Hey there friends, it’s Author Interview time again.
I interviewed Jane Bwye a while back about her exciting Romance novels set in Africa and she has now come to back to us regarding a new Non-Fiction book that she has just published that is sure to take the business world by storm.
Before we cover that though, here is the link to our original Author Interview, where you can find out more about her African Historical Romance novels.
And now let’s get chatting to Jane about her new business book and how her useful advice could help you with your business ventures.
Thanks for reading and as always have a good time 🙂
Hi there Jane, a sincere pleasure to have you back here with us again to chat about your latest Non-Fiction book release “Going It Alone: A Beginner’s Guide To Starting Your Own Business”.
Hello again David. It’s great to be back with you and thank you for having me again – I did so enjoy our last interview.
Please tell us more about the nature of your book and the Non-Fiction genres that your book touches upon.
Going It Alone is exactly what it says on the tin. It is a general handbook to keep beside you when starting and running your business. Based on the core concepts of a Business Plan, it takes you step by important step through the whole process, which should be re-visited and tweaked at least once a year. As Brian Orys, my beta reader, said on the back cover of the book: “Most of it is just old-fashioned common sense, but when you run a new venture, common sense seems to go out of the window.”
There are very many specialist business books and models on the market, some of them largely technical tomes, which target specific sectors. Undoubtedly, they are invaluable in their respective spheres.
I am not that kind of expert. I have concentrated on the basic points of a Business Plan, which are incorporated in one way or another into every business model out there.
Here’s another excerpt, from a review by my other beta reader, Prof. Ralph von Kaufman: “…there are many individuals who just want to get on with starting their business without having to wade through tomes and they want to be assured that what they are being told has worked in practice for others with whom they can identify.” http://janebwye.com/mybooks/beginnersguide/gia-reviews
The “genres” I have referred to when illustrating my points with anecdotes are the service sector, the creative industry, and retail.
What inspiration did you draw upon when you came up with the concept of this business book? Has the topic always been a passion of yours or did it develop after you had begun writing your fiction novels?
My inspiration came from the publishers of my novels. They suggested non-fiction for a change. I searched my mind for ideas, and the most obvious choice was what I’ve been doing professionally for the past fifteen years: guiding and mentoring small businesses – mainly start-ups.
Who will this book appeal to the most? Is there a specific type of business genre that will benefit the most from absorbing the information in your book?
I won’t say “anybody and everybody” who wants to start their own business! I am not targeting specific businesses in any specific country. Britain is still a nation of shop-keepers, and most of my clients are British, from the creative, service or retail industries.
What sort of research did you do to help flesh out your book further?
I didn’t need to “flesh out” my book! It was all I could do to keep it within bounds. I had plenty of research material at my fingertips, consisting of my clients over the past fifteen years. Although I did add a couple more anecdotes to please my beta readers. And I believe the contribution to the final chapter from David Baldwin, the founder of St. Peter’s Lifeline, takes the book into a new dimension.
My Business degree (I graduated in 1995) and subsequent work as a business management consultant and teacher provided me with a solid professional foundation. And – apart from five years as a secondary school teacher – I’ve been self-employed, running various enterprises, all my life.
Do you quote or make reference to any other notable authors or industry experts in your book?
Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus and his Grameen micro-financing system inspired me to sponsor a tiny village in Kenya, and champion his cause. I must admit I haven’t read any of his publications, but I have been a first-hand witness to the astonishing results of using and adapting his theories. There is a basic handbook on how the system works, which was used as a reference by the village project.
The handbook is called “Guidelines for Establishing and operating Grameen-Style Microcredit Programs” and it’s co-written by Nurul Alam & Dr. Mike Getubig.
After writing Going It Alone, my world view, which had been developing over a number of years, changed. I delivered some talks on the concepts of charity and self-help, and consolidated my belief that the so-called civilised world would do well to learn from people who make do with practically nothing, and turn that “nothing” into something vastly more important than money, which, as I’ve said in my book, “is merely a means to an end”.
What were the hardest parts of this book to write? And what were the easiest?
Writing the book was easy, although I nearly didn’t finish it, as my husband died when I was two-thirds through. After a gap of 4-5 months, the deadline was looming. I told myself it wouldn’t take long to dash off the final few chapters, and my publishers were very supportive.
What caused me the most excruciating agony was the editing. I’m a creative writer. I had to condense my theories and strip down my points to bare essentials. Never before have I had to ponder over the exact meaning of every word, and of every woolly phrase which came to mind. All credit to my painstaking editor for persevering with me. We are both proud of the result.
Were there any significant concepts that you had to edit out of this book that seemed like a good idea in the first draft but became too unwieldy as the process progressed?
I had written Going It Alone aiming at the UK market. My editor queried this. The core structure of a Business Plan is the central theme of the book. It is applicable to a universal market, and over a wide range of businesses.
So I re-wrote a few parts, omitting all references to the UK. It wasn’t nearly as painful as the initial edit.
Do you have any other favourite Non-Fiction books that you can recommend as companion pieces to buy and enjoy alongside your own book to further aid the business building process?
I am a writer and have been a short-story teller and free-lance journalist most of my life. I embarked on my first book without a clue of how to write a novel. I joined writers’ groups and went to writers’ conferences. The late Michael Legat became a good friend and mentor. I still have his book “How to Write Historical Novels” on my shelf, and his “Nuts and Bolts of Writing” taught me how to present dialogue in the correct manner. The Writers and Artists Yearbook 2019 is a valuable handbook, well worth the cost you need to pay for the paperback.
My mantra – which I repeat several times in my book – is Research. I recommend all would-be, and current business-owners research their own fields; ask successful business owners for suggestions. There are many models out there, such as the one mentioned by Prof. Ralph von Kaufmann above. Find one which other people in your industry have used successfully and give particular emphasis to Marketing. In the meantime, follow the basic concepts of a core business plan as explained in Going It Alone!
I wish I’d had my book to refer to, when dealing with the aftermath of publication of my previous books.
Finally, regarding your subsequent projects, are you working on anything specific or have plans in the pipeline?
I am exhausted! I’ve had to try and discover a whole new market for Going It Alone. I’m going to take a holiday. But no doubt I’ll bring my notebook with me… perhaps a few short stories will get the creative juices flowing again.
And that’s a wrap once again! Thank you for joining us Jane, I’m sure your book will be an invaluable tool for all beginners in business and I hope you yourself have much success with it! 🙂
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