BLOG: Writing & Editing Guidance for Aspiring Authors

Author Feature: Stephanie Winslow, Helping Families of Addicts Live in Hope, Peace, and Freedom

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Man giving presentation

Who Do We Work With? Public Speakers & Coaches

You’ll hear me say this often, but part of my purpose is to provide hope and help to other people. It’s at the forefront of everything I do, and when I work with writers to get a solution to a problem out of their head and onto paper for the world to receive, it warms my heart more than you know.  Whether we work with business leaders or femalepreneurs, I look forward to the change that their book will bring to our world.

But it’s the public speakers and coaches that we work with that have a unique goal that they must accomplish to be successful in their craft. As a coach or public speaker, you’re a different kind of entrepreneur. You have the expertise and solutions that can help others. You know how to tell a story, and you have testimonials. You’re talented, and what you have to say matters. But do other people know how credible you are? Do they know you’re an expert in your field? The truth is that you can increase your credibility and attract a following by writing your book, but without a book, you’re just another self-proclaimed expert. And we don’t need any more of those!

Public Speakers and Coaches: How to Get Published

Are you a public speaker or coach, but don’t have a book yet? If you want to know how to become an author, you’ll want to work with an Executive Book Coach. When you have a book, it establishes you as an expert, increases your credibility, and helps you attract a following. As a speaker or coach, you’ve already developed a lot of material that will be rich content for your book. The challenge is to organize that material to deliver it in book format, and to wrap it in a sustainable story format that will keep your readers engaged.

You can learn how to become an author. The first step is to prioritize your material. When you start to write your book, it’s also essential to know your audience and your market. Identifying your audience will help shape your book throughout the writing process and ensure better sales when it comes time to market and promote your nonfiction book. If you think your book is for everyone, you are setting yourself up for failure. No matter how great your message, it simply cannot appeal to every person! It’s no different when you’re giving a speech. What you have to say matters-but everyone is not your audience.

Just like in life, if you try to please everyone, you’ll end up stretching yourself too thin and the result will be a bland final product. When you identify your specific audience, you can reach the people who will be most interested in your story.

public speakers

 

Coaches and Public Speakers who are ready to take action and write a book – reach out to us.  We can help you take the next step!

 


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Writer Tip: Summary and Scene

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As a writer of creative nonfiction, you have two primary tools for telling your story: scene and summary. A scene is where your characters appear in a specific setting, do what they do, and then leave. A summary is simply a recap of something that happened. It’s your job to skillfully combine scene with summary and write a compelling manuscript that keeps your readers engaged and delivers them to the end result – the purpose of your book.

Difference Between Writing Summaries and Writing Scenes

An almost universal mistake that new writers make is that they write summaries when they should be writing scenes. It’s not that summary is bad. The problem is that they summarize (TELL) when they should actually write a scene to SHOW what is happening – yep, it’s the old show, don’t tell again.

It’s the SCENE that transforms your writing from mere theory to reality, and it’s the scene that activates the reader’s imagination. In a scene, you don’t tell the reader what is happening, what a character is thinking, or what they are like, but you allow the reader to experience it firsthand and to draw their own conclusions. A scene recreates an experience you had and lets the reader be part of it.

When you summarize instead of writing scenes, the reader misses the elements that bring the story to life — the scents, colors, tastes, and sounds of action – the sensory details. They also miss out on how the characters behave, how they act and react, how they relate to one another, how they conduct themselves. Instead of the full-color HD experience, they get the flat, monochromatic, less-than-soundbite version.  

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that summary is wrong or that it’s bad. You just need to know how and when to use it. You can’t go passive on your audience and refuse to do the hard work of writing scenes. In fact, your manuscript should ultimately be a carefully constructed story where summary connects your scenes.

