authors, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Overcoming the last 3 roadblocks that keep writers from finishing their books.

In my previous post, I set forth five common roadblocks that I have seen stand between writers and a finished book. That list included:

  1. Forgetting why you wanted to write the book
  2. Losing the discipline of writing regularly
  3. Losing sight of the day you want to hold your book
  4. Doubt takes over
  5. Unclear what you will do when you are done writing.

I suggested ways to overcome the first two and so in this post, I would like to address the remaining three reasons why some writers never see their books in the hands of readers.

Losing sight of the day you want to hold your book

A third roadblock I often see is writers lose sight of the day they want to hold the first copy of their book.  Putting a date on the calendar and working toward that day is absolutely critical. For some authors it is a real deadline like having books for a speaking engagement. But for others, it is a day they have deemed important. One of my favorite stories is an author who I worked with who actually wanted to give everyone who attended his 50th birthday party a copy of his book…and he did.

So picture the day when you want to hold a copy of your book.  Then create a timeline to get there.  You may need to work with someone to set the key milestones to make your goal, but without a deadline, it is easy to have a project drift for months and even years.

Putting a date on the calendar and working toward that day is absolutely critical.

Doubt takes over

Another roadblock I see is doubt creeps in and paralyzes your keyboard.  This is very, very common.  Authors often wonder if their writing is any good or will anyone else want to read it.  Quite frankly. one of the most frightening things to do is to take something you’ve poured yourself into, hand it to someone else, let them read it and see what they think.  And I don’t care if it’s someone close to you, or a complete stranger, there is always a lingering fear of rejection.

Fortunately, there are a lot of online resources that can help you get feedback and make helpful connections.  One of the best sites is Book Country.  Another great resource is the Author Learning Center. Conferences are also very helpful. I particularly think the Writer’s Digest Conference is quite good for writers at all experience levels. Each of these provides a way to improve your work and help you gain confidence in what you are going to publish.Roadblock 2

Doubt can manifest itself in a lot of different ways.  In some cases it is doubt that your work is any good.  It is doubt that anyone will want to read it.  It is doubt that you can sell any books.  But the reality is you never know what can happen until you get your book into the marketplace.

There is one particular author I worked with who had worked on his manuscript for 10 years. It was a nonfiction history book. It was quite good, but he was really, really unsure about actually getting it published.  Finally, one day I looked at him and said, “Well, you know you can do a second edition,” and so he put that book into the marketplace. Yes he has sold copies, but more importantly, he has received comments from people all over the globe who have had a chance to read his book and enjoy it.

Unclear what you will do when you are done writing.

So that’s four out of the five roadblocks.  The last one is you are unclear what the next step is once you’re done writing.  This is a very common among authors who are so focused on getting their manuscript done that they don’t know exactly how they are going to get published.

I have written a lot about this topic in the white paper, The Four Paths to Publishing. Here is a link for a free download. It lays out your options and guidelines for choosing the right path for your project.

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Author Solutions, authors, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing

Free webinar to help you fulfill your New Year’s publishing resolution!

Register for the free webinar at the Author Learning Center.

Register for the free webinar at the Author Learning Center.

Along with losing weight, start exercising and quit smoking, one of the more common New Year’s resolutions is publish a book.  However, for most first-time authors, that task may seem confusing or unachievable. It does not have to be.

On Tuesday, January 7th at 7:30 pm EST, I want to give you some tips on how you can fulfill your New Year’s publishing resolution and make 2014 the year you become a published author.  Through the Author Learning Center, I will offer a FREE webinar titled, “6 tips on how to get published in 2014″.   Along with presenting helpful hints to get you to your goal, there will be a time for you to ask questions.  While there is no charge for the webinar, registrations are limited, so don’t wait to sign up.  Click on the link below and I look forward to hearing from you next Tuesday.

Register for the free webinar.

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Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, Editing, helpful hints, Publishing, self publishing

Best-selling author Robert Dugoni shares how rejection can actually help you become a better writer.

I have written many times about how much I respect the way the San Francisco Writers Conference runs their event. The sessions are always quite diverse and the keynote addresses are always top-notch. The other thing I really enjoy is meeting and hearing from authors who have been commercially successful. There are some exceptions, but for the most part, I have found these authors to be humble and encouraging to writers.

Take for example this interview with Robert Dugoni. He is the author of a number of best-sellers, including Bodily Harm, Murder One and The Cyanide Canary. He shares how to turn rejection into motivation to be a better writer.

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authors, book selling, helpful hints, self publishing

Bestselling and prolific Goosebumps author, R.L. Stine shares how he comes up with ideas.

At the San Francisco Writer’s conference this past year, R.L. Stine, bestselling author of the Goosebumps series gave an amazing keynote address. He had some great insights for all authors, but the thing I was most interested in was his discussion of how he comes up with ideas.  What I have said for quite some time is that authors have to find their own way and  method for writing. In this interview, which is featured on the Author Learning Center, Stine informs and inspires and affirms the idea that there is no formula for every writer to use. Enjoy.

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agents, Author Solutions, authors, book marketing, book selling, Publishing, self publishing, writing

The Author Learning Center may be the best resource for aspiring authors to learn from experts

You can find just about everything you need to know at the Author Learning Center.

