2006, 2017

Your book and what you really want out of life

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I talk a lot about knowing your why behind writing a book. It’s the single most important step to a successful outcome for your project. Once you determine your why, the next thing is to think about what you want in your life. You might be thinking, Wow, you’re reaching pretty far, aren’t you Lois? Why can’t I just get to writing the book?

It’s too easy to have vague goals. But, most often, vague goals lead to equally vague results. You want results, right? Even if the goal is to sell one book, or just finish what you started, it’s a result. Your goals aren’t going to be like mine. We all have different things we want out of life. We often think of a few things we want […]

902, 2016

In Search of Creative Inspiration

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As a writer, author and content creator, I spend A LOT of time staring at my computer. I bang away at the keys day after day hoping for a brilliant thought or a least a helpful bit of information for you, my readers. But, as the weather kept me inside last week on the East Coast, I felt the urge to get out of my space and into the world in search of creative inspiration.

I’m a fan of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and have written about her recommendation for periodic “artist dates.” I took her up on it this weekend with a trip to the Delaware Art Museum. It’s not the Louvre, but it is close to home, free on Sundays and it provided me with exactly what […]

101, 2016

New Year’s Resolutions for Writers

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As we turn the page to another year and shake off the late night festivities, it’s time to look ahead to your goals, large and small, for the new year. Besides the perennial lose weight, go to the gym and save the world resolutions, make this the year you break out as a writer. Make room in your life for what you have on your heart. Make room for these writing resolutions this year.

Make a writing schedule

Like making a doctor’s appointment or picking your kids up from school, scheduling time for writing ensures, or at least makes room for writing. You aren’t making it the gym if you only went when you felt like it. The same goes for writing. Something always comes up to steal time unless you hold it […]

812, 2015

Content Editing Checklist for a Nonfiction Book

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After finishing the first draft of a nonfiction book, let the manuscript sit for a couple of days or a week. I know you can’t wait to get it done, but there is a reason. Waiting allows your brain to process and make sense of the information. You can distance yourself from the words themselves and get a clearer picture of the project as a whole. Editing nonfiction with fresh eyes reveals inconsistencies and errors you may otherwise overlook. The time away also allows you renew your enthusiasm and passion in an often arduous process of editing. So, catch your breath and then forge ahead.

Read the entire manuscript in as short a time span as possible to most fully connect with the tone and flow of the content. You are looking […]

1407, 2015

How Do YOU Define Success?

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What is success anyway? It is clearly different for everyone although we don’t always label it that way. When embarking on a journey of writing and publishing a book, setting up guideposts along the way can make the weeks, months and sometimes years more of a pleasure cruise than a pressure-filled experience. Here are different ways authors can find success.

Book sales

Who among us hasn’t dreamed of our book being counted among the best-sellers? Grisham, Patterson and you. But, for most of us, without the clout of fame and notoriety, our goals are more modest. It could be that we want to cut back our work hours, pay for vacation, treat ourselves to a few fancy dinners or maybe just break even on the project. If book sales are the primary […]

1606, 2015

How to Make Sure Your Self-Published Book Doesn’t Stink

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how to self-publish a bookThe truth…writing a book isn’t hard. Writing a good book is harder.

Can you spot a self-published book? Does the cover give it away or is it the grammatical mistakes or something else? Here are some critical things to consider to make sure your self-published book doesn’t look, well, self-published.

Develop your hook.

A hook is more than a catchy description. It is what differentiates your book from all other books on the market. Take time to research and read previously published books and find a unique angle that makes your book stand out. Write something that no one has ever written or from a different perspective. Find the gap in the knowledge or told by an unexpected […]

306, 2015

Self-Publishing for Non-Profits

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Non-profit donationIt may seem odd at first for a non-profit to turn to self-publishing. But, like any for-profit business, competition for dollars, donors and volunteer time is fierce. Writing a book allows you to gain exposure, attention and generate a little extra revenue.

How is it different from what you are using now? Books don’t get thrown away. People value the content in a book more than magazines, newsletters or blog posts and certainly carry more value than little plastic promotional items. People you feature will feel valued and want to share it with their friends. It is also a lasting record of those who make your organization successful and who it serves.

Here are a few ways to present a book for […]

1305, 2015

6 Ways to Brainstorm a Book

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brainstorm a bookThe Goal

The brainstorming process helps to flesh out ideas about your main topic or story idea. The ideas generated will serve as the chapter headings, subheadings, and topics within each chapter. The initial goal is not organization or a perfect storyline. Write as many ideas as possible without regard to whether is it good or bad, perfectly relevant or superfluous. Include individual thoughts, stories, quotes, or facts even if you don’t have the exact words or numbers. Use one, two, or all of the brainstorming techniques to find the one that yields the best results. The examples here focus on non-fiction topics, but they can also be used, in a general sense, for fiction. Although you can use a […]

503, 2015

How long does it take to write a book?

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Write a bookMany people ask me how long it takes to write a book. The answer: it depends. There are a lot of factors that go into writing then publishing a book. I’ll give you some guidelines, but the real variable is you. As with any project, make a deadline and work backward to find what you need to do and write each week. Before you do, it is important to know what lies ahead of you beyond just writing the book. I’ve excluded the marketing aspect of publishing a book for the sake of simplicity, although it is an important part of the publishing process if you intend to sell your book to an audience wider than your immediate family […]

1911, 2014

6 Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Write a Book

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book publishing questionsIf you are thinking about writing a book, ask yourself these six questions to make the most of your creative time and effort.

What do I want to write?

It sounds simple, right? You already have an idea in your head. But, it is worth exploring other ways to tell your story. For example, should your personal experience in a war be written as a memoir, a piece of historical fiction, or advice to current or future service members? Think about your subject, character, or plot line and explore it in a few different genres to make the most of your possibilities.

Why am I writing it?

People write for all different reasons. Some write as a creative outlet, some for money, and […]