Did you ever play with Tinker Toys as a child? Well, the scenes are the hub or the wooden spools, and your writing scenessummaries are the sticks that connect them. You cannot join two sticks together. If you want to put them in consecutive order, the only way to do that is to lay them down end to end. But that doesn’t really connect them. You have to have a spool to connect the stick to anything. Likewise, you don’t lay out summary after summary after summary. Just like a child will get bored with a pile of sticks, your readers need scenes to carry them through your work.

Summary is Telling. Scenes are Showing. Tell me a little, but show me a lot!

 


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self-publish

There has never been a better time to self-publish

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This article originally appeared on BookBaby.com

Excerpted from BookBaby’s latest guide, 5 Steps To Self Publishing, Part I of our series addresses why this is a great time to self-publish and the importance of professional editing.

self-publish

“There’s never been a better time to self-publish than right now.”

It’s a statement I often repeat when speaking at writing conferences. The good news is that this message is being received loud and clear by thousands of aspiring writers around the world, just like you. They’ve completed the journey of taking their manuscript directly to the marketplace. From romance novels to religious books, from children’s titles to nonfiction, every author can succeed with a self-published book.

Why self-publish? There are lots of compelling reasons, but you only need four:

1. You can and will make more money. A lot more. Self-published eBooks can earn between 60% and 70% in royalties. Your printed books can earn you up to 50% in royalties when you sell direct-to-reader through BookBaby. Now, compare this with the 12% to 20% royalties earned by traditionally-published writers. You may ask, “Are self-published authors actually making money?” Yes. In fact according to recent reports from authorearnings.com, as a group, they are making MORE than traditionally-published writers.

Download your free copy today!

2. Self-publishing is fast. It takes weeks, not months or years. Your edited manuscript will be available on major online retailers like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the rest within a few weeks. Meanwhile, it can take 18 to 24 months for your finished manuscript to reach the marketplace at the end of the traditional publishing process. And that doesn’t even count the time-consuming task of finding both the agent and publisher who are willing to take you on as a new author. That alone could take months or even years!

3. You retain control of your book. No contracts or signing away your publishing rights. Self-published authors are the CEOs, making the call on every aspect of their books, from edits to cover design, book reviews to promo. And finally, one reason that may be obvious and yet still very important:

4. You’re guaranteed to be published. Self-publishing is a sure thing. You WILL be published if you go this route. For many that’s a dream in and of itself. For others it’s a start to a literary career. In today’s low-risk traditional publishing environment, it’s the longest of long shots for an unpublished, unknown new author to get that dream publishing deal.

And if you are holding out in hopes of finding an agent and a traditional publishing deal, let me give you one more reason why you should self-publish.

5. The very best way to be discovered by a traditional publisher is to succeed at self-publishing. Authors can make their best first impression on agents and publishers with quality books, a strong work ethic, and practiced promotional skills. I’ve seen hundreds of examples of self-published authors from either BookBaby or elsewhere being signed by huge international publishing houses.

Professional editing is a must for your book

Once you finish your manuscript, you’re not really finished. Here are five reasons why a professional editor will improve your book.

1. Editing can turn a good book into a great book. Like housework, editing goes unnoticed unless it’s not done. Professional editing is an indispensable part of a novel’s journey to publication. Editing can transform your writing, get readers talking, reach the ears of professional publishers, and catch the eye of movie producers. An editor will make sure that the reader remembers the dazzling plot and characterization – not the problems with grammar.

2. Editors give honest, objective feedback. Lots of authors ask friends and beta readers to take a look at their novel. Most people are flattered by the request and are happy to help. While any feedback is welcome and can help improve the manuscript, friends tend to give a lot of positive encouragement. They can gloss over some of the novel’s shortcomings to avoid causing offense. However, professional editors are experienced at giving criticism. They are systematic and thorough, covering not only familiar issues of grammar and punctuation, but also matters of style, pacing, dialogue, plot twists, and fact checking (to name but a few). Above all, the feedback they give is honest and objective. It takes teamwork to craft a polished and captivating novel that could become tomorrow’s bestseller. In short, authors need professional editors.

