Turning blog posts into a book in 6 (somewhat) easy steps

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“I wrote a whole bunch of meaty blog posts. Could I make a book out of them?” That’s the seductive reasoning I hear from many clients. So let’s talk about what it takes to turn a blog into a book. Here’s a comment that appeared on my author survey yesterday: I write a blog, to … Continued

Why books work: A rebuttal to Andy Matuschak

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Andy Matuschak wrote a thoughtful piece called “Why books don’t work.” I think he’s a bit off-target. But his arguments will get you thinking about how your book can work better. If you’re an author with any capability for introspection, Matuschak’s essay ought to make you think. Here’s some of what he wrote: And at … Continued

How to deal with crippling self-doubt: advice for authors

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Every nonfiction author feels it. That moment when you think “I can’t do this. I am not an author. I am helpless. I can’t move forward.” That’s crippling self-doubt. It’s so common, it deserves an acronym. CSD. Do you suffer from CSD? Please have hope. I’m here to help. First, here’s what doesn’t help This … Continued

73 things you can do right now to move your nonfiction book forward

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“I’m stuck,” I hear you say. “How am I supposed to write a book? It’s such a big project.” Baloney. Every big project is just a series of smaller tasks. And no matter what’s going on with your book, there are tasks to do. You can make time for these. And they will move your … Continued

Do bestselling authors become millionaires?

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Bernie Sanders, a democratic socialist, explained how he became a millionaire: “I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can become a millionaire, too.” Can you, really? Let’s look at the economics. As you read this, recognize that it comes from working with dozens of nonfiction authors and reviewing their book … Continued

Your book is not a book

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With a nod to RenĂ© Magritte, the book you write is not a book. Magritte’s painting is actually called La Trahison des images (“The Treachery of images”) and includes the words Ceci n’est pas une pipe (“This is not a pipe”). Because, of course, it’s not a pipe. It’s a painting. But enough about Magritte. … Continued

“Competing authors” is an oxymoron

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Benjamin Dreyer is a copy editor who just wrote a book on English. So is Mary Norris, the “Comma Queen.” So they’re in competition, right? Not even close. Here’s some Twitter repartee between the two: Traditionally, two people in the same space are competitors. But that dynamic doesn’t apply with authors, for several reasons: A … Continued