Tasha Hudson | Write a Nonfiction Book with The Book Professor

Author Archives: Tasha Hudson

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Writing a Book—Communicate Your Purpose With a BookMAP

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I was thumbing through a book that a new author had given me. From the title, I’d thought it would be about building inner strength, and I was interested in learning more. But as I scanned the pages, I felt like the author was shoveling piles of information at me—information about research studies, how the brain works from birth to adulthood, and a random review of another author’s work. The book didn’t deliver what the title promised. It was like the author had this bank of information that he needed to cough up, but he had no clue about what I wanted to learn. The book was about him, not me.

When you write your book, you’re writing for the reader, not yourself. So you’ve got to construct it from your readers’ perspective, not yours. Your job isn’t to push information on readers; it’s to offer them what they’re seeking. Your job is to deliver the reader to realize the purpose of the book. Your Purpose Statement is your compass, and it tells where you want to take your reader. BookMAP 2 works with your Purpose Statement to show how you’ll communicate the book’s purpose to your audience.

We’re all pilgrims on the same journey—but some pilgrims have better road maps.

—Nelson DeMille

BookMAP 2 Elements

Your second BookMAP will contain these elements:

  • Problems
  • Solutions
    1. Features
    2. Benefits
    3. Examples

Problems

What problems does the reader have? Think about why someone would purchase your book. Are they looking for ways to save money? Do they want to help their children? Are they seeking some type of fulfillment or satisfaction? Are they in the middle of a personal crisis? Are they floundering in business? What kind of problems do they have that can be solved by the solutions you present?

Solutions

There’s a lot to explain when it comes to your solutions, which is where your expertise comes in. You may be tempted to gush forth everything you know at this point, and I don’t blame you. You know a lot and have some brilliant ideas to share. In fact, it’s been a world of work to get where you are now, and the lessons were hard-earned.

Your job, however, is to present your solutions in a way that readers can follow and apply them, which means you can’t tell them what to do. You have to show them how you solved a particular problem or helped someone else to solve it.

The way you’ll show readers your solutions is by first focusing on—and later writing about—the features and benefits of your solutions, as well as examples.

Features and Benefits

According to Google, the definition of the word feature is “a distinctive attribute or aspect of something.” That’s what you’re going to record on BookMAP 2—the attributes and aspects of your solutions to the problems you’ve identified.

On the other hand, we’re all driven by “what’s in it for me?” If you want your audience to put your solution into practice, you need to tell them why they should. Why is it good for them? What will they gain? In other words, what’s the benefit? So for each feature of your solution, you’ll tell readers its benefit.

Examples

It’s all well and good to share the features and benefits of your solution, but if you can’t make the concept come alive in readers’ minds, the point will be lost and you won’t accomplish your purpose. The next step is to seal your message with a story. The story is your example.

Our brains are wired to respond to stories. Other than personal experience, hearing stories is the easiest way for us to learn. For each of the features and benefits of the solution, you’ll tell a story that engages readers and causes them to remember the lesson. It’s the story that will convince your readers; it’s the story that will lock the principle in their minds so they can apply it to their lives; it’s the story that will live on when all your words have faded away.

If you or someone you know is ready to write your book and learn how to communicate your purpose using our BookMap 2, contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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How To Get Media Coverage For Your Book

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

There is no one-size-fits-all marketing solution, but that doesn’t mean marketing your book is impossible. The media can still be a powerful partner, and here are five ways to get media coverage for your book.

It’s the most common dilemma in the publishing industry: “How do I market my book?”

This question plagues everyone who has written a book. We’re all searching for that “can’t-miss” marketing technique that will turn our books into best-sellers. And as the marketplace continues to grow , the question is only becoming more relevant. With more and more books being released, readers are increasingly hard to find.

There is no one-size-fits-all marketing solution, but that doesn’t mean marketing your book is impossible. When it comes to boosting your book’s sales, the media can still be a powerful partner.

Take, for example, the story of Carl Johan Ehrlin and his book, The Rabbit Who Wants To Go To Sleep.

Ehrlin, a Swedish psychologist, self published the book in 2010. He had little luck in selling his parenting guide online, so he started giving away free eBook copies. He sent one of those copies to a writer at the Daily Mail, a UK newspaper. That writer wrote an article about how he used the book to put his precocious children to bed.

The article was syndicated to other papers around the globe. Soon after, the book rocketed to #1 on the Amazon and New York Times best-sellers lists.

This is evidence that the media remains a reliable vehicle for promoting and selling books. While you might not achieve the explosive success of The Rabbit Who Wants To Go To Sleep, you can still position yourself and your work in such a way that newspapers, radio stations, websites, and even TV outlets take notice.

Here’s how.

