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6 12, 2018

Ghostwriting for the Novice

By |2018-11-30T14:25:08+00:00December 6, 2018|Writing|Comments Off on Ghostwriting for the Novice

Lori Conser with Wynn Thompson

I’ve dreamed of writing a book since I was a skinny little sixth grader in 1975. That was the year I fell madly in love with reading.

But now, forty-three years later, I still haven’t accomplished that dream.

Over the last fourteen years, I’ve worked at Wheatmark and watched author after author fulfill their dreams of seeing their written words turned into books for publication. It’s been an inspiration.

And I’ve realized that dreams don’t just get handed to you. You have to pursue them and diligently work at them.

So when Wynn Thompson, an elder in my church, told me he was struggling to write his autobiography, I realized that this could be my chance. Wynn has an amazing story, and I’ve always wanted to try my hand at ghostwriting. So I took the plunge and volunteered to ghostwrite it […]

3 12, 2018

You Only Need to Get It Right Once

By |2018-11-30T14:21:43+00:00December 3, 2018|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on You Only Need to Get It Right Once

I’m right in the middle of listening to The Witch Elm by my favorite contemporary mystery novelist, Tana French. So far the book is as good as I would expect, having read all six of French’s previous novels. French’s masterful use of language and deft psychological characterizations make her novels qualify as both literary and genre fiction. That’s one of the reason that I (like so many of her readers) am addicted to her writing, and read each of her novels as soon as it is released.

Out of curiosity about the author, I recently spent some time rooting around the web looking for articles by and about her. One particularly interesting one I ran across was “5 Writing Tips from Tana French,” Publishers Weekly, 2012. (I highly recommend the article to all fiction writers) In it she says that […]

31 10, 2018

‘Tis The Season

By |2018-11-30T14:15:40+00:00October 31, 2018|Writing|Comments Off on ‘Tis The Season

It is common knowledge among my family and friends that I’m in love with this time of year. I don’t know what it is about October, but there is something about this month that makes me feel warm and giddy. It doesn’t matter if the weather doesn’t perfectly cooperate with my seasonal hopes and dreams (although I would much prefer cooler temperatures and rainy days), I still feel enraptured by fall’s embrace.

To me, the beginning of fall means the holiday season is right around the corner. October ushers in seasonal change that brings cooler weather, beautiful decorations, special time with family and friends, and just general congeniality between strangers. Just as the leaves begin to change, so do our priorities and focus. Fall seems to ignite a flame that warms our hearts and minds as we approach Thanksgiving and Christmas.

I am partial […]

9 10, 2018

Make ‘Em Laugh! Humor Is for Everyone

By |2018-10-11T14:16:40+00:00October 9, 2018|Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Make ‘Em Laugh! Humor Is for Everyone

Guest post by Tom Cordell, author of The Bard of Withering Heights

Live, Love, Laugh! That sage advice speaks to the universal appeal of humor writing. People love to laugh, and they admire those who make them laugh. While some writers are naturally funnier than others, there are ways everyone can inject humor into their writing.

WHERE DOES HUMOR COME FROM?

In thinking about what makes people laugh, we can distinguish between humor and comedy. Comedy is anything that makes people laugh quickly – a joke or a pie in the face. Humor is more subtle. It may elicit anything from a smile to a belly laugh, but unlike comedy humor contains an element of truth about human nature. Humor springs from the foibles and eccentricities of everyday people, and it often reveals some quirk or uncomfortable truth that people hate to admit. For example:

“Hardly anybody […]

20 09, 2018

Is It Brain Surgery?

By |2018-09-20T15:33:42+00:00September 20, 2018|News, Publishing, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Is It Brain Surgery?

There’s an anecdote which I’ve heard attributed to a few different famous authors, including Margaret Atwood, though I read somewhere that she says it didn’t originate with her. It goes like this:

A famous writer is at a party. She’s chatting with a brain surgeon. The brain surgeon, upon hearing who she is, gets excited, and says that when he retires he’s going become a writer. The writer quips snidely, “Oh really? When I retire, I’m going to become a brain surgeon.” The author, here, implies that writing should be left to professionals.

