Changes

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This post is about the changes in my work and this blog starting in 2022, including two new books. Time to reexamine my work Historically, I’ve remade my career every seven to ten years. Things change in your life and your work; it’s best to be thinking about it before it gets stale. I’ve remade … Continued

Mel Brooks’ “All About Me!” is a triumph — especially as an audiobook

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If you love Mel Brooks, you’ll love his new autobiography All About Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business. If you don’t love Mel Brooks, forget it, you’ll hate it. Here’s the deal with this book. Mel Brooks is an egomaniac. Mel Brooks thinks Mel Brooks is the greatest thing ever. Yes, it’s a joke … Continued

How good editors deliver bad news

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I’m an editor. That means I’m going to read what you write and then tell you that it is wrong. You might think people would resist that. But in fact, the opposite is true. I recently did a detailed and highly critical edit of documents by two very smart people. I then met with them … Continued

Each book chapter should answer a question. Which kind of questions are best?

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I’ve written about the reader question method of organizing a nonfiction book, with one question for each chapter. Now let’s go deeper. Which questions make for the best chapters? A recap of the reader question method As I describe in an earlier post, the reader question method is ideal for an advice or how-to book. … Continued

How long does it take to write a book? A detailed analysis of author hours.

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“I want to write a book,” you say. “That’s a huge undertaking,” your author friend responds. But how big is “huge?” Here’s a detailed way to think about the time it will take. How to use this planning tool To make your planning more effective, I have created a publicly available spreadsheet showing book tasks … Continued

Social media doesn’t sell books. It lights sparks.

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When it comes to book sales, does a social media following guarantee sales? Of course not. That’s what’s behind the New York Times piece, “Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’ ,” a naive and oversimplified take on what it takes to sell books. How books sell In the olden days — before COVID … Continued