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How to Conquer Your Fear of Screwing Up the Book You Want to Write, Part I

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When you start to write your book, you will feel some fear. Guaranteed.

We all do. It goes with the writing process.

You worry about adding to the trite prose that already clutters the market, and becoming the victim of searing criticism in the process.

All this worry paralyzes you, rendering you too scared to get started or get past the inevitable writer’s block.

You may even engage in the fruitless task of editing as you write. This is like running on a treadmill. You’re burning energy but not really going anywhere.

We will cover some of the ways to conquer this fear in this series.  (See Part 2 here.)

Before we start. . .

Consider writing a nonfiction book

  • They are easier to write.
  • They are easier to sell.
  • Customers are already looking for the solutions in your nonfiction book.
  • You are already an expert in something that could become a nonfiction book (more on that later.)

Don’t let me discourage you from writing your novel if that’s your passion and goal right now. It’s just that fiction takes most authors longer to create and without established credibility, harder to sell.

Good news: you don’t have to choose. You can write both nonfiction and fiction, as more and more authors are doing.

Now that I’ve pushed you to write nonfiction, let’s talk about the first way to conquer that gripping fear that you’ll screw up your book.

Forget about being original

It’s unlikely that you can write on a topic no one has covered in some way, especially in nonfiction. Even if you did, you have no guarantee that anyone would want to read it.

Instead think about how you can write a new twist on a topic that you and other people are interested in.

The most popular nonfiction topics are

  • dieting/weight loss
  • relationships
  • self-help/personal growth/happiness
  • money/finances
  • dating/sex
  • healthy cooking
  • spiritual/inspiration
  • career/leadership
  • parenting

Find a way to tell us something new or in a different way on one of these topics, and you’ll have the potential to write a bestseller.

Let me give you an example.

A quick search on Amazon indicates that as of the day I’m writing this post the category of dieting/weight loss has 11,487 books, 2,135 Kindle books and over 160 products that are tagged “dieting.”

In spite of this mountain of dieting advice/tips/products, someone is creating another book on dieting right now.  If this upcoming author (maybe you) can tell us a healthy way we can eat what we want, skip exercise and keep our ideal weight, her book will be bestseller overnight.

Put a new twist on favorite topics

When you see new books emerge that give solutions in a new way, you may think, “I could have done that!” You’re right. You could have. You just have to turn your thinking cap at a different angle like these authors did.

  • True stories of inspiration, love and courage are not new. But when Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen compiled stories like these, they enjoyed impressive sales of Chicken Soup for the Soul
  • Advice about parenting and pregnancy has been around for many decades. When my kids were born, Dr. Spock was the go-to parenting expert who turned childrearing advice on its head.When the mother-daughters team of Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff and Sandee Hathaway wrote What to Expect When You’re Expecting, their book gave us a fascinating new guide to pregnancy and created a phenomenal self-publishing success story (since the first one of what became a serious was self-published.)
  • From the beginning of history people have sought answers from God. When a former Oregon radio talk show host Neale Walsch wrote the responses he was hearing, Conversations with God won him a 7-figure advance from Putnam-Berkley.

    Repurpose your own content

    You must not plagiarize anyone, even yourself. But there’s nothing wrong with breathing new life into your already-produced content, especially your blog.

    Before it was a trend, for example, I gathered the posts from my blog, Color Your Life Happy, and wove them together with results of happiness research, ancient wisdom and added activities and cartoons. The result was my book, Color Your Life Happy: Create Success, Abundance and Inner Joy You Deserve available in print and Kindle versions.

    This is a popular approach, and one I recommend in an e-course I created to help you get over your fear of screwing up your book so you can get started.

If you’re ready to conquer your fear of writing your book, I’m ready to hold your hand in my 4-week e-course, Rockin’ My Book. It’s an on-demand course, meaning you start when you register. Because it’s an e-course you complete it at your convenience. What makes it stand out from many e-courses is that you will get feedback from me when complete the suggested tasks.

I’d love to have you learn about Rockin’ My Book here and then tell me what you’ve done to conquer your fear of writing your book (or even blog posts, articles, etc.) in the comments.


An expert, and no book?

A marketing expert stopped by my booth at the California Women’s Conference. I recognized her name and was quite proud to meet her in person. She introduced herself and told me about her unique approach to helping her clients get visibility and move into 7-figure incomes.

I was immediately intrigued and wanted to learn more about her background and approach. Perhaps I would even sign up for her program.

As is my usual practice, when I returned to my office I checked out her website.

Well done.

Next, I dashed over to Amazon to get her book, but I couldn’t find one.

That’s right.

No book.



A marketing expert without a book in her area of expertise?

That diminished her credibility in my mind.

Sure, her work and results could be as amazing as she
described without her having written a book.

Get stated on your book with the e-course,

Rockin’ My Book now.

With the changes in publishing it’s easier than ever
to create a full-length print book or an ebook. That’s why
it’s surprising to find a blogger, coach or entrepreneur who
has not made the time and commitment to write up her
approach, system, best tips, advice or success story.

If this sounds like you, be aware of another sobering fact:
meeting planners, bloggers and radio hosts are less likely
to invite you to interviews and speaking gigs if you don’t
have a published book.

There is good news.

Your book doesn’t have to be a full-length  print version to
earn respect. E-book authors are winning credibility
along with print authors even though ebooks are a lot shorter
and much quicker to create and publish.

Don’t let your credibility be diminished any longer because
you don’t have a book on the market. As a blogger, coach
or entrepreneur you already have content that you share
with your clients and subscribers. Turning what you know
into a print or ebook is the next logical step.

Get stated on your book with the e-course,
Rockin’ My Book now.

More good news.

You don’t have to choose between a print book and an ebook.
Most authors create both.

