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August 21st—National Senior Citizen Day

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Loneliness. If you’ve lived long enough, at some point, you’re likely to have experienced loneliness. In a world driven by social media that promises to make you feel connected, it’s almost unfathomable that more people, especially our seniors, feel more alone and isolated than ever before. Recent studies show that older adults who are isolated are likely to be sicker—and die sooner—than those who feel connected. It’s safe to say that loneliness and isolation are quickly becoming another medical health crisis. 

As a book coach, mother, grandmother, and now the daughter of an aging mother, I want to take a moment to honor National Senior Citizen Day and highlight some ways that you can connect with the senior in your life. 

If you have an older adult in your life, take the time to connect with them today. The wisdom, support, and guidance that our seniors offer are priceless, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the advice of elderly mentors in my life. If you’re unsure how to celebrate  the senior in your life today, try some of these ideas:

Spend Time At a Nursing Home
One of the kindest and most rewarding things one can do is visit a nursing home. Sit and chat with residents. Play games and participate in activities. You can make a difference in someone’s day, week, or even his or her life, and trust me, you’ll find the experience fun and rewarding too.

Reach out to a senior family member
Do you have a senior family member? Perhaps it’s a parent, grandparent, aunt, or uncle. Visit them and spend some time together. If you can’t see them in person, give them a call and let them know how much you appreciate them.

Have fun!
Are you a senior citizen yourself? Well, today is all about you! Live it up! Treat yourself. Spend time with your favorite people, go shopping, do whatever you want to do! Maybe it could be the day you finally try that one thing you’ve been thinking about or perhaps it’s a day for relaxing at home. Whatever makes you happy, go for it because it’s a day dedicated to you! (Source)

For more information on how to care for the senior in your life, please visit Age Safe America at www.agesafeamerica.com 


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When There’s A Will, There’s a Way: Establish a Routine and Strengthen Your Will

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There’s an old saying that goes: when there’s a will, there’s a way. And after having some life experience on planet Earth, I can attest that it’s true. As a nonfiction book coach and writing professional with over 25 years of experience, I’ve helped many people share their truth by writing a book. But I didn’t get to where I am in my career today because it was easy. The truth is, it was hard, so hard at times that I wasn’t sure whether my dreams would come true. But I was fortunate to learn my purpose in life to provide hope and help to this world and with hard work, determination, and willpower. I’m humbled that many of my dreams, both personally and professionally, have come to fruition.

“Willpower is the key to success. Successful people strive no matter what they feel by applying their will to overcome apathy, doubt, or fear.”

-Dan Millman

Strengthen Your Willpower and Increase Your Chances for Success

With school just around the corner, many families are settling back into their daily routine. But in many homes during the summer, the regular structure that a routine provides is often pushed to the back burner. Don’t get me wrong! If you have kids, it’s fun to do spontaneous things and give them a little less structured time. But it’s also a relief to have a daily schedule in place that provides structure and accountability.

Establishing a routine is not only necessary on the homefront but in business and life. And if you’re looking to have a more successful career and life, it’s time to look at your will power routine. It’s been suggested that willpower is the single most important keystone habit for individual success.” And according to recent studies, it not only predicts academic performance more robustly than IQ, but it reassures individuals with healthy doses of self-esteem and self-confidence. It allows people to design and achieve their best life and become their best version (Source). 

Not sure how to strengthen your will power? Try these early morning routines that other highly successful people use to increase their willpower:

  • Set your alarm clock every day at the same time (this includes weekends and days off). Not only does getting up at the same time every day strengthen your circadian rhythm and reduce your dependence on caffeine while sharpening your mind, but it’s also the best way to start your day with the conscious choice of exercising and strengthening your willpower. Overcoming the temptation to stay in your warm bed is one of the biggest, but little, battles that will ensure that your willpower is fully operational and alert.

 

  • Start the day with a couple of minutes of meditation. There are many physical and psychological benefits of meditation. Devoting your firsts thoughts of the day to understand the world as it is, accepting what you can not change, fighting for what should be improved, and bringing your life into a well-oriented perspective will strengthen your willpower. 

 

  • Establish a morning workout routine. It doesn’t matter if you’re a top business professional or a stay-at-home mom, starting your day with a simple workout will improve your willpower. 

 

  • Devote some time for self-learning. There’s always room for a book in your work bag. Lifelong learning is critical for personal development. Exercise your will to keep learning!

