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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 […]

Use Writing Constraints to Increase Your...

Use Writing Constraints to Increase Your Creativity

Powerhouse children’s author Beverly Cleary died last month at the astonishing age of 104, leaving a legacy of having written 50-plus books. Chances are you read some of her books as a child—Henry Huggins, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, Ramona and Beezus. Maybe your children learned to read with them; maybe you’ve heard the Ramona […]

How (Not) to Query a Literary Agent

How (Not) to Query a Literary Agent

Dear Karin, I’m an assistant to the author AUTHOR NAME, and we are seeking representation for his children’s picture book intended for middle grade audiences. BOOK TITLE is complete at 570 words and features a heartwarming tale of wisdom passed on from the older generation, and relatable and educational reasons as to why children need […]

Writing in Small Steps to Reach Big Mile...

Writing in Small Steps to Reach Big Milestones

As I started working on this article, I realized it would be my 100th blog post. I’ve been writing for my business blog for over four years, so 100 posts may not seem like a huge number to you. I know some people who blog weekly, producing 100 blog posts in two years; Seth Godin […]

How to Begin Writing a Nonfiction Book

How to Begin Writing a Nonfiction Book

On a recent call with my mastermind group, we were talking about the value of writing a book to support your business, and one member said, “Writing a book seems like a good idea, but I have absolutely no idea where to start!” I hear this a lot. How to begin writing a nonfiction book? […]

Match Your Nonfiction Writing Approach t...

Match Your Nonfiction Writing Approach to Your Content: Gain Efficiency, Relieve Pressure

Originally posted on the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) blog. “I know it’s messy, but you know me—I’m a pantser.” My editing client knew his topic inside and out, but his book manuscript read like it was the first time he’d ever touched the topic. We had to do a lot of rewriting and revision […]

A Comprehensive Guide to ISBNs

A Comprehensive Guide to ISBNs

At a recent conference, I presented “Self-publishing 101.” During the Q&A that followed, one of the biggest topics was ISBNs. Lots of questions and lots of confusion surfaced. ISBNs are one of the elements of indie publishing that took me a long time to figure out, so if you’re puzzled by them, you’re in good […]

Reader Personas: Know Your Audience

Reader Personas: Know Your Audience

Pre-social distancing, I had dinner with Hilary Davidson, author of Dress in the Age of Jane Austen, before she spoke to the North Carolina Region of the Jane Austen Society of North America (JASNA). Her book is a beautiful work, replete with full-color illustrations of Regency Era dress and robust descriptions of the clothes and […]

How Readers Choose Books: Lessons from J...

How Readers Choose Books: Lessons from Judging

I can be a little judgy sometimes… Literally. I judge things. Essay contests. Grant applications. Poetry submissions. I recently judged twenty self-published books for a national writing magazine’s contest. While I’d hoped to judge nonfiction so I could share with you what I was seeing in the indie nonfiction space, I ended up judging children’s picture […]

Should you update your book? Maybe, mayb...

Should you update your book? Maybe, maybe not.

A past client contacted me to ask if I would make a few minor changes to his book, which we’d published three years earlier. I decided that if we were updating his book anyway, I should reread the whole thing for other needed editorial adjustments. As I read, I flagged items for consideration. I was […]

How Short Can Your Book Be?

How Short Can Your Book Be?

The most popular article on my website—by far—is How Long Should Your Nonfiction Book Be?. My writerly answer: “Use as many words as you need and no more.” My strategic answer: “Match your book length to your readers’ needs and your brand promise—while paying attention to genre norms.” My practical answer: “Probably 30,000 words for […]

KDP vs. IngramSpark: Which Publishing Pl...

KDP vs. IngramSpark: Which Publishing Platform Is Right for You?

To keep things simple for first-time authors, I often suggest they stick with Amazon’s ecosystem, using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) for both ebooks and print books. (The KDP print service recently replaced CreateSpace, which was also owned by Amazon.) However, there is another major player in the print-on-demand (POD) space: IngramSpark (IS), which is the […]