Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Credibility Counts

We’re all experts in something. My husband might say I’m an expert in shoe shopping. I’d say I’m more an expert in the fine art of amassing a collection of colorful shoes obtained at a bargain price for maximum enjoyment! I have a lot of shoes (is 150+ pairs really a lot?), I shop at many shoe stores, but does that really make me an expert? That’s up for debate.

When you are writing a book, your credibility on the topic you’re writing about counts because it will come into question. You could become the subject of scrutiny by many, including literary agents, publishers, potential readers, other authors, or journalists. But if you’ve written about a topic that is truly in your area of expertise, then there is no need to worry, right? Well, that does not mean you shouldn’t still be prepared. Here’s how you can prepare yourself for the inevitable scrutiny that comes with being an expert:
  • Get your facts straight: Go through your resume or bio and be certain that everything is accurate, up to date, and most importantly, truthful. Polishing your resume and bio is one thing, but adding things that are not true is another. Avoid falsehoods at all costs.
  • Be prepared for the tough questions: You might be asked by the media, an agent, or someone else, “What makes you an expert?” or “What makes you qualified to tell others what they should do?” Do you have an effective answer ready for this question?
  • They may research you: Fact-checking does happen. Past employers, colleagues, friends, and others who have a past or current connection to you could be contacted about you at any point. That doesn’t mean you need to worry about every traffic ticket you’ve received coming to light, but if you have dirty laundry, it could be aired.
  • Consider the legal ramifications: It’s cliché, but remember, “Anything you say can and will be used against you.” The same is true for what you write in your book. If you give advice that you’re not qualified to give, and maybe that you cannot defend later, you may risk being sued, or held liable for that advice if someone believes it has caused them harm or damage in some way.
The editing process is a great time to fine-tune your manuscript and remove material that may put you at risk. Keep these suggestions in mind when you work with your copy editor. Ultimately, you want to produce a book that you are proud of, that will enhance your credibility, and that is the best reflection of you both personally and professionally.


Angela DeCaires is the Marketing & Communications Manager for BookLogix Publishing Services. She oversees Corporate Communications for BookLogix, and also assists BookLogix’s authors in the publishing process. Angela’s background includes experience in public relations, writing, broadcasting and journalism, having held positions in public relations and working for a number of years as a news writer/TV news producer.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Three of My Favorite Words

I am truly a wordsmith. I love the way words come together to form sentences, paragraphs, and of course books. A young man recently told me that I'm not a wordSMITH, I'm a wordLOCK! That got me laughing and thinking about some of the words I love … or at least the words I love that work well together for authors.

Here, I'll share three of my favorite words. You hear this phrase all the time when you watch interviews with authors, or when you hear authors share their concepts and ideas in a presentation. Three words that they almost always use are: "In my book … "

I love it when authors are able to relate and correlate the content that they're discussing -- either in a live presentation or in an interview -- with the content in their book. That is a practice you have to work at. It's not something that comes naturally, but it is a very important aspect of marketing your book. When you are on the radio or on television doing an interview, or even when you're talking about your book with a print reporter, and especially when you're doing a live presentation, you always want to say several times, "In my book … "

"In my book I cover this concept … "

"In my book I mention this … "

"In my book this is what happens … "

This is how you bring audiences back to the fact that you are a published author and that you do have a published book on a particular subject.
So keep these three words in mind: "In my book … " They're so simple. It almost seems like a no-brainer and that it will come naturally to say these words. But it is something that you will have to practice as you do interviews and live presentations.

What are your thoughts about saying, "In my book … " when you give interviews or presentations?

Anita Paul, known as The Author's Midwife, coaches aspiring authors to write a phenomenal book and helps current authors use their existing books to leverage their business. She is the author of the-book Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and The Book You've Been Wanting to Write, and is the creator of the Write Your Life program, through which she has created a dynamic system to Write Your Book in 90 Days or Less. She has owned The Write Image for 15 years, and has had her freelance articles featured in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also the host of "Book Your Success".
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Twitter: @AnitaRPaul

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

What's Stopping You?

Do you put off doing things that you want to do? Do you find reasons why you don’t have the time, can’t find the money, won’t expend the effort? If the answer is yes, you have a clear case of procrastination.
It’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t have a plan of action. And there are many activities that can easily be disguised as reasons for not writing, but are really procrastination tactics. If you’re juggling kids, work, after-school activities, and your spouse’s needs, how can you possibly write a book? Impossible, right? Many authors have these very same commitments, yet every year thousands of new books are published.
What do these authors know that you don’t?