3. Editors work together with authors. It’s the editor’s job to be honest with the author when suggesting improvements (such as rewriting, restructuring, or cutting sections) while respecting the author’s message, meaning, tone, and style. Both the author and the editor have a shared interest in producing a work that gets – and keeps – the reader’s attention. What’s more, if an author so wishes, an editor with experience and knowledge of the book-selling market can also suggest ways to take the novel in a direction that might better attract the eye of a publisher or an agent.

4. An editor is a sounding board. Authors often pour their deepest feelings, and even their secrets, into their novels. For that reason, they are often cautious about who reads their early drafts. In such cases, authors can benefit from the impartial opinion of an editor. An editor takes a bird’s eye view of a novel, identifies the elements that work and those that don’t, and suggests the necessary changes. While editors often get to know authors well throughout the editing process, especially in the case of full, substantive editing, they are not concerned with your private life. They won’t be flattered or annoyed if they appear or not in the final version (although a credit is always nice).

5. Editing is a professional skill. It can be tempting to ask a friend to edit your book. Someone who is not an editor but who is good with language and is prepared to do the job for little or no cost.

The issue here is that you often get what you pay for. Editing is a profession like any other. It is their job to help the author produce a work that will keep the reader engaged and cause that magical, lasting effect the author has set out to achieve.

This post was excerpted and adapted from 5 Steps To Self Publishing: All the essential information you need to go from manuscript to marketplace. Download your free copy today.

About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.


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Author Feature: Femalepreneur – Tammy Fadler

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Last week we talked about the “Femalepreneur” and how they face many unique challenges. They work hard, work smart, and get it done, but they also juggle home and family responsibilities and face obstacles that men usually don’t. Reduced financing. Societal predispositions. Lack of support. Scant resources. It’s tough out there. But it can be done.

Picture this:  It’s 1973, and you’re a female immigrant from Vietnam. You arrive in America with $10, a single suitcase, a fifth-grade education, and a dream to own a business. If the odds are against femalepreneurs today, can you imagine what it was like 40 years ago for someone who could barely speak English? But somehow, whether it’s 2017 or 1973, we women know how to make a way when there seems to be no way, regardless of what the path looks like.

Meet Tammy Fadler, Speaker, Author, and Real Estate Mogul

Born in Vietnam and the oldest of 12 children, Tammy Fadler worked in food service for the U.S. Army before the American military pullout in 1973. Fearing for her family’s safety and economic outlook, she emigrated to America with only $10 in her pocket. After working a series of jobs, Tammy owned a successful Vietnamese restaurant in 1981 until it was destroyed by fire. She took the wisdom she learned about money and hard work and chose a career in real estate, which gave her the flexibility she needed while raising two young children. Her inexperience and language barrier was  a challenge at first, but she slowly climbed her way to the top of the real estate chain and became a top performer with Century 21 and the St. Louis area’s first REMAX franchise. (Source)

“You can go, but I want you to always remember one thing: you can make the money, but never let the money make you.”                      

            -Tammy’s Father

With faith and the wisdom of her parents to carry her, Tammy went on to graduate from college (without even having a high school diploma!) and become one of the most highly sought after international speakers, authors, and real estate moguls. Today Tammy Fadler is the owner of Signature Properties and SP Commercial, two highly successful independent real estate firms. In 2012 she released her memoir, Finding the Pearl: Unstoppable Passion, Unbridled Success, a story about her life in Vietnam and her journey to personal and professional success.

Because of the success of her book, Tammy recently came to The Book Professor to help her publish a companion tammy fadlerworkbook. The purpose of this workbook is to use the lessons from Finding the Pearl to lead her speaking audiences who feel vulnerable and alone to realize that they are loved by God and have what it takes to achieve their dreams.

