7 Easy Steps to Writing a Book Fast

Did you know that you can write your book in 8-weeks or less? Obviously, you want to write a quality book; however, you want to write it fast. The faster you write your book, the quicker it gets into the hand of your target market.

Think about the following questions:

  • What is your passion?
  • What would you like to write about?

For example, if you’re a writer who’s also a parent of an autistic teenager, you may be interested in providing parenting advice for parents of autistic teenagers. Brainstorm for ideas. As a parent of an autistic teenager, what difficulties do you face? What challenges does your teenage face every day? What difficulties does an autistic teenager face in the 21st century? Break it down until you have a niche or theme. Once you know this, you can write your book in no time.

7 Easy Steps to Writing a Book Fast

1. Be clear on the BIG idea of your book. The theme of your book will become the brand. It’s imperative to drill down your idea and get to the core of it. Think about the following: who, what, when, where, why, and how. Put your journalist “cap” on and answer these questions. Once you have your “big” idea or theme, you’re ready to write your book.

2. Use a model aka guideline. Who are your favorite authors? What did they write? Visit a bookstore or library and find books by your favorite authors. Read through the books and take notes. How are the chapters structured? How many pages is each chapter? Is there a resource page for readers? Choose a book and imitate it — use it as a guideline to write your book.

3. Use the number “7”. This is a good number for TV and radio segments. If you’re using your book to obtain speaking engagements, producers will be happy your book is “7 Fill in the Blank.” It’s easy for you to speak about, and the audience will be able to remember “7 Fill in the Blank.”

4. Speak your book. You can speak your book and have it transcribed or you could use software such as DragonNaturally Speaking software or Windows Speech Recognition for Vista and Windows 7. Simply activate the software and speak your book. The alternative is to use a service like iDictate. Speak your book into your iPhone, BlackBerry, Android, or voice recording device and have it transcribed for you (sent via email).

5. Don’t edit your book while you write it. If you’re a freelance/ghost writer, you may be tempted to edit while you write. Write your book then go back and edit. Of course, you could hire an editor to edit your book. This takes the pressure off of you.

6. Test out your idea on your target market. Join groups and social media websites where you can ‘test’ out your BIG book idea. Ask for feedback on your idea. What’s attractive about it? How do others react to it? Gather enough information to ascertain if your BIG book idea will work or needs to be tweaked.

7. Write! You’ve heard this before — write all of the time. Schedule your writing during the week and on weekends. Even if you write for one hour day, you’ll make progress. Keep writing and say “No” when you have to. Family and friends need to understand that you’re serious about your writing dream and goal.

Writing your book doesn’t have to take months or years. Give yourself a deadline along with a consequence if you don’t finish your book on time. Keep in mind that you can always update your book by producing new versions. Windows does this all of the time as does WordPress. Your first book could be “version 1” and the next book can be “version 2” and so on. Look for a ‘print on demand’ book company which means your book won’t be printed until orders have been received. It’s a great way to get started as an author.

Good Luck!
Rebecca

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Freelance Writer’s Create a Resume That Sells

resume wordle

Recently, I took on a new client; I’ll call her mom. Yes, my mom decided she wants a part-time job but needed an updated resume. She wanted to apply for a job with Rent-A-Grandma which is a successful start-up business located in California. The company is being featured in Entrepreneur Magazine and on the hit TV show Shark Tank. Way to go!

I sat down with my mom and created a one page resume that shows her experience within the areas of childcare and elderly care along with her management expertise. I explained to her the importance of using keywords and phrases within her resume which makes a resume more searchable when it’s posted online. I also explained the importance of capturing the attention of a client, hiring manager or recruiter in 30-seconds or less. After a few hours, my mom had a modern, searchable resume that will land her the job she wants.

How to create a freelance writer’s resume that sells

Name your resume with a clever title. Naming your resume Jane Smith.doc may not get your noticed. Be creative. For example, you could name your resume Jane Smith_Wordologist for You, Jane Smith_Wordsmith, Jane Smith_Published Freelance Writer, Jane Smith_Award Winning Freelance Writer or Jane Smith_World’s Best Freelance Editor and Writer. You’ll want to ‘brand’ yourself so it makes sense you’d brand your resume. To show your resume is up-to-date, name it Jane Smith_September 2011.

