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Four Must-Read Books By Authors Who Died in 2018

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Four Must-Read Books By Authors Who Died in 2018

This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

Some bright literary stars died in 2018. I’ll remember these four writers for their contributions to literature and society, which will continue to have an impact for years to come.

It happens every year: we lose some of the best and brightest writers among us.

2018, of course, was no different. As this year moves along at an ever-faster clip, I thought it worth taking a pause and looking back to four of the world’s favorite writers who passed last year, along with the books that we can all treasure and remember them by.

The Right Stuff authours who died in 2018

Tom Wolfe — The Right Stuff

Tom Wolfe pioneered the “New Journalism” approach in the 1960s, applying fiction writing techniques to the subjects that interested him. In many ways, he blazed a new literary trail all his own.

Wolfe was a prolific essayist, with many pieces appearing in prominent magazines of the day — including Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Harper’s. It was later in his writing career that he became an acclaimed novelist, publishing The Bonfire of the Vanities in 1987 and A Man in Fullin 1998.

I first encountered Wolfe’s writing in the mid-1980s while on a solo trek around the South Pacific islands just after college. I was eight months into the trip and getting homesick for the US when I picked up a copy of Wolfe’s The Right Stuff. In the book, Wolfe profiled NASA’s first astronaut class, known as the Mercury Seven, as well as some test pilots who never made it to space — most famously, Chuck Yeager, who in 1947 became the first pilot to break the sound barrier.

Wolfe’s fantastic depiction of the American space program prompted me to end my trip almost on the spot and return to America.


Earthsea authours who died in 2018

Ursula Le Guin — The “Earthsea” series

My high school English teacher introduced me to the writing of Ursula Le Guin, the award-winning science fiction/fantasy author who explored feminist themes. Her books changed my life.

Her best-known works, the books that make up the Earthsea collection, have sold millions worldwide, and she was regarded as a great science fiction writer. But Le Guin disliked being labeled.

“I know that I am always called ‘the sci-fi writer,’” she told a Scifi.com reviewer. “Everybody wants to stick me into that one box, while I really live in several boxes.”

I found this rebellion against stereotyping inspiring.

In addition to her more mainstream work, Le Guin also produced volumes of short stories, poetry, essays, and literature for young adults. Her themes ranged from children’s literature to explorations of Taoism, feminism, anarchy, psychology, and sociology. She wrote tales of a society where reading and writing are punishable by death, and of a scientist who battled aliens to save the world.

She was a warrior for good art. Le Guin won an honorary National Book Award in 2014 and warned in her acceptance speech against letting profit define what is considered good literature. She often criticized the “commercial machinery of bestsellerdom and prizedom” — even as she was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in 1997, a rare achievement for a science fiction/fantasy writer.

“I have had a long career and a good one. Now here, at the end of it, I really don’t want to watch American literature get sold down the river,” Le Guin said in the speech. “We who live by writing and publishing want — and should demand — our fair share of the proceeds. But the name of our beautiful reward is not profit. Its name is freedom.”


Kitchen Confidential authours who died in 2018

Anthony Bourdain — Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Less than one year ago, the world was shocked to learn of the sudden and tragic passing of Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain was a writer long before he became famous. Most of his fans don’t know, for example, that he wrote two novels while working as an executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles.

Of course, it wasn’t until 1999 that his literary career started in earnest, when The New Yorker ran his unsolicited article, “Don’t Eat Before Reading This.” In that famous piece, Bourdain exposed readers to what really goes on in restaurant kitchens — even those that are 5-Star. “If you are one of those people who cringe at the thought of strangers fondling your food,” he wrote. “You shouldn’t go out to eat.”

The public reaction to that article prompted him to write Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, the book that elevated him to celebrity chef status and travel television stardom. But he did more than entertain. He gave readers like me the courage and incentive to investigate local cuisine, no matter how foreign or alien it might be.

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico, and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s?” asked Bourdain in his memoir. “Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”


A Year In Provence authours who died in 2018

Peter Mayle — A Year in Provence

Peter Mayle was not as famous as the other writers on this list, but his travel memoir classic, A Year in Provence,inspired generations of romantic adventurers seeking an idyllic life in rural France. It certainly inspired me, as a reluctant adventurist myself.

Mayle was an Englishman who embarked upon his writing career in his 30s with sex-education books for children. His first book, Where Did I Come From?, published in 1973, sought to explain the facts of life to children. He followed that book with one on puberty, titled: What’s Happening to Me?

When Mayle wanted to try to write a novel, he and his wife, Jennie, moved to Ménerbes, a village in the Provence region of France, in 1987. Unfortunately, he was quickly distracted by the task of renovating the 18th-century stone farmhouse he and Jennie had bought. As a result, Mayle shelved the novel and instead told the story of the couple’s experience in his new home, with tales of encounters with local builders, neighbors, lawyers, truffle hunters, and more — with vivid descriptions of the region’s food and drink.