Tammy Fadler lives in the St. Louis, MO area and is surrounded by her two adult children, a host of grandchildren, and many relatives who have immigrated from Vietnam.  For more information about Tammy and how to contact her, please visit: http://www.findingthepearl.com/index.html


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What Type of People Do We Work With? Femalepreneurs

Last month we kicked off our blog series: “What Type of People Do We Work With?” by highlighting business leaders.  I believe that while our world has many problems, each problem can and will be solved by everyday people like you. Every. Single. One.

We work with all the different types of people, and I can see myself in almost all of them. But I can clearly relate to this month’s feature: The Femalepreneur. As a mother, grandmother, wife, and business owner, I know the first-hand challenges that women face to run a successful business. It’s frustrating, exhausting, and rewarding all at the same time. But, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m fulfilling my life’s purpose in spite of the challenges I face, and there’s no other place I’d rather be.

The Femalepreneur

“Some days she has no idea how she’ll do it. But every single day it gets done.”

-Unknown

It’s hard, hard work to start a business or any other enterprise. And women have unique challenges. We work hard, we work smart, and we get it done, but we also juggle home and family responsibilities and face obstacles that men don’t usually encounter. Reduced financing. Societal predispositions. Lack of support. Scant resources. It’s tough out there.

But women rock! We make a way when there seems to be no way, but it’s a hard road to travel. Now that the hard part is behind you, what can you share that will help other women?

Has anyone ever told you that you should write a book?

If you are a femalepreneur, share your wisdom with a nonfiction book! The first step is to prioritize your material, and we do that by developing your BookMAP, which is a visual representation of your entire book. We work through a series of foundational questions to determine the purpose of your book and its audience, and everything in your book will drive toward that purpose for that audience.

This BookMAP will be your guide as you pull together your existing material and write additional elements to create a marketable book that will support your reputation as a hardworking, inventive Femalepreneur.

femalepreneur

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There’s a wide network of women helping women, and when you write your book, you establish yourself as an expert, increase your credibility, and attract a following.

If you’re a Femalepreneur that has always wanted to write a book, reach out to us, and we can help you take the next step!


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Author Feature: Rich Daniels-Fathers Know, Value & Love Their Children

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A couple of weeks ago we discussed the problem of fatherless children in our country. The role of the father is often overlooked in our culture. But when a father is absent from a child’s life, either physically or emotionally, its effects on the family and our society as a whole– and especially on children–are traumatic. From behavioral problems, teenage pregnancy, suicide, to the influx in our prison population, the epidemic of fatherlessness should not be ignored.

What if there was a solution to this problem? What if there was a resource to guide men that equips them with the tools and resources needed to raise healthy, productive, and emotionally secure children?

There is! And Rich Daniels has made it his mission to see the end to this nationwide crisis.

No Excuses! Men Can Have a Deeper Relationship with their Children

When Rich came to us with his book idea, we knew it was something we wanted to be a part of. Through stories of his own shortcomings and experiences as a books for fathersfather to his three beautiful and uniquely different children, Rich brings hope and inspiration, as well as a multitude of ideas for fathers to implement so that their kids feel they are known, valued, and loved. The key is to connect in areas that are important to the child and to engage with them there.

His book is Tourist In My Own Life: For Fathers Who Yearn For a Deeper Relationship With Their Children is practical, funny, and at times heart-wrenching as he reveals the excuses men make and the barriers they have to creating rich relationships with their kids.  The purpose of his book is to teach and encourage fathers who yearn for a deeper relationship with their children some specific attitudes, actions, and behaviors that will build rock-solid relationships and anchor their children because they feel known, valued, and loved.

Rich Daniels, Corporate Entrepreneur, Physical Elitist, and Father

From Kirkwood, Missouri, Rich Daniels is the husband to Megan and the father of three children, Grace, Luc, and Zoey. A corporate entrepreneur with twenty-five years at Monsanto, Solutia and Honeywell International and seven years in two start-ups, Rich finds his greatest purpose in bringing people together in community to serve others. Having completed twenty-five marathons and two Ironmans, he relishes the endurance sport of fathering more than any event. After forming a small men’s group, Rich felt lead to write a book to encourage other men to move from being a tourist in their own life to the full joy and richness of being a father.