 

  • Say good morning to people on your way to work. It takes effort to choose others before ourselves. Successful people know that there’s more to life than just money, fame, or power. Reach out and make an effort to greet others each morning. 

 

  •  Start your workday by writing a to-do list. Prioritize your day based on the importance of your priorities regardless of whether you want to do these things or not. Exercise your willpower in getting the most important things done, not simply the urgent. 

In the words of Maya Angelou: “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Now that you know a better way to increase your willpower, what will you do about it? 

 


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Did You Water the Garden This Summer?

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With the summer winding down and the school year around the corner, I always like to take a moment to reflect on my summer before preparing for the Fall. From vacations to the Grand Canyon to just being outside with nature and enjoying its presence, I’ve made fond memories with my family, and I hope you have too. But one thing I didn’t do this summer is go kerplunk. Let me explain. While it’s tempting during the summer to put off doing things that you know will make you successful in life and business, I’ve always advised against this. This summer we’ve talked a lot about enjoying your time off with family, but not ignoring the activities you know need to get done and to make sure you water the garden! Whether your a business leader, coach, speaker, or are working on your book, your business and livelihood depend on your work habits and more importantly, planning.

Get Your Plan For The Fall

As a book coach and public speaker, I know the importance of planning. If I don’t take the time to properly plan the content for my online writing courses, review editing projects, and prepare for my author’s upcoming publishing deadlines, I can assure you not only will these projects turn out sub-par, but I run the risk of hurting my credibility as a professional writing coach. And that is something I will not risk.

You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. 

-Zig Ziglar

If you’re not sure yet, how to plan for the Fall, check out a few suggestions by author and speaker Brian Tracy from his book Million Dollar Habits

  • Decide exactly what you want in a certain area, and write it down clear­ly, in detail. Make the goal measurable and specific.
  • Set a deadline for achieving the goal. If it’s a large goal, break it down into smaller parts and set sub-deadlines.
  • Make a list of everything you’ll have to do to achieve this goal. As you think of new items, add them to your list until it’s complete.
  • Organize your list of action steps into a plan. A plan is a list of activities organized on the basis of two elements, priority and sequence.

And my personal favorite: 

  • Do at least one thing every day that moves you toward your most important goal. Make a habit of getting up each morning, planning your day and then doing something, anything, that moves you at least one step closer to what’s most important to you. (Source)

If you take these suggestions into your Fall planning session and make time to plan, I’d love to hear about your success! If you or someone you know is ready to prepare for your future by taking the next step to enhance your career by writing a book, I’d be honored to help. Contact us today and we can show you how!


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Learn How to Write a Nonfiction Book-Tell the Truth

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“I really want to learn how to write a nonfiction book,” he told me over the phone, “but I think I have to write it as fiction because people will know who I’m talking about.”

“What do you mean?” I asked. “What’s the secret?”

Family secrets. Truths not told. Sensitive feelings. Things swept under the rug. These can be big barriers when deciding how to write a nonfiction book.  Big risks.

Some of us have stories that we’ve had to bury out of respect—or fear—of others. All our lives, we’ve pretended that things are okay, and we’ve hidden truths that have hurt us in order to protect someone else. We’ve lived under the shadow of other people’s choices, and we want to finally be set free. Except we’re afraid. Really afraid.

Perhaps you’ve been a victim of sexual abuse, or you grew up in a violent family, or you suffered under the lash of a parent’s alcoholism or other addiction. Maybe your husband is a closet homosexual or your child is struggling desperately with his or her gender identity. You know your story can literally save or change someone else’s life, but you’re afraid to tell the truth because it could hurt other people. Some of our stories are built from shame. I understand. But you can overcome this fear-keep reading to learn how.

Keep the End in Mind

It might be best to stop obsessing over the people you might hurt and instead to focus on the people you can help. The problem with dirty little secrets is that they get stashed away, and when you find yourself in the middle of one of them, you’re convinced that you’re completely alone because people don’t talk about this stuff.

This doesn’t happen to people like us. Nice people don’t have problems like this.

Don’t talk, don’t see, just pretend.

When you were smack in the middle of your pain, chances are you felt totally alone. There was no one to talk to and no one who understood. This type of isolation is deadly. You have to bury the pain, and you eventually have to split off from yourself to survive. You maintain a public façade that you protect with all your energy, and in doing so, you lose touch with yourself because you’re living a lie.

What if you’d had a book to be your friend? What if you’d connected with a fellow sufferer, the book’s author, and felt the compassion of someone who’d been through the same thing but was now on the other side of it? Would you want to know how things got better for that individual—to see a path out of darkness for yourself?

