Resolution-Proof Your Goals

It’s 2024. You’ve made it!!!


How are you doing on your New Year’s resolutions?


That can feel like a loaded question, especially if you’re not keeping up with them. Resolutions are tough. Most of them leave us with a yes or no proposition. I’m either sticking to my diet or, most likely, I’m not. I’m either hitting the gym or I’m not. But what if instead of focusing on the all-or-nothing that resolutions leave us with, we found a better way?


By now, you’re either still on pace or you’ve given up. Not much wiggle room. Why are we so harsh that we create a pass-fail system to begin each year that we wouldn’t give to our worst enemy?


That’s why we need to create goals that are resolution-proof. Those are the types of goals that stay with us, the sticky ones. When spring gets here, summer starts, or fall begins, you don’t feel ashamed or guilty about those optimistic goals you set way back in December of last...

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New Year, New You

The past year may not have turned out how you planned it to be.  It may have been filled with setbacks,  heartache, and changes in how you live and work.


And yet there’s a lot to be grateful for, too. Perhaps one thing you haven’t considered is how this past year has made you a better writer. You might look down at your creative goals for this year and see more dreams than accomplishments. We’ve stewarded multiple clients through finishing books while they took on new challenges and new duties.


On the publishing journey, you will face setbacks. The writing will struggle to come together as the deadline looms. The proposal you’ve been working on will have to wait while you help fix another issue for someone else. You will enjoy moments of inspiration and celebration, and everything in between. What the past year is trying to teach us is: that things we cannot control are going to happen. How you respond to them is what is going to make the difference...

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TBR Recommendations

What’s a TBR?


TBR is an acronym that stands for to be read. Many people use it to refer to their reading lists. Now is a great time of year to add books to your TBR. Like you, we believe books are magic, and the right book has the power to change your life.


There are a lot of ways to change your life. You could move, get a degree, start a new job, etc. With any life-changing opportunity, there comes a cost. Change can be expensive, both financially and mentally. If you want to know one of the cheapest, quickest ways to change your life in 2024, read a book.


With that said, here are a few books that we highly recommend for life-changing results.

  • Greg McKeown’s Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less is a Yates & Yates favorite. When our clients are trying to prioritize their publishing, their business or ministry, and their personal life, we hand them this book. It has the power to align your life with getting the right things done.
  • When it comes to...
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The Gift of Books

You are what you read.


To be a good writer, you have to be a good reader, too. Behind every writer is a book that played a pivotal part in inspiring you to become a writer. Maybe it was a childhood book or something from grade school that made you want to pursue this passion. Now that you are chasing this dream, it’s time to have an intentional reading list. It’s vital to a writer’s success, and with it being Christmas time, there’s still time to treat yourself.


Here are three book recommendations for helping you become a better writer.


He may not inspire you to become a horror writer or read The Shining, but Stephen King’s On Writing is an essential read for all writers. Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, On Writing shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped King and his work. What makes King’s On Writing so good is the way it blends his story into a book about how to become a better writer. That...

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Need Thicker Skin? Here's How

In a recent inspirational post on Instagram (Follow us @author_coaching), a writer asked us, “I feel like I need thicker skin but also don’t want a hardened heart in the process. Any wisdom on how to do that?" 


That’s a great question. 


No one wants to become some Grinch-like writer living alone with a dog on top of Mt. Crumpet, envious of all the writers out there doing what you wish you were doing. If you’re an introvert that loves dogs, there might be something in that life for you, but for the rest of us - it’s tough to have thick skin. 


If you want to cultivate a thicker skin, the first step is to own the things you can control. You can’t control what that agent is going to say, right? Here’s what you can control: Putting together a well-researched query letter. You’ve done everything you can to give your manuscript the best opportunity possible: you know the agent’s genre of expertise,...

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The Promise Your Book is Making

What’s the biggest thing your book is missing?


Have you ever read a book and when you described it you said, “It didn’t deliver?” That thing it didn’t deliver, that piece that was missing, is the promise. Every book makes its reader a promise. If you don’t deliver on that promise, it’s doomed. That’s why it is so important to define your book’s promise. Let’s unpack how to create a promise so this doesn’t happen to your book. 


The book’s promise is what fulfills your commitment to the reader. 


When we are talking about a book’s promise, here’s what we mean: let’s say you were sitting with one of your readers telling them what your book was about (the premise). And then you say, “I promise that after you finish reading my book you will …”


One of the most critical mistakes a book can make is breaking its promise to the reader. So much of the success of...

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Give Your Book a Hook

Why is my book’s hook so important?


“What’s your book’s hook?” is a crucial question that you are going to need to answer if you hope to entice readers. Your book’s hook makes readers pick it up and check it out. It’s what will set you apart from your competition. So how do you craft a successful hook that does that? Let’s explore sharpening that hook so you can help bring readers to your content faster.


“What’s the hook of the book?”


This is one of the most important questions your book has to answer. You cannot presume that a reader is going to pick up and buy your book just because you tell them to. If you ask your reader a compelling question, you captivate them, and they will sit up and take notice.


You might have heard this term before, but essentially a book hook is a sentence or two that is meant to tease the reader to purchase your book. The hook is the backbone of a good book idea.


Your book hook should be...

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Don’t Leave Home Without One

  Do you have an outline?


If you were going hiking and you asked us, “What’s the one thing I have to have that most people forget?” We would say, “Water.” Of course! You have to have water. But have you ever left on a journey, maybe a vacation or even a hike, and forgot to pack something essential? Maybe it was water. You wouldn’t be the first person to leave a water bottle in the car.


Often on the writing journey, writers leave something essential behind too: an outline.


An outline is an essential part of your writing journey, like water is an essential part of any hike.


You might be surprised that a lot of writers when asked if they have an outline, respond that they don’t. “I know where I’m going,” or the classic response, “I have an idea.”


An idea of where you want to go with your book is great. That’s a start. An outline is like a map of your book. It’ll help you get where you want to...

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Proper Etiquette

Etiquette matters. 


At Yates & Yates, we advise our clients to be the kinds of authors that people working on their book will stay after 5:00 p.m. to work on it. We want you to be a "nights & weekends" author. It’s not because we are some kind of publishing Scrooge. It’s because people will put in extra time and effort on the projects they like versus the ones they don’t. Maybe better put, they’ll go the extra mile for authors they really like.


No one in publishing stays late to work on projects they hate. Why? Because the ones you hate get the minimum, nothing extra. 


So how do you become one of those authors? 


It starts with publishing etiquette. 


When we say “etiquette,” you probably think of your mom scolding you for having your elbows on the table or reminding you to say “please” before she will pass you the peas. You might not have known it then, but your mom knew something about...

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Procrastination is Sneaky

Procrastination doesn’t look like Procrastination. It’s super sneaky. 


Let us give you an example. Sometimes procrastination looks like research: “Once I do a little more research, I’ll be ready to write my book.” Or it looks like conducting an interview: “I can write that next chapter once I schedule an interview with her.” It’s easy for these things to come between you and your writing. You think you need to do a "thing" before you can do the writing. 


The thing is, the writing is the thing. 


You have to make time to write AND do research, conduct interviews, etc. What separates pros from amateurs is their ability to recognize the difference. Schedule time for the writing and then schedule a separate time for the other things. That’s how you keep procrastination from getting between you and your writing. 


If you’re waiting on the right time to write your book, you are wasting...

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