What You Need to Know before You Write Your Book
Free / Live Webinar – Tuesday, May 17
Join me and Jen McDonough (a.k.a. The Iron Jen) to learn what you need know before you write your book. Why? Getting started right makes it easier to keep going!
See you soon!
Be on the lookout for stories!
Analogies and allegories are great tools to help bring nonfiction your work to life. Too often, however, the same stories are repeated from book to book.
Break the trend by thinking beyond what you’ve read in a book or heard in a speech from others, and share what you have personally seen, felt or experienced.
Make note of everyday and unusual situations that could serve as illustrations for your message. The highlights and low points of your day can provide you with unique content to help make your book meaningful and original.
Take a moment right now to jot down something that’s happened to you recently and how it might relate to learning a lesson you want to share with others. Don’t have anything to write on? Get the Evernote app for your phone (I use the free version), and it will be waiting for you on your computer when you’re ready to turn those thoughts into a blog post or book chapter.
What did you do or see or hear this weekend that could inspire a story?
Writing is very often a solitary task. We think and write in solitude. We rethink and revise the confines of the booth at the local coffee shop or home office. Alone.
That aloneness allows for productivity, banging out words and clarifying thoughts as they turn into words on the screen. But working with others is a unique experience that may help you become an even better writer.
When I wrote my first book, Do No Work, I knew nothing about marketing. I thought announcing the book on my blog and emailing some friends and family on my list was enough for it to sell.
After I did those things, I expected to relax—champagne glass in one hand, cigar in the other—and watch the sales roll in. Every time I clicked refresh on my sales page the numbers would increase exponentially in some sort of impossible yet glorious parabolic curve.
Books are judged by their covers. Authors know that. It’s why self-published authors spend weeks or even months—getting their covers just right. A traditionally published author doesn’t always have the freedom to choose and nitpick every detail of his or her cover, but the publishing house’s design and marketing teams likely spend even more time creating a cover that will sell. Colors, images, and font choices are all important, but a great cover begins with a great title. In fact, your book’s title may be even more important than the design you choose for your cover.
It’s a phrase I hear almost daily from someone who has an idea for a business: “I’ll put it on the Internet.” I am flabbergasted by the number of seemingly reasonable, intelligent people who think that all they have to do is put their product or service “on the Internet” and then just wait for the money to roll in.
The opportunity of the Internet is that everyone buying anything goes there, whether it’s in the consumer arena or business to business. The great and almost incomprehensible challenge of the Internet is that everyone is also on there trying to sell something. It is the most crowded market in the universe.
The easy part is getting on the Internet. The hard part is having anyone know that you’re there. Everyone’s gaming the same search machines and using the same key words. It’s easy to be invisible in such a crowded space.
A Twitter follower asked me the above question the other day, and her inquiry sparked a blog post. What do you write about when you haven’t endured some sort of crisis? Is disaster a prerequisite for a good story?
I remember sitting in a conference and getting a little ticked off as I listened to a publishing house editor promote the idea that the best and only way to write is from one’s pain—not discomfort or struggle but tragic, devastating pain. Without that kind of pain, she suggested, it wasn’t possible to be an excellent writer.
Last summer, after submitting the final manuscript for my book, I felt completely drained. While part of me was elated for having completed an eight month labor of love, other parts felt depleted. I poured everything into my book, and then the project was over.