Here we are again - another year past and another year ahead. If you had spent one hour per day everyday during the past year writing 500 words, you would have written 182,500 words or about 2 average size novels. Yes, you can argue with that stat but instead, go write your 500 words.
I don't particularly like the word "resolution" and prefer the word "intention" because I think it is stronger. So, I guess that means it's time for this year's New Years Intentions:
  1. I intend to write 500 words per day
  2. I intend to take at least 2 vacations (but I'll write my 500 words)
  3. I intend to belly laugh at least once per day
  4. I intend to stop having "seconds" (notice I didn't say desserts)
  5. I intend to shake hands less and hug more
  6. I intend to dream bigger
  7. I intend to go to bed earlier
  8. I intend to "unsubscribe" from more sites than I "subscribe" to
  9. I intend to seek happiness in every situation
  10. I intend to see possibility instead of impossibility
  11. I intend to listen more actively and talk less frequently (unless being paid for it)
  12. I intend to create life rather than watch it pass
  13. I intend to take a few minutes first thing every day to read something inspiring 
  14. I intend to listen to my "gut" more and follow its path
  15. I intend to spend more time with people and businesses who support me, and less...
  16. I intend to make 2012 the springboard to my best life
If you would like to share, I would like to post it, or perhaps you will use the comment section to list your one, most important New Year's Intention and please feel free to share these thoughts with others. It's easy to use the buttons below to send it to your friends.



Writing a book is one thing but publishing/marketing/selling it is quite another. Planning, organizing, researching and writing are commitments that compete for our time and resources and there is soooo much information out there that we could spend all of our time reading the offerings of others and don't actually create our own book. I thought that regular readers of this corner might be interested in a list of people and resources that I have found helpful in the past year or so: this is incomplete and I have only included people's websites rather than email addresses for obvious reasons. In a few cases, I have recommended that you send me an email since the person does not have their own website that I know of. I will forward their contact information to you and yours to them. I should note that I have no financial arrangements officially or otherwise (except for one - can you guess?) with any of these people, but have found them to be reliable and honest.

Printers and Publishers
CreateSpace (Amazon)
Our Little Books
Polished Publishing Group

send me an email for others

Cover Design
 send me an email

Janice Blaine

send me an email


E-Book and Digital platforms
Kindle Direct

Portrait Photographer
Insight Photography

Jillian Lee

Word of Mouth and Relationship Marketing
Theresa de Grosbois

Workshop and Meeting promotion
send me an email

If you contact any of these organizations, mention my name. I doubt that you will get any discount but it makes me look good...maybe you too.




This is an excerpt from my book THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR: non-fiction book writing for busy people, that shows aspiring authors how to create a non-fiction book and guide them from the thinking and planning process to the fully prepared manuscript.

Bestselling non-fiction books have several common characteristics, but the title is arguably the most important of these because the potential buyer will be drawn to your subject and your solutions, information and opinions, or not. Today, many non-fiction books are offered in an e-book format only and other than the marketing material, there is very little to differentiate your offering from the many others available. So, that leaves us with the title and leaves you with the task of creating one that exhibits as many of these winning characteristics as possible.

I suggest that you read through and make a list of ideas that pop into your mind as you are doing so. Often, it is the first thought that is the most powerful and successful.

Having a working title near the beginning of your project helps you as the writer to stay on focus and so this will be a good time to introduce you to the seven characteristics of an excellent title.

1. Juxtaposition - this is more important if your book is going to be found on a traditional bookstore shelf. The books that stand out have titles that do not seem to fit on the shelf the buyer is looking at. The potential buyer walks into a store looking for something on Italian cooking and on the shelf with the other cookbooks, they cannot help but notice one with a title that just does not seem to fit.

“You put WHAT in the Sauce?” is probably more attention getting than “Cooking Italian.”  The point is to get noticed enough to have the potential reader pick up your book instead of the one next to it.

2. Address the issue, problem or need that you are writing about. Give the reader the opportunity to know what you are writing about - nothing cutesy, but at least one word in the title should mention your topic. This might be in the sub title rather than the main one.

3. Keywords - once again we talk about search engine optimization but if you can possibly get a few search-able words connected to your main topic, it will go a long way toward being found in the various search engines and databases. There is much more to this science than we are going to cover here and it takes much more than just a word or two in the title, but that will at least support your further efforts to create and locate your audience. Do not get carried away in this need for SEO but simply be aware, especially if you intend to self publish.

4. Promise - your title should inform potential readers of something they will stop doing, start doing or start doing differently as a result of reading your book. This is why your audience will buy your book, because they want something as a payoff for their hard-earned dollars. They will pay for your book in exchange for receiving a benefit for themselves. There are personal benefits to reading an altruistic book that offers world change because it makes the reader feel better, even though they might not personally benefit.

5. Tease the reader with something provocative, eye catching, controversial, shocking, humorous, unexpected, and challenging or over the top in the title. You are seeking attention in the face of thousands of other titles that are competing with you. Some authors have had great success with NURDS. This is the art of creating a word that does not exist but mashes other words into a new one - sometimes it will even enter the language if the book is very successful. e.g.. Freakenomics or a word that is totally unfamiliar like, Outliers.

6. Alliteration or rhyme will help the title roll off the readers tongue; helps make it repeatable and memorable. Be careful here because, depending on your topic, a cutesy title could easily work against you. You will want to test this idea with an objective advisor or two before you commit to it.

7. No superfluous words. Keep the title as tight as you can, try using a verb or action word in the title - some recent releases use just one verb as the main title and rely on the sub title or the author’s name to carry the day. This is not a hard and fast rule since there are many exceptions that have long titles, but the first couple of words are the key to remembering the book.

bonus: try to work numbers into the title if you can such as, the 5 habits, the 7 secrets, the 3 most important...  You get the idea; it is part of the promise that you, as the author, are making to the reader and you are telling them what to expect as a result of reading your book. This has worked very well for some multi-million selling books and it might for yours, too.

The bottom line is that you will not be able to work all of these characteristics into your title, but the more you can use, the better chance you will have of being noticed. The idea is to encourage your potential reader to take your book off the shelf, examine the cover and decide to investigate further.

And just one last word of caution, if you are going to sell your book to a traditional publisher, they will have the final say on any title. Spend some time in your local bookstore perusing the titles both in your genre and outside and see if some ideas start to occur to you.



