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Articles on this Page
- 01/17/17--05:23: _Write Children’s St...
- 01/24/17--05:03: _Bearing Witness: Th...
- 02/07/17--07:49: _Lessons from the Li...
- 02/14/17--06:05: _Author Platform Suc...
- 02/21/17--05:54: _Unearth the Gems In...
- 02/28/17--05:31: _The Memoir Through ...
- 03/21/17--05:43: _What’s your VISION?
- 03/29/17--06:49: _How to Frame Your Book
- 04/06/17--06:47: _25 Things I Learned...
- 04/13/17--11:16: _Top 7 Things to Exp...
- 05/09/17--05:57: _Intuition and how w...
- 05/16/17--07:39: _Are you tenacious e...
- 05/25/17--07:08: _Identify your WHY b...
- 06/06/17--09:02: _Blog Your Book in 1...
- 06/20/17--07:17: _Your book and what ...
- 07/13/17--14:30: _Creative spaces to ...
- 01/17/17--05:23: Write Children’s Stories for Publication
- 01/24/17--05:03: Bearing Witness: The stories we tell
- 02/07/17--07:49: Lessons from the Life of a Juggler
- 02/14/17--06:05: Author Platform Success Plan
- 02/21/17--05:54: Unearth the Gems Inside of You
- 02/28/17--05:31: The Memoir Through Line
- 03/21/17--05:43: What’s your VISION?
- 03/29/17--06:49: How to Frame Your Book
- 04/06/17--06:47: 25 Things I Learned About Writing in Italy
- 04/13/17--11:16: Top 7 Things to Expect from a Writing Course
- 05/09/17--05:57: Intuition and how we view each other
- 05/16/17--07:39: Are you tenacious enough to write a book?
- 05/25/17--07:08: Identify your WHY before writing a book
- 06/06/17--09:02: Blog Your Book in 10 Manageable Steps
- 06/20/17--07:17: Your book and what you really want out of life
- 07/13/17--14:30: Creative spaces to write
Writing children’s stories is imaginative, expressive, and lots of fun. It also requires an understanding of what makes a children’s book successful. With practice, your stories come to life with memorable characters, an engaging story, and age-appropriate design. Characters When you write children’s stories, feature a child as the main character who is slightly older than the reader. The child drives the action in the story and solves the problem themselves without the help of an adult or another character. Despite a flaw or desire, they are likable and relatable to children. Of course, not all children’s books include children (or animals) in the story, but when they do, feature them and let them be the hero. In the series of Clifford books, Clifford’s flaw is his largess. He wants to […]
There are times in our history that are marked in books, noted in lectures, and remembered for generations. These historical markers can be positive or negative, joyous or heart-wrenching, but all signal a time of profound change. Some events have divided our country while others have bound us together in an unshakeable union with a single-minded focus. Many more events are a combination of the two. History doesn’t happen in a vacuum. While there is often a single event noted as the day which changed the course of history, all were preceded by smaller events. Like a series of breadcrumbs through the forest, these events include stories of mini triumphs or not-so-minor injustices from individuals and groups of people. These stories contain our common humanity, our best ideals and hopes […]
For those of you who don’t know me well, besides being a writer, I am also a professional juggler. For 25 years, my husband and I have performed for audiences large and small, young and old. For the last couple of years. I had been trying to push the juggler me to the back so the publisher me, the professional one, can shine, but I realized I AM the sum of all my experiences. Juggling speaks to who I am as a person, as an entrepreneur. Trying and failing and trying again is how I built my first career as a juggler and that’s how I’m building my second one as The Happy Self-Publisher. All the things I learned, I’ve taken with me on my new journey. I also am […]
I speak to many aspiring writers. When we discuss writing, eyes are wide open. When we talk about publishing, writers are curious. When I mention building an author platform, I’m met with blank stares. It’s pretty universal. Writers, in general, are creative sorts and not natural-born marketers. Yet most seek some financial reward for their effort. Many hope for major success. So, how do you fill in the gap between knowledge and desire? When I decided to make writing my business a few years ago, I looked at my numbers. Zero blog posts. 100 +/- friends on Facebook. Zero email contacts beyond friends and family. I had a long way to go. Maybe you can relate. I needed a plan to get where I wanted to go. But first, I needed […]
We’ve all seen rocks. We’ve kicked them, collected them, and skipped them over ponds. Rocks located near rough waters or lining fast-moving streams get tumbled and worn, smoothed and reshaped. Rocks tumbling down mountainsides range from jagged boulders to tiny pebbles not much bigger than seeds which accompany them on their downward path. Yet, what looks like a rock on the outside isn’t always the case. While many rocks divided in two are bound to become smaller versions of the mother rock. Others conceal one of nature’s great surprises. Deep within Earth’s crust and buried beneath mountains of rocks, hold crystallized minerals known as gemstones. Chiseling away below certain rocks reveal shimmering beauty. Colors so brilliant they can only be found in nature. Yet, each rock reveals something quite different. […]