What if you could be that author?

Human beings are resilient, but there are two things we can’t live without: hope and help. When you tell your story—what you’ve been through, what you’ve endured, and what you’ve overcome—you can be the lifeline for someone who is sinking. You can be that voice of hope and help.

You Don’t Need Permission

If you’ve ever been in a codependent relationship, it’s likely that you don’t want to step on any toes and that you’re overly concerned about others. Guess what? You can forget about other people right now and do what you know is right.

You don’t need anyone’s permission to learn how to write a nonfiction book.  You don’t need to worry about pleasing or displeasing anyone because your focus will be on your audience and offering them hope and help. You’ll be radar-locked on helping those who need you, and everyone else can fall by the wayside. What they think about what you’re doing isn’t your concern. What you know as truth is what matters.

The truth is, there’s a lot of pain in life for most of us, and it usually involves other people. You can be both courageous and discreet when you write your book. Sometimes all you need is the courage and a helping hand to take the first step and I’d be honored to help.

If you or someone you know is ready to learn how to write a nonfiction book and share your story,  please contact us today and we can help you take the next step!

 


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I’m An Author…Do I Need a Blog?

This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

Some say authors should blog for the simple reason that it helps you write more consistently. Blogs build connections and experience. They also take time away from your other activities — like writing your next book. So… do you need a blog?

“Do I need a blog?” It’s a question on the mind of new authors everywhere.

The answer is a resounding, “Probably.”

Blog to book

Blogs have been around since 1994. By 2006, there were more than 50 million blogs online, including major hubs of international interest like Gizmodo, Gawker, and The Huffington Post. And while it’s true that the prominence of blogs has decreased somewhat — due to things like the rise of social media, podcasts, and platforms like YouTube, which ushered in the age of “vlogging” — blog are still hugely influential for anyone attempting to build an online platform. This is especially true for authors.

Consider, for example, the work of Nina Amir, a friend of BookBaby. Nina wrote the bestselling How To Blog A Book and runs and maintains four different blogs herself. She exemplifies how, beyond even building a platform, maintaining a blog is a great way to embark on the daunting task of writing and publishing book.

Amir details how, if you do it right and blog consistently about a cohesive set of topics, you can stitch together a book of original content. Plus, as you publish content, you’re inevitably building an author platform, which itself can attract the attention of publishers and potentially even land you a book deal.

What she posits is true, but I believe there are simple, practical reasons why authors should consider starting personal/professional blogs.

Blogging establishes writing discipline

If you blog everyday, you’re practicing your craft  and developing your writing style. That means you’re improving, and what could be more important for new authors than polishing your writing chops?

All authors should blog for the simple reason that it helps you write more consistently. Sticking to a regular publishing schedule forces you to center yourself and focus on making your writing engaging.

Blogging enables feedback

A key component of improving your writing is receiving — and implementing — feedback. Blogs provide a great venue for feedback, not just from well-meaning family members who might hold back, but from real-life readers who will respond critically to the different styles and strokes you play with. That’s an opportunity new authors can’t afford to pass up.

Blogging can establish expertise and credibility

The longer you blog, the more valuable the content you produce and the larger you can make your following — all of which contributes to your credibility.

This is critical for nonfiction authors, especially. Readers need to view you as an expert in your field. You want them to think of you as the go-to person on your chosen topic when they are ready to buy your books and products.

Your blog can build connections

Finally, through blogging, you make yourself available to a swath of potential connections — not just with readers and customers, but also with other authors, business owners, bloggers, and service providers.

Bloggers need each other to share content, guest post, and offer support. Within your online community, you can find potential speaking opportunities, co-authors, media and marketing opportunities, and business connections. This is a way to supercharge your online platform and presence in a way that will prove very attractive to publishers.

Of course, it is true that authors don’t technically need blogs. In fact, a growing number of authors are coming to believe that blogging is neither a requirement nor the best marketing and promotion tool for their writing. Here are a few of their reasons.