Use keywords. Believe it or not, keywords and phrases aren’t just for blogs. When you submit your resume, a potential client will ‘scan’ it to see if your keywords and phrases match theirs. Don’t stuff your resume with keywords, but don’t skimp on them either.

Show what you can do. Simply listing your qualifications isn’t enough. You must show what you did. For example, if you wrote sales copy for an electronics company, write something like, “Increased the sales of digital cameras by 75% ($5 Million dollar profit) through the use of copywriting, web content and social media writing.” If you worked with a not-for-profit, write something like, “Wrote newsletter, invitation, email campaign and other copy for annual animal advocacy fundraiser called Fashion Shows Up for Animals. Fundraiser raised $100 Million dollars.” Show what you did and how you did it.

Sell yourself and skills. A resume is a great advertising and marketing tool. This is where advertising/marketing copywriting come into play. Put yourself in the client’s shoes. What qualifications would you look for? What makes the perfect editor/writer? Think about this when you write your resume.

Choose your style. What resume style is right for you: chronological, functional, or combination (chronological/functional)? Chronological lists your employment first. Functional lists your major accomplishments and skills. A combination resume mixes the chronological and functional technique. Choose the style that works best for you.

Utilize the power of the infographic resume. An infographic resume could put you ahead of other candidates. This visual trend has taken off like a wild fire! Make sure your infographic is neat and clean. Overwhelming a potential client with a lot of graphics, wild colors and details could make them dizzy. You want to make a good impression, not a bad one.

Use a QR Code. Smart phones and other electronic gadgets can read a QR Code aka Quick Response Code which is a bar code that contains data. A QR Code could contain a link to your website, resume, portfolio or other information. It’s a great addition to the ‘traditional’ resume.

Your professional experience and stellar copy writing are the keys to a resume that gets you noticed. Put the client’s needs before yours. Focus on what you bring to the table and don’t worry about the other freelance writers. You’ll get the client if it’s meant to be. Don’t settle on a project because you feel you have to take it. Holding out for the ‘perfect’ client/project (in your eyes) is better than agreeing to one that isn’t your heart’s desire. It’s better to wait for the ‘right’ opportunity. It will be worth it!

Rebecca

Enhanced by Zemanta

How Many Pseudos Does an Author Need?

books

You may be surprised to discover that your favorite authors use more than one pseudo. Best Selling Author Nora Roberts publishes under J.D. Robb. Jayne Ann Krentz uses pseudos such as Jayne Castle, Jayne Taylor, Jayne Bentley, Amanda Quick, Stephanie James, and Amanda Glass. Dean Koontz has 11. That’s a lot of pseudos! Is it necessary to use one or more pseudos aka pen names? What’s the benefit? What are the drawbacks of using a pen name? How complicated is it? Let’s find out.

Benefits of using pseudos

1. You get to disguise who you are. Perhaps, your family and friends would be flabbergasted to find out you write erotic, romance novels. Maybe you write science fiction novels but your family wouldn’t approve because they don’t believe in such things. Writing under a pen name could give you peace of mind.

2. You may have a ‘huge’ following in one genre such as mystery and but don’t want to disappoint fans who may not understand why you’re writing a children’s picture book series.

3. If you’re collaborating on a novel series, you may want to use a pseudo. This is a good way to keep your writings separate from the collaboration.

4. Your boss may not be thrilled to know you’re moonlighting as an author. Using a pseudo will keep everyone happy.

5. A pseudo or pen name may carry more ‘weight’ than your birth name. This may not be easy to hear but think about Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain. Which name do you gravitate towards? Which name screams Best-Selling Author?

How to select and use a pseudo aka pen name?

1. Brainstorm for names. After you have a list of 10 names, check with the U.S. Copyright Records; the white pages (if you still receive them), peruse the internet and other information websites. Make sure you don’t select the name of another writer.

Once you find a name you like, try it out. Create a ‘mock’ book cover in Power Point, InDesign, Word or some other program. Step back and look at the name on the cover. How do you feel about it? Do you like it? Can you imagine being introduced at a book signing as (fill in the blank)? Ask supportive family, friends, etc. to look at your book cover — get their reaction. Ultimately, it’s your decision. But feedback can assist you with selecting the ‘right’ pen name.

2. Even if you use a pseudo, readers could find out who you are. Look at Nora Roberts who publishers under J.D. Robb. I found out she was J.D. Robb because my mom told me; she’s an avid reader of her books. When I found out Nora published under J.D. Robb my reaction was, “Who know?” Obviously, I didn’t. Make sure you’re comfortable with readers knowing that you publish under pseudos.

