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The Book Professor-The One Stop Shop For Writing Your Book

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You’ve always wanted to write a book, but you haven’t been able to get that dream off of your bucket list. You know there’s something you can share with the world through your memoir, your leadership book, or your how-to guide, but you’re overwhelmed at the process and unsure of where to start.

That’s where I can help. I have spent more than 25 years developing my process for helping authors share what’s inside of them. Whether you have a manuscript in hand and need help with editing and marketing or if you don’t have anything written and aren’t sure where to start—we can help.

Three Options for Those Wanting To Write A Non-Fiction Book

  • Self-Study: Do you feel confident in your ability to dedicate the time and follow along with the material on your own? Maybe our Self-Directed Course is right for you. With weekly lessons and homework through the course, you receive a wealth of information and support all designed to help you complete your manuscript in less than one year. Click here for details.
  • Group Coaching Classes: Are you looking for the group support that comes with my group coaching? Consider the online group writer coaching option, which connects you with a group of writers to push and inspire you throughout the one-year process. Click here for details.
  • 1-on-1 Writer Coaching: If you’re looking for more in-depth help with writing and publishing, consider my 1-on-1 writer coaching. You’ll receive my one-on-one attention and support from concept to finished book. Plus, you’ll get it done faster than if you chose the Group Coaching classes. Click here for details.

 

Book Marketing Blues? We Got You

Frustrated with marketing your book yet? It’s never an overnight success, and the best approach is to implement a variety of strategies to get the word out. It takes a consistent effort to get the word out and drive traffic to book sales. And you can do it.

Why not add one or more new channels to your marketing efforts such as:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIN
  • Amazon
  • Your author website
  • Book reviews
  • Further book publicity

Take a look at all the book marketing options you have when working with us.  Want to take it a step further? Are you Interested in more speaking opportunities, catalog sales and special distribution? Learn about our bulk sales options here.

Publishing and Editing

Publishing is an industry, and a very old one. There are standards and conventions—from the writing, to the interior design, to the book cover, to the choice of paper and cover stock that most lay people don’t notice or even understand. But others will judge you on the quality of your book, which makes self-publishing very risky. If you want to write and publish a book that reflects your professionalism, you must work with professionals.

At our sister company, Stonebrook Publishing, we walk you through the entire step-by-step process to produce a professional book product that’s a credit to your name and accepted by the market.

Not Ready To Write Yet?

Are you thinking about writing a book but not quite ready to sign up for our Get My Book Out course for writers? Do you want just a taste of the Book Professor’s book coaching or want to learn about a specific topic? Take advantage of these Small Bite Seminars that can get you started!

Choose one or select them all — they’re easily affordable at only $39 each! With topics like:

What You Need To Know Before You Write and Publish Your Book

10 Mistakes New Authors Make And How To Avoid Them

A Simple Formula For Telling Your Story

How To Attract The Right Audience For Your Book

How To Purpose, Plan, and Title Your Book

How To Manage Your Time To Finish Your Book

Chose one or choose them ALL and get one FREE!

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

If you or someone you know wants to learn how to write a nonfiction book, please contact us today and we will be happy to help you take the next step!


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Writing a Book About Your Own Life

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It is my honor and my calling as a non-fiction book coach to help a great many people including business and community leaders transform their experience into a story that moves people to action. I am a believer that the wisdom and power to create real change is trapped in the minds and experience of leaders, community builders, and everyday people all over the world.

As a book writing and publishing consultant, my role is to connect people like these, who have solutions for the world’s problems, with the people who need those answers. I do this by coaching them to write a nonfiction book that makes an impact – a book that will give them a broader platform to share those ideas.

Write Your Story

Your story deserves to be told–and I believe it’s your responsibility to tell it. Most aspiring authors don’t know how to get started on their book and feel overwhelmed before they even begin. Below are some tips & tools, including some I’ve developed for you, which will help you share your truth.

Develop a Concept 

A book about your life, or a memoir, captures a period of time or a set of events in your life, rather than cataloging your experience from cradle to grave, as in an autobiography or biography. In order for your memoir to appeal to an audience beyond your friends and family, you must develop a solid concept that bridges the gap between your life and that of your reader.

Publisher Sharlene Martin once said, “[Your memoir] needs a solid concept for the book that invites the reader’s concerns into the experience of reading it, instead of just saying, ‘Let me tell you all about wonderful me.’” Consider the elements of your story that are universal and find ways to write them that invite your reader to imagine and consider their own life through the lens of your circumstances.