This book will be available in October 2017. Stay tuned for its release date — you won’t want to miss this one! If you or someone you know has always wanted to write a book, reach out to us, and we will help you make it happen!

 


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How To Use 100 Print Books To Promote Your Self-published Book [Infographic]

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This article originally appeared on BookBaby.com

As an author, we know you appreciate the value of the written word, but there’s something about an infographic that spells out an idea and puts it into perspective. So while you may have enjoyed the long-form version of this concept in an earlier post, we asked our designers to create this infographic to help add a colorful twist to the notion of how to promote your self-published book. This may also help aspiring writers understand how to get a book published, as this may not be an easy route for everyone to follow. With that being said, nothing is ever easy, especially if it is a passion that you may want to take further. Our contention: if you’re going to self publish, you need to self promote. If you’re going to get involved in your own PR, physical books can be a great vehicle for your book promotion efforts. If you’re going to use print on demand books – we’ve got ideas for how to put 100 of them to work for you.

self-published book

 

About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.


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Lessons Learned-Let’s Get Physical

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May is National Bike Month, so I’d like to talk about lessons learned from physical fitness. We all know the benefits of physical exercise, but if you’re anything like me, I have a love-hate relationship with it. Of course, I love its advantages: weight control, reduced risk of certain diseases, muscle endurance and, of course, mental clarity. But do I feel like working out every day? Not so much.

I remember when my husband and I took a trip to the Grand Canyon. He loves the outdoors. To survive the 8.5-mile hike down Bright Angel Trail while carrying our belongings, I knew I needed to get a trainer. I was in reasonably good shape but not strong enough to make the hike while carrying my 25 pound pack. So 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. When Brent 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. 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.

It paid off.

The day we hiked down the Grand Canyon, it took us 5.5 hours to get to the bottom, and I felt pretty good until about the last half mile. 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.

It’s funny. Physical exercise is what life is like. We don’t always feel like doing things in life. If we only did what we felt every day, there would be a lot of unsolved problemsnational bike month because people would give up the first time they failed. After all, who ever feels like trying again after failure? And do you know how many inventions were the result of countless initial failures? Almost all of them. There would be a lot of failed relationships because people would bail at the first sign of discomfort. And there would be a lot of diseases with no cure today because the scientist didn’t feel like facing another failed experiment.

But isn’t that what greatness is about? It’s often in our failure that we learn our best lessons and come up with the greatest solutions. Solutions that result from failure and struggle are what make non-fiction books so compelling. Why? Because we can relate to it. Anybody that’s successful in their chosen field is only a success because they did what others didn’t feel like doing. Isn’t that why Nike’s slogan: “Just Do It” is so popular? Whatever your physical fitness or life goals are, “Just Do It.”

May is National Bike Month

Need a little change up from your typical physical fitness routine? Get on your bike and get moving. National Bike Month was established in 1956 by the League of American Bicyclists to celebrate the benefits of cycling and encourage others to start pedaling. For more on this organization or about cycling in general, please check them out at http://bikeleague.org/bikemonth.

 

 


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When Do You Know Your Book Is Done?

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This article originally appeared on BookBaby.com

Most authors probably wish they had a gauge of some kind to stick into the pages to tell them when their book is done. It’s not just new, inexperienced writers who have that wish. Most published authors I’ve posed the question to say the same thing: it’s hard to know when to put down the virtual pen.

This post was edited and adapted from The End. Now What?! 6 Steps To Take Your Manuscript To Marketplace In 6 Weeks.

Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.

—Truman Capote

Now that’s what I call starting your writing journey off with a bang! But Capote was only expressing the thoughts of many authors who feel a sense of tangible loss when their book is done. The prospect of this sudden void in their lives has led to far too many books being “overcooked.”

