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How to Become an Author: Time Block 2

How to Become an Author: Time Block

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By Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

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.

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 planTime 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 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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Fill your Fall with an especially meaningful project 1

Fill your Fall with an especially meaningful project

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With the start of September, there are long lines and crisp school uniforms lined up at the bus stops near my house and parents of children headed back to school have more time on their hands than they’ve had in months. Those new-found hours soon become filled with the honey-do lists that have piled up all summer long, but have you considered doing something more with your time?

NOW is the time to write your book!nonfiction book writing coaching book writing coach executive book coach how to write a book

I spent this summer busy at work on some new tools to help aspiring authors get those books out of their head and into the hands of their future readers. The first tool I’m wanted to share with you is my new guide, “How to Prepare Yourself to Write a NonFiction Book.” Click here to download the guide and get started!
In addition to this FREE guide, there are opportunities for you to go back to school as well. I am holding two free webinars in September. Please check out my event calendar for details and to sign up. I will also be announcing a new class starting this October. Watch your inbox for more news soon!I can’t wait to see what you write next!
All the best,
Nancy-Erickson
The Book Professor
@TheBookProfesso

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Be the Solution: Change the World With Your Book

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by Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

change the world with a book write a bookDo you ever feel like the world has gone mad? 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.

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.

Delivering HOPE and HELP with your book

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 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.

Only YOU can tell your story

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 their productive lives. They’re not writers because they’re doers, and they’re out accomplishing things.

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.

You’re the only one who has your story. You’re the only one who can do it. Your message is bigger than you think it is and will go further than you can imagine.

Be the solution!

If you need help writing your book, let The Book Professor help. Through one-to-one consulting, self-paced online classes and group executive coaching, we have options for everyone. Click here to contact us – or – subscribe to our newsletter below for tips on how to write a book delivered to your inbox.


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7 Important Sources of Book Reviews for Indie Authors 3

7 Important Sources of Book Reviews for Indie Authors

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book readingWhen you’re looking for your next read, how do you shop? I don’t know about you, but one of the first things I do is to ask my friends for recommendations. They can’t all know my exacting tastes in the books that I read, but when I hear glowing reviews or repeat recommendations among my friends, I take note. If the book is available as an ebook, I will usually download the sample right away to see if the book is a good fit.

Future Importance of Book Reviews for Indie Authors

A recent article by the Huffington Post predicted that self published ebooks will achieve a 50% share of the book market by 2020, citing reasons such as the decline of brick and mortar stores and the increased publishing savvy of indie authors. However, with the meteoric rise of self publishing, we’ve seen as much poor writing in the marketplace as quality writing, and readers are seeking validation that a book is worth their time. Since there are no signs that this trend will change anytime soon, book reviews for indie authors are and will continue to be a critical and important cornerstone for your indie book marketing strategy.

How do you get the book reviews you need?

ebook reader book reviewer self publishing

Offer a generous number of ebooks to avid readers to increase the likelihood of getting your book reviewed..

Christine Nolfi (@christinenolfi), the author of Reviews Sell Books, recommends that you focus on getting 10 quality reviews for your book. Below, we’ve listed seven sources of reviews you should investigate first.

  • Friends & Family: One way to do that is to provide advance review copies (ARCs) to a list of trusted friends and family in your inner circle. If you’re publishing and promoting a second or third book, you likely have a short list in mind of people who have reviewed your other books. That is exactly where you should start. These people are going to be the most motivated and invested in your success. However, you should diversify your outreach to include others beyond your inner circle.
  • Bloggers: Regardless of the topic of your book, odds are that there are influential bloggers who have written about and have curated a following interested in the very same topic. One of my favorite sites for indie authors is Indie Review, which offers a frequently-updated list of book bloggers. At last count, this list contained 269 potential reviewers and even helps you to narrow down their areas of interest and book preferences so that you’ll be more likely to be a good match. BookBloggerList.com offers this list of non-fiction book reviewers as well.
  • Book Review Guilds: Traditional publishers have long worked with vanity reviewers to get the reviews and quotes needed to promote the books they will launch. Indie versions of this method are also starting to arise.
  • Book Grabbr: For $25 per month, authors can get their books in front of interested readers who sign up to receive free books in exchange for their reviews. Click here to learn more about BookGrabbr.
  • Amazon Meet Our Authors: Amazon provides a forum where authors can introduce themselves and their book, and can seek out reviews. The “Meet Our Authors” community offers a place for authors and reviewers to connect, but authors are advised to post only in their designated forums, and not to post in the forums specifically created for book reviewers.
  • LibraryThing Member Giveaway: Reach out early in your planning process and get your book in line for the LibraryThing Member Giveaway program, which allows you to offer a set number of books up to the LibraryThing members who are often active reviewers. While those who win your book are not obligated to review it, you’ll find this group of readers to be a rich opportunity. If you offer an ebook, give a generous number of copies, so you can increase the likelihood that you’ll see a return.
  • Social Media: Hopefully in advance of your launch, you’ve been curating a strong following on social media that spans beyond friends and family. Give away a few advance copies to your social connections —  the ones that you think are most likely to broadcast their take on your tome. Check out Bookarma, which allows authors broader social reach through shared promotion of other authors. This will help you expand your social reach while making friends and allies in the literary community.

For more information on self-publishing success,writing tips and classes by The Book Professor, stay connected. Sign up to receive news, updates and more delivered to your inbox.


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"But, I'm not a writer."

