How to Write & Publish a Bestselling Book

{The Blog}

How to Write an Incredible Non-Fiction Book

I often work with aspiring authors who think they're writing non-fiction but are really writing memoir (or vice versa).
 
Understanding which you're writing is incredibly important when it comes to how to write an incredible non-fiction book because it informs the way you write (deliver information to the reader), and it will help you re-focus when you have wobbly moments that create self-doubt. These moments often sound like:
 
"I don't know whether to include this story or leave it out."
 
"I don't know how throughly to explain the process I used to get through a challenge (or whether to explain it at all)."
 
"I don't know that I have a true process that I even want to teach anyone; I just want to tell my story and hope that it inspires someone else or reminds them that they can overcome challenges too."
 
To be clear, one genre (non-fiction versus memoir) is not inherently "better" than another, so get those "shoulds" out of your thoughts right now!...
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Writers: How to Erase Self-Doubt

I just started writing my sixth book.
 
It’s fiction (“chick lit” to be exact).
 
Of the 5 books I’ve published, none of them is fiction.
 
Whether you’re writing fiction, non-fiction, or memoir, the process may be different, but the underlying resistance is often the same, and I was intrigued to find myself stalling–in much the same way my clients do.
 
So I sat down yesterday and asked myself:

Who do I have to BE to write this? Who do I have to be in order not to:

 
⛔️ procrastinate due to fear that it will suck
 
⛔️ compare it to other people’s books (and fear it will suck)
 
⛔️ say, “I’ll start next month” (because if I start this month, it’ll suck)
 

The result: I have to BE someone who:

 
✅ Is curious about the unknown
 
✅ Trusts my own voice
 
✅ Seeks guidance from people who are intimately familiar with...
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Not all book-writing roadblocks are easy to clear. 

(But some are easier than others.) 

There's a saying: "Silence can be deafening?"

Now, I happen to love silence (having 5 kids will do that to a person).

But when it comes to writing, silence is NOT golden.

In fact, it's the enemy.

Silence puts me in my head, which isn't always where I need to be...especially when I'm writing from my heart. 

The key for me to access the emotions that both want and need to be on the page is music. 

As much as I love Eminem (and I do), that kind of music doesn't work. 

The lyrics are simply too distracting. 

And if I'm not careful, they stealthily enter my subconscious, and when I ultimately read back what I've written, I'm confused why, "mom's spaghetti" is mentioned when I exactly zero profound memories that involve my mom's spaghetti. 

It occurred to me the other day that perhaps my playlist might help you to get into the zone and unearth the thoughts feelings...

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[Episode 048] The Power of Pivoting with Monica Ortega

If change scares you, this episode is for you!

Monica Ortega grew up afraid of a lot, but she didn't know just how afraid she was until she started traveling. When she realized she wasn't alone in those fears, she thought, "There's a space [in the market] for that." 

In this engaging interview, we discussed:

  • How You Are A Badass by Jen Sincero helped her changed direction and start hosting her show
  • The scariest thing she's done so far while traveling (100 episodes in and 6 years later)
  • Her rule about trying new things (there's a lesson for all of us here).
  • Which of her pivots has been the most challenging
  • Monica's top 2 tips for making connections when traveling or moving
  • The pros of indie publishing when it came to her book, The Power of Pivoting
  • How to identify a "through-line" in a business that seems discombobulated (boy, did this one resonate with me!)

ABOUT MONICA

Monica Ortega is a professional on-camera host, author, speaker, and actress. She...

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[Ep 47] Interview with American Idol Justin Guarini

“Anyone who’s ever made anything — whether that’s impact or a material thing of significance — has failed massive amounts of times.”

-Justin Guarini

 

Justin Guarini became a household name in 2002 as the runner-up in Season 1 of American Idol. From there, he's starred in multiple Broadway shows and, in 2015, began appearing in Diet Dr. Pepper commercials as "Lil' Sweet."

But the road to success has not always been an easy one.

Through the ups, down, and complete direction reversals that the public is often not made aware of, Justin ended up in unexpected territory, fascinated with the ins and outs of what allows entertainers, influencers, and entrepreneurs to be confident in moments when they're feeling anything but.

It's been a journey that led to the creation of his Core Confidence program and his soon-to-be-released book, Unshakeable Confidence.

In this incredible conversation, Justin and I discussed confidence -- that...

