Stop Juggling Flaming Chainsaws

 

Writing requires focus. So why is it so hard to do this one thing?


More times than not, in the midst of a book project, one of our clients will need to stop in for a pit stop. They are tired and overwhelmed by everything that needs to be done. They are juggling flaming chainsaws. And typically we are too far out from the release of the book to just say, “Keep pushing - you are almost there!”


We call this moment in the publishing journey “a time for encouragement.” The publishing process is long and arduous. It requires a lot of you. That’s why we try to remind our clients to focus on what you can control.


You don’t get to control the New York Times Bestsellers List.


You don’t get to control changes at your publishing house.


You don’t get to control the size of that other author’s platform (even though you’ve worked twice as hard as they have!).


But you do get to control
and prioritize time to write and edit.


You do...

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The Unofficial Start to Summer Goals

Whether you are ready for it or not, summer is here! That means sunshine, ice cream, and vacation. It also means there’s a new season ahead of you. What are you going to do with this time?


For some authors, summer is a bonus season. With kiddos home from school, and vacation vibes all around, anything they can get done during this time is a bonus. That’s why goals beat intentionality when taking advantage of this or any season of life. 


There is a belief that if you want something badly enough, you will make it happen. You will overcome the obstacles in your way and triumph. Passion makes for great Nike ads and the best kinds of movies. We love a character that digs deep and wants it badly enough. “Alexa, play Eye of the Tiger.” But where does that leave the rest of us when our gas tank is empty? 


Passion can be a lousy friend if you’re waiting for it to help you achieve your writing goals. 


 
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How Far Can Your Book Go?

 

Don't Forget: Your Book will Reach More People than any Speaking Gig, Article, or Facebook Post


“Words have the power to make things happen.” - Frederick Buechner


Most readers know this to be true -- books are soul food to nourish our spirit, to guide us along, equipping, inspiring, challenging us to live bolder, braver, more intentional lives.


But how exactly do you write a book? How do you put words to paper to impact lives?


Whether you are staring at blank pages, a half-finished manuscript, or even a full manuscript collecting digital dust, we believe you can change the world with just one book.

  • Someone’s marriage can be saved because they read your work.
  • Businesses can grow.
  • Families can heal and thrive.
  • Dreams can turn into fresh, exciting realities.


Books are powerful instruments that shape lives.


Your book is a way to reach exponentially more people than any speaking gig, sermon, article, or social media post. Your book is also a way to share your...

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7 Tips for Creating a Press Release for Your Book

The media listens to press releases.

Creating a press release is easy if you know these 7 key parts that will help you garner media attention for your book. The best thing about these tips is that they build on each other, so if you walk through each step, you’ll have a strong press release when you are done. Let’s jump in on tip #1.

Tip #1 - Know Your Audience

The fastest way to get ignored by the media is to not know who your press release is aimed at. Knowing your audience means you’re paying attention to their felt need. Who is going to want to read this book? What about this book’s topic will appeal to them?

Here’s where you’ll feel the tug that makes you want to say, “But my book is for everyone.” While there might be some truth to that, a press release needs to be tailored to a specific audience. Your best chances for success will come with having a well-defined audience in mind when crafting your press release.

Tip #2 -...

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What Every Professional Knows

A book proposal changes how you are viewed. 


On a recent one-on-one coaching call, an aspiring author spent 25 minutes unpacking his book idea. The book idea was smart and entertaining - it had publishing potential...if the author could have 25 minutes to unpack it with each publishing stakeholder. It’s highly unlikely you’ll get that kind of face-time with a literary agent or editor, and even if you did, having a succinct, accessible idea is crucial.  


The reality of today’s attention span demands a book proposal. You have to be able to share your book idea in such a way that it creates the same kind of excitement as if you were having coffee or lunch with an editor. 


What this writer needed was a book proposal. 


A book proposal is the difference between being a professional and showing up looking like an amateur. Amateurs are dependent on earning time with someone, captivating their already divided attention. What the...

