Every author starts out with great intentions and ambitious goals, but they don’t necessarily have good publishing instincts. In countless meetings and consultation sessions with aspiring authors of nonfiction books, I’ve found that there are three key mistakes that most new authors make.
1. They write about what interests them, rather than what interests their audience. Over the course of your career, you’ve acquired a wealth of information, not all of which is useful to your target reader. Your book is not the right forum in which to explore the arcane ... keep reading
Last year, I set an intention to become a stronger, more resilient person. I committed to taking one risk every day for a year—one act of bravery that would challenge me to grow. Out of these 365 actions, the bravest one was my decision to write a book.
I had wanted to write a book for a long time because I felt strong... keep reading
When I sit down to work with a new author, I always ask them about their goals for their book, and invariably I get a version of the same answer: They want to make a difference in people’s lives. Very often, they want to change the way people think, elevate a conversation, and bring new understanding to a vexing problem.
That’s a great mission. We all want to have an impact on the world, and most of us would like that impact to be a positive one. But changing the world through a book begins with changing the mind of one reader, and then the next. Most of us are stubbornly attache... keep reading
You might stumble across them in libraries and coffee shops across the country: a circle of writers surrounding a paper-covered table. Armed with their notebooks and a desire to master the use of language, these writers have committed to their writing groups, and you may want to as well.
At its core, writing groups (or writing circles) are places for you and other writers to come together, share ideas, and get feedback on your work. They might be a peer critique in your living room over a glass of wine, a workshop or class with an instructor, or even a Facebook discussion group with ... keep reading
Nine a.m. on a Sunday morning and I rolled into the conference hall.
I’d had a long week and was looking forward to sitting in back row of some interesting talks that I had no responsibility to develop, edit, or promote, until the caffeine from my large cup of tea kicked in. It was this editor’s day off! Little did I know I was about to discover something unexpected inside myself and to glimpse that spark that draws me to my vocation in the first place.
I set out to attend Limmud, an all-day festival of Jewish learning in down... keep reading
There are four ways to deal with citations, explanations and references: In the text, in footnotes, in numbered endnotes, and in contextual endnotes. Most publishers have a house style and preference for how and when they use each method. It’s useful for you to understand the difference and determine your own preferences, especially if you are self-publishing.
In text: Writing a reference directly into the text itself is the most reader-friendly way to cite your sources. This works best when the reference is simple and easy t... keep reading
As writers, we consider it our duty to sit at our desks every day and put down ideas that we hope will inspire the masses and make a meaningful contribution to society.
Doesn’t mean we have to enjoy it. In fact, writing is very often painful, boring and difficult.
But it doesn’t have to be. By making some adjustments to the way you write–and the way you think about writing–you can produce more in less time and even enjoy doing it. Here are eight writing habits that will transform your work sessions from bitter and barren to the best and most productive par... keep reading
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
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!
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.