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Writing A Book: Focus On The Purpose

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The Book Publishing Process-Every Book Needs Pruning

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

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

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

Copyediting

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

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

During the copyedit, we focus on the following:  

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Vocabulary
  • Sentence structure
  • Punctuation

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

Developmental Editing

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

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

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

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


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Your Audience: Write for the Right People

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

Research First, Then Write

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

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

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

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

Book Audience vs. Market

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

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

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

Define Your Goal

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

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

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


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Self-Publish Your E-Book

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An E-Book stands for electronic book, which is a digital version of your manuscript. E-books consist of text, images, or both. They can be read on most mobile devices; including smartphones, like the iPhone or Android; tablets, like an iPad or Surface; and eReaders, like a Kindle or Nook. All of these mobile devices can hold hundreds of titles at once. It’s like taking a library with you on the go (Source).

Whether you want to write an E-Book, small byte book or have already written a nonfiction novel and are worried about landing a book deal, you should really consider self-publishing. Times have changed, and signing on with a big publisher is no longer the only way to get your book into the hands (or onto the screens) of readers. Here’s why you should give self-publishing a chance for your next book:

1. One in three E-books sold on Amazon is self-published.

If you think readers will shy away from self-published books, think again. Sales show that readers are more and more interested in purchasing books from independent authors. If you can get a good fan base and work on a solid marketing campaign, your self-published book can absolutely compete with books published in the traditional manner.

2. Independent authors make up 25% of Amazon’s best E-book sellers list.

Not only are independent authors selling books, but they are also topping the charts. The books published by the “Big Five” publishers only represent 16% of the bestsellers. Self-publishing has allowed readers to discover new authors, and it’s clear that they are enjoying what they are reading. It just goes to show that if you can write a quality book and market it properly, you have a good chance of not only selling books, but also becoming a well-known author.

3. You are in control of your timeline.

If you go the traditional route, you will have to first spend several months searching for an agent, who will then spend even more time hunting down a publisher. Even if your book is accepted, the timeline for your book hitting the press could be 1-3 years, and remember, that’s if and only if you actually land a book deal. Not to mention the 15% you have to pay your agent for landing the deal.

If you self-publish, you can get your book out as soon as you are confident in your final draft. Obviously, it’s best to go through several edits and not begin the publishing process at 2am while you’re wired on your 4th cup of coffee. The point is that once your book is finished, you can publish it in a matter of months instead of years.

4. You set the price.

If you go the traditional route, your publisher will set the price for hardcover, paperback, and E-books, and you have no say in whatever price they choose. If you self-publish, you can set a price point that works for you. Smashword’s 2014 survey showed that E-books priced between $2.99 and $3.99 tend to sell best. If you think that seems low, keep in mind that you won’t have to turn over 85% of your profit to your publisher, like you would if you went the traditional route.

It’s free to publish through Amazon’s CreateSpace print on demand service, which allows you to print physical books only when they are needed. Print-on-Demand services also help you avoid excess inventory. Traditional publishing involves ordering press runs of books that could end up leaving you with a stack of books you have paid for but haven’t sold. Self-publishing through a POD service saves you money on inventory, as well as on the cost of shipping and storing the books.

5. You are in charge of marketing & sales.

Many authors believe that traditional publishers will go above and beyond to market their book, but that’s not true. The reality is, even if you go through a traditional publisher, you will most likely have to come to them with some sort of marketing plan, which they will then decide whether or not they want to implement. Not only will you be at the mercy of the publisher’s marketing tactics, you’ll also be tied to whatever budget they allot to you.

Self-publishing means you are completely in charge of your marketing. Even if you decide to hire a marketing consultant, you will have the final say on any marketing decision. No one believes in your book more than you do, so why not put your passion into your marketing strategy?

These days, readers are less concerned with who published a book and a lot more concerned about the quality of the writing. Self-publishing is an excellent option for any author that is ready to tell their story.