Do a public relations audit

Take the time to think about what the media might find noteworthy and different about you. Are there past experiences that lend themselves to interesting stories? Do you have any industry connections that would pique the interest of a reporter? What aspects of your book are particularly press-worthy? Identify them, then sell them.

You should also conduct an internal audit. What do you hope to accomplish by getting media coverage? Are you trying to brand yourself and promote a business venture? Are you trying to establish yourself as a subject-matter expert? Are you simply hoping to have your book discovered by as many potential readers as possible? Knowing all of this will help you act more purposefully moving forward.

Target potential media partners tactfully

More media outlets, stations, and content sites exist today than ever before. This is a good thing, as it provides you with lots of potential partners, but it also means that the value of any of these partnerships — at least when assessed individually — is more diluted than ever before.

Put together an extensive list of potential partners to target before you start reaching out. Consider which outlets might be a good fit for your book or topic. Consult folks working inside these companies and who lend credence to both local and international opportunities. That paid off for Carl Johan Ehrlin.

Understand what the media needs

Before you start reaching out, consider what the folks on the receiving end of your pitch want and need. You’ll find, more than anything else, they need quality content — books that are well-written, interesting, and new. That’s a given.

So think about what other value your book might add. What tie-in to audiences can you establish? Can you capitalize on your location, content, or theme? Some books lend themselves to be more “newsy” or controversial. Does your book make an allegation or accusation? Does it challenge the status quo? If so, sell that. All these themes could be the cornerstone of your book pitch.

Develop a focused pitch

Finally, after you’ve done all your homework, draft your pitch.

What this means, essentially, is that you’ll need to need to create a press release. This should be based on your core message and informed by what aspects of your book you think might prove relevant to different editors. Chances are, the folks you’re pitching will not have read your book. You’ll need to explain why your book deserves attention and you’ll need to do it quickly and succinctly.

But also be prepared to change or edit your pitch over time. You might be surprised at some of the quirky things that grab the attention of a reporter. That means you need to be okay with trying different angles.

Keep to a PR schedule

Finally, you need to make sure you’re approaching this job with diligence and grit. As such, it pays to abide by a specific schedule. Start out with this rather standard timeline:

  • Six months prior to your book launch: Create your website. Brainstorm ideas and craft a book marketing plan.
  • Five months out: Develop your press kit and media pitches. Pull together your advance review copy (ARC) media list. Start to solicit testimonials, if possible. Research the media you plan to approach.
  • Four months out: Send out your advance review copies (ARCs) to media that have long lead times. Schedule book signings and appearances if possible.
  • Three months out: Follow up on ARC media, including local TV and radio programs. Continue to query book stores and speaking opportunities.
  • Two months out: Contact non-book reviewer media. Approach online reviewers.
  • One month out: Start scheduling interviews. Finish ARC follow-up. Follow up with online reviewers. Look for more blogs and websites for outreach opportunities. Send your media kit to local newspapers and weekly publications.
  • First 90 days after the publication date: This is the time for interviews and stories to run. Media and bookstores see it as new and you’ll be at your peak in terms of attractiveness.

Marketing your book takes a lot of effort, no doubt. But with a little luck and a lot of grit, you’ll broadcast the news and introduce more readers to your hard-wrought words.

And who knows? Depending on what partnerships you manage to form, you might find yourself on that all-important list near the back of The New York Times — alongside sleepy bunnies and all the authors whose work you aspire to match.


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Stages of Writing a Book

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You’ve got a strong message, and if you’ve been thinking about writing a nonfiction book, you may feel hesitant because you don’t know how to get started. That’s no surprise. You can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and burning precious hours if you don’t have a process to follow. But when you have a step-by-step method and follow it faithfully, you can systematically write a high-impact nonfiction book that will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best on the market.

Your starting point is here, where you have nothing. Your endpoint is the published book and its purpose, which is reflected in your Purpose Statement.  Let’s talk about the beginning stage-the BookMAP.

BookMAP 1: It’s Personal

When you take our book writing class, you’ll learn that your personal story is one of the most important parts of your book. Some writers, particularly if they’re writing a business book, want to leave out this part and simply share their knowledge or instruct the audience. That would be a mistake.

Before you can tell your readers anything, you must earn the right to be heard. Nobody likes to be told what to do, especially if they don’t know anything about you. What makes you an authority on this subject? Why should they listen to you? Those are the questions you answer when you share your own story.

And your readers don’t want the whitewashed version of you. Share your high points and the deep canyons, the wins and the demoralizing losses, the beautiful and the ugly. You must be real and transparent. So shuck off your pride that tells you if they know who I truly am, they won’t like me. That’s bunk. When you’re real, people will love you. When you’re open and honest, you give the reader permission to be open and honest, too.