I’ve used that metaphor deliberately to help illustrate my point. When I venture into the kitchen to create something for the family, my kids often laugh at the slavish way I follow each and every line on the recipe. Most importantly, I pay close attention to the instructions that tell you when the food is actually “done.”

Want that steak medium rare? I’ve got a little thermometer gauge that tells me when it’s reached 155 degrees. Are the brownies done yet? Stick a toothpick in. If it comes out clean – they’re ready.

Most authors probably wish they had a gauge of some kind to stick into the pages to tell them when their book is done. It’s not just new, inexperienced writers who have that wish. Most published authors I’ve posed the question to say the same thing: it’s hard to know when to put down the virtual pen. It’s human nature to want to constantly improve and tinker with your work. Most authors say if allowed to pick up their work again six months after finishing, they’ll find more than a few things to change beyond some simple typo fixes.

Some signs pointing to the finish line

We’re trying to get your book in shape for the editing it richly deserves – and frankly needs. This post isn’t about fixing those typos or repairing sentence structure. It’s about making sure your book is telling the story you want told, in the way you want it told, and in a way that can make sense to thousands of potential readers. For that to happen, you as the author need to be ready to put down the pen. Here are some toothpicks and thermometers to help you gauge the doneness of your book.

From red to white

One BookBaby author I interviewed uses color to illustrate the progress of his books. After what he calls his “last draft,” he prints out the pages and does some serious self-editing. He uses a bright red sharpie and lays into the pages. After a first ruthless edit, he says the pages look like they’re hemorrhaging, a sea of red. A draft later it’s just a few red slashes. Finally, he says, he’s looking at pages with only the occasional slashes of red. He says to see the progress before his eyes is a satisfying way to know that the book is finally turning into the story he intended to tell.

So obvious. So boring! Authors tell me how sick they get of their precious book. They get to a point where they know more about the plot and story line of their fictional characters than real life family and colleagues. Of course you should – these are the people you’ve been living with for the past weeks and months. Long ago when you embarked on this book project, you thought your plot was marvelous. It still is! You have the curse of knowing where the story leads and ends.

The truth is, the jokes in your story ARE hilarious, as good as the first time you typed them. The plot IS spellbinding; the twists and turns are sure to please. The information I’m relaying here IS solid, professional self-publishing advice. We writers are just bored, which is a sure sign that it’s time to move on.

Change for change’s sake

Look at the last few edits you’ve made to your book. Did you improve it, or did you just change it? You’re not adding value to your book at this point. You’re not making it more interesting or richer or even more readable. You’re delaying the inevitable. There comes a point when the longer you revise, the less return you’re going to get for your effort. You’ve reached a point of diminishing return.

A new story

Every writer has ideas for that next book, or more likely books. Maybe there have been big changes in your life and you’re not in the same emotional place as you were when you started writing. Whatever the reason, your enthusiasm for this current project may be waning. For you to simply say, “I don’t feel like writing this story anymore” is an important sign you can’t ignore. When you lose interest in the book, you’ll stop caring. Your reader will know – who hasn’t read a book where it felt like the writer just lost interest in the project and wrapped it up in an all too fast and unsatisfying manner?

You’re about to enter into a new relationship – actually multiple relationships – with your readers. The reader has entered into the relationship with optimism and interest in your prose. You’re obligated to honor your commitment to entertaining, informing, and delighting your new BFFs. They’re very excited about reading your book. If you aren’t as excited about adding any more to the story, it’s a sure sign that you’re actually damaging your book rather than enhancing it.

Put your book to the test

It’s always good to get some second and third opinions on your book, just as long as they’re not people you spend the holidays with. You should pretty much ignore the comments and less-than-critical critiques from your close friends and family. Beware the praises or critiques of your great-aunt Edna. Few friends or family members can honestly offer you objective feedback. If they CAN, count yourself lucky and listen to what they have to say.

