A really useful guide: “The Content Fuel Framework” by Melanie Deziel

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Sometimes you pick up a book and immediately think, “This is so useful, how is it possible that nobody has written it before?” Melanie Deziel’s The Content Fuel Framework: How to Generate Unlimited Story Ideas is such a book. If you have or aspire to have an audience of any kind, this book is for … Continued

The 2 questions every business author must answer

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If you want to write a book, ask these two questions before you start — and every day as you work on it. How will my reader see the world differently? What are they going to do about it? If your book is not going to help your reader to see the world differently, why … Continued

For nonfiction authors, productive obsession is a key habit

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Do you know everything there is to know about the topic you’re writing about? If not, you’re not trying hard enough. I want you to be obsessed. This is not a recommendation to acquire a mental illness. Obsession is a strategy, and I want you to apply it strategically. Here’s how it works. You think … Continued

“American Dirt” publisher steps in it, and admits mistakes

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American Dirt is an Oprah-recommended novel about Mexicans fleeing violence to find asylum in America. It’s also hugely controversial. The publisher and author are dealing with the blowback. It’s instructive to see how they’ve written about that experience. The unexpected challenge here is coming from Latino communities, some of whom feel that the author Jeanine … Continued

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 be 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 be done. Here’s the challenge. Your creative work on the book … 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