Make it Memorable

You can make your nonfiction book as memorable as its fictional counterparts by using sensory language–language that conveys how you felt, what you saw, heard, smelled, and tasted during the scenes you present. I encourage my writers to close their eyes when they write a pivotal scene to take themselves back to the place, the time, and the emotion of the moment.

Once you’ve transported yourself back to that moment, open your eyes and write your scene. When you’ve gotten it down on the page, go back and look for ways to vary your language to make it richer and more interesting. Break out your thesaurus if that helps!

Your Story is Exceptional

What are you waiting for? What better time is there to write a book about your own life than now? Someone needs your message today. When you share what you know and what you’ve learned, you become the solution. The answers are trapped inside of you; please don’t keep them to yourself. You ARE the solution and your story is exceptional!

I had the great honor of speaking at an Arête – HPA event.  Arête is a truly exceptional group of leaders who have exceptional stories to tell.  In this presentation, I talk about how to go about designing your exceptional story:

 

Contact us today to get started your book!

 


 


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Nonfiction Book Coach Life Lessons: Awareness-The First Step to Change

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As a nonfiction book coach, I often find myself reflecting about the legacy I’ll leave behind. I’m blessed and beyond grateful to have experienced love, success, and the joy of having children and grandchildren in my life. But my journey hasn’t always been filled with sunshine. Like you, I’ve had trials, tribulations, and problems to endure. It was in some of my darkest moments that I learned many lessons about life for which I’m grateful because those lessons brought about the biggest changes in myself. Those events, while painful, forced me into an awareness of self that I couldn’t have learned any other way. Awareness truly is the first step to change.

Once You’re Aware, Share Your Change With the World

You might be thinking, what does awareness and change have to do with writing a book? Everything. When I meet aspiring authors, I’m often given a surface idea for their book. It isn’t until they hire me as their nonfiction book coach and we start working on their book that they realize their book is actually working on them. Often, in the middle of writing their book—especially if it forces them to remember and write about a painful event—they become more self-aware and start to explore new areas of their life.

The beauty of this awareness, especially if it occurs during the writing process, is that the reader reaps the benefit of the transformation the author shares in their story. That is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to offer hope and help to someone. People need solutions, but they also need to read about people that have gone through something similar and are still standing on the other side, changed for the better.

What about you? What event in your life has forced you to undergo a period of self-awareness? How did you change? I promise, you’re not the only one out there that has gone through what you’ve been through, even though it might feel like it. Someone needs to hear what you have to say. If you or someone you know is ready to share their story, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step. It would be an honor to be your nonfiction book coach!

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How To Write A Book Step By Step-Make the Time

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How many times a day do you say, “I don’t have time for that?” Maybe it seems impossible to make time to write or to even make time for anything outside of your normal schedule. The people I meet want to learn how to write a book step by step, but their lives are filled with so much: things they want to do, things they need to do. And a lot of things they don’t really want to do, but must. There’s always that race against the clock, which leaves them feeling scattered and torn, like a scarecrow with his stuffing pulled out. At the end of the day, there isn’t much left.

If that’s you, I understand.  But, I’m a firm believer that if something’s important to you, no matter how busy you are, you’ll make time to do it.

Learn How to Write A Book Step By Step

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely hate to waste time, and the biggest time waster for me is when I have to do something over. I hate doing things twice.

I like to follow a time-tested, straight path that gets me from where I am now to where I want to be while expending the least amount of energy possible to produce an excellent result.

The good news is that there’s a step-by-step process you can follow to become an author. You don’t have time for do-overs. And you certainly don’t have time for an inefficient methodology.

If the shortest path from one point to another is a straight line, you’d better be sure you know that the path you are on will take you where you want to go! The only thing you need to get started is an idea. That’s it. Just an idea. Then, week by week, step by step, you plan the contents of your book and adding to the writing until you have a rough draft, then a finished manuscript. Yes, it takes time, but it doesn’t take forever.

But you don’t want a manuscript, do you? Of course not. You want a book. You need to go beyond the writing and have a clear path to packaging, publishing, and promoting your book. Be sure that’s the path you’re on, a path that takes you all the way from your initial idea to the finished product.

When you write a book, you establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, and can attract a followingwith one caveat. It better be a good book. Rushing through it can be catastrophic.

