy
I would love to make your writing and publishing journey a most joyous one, and one where you get to the end of it feeling happy and triumphant.
So... are you ready?!
I know you think you 'just have to' sit down, buckle up, take a deep breath, grit your teeth and 'just write'.
But that is not the case.
There are many aspects to explore before you can 'sit down and write' and as you create your book.
There are really three components to the birth of the kind of book you want to write:
Birth your true self
If you have suffered from stress, anxiety, overwhelm and/or any kind of trauma, these emotions will resurface as you write, especially if at least part of your book is about your personal story. As your book doula, I will support you emotionally as you work through those potentially painful memories
Birth your business
As you birth your book, you may realise that your business needs some tweaking or even a make-over. You no longer want to try to squeeeeze your writing into your day. It means a different money mindset, higher fees, a different ideal client and a different schedule, so that you can put your writing first. As your business doula, I can help you transform your long, stressful days into a magical, expansive time, and your work into the blissful business you have been dreaming of, to give you the freedom to write
Birth your ideas
Over the course of 9 months, I hold your hand as you birth your ideas, from the very first sentence right through to publication, from book title to book structure, so you never feel alone or stuck. I support you emotionally and editorially as you write, edit and self-publish your book
Writing your personal story as you weave it into your book (whether it is a teaching memoir or the book about your programme or philosophy) is probably the hardest thing you will ever do.
No wonder it feels scary.
‘What if I can’t do it?’
‘What if I am not up to it?’
‘What if I give up half way through?’
‘What if I’m not cut out for this?’
‘I don’t want to “go there”. I don’t want to re-live this.’
Again, I hear you.
It’s all very, very common.
That’s why I have called myself a book doula and not just a writing coach or a book coach.
Because of my training in hypnotherapy, NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques, aka ‘tapping’), IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy) and Reiki (see here for what all these techniques and modalities are), I feel I am in a great position to help you through all the emotional ups and downs that writing a book implies.
You could spend YEARS writing or trying to write your book (how many years has it been already, truly?).
Or you could spend 9 months with me and I would do my utmost to ensure you have a book written and self-published by the end of our time together. (Of course, there are no guarantees, I can’t do the writing for you, but I would definitely encourage you, coax whole paragraphs and pages out of you, and very importantly, help you heal those deep wounds so that you could carry on writing, right up to completion.)
I was born with a book in my hands, eagle eyes and an obsessive attention to detail.
Books have always been a part of my life.
Books have saved me many times.
Books are my LIFE.
I want YOUR book to save other people too, just as you do in your business and through your vision and mission.
They need to hear your story and know they’re not alone.
They need to hear a powerful story that will help them heal.
Let’s do this together.
When in September 2018 I realised I could combine all my favourite things – reading, writing, editing, talking, sharing and mentoring – into one kind of coaching, I finally felt whole.
I could see how many women around me (online and in real life) had a book in them that would change lives, in particular for other women. I was totally lit up as I had this deep knowing that I could and wanted to help them, be by their side, encourage their ideas to be released out of their mouth, mind and soul, hold space for them so that they could birth their ‘baby’, release their book into the world, in the same way that I had held space for and nurtured many women antenatally and in labour over the previous 6 years.
And so the concept of ‘Isabelle the Book Doula’ and my Birth Your Book programme were born.
9 months to birth your book
There are three phases to the book-birthing process.
Phase 1: Birth the writer within
The first phase is the birth of the writer within. This is when you actually get to know yourself in a way you have probably never done before, via:
- your cycle (or the cycle of the moon if you don’t menstruate for whatever reason)
- your creativity cycle (both/all trackable via the cycle chart I provide you with)
- techniques such as EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques, aka ‘tapping’) and IEMT (Integral Eye Movement Therapy)
- the Sacred Money Archetypes® personality test (I am a Sacred Money Archetypes® coach)
This phase is when you birth your true self and your true ideas, and get your writing space and calendar organised.
It is of course also the phase where you start writing. Perhaps only snippets, only ideas, but perhaps a whole lot more. Neither of us can predict how long this phase will be. You may have a concept in mind for your book but you need help in deciding exactly what you will write about and how, or you may have very clear ideas of how to proceed already.
The most important work we will do in this phase is the removal of blocks, thoughts and beliefs that are preventing you from writing (whatever stage you are at). I will guide you as you release as many of these blocks (writing, money or otherwise) as you can, so that you are ready to start writing your book within 5 or 6 sessions (or before!).
Phase 2: Birth your first draft
The second phase is the birth of your first draft. You can now decide on and/or finalise the structure of your book, write the outline of the book then the outline of each chapter, come up with an approximate writing schedule (linked to your cycle or the moon cycle) and then actually write the whole of your first draft (7 or 8 sessions).