Writing a "How To" book has changed forever. Now, before you write and tell me that you prefer to have a hardcopy book to refer to and how you will never use any other source of information to learn how to do something new, or different, or better, or whatever, let's look at the facts.
The cost of information today is virtually zero. If you have "access," which means a connection to the internet, then you have more information than any one person could digest in 10 lifetimes, maybe that should be 100 or a 1000. How to change your life, learn Spanish, fix a leaky faucet, make cookies, make love, write a book, take a picture, build a bomb, paint a house, travel cheap, lose weight, cure illness, play Sudoku, improve a golf grip, plant a get it - anything is available...for free. It may be a bit unruly, trying to organize all of the information and sort through the accurate and inaccurate, but it's all there.
This is a bit self-defeating in my case, but writing a book to show people "how-to" is going the way of the dodo bird. For those tasks that require pictures, there is You Tube, the second biggest search engine in the world and besides clandestine videos of partiers gone wild, there is also an unbelievable number of factual and informative videos posted by professionals and amateurs alike who will show you exactly how to perform a task. Can your self-published, hard copy book that suffers from under-financed marketing and promotion compete - maybe..but yours will be the exception. BTW, thank God for exceptions but really, from a business point of view, there are thousands upon thousands of videos, blogs (like this one) and other online resources who are giving it away for nothing.
Most of the people who read this offering are writers and I realize that my tone today is rather cynical but reality is hard to sugar coat and besides I read a blog saying that too much sugar isn't good for us - writing a book for simply "informative" purposes is rather risky. Assuming of course, that you are also writing to make a living or at least return your investment of time, perhaps we should consider some alternative projects to write about. Now, sometimes there is SO much information available that is contradictory, ill-informed or unreliable (think climate change) that it begs for a reasoned, objective and updated approach and perhaps you are the person to tackle it - go for it! But, to simply offer a plain "how-to," full of lists of instructions is unlikely to start any viral marketing fires.
So here is a thought, if we truly want to change the world, provide "access" to the third world so that they can learn to fish and feed themselves for a lifetime - of course, we might also create competition for those of us comfortably ensconced in our safe worlds of information at our fingertips. OK, I'm climbing down from my soapbox but their are still millions of opportunities to write non-fiction and make a difference - what are you writing?
I have also heard a rumor that there is information online about punctuation and grammar - a new search starts!!!



You have decided to create a book. You have decided that finally, you will write your own book. Good for you! You could not have picked a better time in history to write a book and offer it to the world. So, now what? Do you grab your laptop and head to Starbucks, buy a latte and find a corner and begin writing - after all, didn't J.K Rowling do something similar when she created the Harry Potter series. What will your opening sentence be? How will you create the perfect teaser to grab the attention of your reader? You have taken the creative writing courses and have tons of ideas so do you just take the plunge and start that attention-getting first paragraph?
Sometimes that will work. Occasionally, a J.K. Rowling or a Stephen King will break out of the pack and hit the big time - is that your hope, prayer, intention? Regardless of whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, writing is a business and you will invest a lot of time, energy, emotion, sweat and tears into creating your own book. It will be torn apart by editors, critics, interviewers and the reading public - if you're lucky. If you accept the fact (and it is a fact) that writing is a business - your business, then shouldn't we take a slightly more business-like approach before we invest ourselves?
Before you order the latte, take a look at the five questions that follow and when you can answer them, you will be ready to begin the writing process. What is the point of writing a great book if you don't sell any and no one gets to read it? There is no point - great literature be damned. There have been thousands of great writers tossed on the scrap heap of publisher's refusals, but those days are over. You have complete and total control of your writing and so it is time to start treating what you do as a professional rather than a hope and a prayer. Start with these five questions and your book will be better written and just as importantly better received, purchased, shared and enjoyed.

Who are you writing to?
How will you find them?
Why will readers buy your book?
What is the main message, theme or storyline?
Can you define your book in terms of genre and purpose?

If you want some help in answering these questions and many more, my book The One Hour Author: non-fiction book writing for busy people will definitely help you. If you have read this far and see some benefit in buying my book, let me help you with that, too. Use this code and buy a copy to download as a PDF or load on to your e-reader or computer and pay only $4.99, a $5.00 saving. Here's the code and the link:
THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR: non-fiction book writing for busy people

at the checkout use this code to get your discount CV54N
This is available only on the Smashwords version of the book, it won't work anywhere else.


Book Mentor


For you regular followers, the above code is for the purposes of getting Book Mentor listed on Technorati.



I hope you don't mind a personal note about my own books - I'll be brief. I just received notification from Smashwords that The One Hour Author: non-fiction book writing for busy people has now been accepted into their Premium Catalog. This means that it will shortly be available for purchase in the Apple book store, Sony, the Barnes and Noble Nook, etc. In addition, it is available at Kindle and as a PDF download and on most other e-readers. It means that anyone purchasing the book has lots of different ways to access the information and this makes me happy - I know it will make readers, who are aspiring authors, happy too.
One other note, while I'm patting myself on the, back - I continue to be surprised at the constant sales volume for My Secret Mother, also available on Kindle. I'm doing no promotion but it is apparently hitting a note with readers and other authors - here's a review.
OK, that's it - thanks for the support and I look forward to hearing about your books, too.



"Creating a book sounds like an onerous task and I just don't have the time to do it."

Sound familiar? Most people when asked will say that they would like to write a book, have an idea, want to make a difference in the world, have stories to tell, want to help others and on and on. Most people, when asked will tell you that they just don't have any spare time - too much work, too much to learn, kids to soccer, dance, grocery shopping, lawn mowing, house repairs - it just never stops.
Here's the thing - it never stops! There is always something else to do. The time does not magically appear to write a book, especially for someone trying to make a living today - it has to be found. Most people who have come to the realization that writing a book would be important in their life then have to deal with the whole aspect of time. They start to bargain and make deals with themselves. Much of this is misspent energy. Many try to work in the time during their day by promising to spend a few minutes here and a few minutes there, maybe they promise to spend Saturday mornings in 4 solid hours of writing, ditto for Sunday.
The reality is that this is very rarely successful - it's as rare as creating a NY Times bestseller first time out of the gate, by someone with no name recognition.
Most people don't want to hear this. Most people give up their dream when they hear this. Most people will never write the book they talk and dream about because they do not want to accept this.


Take your choice. 

See, I told you that you didn't want to hear this - but it's true. For the first time author, regardless of the occasional exception, this is the rule. For the average working person with responsibilities to a company and a family, this is the only solution that actually works. You really can create a book by committing an hour a day to its writing but pick your hour, your total, uninterrupted, written-in-stone, no exceptions, no excuses, no email, no kids, no phones, no pool, no pets, kitty-bar-the-door, everyday hour. It works, period! The only thing is that you need to do this for 21 straight days to create a habit. That includes weekends, holidays and sick days. It works! There is a money back guarantee for this tip.



Why create a book? If you are a business person, salesperson, entrepreneur or stuck in a job you hate, why might writing a book bring you some benefits...and just what are those benefits? Writing a non-fiction book about your area of expertise or interest can benefit you and your business life in these ways:
  1. increased credibility - competitors, peers and customers generally look upon people who have written a book about their mutual fields of interest, with a heightened sense of respect. You, as the author, are afforded this respect (some might call it envy) because you have taken the time to assemble information and create a book that explains, convinces, informs or instructs them.
  2. no noise - when a person is reading your book, there are no interfering or competing points of view. You get the chance to tell your story without interruption. Even if they put your book down to go and make dinner for the kids, they come back later and finish reading what you have to say. You can use a book to make your points clearly, concisely and convincingly.
  3. visibility - if you create a book that has good information and creates and gives value to its readers, then you are among the small minority of people in your field, any field, who has taken this step and it positions you among the thought leaders in your industry. You can and should expect requests for interviews as an acknowledged expert.
  4. possibilities - creating a book opens up a world of possibilities in your particular field and well beyond. Opportunities to speak, invitations to sit on panel discussions, present workshops, provide seminars and coach others start to appear if your book is well received.
  5. career opportunities - whether it is in the company you now work for, with a competitor or something you had never considered before, creating a book will give you a serious leg up in the employment world. Today, there is so much competition for every position that anything you can provide that sets you apart from other applicants can only benefit you. The fact that you have written a book clearly indicates a level of expertise that most companies are very eager to have on board.
  6. business card - a book that is based on your business expertise is perhaps the most exclusive business card on the planet. There is even a company that recognizes this fact and designs and creates books in a small format for this very purpose. You can use it as a hand out to clients or even sell it at the back of the room during speeches and workshops. This is a small but highly effective marketing tool that gives incredible ROI.
So, these are some of the reasons a business person should create a book and here's how I can help. I know your time is valuable and scarce, but if you are serious about creating a book and need some assistance, I encourage you to look on the left hand side of this page at my book titled The One Hour Author: non-fiction book writing for busy people. It is available on Kindle, or you can download it to your computer and print it out or buy it for any other e-reader device, tablet or phone device. At only $9.99, it will be one of the most valuable investments you  make in your own business.