Here’s where I think she gets it wrong. Of course there are activities we wouldn’t ever do without years of formal training and professional licensing, like brain surgery, nuclear-reactor design, and fighter jet piloting, because lives depend on our performance. But there are also activities that many of us do as […]

21 08, 2018

Make Your Writing Easier to Follow

By |2018-10-12T09:17:48+00:00August 21, 2018|Publishing, Resources, Writing|Comments Off on Make Your Writing Easier to Follow

Guest post by Barbara McNichol, a nonfiction book editor and creator of WordTrippers Tips, a fun resource for better writing skills. www.BarbaraMcNichol.com & www.WordTrippers.com

 

Whether it’s an email, a marketing message, or a chapter in a book, are you sometimes challenged to make your writing easier for your readers to follow? How can you create a smooth flow that guides them with ease and doesn’t leave the impression it’s tedious to read?

Give these five techniques a try:

Use subheads: When you use subheads throughout your piece, readers can skim your content and quickly discern what’s intended to follow. Even more, subheads indicate a change of subject has occurred. In turn, that subhead allows readers to find the related topic quickly. Your guide: new subject, new subhead.

Convey one idea per paragraph: If you pack a paragraph with more than […]

20 08, 2018

Tell Me a Story, Friend

By |2018-08-20T10:51:05+00:00August 20, 2018|News, Publishing, Uncategorized, Writing|Comments Off on Tell Me a Story, Friend

This Summer I had the pleasure of seeing three people, who in various ways I connect with through book publishing, tell stories from the stage at storytelling events. For years I’ve been a big fan of The Moth storytelling radio hour and similar podcasts, so it was a real delight to hear people I actually know tell stories from the stage.

The first two storytellers I saw at one of the amazing monthly shows put on by Odyssey Storytelling of Tucson. The theme for the show was Different. Terry Filipowicz, my cohort on the Book and Movie Biz Genre of the Book and Author Committee for the Tucson Festival of Books (wow, that’s a mouthful), Vice President at Great Potential Press, and Instructor at Pima Community College, and Ethel Lee-Miller (etheleemiller.com), Wheatmark author, writing editor and coach, public speaking coach, […]

23 07, 2018

Think About Book Marketing: What is Your Annual Book Buying Budget?

By |2018-07-20T16:10:08+00:00July 23, 2018|Marketing, News, Publishing|Comments Off on Think About Book Marketing: What is Your Annual Book Buying Budget?

Writers . . . you know yourselves, and you know the work and play of creating a manuscript. You know your characters, topics, arcs, themes, word counts, and gerunds. You are the ones wondering who your readers will be, and what you want to know is: who will be the buyers of your book?
Here’s a list of potential customers for your book-as-creative-product:

• Libraries
• Corporations that buy in bulk to distribute to employees or clients
• Parents, on behalf of their children
• People who love to read and have space in their homes for a printed book collection
• People who love donating and/or reselling their printed books
• People in the general population, one-by-one
• Friends and family
• Activists who appreciate going to lectures and meeting authors

Now, here are questions to you from the other side of your desk:

What is your annual book budget?

What do you […]

20 07, 2018

Ode to a Peach Tree

By |2018-07-20T16:10:26+00:00July 20, 2018|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Ode to a Peach Tree

There’s nothing quite like the experience of holding your finished book at the end of the publishing process. After writing, waiting for editing, designing, and working through multiple revisions, you’ve got it! Reminds me of a story from my childhood about a peach…

As a kid growing up in Southern California, I looked forward to two things every summer: our annual July trip to Minnesota, and the homegrown peaches that were waiting for us when we returned home in August. Every summer the peach tree that leaned against the fence in my backyard would produce the most juicy, sweet peaches imaginable. My family would get so many of them that my mother spent many hot summer days in the kitchen canning fruit and making jam. I loved that tree.

So when my father decided to try out his tree-trimming skills on my beloved tree […]

9 07, 2018

Publish, Baby, Publish!

By |2018-07-19T12:19:30+00:00July 9, 2018|News, Publishing, Writing|Comments Off on Publish, Baby, Publish!

Billionaire oil magnate J. Paul Getty quipped: “Formula for success: rise early, work hard, strike oil.” He was, of course, highlighting how important luck is as a component of success. This same sentiment can easily apply to writing and publishing a book, “Formula for success: rise early, write well, and get discovered.” If you try to get published by a major New York publisher, you will soon find, that unless you have published with them before, or are a famous movie star or politician, you have little chance. Even if your book is incredibly well-written and interesting, you, as a first-time author have to somehow get discovered by the right person at the publisher. Without some lucky accident, like a personal or professional connection on the inside who can champion your manuscript, it’s very tough. If you decide to self-publish, luck will […]