If you or someone you know is ready to tell their story, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step


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Why Writing A Book Is The Seed For Your Career

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

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

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

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

Write a Book and Recharge Your Career

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Contact us today and we can show you how!

 


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Writing A Book Is Hard But Possible With The Right Guidance

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I can’t do this. No one will read it anyway. I don’t even know where to begin. This is hard.

Have you ever said any of these things to yourself? As The Book Professor, I help people write books that change lives, save lives, and transform society. But it’s the people I meet that want to write a book but have sadly talked themselves out of it because they don’t believe they can do it. When you’ve built your life on a lie, it’s hard to overcome that thinking. I say “lie,” because deep down these lies boil down to one thing: the belief that you aren’t good enough.

I believe its the lies we tell ourselves that prevent us from doing the things we were meant to do and for which we are gifted. I don’t know what lies you tell yourself, but I know the truth. You do matter. You are important. You can help other people. Writing a nonfiction book is hard at times, but you can do it with the right guidance!

Why You Should Write A Nonfiction Book

There are many reasons to write a nonfiction book:

  1. Maybe you survived a harrowing experience and want to give others the strength to fight through their issues.
  2. Your business expertise may have driven you to the top of your field and you’d like to help others succeed.
  3. Perhaps you’ve been blogging for years and have built your brand and you’re ready to write a book.

There are so many reasons to write a nonfiction book, but people always seem to focus on the reasons why they can’t. They make excuses like, “I’m not a writer” and “I wouldn’t know where to start.”  Working with a book coach online can help you start and finish your book, and it will ensure that you put out a quality product.

Work With a Coach Online

Life is busy and it can be difficult to not only sign up for classes, but it also takes the time to commute to class. When you work with a book coach online, you can access instructional videos, lessons, and handouts at any time, day or night. Your study time is whenever you want it to be. My Group Writing & Publishing Program includes homework assignments that will ensure that you are making progress on your book, as well as one-on-one coaching sessions. Halfway through each of the 3 modules, you will have a 45-minute one-on-one coaching session where you can go over your work in greater detail, discuss any issues or challenges you are facing, and receive valuable feedback. At the end of each module, you will have another 45-minute one-on-one session to discuss your overall progress in depth.

Stay Motivated With a Group

The Group Writing & Publishing Program is perfect for people who want constant motivation and feedback. Without structure, it’s easy to put off writing your book. The Group classes force you to carve out time to work on your book. Each 16-week module includes weekly Group Coaching calls that allow you to discuss your progress and get feedback from other members. In short, it’s your own Book Mastermind! The lessons are available online all the time, and the weekly Group Coaching calls are scheduled on the same day and time each week. Flexibility for solo study is great, but the regular meetings with your fellow writers ensure that you receive your weekly dose of motivation. They give you the chance to share what you have been working on, receive feedback, and workshop with other authors, while providing accountability and guidance, every step of the way.

If you’re not a writer, don’t worry. You don’t have to have one sentence written, and you don’t have to be a professional writer to publish a powerful nonfiction book. You simply need to have an idea – and the commitment to see the process through, and I’ll help you every step of the way.

To get more details about the curriculum, read testimonials from past participants, and to register for the next session, click here!


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Writing A Book About Your Life With The Book Professor

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As a professional book coach, my role is to connect the people who have solutions with the ones who need those answers, and I do it by coaching busy professionals to write high-impact nonfiction books. I’m actually the least important component in the process — I’m just the hallway they pass through to take their message to the world.

So, it’s no surprise many of my conversations begin with: “So, what’s your story?”

Has anybody ever asked you that?  It kind of sounds like a pick-up line, doesn’t it?

Maybe nobody has asked you that exact question, but they have asked that question in other forms. They say things like:

  • What do you do?
  • What line of work are you in?
  • Where are you from?
  • Do you have any children?
  • What does your company do?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • What do you sell?
  • How do you differentiate your product / service / self?

