Category Archives for Writing Tips

5 Quick Self-Editing Tips

Have you ever read something you wrote and wondered, “What was I thinking?? Did I really think that sounded good?”

For me, late-night sessions, tight deadlines and too much caffeine create a bad combination that leads to sloppy, meandering writing.

The truth is, bad copy happens to even the best writers at some point. The goal is to catch that less-than-stellar writing before it’s published. Continue reading

What to Know BEFORE You Write A Book

I need to write a book.

 I want to write a book.

 Someone told me I should write a book about my experiences or expertise.

 A book would be a good way to market my services or leverage my knowledge. 

 If any of these statements sound familiar, it’s time to take the next step and decide if you’re really going to write that book. Answering the following questions may help you work through the deliberation stage. (No dice required.)

  1. Why do you think you need a book?
  2. What do you hope your book will do for you? What are your goals for your book? Do you hope to write a best-seller? Do you want a deliverable for speaking engagements–something to sell at the back of the room? Do you want a book to boost your credibility with prospects?
  3. List any other books that are already available on your topic.
  4. What information or points of view can you offer that would make your book different from those already available?
  5. Who is your book for? Note: It is not for “everyone.” Every book has a specific audience. Who comprises yours? Be specific.
  6. Are you already connected with an audience? Do you know people who will buy your book? How can you increase your audience and their loyalty to you?
  7. Are you willing to spend considerable amounts of time promoting your book? Unless you’re using your book as a business card, you’ll need to develop and carry out a smart marketing plan.

Before you commit to the process of writing a book, you’ll want to know your reason, your points of differentiation and your audience. Getting clear about these three things will bring focus and help reduce frustration as you write. Also, realize that writing is only part of the process. Marketing is essential if you want to sell more than a handful of books.  

Are you ready to write a book? The 8 Weeks to Authorship program will help you develop and stick to a doable writing plan.

What Makes Readers Stay?

I found an abandoned blog last night.Don't abandon your audience!

There were no signs of wear or peeling paint. All the pieces were still intact. Nonetheless, it was obvious by the posting dates that no one had lived there in quite a while.

What a shame! The ideas presented were well thought out and interesting. I even learned quite a few things. In fact, I wanted more! Continue reading

How to Tell Your Story AND Teach a Lesson

Don't make readers dig for the lesson in your writing.

A writer recently asked me for advice on how to make her writing more effective.  She’s working on a book about her personal story, and a smart reviewer suggested that she continue to share her story (descriptive details), but also add in how-to’s (prescriptive details) that others could use to overcome the same issues she dealt with in her life’s journey.

She wanted to know how to best combine descriptive and prescriptive details. That’s a great question! Continue reading

A Video Trailer is Your Book’s Virtual Cover

A somewhat frustrated author told me recently, “It feels like I have to sell every book.” She’s right. Getting noticed is tough business, even for the best of authors published with the “big” houses.

To have a hope of getting your potential readers to pay attention,  you need a strong marketing plan. As guest blogger and owner and executive producer of Trailer to the Stars Misty Taggart puts it, you have to be creative and you must meet people where they are. One way to do both is by adding a video book trailer to your promotion tools.  Read on as Misty explains how a book trailer can help boost your book sales. Continue reading

Deadlines and Delusions

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.” ― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt


A few years ago, I read a comment from a retiring magazine editor who said she had been on a deadline for four decades. In the midst of my own personal deadline crisis, my heart raced at the thought. My mind screamed:  I don’t want to be on a deadline for the rest of my life!

For months, I wracked my brain trying to think of ways to write without deadlines. After all, I reasoned, I’m much too free spirited. Life is busy. Surely, writing will be effortless if I just work at my own pace.

I was delusional. Continue reading

Do You Need a Book Agent?

You have an idea for a book. Or maybe you’ve already written a book (or two). Now you need an agent, right? Well, maybe. In this guest post, Molly Blaisdell, a prolific children’s book author, explains when and why you might want to engage an agent. With all the changes going on in the publishing industry, you may find that moving forward without an agent is a viable option. Continue reading

To Write, or Not to Write (A Travel Book)?

Writing a travel book sounds glamorous and exciting. Imagine getting paid to travel! The thrill of exploring new places, and then telling other people where to go (or avoid).

In this post by guest blogger, freelance writer and travel book author Deborah Huso, you’ll read an insider’s perspective on travel guidebook writing. You might be surprised by what you learn.

Read it, and let us know what you think in the comments below. Continue reading

The Never-Ending Marketing Game

Whether you published with a traditional house or are a self-published author, marketing is an ongoing process.

Creating a multifaceted marketing plan can include participating in contests, getting reviews, doing radio and TV interviews, selling in bulk, speaking to groups, attending book shows, and connecting with people through blogs and online forums. It can be time-consuming and tedious. But without a solid plan and consistent effort, your book is unlikely to get the attention it deserves. Continue reading