First-Time Authors

Revise a Manuscript

As a book editor, I have a front-row seat to an author’s revision process. The biggest mistake I see first-time authors make when they revise a manuscript: They go through draft after draft only “fixing” things here and there. They add some lines to clarify, insert a few details to a character description, sharpen verbs, delete sluggish passages, and—the most time-sucking culprit—tinker with typos and grammatical errors. Really, they’re procrastinating on big issues that need attention, like character arc or story structure. While all of this is essential in polishing a manuscript, these edits are superficial until later drafts. This method won’t lead the writer to a marketable story. So, what’s the best way to revise a novel? Focus on the craft, not the draft. Read on… Read More

Updraft - Was Writing a Book Worth It?

Writing a book is hard. And doing it right is expensive. So today, as I launch the paperback version of my book Updraft: The Aerodynamics of Great Leadership, seems an appropriate day to assess whether all of the effort and investment has paid off. When I started this project, I made a very conscious decision to go top shelf all the way (which is why I worked with Diane). After all, my target audience is CEOs, executives and business owners and the final product had to appeal to that audience. My expectation wasn’t that I would necessarily break-even on book sales but that just one or two new clients or speaking engagements would make the whole thing worthwhile. I spent a few years in what… Read More

8 Things Success Authors DON'T Do

The secret to being a successful author may rely more on what you don’t do than what you do. The eight tips below showcase similar behaviors emulated by successful authors. 1. Successful Authors don’t take “No” for an answer. Ask any successful author how many rejections he or she amassed before getting a publishing deal and you’ll get an answer like “too many to count,” or “enough to line my bathroom walls with.” While the impulse is to toss all rejections in the recycling bin, if you know how to read them right, they can offer you valuable clues to help you get one step closer to getting published. This article will help you know how to deal strategically with rejections. 2. They don’t focus… Read More