Mayle’s British publisher, Hamish Hamilton, didn’t think much of the book and ordered just 3,000 copies to be printed. But when The Sunday Times excerpted the book, sales in England rocketed past the million-copy mark. The book sold more than 600,000 copies in the United States.


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How an Executive Coach Finally Turned His Life Story into a Non-Fiction Book

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A Story Worth Telling

Mike Kitko is a man of intensity, integrity, passion, and energy. He’s a straight talker who doesn’t pull punches. His commitment to truth has earned him a trusted position as an Executive Coach for CEOs, entrepreneurs, and executives at all levels.

He’s also a sought-after speaker, teaching audiences hard-won lessons from his own life. His talks on self-mastery, finances, and business have earned him audiences all over the country. But he wouldn’t be where he is today without the difficult lessons learned through some harsh and heartbreaking times.

Mike, a Marine veteran who spent twenty years as an executive, was addicted to alcohol. He weighed 300 pounds, his marriage was mutually abusive, and his home was chaotic. His poor habits and lack of personal character caught up with him. He lost his job—and nearly lost his family.

Hitting rock bottom, he recognized he was living someone else’s dream — one created for him by his parents and a lifetime worth of TV and movies. He felt like an imposter and got busy turning his life around.

The story of how he got healthy, broke free from codependency, started his own business, and ultimately rebuilt his income and his family was worthy of a book. He wanted to show people they could turn their lives around too.

He also knew that as an Executive Coach, having a high-quality, finished book catapults someone like him into a higher echelon. To move his career forward, he wanted to put the lessons he learned into a book he could share with prospective clients and sell at speaking engagements.

Inspired, Mike sat down and began writing his book.

The Decision to Hire a Book-Writing Coach

Mike understood the power of his life’s journey and wanted to open the book with his childhood, move through his life, and end in the present. After the first few chapters, however, he started to lose his way. Mike wasn’t a quitter, so he decided to dump the first draft and start again from scratch.

But after four or five false starts, he knew he needed help. He had met Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor, and wondered what it would be like to work with her. As a coach himself, he knew the value of an outside perspective. When he and Nancy got together, he presented the idea for his book.

Nancy said something that challenged Mike deeply. In what he calls “a loving, maternal way,” she said: “Do you want two people to read your book, or two million?”

She went on: “If you create a book that’s an autobiography, only people who know you will want to read it. But if you write a book that can help people, connect with the pain and struggle they’re experiencing … to give them tools, help, and hopethen you’ve got something people will want to read. They’ll be thankful for the lessons they’ve learned, and your credibility will go up.”

Mike felt moved. He signed up for The Book Professor’s Group Coaching & Publishing Program, saying, “It’s always fun to go through something with a few more people.” There, he quickly learned why he had failed on his first several attempts to write his book.

Structuring a Non-Fiction Book

Under Nancy’s leadership, Mike said he and his group learned what he believes is the “greatest tool for writing a book”: the Problem/Solution set.

Instead of just telling their life stories from beginning to end, Nancy helped each member of the group discover their message and target audience. Each created and shared their BookMAPTM, a visual representation of the book from beginning to end that identified:

  • Problems the author had faced.
  • Solutions the author had discovered.
  • Stories from the author’s life that illustrated the problem/solution set.

Mike discovered one of the main reasons he couldn’t finish his book before: He never had a plan! This new structure made sense. He imagined his coaching clients and how they could immediately apply lessons he’d learned the hard way.

But Mike was still stuck. For some reason, he couldn’t let go of his original plan for a memoir. He kept trying to force his problem/solution book into the form of an autobiography.

Fortunately, in a one-on-one session with Nancy, he had a revelation. Through conversation, Mike was able to figure out his purpose for writing the book. He wasn’t writing to tell his story. He was writing to help other people. Realizing this, Mike finally let go of his initial idea — and the book came alive.

Taking the “Lonely” Out of Writing a Book

Working in a group with weekly deadlines, Mike found his manuscript moving along at incredible speed. He enjoyed hearing from others, cheering on their successes, and also finding out that, just like him, they had difficulties. Everyone would fall behind from time to time. Everyone would get a little stuck.

But the difference was that they had each other. Every member of the group seemed to draw out the best in him, and he in them. Well-defined deadlines meant they had concrete assignments to complete weekly, and that worked for Mike.

His Book Mastermind kept him going, even when he felt uninspired. He looked forward to the experience every time. Additionally, he was grateful the Group Coaching option also included one-on-one time with Nancy. Together, they could concentrate on his book without distraction.

A Skill that Goes Beyond the First Book

Mike’s business, among other things, has him creating a lot of content. He found that working on his book actually increased his creative output in all areas. In fact, it led to something astonishing.

While writing his book, Mike created two courses. One morning over breakfast, his wife, Angie, asked if the new courses could also be made into books. Mike was intrigued, so he sent the content to Nancy for her feedback.

She called him back and let him know that he had, almost by accident, written two more books.