I’m not saying it’s easy. It takes a lot of courage to be this vulnerable. We all want to put our best foot forward to make a good impression. We like to hide the messes we’ve made, but sometimes the mess has become your message.

That’s what’s so effective about my Executive Group Coaching classes. In this book writing class, you get to share your failures and foibles in a safe place, test out your message with others in the class, and gain strength from doing so—before you bare your skin to the world.

What about you? What personal story do you have inside? Contact us today, and we can help you get it out of your head and onto paper!

 


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Extended Value of Working With The Book Professor

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You got your story out of your head and onto paper. Your book is finally finished. Your finished book can now become the launchpad through which you deliver your message across multiple venues. When you follow our methodology to construct your book in chapter silos, you can take those chapters and repurpose them for articles, workshops, seminars, keynotes, online courses, video training, podcasts, etc. Exciting times!

But how will people know that your book is available? How will they find YOUR book amongst the masses? Writing your book is the first hurdle; getting others to notice it is the next!

Well, look no further. Through our partnership with the prestigious Smith Publicity, we are proud to offer Book Marketing Services for all of our clients. That’s the extended value of working with The Book Professor!

Get Attention for Your Book and Impact Sales

Learn one-on-one from book industry experts—on your schedule, and tailored to your genre and level of expertise—specific and actionable techniques to drive awareness to your book and author platform. Marketing your book can be overwhelming. These services are designed to take away the fear and put in the fun.

How It Works

 

Social Media Consultation Service Offerings-$325 each

Our packages are completely customized to your skill level and needs. For example, if you’re a social media beginner, one of our experts will work with you to create your platform from scratch and teach you the basic rules of engagement. If you are already well-versed on a social media platform, but would like to execute better, our advanced experts will custom-craft a plan to work with you to optimize your existing site, incorporate your book into your postings (without offending followers), decipher analytics, and/or understand potential advertising options.

Before your call, you complete an author questionnaire that gives your consultant time to research and tailor ideas specific to your book, genre, and goals. You will also receive educational handouts or “homework” before the call(s) to help ensure your session(s) are as jam-packed as possible. At the end of the service, you receive handouts to help you continue developing ideas and techniques.

If you or someone you know is interested in marketing their book, reach out to us and we will help make it happen!

 

 

 

 


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How to Stay Organized When Writing a Book-Block Out Your Time

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Call me strange, but I dont exactly know what time is. I do know that Ive been a slave to it for much of my life. My life, like yours, is filled with so much: things I want to do, things I need to do, and a lot of things I dont really want to do but must. Theres always a race against the clock, which leaves me feeling scattered and torn, like a scarecrow with his stuffing pulled out. At the end of the day, there isnt much left, and whats left doesnt feel like me.

I assume that you’re a busy professional and you’re not looking for extra things to do. Life is busy enough with work, but when you layer on the more important things like faith and family, there’s no wiggle room, no gaps where you can sneak in a major project like writing your book. And yet it’s something you want to do. You want to make a difference.

You actually have the time to do the things you want to do like write your book if you learn to organize your time.

Time Blocking

I use a method for organizing my time called time blocking. Time blocking is exactly what it sounds like. It’s organizing your time in blocks so you can be most efficient—not just in your writing but in everything you do. It requires you to look at all your responsibilities and organize them into specific blocks of time so you can accomplish everything on your plate.

After you organize your calendar in time blocks, you must enforce it. This takes discipline, but it’s very effective once you get the hang of it.  Here’s my calendar as an example:


When I was first introduced to time blocking, I thought, Good grief! I’m going to have to get up at 5:00 every morning to get everything done! I don’t suggest that your weeks be as long as mine are but, on the other hand, if they need to be while you’re writing your book, then so be it.

Notice how I block my time. You can see that I devote blocks of time to my tasks—not just fifteen minutes here and there. I organize my time so I fully complete one thing before moving to the next.

Take a look at the blocks called content. I often say that books don’t write themselves—and guess what? The classes and workshops I teach don’t write themselves either. I have to schedule time to plan, write, deliver, and produce my classes and presentations. So I figured out how much time I needed per week to do that writing and allocated it across the week in specific blocks.

While I’m working on content, I’m not answering the phone—it’s turned off. And I’m not checking email. I close it so it doesn’t ding me to death. And I’m not futzing around online, either. I’m writing content, and that’s the only thing I’m doing. I don’t believe in multitasking.

I can hear you say, “Well, of course, you can block off time to write. That’s your business.” And you’re right! But if I want to take care of myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually, I have to start my days at five in the morning to get in that extra activity. Do you think I want to get up that early? I really don’t. But taking care of the other parts of my life is a priority, so that’s what I do.

To write your first draft, block five hours each week for sixteen weeks. That’s four months to your first draft! When you keep your eye on the prize, writing your book suddenly seems more doable.

