What Kind Of Book Should I Write?

what kind of book to write

As you are probably well aware of there has been a huge shift in the publishing industry that has made writing and publishing books much more appealing and more accessible for the average person. So that’s why I tend to get a lot of people who write me mention that they are definitely interested in becoming an author but really aren’t very sure about what kind of book they should write.

Believe it or not a lot of these people don’t have any idea what they want to write about (and this may be you), because they have zero clue on what kinds of books they like. The reason? They don’t read. Now obviously I don’t mean that they’ve never read, but I’m talking about the average North American adult who works well over 40 hours a week, has a spouse perhaps, children, and/or pets plus a social life. In other words, I’m talking about people who don’t make time to read which can very easily happen but have always had a dream of writing a book. Sound like you?

You Have To Read

The first step to understanding what you like and don’t like and what kind of book you should write is to READ, and I mean read a lot! Start with a genre you are interested in, read a few books, and then move to another genre and rinse and repeat. This doesn’t have to break the bank either. The best way to dive into different genres without spending tons of money is to download free ebooks.

Don’t worry! A free ebook does not necessarily mean that it is synonymously a “crappy” book. For example, many established authors who are trying to introduce their work to new readers will run a promotion and give away the first book in a series etc. for free.

How To Find & Download Free Ebooks

Amazon – Free Kindle Ebook Collection

Barnes & Noble  – Free Nook Ebooks

Kobo Books – Free Kobo Ebooks

http://www.free-ebooks.net/

Try this post: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/20-best-websites-to-download-free-e-books/

*Update*

Here’s another zero cost way to get to know your genre. I just discovered that my local library allows me to check out ebooks and magazines digitally! How cool is that? I can read Newsweek and a NYT bestseller right on my iPad for free. Sweet! So I highly recommend that you check with your local library and see if those services are available to you. You might be pleasantly surprised.

One More Thing…

Consider this if you’re not totally sold on my whole “read a lot” thing yet.. Perhaps you watch a lot of one genre on television (let’s take crime mysteries like CSI) and you even read a few of the New York Times Bestseller crime novels when they come out , BUT you want to write a book about your life growing up on a farm. Your next step would be to read a LOT of biographies, autobiographies, and memoirs. Be sure to read a lot in the genre that you are interested in so you can recognize what you like and what you don’t like.

Let me know in the comment section when you’ve taken your first step by downloading a new book and what genres are peaking your interest. I look forward to seeing your progress!

 

How Do I Get A PDF Document To Show On My Website?

Frequently Asked Question – PDF Uploads

pdf

One of my favorite clients is planning and promoting a huge workshop and created a digital flier that she wanted to share with her community via her website. She created the flier as a PDF document, because she is also sharing the flier with different online/email groups etc. and needed to pass it around electronically. So here’s the dilemma…

What She Tried

1. She wanted to upload the PDF flier to her WordPress blog so that people could view it immediately when they visited the page.

2. She tried uploading it via her media uploader on her WordPress blog and then pasted the link on a new page on her blog.

The Problem

The web reads PDFs as files so any file with .pdf at the end of the url will be shown as a downloadable link (http://myguide.pdf). People click on the link and they can download your pdf file which is great in many instances where we are sharing information to be downloaded and read – but the client wants people to immediately be able to view the flier. So…

The Solution

There are several workarounds for this issue. The end result we want is a visual representation of the flier. In other words we need to make an image versus a file.

1. Use the software that you used to create the original document and “save as” a .tiff, .png, or .jpg file. All of these are image formats.

2. If you cannot save your document as an image then the next best thing to do is to “take a picture” of your document. This is what I usually do because it’s a super fast solution.

So you would simply open up your pdf file and take a screenshot of it. I use Jing to take all my screenshots. It’s free and easy to use. I also have a screenshot tool which is a browser extension on Chrome, but the problem with some of these tools is that they are only for capturing things you have showing in your web browser and not your entire computer. That’s why I end up mostly using Jing. Whatever you use, most screenshot software is free.

3. Save and name your new image. Upload it to your website using whatever FTP method you use. In WordPress you could simply use the Add Media option. Add the image to a new post or page on your website and presto! Now people can see and read your pdf file without having to download it first.

Note: This obviously works well with one page files because you are creating one image, but if you have more pages you just need to create an image file for each page, repeating the screenshot process for each page, and then inserting each image into your post or page.