He had so internalized the process — and received so much inspiration — instead of having one book, he had a trilogy.

Mike Kitko’s first book, The Imposter in Charge, launchesOctober 22. If you want to read the result of the process, plus derive benefit from Mike’s life experience, you can preorder his finished book here.

Are You Tired of Getting Stuck on Your Book Idea?

Aspiring authors tend to follow the same pattern. They sit down and start writing without a plan, without an audience, and without any structure. But writing is a lonely process, and going it alone is too hard for most of us.

But like Mike, you can get from first draft to published manuscript through The Book Professor’s Group Coaching & Publishing Program. In a group, you can receive:

  • Encouragement from a Mastermind group.
  • Deadlines that keep you moving.
  • Structure to help keep you on course.
  • One-on-one sessions with a certified Book Professor® coach.
  • A process that actually works.

If you’re ready to stop going it alone and want to leverage the power of The Book Professor’s Group Coaching & Publishing Program, you can learn all about it (and sign up!) here.


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Nonfiction Writing Technique: Comparison

One of the easiest ways to help your readers feel your passion and understand your message is to paint a word picture, and comparison is just the tool to do that. Enjoy this writing tip!

What’s the Purpose of Comparison?

Comparison serves a couple of purposes. It adds complexity to your writing and makes the reader think. It catches their attention and causes them to pay closer attention to the subject matter. 

Comparison is also a tool for explaining complex ideas. When we link an unfamiliar idea to common and familiar objects, it simplifies the meaning and makes for good communication. When you use comparison, you help the reader link the concept to their own life and experience, which keeps them invested in your message. 

There are three types of comparison: the simile, the metaphor, and the analogy. 

Simile

A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things. It uses a connective word such as like, as, than, or a verb such as resembles.

Writing a book is like running a marathon.

Similes are so common that you may have ceased to recognize them, but you certainly understand the meaning: 

  • as blind as a bat
  • as busy as a bee
  • as dry as a bone
  • as good as gold
  • as hard as nails
  • as wise as an owl

Should you use these kinds of similes in your own writing? No, no , NO! These phrases are cliches. They  are expressions that were once new and fresh, but have been used so often that they’re irritating. When you use a cliché you prove yourself to be a lazy writer, so invest your time to write fresh and innovative similes. 

Here’s an example of an interesting simile from George Orwell’s narrative essay “A Hanging.”

They crowded very close about him, with their hands always on him in a careful, caressing grip, as though all the while feeling him to make sure he was there. It was like men handling a fish which is still alive and may jump back into the water.

Metaphor

A metaphor is different from a simile. It compares two unlike things by saying that the one thing is the other thing.

Nonfiction is a long, bumpy road.

Where a simile says something is like something else, a metaphor says that something is something else. 

A metaphor compares two dissimilar things and finds a point in common. It sounds like you are stating a fact, but you have to think it through for it to make sense. 

What do these metaphors communicate? 

  • My sister’s boyfriend is a zero.
  • The sky’s the limit.
  • Fear is a beast that feeds on attention.
  • Strength and dignity are her clothing.

For example, if you say, “You are the wind beneath my wings,” you’re not saying that a person is actually wind. Instead, you are referring to the support you receive from that person.

Analogy

An analogy explains an unfamiliar idea or a thing by comparing it to something that is familiar. 

Your story is as explosive as dynamite and will blast your readers into action.

An analogy also shows how two different things are similar, but rather than a figure of speech, it’s more of a logical argument. Metaphors and similes are tools that can be used to draw an analogy. Therefore, analogy is more extensive and elaborate than either a simile or a metaphor. 

You may remember working with analogies on your SAT or ACT test, or on IQ or Mensa tests. book coach, book writing coach

SHARD : POTTERY :: (____) : WOOD

  A. acorn
  B. smoke
  C. chair
  D. splinter 

This analogy compares a shard of pottery to a splinter of wood, but you probably won’t use anything like that in your writing. But you may use an analogy like this:

“The structure of an atom is like a solar system. The nucleus is the sun and electrons are the planets that revolve around their sun.”

This example compares the structure of an atom to the solar system, which helps us understand atomic structure. Notice that this analogy used both a simile and a metaphor. 

If you’re writing about a complex concept – a technical concept perhaps – an  analogy may bring clarity to the subject matter, and your analogy may include a simile and/or a metaphor. This is getting down into the technicalities of terminology, and I don’t want you to get hung up on the word analogy. But if the  subject matter warrants this type of comparison, by all means use it!

Use This Writing Tip!

When you use comparison in your writing, whether it be through an analogy, a simile, or a metaphor, you engage the reader’s imagination and make your writing interesting and compelling. Remember to respect your readers. They are your partners and are intelligent, thinking people. Don’t take the simplistic approach and spell everything out for them as if they’re kindergartners. Allow them to partner with you and invest their own brain power to interpret your message. 


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teacher appreciation

Celebrate World Teachers’ Day October 5th, 2019

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This year we’ve talked a lot about writing, publishing, and promoting your book because that’s what I love to do both personally and professionally.  But I want to take a moment to pay tribute to teachers.

World Teacher’s Day is very important to me. As a professional book coach, writer, and former collegiate professor, I am forever grateful to the teachers who ignited my love for all things “books.” I’ve always had an interest in reading and excelled in writing as a youngster, but it was my teachers who kept me motivated to pursue my dreams. They were there to offer a kind word of encouragement when I felt discouraged. There isn’t enough appreciation in our world for teachers. You usually only hear about the bad ones, when there are millions of terrific teachers who do what they do, simply because they care. 

Because their job is often underpaid, criticized, and unappreciated, many educational facilities find it hard to retain and attract excellent talent. Nonetheless, they still come to work each and every day ready to shape and guide today’s youth. 

What is World Teachers’ Day?

Held annually on 5 October since 1994, World Teachers’ Day commemorates the anniversary of the adoption of the 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers. This Recommendation sets benchmarks regarding the rights and responsibilities of teachers and standards for their initial preparation and further education, recruitment, employment, and teaching and learning conditions. 

In 2019, World Teachers’ Day will celebrate teachers with the theme, “Young Teachers: The Future of the Profession.” The early twenty-first century is not an easy time to be a teacher. While teachers were once highly respected professionals, valued, trusted, and accepted as inspirational role models for young people, nowadays they too easily serve as scapegoats for the failure of education systems. Indeed, in our society that tends to glorify celebrities, we’re more likely to heap praise on performing artists, sports personalities, and social media influencers than on outstanding teachers. 

With large numbers of teachers likely to retire in the coming decade, a major concern is that there aren’t enough young candidates coming into the profession to replace them. Over 69 million teachers must be recruited by 2030 for primary and secondary education to meet the SDG 4 education targets. Of this number, 48.6 million new recruits will be needed to replace those who are leaving the profession either through retirement or voluntarily. 

These challenges and transformations in the 21st century are very real. As we commemorate World Teachers’ Day 2019, we must take time to look at the future of the profession and the role of young teachers in it, taking on the changing climate of education and schooling, the need to draw in and retain a new generation of dedicated educators, and to prepare them for the 21st century challenges of “teaching in diversity” and “diversity in teaching.” (Source)

Take a moment today to think about what your life would be like if you’d never had a quality teacher. How would a shortage of quality teachers affect your children’s or grandchildren’s life and future? In honor of World Teacher’s Day tomorrow, tell the teacher in your life how much you appreciate and value their work in helping to shape our youth!


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Get a Coach-You Can’t Be An Expert In Everything

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No one can be an expert in everything. I talk a lot about the value of establishing yourself as an expert in your field, and I happen to be an expert book writing coach who helps people—people don’t think of themselves as writers—to write and publish their nonfiction books. I am not, however, an expert in everything! That’s why I want to share my own experience about working with a coach to achieve an important goal.

My husband, Tom, is an outdoor enthusiast, and he has a special relationship with the Grand Canyon. Every year for the past decade he has taken a couple of weeks to float the Colorado River at the bottom of the Canyon, enjoying the white water, scaling the canyon walls on challenging hikes, and sleeping under the stars. He is also a darn good photographer and likes to get up in the wee hours to photograph the deep black sky that radiates light from the millions and millions of stars. The Grand Canyon restores Tom and ignites every fiber of his being with its beauty and majesty. He can’t get enough of it, and he wanted to share it with me.

I also love the outdoors, but the thought of spending two weeks on a raft and living outdoors without the basic comforts of a bed or bathroom was a bit daunting. And then there was the hike in. To get to the bottom of the canyon, we would hike 8.5 miles down Bright Angel Trail, which has an elevation drop of one mile. We had to carry in all of our belongings in packs that weighed about 25 pounds. The hike usually takes between 5.5 and 6.5 hours, and it’s not for the faint of heart. You might think that hiking down is easy but, in fact, the hike down is harder than the hike up. Your shins and calves bear the brunt of the pounding, and afterward hikers often lose their big toenails. They are also prone to suffering intense calf pain for days afterward, pain that is nearly crippling.

As you float down the river, other hikes are part of the trip, and I don’t mean a nice little stroll down a trail. At times you have to plant your hands and feet on opposite sides of the wall in a slot canyon and then scale upward. On some hikes there are thin ledges — only two feet wide — that you must traverse. You have to inch yourself sideways and hope that your hands have a firm grip on the rock wall. It’s a long way down, but when you get past these challenging portions, you reach amazing scenes of beauty that you never knew existed.

I knew I could deal with living outdoors, but I wasn’t sure I could endure the hike down with a 25-pound pack on my back. I also knew I didn’t have the skills to climb a slot canyon or scale ledges.

If I was going to do this, I needed to get help. I needed a coach.