In many way, this is when you will need the most support. Old fears and blocks will rear their ugly heads, all sorts of excuses will come up and life will happen. I will be there every step of the way, giving you ideas, helping you with structure, chapter titles, section headings, what to include and what can be left untold, etc.
Phase 3: Birth your book
The third phase is the birth of your book. This is when the editing, proofreading, designing and formatting of the book takes place, some or all of which you can do yourself, or you can get help with (and I can recommend editors, proofreaders, designers and formatters).
This is also when you gather your birthing team, culminating in your book launch.
Altogether, this phase is over the 7 remaining sessions.
(Please note that the cost of editing, proofreading, designing and formatting your book is not included in my Birth Your Book programme.)
‘Before working with Isabelle, although I had started the writing process, it felt heavy and uncomfortable. I wasn’t enjoying writing and I was avoiding working on my book despite knowing it was what I wanted and was being called to do. Isabelle helped me to recognise what was holding me back from writing and then enabled me to free myself from those blocks using EFT and other techniques.
I would say that the fears and anxieties that I held were completely eradicated. I no longer worry about what others’ opinions of my writing might be and I feel free to express what I want to say in the way that feels true to me.
Isabelle has also helped me to structure my book and break down the chapters into clear and manageable chunks, making the writing process feel light and enjoyable.’
Anna’s book, The Mindful Breastfeeding Book, came out in January 2020.
The Birth Your Book programme
It is a programme of 20 fortnightly sessions (approximately two each month over 9 months), as follows:
- fortnightly 60-minute sessions
- email support between your sessions, 4 days a week, for quick questions, encouragement and cheerleading
- a first session where you get a Sacred Money Archetypes® reading, because 'the way you do money is the way you do everything' (as Kendall SummerHawk, the creator of the Sacred Money Archetypes® programme, says) (find out more about SMA at the bottom of this page) – this will help me support you as much as I can throughout our time together
- in the second and third phases, each session focuses on the issue(s) you are facing that day or week, and I can help in any way you need and I deem beneficial – emotional support, editorial support, ideas support, structural editing support, practical support, etc.
- EFT, IEMT, NLP and other techniques used and (sometimes) taught so you can use them by yourself (definitely EFT)
- business support as and when needed (see also this page)
Author of I Just Want a Baby: A Guide for Your Emotional Well-being on Your Journey from Fertility Despair to Fertility Freedom
When Isabelle approached me to find out if she could be of any support to me with the writing of my book, I wasn’t sure I needed help. I felt confident in my ability to write as I had a lot of experience creating programmes which required workbooks to go with them. I also knew that I had the discipline to maintain motivation throughout the writing process.
After consideration, the reason I chose to do the Birth Your Book Programme was that I wanted to ensure my book didn’t just feel like a larger version of a workbook.
I found it very valuable to chat through writing ideas with Isabelle and really appreciated how she would also follow up with additional thoughts on a topic we’d been discussing, as she processed the ideas further in her mind between sessions (the tag line for my book being a fabulous example of this).
Isabelle blends a lovely mix of fun, creative inspiration and gentle encouragement with practical steps for self-publishing.
Isabelle also recommends trusted people you need on your ‘book birthing team’, for such things as editing, proofreading, formatting and book cover design – all saving time and energy.
Isabelle leaves you in no doubt that she is as passionate about you getting to the point of birthing your book as you are, and although I did not initially feel like I ‘needed’ to work with Isabelle, I am glad I trusted my instincts as it was 100% the right decision to do so.
The book-writing process
I want you to know that I am very familiar with the creative and book-writing process, its ebb and flow, its ups and downs – not just through my clients but also because I live it day in day out, as I write myself and have done so since the age of 8!
I have published a book of poems, Hidden Hints.
I am in the process of birthing other books (yes, several, because I write as I read – several books at a time!). It’s a long process because I can’t clone myself – I don’t have my own Book Doula, I haven't been able to find one (yet)! But I am getting there, my next book, a children's novel I started writing in 2001 (!), The Invisible Quill, will be out by the end of 2022.
Find out more about my books here.
Outsourcing editing, proofreading and formatting in KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing)
Editing and proofreading
When you feel that your manuscript is ready for editing (you may have edited it yourself but it will still need professional editing), you can send it to one of my lovely colleagues I recommend or find your own editor.
The cost for this will completely depend on your writing experience, your book’s word count (how long it is), the subject of your book and whether you want their copyediting and proofreading or just one of these editorial services.
Designing and formatting
I can also put you in touch with a book designer and formatter. This is for the Kindle version or the paperback version, or both (but note that the formatting for each is a different process, so you will need to discuss your requirements with her).