In most cases, you’d be better off joining a local writers group. The authors in these groups can provide tremendous feedback, inspire new ideas, and give great moral support. Writing is often a very solitary pursuit and these groups can be your lifeline at times. Digest their commentary, be surprised at their insights and your blind spots, dust yourself off, and revise if necessary.

Read your book like it’s brand new

You’ve spent hundreds of hours looking bleary-eyed at the characters on a screen. Take it offline for another look. Find yourself a bright highlighter and sit down to read it through as though you’re a reader. Whenever you find an awkward phrase or a sentence – or whenever you want to change or fix something – make a mark and move on. Do not stop to do an edit. Once you get to the end you can go back to your file, start at the last page and work backward, making changes and corrections.

Print a second hard copy, but this time change the font to something visually quite different. If you work in Times New Roman, try printing in Calibri. You’ll see it looks very different and you may be surprised by how many new typos and errors you manage to catch.

Last comes first

On the next run-through, read your manuscript backwards – not word for word, but a chapter at a time. Read the last chapter, then the next to last, and so on until you reach the first. This serves to take things out of context for you and you won’t be as likely to skim over what you expect to be there. It might feel uncomfortable, but it works.

Read it. Write it. Speak it.

When my kids were slogging through high school, I used to tell them, “The best way to master a subject is to learn by the power of three. Read the material, write notes, then speak it out loud.” So get some throat lozenges and find a quiet room. Reading your book aloud can help you “see” it fresh and let you more easily identify awkward phrases or sentences.

Be the reader

The last trick of the trade I’ll share with you is courtesy of Dani Shapiro, the critically acclaimed author of Slow Motion and Devotion. She has also written for magazines such as The New Yorker; O, The Oprah Magazine; Vogue; and ELLE. Shapiro helped put things into context during her keynote address at a recent Writer’s Digest Conference as she described the simple process of sending an email. When you’re composing the note, the words and thoughts express a certain position or point of view. Everything looks right and so you hit “Send.”

As the electrons fly through the ether, you see it: that obvious typo. The one you looked right past 10 times as the author. But what really happened is that the minute you hit the send button you read the message as a completely different person: the recipient.

This is the approach she takes when taking that last critical examination of her book. She actually reads the book as if she’s someone else. She’ll read chapters as if she’s a kindly caring person on one day. On another she reads it as an angry critical person. From the readings of these and other personas, Shapiro is satisfied that her diverse audience is ready to read her next book.

Time’s up. Pens down. You’ve got a deadline.

Maybe the best test of all that your book is done has nothing to do with the words on the page. Maybe it’s the ticking of a clock. As I sit here typing this on a Sunday morning, I’ve put myself into a self-imposed deadline to have this finished by tonight. Time’s up. Got to bake some brownies.

Download your FREE copy of The End. Now What?! 6 Steps To Take Your Manuscript To Marketplace In 6 Weeks today.

book is done

 

About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.


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Author Feature: Terry Lammers: Helping Business Owners Through Acquisition and Exit Strategy Planning

As a business owner, you’re constantly looking for ways to increase sales and profitability. But what happens when you’re ready to end things? Do you have an exit strategy in place for when it’s time to move on? Or what if business is booming, and you want to buy another company to expand yours? Do you know what to do? Most people don’t, and they can end up in financial ruin. But with the right guidance and insight, you can do it.

Read More

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Lessons Learned – A Reflection on Fear

There are lessons to be learned from fear. It may be a natural response to many situations, but all too often fear is unwarranted and prevents us from moving forward in life. What has fear taken from you? What fears haunt you?

Failure of our education system. Sex Trafficking. Hate Crimes. Racial Profiling. Child Pornography. Teen heroin use and overdose. Social media bullying. I can keep the list going, but when I read these problems, it sends chills up my spine. What about you? When you hear about the news, all the issues that surround us, and the people affected by them, are you angry? Underneath that anger is there a ball of fear because you worry that these problems could impact you, your children, and the people you love?

