2505, 2017

Identify your WHY before writing a book

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Why are you writing a book?

Of all the questions you’ll answer, this is one of the most important ones. The “why” behind any project, whether it’s a business venture or a book, is the driving force behind what you do and how you do it. Your why is your mission statement and everything you write in the book, from the quality of the production to how you market it, should point back to why you’re writing the book in the first place. In his TED talk, Simon Sinek famously talks about why then what. Think about why you are writing your book and then decide what you’ll write based on your answer.

So, what does your why look like?

The WHY behind a memoir

Let’s say you want to

1605, 2017

Are you tenacious enough to write a book?

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For those of you who know me or have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I am also a professional juggler. For those who don’t know me…yes, really. In addition to bringing the joy of authorship to writers, I also perform for young and old on stages large and small. The HAPPY in The Happy Self-Publisher stems from the joy I get performing (with my husband) and bringing smiles to children and their families for 25 years.

Aside from performing as a juggler, I also speak about my experiences and my unusual life choice. The following is an excerpt from my talk, “Juggling Fire and Other Life Lessons.” I connect the past to present from learning to juggle to succeeding in other areas of life. The things […]

905, 2017

Intuition and how we view each other

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Do you ever have that nagging feeling about something? You go down a path you’re not sure you should go in search of love or money, recognition or acceptance. Whether the ultimate goal is realistic, desired, or even justified, you have a sense you’re on the wrong path. That’s your intuition talking to you.

Quote about intuition

Intuition is with us all the time. You’ll make decisions because of it and despite it. You’ll get a feeling about someone the minute you meet them and decide whether you trust them or not. It’s all part of our evolution. Without the ability to scan a public Facebook profile or Google a person’s background info, our primitive ancestors needed to make snap decisions – friend or […]

1304, 2017

Top 7 Reasons for Taking Writing Courses

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You are curious. My readers, in general, are curious people. It’s awesome! I love sharing what I’ve learned and seeing your (LED) lightbulb go on in your head. I started my company because I wanted to make it easy for aspiring authors to publish their books. Soon after, I realized that writers need help with writing and organizing before they get to the point of publishing. You want to know your book is good BEFORE you publish it, right?

In order to satisfy your ravenous appetite for information about writing, publishing, and book promotion, I’m developing a series of online writing courses aimed at giving you exactly what you need and delivered in a way that’s easiest to consume. […]

604, 2017

25 Things I Learned About Writing in Italy

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I just got back from a fabulous 2-week vacation in Italy and loved every minute of it. I explored the history and sites of different cities, towns, and countrysides and, most of all, the people. Within the immense beauty of the land and cultural history, I came away with thoughts about writing and life, in general. Let me take you on a little tour of the lessons I learned about writing while I was there.

  1. Something well created lasts longer than those which were created fast. Iconic buildings throughout Italy took years or even decades to build. We can write a book in a week, but long-remembered books took time to develop and write. Powerhouse Margaret Mitchell took ten years to write Gone with the Wind.
  2. People are motivated by fear […]
2903, 2017

How to Frame Your Book

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Let’s say you’ve got an idea for your nonfiction book, but you don’t know exactly how you’ll write it. You need a framework to give structure to your book and help sell it, too. Although you can probably build a house by hammering boards together, it’s more effective and efficient to build the frame first and then include the walls before you fill out the interior.

The framework for the book is WHAT you say and HOW you say it. Here are some ideas to find the best way to present your book. The most effective way to find great ideas is to brainstorm them. If you need some help with how to brainstorm a book idea, or anything really, check out my post 6 Ways to Brainstorm Your Book.

You’ll find […]

2103, 2017

What’s your VISION?

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What’s your vision? Once you define why you’re writing a book, it’s important to envision your life as an author. If your book is wildly successful, what does that look like? If everything you ever dreamed about as an author all came true, how would you feel about yourself? Where would you be? Who is with you?

I’ve heard many authors tell me they want to be on the New York Times Bestseller List. Terrific. But, what does that mean?

Does that mean having a staff of people working for you in a New York midtown office? Are you flying around the country or the world promoting your book or doing radio and television interviews? Have you quit your job and moved your family across the country? Are you in constant […]

2802, 2017

The Memoir Through Line

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All books, fiction or nonfiction, have story arcs. Memoirs are no exception. According to memoirist Adair Lara, the story arc is, “the emotional framework” of a memoir.

Your book must have an emotional driver from the first word of the book to the final period. Writers call this by a few names: the through line, the desire line, or even the happiness line. For you, the protagonist in the book, you hope for something. You NEED something.

I want…is a good way to start.

I want to live to see my children grow up.

I want my mother to love me.

I want to be first chair violinist in the London Philharmonic.

I want to climb Mt. Everest after the loss of my leg.

You can see in these statements how a single desire can drive a story […]

2102, 2017

Unearth the Gems Inside of You

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We’ve all seen rocks. We’ve kicked them, collected them, and skipped them over ponds. Rocks located near rough waters or lining fast-moving streams get tumbled and worn, smoothed and reshaped. Rocks tumbling down mountainsides range from jagged boulders to tiny pebbles not much bigger than seeds which accompany them on their downward path.

Yet, what looks like a rock on the outside isn’t always the case. While many rocks divided in two are bound to become smaller versions of the mother rock. Others conceal one of nature’s great surprises. Deep within Earth’s crust and buried beneath mountains of rocks, hold crystallized minerals known as gemstones.

Chiseling away below certain rocks reveal shimmering beauty. Colors so brilliant they can only be found in nature. Yet, each rock reveals something quite different. Whether […]

1402, 2017

Author Platform Success Plan

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I speak to many aspiring writers. When we discuss writing, eyes are wide open. When we talk about publishing, writers are curious. When I mention building an author platform, I’m met with blank stares. It’s pretty universal.

Writers, in general, are creative sorts and not natural-born marketers. Yet most seek some financial reward for their effort. Many hope for major success. So, how do you fill in the gap between knowledge and desire?

When I decided to make writing my business a few years ago, I looked at my numbers. Zero blog posts. 100 +/- friends on Facebook. Zero email contacts beyond friends and family. I had a long way to go. Maybe you can relate. I needed a plan to get where I wanted to go. But first, I needed […]