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

Please don’t write a book

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People sometimes come to me with a manuscript of their nonfiction book and ask, “Can you help?” Often, this is the most frustrating conversation I ever have. Please don’t start by writing a book. Start differently. Start first by asking if there is something you know that will change people. It doesn’t have to be … Continued

Is your idea book-worthy? Ask these 11 questions to make sure.

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It’s easy to tell people “I have a book idea.” But before you invest your time in writing, you need to make sure that idea is powerful enough to build a book on. Here are 11 questions to ask yourself before you exert significant effort towards becoming a nonfiction author. If you can’t answer these … Continued

How to balance the 5 key elements of a business book

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Business books are made out of case studies, idea frameworks, proof points, argumentation, and advice. The key is to balance the amount of each element that you include. Here’s a short description of what each piece is, why it’s important to use the right amount, and how to adjust it. If you write business books, … Continued

Newsjacking and other fruitful sources of content marketing ideas

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“What am I going to write about?” That’s the content marketer’s constant challenge. In fact, the number of sources is endless. You just have to have the right mindset. Let’s remember what content marketing is. While there are any number of definitions out there, I think of it very simply: Content marketing is sharing something … Continued

Everything you need to know to write and publish a book

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Disruption in the publishing industry is confusing for authors.¬†Getting published in the traditional way is harder now, but there are a lot more ways to get a book done — and a lot more people who can help you. I’ve collected all my book wisdom into this post, with links to more detail. Potential authors … Continued

The power of three for idea development

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When I work with authors and entrepreneurs on their ideas, one-on-one sessions miss something. So do big brainstorms. The best number is three. One extra person makes a dramatic difference. I’ve done this “idea development” thing about ten times now. (For authors, I call it a “book whisperer” session.) I start with an author, or … Continued