6 December, 2018

Ghostwriting for the Novice

By |2023-06-09T11:02:37-07:00December 6, 2018|Resources, 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 […]

9 October, 2018

Make ‘Em Laugh! Humor Is for Everyone

By |2023-06-09T11:03:53-07:00October 9, 2018|Publishing, Resources, 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.


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 September, 2018

Is It Brain Surgery?

By |2023-06-09T11:04:03-07:00September 20, 2018|Publishing, Resources, Writing|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 August, 2018

Make Your Writing Easier to Follow

By |2023-06-09T11:04:14-07:00August 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. &


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 […]

23 July, 2018

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

By |2023-06-09T11:04:35-07:00July 23, 2018|Marketing, Publishing, Resources|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 […]

9 July, 2018

Publish, Baby, Publish!

By |2023-06-09T11:04:58-07:00July 9, 2018|Publishing, Resources, 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 […]

4 October, 2017

Become a Joiner

By |2023-06-09T11:06:17-07:00October 4, 2017|Publishing, Resources|Comments Off on Become a Joiner

Grael Norton, Wheatmark’s Director of Marketing, does a fantastic webinar called “Do This First” which answers the question “What’s the first thing I should do now that I have written my book?” I won’t be a spoiler. You’ll have to watch the webinar (register at to get the answer.

I have some “do this first” advice of my own, which answers the question “What’s the first thing I should do to market my books?”

Should you focus first on traditional publicity, advertising, social media marketing, getting reviews, entering book contests . . .? Based on my experience working with hundreds of successful authors, the simple answer is: Networking. In particular, networking within the community of people who are passionate about your genre or subject. Whatever other marketing you do, you will need members of this community to get your work, and you as an author, discovered by a […]

19 July, 2017

It’s About the Reader

By |2023-06-09T11:06:33-07:00July 19, 2017|Publishing, Resources|Comments Off on It’s About the Reader

When a book that we publish sells well, I always want to understand why, partly so that I can pass that information on to you. One book that’s been selling well lately is Farmer Able: A fable about servant leadership transforming organizations and people from the inside out by Art Barter. The book is an extended parable that teaches the lessons of servant leadership, the form of leadership in which leaders exist to serve the people they lead. It tells the story of a farmer named Able and his transformation from a typical all-about-me power-reliant head of farm and family to a true servant leader. The story is told from the perspective of both the humans and the animals on Able’s farm.  Even the wind, plants, and Earth are characters in the story. The author very effectively uses anthropomorphism and onomatopoeia […]

11 July, 2017

Are you, too, missing this marketing tool?

By |2023-06-09T11:06:42-07:00July 11, 2017|Marketing, Resources|Comments Off on Are you, too, missing this marketing tool?

Almost everyone you meet these days has a smart phone. And while the smart phone is one of the greatest new marketing tools, this phenomenon is contributing to one of the greatest marketing failures people commit every single day.

Let me explain:

Any new person you meet at a business mixer or social event can, technically, just tell you their phone number or email and you can simply enter it into your phone on the spot, right? Or save it in a voice memo.

So who really needs business cards these days?

Additionally, you can just have them enter your contact info into their phones when you meet them, right?

If only that were so easy….

For one, people you meet may not have time to give you their contact information and certainly no time to wait while you stumble around in your phone to open the right app. This happened to me recently and the […]

15 March, 2017

The Power of the Reviewer’s Pen

By |2023-06-09T11:07:51-07:00March 15, 2017|Marketing, Publishing, Resources|Comments Off on The Power of the Reviewer’s Pen

MarthersBookPeriodically I call one of our authors with a better-selling book and chat with them about their book marketing efforts, and what they believe is responsible for their sales success. I had one such conversation recently with Janet Marthers (janetmarthers. com), the lead author of Follow Your Interests to Find the Right College (ISBN: 9781627872621). The book is different from other college guides in that it uses students’ interests, both academic and non-academics, as the primary tool to help them navigate the college selection process, and discover colleges and opportunities that they might otherwise overlook. If you or someone you know is evaluating colleges, I highly recommend that you check out this unique book.

Follow Your Interests to Find the Right College was published in December of 2015. In March 2016 Forbes interviewed Marthers about the book, and she noticed […]


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