A Nonfiction Writer’s Audition for Our Agency

Every word in a nonfiction proposal has to be right. The sample chapter has to be as enjoyable to read as it is informative. The proposal has to generate as much excitement as possible
in as few words as possible. But even that may be a small part of the challenge for arousing the interest of agents.

Here is what I email to new nonfiction writers who want to submit a proposal to our agency. I hope it gives you a perspective on what it takes to excite New York publishers about books from new writers:

A book is like an iceberg: Writing is 10%; marketing is 90%. –Chicken Souperman Jack Canfield

Many thanks for writing about your book. Somebody is going to publish it. Out of necessity, our goal is to sell books to New York houses, and they want writers with a platform and a strong promotion plan. So the challenge is to maximize the value of your book before you sell it. Because it’s harder for publishers to launch new authors, publishers want authors who are ready to launch themselves. As agent Rita Rosenkranz says, publishers aren’t buying promise, they’re buying proof. Because we can usually tell from a platform and a plan if we can help a writer, that’s where we like to start.

The plan in your proposal will follow “The Author’s Platform,” a list in descending order of impressiveness of what you have done and are doing, online and off–including numbers when
possible–to give yourself and the subject of your book continuing visibility with potential book buyers. A plan shows how you will use your platform to sell books. Editors won’t believe a plan unless it makes sense based on what the author is already doing.

Your plan starts under the subhead “Promotion” and begins like this: “To promote the book, the author will:…” This is followed by a bulleted list of what you will do, online and off, in
descending order of impressiveness, and when appropriate, how many of them. Begin each part of the list with a verb.

Numbers are very important to publishers. For example, having a blog and writing “Will give talks” won’t help. Publishers will want to know how many people read your blog and how many talks you’ll give and to how many people, which, again, has to be based on what you’re already doing.

If one of your goals is being published by a New York house, you’re welcome to email me just your title followed by your platform and promotion plan, written
as I’ve suggested, in the body of a letter, not as an attachment,
followed by your query letter, whenever they’re ready. Regard your ability to follow these suggestions is a compatability test. Please call me at 415-673-0939, Monday to Thursday, 11 AM-4 PM, California time, if you have questions.

If you haven’t already done so already, please check the helpful information www.larsenpomada.com. My book, How to Write a Book Proposal has more information about promotion and building a platform.

If I can’t help you as an agent now, our site describes how I may be able to help you as a consultant.

Hope we can help.

Mike Larsen

 

If your goal is to be bpublished by a small or midsized house outside of New York, you may not need this ammunition to sell your book, and these publishers buy books directly from writers.  But it’s important for you to find books and authors to use as models for your literary and financial goals. Go for it!

I write the blog to help us both understand what we need to know about writing, publishing, promotion, and agents. I hope you find it worth reading and sharing. Rants, comments, questions, corrections, and ideas for posts greatly appreciated.

The 9th San Francisco Writers Conference / A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community / February 16-20, 2012 / www.sfwriters.org / [email protected] / https://sfwriters.info/blog / @SFWC / www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoWritersConference / 415-673-0939 / 1029 Jones Street / San Francisco, 94109

San Francisco Writers University / Where Writers Meet and You Learn / Laurie McLean, Dean / free classes / www.sfwritersu.com / [email protected] / @SFWritersU

 

 

Collaboration: The 7th C to Becoming a Successful Writer in a Hyper-Connected World

Elizabeth and I just got back from two weeks in France, which gave me the chance to read one of the most important bestsellers of this young century: That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum. It provides a comprehensive perspective on America’s four largest problems and how to update our five-step formula for national greatness so we can play the role only America can and for which the world depends on us.

The World at Your Fingertips

One reason the book is essential for writers is its vision of a hyper-connected world. Two billion people are already on the Web, many using the 4.5 billion cell phones for the planet’s 6.8
billion people. Smartphones explode your potential for connecting, creating, and collaborating. They are already transforming the world. You can get online on the top of Mt. Everest. By the end of the decade, most of the people on the planet will have smartphones that will be even more amazing at delivering all media all the time anywhere.

You are writing for a hyper-connected world. This offers you vast opportunities for reaching a growing worldwide audience in as many forms, media, and countries as you wish. To be a successful writer in a hyper-connected world, you need to be a one-person, multimedia, multinational conglomerate. This requires a large continually growing team of collaborators,
online and off. In Part 4 of my six posts on “The 6 Cs for Becoming a Successful Writer in the Digital Age,” I mentioned collaboration in the section on “Contentpreneuring.” But reading That Used to Be Us made me appreciate how essential collaborating is to every part of the writing and publishing process and why its importance will continue to grow. I think we will see more authors, like Friedman and Mandelbaum, collaborate to take advantage of both their combined craft, creativity, and ability to promote their work, and the growing opportunities to profit from it, but most authors will continue to write their books alone.

9 Ways Collaborate on Your Success

Once you finish your manuscript or proposal, the rest of the process requires collaborating with

  • early readers, a critique group, or a freelance editor
  • an agent, if you use one, on prepping and selling your book
  • an editor on preparing, publishing, and promoting your book
  • the rest of the house on your book’s success
  • your communities of fans, writers, and publishing professionals on building word of mouth and mouse
  • the media to develop effective appearances
  • co-agents to help you sell the subsidiary rights you keep, such as film and foreign rights that create more opportunities for collaboration
  • pros who can help you develop your book for other media such as apps, if you have electronic rights
  • organizations that can offer you speaking engagements

You and your communities will help each other. You can barter for goods and services, partner with professionals, and hire virtual assistants. Be creative and resourceful in choosing the best people and tools to get a job done. Don’t feel overwhelmed by the challenges, just do your best, and you’ll get better at it, and benefit from your efforts.  Collaborating will be a continual learning process, but the Web has opened a world of possibilities, and I hope you will make the most of them.

(A money-back guarantee: If you read That Used to Be Us and feel I wasted your time, I will happily refund what you pay for it. Just send the receipt and tell me where I went wrong.)

[Formatting anomalies not in draft. Suggestions welcome.]

The 9th San Francisco Writers Conference / A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community /February 16-20, 2012 / www.sfwriters.org / [email protected] /415-673-0939 / https://sfwriters.info/blog / @SFWC / http://www.facebook.com/pages/San-Francisco-Writers-Conference/112732798786104 / 1029 Jones St. / San Francisco, CA 94109 / San Francisco Writers University / Where Writers Meet and You Learn / Laurie McLean, Dean / free classes / www.sfwritersu.com / [email protected] / @SFWritersU

 

 

 

7 Steps to Monetize Your Social Networking

Marketing whiz Judy Cullins wrote this outstanding post about making social media pay, and I’m delighted that she’s letting me share it with you.

Most people want to know what do first, second, third, and the rest… These steps are based on my seminars, books, and my own social media successes that include 3 interview joint ventures this month, through which I can

  • reach new audiences
  • create bigger sales for my newly launched affiliate program for more than 15 products and books on writing and marketing
  • vastly increase the number of active members in my groups
  • generate just enough book and coaching sales to make me content

Step One. Revitalize and update your website.

That means add a Word Press blog to it. Three months after I did 2 or more blog posts, my website’s ranking soared in Google and in Alexa.com (lower scores are
better). It means optimizing your site frequently, each 3-6 months, with new long tail key words. It means creating a short sales letter for every book or
service you want to market.

Step Two. Make a social media marketing plan.

It should include your money goals, your strategies, your promotion actions, and yes, a schedule to make it all come true.

Step Three. Know where to start. Twitter, FB or LinkedIn?

I’m glad I made most of my mistakes early on in Twitter, such as wasting time and money to get a lot of followers. No more. The better way is not collect followers, fans, or contacts. If you are starting out, join Twitter. Then follow only those professionals who can give you solid marketing information. Forget the masses who may not even want your information. Develop a
relationship with the ones who have gone before you.

Step Four. Join Facebook and get your message out.

Two ways: Write a Welcome page sharing what you can give your fans. Include a short back story to brand yourself, your business and your books.  Include your
most popular books with links to your site where you sell them. I’m updating mine this week! Create a fan page where you can share your blog URLs and
interact with your fans. The names change, but this is the page where you shine. Add new graphics–a book cover, your website, or your own group at
LinkedIn or Face book or Twitter. Put Judy Cullins into the search bars on any of these places to see this marketing in action.

Step Five. Join Linkedin and see your book and service sales increase 5-fold.

Most people join, put up a bare bones profile, then stagnate because they don’t know what or how to do it.  Establish a name for yourself by joining appropriate groups–the ones you can network in and the ones in your non-fiction niche or fiction genre. Read eBooks on LinkedIn Marketing or Monetizing your LinkedIn Profile. Take a seminar to figure how to get more
visibility, credibility, and trust from your target audience.