WRITING BOOKS should I or shouldn't I?

There is always some guilt around knowing you should write a book and then not taking any action in that direction - “I know I should, I know I should...” This feeling of guilt, combined with the fear of not being able to accomplish the goal, has a tendency to freeze most of us - freeze us in inactivity. It is a vicious circle as we know in our head that we need to do something but we hold ourselves back and then the pressure to move ahead creates even more fear and guilt. Yuck! Let’s go past that today and leave it all behind. We cannot fix the past but we can make a new choice. That is what you are doing right now - making a choice. Choose to write the book that resides within you and know that you will write it well and that you will express that creative side of yourself to help make a difference in the world. In other words, “start at start.”

You may be full of ideas but do not know how to arrange and organize them so that they become a clear and powerful manuscript but until you get started, why should you know how to do it? Let’s look at it this way, you would not still be reading this if you did not feel, at a deep level, that you have something important to share with the world and you are now ready to take the risk of sharing yourself with that world, so let’s get at it.

“The purpose of life is to . . . matter; to feel it has made some difference that we have lived at all.” – Leo Rosten

excerpted from, THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR: non-fiction book writing for busy people



I had an inquiry from an author the other day about two things: first he wanted to contact someone about editing his new novel and he was also looking to find a group of like-minded writers who would get together and critique each others work. Isn't it funny how things just "pop up" when we are thinking about them?
I had been thinking about the solitary life of a writer who spends countless hours with nothing but her thoughts and a keyboard when someone reached out to me with a lovely note. I had recently published My Secret Mother and a reader sent me a copy of a review she had posted which opened up a whole new world to me.
I have loved everything about books since the first moment I smelled them in my first visit to the public library and I find that I have spent most of my life gravitating to people and circumstances where books are a central theme. I love nothing more than hearing about a new book or author from someone who has read them and sharing my latest find with them.
The review of my own book had been posted on an online site called "Goodreads." Naturally, I clicked on the link to read this five star rating and then started looking around. Truth be told, I had heard about Goodreads before and I am sure I made a note of the address in a notebook somewhere but had not taken the time to search it out. All I can say is, "Wow!" This a book lovers dream come true (shhh, I was thinking about another phrase with the word "dream" in it for you erotica writers out there, but don't tell anyone). Most writers are, in the first place, readers. I know there are lots of book clubs around but maybe you don't belong to one. How about a book club with 5,000,000 members who are passionate about reading and sharing?
Anyway, needless to say, I joined, invited a few friends to join me and now I am inviting you to take a look - here's my profile page, set up your own, ask me to be a friend - I will - and then start looking for more contacts, book recommendations and ratings. I have found some great reads and some new authors (some of whom are now friends) and am having a fabulous time connecting with people just like you - book lovers.
To bring this all together, we all need feedback from people who are objective and knowledgeable whether we are budding authors or just interested readers. I was able to connect the young man from the first paragraph with a great local editor who also meets with a group of other writers. But, what a wonderful time to be alive for authors and readers when we can connect with people from around the world to discover new books, new writers and new opportunities to literally (pun intended) expand our horizons.


WRITING YOUR OWN BOOK - what's holding you back?

What holds us back from completing our books? I suppose I might ask, "What holds you back from starting your book?" but that's for another day. Yes, I can feel your sense of relief...
Earlier this week, I had a message from Smashwords that My Secret Mother had been accepted into their premium catalog thus making it available in many more formats and places including the Apple store, the Sony store and Barnes and Noble, etc. This was great and gratifying news but there was another piece of news that I knew was coming but had hoped that somehow the book fairy would not notice or would magically fix it. The One Hour Author had not been accepted because it did not have an interactive Table of Contents. Now, if I'm telling the truth, I knew that would happen but hoped for something different.
I had glanced at the technical details of creating a Table of Contents in which the reader could switch from one chapter to any other with ease and move back and forth from text to TOC easily. This is one of the biggest selling features of a digital book or an e-reader but I anticipated a wrestling match with the technology.
This is not a new place for me as I have a love/hate relationship with the tech world and I live in dread of having to learn something new and make mistakes and redo it and on and on - it really tries my patience, something in short supply at the best of times.
Remember the ketchup commercial and the song "Anticipation" by Carly Simon. I feel a bit like the ketchup as I slowly make my way to the opening between me and technology. Anyway, the anticipation is far worse than the actual work itself. I set aside some time to get it started, followed the instructions that are detailed in the Smashwords publishing manual (it's free at their website) and started the dreaded process of formatting the book properly. It took about an hour, which includes the mistakes I made along the way.
Now, why didn't I just do that in the first place, you ask? I don't know - maybe I just anticipate this monumental struggle and want to avoid it. That doesn't work because eventually I have to deal with it anyway and the funny thing is, it's usually a much easier solution that I thought it would be.
My question to you is, where in your book writing process are you "anticipating" problems and avoiding solving them as you hope the book fairy will save you, too?
Go ahead and take a stab at it today - it may be easier than you "anticipated."
Please forward my blog to friends who might benefit - see you soon.



A few months ago I was having lunch with a friend and he was telling me about his struggles with writing a new book. Their business is based on personal coaching and a workshop series for people who are going through transitions in their lives. He knew that writing this book was important for his  own business and also for the people who would read it and wanted to make sure that he created great value for them. But, he just couldn't get a handle on a format and an outline. His message wasn't clear and he struggled with one of my most often asked questions, "What's your book about?"
I asked him another question, "What are the five most commonly asked questions by your workshop attendees and coaching clients?" It took him no more than two minutes to list the five questions and bingo, he had his book outline! Sometimes it is that simple but often, as writers, we are just too close to our subject to see what to write and how to organize it.
The same may be true for you. If you are writing a book to enhance your business or your brand and expand your borders, it may be as easy as putting yourself in your customers shoes and asking the five most common questions about your subject. Whether you are a chiropractor, business analyst, life coach, swimming instructor, interior designer or chief candlestick maker, I would hazard a guess that you answer several questions constantly and this will be the start of your book. Organize it around what you already know and what the people you help always ask.



OK, I'm finally convinced! Like you, I have read about the importance of your book's cover, but unlike most of you, I dug in my feet and insisted on doing my own. I'm no designer and I am always struggling to tame the technical issues of my life. I downloaded which is a good program for creating your own covers but assumes you have some sort of artistic sense. I created a cover for both THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR and MY SECRET MOTHER but once I got past my own ego, realized that they were not great. Smashwords, a terrific publishing and distribution platform for indie authors, has an enhanced "premium distribution" service that makes your books available in the Apple and Sony stores, Barnes and Noble, etc. To access this very important sales network requires, among other things, a professional looking cover. Contrary to my previous insistence, a book really is judged by its cover.