 

What about you? Now that you have the tools to block out your time, what’s stopping you from writing your book? Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!

 

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Writing A Book: Focus On The Purpose

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I love meeting people who want to write stories. But you know what I love more? Meeting people who want to write stories that have a purpose, which is something I stress in my book writing courses. I recently heard a podcast, and the speaker suggested that not everyone has one true calling. She dubbed people who have many interests and talents as multipotentialities. She said that living in a society that asks “what do you want to be when you grow up?” can have a detrimental effect because it makes people feel they have to commit to one thing forever—and that many of us don’t have one “one true calling” or one purpose. Interesting.

I know what it’s like to go through life doing jobs that were never suited for me in the first place. (Yes, I was once the owner of an asphalt paving company!) But I do believe that we were all put on earth for a purpose. It’s no different when writing a book. You must focus on the purpose of your book. It’s the only way you will impact your audience and make a difference in their lives.

Give Your Nonfiction Book a Pointed Purpose Statement

The Purpose Statement for your book is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a statement—a single sentence, not a paragraph—that states what your book will accomplish for its specific audience. If you want your book to make an impact, it must perform an action.

Here’s a fill-in-the-blank formula that will help you craft your Purpose Statement:

The purpose of this book is to do ___action_____ for _audience_____.

What do you want your book to do? Hard question. Maybe it’s easier to explain what you don’t want it to do: You don’t want your book to raise awareness. Seriously.

You might think, I think I do want to raise awareness. Actually, you don’t. If you write a book to raise awareness, you miss an opportunity to change lives, save lives, or transform society.

You could write the most captivating, awareness-raising book in the world, but at the end, your readers’ response will be, “Well, that was interesting. Now I know about that.” Then they’ll shut the cover and promptly forget about it. Or maybe it will stick with readers for a few days, and they’ll think, “Somebody should do something about that.” But that’s as far as it will go. In the end, you’ve spent your time, energy, emotion, and money to write a forgettable book.

You want to create change in a specific, targeted audience, and you can use this formula to write your Purpose Statement:   

The purpose of this book is to _action_ for _audience_ so they can result.

What change do I want to invoke in my readers? Change implies action.

Here’s an example from one of my clients:

Nancy Nelson, Lessons from the Ledge: The purpose of this book is to guide women in crisis to dig into their resilience, to push past the pitfalls, and to reframe the pain so they can thrive instead of merely survive.

Let’s analyze Nancy’s Purpose Statement in light of our formula:

The purpose of this book is to guide (action) women in crisis (audience) to dig into their resilience (result 1), to push past the pitfalls (result 2), and to reframe the pain (result 3), so they can thrive instead of merely survive (result 4).

Your Purpose Statement is the foundation of your book. It defines your mission and describes your job as the author: to deliver your audience to realize the purpose of your book. It should be clear, concise, and specific. It’s the guide for everything you’ll write.

What about you? If you or someone you know is ready to tell your story with purpose, please contact us and we can help you enroll in a book writing course today!


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Trends in Publishing

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

The publishing industry gets rocked by a blockbuster title, and for years after that, publishers and authors play “follow the leader.” It’s smart — millions of books are sold and billions of dollars are amassed annually by chasing trends in publishing.

The publishing world is historically one of fads and trends. They descend upon the market like storms, altering the landscape. Ten years ago, it was Twilight-inspired vampire novels. Then came the phenomenon of young adult dystopia and Fifty Shades of Grey-style romance. And only two years ago did we emerge from the fad in which every other thriller novel included the word “girl” in the title.

Over the last two years, oddly, the industry has been in a drought, with no end in sight. That’s one of many things I learned when I attended the Book Expo America in New York City in 2018: There is simply no dominant creative trend dictating strategy in publishing right now.

There are, however, various shifts happening within the publishing industry regarding how insiders are finding new talent, and that will dictate the challenges facing new writers moving forward. Three of the most important trends in publishing include:

  1. Diversity continues to be a driving economic force
  2. The competition for readers has reached new dimensions (and media)
  3. Alternative media will drive tomorrow’s best sellers

1. Diversity is a driving economic force in publishing

One of the most popular sessions put on at the Book Expo was, “Opportunity Cost: Why Diversity is Financially Critical To the Book Industry.”

In it, panel members discussed just how influential the promotion of multicultural voices is — and will continue to be — in the publishing world. In this sense, they dismantled the conclusions of 2015’s “Diversity Baseline Survey,” which stated, “The publishing industry is white, straight, and physically able, and the vast majority of books published are intended for these audiences.”

The panel also highlighted just how quickly things are changing. The bottom line now is this: if authors and publishers do not embrace diversity, they will lose economically. That’s an easy concept to grasp when you consider the recent economic success of movies like Black Panther, Get Out, and Crazy Rich Asians, and even recent award-winning books like The Underground Railroad and Sing, Unburied, Sing.

