Restarting a stalled book project

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I had a half-written book. It had languished for a while. I felt stuck. This is how I brought it back to life — without wasting all the work I’d done. Why my book was stuck A while back, I’d started a book titled How to Write a Business Book That Matters: A Comprehensive Guide … Continued

How older writers stay sharp

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I’ve been writing professionally for 40 years. You can’t write the same way in your sixties as you did in your twenties. But you can take steps to maintain that the quality of what you write and the enjoyment you get from doing it. In this post, I’ll break down the elements of the writing … Continued

The reader’s job is to think

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I’m astounded by readers’ very small responses to very big problems — at least as manifested by how they respond to my blog. Readers have a responsibility to think bigger than that. For example, if I write a post called “Why Mark Zuckerberg doesn’t realize Facebook is evil,” people respond “I quit Facebook.” As if … Continued

My views on books: The Selfish Gift podcast

The estimable Maggie Langrick, founder and CEO at the publisher Wonderwell, spent an hour interviewing me about everything about books. We talked about how to plan, how to write, how to promote, and basically, how to succeed as an author. It’s long. But it’s full of goodies, because Maggie knows just what to ask. Enjoy.

23 ways to differentiate your nonfiction book

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Is your book the same as other books on the market? If so, why are you bothering to write it? Every book needs to be differentiated. Every book needs a superlative. It must be the first, best, biggest, most comprehensive, most practical, most intriguing, or best illustrated book of its kind. This is not something … Continued

The 31 million ways to ghost write a book

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“What’s your process for ghostwriting a book?” This is a simple question with 31 million possible answers. It all depends on how the author (client) and the ghost writer plan to work together. Here’s a set of questions that the writer and the author/client should agree on before you get started. These apply to nonfiction … Continued

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

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