If you are ready to step up your positioning, credibility and
visibility, let me be your partner in your journey to publishing
your print book or ebook.

Best news of all.

Grab the 4-week e-course and work on it at
your own pace. Get stated on your book with the e-course,
Rockin’ My Book now available now.  In it we will tackle the toughest
part of writing your book: getting started, targeting your reader and
making a workable plan to complete and market your book.

Get stated on your book with the e-course,
Rockin’ My Book now.

I look forward to being your partner to publishing success.


P.S. If your inner critic is telling you that it’s too late to start or finish your book this year, send her to the corner without her dinner. She’s wrong. Join me in Rockin’ My Book and we’ll set her straight together.

How to Make Money from Your Writing

It’s very tempting when you’re excited by a new writing project to believe that surely the world will rush to your door with wealth overflowing. After all, you have a bestseller in the making! You’ll have an urge to put all your hopes on your new project and be tempted to quit your job that is taking time away from your writing.

All successes are preceded by failures, setbacks, twists and turns. So, unless you have prepared for this early period with sufficient savings, keeping your job is strongly advised. I speak from experience.

Back in the 1960’s, one of my brother-in-laws asked me, my two sisters and his sister to sing the demo for a song he had written. We were invited to Motown Studios in Hollywood, CA and were first asked to sing one of their current hits a cappella in front of one of the executives. We were all so excited and sure we were on our way to superstardom!

When we finished, the executive said, as kindly as he could muster, “Keep your day jobs.” I think that was the first time I heard that advice directed at me.

When starting on a new venture, it’s helpful to be able to eat and have a place to sleep while your idea goes through its developmental stages. It’s so much easier to create and survive setbacks when you’re not hungry. Besides, writing your book may turn out to be something you enjoy as a sideline or hobby, but not necessarily as a career and the primary source of your income.

If you decide to self-publish you are committing to shoulder all the publishing costs. That certainly requires ready capital, often provided by a steady job or savings or willingness to use your credit cards.

If your book is accepted by a traditional publisher, you may receive an advance, but you will likely want to eat again before your first royalty check arrives possibly a year or more later.

But what if you don’t have a job or just lost a job and writing a book is part of your plan to support yourself? Then you will have to treat writing your book like a job and speed up getting your manuscript published.

Essentials for Making Money from Your Writing

  1. You may find a sponsor to invest in you, but you will definitely need to create set hours for yourself, and commit to aggressively marketing your book even before it is published.
  2. Many savvy authors publish chapters of their book in a blog or as ebooks on Kindle and other digital stores. Digital versions can begin to bring income fast if you create topic that grabs readers’ interests. Announcing your ebooks availability to your mailing list and social media followers will help speed this up.
  3. You will need to dig deep into learning about writing and marketing your book, mining the Internet for all the free help you can find and investing in the best paid help you can afford. Then you will need to implement what you learn.
  4. You will also need to build a following of people who enjoy the type of writing you are doing and eventually will be willing to pay for it. The Internet has made it easy to find these folks through the groups within Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media sites.
  5. For very little cost you can even make short videos with content about your subject and post them on YouTube or other such sites so you can attract subscribers who will again be interested in buying your book when it’s published.

Social media has opened up so many avenues for writers today that enable you to make money from your writing faster than ever before. Do the writing, do your homework and market your work in places where buying readers will find it, and you are well on your way to becoming a paid writer.

Your Ebook Does Not Have to Suck

Unless you’ve been living in a very remote cave for the last few years, you know that ebooks are extremely popular.
So much so, that in any conversation about books folks seem to line up on the “print-is-dead-pass-my-Kindle” side or
“there’s-n0-book-like-a-print-book” camp.

As a writer you can’t afford to take sides since both versions of books are ideal for you, for different reasons.

The Print Benefits

Beside the obvious more appealing feel of curling up with a paper book, here are some other reasons for writing a print book:

  • Easier to sell after a speech or meeting.
  • Preferred format for those hold-outs from the 20th century
  • Still has more credibility in the mind of meeting organizers

The great thing about being a modern writer is that you don’t have to choose one format over the other. You want to
create  print as well as an ebook version, not to mention audio and other formats.

Ebooks have their share of benefits as well.

The Ebook Benefits

  • Production costs are zero, unless you hire someone to write or edit for you.
  • Greater profits since there are no dead trees or publishers involved
  • Greater profits since you can break a longer book into several ebooks
  • Ebook costs are very affordable giving more readers motivation and access to your ebook
  • E-readers are free as downloads making your book even more appealing since folks don’t have to buy the device in order to enjoy your book.
  • You can make changes to your book even after you’ve published it on e-platforms.

The coolest thing about an ebook is that you can use one as an ethical bribe to get folks to sign up for your list, if you choose.

Before you get started on that ebook, however, I urge you to write one that we would pay for if it were not for the fact that you’re giving it away in exchange for email addresses.

Before I wrote the ebook that I give away on this blog, I was fortunate to discover Michael Martine’s book, “How to Write an Ebook that Doesn’t Suck (and Sell it on Your Blog.” Even though I had written a number of ebooks before, I gained many number of valuable tips that enabled me to turn out an ebook that does not suck. I learned how to turn out an ebook that my readers want and in a short period of time, not to mention create a cool cover.

I know that my ebook doesn’t suck because Michael invites anyone who buys his ebook to send him a copy. I sent him a copy and he assured me that it didn’t suck. After benefitting from his ebook so much I decided to become an affiliate. That means that I’ll get a few coins if you invest in his book.

Michael has blogging since the old days (1990’s) and owns Remarkablogger, a blog devoted to helping you market your business through blogging. Before you write your first or next ebook, download Michael’s book. You’ll get an audio version as well so you can access it whichever way you prefer.

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