Writing a book about your life is one of the most liberating therapeutic decisions someone can make. But how you tell your story is just as important as the story itself.

How To Craft Your Exceptional Story

You can apply what I’m about to teach you to any story you tell, whether it’s about you, your company, your product, or your family.

The first step is to build its foundation, and you can do that by answering these two questions:

What’s the purpose? AND Who’s the audience?

  1. What’s the purpose?

You probably have a general idea of what you want to tell, but I challenge you distill it down to a single Purpose Statement before you start. Your Purpose Statement should say, “The purpose of my story is to ___________________. 

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

Let me give you an example using my own purpose statement: The purpose of my story is to give 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.

  1. 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. Who do you interact with? 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 my story is __________________.

Example: The audience for my story is everyday people.

  1. Pull it all together.

Now pull these components together to craft a single statement.

Example: The purpose of my story 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.

Now that you have your Purpose Statement, you’ll want to write your story from your audience’s 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 your audience is seeking.

Three Elements Of Your Story

Now I’d like to teach you the three elements of telling your story – and, no, it’s not beginning, middle, and end!

Stories are powerful, but only if they have a point. Your challenge is to think about your audience and convey what would be meaningful to them. Resist the temptation to tell them everything – you’ll bore them to death! Pare your story down to your purpose, and leave the rest behind.

Here’s a simple formula that you can use to tell your story:

Part 1. What it used to be like

Before you were where you are now, your life/work/health was a certain way. What was it like?

  • Was it pleasant and peaceful? 
  • Was it stressful and harrowing?
  • Were you broke and despondent?
  • Was there something missing in?
  • Something frustrating?
  • Was it seemingly perfect?

Example: I was trapped in a high-paying high-tech job that I hated but couldn’t leave because I was too afraid.

Part 2. What happened?What it used to be like

This brings us to the pivotal point in YOUR story. The pivotal point is the “what happened” of your story.

Change usually takes place due to one of two things. Perhaps you had an aha! moment and were internally motivated to try something new or move in a new direction. You realized something and made some changes. Those changes were internally motivated.

However, for a lot of us, change is forced upon us by external factors such as an illness, death, divorce, a marriage, new baby, or a lost job. What happened in your life that caused you to seek a new direction and put you on a different path?

This is the turning point in your story. It’s the event/circumstance/situation that bridges the before and after. What happened that changed everything? What was your pivotal moment?

Example: My dad was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor and I shut everything down and traveled back and forth to Florida to be with my parents. After he died, I had the opportunity to start over, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I always loved to write, so I went back to school to get my Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing. After I graduated I joined the faculty to teach writing, then started a small press to publish nonfiction books. I realized that most of the powerful stories were not being told, they were trapped inside of people, so I took what I knew as a university professor and a publisher and created a step-by-step methodology to turn people who aren’t writers into authors.    

Part 3. What it’s like now

This is the “After” portion. What is your life like now? How are you different now?  What are you doing to add value to your world?

Example: Now the people I work with have become the voices of hope and help. They are reaching out and changing people’s lives, simply by telling their stories.

When you write your story using this formula—what it used to be like, what happened, and what it’s like now, then seal it with your Purpose – then you have crafted your exceptional story.

Let’s take a look at all the elements pulled together.

I was trapped in a high-paying high-tech job that I hated but couldn’t leave because I was too afraid. But then my dad was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumo,r and I shut everything down and traveled back and forth to Florida to be with my parents.

After he died, I had the opportunity to start over, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I always loved to write, so I went back to school to get my Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing. After I graduated I joined the faculty to teach writing, then started a small press to publish nonfiction books. I realized that most of the powerful stories were not being told because they were trapped inside of people, so I took what I knew as a university professor and a publisher and created a step-by-step methodology to turn people who aren’t writers into authors.    