Step Six. Integrate all of your social media to serve you best.

When I added my Word Press blog to my business website, in three months, my targeted monthly traffic went from 2000 to over 4500 a month to my site. These numbers keep going up. My audience comes mostly from LinkedIn, actually LinkedIn is my 2nd source of traffic behind my website URL because I’m consistent and follow my plan with scheduled writing days alternated with commenting days. My time investment? About an hour a day, since I found out how well this method works.

Step Seven. Stay consistent and give regular tips in the group discussions where you can.

Ask a “stupid” question too to get interactions. Add new groups to network in. And drop those with small numbers or who aren’t active. Why waste a minute on the unlikely audiences who aren’t into your work, your information or your personality? Establish yourself as a thought leader.

Form your own LinkedIn group. Spread your ideas. When you build a successful community, your members of the community itself will do the work required to grow the site, generate content and expand your business further. For example, my writing and marketing group grew from 50 2 years ago to more than 2400 as of July 2011. How did that happen? I followed these steps, have a knack for seeing opportunities online, and I know how to write powerful promotion copy.  These insights, strategies, and actions are what I show
my coaching clients in a 30-minute strategy phone session with my “Walk About” for each social media venue.

For more information about Judy’s resources, see http://www.bookcoaching.com/judy-cullins-products.php

===============

Book Coach Judy Cullins helps you transform your book idea into a helpful, entertaining, and engaging book. Now you can get far more visibility and credibility for your business. Author of 13 business books include “How to Write your eBook or Other Short Book-Fast!,” and “LinkedIn Marketing: 8 Best Tactics to Build Book and Business Sales.”

Get fresh, useful free weekly publications on book writing, self publishing, and online marketing at http://www.bookcoaching.com/help-writing-a-book.php
===============

[email protected]
619/466-0622

 

The goal of the blog is to help us both understand what we need to know about writing, publishing, promotion, and agents. I hope you find it worth reading and sharing.

Rants, comments, questions, and corrections greatly appreciated.

The 9th San Francisco Writers Conference / A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community / February 16-20, 2012 / www.sfwriters.org / [email protected] / https://sfwriters.info/blog / @SFWC / www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoWritersConference / 415-673-0939 / 1029 Jones Street / San Francisco, 94109 / San Francisco Writers University / Where Writers Meet and You Learn / Laurie McLean, Dean / free classes / www.sfwritersu.com / [email protected] / @SFWritersU

[Please excuse the formatting anomalies which are not in the draft.]

 

From Content to Contentpreneuring: 6 Cs for Becoming a Successful Writer in the Digital Age—Part 3

The third of the six words in the new model for becoming a successful writer is communication.

3. Communication

Communities

There’s a New Yorker cartoon showing two disreputable guys sitting a bar talking, and one is saying: “I tried victimless crime, but I’m a people person.” If you want to be a successful author, you have to be a people person.

Writing is a solitary profession, but it’s the only part of the process you must do alone. Create communities of fans, writers, mentors, and other professionals to help you with your writing, promotion, technology, reviews, and cover quotes. Reciprocate as well as you can. Relationships are media. The more people you know, the farther you’ll go.

Platform

You have to have a platform, which is your continuing visibility with book buyers and  your communities, online and off, on your subject or the kind of novel you’re writing. Test-marketing your book enables you to build a platform and an ever-growing legion of fans who will buy whatever you create.

Test-Marketing

Publishers test-market their books with the first printing. But there are more ways to test-market your book than ever: a blog, other social media, podcasting, video, media interviews, articles, print-on-demand books, and speaking. Test-marketing your book in as many ways as you can enables you to

  • prove it works
  • get testimonials you can use to sell and promote your work
  • maximize the value of your book before you sell it, which for most  nonfiction, is the only way to get the best editor, publisher, and deal for it

Promotion

Two cannibals are having dinner and one says to the other: “You know, I don’t like your publisher.”

“OK,” the other cannibal says, “then just eat the noodles.”

The most common reason authors become disenchanted with their publishers is lack of promotion. If you’re writing a promotion-driven nonfiction book, the promotion plan you include in your proposal will determine the editor, publisher, and deal for your book. If editors have to choose between two publishable novels, and one includes a promotion plan, that writer has an edge. A plan is a list, in descending order of impressiveness, of the things you will do to promote your book, and when possible, how many of them. Exaggerate nothing, but submit the strongest plan you can.