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Book Writing Tip #45: Don't Edit As You Write!

"Just edit as you go," they say. "It will keep everything clean and save you tons of time on the back end."

I don't know who "they" are in this scenario, but they're wrong! 

Have you declared (with lukewarm confidence) any of the following?

"As soon as I iron out the details of this chapter, I'll move on to the next."

"I'm just stuck on whether or not this metaphor makes sense."

"I'm trying to decide whether the content in chapter 2 makes sense; then I'll move on."

"Chapter 4 should perhaps be chapter 2 and chapter 3 should perhaps disappear altogether. As soon as I figure that out, I'll continue on."

While your intentions may be the best of the best, if you are editing (or strategizing chapter order, or debating content, or researching proper comma use) as you write, you are doing yourself a disservice. Here's why:

1. In 99.978% of cases, editing as you go (or telling yourself that you are) is a form of procrastination. 

2. In the other .022% of cases, editing as you...

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[EP 46] Interview with Author Cory Goodrich

Cory Goodrich is an actor, songwriter, singer, painter, and (most recently) author. Her memoir, Folksong: A Ballad of Death, Discovery, and DNA launches on January 11, 2021.

In her first appearance on the Authors, Creators, and Visionaries podcast, we discussed the undeniably divine chain of events that led to our meeting, to me having the privilege of editing her manuscript, and ultimately, to Finn-Phyllis Press (my publishing house) acquiring her memoir for publication.

This story is truly an example of the way that the universe works in our favor when we are able to take action and then surrender, be patient, and see what unfolds. If you are even a bit skeptical this principle (and I have been!), I invite you to listen to this episode with an open mind and a curiosity about what might be waiting for you to slow down long enough that it can catch up to you.


  

YOUR STORY IS TOO IMPORTANT NOT TO SHARE!

Despite what you may think, you don't need...

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How Legos Can Help You Write, Publish, and Promote Your Book

I did something somewhat absurd two days ago. I poured 1334 Lego pieces onto the kitchen table. 
 
My son received the Volkswagen Camper, and as his self-appointed Parts Manager, it was my job to organize all of the pieces into groups so that when he called out, "I need a red 1 x 3 tall" I knew just where to find it (not to mention what the heck it is, which took a few hours to learn on its own!).
 
 
It occurred to me (after downing several lattes) that, much like a 1000-piece puzzle, writing, publishing, and promoting a book is very much like putting together an absurdly large and detailed Lego set. 
 
At first, you have no idea where to start. You know you have to get through two 83-page instruction books in total, and so you start at the most obvious place: Book 1, Page 1.
 
WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR BOOK:
 
Just start. Don't think about how long the writing, publishing, or promotion process will be. Just take ONE...
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[EP 45] Interview with Business Strategist Mike Young

Did ANYTHING good happen in 2020?

It's the question that seemingly everyone is asking right now, and I had the unique opportunity to chat with business strategist Mike Young about our unexpected (but greatly appreciated) lessons learned this year.

Among these lessons:

>> What you say to yourself matters - how you describe or qualify your “failures” or missteps is crucial. 

>> When starting a new offer, you’ll always have an imposter-syndrome feeling because you don’t know how it’s all going to play out. The solution: DO NOT over-promise on your offer. 

>> It’s difficult to OVER-communicate with people you are close to.

>> You have to know where you’re going and how you’re going to get there (plus my newest secret weapon in this area)

>> The value of monitoring your energy as you determine what you DO like at any given point in time. 

>> Continue to explore your passion in order to...

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[EP 44] Interview with Frank Lopes, author of The 7-Minute Setup

The 7-Minute Setup by Frank Lopes has truly changed the way that I organize and prioritize my life--professionally and personally.

I've tried more than my fair share of planners and prioritization tools. Most of them work well for a few months (while a few barely made it until end of week). But they were all missing one critical component --- the ability to evolve WITH me as my goals and priorities changed. 

If yearly, monthly, and weekly planning sometimes feels like the bane of your existence (*cautiously raises hand), this approach is absolutely one to consider. 

In this episode of Authors, Creators, and Visionaries, Frank and I dive into:

  • The (until now) missing piece when it comes to a time management system that evolves with you
  • The level of true power and influence you can have over your own life, no matter what else is going on in your world or the world at large
  • The long-term effect of peeling back your 7-year goals in order to be completely clear on what...
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