“But, I’m not a writer.”

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book professor uniquely you nonfiction book how to write not a writerYou probably have a book inside of you and you/re thinking, “I’m not a writer, I can’t do this.”

Well, let me tell you something; this is something that I have discovered.

People who write nonfiction are not writers. They’re what I call “livers.” They’ve lived through something; they’ve been through something, learned something, discovered something, developed something, and they’re busy living. They’re not writers because they’re doers, and they’re out accomplishing things.

So, if you fall in that category, no worries! That’s why I have developed this iterative step-by-step process to help you learn how to get your book out there. If you keep it trapped inside, you can only affect a small circle. But when you know how to write a book, you establish credibility, you attract an audience, and you gain a following. So if you’re interested in promoting the vision and  passion inside you, but you don’t think you’re a writer, come on board! That’s exactly the type of person I work with.

Your experience is unique. In fact, no one else has your story or has lived through what you’ve learned. You are the only one who can do it, but if you’ve never written a book before, you probably don’t know how to get started. And how would you know? If you want to know how to start a book, how to publish a book, or how to write an eBook, The Book Professor is here to help.


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Create a crystallized message 2

Create a crystallized message

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By Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

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

1. What’s the Purpose?

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

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

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

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

2. Who’s the Audience?

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

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

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

3. Why the Message?

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

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

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

Now pull the three components together into a single statement.

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

Ready, set, write.

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

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

Go BIGGER!

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

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

International Book Marketer, Public Speaker, Book Coach, and Author Advocate, Nancy’s passion is to change the world, one reader at a time. She is the creator and owner of Bookarma (www.bookarma.net), the international book marketing platform where authors help authors market their books globally through shared social networks. She is also known at The Book Professor (www.thebookprofessor.com) because she gives everyday people the courage to tell their truth and the tools they need to write a nonfiction book that will change lives, saves lives, or transform society.


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How Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Like The Measles

How Fifty Shades Of Grey Is Like The Measles

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valentine-roses

There’s been a lot of buzz about Fifty Shades of Grey, a poorly written book that became a best seller. This weekend — for Valentine’s Day — it hits the big screen as a romantic love story. Here’s are my thoughts about it.
How Fifty Shades of Grey Is Like The Measles

 

Photo courtesy of http://kentuckysportsradio.com/basketball-2/uk-basketball-valentines-day-cards-for-the-special-lady-in-your-life/


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How to Plan and Launch a Successful Book Launch Event

How to Plan and Launch a Successful Book Launch Event

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If you’ve been wanting to plan an event to launch your book, this presentation will give you some tips on whether your book is a good candidate for an event launch and how to orchestrate it.

How to Plan and Organize a Successful Book Launch Event


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Resources for Writers

Want to write something brief and get it published immediately? Join Helium.com! Other writers will rate your article, and you will rate theirs, and this is a good way to build a bank of published pieces.

Need some prompts to exercise your writing muscles? You’ll find hundreds here at Creative Writing Prompts.

Don’t know where to submit your work? Head over to Duotrope, a one-stop shopping site for publications that accept fiction and poetry. This fantastic tool filters submission sites by genre and allows you to track the responses you receive. Easy breezy!

Want to figure out how to make money by writing? Subscribe to Funds for Writers and get regular updates regarding freelance jobs and contests.

Concerned about your grammar? Get help from The Grammar Girl for some quick-and-dirty tips.

Want some basic information about writing and citation? Take advantage of this online writing lab from Purdue University!

Looking for a writer’s group? Check out this comprehensive listing, by state!

Want to know how to write a book that is what publishers want? Join the Get My Book Out! program, written and delivered by The Book Professor, Nancy Erickson!

Want to improve your writing? THEN SIT DOWN AND DO IT!!


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Do it NOW!

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So, you like the thought of writing a book, and you have an idea that keeps rolling around in your head, but that’s all your great idea does – it lives in your head. Wouldn’t you like to get that book out?

It’s hard to start a book. You have so much to say, need to organize your thoughts, you have a full-time job that gets in the way and children to care for after work, and by the time you have time to write, you’re too tired to write. Don’t worry! There is a solution.

One of the best ways to write a book is in small time boxes. I recently heard that you can get your daily allotment of physical exercise in ten-minute increments, done several times a day, which sounds a lot more manageable than slogging it out on a treadmill for an hour. Writing is like that, too.

Do you have fifteen minutes? Sure you do. Plant yourself at your computer or on a park bench or in the front seat of your car and WRITE SOMETHING — maybe it’s a childhood memory you want to capture, or the description of the crisp, fall air that will set a scene, or a conversation you overheard that would make great dialogue. Get it down, and do it now!

I normally feel like I need to clear my head before I start writing, and maybe you’re like that, too. Here’s a tip on how I move myself from overactive brain mode to writing mode in under a minute:

1. Sit down, close your eyes, and take a deep breath.
2. Picture an inanimate object that you find simple to describe. It could be a paperclip, your favorite mug, a pen, a shoe, a penny, etc.
3. Now let the words pop that describe that object: shiny, hard, silver, twisted, blue, slick, sharp, and on and on.
4. Once you’ve exhausted your vocabulary, open your eyes and start writing something that will contribute to your book.

You don’t need hours to write, you don’t have to have all your menial tasks finished first, you don’t even need to be at your computer. All you really need is fifteen minutes and the back of a napkin. If you practice this several times a day, you’ll develop a writing habit and will build the bricks of your book that you can be pieced together.


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