3. Consult with an attorney to see if you must register your pen name as a DBA (doing business as) with your municipality. Remember, cities, states and countries have different laws.

4. You’re allowed to register copyrights under a pen name. However, the time frame of a copyright with your name is your life + 70 years. If you publish with a pseudo it’s the shorter of 95 years from the publication or 120 years from the creation. This can be tricky business — consult a copyright attorney. Know your rights!

5. Sometimes, processing advances and royalties is complicated when you use a pseudo. Make sure you fully understand the process. Again, consult with an attorney and ask the publisher to explain their advance and royalty payment policies and procedures.

If you choose to use a pseudo or pen name, make sure it’s for the right reasons. If you’re trying to escape paying taxes, forget about it. You’ll have to pay them. If you want to ‘blast’ your enemies or naysayers, you can still get caught and face libel and slander charges. Meditate or ponder ‘why‘ you want to use a pen name before you select and use one. It can be fun to use a pseudo, but isn’t the point of publishing to see YOUR NAME in print. It’s something to think about.

Rebecca

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Authors and Freelance Writers Cultivate a Prosperity Mindset

I listened to a teleseminar from T. Harv Eker and Randy Gage about Cultivating a Prosperity Mindset. Randy was a high school dropout and even served jail time at the age of 16. He hit the nail on the head when he said he always heard, “How can someone so smart be so dumb?” Randy’s mind was programmed with this mind virus. While he was in jail, a teacher visited him and said, “You don’t belong here. You take a test and earn a score like a college level. You’re a bright guy — you have the potential to do great things.” Randy wanted to believe him and he did. That’s how he began to change his life. Now, Randy’s a successful businessman. You can be a successful freelance writer with a successful freelance writing business.

“Be great at solving problems for people. Become a master at what you’re doing. You don’t have to be perfect — but you have to be great at solving the problem for people. Really, really make a difference for people. The results will be fantastic. And then you’re going to have more business than what you know what to do with. The best marketing in the world is to be FANTASTIC at what you do. Help people — really help them. You’ll find more people by referral than you know what to do with. ~ T. Harv Eker

“You can’t out give the universe. True prosperity is always a value for value’s change.” ~ Randy Gage

  • Do you expect to struggle in your freelance writing business?
  • Do you expect to be a Well-Fed writer?
  • Do you expect to have a problem-free freelance writing business?
  • Do you expect that your freelance writing business will fail?
  • Do you expect a publishing contract to fall through?

“Environment is stronger than will power. For example, if you attend a Millionaire Mind Intensive, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people. In three days, you’ll grow quickly and have such new insight about yourself and your life; about your own successes that you can easily leave people behind. When that happens, they’re start negating you.” T. Harv Eker

Expect more because you have a much better chance of good things to happen for you then if you expect less. You may not be wealthy on day one, but there’s a much better chance you’ll attract more clients within a month. You’ll be a wealthy freelance writer; a published writer with a strong fan based. It’s more supportive, and you’re happier by expecting more. Stop expecting less!

Listen to a positive audio or book; listen to a meditation, do yoga, journal your thoughts or whatever will help you create your consciousness before you begin writing and or leave the house. Don’t do anything until your consciousness is vibrating where you want it to be. Change the way you think, change everything in your life. You can do it!

Rebecca

Enhanced by Zemanta

How to Get Freelance Writing Clients without Selling

Most creative, freelance and ghost writers don’t like sales and marketing; they’d rather have a root canal! However, you can’t get around sales and marketing. Is it possible to get clients/customers without selling? The answer is “Yes You Can!” The key is to be yourself and stop wearing a ‘mask’ of what you think you should be.

According to Executive, Small Business, Career and Personal Life Coach Bill Barren, “You must close the gap. The gap is potential clients who want to travel from where they are now to where they want to be. They’ll travel with you. If you master this, you can increase the number of clients and customers. You’ll have fewer consultations and be able to increase your fees if you want to.”

“Imagine that potential clients/customers are sitting on one island but want to get to another. The island they want to get to is the one where you’re at — where you solve their problems(s). You are the captain of the ship that will take them to your island.” ~ Bill Barren

Questions

1. Where are your clients? Most are on the isle of the here and now; clients want to move away from this island.

2. What is the isle of full potential?

3. What’s stopping clients/customers from getting their business/website to where they want it to go?

4. Closing the gap — establishing you (copywriter, blogger, writing coach, social media expert, etc.) as the closer. You’re (blogger, writer, writing coach, social media expert, copywriter) the one who’ll help your potential clients close the gap.

