A Journey to Publication

Plumb-Crazy-800x1200Thanks to Molly Blaisdell for this guest post and candid story about writing, rejection and publication. After a many queries, reviews, revisions and a persistent belief in a good idea, her new YA book, Plumb Crazy, released June 4.

It’s not belief in an idea that leads to publication. A solid idea is necessary first step, but you will need to take many more steps to see a book published. It took me years to see my book Plumb Crazy come to publication. I hope that my journey will help you on yours.

I absolutely love reading, and I know that readers want heartfelt books. I’m always haunting bookstores, blogs and websites in search of my next great read. I wanted to write a book that would be picked up again and again. I hoped to create an old friend to journey with readers through their lives. I know that a good book has an irresistible core idea. I put much effort into this core idea. Continue reading

9 Ways to Make More Money as a Writer, Coach and Speaker

Writers, coaches and speakers want to add more moola to their businesses. If not, they don’t have a business. They have a hobby. Here are 9 ideas for how to make more money as a writer, coach and speaker.

 1. Book more live events and/or speaking engagements. Duh! But do you know what the fastest way is to book more live opportunities for yourself? It’s to give more and serve more. The better you become at serving people who plan meetings with no strings attached before they decide to book you, the more opportunities will open up for you. Continue reading

Blog Tour: Why I Write

Do you remember chain letters? A letter arrived in the mail promising fortune, recipes or good luck. (I even received a few that promised free undies. Really!) The catch: You had to copy the letter (by hand because computers weren’t personal yet) and send it to seven friends (in the mail). If you failed to do so within 48 hours, the letter predicted loss, heartbreak… even death.

This writer’s blog tour reminds me a bit of a chain letter—without the dire warnings. And the tour doesn’t promise fame, fortune or underwear, but the chance to be encouraged and inspired to write, as well as the opportunity to meet a few new writers. That’s even better. Continue reading

6 Tips to Help You Get Unstuck

Thanks to Joanne Miller, co-author of Be Your Finest Art: Awaken Your Creative Selffor this guest post. 

Be Your Finest Art by Joanne Miller and Dorsey McHughEver sit down in front of your computer, place your fingers on the keyboard and wait for the right words to drop from brain to fingertips, but you can’t get the juices flowing? Any writer, if truly honest, will admit to having moments—sometimes days (or more)—of blocked creativity. It happens to the best of us. This happens for a number of reasons, but there are ways to push through to renewed creativity that really aren’t that complicated or illusive. Perhaps these six tips will help you the next time you are staring at a blank screen and your fingers refuse to move. Continue reading

Don’t Overlook the Obvious (Book Launch Update)

Just YESTERDAY I realized that my new book, Get Personal, wasn’t featured on my website. Hmmm, does that make sense? 

onmysiteI’d created a website for the book itself, but then while reading an email from Tim Grahl about author websites being the author’s name, it hit me: I have a personal site, and I’m not maximizing it. Talk about a “DOH!” moment.

So, two lessons here:

1) Don’t forget about the most obvious places to promote your book…. Like your own site.

2) Make sure your book is connected to your name. I’m happy for my book to have its own site; it’s the beginning of a series that I want to grow. But Get Personal, though complementary to, is separate from my personal brand. That said, it should have been on my personal site from the day the book launched (or before)!

With a blinding flash of mental clarity, I made sure to post an article about my book on my personal website. I’ve tied it into my brand and my focus for the site: helping people tell their stories. (To be fair, I’d created a partial draft post about the book at some point but then got distracted or busy and completely forgot about it.)

BTW – If you don’t know Tim Grahl and you have a book to promote, check him out. Yes, he offers products with a hefty-ish price tag, but he’s also super-generous with his free content. I purchased his book, Your First 1000 Copies, and am reading it now. (Watch for a review.) Continue reading

Author Q&A with Andrew Gilmore

Andrew-GilmoreI recently read Do No Work by Andrew Gilmore and loved it. Well-written and professionally presented, this self-published ebook provides an excellent example of sharing one’s message in a thoughtful, credible way. (I’m already looking forward to his next book.) Andrew says he wrote the book to “help Christians beat down stress and draw nearer to God through the study and proper application of the Sabbath commandment.” And it’s clear  through the book that he learned a great deal about the subject in the research and writing process.

Thanks, Andrew, for sharing your insights and experiences as a writer.

Q. What events, places or other writers have influenced your work?

A. Too many to list! But without Ernest Hemingway, I’m not sure if I’d be answering these questions today. After reading The Sun Also Rises for the first time, I knew I had to be a writer.

Other writers who have impacted me are Ravi Zacharias and Jon Acuff.

Q.  What books are you currently reading?

Continue reading

Are You an Impostor?

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’” ~Maya Angelou

Can you relate to Angelou’s quote above? Maybe you haven’t written 11 books… maybe you’re still slogging through the first draft of your first manuscript and are already thinking, “Why would anybody want to read this? Everyone knows this already!” If so, welcome to the club.

amIaWriterImpostor Syndrome is defined as the inability to internalize accomplishments. “Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.” Wikipedia

Instead of acknowledging their part in their own achievements, high achievers and celebrities who feel like fakes (and there are lots of them) credit their success to luck, good timing, or deception.

Can you relate? Do those doubts keep you from enjoying your successes or striving for new goals?

Here’s how you can get rid (or at least reduce) those self-defeating doubts:  Continue reading

Why Do You Write?

The DHL delivery guy just rang the bell and handed me my new book.

I wanted to hug him. (I didn’t because such a display of affection would brand me as “that weird American.” Truth is, I probably already have that reputation, and in retrospect, I should have hugged him.)

It’s like when the nurse hands you your baby for the first time. Emotions flood you and questions swirl: Will I be a good parent? Do I deserve this bundle of love? What do I do now?

That’s how I felt ripping into the package. Brian tried to help, and I fended him off. I had to hold it, touch the soft matte cover, and flip through the crisp pages. Emotions flooded me: excitement, joy, pride. Questions swirled in my brain: What will I do with this? How far can I take this ride? What can I do so that my book has the impact I believe it’s capable of making? What if I drop the ball? Continue reading

Ready, Set, Book Launch!

My new book is available now on Kindle and the hard copy is with the printer. (YAY!!)Get-Personal-3dimage-small

Now the real work begins! Marketing. Ugh. I mean, yay!!

I thought it might be helpful on this site to document what I’m doing… what’s working and what isn’t.

Let me be honest, the marketing part of indie-publishing can be bit overwhelming to me. With so many experts and so much advice it’s hard to know where to start. Continue reading

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