  • Blogging takes time away from your REAL writing. Each day consists of 1,440 minutes, or 86,400 seconds. Time is precious, and any activity that takes away from book-writing is a negative.
  • Blogging exposes your less-than-best work. Remember the point above about feedback? It can be a double-edged sword. As soon as you press “publish,” your article is live for the world to see, free for people to react and respond to. This is exciting — addictive even — especially when people affirm your writing. But because blogging allows you the potential of almost instant gratification, it’s tempting to hit publish prematurely or rush the creative process. Maybe you’re experimenting with new styles and ideas that aren’t fully baked. The ease of blogging and sharing can subvert the process of sharing your best content.
  • It’s hard to build a quality audience. Authors complain about the number of books in the marketplace, but those numbers pale compared to the growth of blogs. Some stats indicate there are over 700 million blogs published. Blogs are still important to those invested in their specific subjects, but maybe not to a general audience more likely to turn to Twitter or Facebook for a quick news fix.
  • Blogs aren’t money makers. Many authors devote time to blogging for reasons beyond just perfecting their craft. While I admire how some use their sites to build a platform, establish a brand, and increase an audience, many writers are lured into pursuing pure traffic numbers, affiliate marketing, and ad sales. Chasing those kinds of numbers can be a huge distraction from your literary goals. And with the amount of competition online, it’s a challenge to gain any kind of profitable traction.

At the end of the day, if you’re deciding whether or not to start a blog, consider the following:

  1. What is your experience level? If you’re a new or inexperienced author, a blog can be an excellent place for you to hone your skills, express yourself, and gain experience. But if you already have a strong following or have scant time to devote to additional writing, you might say no to blogging.
  2. What’s your genre or subject matter? If you write nonfiction, a blog is recommended. This is where you can really demonstrate your subject matter expertise. Your posts will amplify anything you publish. A romance writer, on the other hand? Are you going to be tempted to leak out some of your plot twists or interesting character developments? Maybe you should keep these private.
  3. What’s your motivation for blogging? Are you looking to gain revenue from your online writing? That’s a long-shot. If you’re blogging to cultivate readers, give people a chance to get to know you, and establish a tribe, then a blog might be a great use of your time.

Blogging has always been a great vehicle for discussing complex ideas and sharing them with like-minded people. As an author, blogs allow you to interact with readers who have the kind of attention spans needed to consume and appreciate your work. That is, and always will be, valuable.

 


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Create a crystallized message 2

Nonfiction Writing Technique: Crystallize

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writing-bookWhen writing nonfiction, there are three steps that come before you actually sit down to write that will strengthen and clarify your message.

1. What’s the Purpose?

An article is not the same as a blog, is not the same as a web page. Each end product has its own purpose, and before you begin writing, you need to know the purpose of the piece.

You probably have a general idea of what you want to write, and I challenge you to distill it down to a Purpose Statement before you start. Your Purpose Statement should say, “The purpose of this (blog/article/book/web copy/marketing message) is to ___________________.

Complete that sentence. Bear in mind that it’s one sentence, not a paragraph.

Example: The purpose of this article is to inspire others to create a larger legacy through their writing.

2. Who’s the Audience?

If you don’t know your audience, it’s like playing spin-the-bottle in the dark. Don’t you want to know who you’re going kiss before you pucker up? Likewise, you need to envision your audience. What you write isn’t for everyone; it’s for a specific slice of readers.

Picture your perfect reader. What are they looking for? What’s their age, demographic, marital status? Are they male or female, conservative or liberal? How do they identify themselves? Complete this sentence: The audience for this piece is ___________________.

Example: The audience for this article is entrepreneurs who want to create a larger legacy.

3. Why the Message?

Writers not only want to be read, they want to be remembered. If your content goes in their mind but doesn’t elicit a response, then you’ve wasted your time. It will be forgotten as quickly as it was read.

You must create some type of change in the reader. How will they be different as a result of what you wrote? What change, as slight as it may be, do you want to invoke in the reader? Do you want to move them to action? Give them hope? Make them smile? Consider the end result and write down how you want your readers to be affected.

Example: This article will inspire entrepreneurs to first crystallize and then expand their message.

Now pull the three components together into a single statement.

Example: The purpose of this article is to inspire entrepreneurs to first crystallize and then expand their message, so they can create a larger legacy.

Ready, set, write.

Now that you know your audience, you can write from their perspective, not yours. What do they want to know? What information are they seeking? What new message or perspective can you deliver? Compelling content always meets the need, and your job is to deliver what the audience is seeking.

To crystallize your message, include specific content that achieves the stated purpose, nothing else. Readers absorb focused content, and everything you write should drive toward that message, that audience, that purpose, and that result.

Go BIGGER!