I finally gave in and hired a great designer, through the recommendation on the Smashwords site (they offer many choices) and she quickly created just what I wanted. A small investment of time and money for a big improvement in buyer appeal. What do you think? If you want her contact info, send me an email or post a comment, with your own contact email information and I will be glad to pass along her name.



It is the morning of 9/11, 2011 and I have been watching the coverage of the moving ceremonies in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pa. It would be inappropriate to use this anniversary for any kind of self-promotion but it does bring home the fact that in every life, or death, there is a story. Almost 3,000 people lost their hopes, dreams and futures in that single act of terrorism but their life lives on in the memories of their families and friends. Every life, even yours and mine, is worth preserving and it is up to you and I to do that very thing.
Let's not forget those people who follow us who will be interested in our dreams and may be inspired by our stories. Please, tell your story, tell the story of your ancestors, friends, teachers and people who influenced the events of your life.
Let us not forget.




non-fiction book writing for busy people

CREATING A BOOK , especially your first one is an experience full of joy, humility, excitement and no small amount of fear. I remember all of that and have based this new guide for aspiring authors on these facts. When I work with coaching clients, some of the same questions and challenges come up over and over again and I've been making notes. In my writing workshops, the audience members express many emotions, doubts and anxieties and look to the front of the room for answers and support...and I've been making notes.

TIPS ON WRITING A BOOK are my stock in trade and I have been doing that in workshops, coaching and blogging but there are many people who are not within reach of my voice. It only made sense to compile what I have learned from clients and workshop attendees and then toss in what I have gleaned from taking college courses, online seminars, reading dozens of books, hundreds of blogs and my own writing career and offer it in a compact format to more people.

MY PROGRAM FOR WRITING A BOOK is easy to understand, logical and uses a step-by-step approach that anyone, regardless of training, can utilize to create your own book. THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR is designed to give you the information needed, when you need it, including a few very revealing and instructional field trips, ideas on how to enhance your expert status, create a bestselling title and answer questions like, "What's your book about?"

IF YOU HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE AN AUTHOR but are not sure how and where to start, not sure if you are a good enough writer, not sure if you have something unique to say, not sure if you really are an expert in your field, then THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR has been created especially for you.

THE BOOK MENTOR BLOG repeats excerpts from the book from time to time and if you check through the archives, you will find many posts in that category. However, if you want all the information in one place, categorized, organized and detailed then you may want to check out the link on the left hand side of this page and see more information.

THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR is available on Amazon's Kindle format but you don't need a Kindle to read it. Whatever device you are reading this blog on will work if you download the free app from Kindle. You can utilize an I-Pad, Blackberry, PC, Mac or just about anything else and enjoy the convenience and cost savings of reading books on Kindle.

I CHARGE AS MUCH AS $1,000.00 per month for coaching and $300.00 for a half day workshop but you can access much of the same information with THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR for only pennies. 999 of them.



With apologies to my friends and partners at Amazon/Kindle, I needed a headline that would get your attention.  

You don't need a Kindle to buy and read a book from Kindle.

When you click on any book in the Kindle store, you have the option of downloading an app for your PC, Mac, Blackberry, I-Pad or Android device that allows you to see and read any book, at the same low Kindle price, on the same machine that you are reading this.

If you can find and read a blog, email, search engine, etc. you can have access to anything in the Kindle store - the apps are free and you get to enjoy a huge selection of books at a fraction of the instore cost.
On the other hand, you could just buy a Kindle - I paid for mine in cost savings in the first month and would never switch back. And, that's from a lifelong reader who slept with books when nothing else was available.



I have finally released my very personal memoir MY SECRET MOTHER as an e-book on Kindle and that paves the road to release my book for aspiring authors THE ONE HOUR AUTHOR. 

It should be ready this week.

It's almost ready for uploading to the same platform with a hardcopy to follow later this fall but at a lot more money, of course.

Stay tuned because with these two projects in the final stages of completion, much more in the way of ideas and information will be available right here with your friendly, neighborhood Book Mentor.


Writing a book, no matter the topic, creates an intimate and personal experience between the author and reader. Sometimes this experience transcends the ordinary to become something of great value, beauty and importance. It is the author's responsibility to make this possible and it starts with knowing what the "central message" of the book is. The central message is different than the subject, genre or purpose of the book. It is at the core of the author's need to create his book in the first place. It is more than a marketing slogan; it is more like a mutual need or sharing between the author and her audience. It is where the two come together in common purpose.

The central message could become the theme of an entire lifetime of books written by an author or could be the core of only one.
So, here's some points about "central message"
  • it resides in your heart rather than brain
  • you talk about the message beyond the idea of writing a book
  • it represents something in your personal philosophy
  • you feel excited when you think about it
  • it is what is behind your purpose, the book's purpose, the title, etc.
  • "central message"  wakes you in the middle of the night with a new thought or sentence
It is this "central message" that sets your book apart from others on the shelf. For instance, you might be writing about how to make simple plumbing repairs around the house. Your real mission or message is that the average householder has the ability to effect these repairs. In addition to the instructional function, you spend time in your book encouraging your reader to attempt the repair. You are more than a "how-to-er," you are also a cheerleader and encourager. You are passionate about the ability of your reader to be successful in this endeavor and you show it.

I feel the same way with this blog - my central message is to encourage readers like yourself to put aside their fears and write it anyway. There are incredible opportunities in this golden age of writing and I absolutely believe that you can create the book you have dreamed about. In other words, it is about much more than step-by-step instructions, details and technicalities - "central message" represents an emotional touch point that the author/creator wants to share with people around him.

It is the starting point of any book that seeks to rise above the crowd. You will know it is your central message if it creates an emotional response when you say it.


Seth Godin: The New Face Of Publishing

Publishing is not changing - it has already changed. You have noticed in this space previously that I often refer to Seth Godin and his comments and views on the industry. This is another opportunity to look at an industry in serious transition and an industry that each of us has an important connection to. Publishing a book opens opportunities that are limitless - check this information out to help you make the right decision for you and your circumstances.

Seth Godin: The New Face Of Publishing




 This may seem contrary to the purposes of a workshop but begin writing before you do much planning, researching and organizing. Writing – authoring, is a creative process and as such, it is not so much a process as an adventure of the spirit.
If it is a book you want to write, then start writing and forget editing, correcting and second-guessing and let your pen move across the page without the constrictions of a “plan.”
Creation, or more accurately, creativity does not respond well to a plan, it responds better to allowing your inner muse a free reign.
Soon enough, you will have a blueprint for harnessing that creativity but true authenticity and connection with your reader comes from letting yourself write what is inside.

Trust yourself!




