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There’s A Light/ In the Darkness/ of Everybody’s Life

Anna Leinberger Posted by Anna Leinberger, Editorial Manager, Acqusitions, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.

Anna is a writer and editor for Berrett-Koehler in Oakland, CA. More on killer book proposals and writing can be found on her BK Blog.

There’s A Light/ In the Darkness/ of Everybody’s Life

Since Berrett-Koehler recently published The Intelligent Optimist’s Guide to Life, I’ve been wondering, “What optimism is there for writers?”

Now the process of writing a book is arduous, to say the least. Writers will tell you they write because they are compelled, that writing is hell on earth, that they can’t do anything else. And then you have to try to get published! What could possibly be optimistic in this dismal landscape?

The curious case of the non-fiction author

In our many years of being in the non-fiction publishing space, we at BK have begun to notice a very interesting trend in what makes someone write a book. For example, our author Devora Zack wrote a fabulous book, now a best-seller, called Networking for People Who Hate Networking, whose content should be immediately apparent. Devora is a self-proclaimed introvert, despite her bubbly demeanor! Currently, she is working on her third book, Singletasking, another self-explanatory title. Devora is also a known multi-tasker who discovered the magic of singletasking and has fully embraced it. It was Devora’s particular affinity for each of these topics that propelled her to become an expert in both fields.

Bob Miglani, who wrote Embrace the Chaos, specifically writes that it was the chaotic nature of his life that lead him to write the book. He describes in the book exactly the feelings of being overwhelmed, confused, and unfocused that he sought to resolve in his own life and then how he accomplished it.

BJ Gallagher literally describes writing her book as a “mental health exercise”! In the video below she talks about how her business was called “Steps to Success."


By the time she finished the book (on diversity and elf expression) she had morphed her diversity consulting firm into “Peacock Productions.” The book is the infamous A Peacock in the Land of Penguins, which has sold over 375,000 copies, and is in its 4th edition.

Who really needs this book….

The author, or the audience? Over and over, we see wildly successful authors writing the book that they most need. What is the light in the darkness? A book is never a wasted effort. No matter who you are writing for, others, yourself, your blood, sweat, and tears are not wasted. You will be making a difference in your own life, and whether you share your content through a traditional publishing deal, a self publishing deal, a series of tweets, a blog, your work will touch someone’s life. However, it will always profoundly impact yours.


Joseph Iarocci

Dammit, Anna, This is good!


July 31, 2015