Punctuation is weird. I know. That doesn’t make it unimportant, though. As an entrepreneur, why should you care? Because good punctuation helps with clarity. And whether you’re writing for your business blog, your email newsletter, or your book, clarity is obviously important.Read More
Entrepreneurs often ask me, “When is the perfect time to write a book to serve your business?” This isn’t a cop-out answer, but truly, there isn’t one. Lots of factors play into when the “right” time is for people, but here are three guidelines that I discuss with author-entrepreneurs to gauge whether it’s the right time for them. (Note that these will look different for every entrepreneur.)Read More
When most people think about hiring a book editor, they’re thinking about a copy editor. A copy editor takes a micro view of your book manuscript and comes into the process once you have a finished manuscript. (A developmental editor, on the other hand, is interested in the bigger picture of your project and works with you during the writing process.)Read More
True or false? There is more than one kind of editor.
If you’ve been following me for any length of time, you know that’s a gimme. TRUE! Most people think of copy editors when they picture an editor. A copy editor looks at grammar and mechanics, ensures clarity in your manuscript, and looks for consistency in elements like voice and tense. A copy editor is looking at a micro view of your work and comes into the picture when you have a finished manuscript.
A developmental editor takes a macro view and looks at the bigger picture of your project. What are you trying to achieve with your text, and are you achieving it? A developmental editor works with you during the writing process. That’s our focus this week.Read More
If you’re struggling to write your book, you have a few options. You could just keep plugging away and hope for the best, or go to an editor, or hire a writing coach.
Then there are ghostwriters.
Why would you want to work with a ghostwriter?Read More
Book editing can be a big investment, and you’ll be working closely with your book editor, so a good working relationship is critical. One way to ensure a comfortable and solid relationship is to ask questions before you hire someone to make sure you’re on the same page (see what I did there?). I’ve written about this topic before but am back with some new questions this time around.
Remember, too, that there are different types of book editors. These questions are specifically for copy editors.Read More
I know from writing a book myself, not to mention it being a hot topic during book coaching calls with clients: It’s frustrating that there is no “perfect” or even absolutely correct word count target for your book. (How can I possibly create a writing schedule or figure out how long it will take to write my book if I don’t know how many words I need?) “Enough words to cover your topic” sounds like the kind of smart-aleck answer that would’ve gotten me in trouble in high school. But it’s true.Read More
A lot of author-entrepreneurs revise as they write. They’re hesitant to embrace the idea of writing first, and revising second. Just as research and pre-writing are separate tasks from writing, so is revision. It’s not your fault if you think this way. After all, we’re not professional writers! Lots of people lump everything under the umbrella of “the writing process,” but that process actually contains five distinct stages.Read More
How much time do you really need to write a book? If you enjoy writing and write regularly now, you can likely write a 50,000-word book in two or three months (assuming your schedule is fairly open for those months). If you don’t particularly enjoy writing (AKA you see it as a task vs. something you look forward to) and/or don’t write regularly, it might take longer to reach the point where you’re consistently producing larger word counts. The key to book writing is to have a plan BEFORE you start writing.Read More
In an ideal world, anyone writing a book would have uninterrupted time, a beautiful space to write, and flowing ideas to make the most of your time. But you and I don’t live in an ideal world, do we? You might not have a dedicated writing space, but I can help with the other two.Read More
Proofreading is not the same as copy editing, as far as the type of work being done as well as when the work is being done. Proofreading is done after a book has been typeset; copy editing is done before a book has been typeset.Read More
In my 20+ years in book publishing, I’ve never seen an author forget the table of contents. I have, however, seen these three elements of a book forgotten more times than I can count. You might not want or need any of these, but if you do, make sure you don’t leave it (or them) out!Read More
Most creative entrepreneurs and bloggers don’t challenge the idea that writing a book could help their business growth. They know that a book can bring credibility, visibility, and authority; a book is almost like a business card as you establish and grow your platform as an entrepreneur. Finding the time to not just write but also learning the ins and outs of book publishing are usually the sticking points that cause them to hesitate. “I’ll write a book someday” is something I hear often. I won’t lie: Committing to writing a book is huge. The process can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be if you make space for it in your life and in your business beforehand.
All told, I recommend allowing four to six months to research, write, and publish your book comfortably. Can you do it in less time? Sure. But that pace will be a bit frenetic at times, and you might not always be producing your best work. Not all of this blocked time requires you to be actively working on the book. There will be chunks of time when the manuscript is with an editor or formatter, for example. (You thought I meant you’d be writing for six months, didn’t you? You can admit it.)
Still not convinced? Let me show you how it’s possible.Read More
Writing a book in a short time frame — whether it’s 30 days, six weeks, whatever — is about quantity over quality. It’s about putting your head down and getting words on paper. Is it possible? Sure. Is it a great idea? Not so much, in my opinion. You’re interested in quality over quantity.
Please don’t misunderstand: Can you write a FIRST DRAFT in 30 days that you’ll then spend at least that amount of time revising and improving? Absolutely. But writing a draft in 30 days and then putting that book into production (that is, having it edited and formatted) is almost impossible if you’re publishing a high-quality book.Read More
Repurposing is a buzzword in the online marketing and online business world these days. Create something once and use it over and over again. Makes sense, right? Bloggers often ask me if there’s any way to repurpose content from a blog into a book — and if so, how to do so. The short answer is YES! Chances are, you won’t have everything you need in blog post form, but I bet you’ll be surprised by how much you DO have once you take inventory. Here are some ideas to get the wheels turning.Read More
Writing is like a muscle. Use it or lose it! That means you need to write regularly to decrease the chances of facing such a block. Establishing a regular writing routine and practicing your craft regularly (preferably daily) is so important to good writing.Read More
Surely you've heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals and why they are beneficial to your business. S.M.A.R.T. goals are:
- Time bound.
Let's take the concept of S.M.A.R.T. goals and apply it to book writing so that your book serves your business in the way you want it to.Read More
Writing doesn’t come naturally to every entrepreneur, and for those people, the thought of penning an entire book can be overwhelming — even if they know they want to write a book to grow their platform and have committed to doing so. If you stay organized from the jump, however, it’s not terribly complicated. Here’s the most important piece of advice I can give you: Build a daily writing habit. The sooner you do this, the better. (By sooner, I mean preferably before you start writing your book.) Writing is a muscle that gets stronger with use (an atrophies with no use!). A daily writing habit will train your brain about when it’s time to write so that you don’t waste your writing time each day. Day by day, the words will get written and the book will be built.Read More
If you've been following the blog this month, you've seen me refer to my master checklist of self-publishing to-dos. You can grab that here. Writing obviously precedes publishing, but there are tasks that need to be done even before you sit down to type (or write, if you’re old school) the first word of your manuscript.
Back to that checklist for a moment: If you read the blog post that accompanies it, I talk about pockets of time. There are times during the publishing AND during the writing processes during which you’ll have pockets of time to move the big-picture process forward. Knowing when these are coming can be helpful.Read More