“It’s incumbent upon us to make sure that diversity is front and center,” BookExpo/BookCon event director Brien McDonald told The Associated Press during a recent telephone interview.

The industry seems to be following through on this commitment. Other panels on the subject at the Expo focused on immigration, gender, and sexuality.

Panelist and publisher Jason Low was one of the authors of the aforementioned Diversity Baseline Survey in 2015. He summed up the momentum for mixed content in this way: “My doctor tells me that my gut or stomach health is at its peak when I give it a diet of different foods to digest — even unexpected new elements. Your reading appetite is just the same.”

2. The competition for readers has reached new dimensions (and media)

Another of the emerging trends in publishing is this: readers are accessing books in an ever-widening array of media.

Vienna-based consultant Rüdiger Wischenbart recently shared data around how much time people generally spend accessing entertainment on their mobile devices. One group, comprised by more traditional readers — such as urbanites, the well-educated, and folks over 40 — has seen their “mobile time” rise from a modest 26 minutes a day in 2012 to over one hour a day in 2017. The younger generation — let’s call them “Millennial Book Lovers” — spend almost three hours a day consuming content on their phone.

This increase in leisure time is good news. The bad news for publishers and authors is how potential readers are spending their mobile time. Consumers have a larger number of entertainment options at their disposal than ever before, and the data is suggesting that people are not spending their time reading books. That means you’re not just competing against other authors and books in the digital space, you’re competing with TV, social media, games, movies, and more.

“Digital means that publishing’s readership is somebody else’s viewership, and listenership, and gamers, and video fans, and rockers,” says Wischenbart.

There’s still plenty of money and attention available for authors — publishing industry revenue last year topped $112 billion, while the movie industry took in just $38 billion — but reader habits are changing. Authors need to be prepared to fight for their attention.

3. Alternative media will drive tomorrow’s best sellers

To garner attention, authors need to turn their focus to alternative media. That’s because one of the next big trends in publishing might just be alternative writing platforms, like Wattpad. Wattpad was launched 12 years ago and quickly turned into a fan fiction platform. Today, Wattpad might be the most important incubation ground for the authors of tomorrow.

How influential is this Toronto-based business? In the last five years, Wattpad has gone from five million unique users per month to over 65 million. The site now hosts over 550 million stories contributed by writers from all over the globe.

And these writers are getting noticed. Beth Reekles, from Newport, CT, wrote The Kissing Booth when she was 15 and published it on Wattpad. Now, she’s landed a major publishing deal and the book was made into a film that debuted on Netflix earlier this year.

While 90 percent of the average users of Wattpad are under 30, this platform isn’t just for kids. Famed Canadian author Margaret Atwood has embraced Wattpad and other new technologies as a better way to reach today’s generation of readers.

And traditional publishers love finding new authors on Wattpad because it doesn’t just lead them to talented new writers, it connects them to their very loyal readers as well.

Embracing diversity and innovation are the signatures of these new trends in publishing that will prove most influential in the publishing world of tomorrow. You would be wise to take notice.


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The Book Publishing Process-Every Book Needs Pruning

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With spring around the corner, most of my friends with a “green thumb” are getting ready for their favorite activity of the year: gardening. An important gardening skill, pruning refers to the trimming and cutting of plants to rid them of any injured, dead, or infected roots and wood. In some cases, pruning is also used as a preventive measure to make space for any new seedling or growth. (Source).

Just like in the world of trees, when you write a book, your book will also need to go through its pruning process. And in the world of writing and publishing, that pruning process is called editing. Even the best-written manuscripts still need to go through that fine-tuning process. When you submit your nonfiction book manuscript for publication by Stonebrook Publishing, we carefully evaluate it to determine its editing needs. If we determine that the manuscript is market-ready, you’ll jump right into The Complete Publishing Package.

But most of the manuscripts we receive need some editing help first. We’ll let you know what we think and will recommend one of the following two types of editing to get your manuscript ready for publication.

Copyediting

Every author needs a great editor, and if your book hasn’t yet been professionally edited and is sound in its structure and flow, then you’ll take this path before you get to The Complete Publishing Package.  

We’re different from other editors. By the time you submit your manuscript to us, we know that you’ve had enough of it. You’re done! So we don’t annoy you with making suggestions about how you should incorporate different word choices or sentence structure and suggest you make those changes; we make those changes for you, always in compliance with the Chicago Manual of Style.  

During the copyedit, we focus on the following:  

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Sentence structure
  • Punctuation

When we’re finished, you’ll receive a copyedited version of your manuscript, complete with the “track changes” markings for your review, and you can accept or reject each change as you see fit. After this step, your manuscript is ready for The Complete Publishing Package.  