Procrastination is self-sabotage
Millions of would-be authors dream of achieving big goals such as landing on The New York Times bestsellers list, being the center of attention at book signings with the line out the door and around the block, or having their book turned into a movie. These are worthy dreams. So what’s stopping you from achieving them?
Not following your dreams is an act of self-sabotage. You may have a fear of failure. You may even have a fear of success. Or you’re afraid to rock the boat. Any of these fears could lead you to procrastinate.
Rather than procrastinate, you could create an outline for your book. You could sit in front of your computer and write 500 words. You could take a walk and plan your story at the same time. Instead, you read your email, shop online, chat with your friends on Facebook, or buy yet another book on how to write a bestseller. There’s nothing wrong with those activities. But if you don’t start writing today, when will you begin?

What to do about it
Breaking a bad habit such as procrastination requires commitment. Change doesn’t happen overnight. But it does happen if you’re determined.
  1. Be aware of your thoughts. Start paying attention to how many times you experience negative thoughts around writing. Write down those negative thoughts in a journal, on your computer, or in a note pad by your bed. 
  2. Develop a method that allows you to change your emotions. Choose one that resonates with you. Meditation, EFT (tapping), the Sedona Method, and The Work by Byron Katie are examples of ways to reprogram your thinking.
  3. Be patient. Unraveling those strangleholds may take time. Beating yourself up or getting mad at your weakness only reinforces the issue. So be kind to yourself.
  4. Persist. Every day that you work to release your fears about writing will result in a brighter, more optimistic you.
  5. Commit to yourself, and to the universe, that you’re serious and you will follow through. Then take action—WRITE!—and be open to opportunity. When you do the work, the universe takes notice and begins to reward you.
Pitfalls to avoid
  • Don't try to do too much.
  • Don’t over schedule. Start with writing for 30 minutes or an hour. Give yourself a task you can accomplish. Then celebrate your success. You want to feel good when you finish.
  • Don’t wait until you’re tired. Creativity requires a calm but active brain. Choose a time to write when you’re alert and excited. Then start writing. Let those thoughts pour out. No censoring allowed.
  • Don’t give up. As one of my favorite coaches says, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you write 300 words a day, at the end of the year you’ll have 109,500 words, which is more than enough for a book. You can do that!
What are some procrastination activities that have held you back and how did you overcome them?


Nanette Littlestone is a freelance editor, writing coach, and author who has worked with both fiction and nonfiction for 20 years. She specializes in helping authors to use their passion to achieve their own unique voice and message. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Creativity Beats Innovation When Writing

You know, you're not as innovative as you think you are. You certainly aren't as innovative as you'd like to be, especially when it comes to your book idea. How do I know? Because I know that, after years of trying to come up with an innovative focus or title for your book—some cool and unique way to explain what you do and how you help others and what you've learned in your umpteen years in business or in life—you still haven't thought of the big, million-dollar idea. You want to know why? It's because you're trying to be innovative instead of creative. 

Innovation is the art of developing something totally new, never tried or done, unseen by anyone ... ever. Think about it. How often, even in today's technologically driven world that seems to move at warp speed, do you find ideas that have NEVER existed? Not very often. What you find instead are creative reinventions of what's been around for generations. Amazon didn't invent reading, they just created a different way to read. Adobe didn't invent documents, they just created a different way to view and share them. Apple didn't invent the telephone, they just created a different presentation, platform, and purpose for a phone. And you, my friend, are not trying to invent a book or even a concept. What you are doing—or should be doing—is creating a different way for your target market to view, experience, access, utilize, or benefit from your perspective or concept. Remember, everything old is new again. 

You want readers to find some familiarity in your book. What’s it like? How can readers associate with your book if it’s so unfamiliar that they have no reference point. Audiences often look at me sideways when I suggest that if they search online or visit a bookstore and find not one book that’s like the one they’re writing, they might need to reconsider their topic. Perhaps there’s no market for it. Ouch! So what's your slant, twist, version, take, perspective, or insight on a topic? How have you uniquely taken a time-honored concept and recreated it? How can you teach others to see the familiar in a different way; your way?

Are you writing a romance novel? Love and romance are not new concepts, so avoid trying to invent something new. Instead, create a twist that will surprise readers. Are you writing a tips or how-to book about parenting? Families have existed since the beginning of time, and most parents will tell you that they've received more advice than they know what to do with. Instead, create a funny or insightful angle on a particular aspect of parenting. 

There are no new ideas. Refashion what's already out there. I’m just saying.

Anita Paul, known as The Author's Midwife, coaches aspiring authors to write a phenomenal book and helps current authors use their existing books to leverage their business. She is the author of the-book Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and The Book You've Been Wanting to Write, and is the creator of the Write Your Life program, through which she has created a dynamic system to Write Your Book in 90 Days or Less. She has owned The Write Image for 15 years, and has had her freelance articles featured in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also the host of "Book Your Success".
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Twitter: @AnitaRPaul