What Are Your Book Writing Goals: One Book Or A Book Writing Career?

book writing career

If you’re thinking about writing a book or have written a book already, I’d love for you to read this post over on fiction author Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog, because I thought it brought up a few excellent points that every writer needs to consider.

What are your book writing goals?

Is it a goal for you to simply write a book (which is no easy feat:) to say that you did it? Would that be a major accomplishment for you that you could check off of your bucket list? Or perhaps you would like to write a book that gets published by a mainstream publishing house that you can haul around with you to your speaking engagements?

Or do you want carve out a career writing and publishing books? Perhaps you’ve been trying to write a book or series of books for years. Maybe you make a living at writing in some other capacity and always thought of book writing as a “side hustle” or a “dream deferred”.

Did you even think that it was possible to make a substantial living as a writer even if you don’t have an existing platform to stand on?

Listen– I’m not judging. Whatever kinds of goals you have as a writer and entrepreneur are perfectly fine, but perhaps you haven’t really given it much thought. Honestly this post gave me some food for thought for myself in regards to my own writing. Check it out…

The Business Rusch: A Career Versus Publication

I was a bit stunned at the response to last week’s blog, not because the response was negative—it wasn’t—but because so many of you said that you had no idea that writing was a career choice.

On a gut level, many of you knew that some of us had made careers as writers, but over the years—decades, maybe—the idea that a writer could not just make a living, but spend her life writing without financial support from some other job, had gotten lost.

The fact that so many of you had no idea writers could be in this profession for life while, at the same time, wanting to become professional writers helped me realize something that I hadn’t been able to understand before.

People make different choices when they’re looking at a career as opposed to the choices they make to achieve a single goal.

Read the rest at: http://kriswrites.com/2013/08/28/the-business-rusch-a-career-versus-publication/#sthash.xwYapoFu.dpuf

Are you looking to publish one book or make a career of writing books? Let’s all check in. I’ll go first…I would like a book writing career.

Is Your Book Ready For The World?

If you’ve been following my writing for any significant amount of time, you know that I always preach that you don’t have to be a professional writer in order to be successful when writing and publishing your writing. So don’t obsess over it and don’t let that fear cripple you from getting started. BUT having said all of that…

You also don’t want to write and publish pure crap either (lol!). The goal of your writing is to probably do one or more of these things: motivate, inspire, convert, inform, educate, entertain, challenge and the list could probably go on and on. In order to successfully do any of these things with your writing, people should not be distracted by poor execution and errors.

If you’re a reader and you buy your books from retailers such as Amazon or B&N, you have probably taken a look at some reviews of your book before you purchased. Chances are if you’ve bought a book from an indie publisher (which is what you will be) vs. a big New York publishing house that you may have seen some reviews that said something like this.

copyediting blunders

Not a good look huh? Well there are a lot of these types of reviews online these days, and it really can turn a lot of readers off from buying your book. Especially when there are so many other books to try.

That’s why one thing that I do highly recommend to writers is to have your work copyedited or at least proofread before you submit it as your final piece of work.

It’s very easy to be so inside of your book while you’re working on it that you totally miss errors both small and large and readers notice. Bad reviews lead to poor sales and a bad impression of the “care” that the author took with his/her work. If you weren’t diligent enough to check over your work, why would I ever buy from you again?

I have over 20 years of writing and editing experience and I still have someone else check over my work, because I know for a fact that my eyes start glazing over once I’ve read my draft a million times.

It’s very easy to find someone who can copyedit your work (check things including style, grammar, spelling, punctuation, consistency ) or proofread your book (fix any spelling or punctuation errors, etc.). If you are close to finishing your book and you’re ready for this part of the process, there are a few ways you could find someone. You can check online with freelance sites such as elance.com for reputable copyeditors, or you could look at the credits section of a book and see if they have listed an editor or proofreader and try that person.

After receiving quite a few inquiries over the years about the copyediting process from readers, I have decided to add a few Done-For-You services to my arsenal in regards to copyediting, proofreading, and formatting books for publishing. I love to read, I have always loved to write and edit, and I’m a stickler when it comes to attention to detail. So I look forward to taking on a few new projects this year. Perhaps one of them will be yours? Stay tuned for when I formally roll out each service by making sure you’re subscribed to my list.