 


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Book Coach Tip: Decide To Write

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Some people are lifelong learners and love the process of going from not knowing anything in a subject area to becoming proficient. That makes sense to me as a book coach. We all want to be the best we can be at what we do. But along the way, we have to learn a lot of little things that can either make us the best at what we do or, if we choose not to learn them, will keep us in the pack of average Joes.

But here’s the deal with me: I only want to know as much as I need to know to use a tool for my intended purpose. I don’t want to learn every single one of its features and functions or try to discover how to use the tool in new ways that I hadn’t considered. You know why? It’s because I’m not a natural lifelong learner. I don’t like details; as a book coach, I love ideas.  I don’t want to learn how to use something; I just want to use it.

In fact, I detest the learning curve. I generally try to find every possible way around it, so I can get on to the using stage. Learning frustrates me; knowing satisfies me. But that’s, unfortunately, not the way the world works. So to know something, I must go through the pain of learning. And I have to follow a process, but I can’t even do that if I haven’t made the decision to do something new and follow through.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
—Lao-tzu

Make a Decision

You know what the hardest part about writing a book is? It’s making the decision to do it. You’ve probably had the idea for your book for a long time. I bet it’s been percolating in your head, banging against the doors to come out. At times it probably drives you crazy, but books don’t write themselves, and the only way yours is going to get written is if you make the decision to do it. You have to decide to write your book then figure out how to start writing it by getting a book coach. It’s your story. Only you can write it.

You Do Matter. You Are Important. You Can Help Other People

You may feel that you don’t have anything to offer that’s worthy of writing a book, but I disagree. Take a look at your life, what you’ve learned, what you’ve been through, what you’ve developed, what you’ve gleaned, what you’ve endured. Take a moment to consider your story of personal growth and all you have done to get to where you are now. You may not know everything else in life, but you do know your own life. You know your own patch of ground, and you know it well. What do you know and what have you learned that can change lives, save lives, or transform society?

If you don’t know how to write a book, that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. After making a decision—a commitment to share your story—you just need a plan, a process and the help of a book coach.


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The Power of Writing a Nonfiction Book

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A few years after I began helping people to start writing a nonfiction book, I completely stopped watching the news on television. When I watched the news, it was always negative—filled with terrorist acts, racial violence, bullying politicians, natural disasters, global warming, AIDS, Ebola, Zika virus, mass shootings, heroin overdoses, abused animals, and mistreated children, elders, and women. I had to stop taking it in.

But my aversion to television news doesn’t mean I’m uninformed. I catch the news on the radio or find it online, where it doesn’t affect me as deeply as when I viewed it. Yet I often feel completely overwhelmed by the complex problems in our world. We have so many problems that we don’t even know how to name them anymore. But we do know what doesn’t work. Top-down solutions don’t work. Government can’t fix anything; organized religion hasn’t solved our problems; and heaven knows, we’ve tried to medicate our problems away. In many cases, these attempts have not only complicated the original problem but have spawned entirely new problems.

But there is a solution. I believe that our problems—all of them—can be solved and that the answers are trapped inside people like you. When you share what you know and what you’ve learned—when you start writing a nonfiction book—you become the solution. Someone needs to hear your message.

Woman staring into field

Hope and Help

There are two things I believe people can’t live without—apart from food, water, and air. Those two things are hope and help.

People need hope that things can and will get better; and they need help to get from where they are to where they want to be.

Nancy Erickson

When you start writing a nonfiction book, when you share what you’ve been through, what you’ve learned, what you’ve overcome, what you’ve developed, or the path you took, you become the voice of hope and help.

You see, there are people like you who have the answers, who have certain solutions. And then there are other people who, in some cases, are literally dying as they wait for those answers. You have the answers they need, and you can offer the hope and help they crave simply by telling your story. You are the solution.

Think about what you’ve learned and how you can be a force that changes lives, saves lives, or transforms society. Don’t waste your pain and struggles. Share them with the world, put them to work, and let the mess become the messengerthe messenger of hope and help because someone needs to hear it.

Need help writing a nonfiction book?


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Use Your Pain: Writing to Heal

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Life is hard. It’s also good, but it is hard at times. I know that you don’t leave this earth without some scars, but you can use writing to heal. While I’m blessed and thankful to be alive, my life hasn’t always been easy. As a nonfiction book coach, I’ve learned how to write an inspirational nonfiction book when it hurts. And I’ve worked with clients who have overcome unspeakable hardships and have chosen to write through their pain to heal themselves.

