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Learn How to Write a Nonfiction Book-Tell the Truth

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Learn How to Write a Nonfiction Book-Tell the Truth

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

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

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

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

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

Keep the End in Mind

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

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

Don’t talk, don’t see, just pretend.

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

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

What if you could be that author?

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

You Don’t Need Permission

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

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

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

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

 


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My Lessons Learned as a Femalepreneur

I’ve worked with many women business owners over the years, and it makes me reflect on my own journey as a femalepreneur. It’s true. As women, we work hard, work smart, and we get it done. But we also juggle home and family responsibilities and face obstacles that men don’t always encounter. Reduced financing. Lack of support. Exclusion from the “boys club.” Scant resources.

But anything worth having takes hard work, doesn’t it? When I look at my life, the things that give me the greatest joy–from being a mother, wife, grandmother, and business owner–didn’t come without a few tears and hard work. But boy, am I glad I stayed on the journey to reap the fruits of my labor.

Lesson 1: Just Go For It

When you have an idea for a way that you can help others or improve their lives, then go for it. Use the full force of your gifts and talents to bring something new and fresh and useful to the world. It’s hard to get started when you have a great idea but no customers, but keep doing the next right thing to build your product in the most excellent way, and step by step you will achieve the small things that lead to the greater opportunities.

Lesson 2: Surround Yourself with Positive Thinkers

Negative thinking stinks. I can’t stand to be around people who can only see a problem but never offer a solution. Or people that constantly have something bad tosuccess say about your dreams and try to pass their fear-based thinking onto you. My advice is to get around positive people that will support you emotionally. Optimism ROCKS, and you will need that support as you begin your journey.

When I was starting The Book Professor, someone asked me, “Is there really a market for that? How many people actually want to write a book?” I was discouraged by his remarks because my idea was only on paper at that point, but then an answer rose up in me and I said, “I don’t know, but I’m going to find out.” If I hadn’t surrounded myself with people that helped lift me up and pour out words of encouragement during the early days, I might have sat in that pit of discouragement instead of staying on my path.

Lesson 3: Stay on the Course and Watch Your Passion Grow

When you consider the people that are considered a success, you usually don’t hear about all the bumps they endured to get to where they are. From elite athletes to billionaire business owners, it’s tempting to think that getting there was easy. I assure you it wasn’t, and the road certainly had periods of self-doubt. Questions like: “Am I supposed to be doing this?” and “Is this my life’s purpose?”  I didn’t know that my dream was to help people who aren’t writers to become authors until I started down the path. With every step I took, my passion grew until I knew that I couldn’t do anything else.  Whatever your dream is, keep taking the next right step and watch your passion carry you right into your life’s purpose!

What about you? Are you an aspiring femalepreneur ready to expand your credibility and increase your following by writing a book? Contact me today. I’d be honored to help.


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If You Want to Write a Good Book-Make Time To Read

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Writing is so much more than putting words on paper or typing them onto a screen. If you want to be a truly great writer, you’ll need to work at improving your craft through practice, research, and, of course, reading. You might think an online writing coach would only assign writing exercises as homework, but reading a book could just as easily be a worthwhile assignment.

Online writing coach recommends reading to improve writing

Make time to read

We are all busy and finding time to write can be difficult enough, but that doesn’t mean you should let your reading pile stack up. When you are feeling stressed and crunched for time, reading can actually be the key to re-centering yourself. Studies show that just thirty minutes of dedicated reading time will do more to reduce stress levels than more traditional methods such as going for a walk or having a calming cup of tea. Any online writing coach will tell you that writing while stressed rarely results in quality content. If your writing is starting to feel forced or you find yourself with a bad case of writer’s block, pick up a book and unwind a little.
Set aside 30 minutes of each day to read a good book. It can be during your lunch break, right before bed, or even first thing in the morning. It may seem impossible to squeeze 30 minutes of reading into your busy schedule, but if you want to improve as a writer, you need to make the time to read.

Active readers have more diverse styles and vocabularies

Who needs a thesaurus when you have a good book? When you read a book you are exposed to new words that you either comprehend through context or will perhaps be compelled to investigate further. Whether you make the conscious choice to absorb the words, chances are you will eventually incorporate them into your speech or writing.

Great writers read to see what works and what doesn’t work. A good online writing coach will stress the importance of exposing yourself to different voices and a variety of writing styles. Avid readers are constantly exposed to fresh voices and interesting subject matter that can open their minds up to new ideas which can be implemented in their own writing. A great book can influence your writing style, inspire you to try new things, and kick start your desire to write. If you do not continue to read new material, you will have a hard time improving your own writing skills.