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Have you read any books lately that you liked (or maybe you didn’t like) but wish they had been a bit more polished for a better reader experience? Share your story and start the conversation.

Finding The Time To Write

Finding The Time To Write Your First Book Can Be…Challengingclock

One of the biggest obstacles that new writers tell me they face when writing their first book is finding the time in their already hectic schedules to write the darn thing. It’s such a prevalent issue among writers, that it can totally cripple them and zero writing gets done. That’s why I thought it was a topic worth discussing on my blog. So here are my thoughts on this issue.

First Problem – Hearsay Paralysis

One of the problems I see is that writers and aspiring authors often psych themselves out based on what rhetoric (and some truth) on what they’ve heard about writing a book. How many times have you heard somewhere that it took them a year, 3 years, even 10 years to write a book. While this does happen a lot with fiction writing because of the sheer creative process at play, it really doesn’t need to happen with non-fiction writers. Non-fiction is concrete. There are no abstracts. You write the facts about a topic, your experience with the topic, and of course your opinion on the topic, wrap it up in a nice bow and present it to readers. If you KNOW what you are writing about, it should not take you years to finish your first book. That leads me to my second point…

Second Problem – Zero Authority

You may have a lot of great book ideas but it’s important to understand which ones make sense for you to pursue, especially in non-fiction writing. You will be a lot more productive when you write on a topic that you are an authority on versus one that you have no experience with and therefore have to do research around. You will also probably get a lot more sales when you write from a place of authority because most people rather learn from someone who knows through experience versus research. Bottom line – write what you know about.

Third Problem – Life Gets In The Way

The reality is that we all have families, careers, hobbies, emails to return, bills to pay and other things that fill our lives. There is only but so much time in a day and we have to sleep right? This was definitely a big problem for me and it’s one that I continue to battle. I guess on some level I will always be a distraction addict:) So one of the shifts that I had to make was to make writing my books a priority. It could no longer be the thing I got to once I was finished all the other things I had to do. It had to be #1 or at least #2 in my life at some point of EVERY DAY. That’s right. Making writing a part of my day (like brushing my teeth) was the solution for me. It may have only been a paragraph or it may have been 2000+ words but whatever it was – I got something written and that was crucial in getting the writing done. Which leads me to my list of suggestions for finding the time to write your book…

Finding The Time To Write – Real World Solutions

1. Change your mindset about writing a book. There are so set rules to how long it should take especially in today’s publishing climate. Don’t let the fear of how long you THINK it’s going to take dictate how much effort and energy you put into writing. Just do it!

2. Make a comprehensive and ongoing list of problems that you can solve for people based on your own credentials and/or experience. Do not put anything on the list that you know nothing about just because you heard it’s a “hot topic” for a book. You will refer to this list when deciding on what the topic of your next book will be.

3. If you get stuck with the getting your thoughts down on paper or on your laptop, then start getting them out by recording them using a smartphone or mini recorder while you’re on the go. You can transcribe what you’ve spoken later.

4. Wake up earlier or go to bed later. This is one that I use regularly. I use to think that I got more done when there was activity and noise around me (like when I was in high school and college), but I think I was deluding myself or maybe I’m just getting older:) The reality is that I get a lot more clarity in the earlier hours of the day when the kids aren’t up yet or late night when they are all tucked in. My mind is just too busy thinking about “what’s next” to write in the middle of the day sometimes. Plus it’s literally much quieter and I can concentrate on getting my thoughts down in an organized manner.

5. Make writing your book a priority and carve out time during your day dedicated to ONLY writing the book. Close all other computer applications. Certainly avoid email. Turn off ringer on the phone. And most of all – STICK to the time that you dedicate for writing and it will become habit.

6. Identify the biggest time sucker of your day or evening (like television) and use one of the hours you would spend on that activity and dedicate it to writing. For example if you have a favorite television show that is on for an hour every week, you may want to decide to record that show with your DVR or something and use that hour for writing. You can always watch the show later and there’s no rule saying that you have to watch the show the time that it actually airs.

7. Add a dose of accountability. Tell someone in your inner circle that you are writing a book and ask them to hold you accountable by asking you if you’ve written today – and be truthful about it. There’s no race with anyone to finish your book besides yourself. Sometimes having someone tell you at the end of the week that you’ve only written one out of seven days is just what you need to get focused.