One Woman's Road To AuthorshipBy Eileen Primozic
Not everyone who is a published author has lived a life in which becoming published was their goal. They have not dedicated hours every day to the task of writing a book, and then more hours to the task of writing a proposal and dozens of query letters. For some people, the road to authorship found them. In Lois Levys case, the journey was as rewarding and interesting as the result. Here is Lois Levys story of how Undress Your Stress came to be.
Lois Levy is an Executive Development Consultant. In her consultations with executives all over the world, the one problem or theme that kept appearing was how chaotic their lives were and what this chaos meant for their businesses,, and their lives.
Does working more hours create more money? The answer was almost always "no." The question became: How important is work in someones life? What is the true payback?
Out of these recurring questions came a five-day workshop which focused less on the executives role in business and more on personal introspection. The first workshop was conducted with seventeen New York doctors who wanted to improve the quality of their working and personal lives. Their response was phenomenal. They walked away feeling transformed, and felt the effect would carry over into their professional lives.
A week later one of the doctors called and asked Levy to be a keynote speaker at a nurses recognition conference. But...she would only have two hours to impart some of what the doctors learned in five days! To make matters worse, she was advised that the nurses would be coming and going as they had breaks. Any given individual might only be there twenty minutes. Levy had her work cut out for her She decided to break the two hours up into five minute segments so that each individual would be able to take away three or four whole segments and ideas they could use.
What happened was remarkable. When the conference started, there were about 50 nurses present. They were so mesmerized they stayed! In the end, over 250 nurses gathered and stayed to hear Levy speak. It was such an over- whelming success and uplifting experience that Levy shared the experience with a friend. The friend wanted to hear the presentation, so Levy took her through all two hours of it. The friend was as excited as the nurses had been and declared, "This is a book!"
Levy was taken aback. "A book? You really think so?" The friend was adamant that the advice she gave was so good, useful, and easy to incorporate into ones life that she had to share it with as many people as possible. With the encouragement and inspiration of a good friend, Levy sat down and worked for eight hours a day writing what would become Undress Your Stress. She didnt know anything about publishing and after she finished people told her, "you need a proposal." So she sat down and wrote the proposal with the help of a publishing book While she was preparing to send that out, another friend asked her to attend a womans expo on publishing in Danbury, CT. When they arrived, they found a gymnasium with a mish-mash of exhibitors and a conglomeration of topics. It was rainy, cold, and quite frankly, they were not impressed.
While browsing at one exhibitors table Levy looked up and saw a humor book on menopause with a Nicole Hollander (creator of "Sylvia") illustration, so she wondered over there. The woman at the table was easy-going and talkative so they started a conversation and Levy mentioned her manuscript. The woman at the table was the publisher and editor of Hysteria, Deborah Werksman. She asked to see the manuscript and Levy sent it in.
Levy later sent the proposal out to about ten agents and received a good response. Then two months after Levy sent Werksman the manuscript, Werksman called and said she wanted it. Levy accepted and the rest is publishing history.
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Lois Levy Enterprises
Author of "Undress Your Stress"
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