Example of closing the gap — A health coach

A health coach has a client, a woman, who wants to leave the isle of being overweight. The woman wants to weigh 115 pounds again. The dead weight is tiring, and she doesn’t want it anymore. She’s anxious about her weight. The woman likes it when people notice her. She’s frustrated and fed up and is looking for a health or fitness coach to help her. This is where you, the health/fitness coach, help the client discover how to get from where she is to where she wants to be. You, the health/fitness coach, will help the client close the gap because you have the perfect boat (product and or service) for the client to get to where she wants to be. You’ll create clarity within the client.

The above example can be applied to your creative, freelance and ghost writing business. It’s important for potential clients to understand what you can do for them. Be an active listener. What problem are you solving for them? Do they need an eBook? What about blog posts? How about a series of articles? What about white papers? Really listen to what potential clients need and want.

Some potential clients may say, “I don’t have the money right now. I can’t pay your writing fee.” Give them ‘free’ resources and say what you have to say. Show and tell potential clients what you can do for them and then be silent. Clients usually have a disconnection from what they want in their business and where they’re at. Give them time to ‘think’ about what you said. Believe it or not, they’ll hire you.

Take-away

1. Work with the creative, freelance and ghost writing clients you want to work with.
2. Attract the clients to you.
3. Master the ‘inner game’ and boost your confidence. Clients want to work with people who are confident.

Rebecca

Enhanced by Zemanta

Your Mom Thinks You’re Special … What about the Media?

Special badge

Image by Dr. Keats via Flickr

Authors and experts, “What makes you special?” What sets you apart from the other authors and experts in your field? Take your time to think about it … I’ll wait. Did you think of at least five answers? If you didn’t, it’s time to start thinking about “What makes you special?”

Most people feel embarrassed or shy to answer, “What makes you special?” but this is an important question to answer if you want media attention for your book, seminar, workshop or class. If you want to promote your new book, you need to be prepared to answer this question; otherwise, the media won’t be attracted to you and your book. And, you’ll have missed your cue to spread your message.

The media loves to interview authors and experts who are special. Readers purchase books because authors have a message they can relate to or it’s a gripping, personal story. Event and meeting planners are attracted to speakers who are distinct — they’re message is meaningful and timely.

The good news is that everyone has something that makes them special. Follow the steps below to showcase how special and unique you are. The media won’t be able to take their eyes off of you!

How to show the media how special and unique you and your message are

1. What accomplishment have you achieved that most have not? Did you win a championship or write a book that’s mind blowing? What about starting a not-for-profit that received millions of dollars in three months? Did you discover an ancient city while on vacation? Make a list of your accomplishments that others may not have.

2. What’s new? What’s ‘old’ that’s new? Perhaps, you have a concept or idea that’s new; it’s pure genius. What do you teach or write that others don’t? Did you take a ‘worn out’ idea like networking and revamp it? How? Think about how you’ve packaged an ‘old idea’ in a new, innovative way.

3. What are your credentials? Did you graduate from Brown, Duke, Harvard, Cambridge, Oxford, Yale, St. Andrews, Edinburgh University, MIT, Columbia, Stanford, ETH Zurich, Kings College London or Princeton? Have you worked with royalty? Use your credentials in a headline such as “Cambridge-trained artist paints like Van Gogh and so can you.” Discuss current and previous professions and how you’ve helped thousands of people.

4. Tell your story. It’s not healthy to ‘relive’ your story over and over again. However, your ‘unique’ story will touch the lives of millions. They’ll be amazed how you overcame adversity. And, there could be someone, somewhere, with the same story. Telling your story means they’re not alone.

5. Who are you connected to? Let’s face it; people love celebrities because they’d like to be one or enjoy living vicariously through them. If you have celebrity connections, use them.  Make sure you have their permission before you tell the world who you know or who’ve you worked with.

6. Share powerful success stories. Have you’ve helped thousands of people lose weight through hypnosis? Perhaps, spending one hour with you, twice a week melts the pounds away. That’s extraordinary! Think about your most powerful success stories and share them.

