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Top Tips & Resources for Authors

Bonus Freebie: I have a resource for you that will help you prepare to talk with media and audiences. It’s the 10 Questions Every Author Needs to Answer. You can grab the fiction and nonfiction lists here.

One of the questions I’m asked most often is, “How do you know so much about publishing and marketing books?”

Hello – research! Yeah – I love it! It’s the journalist in me. So even before I had thoughts of becoming an author myself, I always was in search of the best resources and I want to share them with you.

Maybe you don’t have a book yet and it’s still a dream. Or you have five and you want to sell more copies. Well lean in…

I’m introducing you to the experts you need to know about and the resources I used when I published my two books, Listful Thinking and Listful Living. They’ve been an invaluable resource for me and I hope you’ll find the same for you.

And there’s plenty of information for nonfiction and fiction authors – I’ve got you covered. I’m in the editing stage of my first fiction book so I understand the pain and glee of getting your work out into the public.

In this episode of Inside Scoop I’m sharing my top tips and resources for authors like you.

Let’s Talk Publishing 101

The book I recommend to authors most frequently is The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry. If you want to publish a book, this is the first book to buy and read then read again.

I also enjoy reading Writer’s Digest Magazine (and will be presenting at their annual conference in August 2023). They are the go-to authority on all things fiction, nonfiction, poetry and getting published.

Recently I took Jessica Brody’s LinkedIn Learning Course, Sell Your Novel to a Major Publisher. She includes valuable downloadable exercise files in addition to the expert knowledge she shares.

The Difference Between a Book Proposal and a Query Letter

Non-fiction books require a book proposal which outlines what the books is about, what other titles out there are similar, how you would promote the book, and includes a few sample chapters of the book.

My friend and colleague Richelle Fredson created the Book Proposal Blueprint, a 10-week program that walks you through the process of writing a great book proposal. When I was a television producer, Richelle was the head of PR and Marketing at Hay House Publishing and we did lots of segments together with her authors. She was in on the conversations about acquiring new authors for the publisher and really knows what sells.

Fiction authors use a query letter to contact agents after you’ve written a novel. Yes, it’s true, your book must be finished (and polished!) before you reach out to agents. This letter needs to grab attention and there’s no better teacher on this subject than Jane Friedman. She’s the the author of The Business of Being a Writer and offers a Query Letter Masterclass (with critique!). I also highly recommend Jane’s newsletter which has so much valuable information in it. Sign up here.

How to Find Your Agent

Your book proposal or query letter is finished and you’re ready to reach out to agents. But how many should you contact? What do you say? Lucinda Halpern of Lucinda Literary has a Get Signed Masterclass to answer all your questions (including some you haven’t yet thought about). For instance, you want to make sure the agent who is excited about your book is actually a good fit to represent you.

Sit Down and Write

At this point remember that nonfiction authors already have their book written. But you fiction authors – this is the time! Write the rest of your book.

One of the best books about writing is Write a Must Read by AJ Harper. She also offers her Top Three Workshop you should check out. AJ was a ghostwriter for many years and understands how to write a book that people want to read.

Another great resource for writing is Suzanne Kingsbury (she’s my fiction book coach!). She offers The Online Gateless Writing Academy, a 10-month program for writers with works in progress to receive feedback on their writing from a small group of fellow writers. It’s writers-helping-writers with the support and guidance from a fantastic developmental editor and book coach. I got so much value out of being a member of this group and I recommend it for anyone who is looking to write a book even if you don’t identify as a writer. Suzanne has a very nourishing and endearing way of getting your best work out of you!

Tell People About Your Book

When it comes to marketing your book, Rob Eager is a must-know resource! His Book Marketing Masterclass is a blueprint for marketing your book and teaches you how to grow your email list to drive sales, write persuasive marketing copy, connect with book influencers and more. And he has three free ebooks available on his website if you want to get a taste of his style before diving into the masterclass. I enrolled in the masterclass with Rob and got so much great information out of it. Some things I never even thought about!

Being Your Book’s Best Advocate

Many times when I talk to authors they say that they’ll do media when their books come out. And I always say, “That’s too late!” The truth of the matter is – you are an expert right now – book or not! Start getting media attention, creating your own videos right now. That will help you get an agent and a publisher too – especially for nonfiction writers.

But how do you do that? That’s where my expertise is – training authors to create videos and speak with media about their books. My popular Media-Ready Author course will teach you to speak about your book and prepare you with tips on what to wear, how to apply your makeup, how to set up your home studio with lighting and a microphone. It’s an investment that will help you look and sound more professional.

Find all my tips and resources in the full episode here and if you’re ready to learn how to speak in soundbites, set up your virtual studio and sell more books, sign up for Media-Ready Author.

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