Read outside of your genre

While it’s useful to read books within your own genre to get a sense of what other writers are doing, you should also diversify your reading list. Nonfiction writers do not have to stick to nonfiction books! In fact, reading novels can help cultivate creativity and even stir up memories of personal experiences. It’s very important to read books both for work and for pleasure. In fact, this Stanford study shows that a different area of the brain is activated when you read for leisure than when you read as if studying for an exam.

If you hire me as your online writing coach, I can guarantee you that I will recommend adding designated reading time into your daily schedule. Good readers make great writers, and I’m in the business of helping people become excellent writers!


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I’m An Author…Do I Need a Blog?

This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

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

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

The answer is a resounding, “Probably.”

Blog to book

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

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

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

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

Blogging establishes writing discipline

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

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

Blogging enables feedback

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

Blogging can establish expertise and credibility

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

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

Your blog can build connections

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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Create a crystallized message 2

Nonfiction Writing Technique: Crystallize

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

1. What’s the Purpose?

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

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

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

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

2. Who’s the Audience?

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

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

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

3. Why the Message?

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

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

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

Now pull the three components together into a single statement.

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

Ready, set, write.

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

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

Go BIGGER!

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

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

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


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

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

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

Write it Raw, Then Edit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Summer Reading Lists-Some Nonfiction Classics Never Die

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Summer is the perfect time to delve into a book, whether you decide to read while lounging on a blanket in a park or curled up on the couch during a summer storm. New releases are exciting, but it’s always great to pull out classic nonfiction books that have stood the test of time. If you are an aspiring author, you can look to some of these successful writers for a bit of inspiration.

nonfiction books for an aspiring author

1. The Power of Less by Leo Babauta

This self-help book focuses on helping the reader narrow in on habits that are preventing them from moving forward in life. The Power of Less could help any aspiring author simplify their life and make more time to work on their book, but this is an especially great read for anyone who wants to write a self-help book of their own. Explore Babauta’s writing style and see what styles and techniques might work in your own writing.

2. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

If you want to write a memoir, this is a great book to read for a bit of inspiration. The book covers one woman’s journey of self-discovery after she goes through a divorce and decides to travel the world. Gilbert is honest about her loneliness and how lost she feels as she hops from Italy to India and Indonesia. Eat, Pray, Love shows how to take a story that is uniquely yours and still make it relatable to readers. Any memoir that can hold a spot on the New York Times Best Seller List for 187 weeks is certainly worth a read for an aspiring author looking to write a memoir.

3. A Brief History of Time From the Big Bang to Black Holes by Stephen W. Hawking

Stephen Hawking is recognized as one of the most brilliant theoretical physicists and cosmologists of all time and he was able to write a non-fiction book that is extremely accessible. This book not only further solidifies Hawking’s status as an expert in his field, but it also shows that he is a stand-out teacher who is able to reach audiences and students outside of his specialized field. If you are looking to share your knowledge in a way that allows readers to absorb the information, take a look at how Hawking managed to do just that.

4. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff…and it’s All Small Stuff by Richard Carlson

Carlson truly established himself as an authority in the field of psychotherapy when his book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s All Small Stuff, held the number one spot on the New York Times Best Sellers List for over 100 weeks. Carlson even went on to become a popular guest on talk shows, which helped him further promote his book. This book is the perfect read to motivate an aspiring author to write a book that will show off their specialized knowledge and help people along the way.

5. Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell

You might recognize the name Malcolm Gladwell from our previous blog post, Writing Insights from Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell has written several successful nonfiction books, but Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, is an especially intriguing read. The book discusses how spontaneous decisions made in the blink of an eye are often better than well-thought-out plans. Gladwell is a psychologist who combines intensive research with engaging writing that allows the reader to get caught up in the narrative. This is a great way to expand your horizons and get a good look how one nonfiction author made his specialty interesting and accessible to the average reader.

Every aspiring author needs to read!

This is far from a comprehensive list, but it’s a great start.  Make the most of your summer and check as many books off your “to read” list as you can.


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Learn From Other Successful Nonfiction Authors

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

Meet Malcolm Gladwell

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

nonfiction author malcolm gladwell

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

Background

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

Learn from an incredibly successful nonfiction author

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

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

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

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


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Book Writing Software Online tools for writing your book

Online Tools For Your Book

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

Scrivener-book-writing-softwareScrivener Book Writing Software

Scrivener for Mac – $45.00

Scrivener for PC – $45.00 

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

GoodNotes Writing App

Available in the iTunes App store for $7.99.

