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?