How authors can work with a cartoonist

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I’m currently editing a book that will include cartoons. Cartoons will make the book much more enjoyable, even as they drive home the points in the chapters. And I’ve never had this much fun working. Today: what it’s like to work with a cartoonist. This isn’t my first book with cartoons. For Marketing to the … Continued

Reflections from five years of “Without Bullshit”

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On March 26, 2015, I launched this blog and my freelance business. In this moment when we’re all looking forward in terror, I’m looking backward and reflecting. Maybe there is something to be learned from my last five years — and if you’ve been suddenly thrust into freelancing, perhaps it can help you. Before I … Continued

Should you write a book during the viral apocalypse?

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You’re stuck at home. You have internet access and, maybe, a little more time to yourself. Should you write a book? This advice is mainly for those who write business books and self-help books to gain influence — my primary audience. But I hope that all authors currently sheltering at home during the coronavirus crisis … 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

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

Don’t let version confusion destroy your writing process

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The most fundamental principle in writing is actually . . . version control? It’s an unwritten rule. Like changing your underwear every day. And if you violate it, you are a barbarian. This is the least sexy writing advice ever. But if you and your collaborators don’t share a common understanding of version control, you’re … Continued

Your book launch hero crew

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If you’re working on an advice book, here’s a way to get a lot of people to hear about it. I call it the hero crew. Do this, right now — before writing (if you haven’t started yet), before you do anything else. Nail down your audience. It might be women entrepreneurs, CIOs embracing the … Continued

Therapy questions for prospective nonfiction authors

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I help authors. They’re all over the map. Some are experiencing the earliest glimmerings of author ambitions, while others have written hundreds of pages (possibly in a productive way, possibly not). By the time they get to me, I become their therapist. It’s my job to figure out their problems and recommend the best course … Continued