All Member Spotlights
Member Spotlights

Member Spotlight: Beverly Behan

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? My writing focuses on my work, which involves providing advice for Boards of Directors in the S&P1500 to optimize their effectiveness. My writing enables me to take the innovations and fresh ideas from my work and expand this beyond my own clients to have greater impact in the world of corporate governance. When people read one of my books and then want to work with me, it’s as if they already know me–and they certainly know my approach. It makes for great initial conversations and the start of terrific board relationships.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? I write non-fiction so I find it useful to spend about 1-2 weeks before I start writing laying out the content of each chapter, with bullets on key points, anecdotes to use that bring home the key points, etc. Once the outline is finished, the writing itself becomes fairly straightforward and writer’s block isn’t that much of an issue.

What is your favorite time to write? First thing in the morning.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? The old adage says “you can’t tell a book by its cover” but covers are critically important and you sometimes need to push back if you’re with a publisher and you don’t like the cover. Try to include a clause in your contract that gives you a veto on the cover. On my first book in 1998, I didn’t have that and the initial cover was dreadful. I refused to accept it and they told me I didn’t have that right. So, I said I’d return the advance and forget the whole deal. Guess what? Within 48 hours there was a terrific new cover created – and I loved it. My last book with a major publisher also had a horrid first cover – but that time I had the veto clause! I could push back easily and got a GREAT cover. If you are self-publishing, invest in cover design – and it doesn’t need to cost that much. I am currently paying $300 and could not be happier!

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? Self-publishing. During the COVID lockdowns, I wrote three books. My agent told me it was going to take 2 years to get even the first one out with my former publisher. That’s far too long of a wait when you use your books to stimulate your business so I managed to get out of my publishing contract and am self-publishing them: one launched this week, the second will launch in September and the third around Hallowe’en. Board & Director Evaluations was ranked #1 in Amazon New Releases in Corporate Governance, #2 in the Corporate Governance category on Amazon worldwide and #1 in Canada.

Beverly A. Behan’s Becoming a Boardroom Star is out in September.