If you want a bigger audience, you need a bigger platform. With a little tweaking, you can extend your message and deliver it through multiple venues, like writing a book or delivering workshops, speaking engagements, and online courses. This isn’t simply an opportunity for you; it’s a service to others. When you share what you’ve learned, what you’ve developed, and what you’ve overcome, you can change the life or direction of someone else. Someone is looking for what’s hidden inside you. Whether your message is about your business, lessons you’ve learned, or about how to connect on a soul-level with your dog, if you have a passionate solution, someone else needs it!

Your legacy is about the lives you touch and the change you create. When you share what you know, what you’ve learned, and what you’ve overcome, you can make a lasting impact that extends far beyond yourself.

What about you? Are you ready to take the next step and learn how to crystallize your message in your book? Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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Take Notes From a Writing Coach Online: Don’t Be An Anonymous Writer

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As a writing coach online, I never get tired of hearing people’s stories. But for some, the choice to remain anonymous or to share their real identity in their book can be crippling. Why? Because not all stories are created equal. Some pains and traumas are hard to put on paper, let alone tell the world that these injustices happened to you. Old feelings like shame, fear, anger, abandonment, or embarrassment can reappear, and the writer feels emotionally paralyzed at the thought of baring their soul to the world.

I understand. I know what that feels like because I had to work through it myself as an author. The truth is, there’s a lot of pain in life, and it usually involves other people. But you can be both courageous and discreet when you write your book. Sometimes all you need is the courage and a helping hand to take the first step. And I’d be honored to help.

Write it Raw, Then Edit

It may be tempting to remain anonymous when you publish your book, but if you do, you can’t offer anyone hope or help. Your readers won’t trust a face in the shadows. They’ve seen enough of those. They need to know that you’re real.

So how do you do it? The answer is to write the first draft of your book raw. Get down all the details and record all the indignities, as long as they’re driven by your Purpose Statement. Purge yourself of what you’ve been holding in and get everything down. Don’t be afraid to name names.  

This is where you start. Write a raw draft that holds nothing back. Your first draft won’t be anything like your final draft, so don’t be afraid to get it all down. 

After you finish your first draft, you can address the sensitive issues and the people you feel you need to protect. Maybe you don’t need to name names. Many of your characters can likely be defined by their relationship to you: my sister, my mother, my neighbor, her teacher. You get the point.

The extra benefit of identifying people by their relationship rather than their name is that it strengthens your writing. If you have too many names in your book, it confuses the reader and causes fatigue because they’re constantly juggling names and trying to remember who’s who.

Don’t feel like you need to tell the reader where you live either, unless your city or town is an important part of your story. As a writing coach online, I advise my students to concentrate on the message and leave the identifying details out.

Finally, after you’ve written it raw please remember that what you write must be the truth. Your book isn’t the place to smear someone else and risk a libel charge. If you want to write a “gotcha” book, I have nothing to offer you. Your book can be a powerful tool to change lives, save lives, and transform society, but there’s no room for vindictiveness. Write your story, but write it right.

What about you? Are you ready to write it raw then edit? If you or someone you know is ready to share their story, I’d be honored to be your writing coach online and help you take the first step. Contact us today!  


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Learn From Other Successful Nonfiction Authors

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As a nonfiction book coach with over 25 years of experience, I admit that I didn’t get to where I am today on my own. I’ve learned from the best mentors early in my career and am fortunate to have wise teachers in my life still today. As an aspiring author, one of the best things you can do is to learn from other successful nonfiction authors. Their experience, style, successes, and failures are all worth studying as you work on your book.

Meet Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell is a nonfiction author who has written books to share his knowledge, experience, and expertise. Gladwell has written 5 books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, Outliers: The Story of Success, What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures, and David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants.

nonfiction author malcolm gladwell

Gladwell’s style proves that nonfiction authors can be just as entertaining and riveting as novelists. His well-researched books present information in an easy-to-digest manner so that readers can dive into a topic they may not have explored previously. When asked about his writing process, Gladwell said, “I have two parallel things I’m interested in. One is, I’m interested in collecting interesting stories, and the other is I’m interested in collecting interesting research. What I’m looking for is cases where they overlap” (Source)

Background

Gladwell was born to a Jamaican-born psychotherapist (Joyce Gladwell) and English-born mathematician (Graham Gladwell). He spent his childhood hanging around his father’s office at the University of Waterloo and considers his mother his role model as a writer. However, his early love of reading and books did not lead to a particularly successful college career; his undergraduate grades were not high enough to get him into graduate school. Gladwell has no problem admitting his flaws and failures and talks openly about how his failures have given him the insight and material he needs to write.

