Have you ever gotten a brilliant idea for a book and started writing right away before the idea disappears? Then you get about a dozen pages in and suddenly stop.
That sounds familiar.
You don’t know who’s going to read it. You don’t know why they want to read it. You don’t know what point you want to make. You don’t know if you want to educate them or help them change their lives or exactly what.
There is an awful lot that you don’t know!
What you DO know, though, is that pushing yourself to write anything more in this book is not going to be productive. So you stop. And you wait. And the book ends up in your file of “Brilliant Book Ideas that are Going Nowhere.” Ugh.
Have you ever heard the phrase “Many a false step is made by standing still”? I got that in a fortune cookie recently, and it really made me think. Inaction is just as bad as action in the wrong direction. Why? Because neither is leading us toward our purpose. Even worse, sometimes this inaction can take us so far away from the writing project that we lose interest altogether and simply deem it a failure. Continue reading
Have you ever done a Rorschach test? It’s a psychological test that makes use of a person’s interpretation of inkblots so a psychologist can examine their personality and emotional functioning. Our brains are so desperate to make sense of everything that they will tell us that they see a picture in a spot of ink.
If you haven’t done a Rorschach test, then you’ve probably gazed at a cloud and seen a lion, a baked potato, or a car. And I know you’ve heard of someone somewhere who saw the image of the Virgin Mary or Jesus on a piece of burnt toast or a tater tot.
Our brains want to make sense of everything, even if it really is just a blob of ink, a cloud, or burn marks, and we also feel more comfortable with sense and patterns. Ask anyone with OCD if they are happier in a messy playroom or a neat, organized room, and I’m sure they will explain it to you!
This is why setting up a non-fiction book with a pattern for each chapter is a great method for planning and writing! When people know what to expect, then they fall into the pattern and feel very connected with your book. It feels familiar to them by the second chapter. Continue reading
Writers typically know what to do for the inside of the book, but when we self-publish, what to do for the outside of the book can sometimes be a mystery . . . no matter the genre. So I asked Pittsburgh-area graphic designer Karen Captline some of the big questions authors may have about designing a book cover and working with a designer.
To convey to readers what the book is about, Karen said that any designer will follow the basic rules of graphic design. The field focuses on “conveying a message by using the correct fonts, words, and colors in a compelling way. Designers have a goal of creating a lot of curiosity about the book.” They want readers to want to buy this book and read it, so the visual appeal has to be there. Continue reading
Especially if you are a new writer, wrapping your head around doing anything other than writing your book can be a little strange. There are things that you need to do to market and sell you book, though. Plus, if you want to keep writing your book (or subsequent books!), it’s always helpful to generate new ideas!
So here are some suggestions for both sides of the coin: marketing what you have and continuing writing. Remember that every minute you spend on something other than writing should be worth your time! Continue reading
This year, I’ve seen several articles talking about businesses popping up that will write your book for your business so you don’t have to do it. They range from collecting some notes from you to interviewing you about all your chapter ideas . . . and then penning the thing in entirety no matter how they get their info.
This is amazing, right? I mean, writing a book is really hard. You have to come up with all the ideas and then come up with all the words. And the typing. There is just no way around typing. With all those fingers—not to mention all those letters!—it can take ab-sol-utely for-e-ver!
Going a little tongue-in-cheek here, but you get the point. Continue reading
Sometimes when you write a book, you find yourself standing there—holding your beloved masterpiece in your hands—saying “Now what?”
If you want to reach an audience, to inspire or educate, then you can hold an event where you discuss your book. I just held a book-writing workshop this weekend (not related to my books), so here are some of the things I did to plan and get ready for the event. Continue reading
If you have ever been asked about your book or your business, then you know you only have a short time to deliver the most important information before the person you’re talking to tunes out or changes the subject. But how do you craft the perfect pitch?
Let’s start with a funny story. Continue reading
You know that you’re an expert, and so do your clients. But if you want to get to the next level in your business, consider writing a book about your expertise.
Not only does devoting time to writing a book say that you are serious about your topic—anyone who has written can assure you that you can’t properly write a book in just a week—but it also shows that your knowledge is deep enough that you can discuss it over multiple pages of text. Continue reading
Let’s just admit that we all try to pack too many things into each day with the hopes of achieving it all. I’m guilty myself. Just this morning, I was thinking, “I have a two-hour block of time this afternoon while my baby naps. I need to write a blog post, plan social media, write an eBook . . .” And then I, sadly, had to scale back.
The part of my business that involves connecting with the public, providing useful content, and attracting new clients is a lot of work on its own. I write a blog each week and populate Twitter and Facebook feeds. I share my blog on both of those feeds, as well as LinkedIn and Pinterest. I also develop freebies to help out other businesses and authors, make an occasional video, attend networking events, and try to check in on social media sites and groups I belong to. So basically, anything that will help me save time is just amazing! Continue reading
You have your topic, maybe even a title. You might have a list of points that you want to make. But before you start pounding away at the keyboard, what should you consider first?
Pinpointing your exact audience is the most important thing to do when planning your writing. Continue reading