A Hike to Remember

I started training with Brent about five months before our trip. He planned a regimen where on Wednesdays we worked on building strength and on Fridays we worked on balance and agility. In between, I amped up my cardio so I would have the endurance I needed. When I went to my training sessions, I had no idea what we were going to do that day. I didn’t know how to get myself in shape, so I just did what Brent told me. All I did was show up and follow his instructions. When he told me to do twenty jump squats, I did them. When he told me to get on the stair climber and climb on my tiptoes, I did it. When he said to stand on the bosu ball on one leg and catch the ball he threw to me, I did it. No two sessions were the same, and week after week after week, I showed up and did whatever he said to do for that hour. Little by little, I built my strength and agility in those one-hour bite-sized chunks.

The day we hiked down the Grand Canyon, there was an excessive heat warning. Temperatures were expected to rise to 112 degrees on the canyon floor, which is exactly where we were going. We were fully prepared with energy snacks, plenty of water, and our hats and sunscreen, and there were water refill stations about every three miles. We were ready. I was ready.

It took us 5.5 hours to get to the bottom, and I felt pretty good until about the last half mile. It was my toes. They were screaming at me, and I was certain I would lose those toenails. The heat was exhausting, and by the time we reached the bottom it was 109 degrees, but we made it. I made it! Those small repeated increments of time I’d devoted to getting in shape for the trip carried me from the upper rim of the Grand Canyon to the Colorado river at the bottom. I never even had the deep muscle pain that some experience.

Get a Coach

So what does my trip to the Grand Canyon have to do with your book? You have a book-worthy idea inside you and might think, “I’m not a writer, I can’t do this,” but that’s not true. You may not be not a writer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become an author. You can do anything you want to do if you get the proper help. You need a book writing coach who can take the idea for your book and help you crystallize your message, plan the contents, write the manuscript, edit it to perfection—and finally—publish and distribute your book. You need someone to take you the entire distance so that all you have to do is follow. A great book writing coach can turn a “liver” into a writer.

Here’s the thing: people who write nonfiction aren’t writers. They’re what I call “ livers .” You’ve lived through something; you’ve been through something, you’ve learned something, discovered something, or developed something, and you’re busy living your life. You’re not a writer because you’re a doer. You’re out accomplishing things. You don’t need to learn the publishing industry or take any writing classes to write your book. You simply need to get your message out of your head and out into the world, and you need a comprehensive book writing coach to help you do that.

All you have to do is take the first step and get started. You have a message, and I have a process. Why don’t we work together? Contact me today and I can help you take the next step!


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You’re Ready To Get Back Into a Writing Routine-Now What?

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This month we’ve talked a lot about the importance of a routine-especially when writing a book.  But whether you’re getting the kids back to school or coming off that last summer vacation, establishing a routine is critical for you and your family’s success. Let’s face it; we all know kids do better when they have a routine! And that’s the truth!

But if you’re ready to start writing again and want to join our upcoming Fall classes, you might be wondering: how does our writing classes work? I’m happy to help. As a professional writing coach with over 25 years of experience, I have the privilege and honor of helping busy professionals write high-impact nonfiction books that will save lives, change lives, or transform society. I’ve worked with countless authors and seen the pride on their face when they have that finished, published book in hand. If you ready to make your impact and provide a solution to those that need it most, I’d be honored to be your professor. 

successGroup Coaching Classes-How It Works

Each coaching group is limited to a maximum of 10 participants to allow for maximum participation and to give personal attention to each member. 

The Curriculum

There are three modules in the program. Each module lasts 16 weeks: 

◦ Module One: From Concept to Concrete Plan 

◦ Module Two: Write Without Ruts 

◦ Module Three: Polish and Perfect 

Weekly Group Coaching Calls

All three modules are delivered online in 16-week courses. We start with a weekly Group Coaching call, which is scheduled on the same day and time every week. This is your own Book Mastermind, and during these calls, we review the lesson for that week, discuss what you wrote, and get valuable feedback from the other members.

It’s a dynamic process, and you learn a lot from each other and enjoy the camaraderie of other professionals who are also writing their books. Group Coaching calls are recorded and are available for replay in case you miss a session.

Accessing the course 

During that week, you will log into the exclusive client portal and access the online material, which includes high-quality HD instructional videos, handouts to download and reference during the lesson, and your writing homework to complete before the next lesson. These online tools are available to you at any time of day or night and are accessible for a full year!

One-on-One Coaching Sessions

In addition to our weekly Group Coaching calls, you will also have two separate 45-minute Skype conferences with me to discuss your work in greater detail. Your first conference is at the mid-point of the module during Week Eight, and the other is at the end of the module. During your conferences, we will focus specifically on your work, crystallize your message, address any challenges you may be having, and get you ready for the next step. 

Cost

The cost for the entire program is $350 per month for 12 months, or $1050 per quarter. You can choose your payment plan!

Not sure if our group coaching program is for you? We also offer a self-directed program and personalized one-on-one coaching. Contact us today, and we will be happy to help you decide which program will work best with your lifestyle and budget!