Now the people I work with have become the voices of hope and help. They are reaching out and changing people’s lives, simply by telling their stories. The reason I do this 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.

That’s MY story and I’m sticking to it!

What about your story? You’re the only one who can do it.

If you would like support, consider one of my nonfiction book coaching programs:

 


author-coaching-book-coach-online-writing-class-get-my-book-outAbout Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson is better known as “The Book Professor,” a writing and publishing consultant who specializes in helping aspiring nonfiction authors bring their book ideas to market. Nancy works as a book coach assisting authors that write self-help books, biographies, business books, and other nonfiction books through online courses and book coaching. Contact Nancy with questions or to have her speak at your upcoming event by clicking here.

 


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Writing A Book: Don’t Make These Mistakes

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I own a professional publishing company and receive numerous submissions each year from writers who want to be published. I strictly work with nonfiction, so the manuscripts are usually from non-professional writers who have experienced or learned something that will either save lives, change lives, or transform society. As founder of The Book Professor, I created a program that takes aspiring authors who have no writing skills all the way to their first book within one year.

I do, however, also work with those who have written a book on their own without our program and sometimes agree to review their manuscript for publishing.  Unfortunately, this is where the challenge begins. Here are ten common mistakes that send their work to my recycling bin:

1. They think they have a great idea.

Before you start writing, make sure you have an original idea. How do you do that? Research, research, research! Read other books in the same genre and on the same topic, and if you find that your message has already been delivered, then save yourself the time and aggravation of writing a book. Better yet, find your unique angle and write to that perspective.

2. They love their own writing.

Seasoned authors know the value of outside criticism and will seek it at every opportunity. Amateur writers think that if they scored well in high school English, they’re good writers and don’t need any feedback. That’s a big mistake. You’re probably not as good as you think you are, and neither am I. An overconfident attitude produces the kind of sloppy writing I toss aside.

3. They think writing will be easy.

Writing isn’t easy and it never has been. It’s a hard discipline and very few can hack it. If it were easy, you would have already written your book! No one has ever accidentally written a book, and neither will you. You must create disciplined deadlines and be accountable to them. Write all the time; practice makes perfect. As Agatha Christie said, “Write even when you don’t want to, don’t much like what you are writing, and aren’t writing particularly well.”

4. They don’t know how to start a book.

Think about how you would start any multi-layered project, like building a house. You’d start with a plan wouldn’t you? Your book project should also begin with a plan that you can execute, which will carry you from concept to cover. You must know what you’re trying to accomplish in order to hit the goal. Begin by answering these foundational questions, then write a book that’s targeted to your answers.

  • What purpose will the book serve?
  • How is it different from other books published on this same subject?
  • What is the main theme of your story? Secondary themes?
  • What new information or angle does your story present that hasn’t already been heard?
  • Why will people want to read this story?
  • Who is your audience? Define your primary and secondary markets.
  • How will this work impact that audience?
  • What change do you want to invoke in the reader?
  • Why would others recommend this book to others?
  • Finish the sentence: “The purpose of this book is to ­­­­­­­­___________________.”
  • Who would you like to endorse your book? Another expert in the field? A celebrity? Figure that out, then write the kind of book that person would endorse.

5. They don’t exhaust the language or expand their style.

Readers appreciate a varied vocabulary, but are impatient with the repetition of words, phrases, and sentence structure. Be sure that your writing is interesting, that there’s a mixture of sentence styles, that you’ve employed active language, and that your verbs are sharp and distinctive. Language matters.

6. They don’t understand grammar and punctuation.

You may not understand the rules of grammar and punctuation, but that doesn’t mean that others don’t. They do, and they’ll spot your mistakes in a flash. There are strict rules for both grammar and punctuation, and you better sharpen those skills if you don’t want to be dismissed.