Chicken Souperman Jack Canfield says: “A book is like an iceberg: writing is 10%, marketing is 90%. If this is true for the kind of book you’re writing, you will need to spend nine times more effort building your platform and promoting your book than you do writing it.

There are more ways than ever for you to promote books for free. Good books fail all the time. Promotion makes the difference. Editors also take the platforms and  promotion plans of novelists into consideration when acquiring.

Next: the fourth word in the model: contentpreneuring.

The goal of the blog  is to help you understand what you need to know about writing, publishing, promotion, and agents. Rants, comments, and questions most appreciated.

The 9th San Francisco Writers Conference / A Celebration of Craft, Commerce & Community / February 16-20, 2012 / www.sfwriters.org / [email protected] / https://sfwriters.info/blog / @SFWC / 1029 Jones Street / San Francisco, 94109 /  www.facebook.com/SanFranciscoWritersConference / 415-673-0939 / San Francisco Writers University / Where Writers Meet and You Learn / Laurie McLean, Dean / free classes / www.sfwritersu.com / [email protected] / @SFWritersU

 

 

 

9 Ways to Market Your Book With No Money

Many thanks to Joel Friedlander, book designer, author, and self-publishing guru, for allowing me to share his valuable advice about promotion with you. Although Joel is addressing independent publishers, his wisdom is equally helpful to all authors.
 
Recently the good folks at BookBuzzr.com, a company with innovative book marketing programs, asked me to do an interview for them, and of course I agreed. This article is adapted and expanded from part of that interview.

If you are an author with a minuscule marketing budget, how can you ensure that your book is noticed at the time of the book launch?

This is a terrific question, and one that applies to many authors. With the tools so readily available, it’s tempting to simply push books out there, upload them to Kindle and wait for the orders to come in.

But it rarely works out that way. Inevitably authors come to understand that nobody is going to market their book for them. It takes a kind of dedication to continue to find ways to let people know about your book. You can get off to a good start with a book launch.

Book Launches for Fun and Profit

Book launch is an exciting, terrifying and exhausting time for self-publishers. As an author you might have thought your work was done when the manuscript was finished, but the publisher knows the hard work is only starting.

Self-publishers are in a good position to market their books, regardless of the budget involved. You know your book better than anyone. You also know the people who are likely buyers of the book, and what other books deal with the same subject.

As you consider your book launch, think about two things:

  • Who are the people who will benefit most from your book?
  • How can you communicate those benefits most effectively to those people?

9 Ways to Market Your Book For No Money

If you know who the people are, you just need to figure out how to communicate. Hey, you’re an author, a content creator. This won’t be that hard.

Not only that, many of the best communication methods we have cost nothing but your time. Here are some examples:

  1. Writing articles for publication on article sites or in offline media
  2. Participating in discussions in online forums about your book’s subject
  3. Communicating with the media by issuing regular media releases
  4. Curating content from other sources for people in your niche
  5. Creating content for publication by bloggers in your field
  6. Going on a blog tour and visiting blogs in your niche
  7. Sponsoring contests and giveaways, using your book as a prize
  8. Querying book bloggers and reviewers to see if they will review your book
  9. Setting up a mailing list for people interested in your work, and using it to communicate ideas that expand on your other communications

This list could go on. Although there’s no financial cost to these activities, each one will support your image as an expert in your field and put you in contact with networks of people interested in your subject. And each place you make a contribution is somewhere else people can find out about your book.

That’s where book marketing meets the real world. There’s nothing more valuable than the contact you have with readers of your content. And there’s no more efficient way to spread your message than through the networks of other people interested in your work.

In a sense, your book launch may never end. We will probably never run out of communities to communicate with about our work. And when you publish your next book, think how much ground will already be prepared for your book marketing efforts.

Joel Friedlander
Marin Bookworks
Book Design and Production for Authors and Publishers
Office and voicemail | 415-460-1959
Fax | 415-223-9993
Interested in self-publishing?
Check out my new book –> A Self-Publisher’s Companion

From Author to Contentpreneur: A New Model for Becoming a Successful Author in the Digital Age

Here is an updated compilation of five previous posts.

Now is the best time ever to be a writer, and what follows is a new model for what it will take for you to build a successful writing career in the digital age. Every part of the model is essential. You need to use the whole model to succeed.