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Be the Solution: Change the World With Your Book 2

Write Your Book and Be Part of The Solution This Fall

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Looking for a little motivation to write your book this Fall? 

Do you ever feel like the world has gone mad? When you turn on the nightly news it’s easy to become overwhelmed. We have so many problems, and they are so complicated that it’s hard to even define them anymore, much less solve them. We know that top-down, organizational approaches rarely fix anything and, in some cases, they make matters worse or spawn bigger problems. You may be tempted to think there are no answers.

write-your-inspirational-nonfiction-book

That’s not what I think. I firmly believe that the answers are trapped inside of people like you. You know what you’ve been through, what you’ve overcome, and what you’ve learned, but you may not realize how valuable that is. You may not know that you have an inspirational book inside of you that needs to be written.

A great inspirational book will offer real hope and real help

There are two things that people cannot live without: hope and help. But what we need is real hope and real help, not false platitudes that say, “This, too, shall pass” or “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” When you open up and share your story—what you’ve been through, what you endured, what you discovered, what you survived, what you’ve developed, what you’ve learned—you offer real hope and real help to people who are looking for and longing for your answers. You impart real hope to the reader who sees you walk through adversity and come out on the other side. You offer real help as you show them the steps you took to make it through.

My job is to give everyday people the courage to tell their truth and the tools they need to write a high-impact nonfiction inspirational book that will save lives, change lives, or transform society. Everything I do in my life and work is based on what I believe is my God-given purpose, which is to connect people who have solutions with people who, in some cases, are literally dying while waiting for that solution. On one hand, there are people like you who have solid solutions to the problems you’ve overcome. On the other hand are people who need your help and are seeking that solution. I’m simply the hallway that connects you.

You probably have a book inside of you but think, “I’m not a writer. I can’t do this.” Here’s what I’ve discovered: People who write nonfiction aren’t writers. They’re livers. They’ve lived through something; they’ve been through something, learned something, discovered something, developed something, and they’re busy living productive lives. They’re not writers because they’re doers, and they’re out accomplishing things. It’s time to put what you have accomplished and learned into an inspirational book that can help others be livers and doers as well.

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. You can change the world, one reader at a time, simply by telling your story.

write an inspirational book

Be the solution

If you or someone you know is ready to be part of the solution this Fall, please contact me today about joining our writing classes there’s still space left!


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How to Become an Author: Time Block 2

Nonfiction Writing Technique: Learn To Time Block

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Congratulations! You’re going to write your book and are ready to start. But how will you find the time? The rest of your life hasn’t changed, and your schedule was already full.

You’ve heard about The Law of Attraction, haven’t you? The Law of Attractions says that what you think about is what you attract into your life. Your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest. When you change your thoughts, you change your life.

So what will you think about—that you’ll never get your book written or that you don’t have enough money to pursue it? Of course not!! When that nagging voice in your head says, “you’re not good enough, you’re too busy, this is too hard,” you have to knock it down. You know what I do when that voice attacks me? I stand up and shout out loud, “ STOP LYING TO ME!”

You didn’t wake up one day and say, “Oh, I think I’ll write a book now.” No—something put that seed inside you. And it’s been growing over time. This desire came from something bigger than you, and its effect will be bigger than you, too. Your message can change the world, and that’s exactly how we change the world … one reader at a time.

Life is busy, and time is precious. You’ve got work, the kids, vacation, responsibilities, blah, blah, blah. That little voice that whispers sweet defeat in your ear even before you even get started needs to be put in its place. Tell it you ARE going to do this and you DO have enough time. This is a challenge, but you’re up to it.

Time Block and Finish Your Goals

So how do you find the time to write your book? I use a method for organizing my time called Time Blocking, and it can work for you, too. When you Time Block, you divide your time into blocks so that you can use it wisely and be productive. Of course, you have to be efficient when you carve out the time for writing, which means that you take a look at EVERYTHING you do, evaluate all your responsibilities, and organize the tasks into specific blocks of time. That’s how you get everything done.

Become an author by having a time block plan

Time Blocking also means that when your calendar is set, you HONOR the calendar, that you ENFORCE the calendar, and LIVE BY the calendar. It takes discipline, but it’s very effective once you get the hang of it.

When I was first introduced to the idea of time blocking, I thought Good Grief! I’m going to have to get up at 5:00 am in order to get everything done. I’m not suggesting that your days be as long as mine are, but on the other hand, if you need to pack more in for the short term in order to can get your book written, then so be it.

Notice how I block my time. Everything is color-coded, and you can see that I devote large blocks of time to my tasks– not just fifteen minutes here or there. I organize my time so I can concentrate fully on one thing, then move on to the next.

Every week, I have to schedule a time to plan, write, deliver, and produce my classes, as well as coach my clients, so I calculate how much time I need per week for those tasks, and schedule everything in blocks throughout the week.

