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In the last post, I told you about my realization that a lawn mower is, in fact, worth the investment when you have a large yard full of grass.

Let me give you another example of doing things the hard way--one that's likely a bit more relatable: getting a duvet cover onto a duvet without ending up like this:

You're with me, right? The struggle is real.

I mean, it was, until someone told me to search "duvet burrito" on YouTube. 

I didn't feel like I had the time to watch a video on exactly how to get the duvet in its cozy covering without losing my mind plus another 42 minutes week after week. 

But at some point, we each have to say, "Enough is enough" and accept that if someone can put a wrinkle in time for us that costs us a fraction of the time we've been investing (with less-than-stellar results).

Moving past the duvet debacle (which I'm all too happy to do), communicating with my list of readers and knowing how to help partners who are more than willing to...

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Necessary Book Marketing Tools

Confession: I used to cut the grass in our yard by hand.

When I was six years old, I decided one day that I wanted to cut the grass. Obviously, my parents wouldn't let me operate the lawn mower, but "Who needs a lawn mower?" I thought. "I have scissors!"

Out I went, and the same way a hair stylist pulls a client's hair between her fingers and then cuts straight across, I started cutting the grass.

Please keep in mind that our yard was not small. But still, I thought I was going to cut the entire thing...with a pair of scissors.

*This was the front yard. I suppose I gave zero thought to how I'd replicate the perfect diagonal lawn-mower pattern.

It wasn't more than an hour later when I looked up from the 15-inch by 15-inch square I'd completed, feeling fairly pleased with myself, and noticed just how incredibly far I had to go.

Worse, if I backed up seven feet, I couldn't even tell how much work I'd done over the past hour!

And this is how I learned that lawn mowers are...

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[Ep 041] Coming Back Down the Mountain After a Book Launch

When you launch (or re-launch) your book, you'll feel like you're on top of the tallest mountain, and the view will be absolutely exhilarating. ButI then, you'll have to walk back down. Learning to see the opportunities in the descent is critical to wanting to do it again and again!

In today's Sonnet-Size Tips podcast episode (less than 10 minutes), I talk about:

  • 3:04: What we think launch day is about (versus what it's really about)

  • 5:01: What most people do when coming down the mountain (and what you need to do instead)

  • 6:06: How to look at launch day as an ongoing opportunity

  • 6:56: What primary aspect of a solid launch strategy works best...every single time. 

  • 7:35: The one question every reader has (that you, as an author, must have an answer to!)

If you’re wondering about the exact step-by-step method that creates this kind of momentum for your book—even if it’s been out for quite some time already—the From Manuscript to Market...

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30 Creative Writing Prompts for Memoir or Non-Fiction

We all get stuck (or, dare I say it, "writer's block") from time to time. I see this happen in two primary ways with clients. 

The first is, they'll message me and say, "Elizabeth, I'm supposed to write 2000 words today, and I felt like I did but then when I checked my word count, I was only at 1246. Do I force the rest? What do I do?"

The second message they'll send sounds a bit like, "Elizabeth, I'm sitting here and I'm thinking and I'm sitting here and I'm thinking and...I've got nothing,"

In both cases, I promise, you have something to say. You are overthinking, and worried too much about the quality of what comes out of your mouth (or fingers). At this stage, it's about getting the stories down. The feelings. The perspectives. 

I have NO doubt that you have no problem sharing with me your perspective on just about anything---and usually in far more than 2000 words! 

All you need is for someone to ask you a question in a way that compels you to have to...

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9 Pros and Cons of Self-Publishing

The previous article in this series talked in greater detail about the pros and cons of vanity book publishing---what it is as well as the pros and cons of the approach.

In this article, we'll dive into the final of three main forms of book publishing: self-publishing.

I'm obviously a wee bit biased, given that I've been a self-published author since 2003, but I also consider myself to be an open minded person, and I appreciate that there are pros and cons to nearly anything. Self-publishing is no exception.

Pros of Self-Publishing

Full Control over Publishing Timeline

There's no doubt that having control over the publishing timeline is one of the greatest benefits of self-publishing.

I didn't think it was a secret--but perhaps it is--that with traditional publishing, the amount of time between finding an agent to represent your book and holding a published copy of your book in your hands ranges from 18 to 36 months (and is usually on the longer...