7. They won’t invest.

So maybe you’re not good at grammar and punctuation? Hire an editor. Not sure if there are mistakes in your manuscript? Hire a proofreader. If you want to self-publish, then hire a professional cover designer and interior designer. Just because you can do everything yourself, that doesn’t mean you should. This is a specialized, professional industry, and you should work with professionals.

8. They trust the opinions of their friends.

Friends and family are great, but they have limitations when it comes to offering you objective feedback. When it comes to writing a book, their opinion doesn’t count. They are inexperienced, care too much about your feelings, and may only tell you what you want to hear. Seek an outside opinion from a professional editor who is trained to critique writing. But brace yourself—this could hurt! Be eager to make the necessary changes to meet professional standards.

9. They don’t know how to end the book.

Your opening line is important, but the ending can make or break a book. How and where do you stop? Decide if you want to tie your story in a neat bow or allow it to continue. Write three or four endings, then choose the one that is most satisfying. Moreover, be sure to tie up loose strings on all subplots, and revisit those foundational questions to be sure you’ve accomplished your stated goals.

10. They are in a hurry.

Amateur authors often set unreasonable deadlines, then latch onto them for dear life. Come hell or high water, they’re going to get their book finished by Christmas, or their birthday, or by any other manufactured deadline that has nothing to do with the book itself. Know this: by the time you’re in the home stretch, you’re going to be sick of your book. You may even hate it. But that doesn’t mean that you push it out the door just to get rid of it. Pull back and be thorough with every edit, with every research item, with every jot and tittle. Exercise a firm discipline and slow down, so you can produce a professional and polished manuscript and become an author, not merely a writer.

What about you? Are you ready to submit your manuscript? Or, do you have an idea but aren’t sure how to get started?  No matter where you are in your journey, we can help. Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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Which authors services are right for self-publishing authors? 1

Services Needed For Independent Authors

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The Independent Publishing market is strong and vibrant, and as a result, a whole slew of providers for author services have emerged, which can leave authors confused about where to turn to for help. And you do need help. You need to turn your manuscript into a polished, professional product and get it out of your hands and in the hands of readers.

In the traditional publishing model, it was all about the publisher. They not only controlled the process, but they controlled all aspects of the product. They chose the book title, the cover, controlled the editing, release dates, and the distribution channels. They also controlled the purse strings, and shared only a small return with you. And yet, if you wanted your book to be successful, you had to jump into the marketing and bear those expenses.

But independent publishing has changed all that. This process is no longer a ferris wheel-type structure where you, the author, are completely absent. There’s now a streamlined flow and YOU are at the center of everything. EVERYTHING! For reputable service providers, it’s all about YOU:  About helping you to be successful, about helping you produce a world-class product that you can market around the world.

Step One: Write

It starts with the writing. Many authors simply put their pen to paper and fly, but others, particularly if they are writing nonfiction like The Book Professor clients, need help to organize and express their message. They get help from a writing coach.

Step Two: Edit

Every big-name author has a phenomenal editor, and if you skip this step, you will certainly fail. Professionals don’t rely on their college student or their friend who majored in English to edit their book. They engage a professional book editor who knows how to sustain and shape a message over a couple hundred pages. For example, when you submit your nonfiction book manuscript to publishers like Stonebrook Publishing, we will carefully evaluate it to determine its editing needs. If we determine that the manuscript is market-ready, you’ll jump right into The Complete Publishing Package.

Step Three: Proofread

Don’t think that you or your editor can proofread your own material. You can’t. Your brain is amazing, and it will fill in missing words that you accidentally deleted. You’ll never even notice if you’ve made a mistake – that is, until you see it in print!

Step Four: Design

There are two parts to your book design: the cover and the interior. Hire a professional for both. This is non-negotiable. You must do it.

Step Five: Produce

You’ll have to decide what forms your book will take, and with the advent of print-on-demand services, you can produce physical books without making a costly up-front investment. The books are printed as they are sold, and if you want to change the content, you simply upload a new digital file. eBooks, of course, are an especially hot market for Indie authors, and you need a conversion partner like BookBaby who will do your book justice.

