Monthly Archives: October 2014
I’d say nearly all of the authors I work with have given exactly half a minute’s thought to one of the most critical pieces of their published book: the back jacket copy.
That’s because as an author you get so caught up with creating the MEAT of the book, the content of the book, you tend to let the idea of marketing slip by the wayside. Or worse yet, think that somebody else will do it for you!
And it’s true that many publishing options will give you guidance, and traditional publishing will even write the back jacket copy for you, that never gives you a Get Out of Jail Free card when it comes to not even thinking about all the marketing that goes into publishing and selling a book!
So, just how do you write the back jacket copy? Here are five tips:
1. It’s MARKETING copy!
Nobody cares that you spent 3,000 hours writing the book! They want to know what they’re getting. So you need to tell them what’s in it for them – what transformation are they getting.
Think of it as marketing copy that might appear on your website for your opt-in gift: it touches their pain and promises to solve it. The copy wants to convince the readers to pick up the book, buy it, and READ it. Focus on the benefits!
We’ve all had those writing projects – the ones that seemed so straight forward. And then…
It’s okay when you get overwhelmed in your writing project! It doesn’t mean that you need to give up but it does mean that you might need a different approach! Here are 5 steps to cut through the overwhelm!
1. Determine exactly what is causing your stress
It’s my experience that it’s one of three things:
- Lack of a plan
- Lousy idea
Some deadlines can be moved and some can’t! If you’re writing for somebody else, reach out and share that you’re having challenges and see if there’s any flexibility.
And speaking as somebody who writes for a living: sometimes the deadline is what it is. It only takes one (okay, maybe two) crunch assignments when you KNOW you didn’t give yourself enough time to complete it to your usual standards that you either plan better or negotiate the deadline earlier!
The lack of a plan can be two-fold: the timeline plan or the writing plan, aka, an outline. This isn’t necessarily a quick-fix solution to fix a missing or incomplete plan! But if you’re writing for someone else (client, publisher, partner, etc) reach out for clarification.
I’m pulling this article from the archives! It was really well received last year AND has a lot of great information for you.
Have you heard of NaNoWriMo? It stands for National Novel Writing Month and every November, participants from around the world begin working towards the goal of writing a 50,000-word novel by 11:59 p.m. on November 30. The “rules” state that you can plan, outline, think, and research as much as you want in October, but on November 1, you start a brand-new novel with no words already written.
Writing a book is a great exercise in discipline, refining your thought processes, and creativity. Even if you have no desire to write a novel, November is a great month to do the writing you are interested in. Or the writing that you know you’ve been needing to do for your business but just haven’t had time for.
Here are five steps to get you going:
1. Have a “plan”
You most likely have an idea about what book you want to write for your business. Start there! Unlike a novel which needs characters, plot, setting, mood, theme, etc. the book you need for your business has basic sections that are unique to the information you specialize in.
As you create this plan, jot down all your ideas for chapters, topics, and sub-topics. After you have a page of ideas, you’ll organize them into sections. Don’t think too much! Just get all your ideas down. This will become the “plan” for your book.
(This isn’t an outline! It’s a writing plan. I’ll explain more in step 4.)
And a great resource for you is the Book Idea Workbook.
2. Get it all out
My writing instructors used to call this “writing to silence the critic.” It’s when you just keep writing even if you know that you’re not making sense, contradicting yourself, missing steps, and most importantly, writing like crap!
NaNoWriMo isn’t a slow and steady marathon! It’s a sprint to write an insane amount of words in just thirty days.
I recently got asked to submit a guest article for a blog. My first thought was “Yay! Awesome! Of course!” Then when I actually WROTE it on my To Do list, I realized that just WRITING the article was only part of what I needed to do.
Here are 4 steps when you’ve been asked to submit a guest post:
(This is when SHE is asking YOU – not you pitching an idea!)
1. Review their website and blog
Since you were invited to write, it’s probably a safe bet to say that HER audience is a good fit for you. But you still want to spend some time checking out her website and blog.
- What’s the tone? Is it formal or conversational?
- Is there anything there that doesn’t align with your business or personal vision? Your name will be forever associated with this other person so before you send them your article, be sure there’s nothing there that you’re uncomfortable with or regret.
- How long are the articles?
- Is the target audience beginning or advanced?
- Have there been any guest experts in your field or industry? It’s okay if there are, you just want to make sure you’re saying something different.
2. Make sure you’re crystal clear on the requirements and deadline
Guest posting are only a win-win when BOTH of you are clear! That includes: