What makes your book unique?

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“I wrote a book” now means nothing. Anyone can write a book; anyone can self-publish one. If you’ve written a nonfiction book, the question to answer is, what makes it unique? People hear about books that sell One way to stand out is with a book that sells. To get your book to sell, you … Continued

What to expect from Donald Trump’s next book

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I believe Donald Trump’s next book will come out in 2022, will move the needle on his election, and will generate tens of millions of dollars for him. A New York Times newsletter sent today explains how political books continue to sell on both sides of the political divide. Conservatives now have their own publishers, … Continued

If books are so great, why is it so hard to give them away?

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Books are great individually. But in big bunches, they’re not as sacred as they once were. I’m in the process of moving and I have a lot of books. I’ve been collecting science fiction books since I was a teenager — I’ve accumulated hundreds of hardbacks and hundreds more in paperback, with special bookcases to … Continued

Are you writing a memoir or an advice book? Avoid the murky middle.

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It is tempting to add personal stories to a book of advice, or bits of advice in a memoir. When mixing the two genres, though, be careful not to mix your objectives, or readers will find your book confusing. The challenge here is one of tone. Recall the ROAM analysis: Readers, Objective, Action, iMpression. Consider … Continued

The cost of developmental editing and how to manage it

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Developmental editing is the process of making a nonfiction book better in every way — including clarity of ideas, structure, tone, paragraphs, sentences, and words. Developmental editors aren’t cheap. Today, some ideas on how to manage that expense and make the book better at the same time. Cheap editors aren’t a bargain Depending on the … Continued

Will you introduce me to your agent?

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Short answer: no, I won’t. I won’t introduce you to my publisher either. Look, I can understand your position. You want to write a nonfiction book. To get the book published, it has to get in front of publishers. The best way to get in front of publishers is with a book agent. And you … Continued

Pitiless editing

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Editors can’t be sentimental or be swayed by politics within author organizations. The only thing that matters is what the reader will read. As a nonfiction book editor, your only concern should be whether a book will be worthwhile and successful. That success depends on the answers to these questions: Will the reader want to … Continued