Writing to heal has a way of freeing the emotional knots of trauma and releasing pitted anxiety. Before I became a professional book coach and writer, I was an avid journaler and still am today. Learning to write through my own personal pain has freed my soul.

Writing Heals Wounds

I’ve been a writer for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean that I’ve always been a professional writer, but I’ve always loved to write. In fact, I’m not sure if I would’ve survived my childhood without my journal. The minute I started writing to heal, I felt immediate release from anxiety and depression, which began to leave my body soon as my pen hit the paper. Years later, I discovered that there truly are some physical and emotional benefits of writing.

Researcher, author, and scientist Dr. James Pennebaker of the University of Texas, explains in his book, Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, that excessive holding back of thoughts, feelings, and behaviors can place people at risk for both major and minor diseases. More than simply a catharsis or venting, translating events into language can affect brain and immune functions. The subjects he tested had an increase in germ-fighting lymphocytes in their blood and lower stress levels. Writing was found to reduce anxiety and depression, improve grades in college, and aid people in finding jobs. He also reported that months after people had written about traumas over 70% reported that writing helped them to understand both the event and themselves better. (Source)

I don’t know about you, but I’m always fascinated when science backs something I’ve always believed. That sort of validation helps to reaffirm my God-given calling of helping others tell their stories.

What about you? Nobody really knows what you’ve been through.  But they see how strong you are, what you’ve endured, and what you’ve lost. You’re a survivor, an overcomer—not by choice but by necessity. You know what it feels like to be thrust into a situation you neither asked for nor anticipated. Like a snap, everything changed, and you had to learn how to live life on a new plane. The worst part was that there didn’t seem to be any real help, no guide to get you through, and you felt all alone.

Through writing, you can overcome and heal. Who else can you help today? If you or someone you know wants to learn to how to write a nonfiction book, please contact us today!


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Nonfiction Writer Tool: Setting

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The time and place of the action in a literary work is called the SETTING.

In literature, the setting consists of where the story takes place, as well as the time period. It is  critical to establish a setting in your story and its scenes, so that the reader can visualize it. Remember when we talked about grounding your reader and answering the journalistic questions who, what, when, where, why, and how? The when and the where are questions of time and place – and they comprise the setting. If your readers don’t know when or where the story or scene is happening, they will be lost.

Setting is, essentially, the context in which a story occurs. You know how a picture has a foreground and a background? So does a story. The main characters and their actions form the foreground. The time and place of the events and the social environment that surround these events form the background, or the setting. People exist in a particular time and place. Where we live may contribute not only to our personality, but also to our values, attitudes, and even our problems. In short, the setting can have great impact on the people in your story and what they do. 

Setting is often a critical element in a story. Can you imagine The Grapes of Wrath set anywhere but in the Dust Bowl era of California? The Scarlet Letter set anywhere but Puritan New England? The Help set anywhere but the south in the 1960s? The Hunger Games set anywhere but a dystopian future? 

Setting: Developing Time and Place

Time and place = where it happened and when. These two elements are the bedrock of your story and must be developed in order to establish and maintain credibility. It wouldn’t make any sense to write about current-day cosmetic procedures in the 1800’s or sending urgent messages by telegram in the 21st century. 

Eudora Welty once said, “Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable, if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else.”

Four Types of Time

There are actually four kinds of time, and each one has a distinct role. They are clock time, calendar time, seasonal time and historical time. 

Clock time can be used to provide suspense or create certain moods or feelings. Think of the pressure of a looming deadline or the girl who sits by the phone, waiting for him to call.  

Calendar time grounds us in the day, month, year, and even a particular day of the week or time of the month. Calendar time can provide an understanding of what takes place in your writing. For example, if you’re in accounting and mention April 15th , Americans will know understand the pressures of tax time.  Others associate meaning with Friday the 13th, or July 4. In the UK Boxing Day is significant and in France, Bastille Day. 

Seasonal time, of course, refers to the four seasons, but winter in Minneapolis is a different setting from winter in Key West, Florida. And since they’re in a different hemisphere, January in Sydney, Australia is nothing like January in New York. Most of us have different lifestyles in different seasons, and even if you life in a moderate climate, it is still dark by 6:00 in December and light until after 9:00 in June.  You don’t snow ski in Vail in July, nor do you water ski in January in Missouri.