You can find just about everything you need to know at the Author Learning Center.

It hasn’t been around as some of the other resources aspiring authors can turn to to improve their craft and learn the business, but if you haven’t looked at the Author Learning Center, recently,  you should. Quietly, the Author Learning Center has been amassing the most amazing collection of educational information for writers and authors to help navigate the new world of publishing.

Writing, Publishing and Marketing, Oh My!

On this site, you can find a wide variety of authors, agents and professional service providers sharing their insights, opinions, and expertise on writing, publishing and marketing books. Even better, most of this content is available in video, article and podcast formats. Plus, there is a regular schedule of helpful webinars available.

Some of the most popular content includes:

  • How Do You Build a Social Media Platform From Scratch?
  • How Do You Grab A Reader’s Attention?
  • 3 Steps to Make Social Media Sell Your Books
  • What an Agent Really Wants From an Unpublished Author
  • When to Begin Promoting

A Book Launch Tool to Help You Get to Your Goal

ALC Book Launch ToolIn addition to the great content, the Author Learning Center offers a Book Launch Tool and Author Circle tool to help aspiring authors create a plan and accountability on their publishing journey. It is a subscription model and it is managed by Author Solutions, who sponsors this blog, but if you subscribe for the year and eventually publish with an ASI imprint in a year, you will get your money back in a discount on your publishing package.

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Author Solutions, AuthorHouse, authors, book selling, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Publishing, self publishing, writing

5 tips to getting published in 2013

2013 imageThere has never been a better time to be an author so if you have a manuscript you have been working on, 2013 is the year you can get published.  Here are five simple tips to help you make sure you get to your goal.

  1. Pick a date when you want to hold a copy of your book. Writing is a process, but publishing is a goal so you need a deadline. And I have found the authors who are successful in self publishing, set a date when they want to hold a copy of their book. Sounds simple, but it is really important.
  2. Decide when is the best time for you to write and make that your routine.  I have talked to hundreds of authors and the ones who get to the goal have a discipline about their writing. Most have a better time in the day when they write most productively. What is your best time to write? Do you know when it is? Have you marked out that time on your calendar everyday or most everyday.
  3. Make yourself accountable to help you stay on track. No secret here. Most goals are reached because we have others who help us get there. Find someone to provide encouragement as you write. This could be a friend, a relative or maybe a member of a local or online writers’ group. The Author Learning Center has tools and an online Author Circle that can help.

    The ALC has tools and an online Author Circle to help you get to your publishing goal.

    The ALC has tools and an online Author Circle to help you get to your publishing goal.

  4. Select the best publishing path based on your goals, budget and time and talent you have to invest. The Four Paths to Publishing whitepaper can help you understand and evaluate your options. You can download a free copy here.
  5. Plan your book launch event. Just like setting a deadline for holding your book, you want to set a date for a book launch party. Becoming a published author is quite an accomplishment and it is cause for celebration. Be creative. Think about holding it somewhere other an book store. Sell copies of your book and ask those who buy them to go online and write reviews. It will help you build your platform and get word of mouth started.

What are your publishing plans for 2013? Do you have a book you plan to get into the hands of readers this year?  Leave a comment with your plans and let me know when you publish your book. I will use this blog to help announce your accomplishment.

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authors, Ebooks, helpful hints, Indie book publishing, Kindle, self publishing, writing

Booktango: the new free e-book publishing site that makes your book look great and available for sale on every e-reader

In my webinars, titled Seven Secrets of Successful Self-published authors, which I do frequently on the Author Learning Center and Writers Digest.com, I describe the three publishing options for authors today as DIY, assisted and tradtional publishing. DIY is for authors who want to control the formating, pricing and distribution, but don’t need to speak with anyone. Assisted self publishing allows an author to get published, but provides personal support throughout the process. Traditional publishing is as it has always been. You need an agent to get published and usually lots of patience.

Great new free e-book publishing solution with distribution to all devices.

Author Solutions (ASI) has been the clear leader in assisted self-publishing for quite some time, but recently to serve an even greater author base, ASI introduced a new free DIY e-book publishing solution called Booktango. Booktango gives authors some unique advantages no other DIY solution offers.

  1. Free, easy-to-use editor.  Much like WordPress or similar applications, Booktango makes it easy to upload your manuscript, identify the errors that make e-books look bad, fix them quickly and create a killer-looking e-book. Other applications like Smashwords have been described as meat grinders so Booktango is a a welcome addition to the author tool box
  2. Distribution to all the e-readers and distributors. One of the great challenges for DIY authors is getting the right formating and distribution for the variety of readers and distributors out there. You can publish on the Kindle, but that’s all you get. If you want to publish on other distributor’s platforms you have to create a different type of file and track your royalties separately. Booktango does all that for you.
  3. Set your own price. One of the keys to getting traction for e-books is pricing it to be an impulse purchase. With Booktango, that is easy to do.
  4. Best in classs DIY Cover designer (Coming soon). One of the great limitiations right now for authors creating e-books is an easy-to-use applicatioin to create covers. By the end of March, Booktango will have the best in the market.

Right now, Booktango is in beta, but feel free to take it for a test drive and spread the word. It is one more reason why this is the best time in history to be an author.

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