Learn from an incredibly successful nonfiction author

It’s always great to see authors helping authors. Gladwell is not shy about discussing his writing methods, how he deals with writer’s block, and how he uses public speaking to promote himself and his books. In this podcast episode he discusses everything from his morning routine to the advice he would give his 30-year-old self. Set aside some time to listen to a bestselling nonfiction author share his wisdom and advice for aspiring authors!

“For every hour I spend writing, I spend three hours thinking about writing.”

 This quote from Gladwell says so much about the writing process. Writing is not just about putting words on paper or a screen, it’s about putting serious thought into what it is you want to say and how you can communicate that message through the art of writing.

Learn from other authors and find the writing process that works for you! Contact us today and we can help you take the next step in writing your book!


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Book Writing Software Online tools for writing your book

Online Tools For Your Book

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We recently talked about the importance of marketing your book online. Today, I want to give you some online tools you can use for writing your book. During the process of writing your nonfiction book, you’ll find that there are many potential pitfalls—organization, inspiration, and focus can all be roadblocks to your writing success. As a book writing coach, I guide aspiring authors through the process of writing and publishing their nonfiction books, and it’s my hope to help them eliminate some of the frustrations that they face during the writing process. To do this, I’m always looking for great tools to help my writers. Today, I wanted to share three great online tools for writing your book! If you know of others that you love, comment below! We’re always looking for new tools to help our writers be more successful.

Scrivener-book-writing-softwareScrivener Book Writing Software

Scrivener for Mac – $45.00

Scrivener for PC – $45.00 

Scrivener is more than a word processing tool. It’s a project management tool for writers. The software is fairly low cost and allows writers to outline their nonfiction book, to organize their characters and timeline, to storyboard ideas, and to write. The software offers templates for fiction books, non-fiction books, scriptwriting, poetry, lyrics, and all other project formats. Your final draft can be exported for a publisher, or published in an online format for ebook readers.

GoodNotes Writing App

Available in the iTunes App store for $7.99.

If you’re more of a hand writer or a doodler, then the app GoodNotes may be a great tool to help you get your ideas out and organized in a visual fashion. The app allows you to create images, doodles, and even add text. It syncs between iPhones and iPads utilizing iCloud sync. (Click here to learn more.)goodnotes software for writers

 

Evernote

Evernote – FREE & Premium Available

Evernote is the best of both worlds – typewritten organization and handwritten creativity. Using browser tools, iPhone, iPad and Android apps, and the online/Mac version of the platform, you can constantly make and take notes, and organize research with total flexibility. While it’s not necessarily built for publishing or self-publishing, it can be utilized for writing and organization of thought – from scenes, to character sketches, to outlines and more. Click here to read a great blog on Lifehacker on how to use Evernote to write fiction. Many of the same tactics can be used in the writing of a nonfiction book.

What about you? Ready to use these tools in writing your story? Contact us today and find out how to join our next online writing class!


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Market Your Book

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While working on your book this summer, take some time to learn a few techniques about online book marketing. Don’t worry, we can help you with the details through our sister company, Stonebrook Publishing, but as an aspiring writer, it’s always helpful to have an idea of things work. After all, your book probably will not reach many people if you don’t learn how to market a book online. Take a look at these ideas and helpful tips to get your book in front of more people!

Meet Amy Porterfield

Amy produces a weekly Podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy, which is full of great information and easy-to-implement advice that can help you successfully market your book on Facebook. If you think Facebook ads are a waste of time and money, I guarantee, Amy can change your mind!

Before you completely write her off because you don’t think you have time for Podcasts, hear me out. I used to avoid Podcasts because I didn’t believe I had the time to sit down and dedicate my attention to a full Podcast. Then I realized how much “dead time” I have throughout the day when I am in the car, getting ready in the morning, cooking, cleaning, etc. These are all perfect times for putting on a Podcast and getting some great information. I now listen to so many Podcasts in my car that I call in my “Auto University.”

Not only is Amy herself a wealth of information, she also uses her Podcast to introduce you to other online marketers and their Podcasts. All of these marketing gurus can teach you so much, all while you multitask in the car, in the kitchen, or anywhere you can tune into an episode.

Here are a few of my favorite online marketing Podcasts:

Let David Siteman Garland show you how to create online courses

If you feel like you have valuable information to share, but aren’t sure how to get it out into the world, David can help you. He offers a step-by-step proven system for creating, promoting, and then profiting from your own online course. His free video series: How to turn your ONLINE PLATFORM (blog, web show, Podcast, etc. (into REVENUE by creating your own ONLINE COURSE, can be found right here. Follow his advice and you’ll be turning a profit in no time.