7. Create a unique hook for your book title. You probably already know this but it begs repeating. A unique ‘hook’ is a great way to reel in the media and readers. Write (no pun, okay there was one) a memorable book title and turn your book into a #1 Best Seller. The media will trip over themselves to speak with you.

8. How can you be Number 1? Sometimes, a market or niche is too crowded. They way to get around this is to create a category where you’re number one. For example, perhaps you’re a marketing consultant who works with optometrists and podiatrists. You could say, “I’m the leading marketing consultant in the world serving optometrists and podiatrists. Walk over to the computer, visit http://www.Eyes and Feet Serve You.com and see for yourself,” or something like that.

9. Network. Form partnerships with established authors and experts whose target market is the same or at least compliments yours. Ask them, “How may I help you? What can I do for you?” Not only will you reach a larger audience, but you’ll develop valuable relationships that can serve you and others now and later.

10. Be confident. The media wants to work with confident people. Stand up straight, reach out your hand and say, “Hi, my name is (fill in the blank), and I’m an author/expert that you’re audience needs to hear from.” Give the media your best 30-second elevator speech and they’ll want to work with you.

Stand out from other authors and experts by using these ideas and gain local and national publicity. Don’t overwhelm yourself by applying all of these strategies at once. Select the ones that work best for you and your book/message. You’ll be a media darling in no time!

Rebecca

Enhanced by Zemanta

10 Ways to Increase Your Writing Productivity

Freelance (2007 film)

Image via Wikipedia

[tweetmeme http://www.savvywritingcareers.wordpress.com%5D

Being a creative, freelance or ghost writer means you’re the boss. You don’t have anyone looking over your shoulder to see what you’re working on and if you’ll finish your work on time. This is your responsibility. Follow the tips below to keep your productivity on track. Otherwise, you may have to enlist the help of family and friends to help you complete your projects. Ouch!

10 Ways to Increase Your Freelance Productivity

1. Don’t be a clock watcher. When I worked in ‘corporate America’ most of the co-workers- watched the clock (me too, sometimes). It would be 9 am and they’d say, “Three more hours to lunch.” After lunch it was, “Five more hours until I go home.” Anyway, being a clock watcher will drive you nuts! Listen to soft or classical music while you write, open a window to allow fresh air into your home office or take a break.

2. Get up at the same time every day. This can help keep you and your writing on track. If you get up earlier, you can get in a workout before you begin writing. Perhaps a jog or run around the neighborhood will get the ‘writing juices’ flowing.

3. Eat a good breakfast. You’ve probably heard this one before. Eating a healthy breakfast will keep you full and satisfied and keep your writing on track.

4. Schedule your freelance writing projects for the week. Prepare a weekly writing schedule to help you stay on track. Figuring out how much time you need to devote to each project will make it easier to schedule your writing time.

5. Work on the most important (priority) or time consuming task first or last. Prioritize your projects. Figure out what projects must be completed ASAP and go from there. You can work on ‘easy’ projects first and leave more time consuming projects later.

6. Schedule breaks throughout your day. It’s important to take breaks throughout the day. Get up and stretch or go for a walk. Eat lunch and unwind my listening to music or doing a ‘quick’ yoga session. Give yourself a break; otherwise, writer’s burnout will settle in.

7. Avoid distractions like electronic gadgets, television, social media, etc. Sometimes email, Skype, the iPhone and iPad, Droid, TV, Facebook, etc. can be distractions. Try to check emails twice or three times per day. Check your ‘personal Facebook page’ in the morning and later in the day. Distractions have a way of sucking you in (I know) and sometimes they won’t let you go.

8. If you find yourself losing focus, stop writing. If you can’t focus, stop writing. It’s better to stop versus writing nonsense. You can always writer later at night.

9. Attend teleseminars and webinars to break up the day once in a while. Schedule teleseminars and webinars into your ‘light’ writing days or rearrange your schedule. You can learn valuable information if you select the right ones to attend. Make sure you actually get something out of a teleseminar or webinar besides and hour long sales pitch. Believe me; I’ve attended teleseminas and webinars that weren’t worth it. I was left thinking, “I gave up 60-90 minutes for this. You didn’t tell me anything.” Be discerning and discriminating with your time.

10. End your day at the same time. You may have ‘rush projects’ from time-to-time but do your best to end your day at the same time. This way you can spend time with your family, take a writing class or do whatever it is you want to do.

Rebecca

Enhanced by Zemanta