And yet another reason why retirement for writers and mayors is not always in the cards. If your book isn't finished, or perhaps not even started, have faith, there are others who still have things to do, too. Like Hazel...

thanks to follower CD for the heads up



Today I had an interesting question from a potential writing workshop participant who wanted to know what he would learn in the half day event that he couldn't learn online by himself. The reply is - nothing. The difference is that a workshop (mine, anyway) is based on hundreds of hours of online research, years of personal experience from writing over 3 books ( I could make a case for 5 or 6), thousands of hours of client writing time, the combined knowledge gleaned from coaching authors of every stripe, 60 years of reading, collaborations with editors, artists, printers, distributors, internet experts, publishers, designers, online media professionals and marketing experts, about 100 hours spent in other writer's workshops, countless webinars, the consistent reading of about 3 dozen writer's blogs, the lifelong thirst for knowledge and a desire to share it and Sister Mary Andrew, my grade 8 teacher from St. John's School in Kitchener, Ontario who made it alright to be intellectually curious and OK to carry a book for the pure pleasure of reading it.
The most important part of this answer is that the workshop combines all of these resources and then distills, organizes and energizes it into three hours dedicated to making the participants successful authors. Added to this is the ability to ask questions, receive feedback, make connections, learn real-world and real-time lessons based on today's realities and walk away with an actionable plan that will result in a better book, written faster and easier that will provide incredible value to the readers and the author.
It was a great question because it forced me to really look at my workshops and revisit the value they bring to the participants over and above the marketing used to sell them. I am very proud of the workshop that I have created because it is based on my lifelong passion for the written word and the absolute belief that everyone has a story to tell and my mission is to encourage them to do just that. Thanks again for asking.



Sometimes we wait. We wait to take the vacation of a lifetime. We wait to tell someone we love them. We wait until we have enough money. We wait until we retire. We wait until we have a heart attack. We wait until we have more time.
If you are still waiting to start or finish writing the book you have always threatened to create, perhaps you will find some inspiration in this video - it's a good one! Thanks to "follower" Dawnie for the heads up.



Still wondering about whether this e-book craze will catch on?
Still think that e-books should be priced the same as hard copy books?
Still wondering how to make money as a writer.
Still hoping to land that publishing contract with a traditional?

You might not have the same results but if one person can do it, then why not you and me?
Good writing plus good promotion - that's what every author is responsible for, and what every author has in her control.
Take a look here.



No, you are not alone in your effort to become the author you want to be. There is a whole community of people out there who are willing and able to give you a hand. Depending on where you are in the process, there are professionals who will make your writing better through various forms of editing. There are designers with experience in developing book covers and inside layouts. The world seems to be full of techno-geeks who understand the intricacies of search engine optimization and how it assists your book marketing needs. New format, or is that new world, publishers are everywhere offering us the opportunity to receive income and find new reading audiences from their platforms.
We are being inundated with digital devices that allow our books to find new readers, with new features like video and audio services that make our books more exciting, entertaining and informative. We really have entered a "Brave New World." The beauty of this time in history is that we have a level playing field. By that I mean, we no longer need to find a way to command front-of-store display space and the marketing clout of a big-time New York publishing house in order to create and reach a fan base that will pay for our efforts.
You are not alone, but sometimes we need someone who believes in what we are doing, offers objective, professional and experienced feedback that helps us move forward to realize our dream.
A Book Writing Coach is there for that very purpose with real world - today world - innovation, motivation, feedback, encouragement, knowledge and sometimes, hand-holding that is focused on just one thing - helping you become the author you know you can be. All of my efforts are directed at being a mentor to aspiring authors. If that sounds like it makes sense for you, then send me an email and let's start a discussion about how I can help.



Changing the game: Do the Work is free for now

The next title from the Domino Project is by bestselling author Steven Pressfield. He’s the author of The Legend of Bagger Vance, the upcoming thriller The Profession, and most important, the classic The War of Art.
I don’t think a more important book on art and shipping and fear has ever been written. The War of Art changed me, probably forever, and I know it’s had that impact on hundreds of thousands of creators.
That Steve is entrusting his new manifesto Do the Work to us is thrilling. Do the Work is a logical outgrowth of the writing in The War of Art, but it’s quite clearly a manifesto, a short, powerful, memorable rant on what it means to do work that matters. This book is so important, I’d like everyone to read it again and again.
And now they can.
Today we’re announcing a significant breakthrough in book publishing, and it may be a first: the digital edition of a bestselling author’s next book is available for free, thanks to a generous sponsor. Because most of the costs of an ebook are fixed (extra copies cost far less than additional copies of a paper book) there’s a great opportunity for a sponsor to subsidize the distribution–readers get the ebook for free, the sponsor benefits by being connected with a great work and perhaps some gratitude from the reader for bringing them an idea that might bring positive change.
The folks at GE have stepped up and they’re our first ebook sponsors. Beginning today until shortly after the Kindle edition is available on April 20th, the sponsored edition is free.
Click here, order it and it will be automatically delivered on pub date. You can read it on a Kindle, an iPad, an iPhone a PC and more. (If you already ordered your copy, your payment will be credited back to you).
We’re announcing this first to our readers on this blog, but feel free to spread the word. It’s only going to be free for a limited time, so don’t tarry.
My hope is that other sponsors will step up and allow us to do promotions for our other books as well. In the meantime, be prepared to be changed by Steve’s book, and thanks for reading and for spreading the word.

Article by seth godin

Seth Godin is the founder of The Domino Project and has written twelve books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything.



The age of all-pervasive marketing is upon us. Like me, I am sure that sometimes you think that all of this so-called "social networking" is just a thinly veiled disguise for someone reaching into our pocket to grab our wallets. No question, with the advent of the 24/7 digital universe, there are incredible opportunities out there for authors to bring their work to audiences that simply did not exist 5 years ago.
However, we sometimes forget the basics of good salesmanship when it comes to building the elements of a non-fiction book that will appeal to potential buyers. When we get past the appealing cover, the catchy title and the high-priced promotion campaign, what does our potential reader/buyer look for to influence their purchasing decision?
The Table of Contents is very high on the list of an author's selling opportunities. That may sound strange to some, only because it is often overlooked as a chance to persuade browsers (that's people browsers, not digital ones) about the benefits of reading the book. We have all seen Tables of Contents that simply repeat the chapter titles and page numbers in a long list, but have you noticed the ones that offer the reader more information? The idea is to note the chapter name and then add a sentence or two of description, or a few bullet points so that the reader can actually see what you offer? Keep it simple but make it appealing so that someone browsing it will want to know more.
In addition, most of the e-book platforms now allow a potential buyer to browse the Table of Contents and maybe a sample chapter. Make your Table of Contents do some selling work for you and increase your sales as a result.



New York Times Bestselling author turns down half a million advance and self publishes instead!

I was going to wait and put this in my upcoming newsletter but I didn't think you could wait. This story is true and anyone writing a book needs to read this blog and understand the reasoning. Mostly, we need to understand the economics when someone looks at $500,000.00 guaranteed and says "No thanks."
Barry Eisler has decided to move his new novel to a self publishing format and makes a compelling case for doing so.
I urge you to go to this link and discover why for yourself.

thanks to Twitter follower Patricia Singleton for the heads up.



Publishing vs. Self Publishing, a blog I posted a few days ago garnered some commentary and I thought it best to give you a very short update on a few things. Firstly, all of us would like to be J.K., but she too, had her challenges with finding someone to publish her. Regardless of the popularity of self-publishing, most authors still want a big conventional publisher to show their interest, support and money.
Secondly, I coach mostly non-fiction writers but communicate with many fiction writers - why? Fiction writers probably (yes, I'm generalizing) need a traditional publisher more than non-fiction writers. Many of them spend years writing their first novel and then the query letters and rejections start to fill their filing cabinet. Frustration and sometimes anger and fear begin to seep in around the edges. While they are waiting for the contract and the sale of their manuscript, foreign language rights and movie offers to flood in, they often need to make a living. Writing a few non-fiction books, marketing them on line, building a following and honing their writing skills may help keep the wolf from the door. That's why some take my workshops - simply to learn the format and process of creating a book that will earn money while they await their real dream.

