Of all the book chapters you will write, your introduction is likely to confound you the most. What should go in it? How long should it be? Is anyone even going to read it? Most authors find themselves scratching their heads over questions like these. I hope to answer them here.
A book introduction isn’t strictly necessary in every book, but most non-fiction books will benefit from having one. If you’re going to include one, it’s critical to get it right. Potential readers often skim the introduction to help them decide whether or not to buy a book. An introduction that’s eng... keep reading
Professor Venkat N. Venkatraman has built a 30-year career on helping businesses adapt to technological change. A management professor and department chair at the Boston University Questrom School of Business, he is a top-cited researcher at the crossroads of strategy and information technology and was twice awarded an IBM fellowship for his work focusing on business challenges in the network era. In addition to his academic work, Venkatraman consults with companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Ericsson, Zurich Financial, ... keep reading
Books are one of the most popular Christmas gifts out there–but what do you get the people who are actually writing the books? Show your appreciation for the authors in your life while helping them finish their book with our essential 2016 gift guide–writer’s edition!
This modern typewriter will rid you of distraction while helping you find your flow. The Freewrite auto-uploads to the cloud, carries up to four weeks of battery life, and h... keep reading
If you dread conflict, you’re not alone.
Research suggests that interpersonal conflict is the biggest daily stressor we face. Whether you experience it when buying a car, asking for a raise, haggling on Craigslist, or even deciding who’s going to take out the trash, our lives are steeped in uncomfortable conflicts, and it often feels like the only way to avoid that discomfort is to avoid the conflicts entirely.
But Hal Movius, PhD, knows that conflicts are an unavoidable part of life, and that there is a better wa... keep reading
If you’re writing a how-to or information book, you might not think of your work as “creative writing”. Leave the creativity to the poets, right? You are far too busy with your facts and research to while the day away exploring your artistic side.
On the contrary, it’s essential to always be thinking creatively about your writing. After all, even a serious book should be an entertaining read. Follow these writing prompts designed for non-fiction writers to get your creative juices flowing. Who knows–you might even have a little fun!
<... keep reading
When it comes to conducting research for your book, not all sources are created equal. Freelance editor Shirarose Wilensky offers an easy rule of thumb to steer you toward reputable sources: start with print-based materials such as books, newspapers, journals and magazine articles, then move on to online sources. This is because although some web-based publications have high journalistic standards, many (perhaps most) others simply do not.
Misinformation and unsubstantiated claims are rampant online. Inevitably, you will come across information that has been distorted by the grapevin... keep reading
Research is an essential part of writing almost any nonfiction book. Whether you want to back up an assertion with study findings, illustrate a point, or simply put your ideas in context, you will inevitably find yourself referring to the work of other authors or researchers in your own book.
When it comes to dealing with previously published work, you need to be very careful about how you use it and credit its origins. Whenever you quote another person, living or dead, you must attribute their words to them, along with a mention of where and when the quote first appeared (if it c... keep reading
I was working with an author last week who was struggling to find his way with his manuscript. “When I talk about these ideas, I’m succinct, relaxed, sometimes even funny. But when I sit down to write, the words come out all formal and stiff. Why can’t I be myself in my writing?”
Sure enough, his chapter draft was dry, stuffed with extraneous details, and weighed down by industry jargon. I knew him to be a lively, quick-witted person of passion and deep empat... keep reading
Your book contains some of your best ideas. But do those ideas add up to a streamlined, compelling manuscript… or a pile of disorganized thoughts? When you’re outlining your nonfiction book, it’s easy to get so caught up in the content that you neglect to plan the book’s overarching structure. This can be a real problem because many readers will give up in frustration when faced with a book that forces them to work too hard to understand it.
So how should you structure your book? Of course you could always just move through your material chapter by chapter, begin... keep reading
I don’t believe in writers’ block, any more than I believe in washing-dishes-block, or dealing-with your-taxes-block, or confronting-a-scary-problem-block. I’m not saying that writing will always come easily, or that you won’t sometimes stop and find it hard to start again. Of course you will. What I’m saying is that the reasons for halting your work are perfectly logical, therefore so are their remedies.
When your productivity dries up (and it will), do not deceive yourself that you’re the victim of some kind of creativity flu, or a passive vessel waiting to be filled wi... keep reading