Publishing Essentials

What is print-on-demand publishing?

Aug 06, 2020

Today we have more opportunities than ever to get our work into print, online, and distributed as e-books. And with the help of today’s technology, publishing books has never been more affordable. New categories of printing and publishing companies emerge every day with services to prepare and format manuscripts for reproduction or electronic distribution.

Yet the types of services and terminology can be very confusing—even to publishing professionals. Various skill sets and job descriptions have been consolidated. New technologies may eliminate or combine steps in the publishing process. Inexperienced self-publishers may skip or ignore tasks that seem petty, but that could have a significant effect on the quality of the finished product. All these factors combine to complicate and obscure the publishing process.

The basic definition of self-publishing is the publication of a book by the author of the work without involving an established commercial...

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How to conduct research for your nonfiction book

Jul 21, 2020

If you are a first-time nonfiction writer, you may want to do research to make your book more credible or more persuasive to your specific readers.

Or you may not.

If you’re a writer who knows your topic inside and out, you may not need research. That is perfectly acceptable.

There are only a couple of reasons why you may want to add sources and citations to make your book more compelling or more impactful. In the first instance, additional data or expert opinions can boost an author’s credibility if they are writing a scientific or technical book. Or the second reason to do research: an author might know their industry inside and out, but have just a few knowledge gaps that they need to fill in to strengthen their key points.

Whatever you decide, don’t use research as an excuse for not completing your manuscript. If you need to augment your knowledge base with complementary research, use the following suggestions to build a stronger, more convincing book. Most...

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Hot Checklist for Self-Publishers

Jul 07, 2020

Writing a book is the single most effective tool for business owners, speakers, entrepreneurs, educators and experts to express themselves, to market their businesses, and to share their knowledge. By sharing your special expertise and spreading your message through a book, you enter into a public dialogue with your readers. 

According to UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the United States leads the world in the number of books published per year. UNESCO monitors both the number and type of books published as an index of standard of living and education, and of a country's self-awareness. Since 2007, the number of independent small press and self-published books has grown significantly, and has eclipsed the number of reported new titles released from traditional commercial publishers. This doesn’t mean these books sell more copies or earn more profits, only that more and more books come from these alternative sources.

Of all...

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Powerful drivers to help jump-start your book

Jun 30, 2020

I came of age during the Watergate years, when scores of young people (including me) enrolled in journalism schools, aspiring to become the next Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein. Yet it was the meaning behind the story that motivated me: writing and publishing had the power to change the world…or at least alter the course of events.

This passion to effect change has kept me fully engaged and it’s the reason why I’ve worked in the printing and publishing space for the whole of my career.

The first question I ask my clients is why they want to write a book, so I can better understand their goals and objectives. Most of them talk about their business goals, but there are other, somewhat intangible rewards that may be running the show, just below the surface.

Understanding Your Motivations

The following is a list of some of the business reasons why people say they want to self-publish:

•To share special expertise

•To teach skills to...

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What's it like to be a published author?

May 26, 2020

Ever wonder what it's like to be a published author?

Ever wonder what it would be like to hear from enthusiastic readers who love your book?


If you question why anyone would want to read your book...If you doubt that your book can influence your readers and change lives — think again. An artist who was deeply moved by my first book, Living into Art, Journeys Through Collage, sent me the following heartfelt note: 

“Hi Lindsay, I have been thinking about writing you for some time to tell you how meaningful Living Into Art has been for me.  I purchased it as soon as it came out and read it all the way through as soon as it arrived. 

I own many, an embarassingly huge number, of art books (including about a dozen on collage) and I can say without question that yours has had more impact on me than any other art book I own.  I look through all of them when I get them—and repeatedly from time...

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Want to craft great nonfiction? Here’s how.

May 19, 2020

In a time where anything seems possible, infinite stories are waiting to be told…

As a book coach, I’ve heard some doozies!!!
Who needs fiction when the world we live in is so fascinating?

Creative nonfiction is different from straight journalism because creative nonfiction writers employ techniques used in fiction to create more engaging and memorable stories…while sticking to the facts. When you write nonfiction, you are teaching and showing your readers something. But if you make the writing colorful, vivid, and emotionally compelling, you will deliver an educational and entertaining experience that your readers will be more likely to remember.

Made popular in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s by writers who broke away from straight reportage to create a more imaginative approach, creative nonfiction has sometimes been referred to as “new journalism”. Creative nonfiction employs the skill of a good storyteller and the research and interview...

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Lessons I learned from publishing my first book

May 12, 2020

By the time you become a self-published author, you will have spent valuable time writing your book and will have invested money to get it properly edited and into print or digital formats. Yet, the last leg of the journey is just as important and the reason to publish in the first place: to connect with readers. Just as a business owner creates a marketing plan and budgets for it, authorpreneurs need to do the same. 

It’s liberating to understand that publishing and selling your book is an extension of the creative process. It’s also an important part of building your platform, and the best way to launch your new career as an author.

But here’s the catch: most self-publishers DO NOT make much money selling  their books! So why bother going through the time and effort of writing and publishing a book that doesn’t give you direct returns?

Don’t get me wrong. You’ll make money selling your books, but that’s not where...

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Use these 3 steps to stop procrastinating on writing your book

May 05, 2020

If you are a successful professional, entrepreneur, educator, speaker, or coach looking to raise your profile, build authority, and create new revenue channels, then you probably already know you need to "have a book". 

So I'll spare you the speech. No need to convince you of something that busy, successful professionals have at the top of their to-do lists.

So why does the work of completing your book come last???

Writing and publishing a book isn't really hard or particularly complicated, but there are many steps to creating a book that measures up to the benchmark standards of traditional publishers.

To begin, explore why you want to publish. It’s best to first define why you want to publish your work, so you can set measurable goals. Whatever your motivations, refer to them often, as they will guide you on the road ahead.

Psychologists who study motivation and goal setting have discovered some simple techniques that can double or triple your chances for...

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Do you want to know the secret to writing a killer memoir?

May 04, 2020

Whatever kind of book you want to write, the first steps are always the same: Research, planning, and outlining.

A good outline helps you to structure and organize your work. An outline will focus your thoughts, and cover relevant topics, stories, and thought points so you can avoid straying off course. When you create consistency within your ideas, and smooth transitions from chapter to chapter, you’ll be better able to guide your reader toward the experience and outcomes you want them to have.

Today, I’ll write about outlining a teaching memoir.

A teaching memoir offers your readers specific lessons and experience gained through your own life story. It could be organized chronologically, with different lessons or set of lessons revealed to your reader as you experienced them. Or, it could be organized by theme, where you tell stories from your life around a set of principles, lessons, or cautionary tales.

Every new author has difficulty with what to include in his or...

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Steal this classic outline for your nonfiction book

Apr 22, 2020

A book can mean so many different things to different people. For some, writing and publishing a book can be a dream come true. Others are on a mission to teach and educate their specialty. And some writers want to tell the story of what brought them to their knees—and how they overcame it to survive and thrive.

Yet, new writers often make this mistake: they fail to research their genre and to learn what other books are already out there. You’ll definitely want to know what the leading titles are in your category and a bit about their content. Use Amazon’s “Look Inside” to browse the top titles. And the fastest way to glean insights into any book is to examine the table of contents. 

The TOC represents the structure and organization of all published books and you’ll want to get yours dialed-in before you spend too much time at the keyboard writing pages. Failing to craft a detailed TOC and to outline your book usually leads only to heartache...

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