Historical time probably has the most impact on setting and can establish a psychological or sociological understanding of behaviors and attitudes. “Time” in this sense refers to specific moments in history. People communicate differently depending on the time in which they live. Americans in the 1950s, overall, communicate differently than Americans in the 2000s. Not that they necessarily speak a different language, but these two groups of people have different assumptions about the world and how to communicate based on the era in which they live. Think of the politically correct language that has replaced the pre-civil rights language from years past, and you get the point. Historical time affects the religious, mental, moral, social, and emotional climate of the setting.

Place 

Now about place. Place can include the geographical location, which can range from an entire country to a single room. I used to love to introduce my university students to the classic fiction story “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, which pretty much takes place in one bedroom, where Gregor, the main character literally turns into a bug. It’s one of the most riveting pieces of literature I’ve ever read, and most of it’s contained within those four walls. 

When writing about a specific location, you might include the physical aspects of the environment. What did it look like, sound like, etc. For example, a subway station has its unique sights and sounds, as does a church. 

But there’s more to it than that. We may find significance in the location where the action occurs, but there are also nonphysical characteristics, as well as physical. And the nonphysical environment can vary from geographic location to geographic location within the same time era. Think of cultural influences such as education, social standing, economic class, and religious beliefs. These certainly vary from location to location. Education is different in Harlem in 2017 than it is in Long Island. It’s different in Catholic schools versus public schools within the same city. There are distinct differences in social standing in India today because of their caste system, in the same year, in the same city. 

Writing tip: Setting

A person’s dialogue, statements, and behavior can reveal their place in society, as well as their geographic location.

 So how do you use time and space to write an effective setting? Quite simply, you use words. Setting is created by language. 

Writing your story involves more than just describing the setting. Using psychological cues from the characters, writers can embed time and place in actions and events, at the same time revealing motivation and goals. The details should be carefully chosen to reflect the character’s inner values, thoughts, and feelings. 

Regarding time:

  • In what period of time does the story or scene take place? 
  • Are there any historical events that affect the characters? 
  • How long does it take for the action to occur? 
  • What clues can you as the author give for the passage of time? 
  • Is the passage of time important to the story? 
  • Does the slow or fast passage of time help to understand the character’s actions and thoughts? 

Regarding place: 

  • Where does the action take place?
  • In what planet, country, locale?
  • What does it look like, sound like, feel like? 
  • Is there a dominant impression of the setting? 
  • Is the geographical location important? 

Setting is, essentially, the context in which a scene or story occurs, and includes the time, the place, and the social environment. It is important to establish a setting in your story, so that the reader can visualize and participate in it.

Just a little more food for thought as you write!


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How to Write a Nonfiction Book When It Hurts

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This year, our focus is to find 117 Solutions to our most difficult problems, an effort we call 117 Solutions in 2017. I’m encouraged by the response we’ve had, but I also feel humbled when I’m asked how to write an inspirational nonfiction book when it hurts. Not all stories are pretty, especially those about child abuse.

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Local St Louis leader publishes self-help book

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self-help-book-publishing-kimberly-burkeKimberly Burke is a woman on a mission. She sets goals and nothing, but nothing, can stop her from achieving them, and she shows other how to do it in her book The Code to Greatness. Kimberly Burke is a growth coach, goal getter, and transformational speaker.

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CPA publishes nonfiction book to save middle-income families money

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Published Author, Lisa Bushur, CPA

Lisa Bushur wrote & published Tax Path for Middle-Income Families through online writing & publishing program

CPA Lisa Bushur came to me because she wanted to write a book that would help families save money on their taxes. The Fenton, Missouri-based CPA started her accounting career at Price Waterhouse as a Controller, but over the years found a passion for helping everyday people save their hard-earned money.

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Be the Solution: Change the World With Your Book

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by Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

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

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

Delivering HOPE and HELP with your book

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

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

Only YOU can tell your story

You probably have a book inside of you but think, “I’m not a writer. I can’t do this.” Here’s what I’ve discovered: People who write nonfiction aren’t writers. They’re livers. They’ve lived through something, they’ve been through something, learned something, discovered something, developed something, and they’re busy living their productive lives. They’re not writers because they’re doers, and they’re out accomplishing things.

Your legacy is about the lives you touch and the change you create. When you share what you know, what you’ve learned, and what you’ve overcome, you can make a lasting impact that extends far beyond yourself. You can change the world, one reader at a time, simply by telling your story.

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

Be the solution!

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


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