Learn about mobile marketing from Greg Hickman

Anyone who has a smartphone of his or her own knows that mobile marketing is essential. Greg can help you incorporate mobile marketing strategies for your retail business and show you how to be successful with that marketing. He’s all about making use of his extensive network of marketing expert friends to help you dominate mobile. Greg’s web show gives you access to free, uncensored interviews with some of the world’s top experts and most successful mobile marketers. Listen in and take advantage of their experience, insight, and expert advice about how to help retailers and marketers completely dominate mobile marketing.

Figure out how to outsource your online marketing with help from Chris Ducker

If you consider your book a business, the New Business Podcast is for you. This weekly show introduces you to top minds within the “new business” realm. You’ll hear discussions about everything from branding, strategy, business growth, and much more. Chris is known as “The VA Guy” (VA, as in Virtual Assistant) so when it comes to the world of outsourcing, he really knows his stuff.

Create a successful Podcast with John Lee Dumas

Ready to strike out on your own and create your very own Podcast? John Lee Dumas, the founder, and host of EntrpreneurOnFire, can help. This award-winning Podcast covers the inspiring journeys of successful entrepreneurs, every day of the week. This Podcast generates over $250,000 a month in revenue, which in itself is a pretty solid argument for you taking the free 15-day course on Podcasting.

Get to know social media marketing with Michael Stelzner

If you are looking for a Social Media marketing guriu Michael is your guy. His on-demand talk radio show, Social Media Marketing Podcast is designed to help business owners and marketers figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to social media marketing.

What about you? Are you ready to take your book to the next level and get it in front of the right people? Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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Authors Are Making Less Money? I’m Not Buying It

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

A recent Authors Guild survey suggests that author income is down dramatically. There are plenty of signs that this is not true and plenty of ways to leverage your book to make additional income.

Every few years, authors have to endure news of impending doom — at least as it pertains to the publishing industry and their chances to profit in it. Case in point: The Authors Guild 2018 Salary Survey reported author income has fallen 42 percent since 2009. Reports like these contribute to a growing and troublesome identity crisis among writers — newer writers, especially.

I believe these reports are inherently flawed. For one thing, the data presented doesn’t show a complete picture — especially for self-published authors. The 2018 Authors Guild survey, for example, only represents a tiny slice of authors who are publishing today. It does not account for all self-published authors and is actively biased toward older, traditionally published folks.

If you accept the commonly-quoted number that over one million new books are published each year in the US, this survey — with the small sample size it offers — represents something close to one half of one percent of authors who are actually writing.

To get more into the specifics, the Guild’s conclusion in the 2018 survey was that the median writing-related income for all authors — including part-time, full-time, traditionally published, self-published, and hybrid-published authors — was just $6,080, which is down 42 percent since 2009.

Does this represent a “crisis of epic proportions,” as the survey proclaims? I’d argue it doesn’t.

First, it doesn’t speak to the success of working writers, the folks who earn money through writing in addition to other income streams. Among those folks, the numbers are actually very encouraging:

  • Median income for working published authors was $20,857, an increase of 13% since 2013.
  • Over 2,000 authors reported average publisher royalties from traditional publishing houses of almost $32,000.
  • Self-published authors registered stronger earnings, with over 1,600 of them listing average book sales of $31,000.
  • Overall, the top 30 percent of “full-time authors”  — authors who write regularly — had median incomes of over $50,000

No doubt, it is very, very difficult to make a comfortable living exclusively by publishing books. But does that mean all aspiring writers should quit? Of course not. The craft alone is inherently worthwhile. But, the reality this survey ignores is that the most successful writers today don’t rely exclusively on book sales for income. Rather, they use their books as springboards for other revenue opportunities. Their books create those opportunities, including additional writing gigs, speaking engagements, and brand/business building.

Additional writing gigs

A book is not the be-all and end-all for a writer. Whether or not publishing income is as lucrative as it was in the past, authors still find substantial revenue in magazine, newspaper, and web publishing.

In addition to new content that might ignite the next book idea, some authors create articles based on their book’s content or even excerpt parts of their books and sell them as magazine or blog articles. These published works provide the opportunity to mention the book title in the “about the author” blurbs, providing additional promotional benefit and potential book sales. This is something you can do even while your book is awaiting release, touting in your bio “new” or “upcoming” titles.