And finally today, I ran across an excellent blog post from Jane Friedman, of Writer's Digest, that categorizes the four main kinds of self-publishing models, including some names and how they work. If you are considering the self-publishing route, this is worthwhile reading. Here's the link



I'm half Irish! Honest to God. I just have to make that clear but sometimes that series of "IDIOT" books was written for me.
In 1981, I had the honour of leading a committee of Winnipegers in our efforts to secure a World Congress of Jaycees for our city. It was a big deal; about 5,000 delegates would attend from around the globe and that meant a huge economic boost for the hotels, restaurants, airlines and drinking establishments. I spent 48 days that year traveling all over the place speaking, shaking hands, doing interviews, making presentations and generally trying to persuade people who had never been there of the delights of Winnipeg in the late fall.
One Saturday night I found myself in Wexford, Ireland on the last evening of a large European Conference of fellow members and invited to the home of a prominent local businessman for drinks and snacks before some formal dance. We were a small but merry band of Canucks who gathered in his living room around 5:00 in the afternoon and I was extolling my Irishness as I noted that his daughter's name was the same as my grandmother's, Mary Kelly.
Our host was a very successful distributor of liquor and fine spirits in South East Ireland and shortly after our arrival, he started with me in asking what our drink preferences would be. Now, you have all had the feeling that you would like to crawl into a hole and disappear. We sometimes wish that we could suck the words back into our mouths as if they had never happened.

"Now Bob, me Canadian friend, what could I be bringing you to drink?" he inquired in his most Irish welcome-ness.
Not a stick of intelligence in my head, I turned, smiled and allowed as how I would most certainly enjoy a Scotch on the rocks.
The stunned silence and slack-jawed shock of my compatriots was balanced very nicely by the graciousness of the man of the house as he replied that he would see what he could do. Truth be told, I didn't even give a moment's thought to ordering an Irish whiskey; I had never had one in my life. I didn't know anyone in my circle of friends in low places who had ever ordered an Irish in any bar in Winnipeg. But, there was absolutely no forethought, no plan, no anything about my reply - it was thoughtless habit, pure and simple.
I have since remedied my lack of education on numerous occasions and found that there is truth in the story that at the bottom of every bottle of Irish Whiskey, is a poet. I have not returned to the Emerald Isle since then and can only hope that Aer Lingus has not put me on their "no-fly" list.
To all of my real, and unreal, Irish friends, may the spirits of Ireland always keep you safe, happy and full of life.



"Should I self-publish or should I try to find a conventional publisher?"

For authors of every stripe, but especially for early stage authors, this is almost a dilemma today. Whether 'tis nobler in the long run to wait for a publishing deal or jump straight to one of many self-directed print, e-book or other digital options and permutations - now that is the question. The entire universe of writing, publishing, marketing and reading is in complete turmoil and the possibilities are almost endless and changing weekly. How should an author who has completed his first, second or third book move forward while still keeping as many doors and options open as possible?

A simple Google search can give you reams of information and interesting stories about the history of publishing and who has and who didn't use a conventional publisher and their results. Rather than take up your current time with that, let's deal with a few of today's realities and the biggest one faced by a new author which is, "Can I land a deal with a big publisher?" And the answer, in 90% of the cases is, NO ! If you are absolutely convinced, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that you are among the 10%, then stop reading this and run to your nearest agent (no, not publisher - agent) and get them to start shopping your manuscript now. If you have a serious degree of "celebrity status" and a large marketing platform or tribe, then, get thee to an agent and publisher...

Alright, now that they have left us, let's deal with reality as it exists for 9 out of 10 aspiring authors. Publishing, self-publishing, assisted self-publishing and all of the other options are a business and like it or not, you have to treat it as such. If you have spent the last 30 years holed up in your parent's basement writing the "next big thing" and expecting someone to knock on the door demanding the publishing, foreign language and movie rights, uhhh, they're not coming. Those of us still dealing in a real time universe need to seriously consider the many self-publishing options and learn how to market our books. This is complicated, in some ways, by the fact that there are many printers out there who offer some sort of "publishing package" but really, they are simply printers trying to maximize their bottom line by filling your garage with boxes of books.

Bottom line: 
  • accept the fact that you will need to self-publish your first book or two
  • actively seek out objective help from another author, book coach or knowledgeable person who can guide you through the maze
  • the more objective and "arms-length" your adviser, the better
  • contract (if you can't do it yourself) an experienced book marketer to help
  • learn everything you can about the process
  • beware of snake-oil salesmen and yes, women - if it doesn't feel right - don't do it
  • be skeptical about the "publishing house" that gushes over your manuscript and insists that their "package" will make you a best seller - look carefully before writing the check
  • check "publishing" references from REAL authors - phone them
  • if you have already done it - pay it forward and help others
So, there really is no one-size-fits-all approach to getting your books into the hands of a reading public but understanding that the business of selling your book is yours; the marketing and sales function belongs to the author, regardless of whether a big-time publishing house buys the rights or you keep them yourself. There are lots of forums, including this one, to post thoughts, ideas, advice and questions - take advantage of them. But honestly, most of us will have to seriously investigate the self-publishing options until we have built an audience. Pay very close attention to the business of marketing before you make a decision - have a plan and don't assume that someone else will do it for you.

Help another aspiring author by posting your experiences, thoughts and questions here.



I had the pleasure of spending some time at the hospital today visiting a friend who is in her 80's. Fortunately, she is very sharp of mind and spirit and I don't think I have ever seen her without a twinkle in her eye - today was no exception. The experience however, got me thinking about the stories that are never heard.
In an unrelated event, I was giving a talk to a group of seniors at one of our local library branches and was saddened by a comment of one of the participants. A man about the same age as my hospitalized friend lamented that nobody was interested in his stories about his life and so, what was the point of writing about it? The lovely lady in the hospital is dearly loved by her family and she revels in and shares that love far and wide and along with it go stories about some of her experiences that endears her to people from every walk of life.
And, isn't that what history is all about - the stories. I know that tracing family lineage is very popular so that we can see who we are related to and there seems to be an emphasis on being related to someone famous, or infamous. But, I wonder if the real history of our lives is in the experiences, feelings, wins and losses of our everyday lives. I wonder if that is where the lessons lie. What a shame it will be for future generations not to know who we are, what we felt, what we dream about, aspire to, hope for, attain, lose and regain.
It may not be our job or responsibility to force earlier generations to record their lives but perhaps we can take on a project like that for ourselves and make it possible for those family members who follow to know a little of who we really were.



Will writing a book make me lots of money?

Writing a book is a little like going to Las Vegas - we hear about the big winners but there is no story about the average participant who breaks even, had fun and goes home tired and broke. In the book world, we know about J. K. Rowling, Stephen King, Wayne Dyer and the small percentage who have had "big wins," but what can the average author expect and what can they do to create some financial success? Unless the stars align and lady luck shines bright, it is unlikely that an author will get wealthy from their first book or two - that's reality.

The money is not in the book - it's in what the book brings.

