Do these book tasks early — or end up in hell

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Repeat after me: When a book goes to copy edit, the content should basically done. I can’t hear you in the back, there. Are you sure you believe it? Say it again: When a book goes to copy edit, the content should basically done. Here’s the challenge. Your creative work on the book should be … Continued

How to protect a book title

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A client of mine is planning on releasing a new book with a clever title. He asked “How can I protect the title so no one else can publish a book with the same title?” “You can’t,” I responded. (That didn’t make him happy.) You cannot copyright a book title. It is too short. You … Continued

How to get book blurbs

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There’s a systematic way to get the best endorsements for your book. If you don’t prepare properly, your blurbs will fall flat. Here’s exactly how to do it. 1 Make your target list well in advance Timing is crucial here. Don’t make your list on the day you need blurbs. Start making it while you’re … Continued

The 10 gotchas of book graphics

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Illustrations, diagrams, and charts clarify. They’re worth including in your book. But every time I work with authors, they underestimate the challenge, delay, and cost that comes with graphics. If you’re going to use graphics, you need to be prepared. Let me put this simply: If something is going to trip up the production stages … Continued

How to write a valuable book in an awful hurry

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Neal Katyal decided to write a book on impeachment on October 5. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published Impeach: The Case Against Donald Trump less than two months later. This type of speed is very unusual for a well researched, professionally published book. I’ll talk about why it worked in this case. (This is not a post … Continued

Last chance for authors

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I’m soooo close to 200 responses in my author survey. If you didn’t already take it and you are (or plan to be) a nonfiction author, please help. This is the last chance to do that. It’s 8 minutes. Eight. It’s here. Everyone who takes it gets a summary of survey results (see where you … Continued

The 4 things you must do AFTER you’ve finished your manuscript

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In the monumental effort of writing a book, the biggest milestone is handing in your finished manuscript. Whew, that felt good. You’ve done 95% of the work. But you’re not done. Unless you prepare for the rest of the work, your book won’t be as good as it ought to be — and it might … Continued

The myth of “writing time”

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The advice is all over writing advice sites: If you’re having trouble getting your book going, set aside a specific time (like 6 to 7 a.m.) every day to write. This is bad advice, at least for nonfiction writers. You cannot write unless you have something to say. “Writing time” presumes that what you need … Continued