Tag Archives: books

Self-Publishing: 5 Ideas To Write A Book TODAY

Self-Publishing: 5 Ideas To Write A Book TODAY

You want to write a book. It’s been on your To Do list for a couple of years. What if you could start writing today? You can. Self-publishing makes writing a book simple. Write, and publish.

Worried about how to format and upload your book?

Write a book, and publish it yourself

When I’m chatting with a new writing student and ask him about his biggest challenge in publishing a book, he tells me he doesn’t know how to publish it. My response is: “Did you know that you can simply upload a Word doc to Amazon, and let them do the formatting for you? You’ve created many Word docs. Your book is basically just another Word doc.”

Before you get to upload your book however, you need to write it. Here are some ideas which will get you started — today.

1. What’s on your mind? Find out

Inspiration happens while you’re writing.

Chances are that you’ve had dozens of moments in which you were inspired to write a book about (insert a topic here.) You thought, when reading a newspaper, or listening to a friend, or watching TV — “I could write a book about that.”

Perhaps you made a note.

Then you forgot about it.

Grab a timer, and set it for five minutes.

Write this phrase: I could write a book about…

Then keep writing for five minutes. Stop when the timer sounds.

I’ve given this simple exercise to dozens of students. Many of them did find a topic — or a glimmer of the plot, for the fiction writers — that got them started writing a book.

2. Check Amazon to see what’s selling. What’s popular?

I love Amazon. I spend far too much time (and money) there. I can always kid myself that I’m “researching” while I browse the Amazon book store.

Here’s a fact for you. No matter how old or young you are, or how much education you have, or don’t have, you have experiences and insights which can help others.

Not a nonfiction author? OK — if you’re writing fiction, you have a thousand stories locked in your mind.

Browse Amazon, then do the timer exercise we discussed above.

3. Got a blog? Turn a blog post into a book

I know… I’m always nagging you to blog, right? If you know me at all, I know you’re rolling your eyes because I’m urging blogging onto you again.

Let’s assume you have a blog.

Your blog is your enthusiasms, AND your experiences. Both of which are worth money. So go back to your very first blog post, and read your posts. All of them if you have under 50, if you have several hundred or thousands, check which posts got the most traction. Which of your posts was shared most often?

Any blog can be a goldmine of book ideas.

4. Turn an email message or a Facebook post into a book

In any week, I’ll write dozens of email messages in response to student and reader questions. If you’re a blogger, or answer questions as part of your job, you have a wonderful resource. You know what people want to know.

That’s immensely valuable. I’ve trained myself to go back at the end of the day, to look at all the questions I’ve answered. If I think something is particularly valuable for many people, rather than just one person, I copy the message into Evernote.

Although I’ve never used any of those messages as the seed for a book, I know many bloggers who have. Someone asked them just the right questions about their blog’s topic — weight loss, or online business, stress and burnout, branding — and they used that topic for a book.

5. Use the immense power of magazines: they do the research for you

I’m a big fan of magazines.com. I’ve suggested that website as a source of ideas to my students many times. My theory about why magazine covers are so inspiring is this: they help writers to see their ideas in terms of the audience.

Beginning writers especially find it a real challenge to target an audience. Most beginners write a book, and then go hunting for the audience. That’s exactly backwards. Start with the audience.

At magazines.com, that targeting is done for you. Many thousands of dollars of research goes into every magazine. You can see the results of that research on the cover — the cover is a magazine’s advertisement. It needs to instantly stand out, and be instantly be appealing to their audience.

Kill performance anxiety: just start writing

Every book you’ll ever write has challenges, and most of those challenges are easily overcome. You may never find the “perfect” bestselling topic or genre for you. By perfect, I mean that the book is easy to write — the words flow from your fingertips — and moreover, the book sells thousands of copies.

In around 40 years of writing, I’ve occasionally had a flash of pure inspiration. I got an idea, sat down to write the book, and finished it in a week or two. While pleasant, you can’t count on those flashes.

Choose a book idea, and start writing… today. 🙂

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Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Master Fiction Writing: Craft A Novel in 31 Days

Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 4
Genre: Writing
Tag: writing fiction
You want to write a novel. Perhaps you can't get started. Or maybe you got started, and then you stopped.You need a plan, broken down into easy steps. This program began as a 30-day challenge which I organized for readers in 2010. Hundreds of writers joined the challenge and completed it. They wrote novels. More info →

Book Marketing Secrets For Budget-Conscious Authors

Book Marketing: Advertising Ideas For Budget-Conscious Authors

You’re writing your book. Writing, writing, writing… have you considered that NOW would be a good time to market? Few writers want to think about book marketing at all, ever, let alone when they’re in the middle of writing.

But now’s the perfect time.

Here’s why: when you focus on marketing now, it will help you with your writing. Because:

  • You’ll consider your readers;
  • (If you’re writing fiction) you’ll give thought to entertaining readers (start by entertaining yourself);
  • (If you’re writing nonfiction) you’ll think about how readers can get real value from your book;
  • You’ll be motivated to finish your book.

All good reasons to market. Here’s a bonus reason: you need to book in advance for some of the best promotional venues.

Start marketing your book now

What’s your budget for book marketing? Yes, you’re all about free, and so am I. To give your book its best chance however, you’ll need to open your wallet a little. You don’t need to go wild, and run up a huge bill on AdWords, or even a mini-bill on Facebook.

However, you do need to spend some money.

Matt Manochio’s article will give you some ideas:

BookSends ($15). Reach: 100,000 overall subscribers, 17,000 in the Horror category, although the web operator said those numbers are a little outdated and should be 15% to 20% higher. Results: 125 clicks, 47 sales. Put BookSends on your advertising list right now. I mean it. It cost me $15 and I more than made that back in sales.