Passion

Writing begins with a boundless enthusiasm for words, ideas, writing, books, people, publishing, communicating about your work, and serving your readers.

Reading

Writing starts with reading. You can only write as well as you read. Read what you love to read and write what you love to read. An acquaintance once came up to me all excited and said: “I just finished my first novel!”

“That’s great!” I said.

Then he asked: “What should I read next?”

Well, if you’re a novelist, you should read as many novels as you can, and read like a writer. What works for you in the books you love will work for your readers. Reading enables you to establish criteria for style, length, content, illustrations, and back matter.

Models

Reading will also enable you to choose books and authors to use as models for your books and career. Telling agents, editors, and readers your models will enable them to understand what your book is instantly.

Goals

It’s been said that goals are dreams with a deadline. You must have literary, publishing, and personal short- and long-term goals that are in harmony and motivate you to do whatever it takes to achieve them. One goal that clarifies your other goals is how much money you want to earn a year, because it determines what you write, and how you write and promote it.

A Plan

Sue Grafton advises writers to have a five-year plan. Once you decide where you’d like to be in five years, you can figure how to get from where you are to where you want to go. Read about how authors of books like yours succeeded and ask them for advice.

Discipline

You must have goals for what you want to accomplish every workday and the discipline to make sure you accomplish them. William Faulkner once said: “I write when the spirit moves, and I make sure it moves every day.” Even a page a day is a book a year. Balance your goals, and choose the most productive way for you to spend your time. Take care of the minutes, hours, and days, and the years will take care of themselves.

Creativity

How can you make you and your work stand out in the growing explosion of books and authors? Creativity. In a world awash with media, creativity is essential for making you and your work memorable. There was a New Yorker cartoon showing a man standing over a cat, next to a litter box, and saying: “Never think outside the box.” To be creative today, it’s not enough to think outside the box, you have to think outside the room the box is in.

Service

To succeed, you have to serve, not sell. There are more ways to serve your readers than ever, and the better you serve them, the better they’ll serve you.

Faith

You must have faith in yourself, your idea, your book, and your ability to make it succeed and build a career.

Courage

To face a blank screen and dare to believe you have something worth writing takes courage. To persevere despite rejections from publishers and the media, negative responses from readers and critics, and perhaps poor sales, takes courage. Overcoming obstacles takes courage. But you have more than enough courage to meet the challenges that await you. All you have to do is summon it, and the harder your struggle, the sweeter your success.

Knowledge

Writers need to know more about more areas of expertise than ever. Besides the things on this list, 

  • You have to have a positive but realistic perspective about publishing that balances the challenges and opportunities. The information at www.larsenpomada.com will help you.
  • If you want an agent, you have to know what they do, and how to find, contact, and work with them.
  • You have to know about using technology, especially social media. You don’t have to be a techie, but you do have to maximize the tremendous power of technology to help you.

However, you are blessed with more free resources than ever to learn what you need to know without leaving your desk.

Craft

There was once a cartoon showing one writer saying confidently to another: “I’ve got all the pages numbered. Now all I have to do is fill in the rest.” That’s where craft comes in. Besides reading, writing has five essential elements:

1. Coming up with an idea—There’s a New Yorker cartoon that shows two women nursing cocktails, and one is saying to the other: “I’m marrying Marvin. I think there’s a book in it.” There’s a book in just about anything and more subjects to write about than ever before. If you create an idea that lends itself to a series of books that you are passionate about writing and promoting, you can carve a career out of it.

2. Research–finding the information you need to write your book.

3. A workstyle–choosing the time, place, and tools that enable you to produce your best work. Ray Bradbury summarized the art of writing in two verbs: throw up and clean up. You have to decide whether it’s more effective for you to outline your book or go ahead and write your manuscript, and then massage it until it’s ready.

4. Writing–a combination of art and craft, poetry and carpentry, vision and revision. Mario Puzo, the author of The Godfather, said, “The art of writing is rewriting.” There’s a cartoon showing two mice sitting on a writer’s desk in the middle of the night reading his manuscript, and one is saying: “We’d do him a big favor if we ate chapter four.” If you don’t want rodents criticizing your work, be your own editor. Keep revising your work until it’s 100%, as well-conceived and crafted as you can make it.

5. Sharing–the great ballet dancer Nijinsky once said: “I merely leap and pause.” After you take your creative leaps, it’s time to pause and get feedback on your work. It’s been said that if at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you, but writing is a forgiving craft. Only your last draft counts. You can’t get your writing right by yourself, but you don’t have to. Build a community of knowledgeable readers to give you feedback.

