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’s Getting In Your Way?


I met a remarkable woman this morning… someone who is seeking (and finding) answers in the midst of incredibly trying circumstances.

In the past few years she’s dealt with:

  • major financial losses
  • a near-death experience
  • chronic illness
  • a sick parent… and life.

Through it all, she has paid attention to the lessons God is presenting to her. I know that as she shares her story through blogs, books and speaking, others will be introduced to a new kind of Hope that will change their lives.

You, too, have a story to share. Your story could change lives, inspire hope and help others thrive and grow.

Don’t let life get in the way of telling your story. I know from personal experience that “finding time” to write can be a huge challenge… but it’s worth it.

Want a plan to help you stay on track with your book? Check out my 8 Weeks to Authorship program.


Author Q&A with Kristen Eckstein

Kristen Eckstein, the “Book Ninja,” spends the bulk of her time helping people get their books in print through Ghost Publishing–a term she coined to define her exclusive done-for-you independent publishing program, “I am Published!” When she isn’t working with her publishing clients, she loves to read, write and share her experience with others. She is two time best-selling author and award-winning international speaker, and someone we consider a dear friend.

Thanks, Kristen, for sharing your thoughts with us! Continue reading

Author Q&A with Jen McDonough

Jen McDonough is a motivational speaker, mom, wife and author. Her inspirational books share personal stories of challenge and triumph. In her new book, Living Beyond Awesome, Jen offers a glimpse into her life as a self-described “couch potato mom” who decided to participate in an Ironman Triathlon. Certainly, experiencing that adventure firsthand isn’t something everyone wants to do, but regardless of their athletic inclination (or lack thereof) her readers learn valuable life lessons that apply to every area of success. Jen offers the encouragement: If I can do it, you can, too. We think that message applies to writing as well athletics!

Thanks, Jen, for being our guest on MyWritersConnection.com!

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

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

Self-Publishing Success Story

Need a dose of inspiration? This quick video about self-published children’s author Dallas Clayton shows how ideas put into action–and print–can change not only your life, but others’ lives as well!

What are you waiting for? Make your dreams of becoming a published author a reality. The first step: Start writing.

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

Make a Difference with Your Words

One of my favorite books as a child was The Value of Believing in Yourself. It’s a story of Louis Pasteur, the scientist who is probably best known for inventing the pasteurization process for milk. This particular book is about his discovery of the cure for rabies.

The Value of Believing in Yourself offers quite a few life lessons including the importance of:

  • self-talk (he constantly reminded himself that he believed in his work and in himself)
  • focus (at times, the intensity of his thoughts drowned out the naysayers)
  • passion for your work (he knew his work could make a difference in others’ lives) 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