Find your own venues — reader blogs, book blogs, and websites

Matt lists some wonderful venues in his article, but scout out your own too. Where do your readers — or prospective readers — hang out online? Ask them on social media. Then book an ad on any venue you choose, in advance, following Matt’s method.

Blog tours are popular with some writers, but they take lots of time. You can save time by advertising on websites. This means that rather than spending a month writing blog posts, you can spend that time writing another book.

Lowering the price while you’re advertising, as Matt does, is a good idea, because it will increase sales. The increased sales will help you to get onto more of Amazon’s lists.

Vital: set up a website with a mailing list

You’re spending money on advertising, and the best way to get a long-lasting return on that advertising is to ensure that you have a way of contacting readers again. When I coach authors, the first thing I do is encourage them to set up a mailing list, if they haven’t already done so. I’ve been using aweber for lists for a decade, but there are many mailing list providers.

Ask others where they’re advertising

Authors will often share the results of their advertising adventures on Writers’ Cafe, and on private forums. Make a list of advertising options to check out, and as we’ve said, book your advertising now, while you’re still writing.

When you know you’re running advertising in three or four months, you won’t dither on completing your book. Similarly, if you have a favorite editor, contact her about your book now, and reserve her time.

Book marketing can be exciting, and fun — so get ready now.

Writing programs to increase your profits, from today — closeouts mean you SAVE

Writing programs to increase your profits, from today -- closeouts mean you SAVE

To meet my goals for 2015, I’m closing out some of our bestselling programs, so that I can focus on coaching and publishing.

This means that you get special offerings on some of our current programs. When they close, they’ll close for good. And yes, you receive coaching with them too. 🙂

, on Twitter: @angee, and find Angela on Pinterest, too.

How to profit from your writing: online store.

Write A Book: Getting Started

Writing A Book? How To Get Started

You want to write a book. How much do you need to know before you start?

A student asked me that question last week. It’s a good question, and the answer is: it depends on both you, and the book.

If you’re ghostwriting a book for someone else, they may have material for you, and their own ideas. On the other hand, if it’s your own project, you may have little beyond a basic idea before you start writing.

Too much preparation — and too little

A book is always a long project, even if you’re writing a short ebook of 10,000 words. You need to avoid over-long preparation, otherwise your book will die long before you give it shape and form. Problems (there are always problems) can seem insurmountable. You give up, when you should simply have started writing. Problems always resolve themselves while you write, because you’re discovering the book as you write.

On the other hand, with too little preparation, you may discover that you’ve wasted weeks of work, because your idea, whether fiction, or nonfiction, isn’t viable.

When I started writing books, many years ago, it was the age of typewriters and agents. You wrote book proposals, which always included a competitive analysis. That trained me to think about how my book might fit into the publishing landscape.

It’s still a good idea to investigate what’s selling before you start writing.

Basic preparation: describe your idea

I keep snippets of ideas in Evernote. Here’s one, for a novel:

“Girl who’s getting married keeps a diary, but it’s soon obvious that there’s something else going on…”

That’s a basic glimmer of an idea. The novel could go in many different directions. I’d need to ask myself some questions:

  • Who’s the girl?
  • Who’s her intended?
  • Why marriage?
  • What’s going on? Will this book be a thriller, a romance, a mystery, or science fiction?
  • Where’s it happening? What time period?
  • … and so on.

I’d write the answers to these questions, and I’d find a story question, or goal, for the story.

Of course, everything I’d write might change, but this would give me a basic grasp of the story, before I started thinking about scenes. I like to imagine the turning points of the story, and the major scenes, before I feel comfortable starting the book.

At this stage, I might have anywhere from 500 to 2,000 words.

Your competition: is there a market for your idea?

While describing the story, I’d get a feel for the genre. So I’d investigate what’s selling in that genre. Amazon’s reader reviews are wonderful; they give you a feel for what readers are looking for, and what they like, as well as what they don’t like.

If I were writing a nonfiction book, at this stage I’d talk to some subject matter experts, and briefly describe my book’s idea to them. I might also visit some online forums which discuss the subject matter, to see what people are talking about. And of course, I’d investigate the top sellers on Amazon, and would read the reviews.

Start writing, before your idea frightens you, or bores you

If you’ve come this far, and your book’s basic idea still intrigues you, start writing. It’s vital that you do this, because enthusiasm for your idea is ephemeral. All too quickly, it can turn into fear. This leads to procrastination, which makes you even more nervous.

Alternatively, you can become bored, which also leads to procrastination, and eventually, you won’t give up on your book, but you’ll forget about it. You’ll write it “next year.”

When in doubt, write — keep your inspiration

You’re a writer, so your default setting always needs to be writing. So if you’re wondering whether you’ve done sufficient preparation, forget that. Just start writing. You’ll do your best work while you’re inspired; write before you lose that.

Hot Plots: Craft Hot-Selling Fiction in 5 Minutes (or less)

How To Write Commercial Fiction With Hot Plots

The big secret of making money from your fiction is writing a lot. And publishing strategically and consistently. Amazon’s Kindle Unlimited program ensures that authors can make money from short stories, and all kinds of fiction. Moreover, whatever you’re publishing, you have a global audience.

You’re about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you’re writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. Discover Hot Plots.

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Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Plot Hot-Selling Fiction The Easy Way

Series: Selling Writer Strategies, Book 3
Genre: Writing
How To Write Novels And Short Stories Readers Love: You're about to discover the easiest, fastest, and most fun plotting method ever. You can use it for all your fiction, whether you're writing short stories, novellas or novels. Take control of your fiction now, and publish more, more easily. More info →
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Update: March 9, 2017