When it comes to non-fiction books, an author needs to look a little further afield to find the money tree. Keynote speeches, workshops, audio books, DVD's, online courses/webinars, workbooks, coaching, follow up books, foreign language rights, film rights, card decks, consulting, T-shirts, tours, foreign workshop weekends, MP3's, affiliate groups and more. Yes, you might be that one in a million winner and I don't want to rain on your parade, but the practical side of authoring your first book or two means that you may not be able to live the lifestyle of the rich and famous just yet.

Knowing what some of the ancillary opportunities are and planning to get involved in them will help in creating the original book, because it should cause the writer to include for these possibilities when they are writing. There is no honor in poverty and you do not need to suffer financial hardship for your art, but you do need to have an eye on the horizon for creating financially viable products that will flow from your book. Regardless of your publishing platform, you are responsible for the marketing of your books and creating a livelihood - what could you do today to leverage your book as a starting point for more income?


Writer's block seems to be a popular topic to write, blog and whine about. Online forums devote non-forests full of non-wood to it and it crops up whenever serious writers get together. Everyone has a solution - it is almost like having a solution for a hangover. In practice, I think most of us like the prescription - take an aspirin and call me in the morning.

For some people, forgetting about it and moving forward to a new day works, but for most of us who realize that "to be a writer, once must write" it is a different story. One day of leaving it alone too easily turns into a second , a third and then a week has gone by. A couple of ideas spring to mind including:
  • if you have a detailed outline, then you may not feel like writing, but at least you know what needs to be written
  • a walk in nature is guaranteed to open the lines to your creative center, especially if you walk by yourself without the distractions of i-pods, friends and city noise
  • read a good writer in a different genre (call it research if you have to justify it)
  • begin a paragraph on a blank page with, "I don't know what to write..." and force your hand to move through more words for 5 minutes, regardless of what they are - don't reread it, just give in to it
  • if all else fails, a single-malt scotch, a wood burning fireplace and a sleeping dog at your feet.
Relax and trust what your mind is trying to tell you - it's there.



Twitter is an interesting mini-blog phenomena that probably has too much commercial traffic but every once in awhile... If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I really believe that books find me, not the other way around. It happened again yesterday, but on Twitter of all things.

Here's something else you have heard me say, if you are an aspiring author: the number one prerequisite to good writing is good reading. Yesterday , I had a nice direct message from a published author who decided to join the 1400 other wonderful souls who follow me on Twitter. For some reason and really, I cannot explain this, I decided to click on his website link and then took an additional step by looking at one of his books on Amazon. Now, the attraction comes because he has spent a considerable amount of time sailing solo in the South Pacific. This is a recurring dream of mine and even though I know nothing about sailing, I hold out hope in an alternate universe or my next life...or something.

Amazon gave me the opportunity to read the first chapter without committing and I was hooked. Dannie C. Hill has the soul of a poet and it shows in the lyrical quality of his writing. While his book, "In Search of a Soul" is an adventure set on the high seas, he compliments his reader's intelligence with a wonderful command and use of vocabulary aimed higher than the normal grade 8 literacy level. Yes, I know, followers will have heard me say repeatedly, if you are creating a non-fiction book, aim the language at about a grade 8 reading level. Here's the thing though, when you need some inspiration (which is always) read something or someone who has a grasp of real literature and allow your creative and inspiration quotient to rise with the experience. This is what will make your non-fiction effort float above the mediocrity that is so often found.

I rarely direct you to the work of someone else, but this time I need to, for two reasons:

  1. Dannie's writing will not only take you on an incredible adventure with his story telling powers and wonderful language and cadence, it will inspire you to reach a little deeper to uncover and reveal your own creative spirit
  2. Once you give into that creativity, your own writing will benefit from the ability to offer a connection to your own readers that will give them real value and set you up to write more.
Here's one more reason to start reading Dannie's work right away - sooner or later he will realize that he is not charging nearly enough for his efforts and his prices will rise dramatically.

Great read, great inspiration on many levels. Good authors really are a gift to the world. Become one yourself.

and, by the way, I have decided to forgo any affiliation fees on this - I'm just a fan Dannie.




An aspiring author has usually been thinking about writing a book for a significant period of time but something has prevented it. Just like a high performance athlete or business person, it helps to have someone pulling for you and occasionally, kicking from behind. A book writing coach is willing to share their experience, wisdom, ideas, feedback, successes, failures, sources, honesty, common sense, time, connections, organization, advice, energy  and yes, maybe even that gentle nudge in the posterior.


Let's face it, almost everyone you know "has a book in them," even you. There is a list of reasons a mile long for not moving forward and bringing the book into reality...and anyone who has ever done so, knows almost all of them. That is where a good book writing coach comes in - they know most of the reasons, too. The only difference is that they are being paid to move you past those reasons. Funny thing, when we pay someone for something, we usually expect results, even if it is us the results must come from. And, it works!


Coaching works for high-achieving athletes, business people, musicians, artists, students and of course, aspiring authors like you. That is why I have created this blog; to provide ideas, inspiration and information to people who know they want to create a non-fiction book, but haven't done it yet. There are more opportunities, more need and yes, more dollars, euros, kroner, beads, loaves and fishes for the person who decides to realize their dream of creating a book. My mission is to help you do just that. Here are two ways you can get loads of FREE help, right now.


Look to the left of your screen and subscribe directly to my blog and receive updates as they are prepared. I have also created my exclusive BOOK MENTOR newsletter for those people who are REALLY interested in getting their book project rolling. My newsletter will go out to our list of eager recipients on a bi-weekly basis, with further information, updates, links and anything else that impacts the world of an aspiring non-fiction author. If you sign up for the FREE newsletter today, I will send you immediately, my 7 TIPS FOR CREATING A BESTSELLING TITLE, to show my appreciation for your interest.

If you have ever considered writing a non-fiction book like a:
  • memoir
  • e-book
  • how-to
  • self help
  • biography
  • historical perspective
  • travel
  • business
  • leadership
  • political
and almost anything else that requires the use of language to make a difference in the world, then the BOOK MENTOR newsletter and blog are here to help you.

Alright, that's it - no more trying to convince you, just the facts. Sign up for the BOOK MENTOR newsletter here and subscribe to the blog on this page and get all the ideas, tips, facts, inspiration and information to get you into the author's circle. Do it now - before you forget or move on to something else.



Being quoted and being quotable opens many doors for an author. I mentioned in a prior blog that finding just the right quote to start a book or chapter lends credibility, authority and a certain literary element to a book. If you find the perfect quote, it often gives the reader a glimpse into your mindset and into what they can expect to receive by reading further. In addition, whomever you are quoting benefits from additional exposure for lending you their name.

But, at some point in time, after you write your book, you will be seeking some publicity and the media wants to quote YOU, not a 200 year old author. An interviewer in today's media is looking for sound bites and if you are the person being interviewed, it would be best if they were yours. Each of us has the ability to create quotes, if we put our mind to it. They do not need to be accidents of creativity but can be planned and organized around the topic you are writing about. One little tip is to keep your eyes open to other quotes, neat phrases from your book, marketing slogans that make it into popular culture, taglines that become popular and then write a version of it that applies to your own book.