You’re not alone.

Fear, while a natural emotion and response to things that have the potential to threaten or cause harm, can also fearmake us irrational if we allow it to control us. I’m not talking about the fear that comes if you’re on a morning jog and find yourself squared off with a pack of growling pit bulls. Anybody would probably be terrified by that.

But what about the fears we have as parents? I’m a mother of two adult children. The world that I raised my daughters in looks very different than the world we live in today. Yes, I had many fears while raising them, but I can’t say that I was worried about them being bullied online or overdosing on heroin. That doesn’t mean I didn’t have fears like any parent does. But in order for me to be an effective parent, one who didn’t stifle development or become an angry person, I had to learn to feel my feelings and let the fear go–especially fear of the unknown–and trust that things were working as they should.

False Evidence Appearing Real

Many of my clients started by telling me that they “just weren’t ready at this time.” Almost all of their concerns were centered around fear. To put it frankly, fear stinks. It robs us of so much. It robs us of opportunities because we’re too afraid to fail, of relationships because we don’t want to get hurt, and it robs us of our destiny because we’re afraid of change. Yes, it’s an emotion and at times is a natural response to a circumstance, but we have to choose whether or not we allow it to dictate and limit our life. Fear of rejection (my book won’t be a success and people won’t read it), fear of failure (I don’t want to write a book and mess up), and fear of the unknown (how the heck am I going to write my book?) are all real fears that my writers had in the beginning.

What is fear?

FALSE

EVIDENCE

APPEARING

REAL

What if your fear is based on an something that hasn’t happened and may not ever happen to you? Would that change how you respond to life’s daily challenges and the nightly news? Years ago someone shared that acronym with me, and it totally changed my perspective. I hope it changes yours.


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How Print On Demand Works [Infographic]

This article originally appeared on BookBaby.com

In “Print On Demand: The biggest advance in publishing since Gutenberg,” we detailed the benefits of print on demand books for the independent author, and how digital printing hasn’t just leveled the playing field, but changed the nature of the game. Printing your book to meet demand has other benefits too. For example, whether you are looking for hardcover book printing options or you are issuing an updated copy of your already published book in paperback, there are solutions out there to make the process easier. Above all, it is now cost-effective to print books as needed. Writers no longer need to rely on offset printers to churn out thousands of books to justify the fixed costs. We also pitch the value of BookBaby’s BookShop program, where independent authors are paid a 50 percent royalty for all printed book sales, the latest boon to our Print On Demand offering.

Now our designers have made this fun infographic that walks you through the seven steps of how Print On Demand works.

print on demandRead more on the BookBaby Blog about Print On Demand:

Print On Demand: Your Timeline To Maximize Book Sales
We have an unofficial mission statement around the BookBaby offices: “We make the little guy (or gal!) look big.” What does that mean? It’s really quite simple. We help our self-published authors from around the world create and publish a book that looks every bit as good as those produced by big-time authors from the large publishing houses.

Print On Demand: All You Need To Know About Book Pre-Sales
Every online book retailer has its own schedule and process for handling the ingestion of new books. Some are on a weekly schedule; others are on a monthly routine. Because this involves the shipment of a physical book, there is a lot of prep work involved for each store to set up an inventory number in its own store catalog database. As your book enters into the various systems, your listing will start appearing on retail websites around the globe. This is usually two to three weeks after you have finalized your files. Now starts your critical pre-sales period.

How To Use 100 Print Books To Promote Your Self-published Book [Infographic]
You’ve finished your novel, you’re ready to self publish, and you’re considering print books for promotion and giveaways. How many should you print? Make it an even 100 to start with!

BookShop and Your Print On Demand Success
BookBaby has expanded its POD program to better serve indie authors. In sum, our new program: pays authors more – 50% of their list price; pays authors fast – in just a few days; promises in-stock status 24/7/365

 

About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.


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