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Poetry and Nonfiction: A Beautiful Coupl...

Hand pointing color graffiti saying POETRY on a wall. Text: Poetry & Nonfiction? Beautiful!

April is National Poetry Month—no, don’t look away! You may be here for nonfiction advice and wonder what poetry has to do with it. Everything. Here are three specific things… Poetry techniques can enhance your nonfiction Poetry predates written text and likely was used as a way of making it easier to remember oral history. […]

Book Endorsements: Who to Ask & How to D

Book Endorsements: Who to Ask & How to Do It

Good reviews are a form of social proof—they demonstrate that people like, appreciate, or respect your book and would encourage others to read it. In other words, they increase potential buyers’ comfort level with purchasing the book. Book endorsements are similar to reviews in that they offer social proof, but while reviews can come from […]

Pre-orders on KDP and IngramSpark

Pre-orders on KDP and IngramSpark

Original article February 24, 2022; last updated May 13, 2022. When planning your book launch, one consideration is whether to make your book available for pre-order, which simply means that readers can order your book prior to its publication date. In this article, we’ll discuss why you might want to do pre-orders (or not), and […]

Does your book need a foreword, preface,...

Does your book need a foreword, preface, or introduction? Here’s how to decide.

In the beginning was . . . the Foreword? the Preface? the Introduction? I was reviewing a manuscript the other day and couldn’t quite tell what the author’s intent was for the beginning elements of his book. The foreword, preface, and introduction play distinct roles. Having read, you know, books, you might intuitively know what the roles are, […]

How to Avoid Being Too Concise

How to Avoid Being Too Concise

A while back, as I reviewed a client’s writing, I found myself a bit puzzled about what advice to give. The language was clean and technically correct, but it was difficult to read. I had to actively concentrate to get through it, and I wasn’t quite sure what I was supposed to take away. It […]

Summary of Recent POD Publishing Platfor...

Summary of Recent POD Publishing Platform Changes

There have been some recent changes with the two major print-on-demand (POD) platforms, KDP and IngramSpark, and I’ve been updating my articles related to them. Here I give a summary of changes and then links to the articles. Publishing platform changes to be aware of Here are some of the major changes you might want […]

Learning to Love Feedback on Your Writin...

Learning to Love Feedback on Your Writing

Many newer writers bristle at feedback. In creative writing workshops, they defend their work against their classmates’ observations. When beta readers offer suggestions, they explain why the readers are wrong. When asking for feedback, they are disappointed at anything but praise. Well of course! Criticism hurts! It feels like you’re killing my little darlings! It’s […]

New Author, 700-page Book: How to Set th...

New Author, 700-page Book: How to Set the Price

The logistics of self-publishing can be overwhelming at first, and I get questions regularly via email. Here’s a recent one about a challenging book price: My self-published print book is very big at 700+ pages. On KDP I was able to set my price at $20 and make a small royalty. On IngramSpark I have […]

The Most Obvious “Secret” Writing Advice

The Most Obvious “Secret” Writing Advice I Ever Got

Before a presentation, I was asked: What’s the best piece of writing advice you ever received?  Now, this isn’t my favorite question, because (1) it seems too obvious and (2) the answer changes depending on my mood and recent writing experiences. But there’s one piece of advice I come back to again and again. Back […]

Less Is More: How to Improve Your Book t...

Less Is More: How to Improve Your Book through Subtraction

“Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.” —Coco Chanel I heard this famous advice as a teenager exploring fashion and learning how to be a sophisticated, understated grown-up (hey, stop laughing) and it stuck with me (even though I’d forgotten whose wisdom it was until I consulted Google). […]

Eliminate Friction to Keep Your Readers’

Friction is a useful tool in the right settings—I mean, it’s nice when your car brakes work, right?—but when friction gets in the way of completing an action (like reading a book), it’s time to eliminate it. A classic example of friction is poor website design. You try to buy a product on someone’s website […]

Book ROI: It May Not Be What You Think

Book ROI: It May Not Be What You Think

Writing a book can feel like climbing a mountain—a big, steep, frustrating one sometimes. Once you reach the summit, it would be great to just sit back, see your book on the New York Times bestseller list, and watch the royalties flow in. But for many (maybe most) nonfiction authors, book sales are not where […]