This section on craft is adapted from a chapter about developing your craft in my book How to Get a Literary Agent.

Test-Marketing

There are more ways to test-market your book than ever. Test-marketing your book gives you the chance to prove it works and to get testimonials yu can use to sell and promote your work.

A Platform

Your platform is your continuing visibility with book buyers, online and off, on your subject or the kind of book you’re writing. Building your platform by test-marketing your book enables you to maximize the value of your book before you sell it, which, for most  nonfiction, is the only way to get the best editor, publisher, and deal for your book.

Communities

There’s a New Yorker cartoon showing two disreputable guys sitting a bar talking, and one is saying: “I tried victimless crime, but I’m a people person.” If you want to be a successful author, you have to be a people person. Writing is a solitary profession, but it’s the only part of the process you have to do alone. Create communities of fans, writers, and other publishing professionals to help you with your writing, promotion, using technology, and getting reviews and cover quotes.

Promotion

Two cannibals are having dinner and one says to the other: “You know, I don’t like your publisher.”

“OK,” the other cannibal says, “then just eat the noodles.”

The most common reason authors become disenchanted with their publishers is lack of promotion. If you’re writing a promotion-driven nonfiction book, the promotion plan you include in your proposal will determine the editor, publisher, and deal for your book.  Novelists are also as well. A plan is a list, in descending order of impressiveness, of what you will do to promote your book, including, when possible, how many of them. Exaggerate nothing, but submit the strongest plan you can.

Chicken souperman Jack Canfield says a book is like an iceberg: writing is 10%, marketing is 90%. If this is true for the kind of book you’re writing, you will need to spend nine times more effort promoting your book than you do writing it. But there are more ways to promote your book at less cost than ever with just your fingertips.

Contentpreneuring

You have to be a contentpreneur.

  • Your content has to be scalable from a tweet to a book, and your promotion from a one-line pitch to a one-hour radio interview.
  • You have to make your laptop and your smartphone your office and be able to work and to respond to your communities wherever you are.
  • You have to keep writing and publishing a steady stream of work for free and for fees that maximizes your pleasure, income, and visibility.
  • You have to focus on writing work that you can re-purpose in as many forms, media, and countries as you can.
  • There’s a cartoon showing two guys sitting in a bar talking, and one of them is saying to the other: “Since I started freelancing full time, I’ve made quite a few sales…my house, my car, my furniture.”

If you don’t want to be like him, you have to take entrepreneurial responsibility for the promotion and sales of your book.

  • You also have to be resourceful in figuring out how to solve problems and take advantage of new opportunities.
  • You have to build a community of professionals and virtual assistants with whom you can collaborate to create new products and services.

Commitment

There’s a New Yorker cartoon showing a man and a woman, sitting on a couch talking, and the man is saying: “Look, I’m not talking about a lifetime commitment. I’m talking about marriage.”

Being a successful author requires a lifetime commitment, and I hope that you will commit yourself to becoming the best writer you can be, not just for yourself, but for all of us.

Patience

Marketing guru Seth Godin says that the best time to start promoting a book is three years before it comes out, because it may take that long to build a platform,  create the strongest promotion plan for your book, and have the ability to carry it out.

You have to have patience to take the long view as well as the short view in writing and promoting your books, and building your career. You can’t look at your career as one book but ten or twenty—each new book being better and more lucrative than the previous one.

Love

To be the best writer and author you can be, you must love the process. You have to believe that using this model is what you were born to do. You have to

  • love to read and write
  • write out of love for serving your readers
  • love the challenges of devoting yourself to becoming a better writer and communicator about your work

The love you send into the world through your work and your relationships with your readers will come back to you many times over and provide a profoundly satisfying life, regardless of how much income you earn doing it.

The Best Piece of Advice
Add luck to this list, and your books will be failproof. After forty-four years in the business, I’m convinced that every part of this list is essential. I may have left something out—and please tell me if I have–but you will need all of what’s here to succeed. I end the model with the best piece of advice I’ve ever heard about becoming a writer:

“If anything can stop you from becoming a writer, let it. If nothing can stop you, do it and you’ll make it.”

A Bonus

You can adapt this model for other professions and in your personal life. 

My partner Elizabeth Pomada and I do a presentation about the model.