Of course, more generally, writing success begets more opportunity. Editors will be more likely to want to publish you, and you’ll have the chance to work on new projects you find interesting — and that can make you more money.

Speaking engagements

I attended the National Speakers Association Conference in 2018, and every single attendee had written — or planned to write — his or her own book. In many cases, their book was the ticket that provided them access to speak at the conference. And many speaking engagements, I might add, pay handsomely. Hundreds of BookBaby authors have leveraged their books into very lucrative speaking careers across a huge range of topics.

Simply put, writing and publishing a book helps authors to legitimize their careers and positions them as subject-matter experts.

Building your business and brand

Finally, I know several authors who have written valuable books that could generate serious royalties, but they choose to offer them for free on their websites. Why? Because people who download those free books became aware of the author’s consulting business, training programs, and other services.

Your book, in this sense, can serve as an introduction to the business and brand of you — a business and brand which, when it’s all said and done, could very well bring in 10 times the amount of money book sales alone would have.

Look, authors are motivated by a wide variety of things: prestige, status, professional validation, checking an item off the bucket list… It deserves noting that most writers are going to continue writing regardless of the monetary rewards.

Still, those rewards and motivations are important. That’s why I believe it’s almost irresponsible that traditional industry groups release surveys like the one which inspired this article. In some sense, they’re lobbing weapons against perceived publishing industry bad guys, like Amazon.

Bottom line: if you’re an author, don’t be dismayed by findings like the Authors Guild survey. Consider, instead, findings like those released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which noted the median income for “writers and authors” in the US in 2017 was $61,820 annually. It even estimates the field will expand 8% in the next decade. So keep writing!


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I Started My Book But Got All Tangled Up

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As a nonfiction book coach, we often work with people that have never written a book before. We also get calls from people who’ve already started writing a book but got tangled up along the way. Maybe that’s where you are right now. You were really excited about your project, and you jumped in with both feet and started to write. But it wasn’t long before your writing was all tangled up. You had lots and lots of ideas floating around in your head, but now you can’t make sense of them, and you know they won’t make sense to anyone else.

The first thing you need to do before you do anything else is: cut the cord. Cut yourself free from the jumbled writing and start anew—this time with a concrete plan. You’ll probably be able to salvage some of what you’ve written, but you can’t move forward unless you start afresh.

I’m not really a storyteller myself. I tend to get all tangled up when I try and tell stories.

—Daniel Day-Lewis

Start With A Plan

I remember a conversation I had with my friend George. George, a successful businessman, had been writing a book to help others jumpstart their careers.

“I started writing my book,” he said, “but now I just don’t know what I’m doing. It’s a mess.”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself, George. If you’ve never written a book, how would you even know how to get started?”

“That’s it. I didn’t know where to start, so I just started. Now I can’t make heads or tails of any of it.”

“I know exactly what you need to do. But I’m going to ask you to set everything that you’ve written aside and to start from the beginning. We need to build the foundation of your book.”

“What does that mean—build the foundation?”

“We start with some Foundational Questions and distill all your thoughts into a single Purpose Statement. Once we have that Purpose Statement and we’ve defined your audience, we create BookMAPs that are a visual representation of everything that will be in your book. When you have these BookMAPs, you can write in an organized manner with cohesive themes.”

“But what about what I’ve already written? It seems like a waste of the time I’ve already spent to put it aside and start over.”

“It’s not a loss at all. We’ll figure out where it fits on your BookMAP, and we’ll plug it in at the appropriate spots.”

If you’ve already started writing your book, you may not want to go back to the beginning. I understand that. There’s nothing I despise more than doing something over. When you have a step-by-step process to follow, you have clear direction about how to write a book. It’s like having a recipe to follow when you’re cooking—essentially a set of instructions—to follow when writing a book.

That’s the kind of process I offered George. He enrolled in an Executive Group Coaching class and followed the instructions step after step after step until he’d completed his manuscript.

“I can’t believe how different this is from what I started with,” he said. “There’s no way I could have done this by myself. It was such a mess before, and now it all flows together and makes sense.”

“It’s really a great book,” I assured him, “and you did it all yourself. All you needed was a foundation to build from. After that, you followed the steps.”

It was all about cleaning up what George already had, putting it in the right order, and adding what was necessary to fill the gaps.

 

What about you? If you’ve gotten all tangled up in your writing, don’t fret and don’t put it aside. You can straighten it out and continue in an organized manner. Contact us today and we can show you how!

 


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