Developmental Editing

It’s not uncommon for a first-time author to need some help with the structure and flow of their book manuscript, and that’s what we do with a developmental edit. Developmental editing can involve significant restructuring of your manuscript in order to create a professional, publishable book product. During this process, we concentrate on your book’s:   

  • Structure  
  • Focus  
  • Consistency  
  • Message
  • Pacing
  • Plot
  • Setting

Our mission as your developmental editor is to make your book the best it can be. After this step, your book is ready for a copyedit and then The Complete Publishing Package.   

What about you?  If you or someone you know is ready to submit your manuscript, please contact us today.


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Your Audience: Write for the Right People

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As a writing coach, I help busy professionals write high-impact nonfiction books that save lives, change lives, or transform society. Part of that job includes making sure my clients are writing their book to the right people. Not everyone is your audience. One of the worst things a writer can do is write a book for the wrong audience. Not only will your message not be heard, but you’ll be frustrated with your book’s lack of success. If you’ve decided to write a book, make sure you’re writing for the right people.

Research First, Then Write

All too many authors write their book without defining the target audience, and defining your audience is particularly important when writing nonfiction. And yet, if you narrow in on something too niche, you might discover that your audience is simply too small. For example, you might write a riveting book about how to maintain antique farm equipment, but will enough people be interested in that topic? It’s possible, but you want to be confident that you have solid book marketing plans before you start to write. You must think about your target audience when planning your book, as well as throughout the writing process.

Here are some questions to ask yourself regarding your target audience:

  • How old are they?
  • What is their gender?
  • What’s their education level?
  • What concerns/problems do they have?
  • Do they live in one specific geographic area?
  • What shared interests will they have?

First-time authors, especially those who write memoirs or biographies, may think that their target audience is people like themselves, when in reality, your audience may be quite different from you. It’s important to identify what your audience actually wants and needs, not what you think they do.

Book Audience vs. Market

For example, if you’re writing a book for children, children are your audience, but they’re not your market. Your market is the person with the pocketbook—the parents.

Be specific when defining your primary market. Picture the person who will buy your book. Is it a woman between the ages of 30 and 50 who is unhappy with the signs of aging? A target audience of all women between the ages of 30 and 50 is too broad, so it’s important to consider what subset of that group you want to attract. Ask yourself what will draw them in. How do you hope to influence and/or interest these women?

It’s also important to consider secondary markets. Secondary markets are those are the people/organizations/institutions who will also purchase your book, like educators who might be writing or teaching about your topic, or mental health practitioners if you’re writing about a topic like depression. Think hard about all the different groups that might benefit from your book. Try to come up with at least six markets for your book—a primary market and five secondary markets. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to customers, so be thorough.

Define Your Goal

It’s important to know what you hope to accomplish with your book. You should know what message you want to send, and who that message is supposed to reach. Book marketing is about knowing who will benefit from your book, and then focusing your marketing efforts on that audience.

When it comes to marketing your book, choosing your target market and an audience is essential to your book’s success. Consider all the possibilities to ensure that a proper audience and market exist for your book, and then create your plan to grab their attention.

If you or someone you know is ready to write your book for the right audience, please contact us today. We can help you take the next step and market your book to the right people when it’s complete!


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Why Writing A Book Is The Seed For Your Career

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Spring. Is there anyone else out there counting the days until March 20, 2019? While I’m thankful to live in a state that gets to experience all seasons, this winter has been pretty brutal where I live and cold—bitterly cold!

Other than the warmer weather, you know what else I love about Spring? Flowers. Trees. I’m not an avid gardener, but I appreciate the practice of gardening. There’s something fascinating about taking a tiny seed, planting it carefully in the ground, and with just the right amount of water and sunlight, you can watch it grow into what it was created to be. Amazing.

As someone who teaches professionals how to write a nonfiction book that establishes your credibility and sets you apart from your counterparts, I believe that writing a book is the seed for your career. Let me explain. Are you where you want to be in your career? Have the hours you’ve put in at the office panned out into the job you’ve always dreamed about? Many still spend countless hours working to climb the corporate ladder, but is it working? If you’re not in corporate America, maybe you’re a coach or speaker who’s desperately trying to get speaking engagements to no avail, yet you have a powerful message that could change someone’s life if you had the opportunity to get that message out to the right audience.

If that’s your situation and you want to fix it, keep reading.

Write a Book and Recharge Your Career

Some people look at writing a book as something to check off their “bucket list.” While it feels good to mentally check off those items, there’s no reason to wait until you’re old to learn the value of writing a book!

Whether you’re a coach, speaker, or business executive, you’re a different entrepreneur. You have the expertise and solutions that can help others. You know how to tell a story, and you have testimonials. You’re talented, and what you have to say matters. Perhaps you’ve been a mentor to others, and you know that what you know could benefit more than you can reach in one person.