If you need more help, contact me for one-on-one coaching or group writer courses or sign up for my newsletter for more information, class announcements, and tips for writers.

 

 


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It’s Almost Fall-Refocus On Your Goals And Finish Strong

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As an international book coach, I’ve had the honor to teach many individuals how to write a book. Writing a book not only helps many of my clients professionally, but it also teaches them how to organize their day to accomplish what they want and focus on their goals. Let me explain. When you learn to write a book through our program, you not only learn the mechanics and writing techniques to help you write a high-impact nonfiction book,  but we also teach you how to stay focused on your goals to finish your book. 

With Fall just around the corner, there’s no better time than now to refocus on your goals and refresh your mind with tips to help you finish the year strong. 

practicing gratitudeClear Your Mind and Stay On Task

I recently came across an article in Entrepreneur magazine that caught my attention because it reminded me of some of the lessons I’ve learned to help me stay focused on my goals and clear my mind. Here are some of my favorites the article mentioned: 

1. Stop multitasking

Instead of trying to do a million things at once, take a step back and tackle one task at a time. And while your inclination might be to start your day with busy work — like checking emails — and then move onto to the harder things, you should try to get your brain moving by challenging yourself with a bigger, more creative endeavor first thing.

2. Block out your days

An excellent way to hold yourself accountable when it comes to quieting the noise all around you is to specifically block out time in your day — maybe it’s 30 minutes or an hour — to spend on a given project. Color-code your calendar or set a timer to make sure you are accomplishing the goal at hand.

3. Get your blood pumping

You can’t focus if you’re stuck inside and staring at a screen all day long. Turn off your computer and phone, and go for a 20-minute walk. The fresh air and the movement will clear your head. Also, make sure that you are drinking enough water and getting enough rest.

4. Meditate

Get a recommendation for a yoga or meditation class, or even make it an office outing, so everyone gets some time to quiet their minds. Or look online for a plethora of apps and platforms whose stock and trade is mindfulness, like Meditation Made Simple, Calm, and Headspace. For slightly more of a monetary investment, you could look into wearable tech like Thync, a device that produces electrical pulses to help your brain decrease stress.

5. Help your technology help you

A platform like RescueTime, a software that runs while you work and shows you how you’re spending your day, could help you understand why something is taking longer to complete than it should. Options like Cold Turkey, Freedom and Self Control block out the internet entirely to keep you off your Twitter feed when you should be meeting deadlines. (Source)

 

There’s no better time than now to refocus on your goals and finish strong. Whether your goal is to finish writing your book or something else, incorporate these techniques into your day, and you’ll be amazed at what your capable of accomplishing! If one of your goals is writing a book, contact us today and we can help you take the next step!

 

 

 


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The Successful People I Know Are Voracious Readers

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

Reading — in addition to being plain fun — can make you a better (smarter, more informed, satisfied) person. In my experience successful people are often voracious readers.

All successful people I know have one thing in common: they never stop learning.

That’s why so many CEOs, thought leaders, and politicians read so frequently. There’s a limit to how much time, money, and effort people are able to dedicate to formal education, which is why reading voraciously, as part of a dedicated personal routine, is one keystone of lifelong personal development.

I call it personal development because a big part of what you learn from reading is about yourself. I’m a student of writing and of words — reading helps me understand who I am, how I should approach my writing, and what I want to focus my attention on outside of my literary ambitions.

But that, of course, is not the only benefit of reading.

Reading keeps your mind balanced and sharp

The most successful people are both scientists and artists — they utilize both the left and right brain. As such, they consciously nurture both sides of the coin, often through reading.

One approach is to actively read both fiction and nonfiction. This is advice I give regularly: immerse yourself in the worlds and adventures of books like James Clavell’s Shogun: The Epic Novel of Japan, and educate yourself with biographies and intelligent opinions — such as Dwight Eisenhower’s account of World War II, Crusade in Europe, which I’m reading now.

Reading instills discipline

Reading doesn’t just strengthen or nurture both parts of our brain — it strengthens more intangible skills, too. For one, reading can make you more disciplined and foster an appreciation for learning and growth.

How, exactly? Well, people who make the decision to read everyday are actively deciding to engage, improve, and challenge their brains instead of doing more passive activities, like surfing YouTube videos or binge-watching Netflix.

That’s why some of our most effective presidents, for example, have made reading a personal priority. When President Obama was in office, he talked about how books were a sustaining source of ideas and inspiration during his terms. Books helped focus him amidst the maelstrom of world crises and 24-hour cable news analysis. Books also gave him a renewed appreciation for the complexities and ambiguities of the human condition.

That’s precisely what reading does. It’s why we see so many leaders in so many different verticals of human activity devote time to reading.

Reading benefits your business

There’s one last benefit that most people don’t associate with reading, and that’s the manner in which it can actively benefit your professional life.

For one thing, reading encourages curiosity. And people who are curious are, more often than not, high achievers. Understanding this, you yourself can use reading to feed your curiosity and acquire more knowledge.