Step Six: Distribute

Your book must be available for readers to buy, and you’ll want them to be available through every possible channel.

Step Seven: Market

Marketing your book feel overwhelming, but the easiest first step is to develop your author platform and social media reach.

CHOOSE WISELY

Some service providers take advantage of authors. They over-promise and under-deliver, and have been known to produce substandard results. You don’t need that.

What goes on inside that Bookflow makes all the difference. When those of us who serve authors as reputable providers give and help and share and serve you, it changes the game. We know the Bookflow from beginning to end and perform our part without cutting corners to get ahead, without rushing through and making mistakes, without over-promising, without over-charging, without missing deadlines. We are free to do our best, to offer best pricing, and to work together to establish a total project budget that a serious author can afford. That’s the abundance attitude. That’s good karma!

Interested in using one company for all your writing, editing, publishing and book repurposing needs? Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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Six Myths  (and a Few Facts) About Traditional Publishing

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

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

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

Myth #1: Traditional publishers serve as “gatekeepers”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I’ll just list the top three:

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

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

 


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Why Writing A Book Step-By-Step Matters

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Have you been thinking about how to write a book, how to get published, or how to write an autobiography? Whether you’re a writer or not, is it your dream to start writing a book and becoming an author? Your dreams on how to write a book, how to make a book, or even how to write an ebook aren’t out of your reach!

When you’re learning how to write a book, you have to understand that it’s a large project, and it’s not something you’re going to accomplish overnight. So what’s the key to large projects? You break them down into tiny little steps. You’ve heard people say how do you eat an elephant. The answer is one bite at a time. And when you’re trying to write a nonfiction book, those rules still apply but in the form of a step-by-step process.

Write Your Book Step-By-Step

When setting goals it’s important to outline how you plan to accomplish such goals. Without an outline of how you plan to get to your goal, you will most likely find yourself at the end of the year having not accomplished what you set out. How frustrating. The same is true when writing a nonfiction book. When we do that, we develop a Book Map, which is a visual representation of your entire book. I can contend that if you only have 15 minutes, you can actually develop your strategy on how to write a book in 15-minute increments because it’s broken down in such small pieces that you can take those pieces you can write and assemble them into a comprehensive manuscript.

 

Watch below to learn How To Write A Book in Small Steps:

Your experience is unique. In fact, no one else has your story or lived through what you’ve learned. You are the only one who can do this, 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.

You’re the only one who can do it — and I’m here to help!


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Write More Than A Book With The Book Professor

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

You already know that everyone isn’t going to read a book, but does that mean they must miss your message? Your finished book can now become the launchpad through which you deliver your message in multiple venues. When you follow our methodology to construct your book in Chapter Silos, you can take those chapters and repurpose them for articles, workshops, seminars, keynotes, online courses, video training, podcasts, etc. That’s the extended value of this carefully constructed methodology!

The Whole Shebang

Through the combination of our three sister companies, The Book Professor®, Stonebrook Publishing, and Bookarma®, we offer authors a unique model in the world of publishing. We are a one-stop-shop for the entire book process. This includes the writing, editing, publishing, marketing, and repurposing your book material into additional revenue-producing products.

You bring us your nonfiction book manuscript, and along with supportive services from our sister companies, The Book Professor® and Bookarma®, we help you write your book, edit your manuscript, publish your book, and help you repurpose the content so you can develop additional revenue-producing products such as podcasts, seminars, workshops, blog articles, and online courses.

We strictly work with high-impact nonfiction material that will either save lives, change lives, or transform society. We are the only author support company that offers what we call “The Whole Shebang.”

Ready to write more than a book in a year with The Book Professor and repurpose your material for workshops, seminars, speeches and more? Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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Nancy Erickson-Dedicated Author Strategist

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

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

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

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

How I’m Different

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

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

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

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

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

 


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