But do other people know how credible you are? Does you’re boss or audience know you’re an expert in your field? The truth is that you can increase your credibility, recharge your career and attract a following by writing your book. But without a book, you’re just another self-proclaimed expert.  And we don’t need any more of those!

If you want to learn how to become an author, you’ll want to work with an Executive Book Coach. When you have a book, it establishes you as an expert in your field, increases your credibility, and makes you attractive to your employer—all while building a personal following.

Not sure how to write a nonfiction book or even get started? Watch below and we’ll show you how!

 

What about you? Are you ready to make all those long work hours pay off through a job promotion or speaking engagements?  Then let’s write your book and watch your seed jumpstart your career!

Contact us today and we can show you how!

 


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Six Myths  (and a Few Facts) About Traditional Publishing

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

Here are a few prevalent fallacies, as well as new truths, that all authors ought to recognize when it comes to traditional publishing.

Despite the constant upheaval that defines the current publishing landscape, many authors (and would-be authors) labor under some old “assumptions” about traditional publishing that are simply no longer relevant.

Myth #1: Traditional publishers serve as “gatekeepers”

As the argument goes… with a bloated book marketplace being invaded by millions of self-published titles, readers can depend on publishers to maintain quality literary standards as they allow only the best stories to be told through well-written tomes. This is false for many reasons.

First, publishing is a cold business. There is no noble mission to protect readers from bad books. Publishers put out books they think will make money — for the publishing house, maybe the bookstore, and possibly the author.

It’s true that traditional publishers are full of book professionals, some of whom are pretty good at spotting talent. The best placement editors also have an instinct for what the market will consume. They’ve published a lot of wonderful books. They’ve also published a lot of stinkers.

But if the gatekeeper myth were true, surely no good manuscript would ever be rejected, right?

Well, Robert M. Pirsig was rejected by 121 publishers, and still Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance went on to sell five million copies in the ’70s. Dr. Seuss’ first book was rejected by more than 40 publishers. And we all know the story of how JK Rowling’s first book was turned down by eight publishers before Bloomsbury offered her a 2,500 pound advance for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Myth #2: You can only make the big bucks through traditional publishing

The truth is, thanks to today’s self-publishing revolution, you have an equal chance at huge sales results no matter which route you choose: traditional or independent publishing. In fact, the vast majority of authors will tell you there isn’t a lot of money to be found in a traditional book deal. Sure, you get an advance check, which averages around $5,000-$10,000, but you have to earn that back before you see another dime.

Moreover, the royalties associated with publishing through one of the major houses are paltry. If you publish through a large publishing house, you can expect to make $1-$2 per book sold. To make matters worse, most publishers only pay authors twice a year, so you can’t expect to see your monthly income increase because of your book.

It got to the point that, in 2016, the US Authors Guild sent an open letter to the Association of American Publishers demanding better contract terms. In the letter, these writers stated, “Authors’ income is down across all categories. According to a 2015 Authors Guild survey — our first since 2009 — the writing-related income of full-time book authors dropped 30% over that time period, from $25,000 to $17,500.”

Myth #3: Traditional publishers will provide all the marketing support

Remember Oprah’s Book Club and the days when prominent book publicity tours included chats with Matt and Katie on “The Today Show?” Those days are long gone — even for potential bestsellers.

As marketing resources have become more scarce, publishers are only promoting titles they consider likely to succeed — such as a book by a celebrity author, a book on a subject that is currently red-hot in the news, or a book by an author whose previous books have sold well.

What’s left for all the rest? Not a lot, especially for unknown authors. You might appear in the publisher’s catalog, in a press release, and may get featured at a trade show, but you can’t count on publishers landing you an appearance alongside George Stephanopoulos.

As a matter of fact, many traditionally published authors are funding their own advertising and publicity, just like self-published authors.

Myth #4: A publisher will ensure my book gets on the shelves of brick and mortar bookstores

The biggest knock against self-publishing? Authors think it’s nearly impossible for their books to make it into bookstores around the country.

OK, it’s true that traditional publishing is almost the only route to bookstore placement, but shelf space is far from a sure thing for any new author. Even the most powerful publishing houses can only persuade bookstores to shelve a fraction of their new books. It’s a numbers game. With nearly 750,000 new books coming out each year, the best a commercial publisher can do is try to get your book on a bookstore’s shelves. If you’re not a hot commodity, you won’t be getting prime real estate — if you manage to get any at all.

Myth #5: Once you land a book deal, your author career is set for life

Loyalty to authors is, largely, a thing of the past. The duration of a traditionally published author’s career is controlled by his or her publisher, and it’s usually all about sales of the latest book. If your new book doesn’t perform well, the publisher will not want your next one.