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

 

Evernote

Evernote – FREE & Premium Available

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

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


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Market Your Book

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

Meet Amy Porterfield

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

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

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

Here are a few of my favorite online marketing Podcasts:

Let David Siteman Garland show you how to create online courses

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

Learn about mobile marketing from Greg Hickman

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

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

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

Create a successful Podcast with John Lee Dumas

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

Get to know social media marketing with Michael Stelzner

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

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


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Even a Business Leader Needs Help

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You’ve been a professional and a leader for quite some time and have learned a few things along the way, haven’t you? Your years of experience, education, ideas, and expertise are what other impassioned leaders need in order to gain the success that you’ve achieved. Perhaps you’re already a mentor to others, and you know that what you know can benefit more than you can reach in person. If you want a greater influence, you need a bigger platform! It’s time to take your solution and help others solve the problems they can’t fix on their own. Yes, you’re successful, but sometimes even a successful business leader needs help reaching others.

Why Should a Business Leader Write a Book?business leader

As a business leader with years of experience, you know deep down that you’re a true leader. Writing a book helps to establish yourself as an expert with those who don’t know your talent-that’s where I can help.

Business leaders write a book for a number of reasons:

  1. You have something to share that will benefit others.
  2. You want to leave a legacy that will impact the future.
  3. You see others struggle and have learned how to overcome obstacles.
  4. You want to showcase your business and the path to success.

Listen to what our writer, David J.P. Fisher, author, business leader, and entrepreneur had to say after he wrote his first book Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Network Sucks and What to Do About It:

“Writing the first book was definitely a big hurdle, but I found that it was like running a marathon. Once you do one, you look back and want to do it again. I’ve published three shorter books in the ten months after publishing my first book, and there are more on the way. It’s definitely helped build my professional credibility and stature as an expert in my field.”

What do you have to lose? When will there ever be a better moment than now? It’s time to build your personal brand and establish yourself as the expert you are.

If you’re a business leader 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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Nonfiction Writing Technique: Show Me The Details

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I happen to reside in what is known as the “Show Me” state. When I first heard that slogan, I didn’t get it. Show me what? After a little research, I later found out the slogan was derived from Willard Duncan Vandiver, a Missouri Congressman, during a speech he gave in 1899. He said, “I come from a state that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me” (Source).

In other words, Missourians are not gullible. Don’t just tell us. If you want us to believe, you need to show us the truth through facts and evidence.

It’s funny. My state’s slogan reminds me of one of the most basic directives in writing: Show, don’t tell! I’m certain you’ve heard that phrase before, so today I want to dive in and explore how to do that by using descriptive details in your writing.

Here’s a quote that I really love, because it sums up the difference between boring writing and really good writing:

sensory languageA couple of years ago, we wrote an article about the importance of sensory language. Sensory language is just what it sounds like – it’s the language of our five senses. When you use sensory language, you describe what you saw, felt, heard, tasted, and smelled.  You don’t write, “I was sad when my girlfriend left me.” You write, “When she told me she was leaving, she smiled as she whispered the words, ‘I’m leaving you.’ My throat clamped tight. I blinked hard, so I wouldn’t cry, but one hot tear fell and salted my upper lip.”

In this passage, you find four of the five senses: She told me–hearing; throat clamped tight and hot tear–feeling; she smiled–sight; she whispered–hearing; salted my upper lip–taste. The only sense not included is the sense of smell.

Sensory language punches up your writing and engages the reader. It breaks up the monotony and helps the reader to visualize the scene so they can experience it.

Sensory language IS the details.

When you add detail to your writing, you ARE like a painter.

Words are your paint, and you can use all the colors!

Writing in detail takes time, but not as much as you might think. There are a lot of resources for learning how to do this, but my favorite is the book Bird by Bird  by Anne Lamott. This is a classic in the world of writers and well worth having on your bookshelf. I want to share a couple of snippets from the book that have helped me in my own writing.

Anne Lamott encourages writers to look at their world in small sections, the size of a one-inch picture frame. “All I have to do is write down as much as I can see through a one-inch picture frame, she says. That sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?

And when you’re frenzied about how much you need to write, step back and look through that one-inch picture frame.

“All we’re going to do for now is to write a description of the river at sunrise, or the young child swimming in the pool at the club, or the first time the man sees the woman he will marry.”

That’s it. Construct the details of your book by looking through these small windows. And when you look through small windows, you see a lot more minutiae, like the curved crack etched in the sidewalk, or the one green pea that rolled under the table, or the rim of grease under his fingernails.

Details make the difference, so show them to your readers!

Ready to get started? Sign up for an online writing class and get your book out!

 

 


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