What’s the difference between a writing coach and a ghostwriter?

Prospective clients ask me, “What’s the difference between a writing coach and a ghostwriter?” There are many differences ranging from the amount of time either invests in a writing project, the amount of actual writing done, and the costs for services, to name a few.

Writing coaches work with the client to help develop the book theme, outline, and a content plan. The writing coach helps the client, who is the writer, set and achieve writing goals for a period of time during which the coach is hired. To clarify, the client is the actual writer. The range of services the writing coach offers differs based on each coach... Read More

Can I rework my book into a screenplay?

With so many stories going from book to the big screen, I’m often asked: Can I rework my book into a screenplay? There is nothing wrong with wanting to see your story on the big screen. The prospect is very exciting. But there is a huge difference between the technical format and function of a book versus a screenplay. Each format requires a different set of skills and perspectives.

In books, the author uses words alone to paint the picture. In a movie, the sets, character’s physical appearance, costumes, and lighting, for example, are integral parts of the story, but don’t get written into the screenplay.
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How do I write a book my clients will read?

“How do I write a book my clients will read?” is a question I get when speaking to business people. Some have never written a book and others have written many books. The answer to the question is the same nonetheless. For those who want to write a book and haven’t yet, please let this post be a cautionary tale to learn from.

The burden of reaching clients and keeping them on the hook to read a book falls directly onto the shoulders of the writer. To start with, goals must be wrapped up with clarity about who the reader really is based on factors such as age, gender,... Read More

Should I write my memoir?

“Should I write a memoir?” I believe everyone has a story to tell and most should write their story down whether for self-reflection or publication.

Writing your story has tremendous value, for instance, if it can help make sense of past events. Sometimes laying out a bigger, more complete picture from seemingly random events, or traumas, can allow for clarity to emerge. Or it can provide direction and choices for what comes next.

If you have a story to tell that will heal, inspire, motivate, or teach, that story needs to get written by an expert. And if you lived that story, who is more of... Read More

Do I need to write about the business I’m passionate about?

Since today is about love and passion I thought I’d apply it to book writing by answering the question: Do I need to write about the business I’m passionate about? Like love, which is sometimes mushy, my answer is kind of mushy, too: Yes. No. Maybe so.

Even though my mother tried to teach me never to answer a question with a question, I have to sometimes. For instance, how will you answer any of these questions?

  • If you are passionate about the business you’re in, do you want to share your skills, your processes, your systems with more clients?
  • Do you want to do business... Read More

What’s the difference between a Guidebook and a Tip Book?

Over and over again at events where I speak and with clients I coach, I’m asked, “What’s the difference between a Guidebook and a Tip Book?” It seems the definition of the word “book” was dramatically complicated by technology and marketing. In this post, I discuss the difference between these two types of “books” with regard to the formats, goals, and uses.

Basically, guidebooks and tip books are related family members, like siblings. Therefore, they come from the same roots, but have different personalities.

First, the guidebook is the youngest, smallest of the siblings. Its purpose is to live on a website. A guidebook is not designed to ever get published. The guidebook isn’t... Read More

When do I start marketing my book?

When do I start marketing my book? The unpopular, unexpected, unappreciated, and sometimes unheeded answer is book marketing begins before the first word of the book is written.

The result, if this marketing advice goes unheeded, is a writer invests a lot of time and money into writing and publishing a book that has no clear message, no clear purpose, and no clear aim at a specific client base. This makes the book virtually unmarketable and therefore unsellable. So, if you want to write and publish a sellable book, marketing is key from the beginning.

Marketing is basically the act of letting the right people... Read More

But what if I don’t know all the writing rules?

I always ask people in my workshops: “What keeps you from writing the book you’ve dreamed of writing?”

The number one answer is a variation of: “I don’t know the writing rules.”

Warning: This post may veer a bit from writing tools and into life choices.

Like so many things in life we’re faced with a choice when we have a dream or goal that directly conflicts with a fear or short coming. We must decide which one wins, which one directs our next steps. Meaning, do we give in to the fear or shortcoming and let it... Read More

What are some tips for writing a nonfiction book?

When I’m asked, “What are some tips for writing a nonfiction book?” I narrow it down to the top three foundational pieces, but there are many, many tips based on your: who, what, where, and why? The top three tips, in my opinion:

  1. Determine and fine-tune the book’s theme.
  2. Create a plan that includes content considerations and writing schedules.
  3. And, the often forgotten and most important step: Start writing.

First, choose your book’s theme

This seems like a basic step that needs no explanation, however, I wouldn’t bring it up if that were true. I’ve worked with clients who never gave any or gave very little thought to what the book’s theme or main message... Read More

How long will it take to write my book?

“How long will it take to write my book?” My short answer is: “It takes as long as it takes based on how often you sit down to write and how long you spend writing when you do.” I know that is not the answer the person asking wants to hear as I say it. And honestly, after a while that answer frustrated me, too. I spent the past few days trying to figure out how to quantify a better answer to inspire and motivate writers instead of frustrate them. I think I finally did it!

Let’s think about the time frame for writing a 50,000-word book, which is about 200 pages long.... Read More

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