In fact, your first book must perform exceptionally well before the next one will be considered for publication. And the odds are long: only one to two percent of all books published become bestsellers.

Plus, there’s a catch in almost every publishing contract, and it doesn’t favor authors. The standard publishing contract stipulates that publishers get first right of refusal on your next book — meaning, they do not have to publish your next book if they don’t want to.

Myth #6: If you self-publish, you kill your chances of landing a book deal

This is perhaps the most pervasive of these fictions. The reality is, if you self-publish a book and achieve some success — say, selling 1,000 copies or more — you can dramatically improve your chances of landing a traditional book deal.

Publishers want authors to come to the table with a ready-made “platform.” In other words, they want to know that you already have an audience and a product that appeals. Selling a significant number of books on your own proves exactly that.

But it’s not just about sales’ results. Talent scouts for traditional publishers will scrutinize everything an author is doing to promote his or her writing career. Does the author have a website? A blog? A social media presence? Are there speaking engagements? Book signings? These factors weigh heavily in a publishers’ decision to sign an author.

Truth #1: The biggest reason people still pursue traditional publishing is ego

There’s nothing wrong with admitting it. It would be fun to tell your friends, parents, high school English teachers, and your ex-spouse: “I have an agent and a publisher lined up to publish my book!”

But that’s where many of the advantages of traditional publishing end.

Truth #2: There are many compelling reasons to self-publish

I’ll just list the top three:

  1. By self-publishing, you’re not sharing your royalties with a publisher. Indie authors make more money selling 500 books than traditionally published authors selling 5,000.
  2. The traditional publishing timeline is long and slow. On average it will take 24 months to go from edited manuscript to a book arriving in bookstores. In the same two-year period, an indie author could have written, published, and promoted three titles.
  3. When you sign a traditional publishing contract, you are signing over all your control of the book. The words, ideas, pages, cover design — they’re no longer yours. You’re pretty much at the mercy of Mr. Bigtime Publisher — until they throw you out on the street because your book wasn’t a bestseller.

In the end, there is still much to celebrate about receiving a book deal with a traditional publisher. The added credibility can bring plenty of opportunities related to speaking, consulting, and much more. But it’s important to know what you’re getting into before you pursue a traditional publishing dream. It’s not what it once was, nor what most envision it to be.

 


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Nancy Erickson-Dedicated Author Strategist

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My name is Nancy Erickson, and I’m The Book Professor®.  My entire life and all my experiences have led me to this point. I have worked in big business, small businesses, nonprofits, and have been self-employed. I have written books, developed curricula, published other people’s books, and taught university classes. And now I am The Book Professor®, your personal book writing coach and dedicated author strategist.

We have so many problems in our world and the top-down approaches don’t seem to work. I believe the answers are trapped inside of people. My role is to connect the people who have solutions with the ones who need those answers, and I do it by coaching busy professionals to write a high-impact nonfiction book. I’m actually the least important component in the process — I’m just the hallway they pass through to take their message to the world.

You only have an idea of what you want to write, and we take it all the way through the writing, editing, designing, publishing, and marketing phases.

As a writing coach and author strategist,I help busy professionals write a high-impact nonfiction book that will save lives, change lives, or transform society.

How I’m Different

There are a lot of book coaches to choose from and, of course, you want to choose the one you trust and whose process fits your style. Because I’m a professional publisher and have taught writing at the University level, I have the credentials to guide you through the process.

But what really sets me apart is the process I’ve developed to take you from your concept to manuscript to your cover to marketing your book. This soup-to-nuts approach will guide you to write a book that will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with anything out there on the market. And that’s what you want. Not some slapped together book that will get lost in the crowd, but a professionally written, packaged, and marketed product that will have a lasting impact on your readers.

Some writing coaches suggest that you can write your book in ninety days, or in one month, or even in a weekend. That is not my approach. It takes a lot of thought and effort to construct a quality product, and that takes time. I don’t subscribe to the write-a-book-in-a-hurry method because it wastes time, energy, and dollars, and ultimately produces a substandard product. I guide my clients to write a book that will serve as a platform through which they can deliver their message in multiple venues. We construct your book in Chapter Silos, and when your book is finished, you can lift out any chapter and expand it into a workshop, seminar, keynote, etc. I know of no other book professional who has this approach.

I believe our world is in crisis, on a national, personal. and spiritual level. Government can’t fix it, organized religion can’t fix it, but it can be fixed. And it is being fixed. An uprising of individuals–everyday people–is taking place, and we are linking arms, and we ARE changing the world. In my world, you do that one reader at a time.

What about you? Are you ready to share what someone else desperately needs to hear and change the world, one reader at a time? I’d be honored to walk with you.

 


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