Audiobook narration tips for authors

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People bought over $2 billion worth of audiobooks in 2019, and the market continues to expand. If you’ve written a nonfiction book, it should be available in an audiobook format. But who should narrate it — you, or a voice actor? If you have an inclination to narrate your own book in audiobook format, I … Continued

9 virtual workshop tips

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After conducting 15 clear writing workshops using videoconferencing tools, I’ve learned a few things about what works and what doesn’t. I originated my workshops for in-person delivery, but for the last year, I’ve been delivering them online exclusively. There has been a surge of demand since I went virtual — I think people are looking … Continued

Kids at home? Here are a few tips from a successful homeschooling family.

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My wife and I homeschooled our two children. One has now graduated Tufts University, magna cum laude, and the other is studying computer science at the University of Massachusetts. They’ve grown into smart, moral, and caring people. Here’s a little of what we learned from schooling them that may help you survive the next few … Continued

Nonfiction writing: It’s narratives all the way down.

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Nonfiction writing is made of stories. All of it. Advice. Logical reasoning. Analysis. It’s all stories. And if you don’t understand what a narrative is, no one will read what you write, and no one will be able to benefit from it. I’m editing a nonfiction manuscript right now in which the parts aren’t written … Continued

Book tips: How many drafts should I write?

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A fellow nonfiction author recently shared that he’d written 18 drafts of his book. That’s probably too many. But how many is the right number? I’ll answer that question, but first, let’s talk about what a draft is. You have a chapter written. You go through and make a change. You save it under a … Continued

Writing, printing, and permanence

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Words make pages, which make books. Behind that simple statement is the rich history of the mechanisms of printing. My personal history is a thread in the the broader history of the methods by which words reach the eyes of the reader — a narrative that came to life for me when I recently visited … Continued

Writing in flow is not a Markov process

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Writers follow the flow. But if you don’t keep track of the destination, the flow will lead you astray. Let me explain, using the mathematical concept of a Markov process. What is a Markov Process? You’re familiar with Markov processes, even if you don’t realize it. A Markov process is one in which the likely … Continued

A generic pitch won’t win a big contract. Here are 5 tips that will.

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I’m affiliated with a ghostwriting agency. The way they work is simple: they send an opportunity to their mailing list every week or two, and anyone on that list can respond. I’ve snagged the opportunity every single time I’ve pitched them, but I recently communicated with a woman who’d failed every single time. Reviewing her … Continued