The Elevate team is lucky to know some amazing humans who have written some of the books we most recommend to help leaders deliver practical, successful, sustainable transformation. What would you ask your favorite business book authors if you had the chance to interview them about the book writing process?

The Elevate co-founders have decided to write a couple of books to pull together research and tested practices that we’ve seen help businesses deliver better business results–with happier humans.

We love connecting with inspiring humans to hear their stories, and this effort is no different. We’ve decided to interview the authors of our favorite books. Here is the superset of questions we’re currently planning to ask.

20-ish Questions About the Book Writing Journey

  1. What’s your favorite book that you’ve written and why?
  2. Why did you decide to write your books? What were your personal, professional, and social motivations?
  3. What are the elephants hiding in the writing of books? (Where elephants = those difficult topics that everyone dances around, that no one wants to talk about. Perhaps even big, heavy topics that are there but go unnamed, undiscussed.)
  4. How did you decide to co-author? Did you geek out with your friends, or did you pick a topic and then choose co-authors?
  5. What has the co-author journey been like for you?
  6. What are 2 things that really surprised you about the book-writing process?
  7. How and why did you choose the format for your books? (Fable/narrative, academic text/instruction/handbook, etc.?)
  8. How did you find your publisher(s)?
  9. You’ve got an amazing network of incredible humans, incredible change catalysts and change makers… and have a huge number of stories and anecdotes about how things actually worked. You’re also brilliant and have original ideas that pull those stories together, extract patterns, and see new things that haven’t been tried. How do you balance “only things that have been tested” with “I have innovative ideas that might just work” when you’re choosing content for your book?
  10. How did you right-size the research you did for a book? Did you ever find yourself getting lost in the research or stopping too soon?
  11. Was there a human, book or resource you leaned on for how to write a book or how to do great research?
  12. How often did you go deeper by contacting an author (rather than just reading their work)? What did you glean from that human, that you couldn’t get from just reading the text? Upon reflection, what might you have done differently? (For example, gone to the source sooner, prepared differently, done something more often, less often etc…)
  13. Was there ever a sense of imposter syndrome? If so, how did it look and feel for you? How did you overcome it? (I already feel it!)
  14. What interesting stories and insights do you have around the intellectual, emotional, and social journeys of writing your books? Were they similar to a hero’s journey, going into the depths of darkness each time?
  15. What tools did you use?
  16. What tips and tricks did you use to make progress? And which of these do you continue to use? (I’ve heard several authors suggest writing 1000 words per day. That feels a little like “Lines of code” when I hear it, so I’d love to understand more of what it means and does for you, personally.)
  17. What habits are you planning going to start or take into writing your next book?
  18. What advice would you go back and give yourself (for any of these books)? What are two things you would go back and do differently?
  19. What is another author’s book that you recommend highly–and perhaps even give away regularly?
  20. What questions should I have asked you that I haven’t yet asked?

Have something to add or refine?
What questions would you add or refine? Let us know in the comments on LinkedIn.