You are Ready to Write a Book

This article series offers a set of guidelines for anyone who feels ready to write a book. Do not use these writings as the only source of information when doing your research. Read a lot and read different writer’s opinions to get a well-rounded education on the best way to get your book written. There is no one right way. Every writer is going to have different ideas of the best way to do something. Each editor will have different expectations, as well. Keep those things in mind as you begin your writing journey.

Once you decide to write a book you may want to ask yourself why you want to write. Examining your motive is a very important part of the writing process. Believing that writing a book will take you to a new place, or out of an old place, may not be the right motivation for writing a book. People have romantic ideas about writing and writers.

In the movies the writer locks herself away in a cozy country cottage and hammers away for six months, ending up with a New York Times best seller. This process takes less than two hours. Or there is the young muscular bad-boy who moves in next door for the summer to write a book. After a torrid affair with the mistress of the house and a violent break-up he is flung to the streets to find another place to begin his book again.

Both of these scenarios sound great but they are not very realistic.

Writing a book will not save your business either. If you don’t have a successful business, writing a book will only reinforce that. The time and energy you need to write a book should be put to better use building your business. After your business is a success then you can think about writing a book.

The best reasons for wanting to write a book are:

1, having a passion for your topic

2, having a need to share your passion

3, practical experience

Let’s look at these a little closer.

Passion is not just a part-time pass-time. Passion consumes you. When you feel a passion for something it is always on your mind. You can be at your regular job, but in the back of your mind you can find your passion just waiting for a spare minute to sneak to the forefront. This is what we mean by passion. There is a difference between, “I love ice cream.” And “Ice cream is my world. I know how to make seven different kinds of ice cream. I have invented 36 more flavors than Baskin Robins.” It is obvious that the latter has a passion for ice cream. The former may eat a bowl of ice cream a few times a week, when he’s not on a diet.

Teaching is another reason people write books. They feel so strongly about their passion that they want to share it with the world. They have a message that needs to be told. Sharing their passion with as many people as possible becomes a mission. They have received so much happiness from their passion that they want to share it with everyone else by spreading the word.

Experience is the last of the three main reasons people write books.. Once you have really lived something you can write about it. Know the inside-outs of your subject. If you write after doing a little research and not actually experiencing something yourself, people will feel it. They will know it is not authentic and that you are not an authoritative author.

Now you have an idea of what motivation is all about. You know why someone decides to write a book. It’s not that some people don’t have other reasons. It is just that usually those people don’t finish their book. They start out with good intentions but don’t get past chapter three. Rather than saying, “I’ve always thought I have a book in me.” Try examining your true purpose for wanting to write. Do you feel you have a passion for your topic? Do you have a need to share your passion with the world? Are you experienced in your subject and feel you can offer value to your reader? Then you may actually have a book in you.


How to Hear Your Reviewers and Stay Calm

Now that you have poured your heart and soul into creating your masterpiece and made a thing of beauty from crude letters, it is time to share it with the world. Your book is complete. The meaning of your message is clear in a format that’s fun to read.

Unfortunately, the ones with whom you will share your baby weren’t there through the tears and confusion. They won’t understand the pain and love that went into this creation. They weren’t the ones sitting up nights wondering if they would ever sleep again.

They just want to tell you how to fix it.

When you have an editor, it is their job to build this into a money maker. It is rare that an editor will receive a book and give it a green light immediately. There are several processes by which the editor reviews a book and deems it ready for publication.

The process of having a book reviewed is different for every publishing house. Some will ask for chapters as they are ready, and review them one at a time. Some will read the entire book at its completion and then offer their editorial. Some get the public to review the book as it is being written in a beta-book procedure.

However your book is reviewed, the criticisms may be difficult to accept. There are a few tricks you can use to help ease the process.

Remember that any review is a good review. It means that someone actually read your book and has taken the time to comment on it. Their purpose is in wanting to help you.

Hopefully, your reviewers will be from a variety of readers. You will want members of your target audience to review your book. And maybe even a few experts to be sure your content is correct.

If you get a review that doesn’t make sense and you think the reviewer is just ignorant, this is a sign that you need to really understand the criticism and see where you failed the reader. Go over the part of the book that the reviewer is talking about and see where you mayhave missed the mark.

Did you use a colloquialism that is not universally understood? Is there something that seems obvious to you, but may not be recognized by everyone? Do you need to improve on your introduction? Would a sidebar help? Ask yourself these questions while reviewing the reviewer’s review.

There are some reviewers who come across as though they think themselves superior. They guffaw at the inanities of your blunders. It may be difficult at first to swallow your pride and hear what they’re saying, but if you are able to look past the messenger to the message you may find valuable information there.

Maybe the most annoying of reviewers is the “copy editor” type. They like to point out every little spelling mistake and punctuation error. They also won’t like your formatting. Double check with your publisher about house rules regarding punctuation and formatting. Re-read the proofs to be sure the issues brought out by this informative reviewer were taken care of.

These examples are a little extreme, but they do happen. Most of your reviewers will be somewhat shy of these examples. You will probably find that your reviewers are supportive and helpful. They may rave about your effort and be reluctant to offer any criticism at all. Remember to thank your reviewers for any helpful insight.

Coping with difficult reviewers may be challenging. As you tolerate another pompous know-it-all’s evaluation of your work, be grateful that the issues were brought to your attention now and not after your book went to print.


Valuable Pre-Reading Skills

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Yesterday, I talked about preparing my son to read and I talked about valuable pre-reading skills to integrate into your preparation. Here is a little explanation about what to do with each skill:

Knowing letter names and letter sounds – beginning phonic knowledge

Being able to read his own name– and a few other words

Retelling stories– remembering and saying what happens in a story

Sequencing – putting pictures and events in the right order

Predicting– saying what will happen or might happen next

Picture reading– telling a story from pictures

Matching – spotting what’s the same and also saying what’s different

Sound awareness – hearing sounds, especially at the beginning of words

Rhyme awareness – hearing that certain words rhyme