9 Keys to Self-Publishing Success

It’s never been easier to publish a book, but that doesn’t mean we should

9 Keys to Self-Publishing SuccessI once read a self-published e-book, a novella. I read it for several reasons: it was recommended (which turned out to be a bad reason), it would be a quick read, I’d never read a novella, and it was free (I got what I paid for).

On the plus side, the opening captured my attention, the story line was intriguing, and the ending was a delightful surprise. On the negative side, the book did not flow smoothly, was poorly edited (or not edited at all), contained many errors, and was poorly converted into e-book format. Overall, the great ending did not overcome all the negative elements. read more>>




Should You Make Simultaneous Article Submissions?

Be upfront with editors if you are sending the same piece to multiple publications

Should You Make Simultaneous Article Submissions?When submitting an article to a magazine it’s a good practice to inform them if it’s a simultaneous submission, that is, if you’re sending it to others for consideration at the same time.

Making simultaneous submissions is like dating multiple people at the same time. If you are honest and careful, it can work, but if you’re not, someone will be hurt in the process. read more>>


Should You Be a Writer or an Entrepreneur?

Authors are advised to treat their writing like a business

Should You Be a Writer or an Entrepreneur?If you write solely for the fun of it or treat writing as a mere hobby, then don’t read this post. Seriously, it will just make you mad.

But if you want to succeed as a writer, regardless of how you define success, then this post should give you some ideas to consider. Please read on. Then let me know what you think about it. read more>>


How Building a Platform Almost Ruined My Writing Career

The more I focused on platform building, the less I enjoyed writing. I almost quit.

A few years ago, when I was still looking for an agent, I received some unexpected feedback. The agent liked me and my writing. He thought my book had merit. But despite all that he chose not to represent me. His reason was direct: “You have no platform.” Ouch!

How Building a Platform Almost Ruined My Writing CareerHe didn’t say, “Your platform isn’t big enough,” “We want to see a bigger following,” or even “Your platform is too small.” Each would have been a true statement, and I could have accepted that. But no. He said, “You have no platform.” His words smacked at the core of my being. It’s as if he stuck a knife in my heart and twisted it. read more>>

Do You Want People to Buy Your Book or Read Your Book?

We all want people to buy our books and then read our books. That’s the ideal. But what if we can realize only one of these two outcomes? Would we rather have people buy our book or read it?

Do You Want People to Buy Your Book or Read Your Book?In the first scenario a lot of people would buy our book but they never actually read it. It sits around unread and later moves to a book shelf and later still ends up in the trash. No one ever reviews the book or lets us know how much they enjoy it.

In the second scenario readers download our book for free, read someone else’s copy (that wasn’t paid for either), receives an advanced copy, or finds a pirated version. We receive a boatload of positive reviews and everywhere we go it seems someone says how great our book is. A lot of people read our book and love it, but we never make one penny from it. read more>>

How to Write a Book: Practice First on Shorter Pieces

I meet many aspiring writers who want to jump right in and write a book. They have little experience, but they have an idea. They start typing away. Most give up soon and few finish. And those who do complete their journey, the result is seldom noteworthy.

Why is that?

The answer is simple. They weren’t ready to write a book. As the saying goes, you need to walk before you run. But you need to crawl before you walk. There’s an order to things.

Few people would decide on a whim to go out and run a marathon. They would not likely finish, and if they did, they could injure themselves. Plus, their time would be bad, really bad. No, they would condition themselves first, get in shape, practice, and gain experience at shorter distances.

The same holds true when writing books. We need to practice; we need to gain experience with shorter word counts.

For most successful writers, their first book didn’t sell. Or there second. Many times I’ve heard of published authors who wrote five books before they wrote one someone would publish. That’s a lot of work and many years of wasted time.

Instead, aspiring book authors should start out writing shorter pieces. That’s an easy way to learn what works and what doesn’t, to find our voice, and to hone our skills. If a piece fails, we have little time invested in it. If it succeeds, we have a quick victory to celebrate. Plus, we can easily see our improvement from one piece to the next.

So, if we want to write a fiction book, we should start by writing short stories or flash fiction. If we want to write a nonfiction book, start with blogging, articles, or personal essays. Memoirs tap the skills of both fiction and nonfiction writing, so we can develop our memoir writing skills with flash fiction and blogging.

Before we write a book, we should practice first, writing shorter pieces to gain experience and develop our skills. Then, once we’ve put in the needed training, we will be ready to write our book.

Peter DeHaan Opens His Writing Newsletter to the Public

Veteran Magazine Publisher, Editor, Author, and Blogger Shares about Writing in Weekly Newsletter

June 9, 2015GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.Since last year Peter DeHaan has shared about writing in his free monthly newsletter, “Write On!” He now opens up the subscription to anyone interested in writing, from the beginner to experienced professional.

“I started my newsletter, ‘Write On!’ to keep in contact with people who attended the sessions I led at writing conferences over the past several years,” said Peter, who is a magazine publisher and editor, in addition to being a writer with over three decades of experience. “I sold my first article in 1982, and the world of publishing has changed a lot since then. I want to share my experiences and encourage others in becoming better writers.” read more>>

Writing is an Art; Publishing is a Business

Consider all the really great books that don’t sell. Consider some of the poorly written books that do. Although this is unfair, it is also reality. Fortuitous timing aside, these two situations point out the fact that producing and selling books is part art and part business.

I’ve been in business much of my adult life: managing businesses, owning businesses, starting businesses, running businesses, and buying businesses. Being a businessman is in my blood; it’s part of who I am. read more>>

Why We Need a Book Proposal for Every Book We Write

I’ve never met an author who likes to write book proposals, yet if we hope to sign with a traditional publisher, we need a book proposal – a really good book proposal. Aside from being tedious and time-consuming, parts of a book proposal are challenging, such as researching competitive titles, selling ourselves as the ideal person to write the book, and talking about our platform (a.k.a. how we can move books).

To further complicate things, there is no standard format for the ideal proposal. True, there are some common expectations, but the list varies. Even the order is a matter of preference. To further frustrate matters, some people advise including items that other equally knowledgeable folks say to ignore. read more>>

Don’t Be a Generalist: Your Book Will Not Appeal to Everyone

Authors need to know their audience. We must determine who will be the typical reader of our book. Too often writers naively assume – or arrogantly claim – that everyone will like their book. While having the whole world clamor to read our work would be a great outcome, it’s not going to happen; no book has universal appeal.

Trying to write a book that will interest everyone is a futile effort. Likewise, marketing our book to everyone is a waste of time and of money. Not everyone will be interested in our book. While this idea may be disconcerting, it’s a reality we best accept. read more>>