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8 Pros and Cons of Vanity Book Publishing

The previous article in this series talked in greater detail about traditional book publishing---what it is as well as the pros and cons of the approach.

In this article, we'll dive into the second of three main forms of book publishing: vanity publishing. 

If we were going to go deep into the weeds, it's true that vanity publishing can be broken out into a variety of approaches. But for the purposes of this article, we'll keep things simple and state that, at the highest level, vanity publishing is a publishing arrangement whereby the author pays a publishing house to publish their book.

It's also important to note that said publishing house is usually not terribly discerning in terms of which books they are willing to publish. (In other words, if you are willing to pay them, they are willing to publish your book.)

As with all three publishing approaches discussed throughout this series, there are pros and cons to vanity publishing.

Pros of Vanity...

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8 Pros and Cons of Traditional Publishing

So often, I hear authors ask, "How do I get a big publisher interested in my book?" By "big publisher," they mean publishing groups such as Penguin, Harper Collins, and Chronicle Books.  

I love this question because it allows me to dispel some myths when it comes to traditional publishing. It doesn't take long for the author to respond, "Really? I had no idea!"

To be clear, I have nothing against traditional publishing. If the right opportunity came across my own desk, I'd absolutely consider it. But it's critical to know how it all really works in order to make the best decision for you and your book. 

If you haven't read the first article in this series, which gives a high-level explanation of the 3 most popular types of publishing (traditional, vanity, and self-publishing), you can read that article here.

Let's now explore the pros and cons of the traditional publishing approach.

Top Reasons to Publish with a Traditional House (pros)


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[Book Publishing 101] Traditional vs Vanity vs Self-Publishing

Perhaps you're at the beginning of your book writing journey, wondering how to get all 87,367 thoughts out of your head and onto the page. (If that's the case and you'd like to get a strong start in under 50 minutes, check out my newest free training right here.)

Or, maybe you're writing or even in the editing process and you're wondering, "What's next?"

Do you try to get a traditional publisher interested? Do you work with the self-publishing arm of a traditional publisher or employ the services of another vanity publishing house? Do you self-publish? What even are the differences between each approach?

If these are the questions that swirl in your head, this series has you covered. I promise.

In the first part of the Book Publishing 101 series, I'll talk about all 3 publishing approaches at a mile-high level just to help you get clear on what each actually is. From there, we'll explore the pros and cons of each approach in greater detail.

While I self-publish my own books and...

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The #1 Reason People Don't Write (or Stop Writing) Their Book


Is something still holding you back from getting started (or continuing on) with writing your book?

While I can't know exactly what your roadblock is without chatting, because my goal is to do whatever I can to help you GET THAT BOOK WRITTEN, I thought I'd let you in on an impromptu training I recently did for the 33-Day Book Writing Bootcamp course members.

(I tend to put together these ad hoc trainings, especially when I hear that bootcamp members are struggling with a similar challenge).

In this under-15-minute video training, you will discover:

 What unexpected and unpleasant experience will occur when you're in the midst of writing your book (in fact, it may have already)---especially if you're writing about motivation, discipline, spirituality, or personal growth---and how to move right past it with determined grace, like the badass that you are!

 The detour most writers take when this unexpected experience occurs, and the response I give that honors their feelings...

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A Black and White Conversation (Part 3 of 4)

In the third of four segments from my initial Black and White Conversation with Markiss Stone, we dove into some deeper topics.

We discuss:

- Suggestions on the how of changing people's hearts (or at least opening them to a different perspective)

- Suggestions for moving forward through dialogue and action

- How to have the "right" conversations with the "right" people (and when)

- How the emergence of black programming (BET, Blackish, etc.) has affected perspectives


Are you writing a book? Do you want to write a book?

If you're ready to FINALLY get the book written, I invite you take the next step (it's about moving the needle just one click each day) and sign up for my newest FREE masterclass.

You'll discover:

- How to assess whether there is a demand for your book (aka "Will anyone want to read it?") 

- Why the notion that you aren't a writer doesn't matter. At all. 

- How to manage your fears that someone might judge or criticize...

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In Just 50 Minutes, You Will Discover:

  • How to assess whether there is a demand for your book (aka "Will anyone want to read it?") 
  • Why the notion that you aren't a writer doesn't matter. At all. 
  • How to manage fears that someone might judge or criticize your book/story
  • Exactly how to start (or keep going if you're suffering from the dreaded "writer's block")