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An Email List Changes Everything

Does your platform need help?


Platform is one of the biggest, if not the largest, hurdles you face when trying to publish and sell your book. With limited time and energy, what’s the best thing an author can focus on to grow their platform? In today’s post, we want to introduce you to the highest point of contribution when it comes to platform building. 


Have you ever missed a big announcement from your favorite band? Maybe it was a chance to buy tickets for their upcoming show in your town? Maybe you didn’t even know they were coming to town?


It never feels good to miss out on something you care about.


That’s why collecting email addresses is so important for your platform. That mailing list is what saves your readers from missing out on the next big thing.


Too often, authors focus on growing other parts of their platform when their highest point of contribution is focusing on nurturing and growing their email list.


This blog post is about the...

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Why Comparable Titles Matter

This will be on the final test...for your book. 


It’s easy to list the Hunger Games as a comparable title. Surely there’s a Malcolm Gladwell book orbiting your book idea. Spend a minute reviewing the bestseller list and you’ll find one or two books similar to yours, close enough that you can list them as a comparable title in your book proposal. This is a trap, and it’s the fastest way to get your book proposal ignored. 


Comparable titles are a great way to start the conversation.


There’s a hurdle out there waiting to trip up your book proposal and derail your project. It’s lurking, waiting to come up in conversations. You might even think you’ve checked that box.


Oftentimes when we are in a conversation with a potential author, we’ll ask them about their comparable titles for their book proposal. It’s a test. We want to know if you know what you are doing. How you answer can determine where the next steps in...

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Can Blurbs Help Authors?

Are they of any value or should they go?


Not too long ago, the Wall Street Journal did a piece on pre-publication blurbs. In it, they asked: Are they of any value or mere relics that deserve to go? It’s an interesting debate, one worth considering for every author, but for today’s post, we’re going to be pro-blurbs.


You’ve seen them on the covers of books, declaring a book “Brilliant,” “Classic,” and the frequent, “A must-read.” They are almost as common as the other elements on the cover – title, author’s name…and blurb. What was once considered a highly valued marketing tactic, a blurb can still be a very effective tool for garnering a reader’s attention, in our opinion.


On a recent call with a client, they asked, who should I ask for an endorsement? In publishing, the words “blurb” and “endorsement” are used synonymously. An endorsement can be about the person or the...

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Great Book Ideas Need This

What’s the deal with book proposals?


Recently on a coaching call with a potential author, they told us about how they’ve got a great book idea but the response they were getting was crickets. Have you ever experienced that in your writing journey? It's one of the top frustrations we hear about at Author Coaching.


But what if it’s not what you are saying but how you are saying it?


If you want to give your book idea the best possible chance at success, it needs to be in a proposal.


“If you want your book idea to be taken seriously, you need a book proposal.”


What’s a proposal?


It’s the key to securing a literary agent, a publishing partner, and a future for your book idea.


When a publishing professional gets your email, the difference in getting a response or silence comes down to making your book idea as accessible as possible. You know this because you’ve heard it before: literary agents and editors receive dozens, if not hundreds of...

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Why Pre-Orders Matter (And What You Need to Know About Them)

Have you ever pre-ordered a book?


It’s okay if you haven’t. Most consumers don’t pre-order books. Very few take advantage of the opportunity, even though retailers like Amazon offer the lowest guaranteed price: “Amazon.com's price for not-yet-released items sometimes changes between the time the item is listed for sale and the time it is released and shipped. Whenever you pre-order an item eligible for Pre-order Price Guarantee, the price we charge when we ship it to you will be the lowest price offered by Amazon.com between the time you place your order and the end of the day of the release date.” That’s a pretty great guarantee!!! Unless you are a super fan of books like Harry Potter, you probably weren’t aware of that hidden pre-order perk.


As literary agents and book enthusiasts, we preach the benefits of pre-ordering all the time. You save money and get a book you were already going to buy the day it releases. That’s a win-win!


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