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

How long does it take to write a book? A detailed analysis of author hours.

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“I want to write a book,” you say. “That’s a huge undertaking,” your author friend responds. But how big is “huge?” Here’s a detailed way to think about the time it will take. How to use this planning tool To make your planning more effective, I have created a publicly available spreadsheet showing book tasks … Continued

Social media doesn’t sell books. It lights sparks.

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When it comes to book sales, does a social media following guarantee sales? Of course not. That’s what’s behind the New York Times piece, “Millions of Followers? For Book Sales, ‘It’s Unreliable.’ ,” a naive and oversimplified take on what it takes to sell books. How books sell In the olden days — before COVID … Continued

How important are bookstores to business authors?

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If you’re a business book author, you are probably imagining your book on the shelf in the local Barnes & Noble, independent bookstore, or airport bookstore. But before you pursue that vision, you ought to think it through, because attaining bookstore placement comes with lots of challenges. As context for this discussion, consider two sales … Continued

Why your publisher won’t edit your manuscript — and what to do about it

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I’ve now written or edited more than 25 books published by traditional or hybrid publishers. I know what your publisher is looking for, and what they will and won’t do for you. So it’s time for some straight talk about that. Publishers in 2021 won’t generally edit your book. They are looking for a publishable … Continued

Why is it taking so long to edit your book?

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The duration of your editing process depends far more on you than it does on your editor. I recently told a friend of mine that I was working on editing two 70,000-word books right now. “How long does that take?” she asked. I didn’t have a simple answer, and that got me thinking. I’ve edited … Continued

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