But you can also apply this awareness to elements of your business life, like honing your hiring practices. At BookBaby, when we’re hiring a potential candidate, I always ask, “What are you reading right now?” or “What have you read in the last six months?” I know reading behavior can be a barometer in measuring a person’s level of curiosity, discipline, and zeal for learning — and curious, disciplined people who are hungry to learn are the sort I want in my company.

I don’t particularly care what these candidates are reading. I just want to see that they are reading.

It’s also true that reading helps people improve as communicators. As a student of writing, I appreciate great communication, and as the CEO of a publishing company, I see it as something of a requirement. A writer who communicates effectively with his or her audience can help readers do the same in their own lives.

At the end of the day, reading provides a variety of tangible and intangible benefits — for both the mind and the soul — and the simple awareness of this fact is the most obvious reason successful people prioritize it as a means of professional and personal development.


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It’s Friday the 13th-Push Past the Fear and Live

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Today is Friday, the 13th. Doom, doom, doom. If you’re like most Americans, you might consider this day bad luck. I’m not sure how this day became stigmatized with doom, horror movies, and just plain old fear, but most people like to avoid making any major life changes on this day. 

Just like walking under a ladder, crossing paths with a black cat, or breaking a mirror, many people hold fast to the belief that Friday the 13th brings bad luck. Though it’s uncertain exactly when this particular tradition began, negative superstitions have swirled around the number 13 for centuries (Source)

But do you know what I say to fear and this supposed “day of doom?Vámanos! I’m not sure about you, but I’ve lived long enough and can recall seasons of my life where I’ve felt paralyzed by fear. I mean debilitating fear that, if I wasn’t careful, could have stopped me from living a life on purpose and fulfilling my dream of being an international book coachIt was torment. I don’t want to minimize the feelings of anxiety and fear that millions of people across this country deal with every day, but as someone who has learned to work through it, I want to share some important truths about fear to keep things in perspective.

“Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

                                                                                                             -Susan Jeffers

Five Tips on Working Through Fear

Best selling author Dr. Susan Jeffers is a leading pioneer in helping millions of people work through fear. In her classic best-selling book, Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway, she shares the five following truths about fear that help put the lies it tells us into perspective. 

FEAR TRUTH #1

Fear will never go away as long as you continue to grow!

Every time you take a step into the unknown, you experience fear. There’s no point in saying, “When I’m no longer afraid, then I’ll do it.” You’ll be waiting for a long time. The fear is part of the package.

FEAR TRUTH #2

The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and…do it!

When you do it often enough, you’ll no longer be afraid in that particular situation. You will have faced the unknown, and you will have handled it. Then new challenges await you, which certainly add to the excitement in living.

FEAR TRUTH #3

The only way to feel better about yourself is to go out and…do it!

With each little step you take into unknown territory, a pattern of strength develops. You begin feeling stronger and stronger and stronger.

FEAR TRUTH #4

Not only are you afraid when facing the unknown, so is everyone else!

This should be a relief. You’re not the only one who is afraid. Everyone feels fear when taking a step into the unknown. Yes, all those people who have succeeded in doing what they’ve wanted to do in life have felt the fear – and did it anyway. So can you!

FEAR TRUTH #5

Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness!

This is the one truth that some people have difficulty understanding. When you push through the fear, you will feel such a sense of relief as your feeling of helplessness subsides. You’ll wonder why you didn’t take action sooner. You’ll become more and more aware that you can truly handle anything that life hands you. (Source)

As a book coach with over 25 years of experience, I’ve met hundreds of people that decided to stop writing their story out of fear. If that’s you and you’d like to start again, I’d be honored to walk this journey with you. Regardless of what specific fears you’re overcoming, life is too short to sit on the sidelines! In the words of Susan Jeffers, learn to feel the fear and do it anyway! You’ll be proud of yourself once you do.

 


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Nonfiction Writing Technique: Show Them the Real You

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Nonfiction writing requires that we be authentic. Webster’s dictionary defines authentic as “not false or imitation” and “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.” Webster makes it sound so simple. But if you’re like me, it took a long time to become the person I was created to be, to truly embrace my authentic self.

As a child, did you feel pressure to become the person an authority figure thought you should be? Did you feel accepted when you behaved and acted in ways that they approved? As an adult, did you realize that the person you present to the world wasn’t really you at all, but because of an underlying need to be accepted by others, you kept up the facade anyway? For a long time, that’s what I did. Living an authentic life was something I had to learn.

Your Audience Deserves the Real You

As a nonfiction book coach, I have the opportunity to work with people from all over the world. Whether their nonfiction writing is about a new method of cooking or how they overcame a painful childhood trauma, I always tell them the same thing: your audience deserves to know the real you.

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. 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. 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? Are you ready to show people who you really are?  If you or someone you know wants to learn to how to write a nonfiction book, please contact us today!

 


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