This can be done in a focused and conscious manner - here's how I do it. I take a 3 X 5 recipe card, actually a pack of them, and sit down in a coffee shop and think about 2 or 3 main topics that I need quotes for. For the sake of argument, let's assume that we are looking to create quotes on the the subject of "love." It is Valentine's Day as I write this. Allow your mind to wander a bit as you concentrate on the word "love " and see what comes up. It may be lines from songs. At this moment the Beatles song that includes the line "love is all there is" is running through my mind. I might take that line, a line that is well known, and alter it to my own purposes by substituting words. It could be "Fear is all there is" or, "Soup is all there is" or I could add a work and make it "Love is not all there is." You can do the same with longer quotes and concepts and simply write them down on your cards.

Try it - it really does work and you get quoted from your own book. Make the quotes part of your marketing campaign and help the interviewers and reviewers do their job. You will find that they will use your quotes in the introduction and you can use them in your own efforts like blogs, book covers and one-pagers.

Here's a few that I have created over the past little while:

"Everyone has an answer, but what's the question?"
Bob Bannon

"When we let go of doing and embrace being, we open a direct channel to inspiration"

Bob Bannon

"Courage grows from failure nurtured with hope, desire and passion"
Bob Bannon

You get the idea; now sit down and write a self quote on something from the book you want to write and share it with us, but make sure you leave your name under it so you can be properly credited.



Finding appropriate quotes for our books can be an interesting exercise. I think some people just naturally remember what others have written and then confirm the actual quote and include them. I know there are other people, like me, who trust that the right quote will somehow magically appear at the right time and place. I think that happened for my first two books. What do you think of these?

My first book was the West Coast Trail: One Step at a Time and it chronicled an amazing 7 day, life-changing hike through a rain forest on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. For that book this quote appeared one day when I was looking for something else:
"Underlying the beauty of the spectacle there is meaning and significance. It is the elusiveness of that meaning that haunts us, that sends us again and again into the natural world where the key to the riddle is hidden. It sends us back to the edge of the sea, where the drama of life played its first scene on earth and perhaps even its prelude; where the forces of evolution are at work today, as they have been since the appearance of what we know as life." 

The quote is from Rachel Carson, a wonderful writer and an environmentalist, long before it became popular and it perfectly describes not only my book, but my motivation.

Later, I wrote a book that is a message to "the girls who went away," the young women who have, for one reason or another, given up their children for adoption. My book is entitled "To My Secret Mother."

"In all of us, there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage, to know who we are - and where we come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning, there is the most disquieting - loneliness."

This quote is taken from the book "ROOTS"  by Arthur Haley and once again, captures the essence of my book and my quest.

The popularity of quoting famous persons is a great way to add weight to your own work, but I really think that you should consider creating your own quotable quotes, too. Next time, I will offer a few ideas on how to go about that.



Time is relative and also relevant. In conversations with both coaching clients and workshop participants, the number one reason given for not having their book written is always a lack of time. I get that, I understand that and I sometimes, use that. Time is relative to all of the important things that call for our attention in this very noisy world we live in. Time to read this blog, time to earn a living, time to spend with family and friends, time to learn, time to workout, time, time, time...

Sometimes we recognize the importance of spending time in our own long term best interests, but shorter term priorities tug at our calendars, our wrist watches and our minds. When people who have full time jobs, families and a social life also have a desire to write a book, it is often impossible to see how we can squeeze in the time, relative to everything else that needs to be accomplished. A client, and very good friend of mine, decided in 1999 that she wanted to run the New Zealand marathon on the following New Year's Day. She had never run one before and in fact, hated running, but the goal was set. She had just started a new business, had full time family responsibilities and a very active social and travel calendar. When she looked at that same calendar, she started laughing out loud as she tried to wedge in training time, to find that the only unspoken-for slot was between 4:30 and 6:00 - AM. Eleven years later and she still uses that time slot to build on the success and accomplishment of running the marathon, to tackle other bigger-than-life projects, including writing her book.

Here's my point, writing a book, especially a non-fiction book, for most of us is not a full time endeavor as we balance it with the rest of our lives. I advise early stage authors to commit an hour a day to the writing process - no more, no less. This keeps the entire project based in possibility and therefore, relevant to the rest of our lives. It is amazing how much we can accomplish in one hour when that is all we have. It becomes much more relevant when we carve out a spot in our calendars that is consistent and disciplined and not too long. A short and powerful commitment creates the ability to focus effort and gather results. I know this from personal experience and you too will be truly amazed at how soon your book starts to take real shape by devoting one hour every day to it. Try it -what have you got to lose?

So, relatively speaking, one hour can become very relevant to our future success.



"We are either authentic, or we're not!" That was the gist of a comment on a Linkedin discussion board yesterday. I wish I had saved the comment so that I could link back to it. If the person who wrote it is reading this, please post a comment and a link to your article - it was terrific.

Authenticity is one of the buzzwords of marketing these days and I really wonder about it. I agree with the concept but telling a person who is busy marketing a product or service that they must BECOME authentic seems a bit like nonsense, or buzz-speak, or BS. Some people are able to reveal their weaknesses, foibles, challenges and failures and do so in a manner that is not only believable, but natural. On the other hand, some of it is simply a little too contrived for my liking. None of us are perfect, none of us have had perfect lives, none of us have had an unbroken string of successes and for an author, this is the key. If you have the courage (and frankly, it is more than courage, it takes "real guts") to share the truth about yourself, your ideas and your life with your readers, then you make the ultimate connection with them.

This applies to more than just memoirs and self-help books but to the "how-to" genre as well as more academic pursuits. Writing a book leaves each of us open to criticism on many levels - everything from our facts and assumptions to our lifestyle but the truly authentic author says, " Alright, I'm willing to take that risk and expose myself and my ideas." This doesn't mean that we should expect our readers to agree with our ideas just because we are authentic but it does give a reader an opportunity to understand the source of your opinions and move forward from there.

Authenticity really does separate the outstanding from the mundane but it stems from a grasp on personal truth and reality and can never be faked or created - it just is, and it may be the most powerful tool in your writing arsenal. Try it.



I remember the phrase, "Don't start something unless you can finish it." In my ego-fueled youth, it usually referred to a potential fight with another guy over some real or imagined slight. Today, I talk with people everyday about books; theirs, mine or those of someone else. I am blown away, although I shouldn't be, by the number of people who have started to write a book but cannot finish it. The obvious response would be to ask why, but the answers usually fall into the categories of no time, lost interest, or too hard. This is unfortunate because the world is being deprived of what may be a very important piece of information because if someone is compelled enough to start to write something, it has a place of importance in the universe or they would not have had the idea in the first place. I especially think of the tragic loss of memories from people who have lived their lives and their offspring will never know who they really were or what motivated, amused, irritated, pleased, disappointed and inspired them.

Sometimes quitting comes from having no plan to begin with and the writing portion starts to become work instead of an exercise in revelation. Like the sculptor who said that he simply chips away the pieces of marble that don't belong there to reveal the figure within, an author with a plan, simply moves from one section to the next to reveal his thoughts, ideas and suggestions.

A friend of mine is famous for using the phrase, "Start from start" but writing is not the starting point of a book, planning is. Discovering your own motivations for creating a book comes earlier than writing and answering the question "What's your book about?" in one sentence, comes before all of it. So here's the deal, if you have started a book or two or three and can't seem to finish it, go back and "start from start." answer the question, "What's your book about?" and begin moving through the steps with that answer being your filter and your inspiration for the days ahead.

Let me know if you have had difficulty moving forward in your authoring process and if you have been able to go past it, how did you do it?