Think Like a Writer (You Want This Book)

Think-Like-a-WriterMy friend, sometime lyricist, and most excellent editor Tom Bentley has finally released a book on writing.

Think Like a Writer: How to Write the Stories You See is both practical and entertaining. Much like its author, come to think of it.

I’ll let Tom tell you about it:
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Learn to Love Marketing, or Give Your Books Away (or Both)

left, right, or middle?Almost every author I talk to wishes someone else would sell their books for them. The few exceptions are those who, by nature or training, enjoy marketing their books. They’ve learned enough to have a plan and to execute it consistently, persistently.

Even my wife‘s clients, who pay her large sums for social media marketing for their books, engage fully in the process. Those who don’t quickly become frustrated because she isn’t selling their books well enough, not realizing that’s not how it works (despite having that clearly explained at the outset.)

Here’s the good news: if you hate marketing and you don’t want to sell your books, you don’t have to spend another second on marketing.

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Meanwhile, at Dave’s: Self Means Self

a-barcode-not-an-isbnAnother good article at Dave Bricker’s site about what self-publishing really means.

Also the beginnings of a conversation in the comment section about free ISBNs.

After I used up the 10 I bought from Bowker, I started using the free ISBNs CreateSpace offers. I don’t care who the publisher of record is. I care who’s credited with the intellectual property (and the payments.)

Other authors have tried to convince me that owning your ISBNs is the only professional route.

Until now, that’s been the whole argument: it looks more professional. Leaving off the rest of the sentence: to other authors. I don’t sell to authors, I sell to readers. Argument over.

Except, Dave makes some points we’re working through. Interesting points that have me thinking.

Your Character’s Symbol

yellow trashWell-written television has much to teach a novelist. The visual nature of its exposition reaches our brain differently.

It’s how Longmire taught me about assigning your character a symbol. It’s a concept I haven’t fully explored yet, but when it comes to Sheriff Walt Longmire, it’s been a powerful tool.

Walt hates trash. His small town deserves better, so from the first episode it’s a common scene for Walt to stop as he crosses the street to pick up some bit of trash and toss it where it belongs.

At first, it’s just Walt, picking up a gum wrapper.

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Outlining My Feelings On Outlining

outlineA new list member asked about outlining; how to, more than why to (or why not to.)

Below is an enormous excerpt from my cute little book Getting Your Book Out of the Someday Box. While it describes my nonfiction writing process, it’s really an information-gathering-and-sorting process, which, in a way, is what outlining is about.

If this raises more questions than it answers, as I fear it will, ask and ye shall receive.

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I Think I’ll Take the Day Off

pause and reflectMonday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we drove 600 miles.

Each day.

Yesterday, I didn’t even know what day it was.

Today, I’m sitting in Phoenix while it rains.

In Phoenix. In late April.

Back home, we left 70 degree weather. Which turned to a day-long blizzard the next day.

Schedules are good. Habits are good. Plugging along, doing the work — also good.

Sometimes, though, it makes more sense to pause and reflect. Or just pause.

I’ll be back with my usual brilliance next Friday. In the meantime, if there’s something you’d love to see me write about, tell me about it down in the comments.

It’ll give me something to reflect on when I’m done pausing.

Wine into Water?

wine into waterAs writers, I hope you’re getting some of your marketing savvy from The Story of Telling. Not only is Bernadette brilliant, it’s the most writerly marketing description I know.

In her latest post she writes that “the customers you keep are not just choosing you—you are also choosing them. The fact that you make this choice means you get to do your best work and not the watered down version for people who might care some day.”

I co-authored a book with Rick Wilson called Hits or Niches. The diagram below outlines our shared perspective on why marketing should always aim at a niche and never aim at becoming a hit.

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Newsletter Q&A With Mrs. A

Mrs AEvery person who signs up for any of my newsletters gets a personal welcome note. Sometimes they turn into great conversations, like this one with Carrie Aulenbacher about making the most of a newsletter.

Hulloo, Carrie!

As I anxiously await the printed proof of what will likely be my only children’s book (back to the mysteries!) I think about how easy it is to get distracted from the One True Path (I know; ain’t no such thing; work with me here.)

What could I do to help you stay focused or to keep moving? I’d like to write about that.

Welcome aboard.

Interesting you mention the One True Path because the feedback I’ve been getting lately points to my being pulled in a bunch of different directions and not sticking to ONE path.

So, you’ve just met a romance author who is trying to improve her own newsletter, is passionate about marketing, loves being creative, is excited about writing business articles for Fridge Magazine, was just in the Wall Street Journal last month on a non-author related article -and- who is up to her elbows in a day job with a newsletter and marketing of its own!

With a lot of irons in the fire, I want to glean expert knowledge on how to follow so many passions while not making my author newsletter unattractive.

Do I eliminate one of the passions so as to not dilute myself?

Or add another fork in the road? Another lane to my highway?

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Gathering Structural Support

I’m gathering resources to create some kind of structure checklist for my writing and wanted to share 3 useful lists and concepts I’ve encountered the past week.

structural support

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