All books, fiction or nonfiction, have story arcs. Memoirs are no exception. According to memoirist Adair Lara, the story arc is, “the emotional framework” of a memoir. Your book must have an emotional driver from the first word of the book to the final period. Writers call this by a few names: the through line, the desire line, or even the happiness line. For you, the protagonist in the book, you hope for something. You NEED something. I want…is a good way to start. I want to live to see my children grow up. I want my mother to love me. I want to be first chair violinist in the London Philharmonic. I want to climb Mt. Everest after the loss of my leg. You can see in these statements […]
What’s your vision? Once you define why you’re writing a book, it’s important to envision your life as an author. If your book is wildly successful, what does that look like? If everything you ever dreamed about as an author all came true, how would you feel about yourself? Where would you be? Who is with you? I’ve heard many authors tell me they want to be on the New York Times Bestseller List. Terrific. But, what does that mean? Does that mean having a staff of people working for you in a New York midtown office? Are you flying around the country or the world promoting your book or doing radio and television interviews? Have you quit your job and moved your family across the country? Are you in […]
Let’s say you’ve got an idea for your nonfiction book, but you don’t know exactly how you’ll write it. You need a framework to give structure to your book and help sell it, too. Although you can probably build a house by hammering boards together, it’s more effective and efficient to build the frame first and then include the walls before you fill out the interior. The framework for the book is WHAT you say and HOW you say it. Here are some ideas to find the best way to present your book. The most effective way to find great ideas is to brainstorm them. If you need some help with how to brainstorm a book idea, or anything really, check out my post 6 Ways to Brainstorm Your Book. You’ll find […]
I just got back from a fabulous 2-week vacation in Italy and loved every minute of it. I explored the history and sites of different cities, towns, and countrysides and, most of all, the people. Within the immense beauty of the land and cultural history, I came away with thoughts about writing and life, in general. Let me take you on a little tour of the lessons I learned about writing while I was there. Something well created lasts longer than those which were created fast. Iconic buildings throughout Italy took years or even decades to build. We can write a book in a week, but long-remembered books took time to develop and write. Powerhouse Margaret Mitchell took ten years to write Gone with the Wind. People are motivated by fear […]
You are curious. My readers, in general, are curious people. It’s awesome! I love sharing what I’ve learned and seeing your (LED) lightbulb go on in your head. I started my company because I wanted to make it easy for aspiring authors to publish their books. Soon after, I realized that writers need help with writing and organizing before they get to the point of publishing. You want to know your book is good BEFORE you publish it, right? In order to satisfy your ravenous appetite for information about writing, publishing, and book promotion, I’m developing a series of online writing courses aimed at giving you exactly what you need and delivered in a way that’s easiest to consume. Before I wrote one word or shot one video, I considered […]
Do you ever have that nagging feeling about something? You go down a path you’re not sure you should go in search of love or money, recognition or acceptance. Whether the ultimate goal is realistic, desired, or even justified, you have a sense you’re on the wrong path. That’s your intuition talking to you. Intuition is with us all the time. You’ll make decisions because of it and despite it. You’ll get a feeling about someone the minute you meet them and decide whether you trust them or not. It’s all part of our evolution. Without the ability to scan a public Facebook profile or Google a person’s background info, our primitive ancestors needed to make snap decisions – friend or foe. This lingering survival trait gives us the ability […]
For those of you who know me or have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I am also a professional juggler. For those who don’t know me…yes, really. In addition to bringing the joy of authorship to writers, I also perform for young and old on stages large and small. The HAPPY in The Happy Self-Publisher stems from the joy I get performing (with my husband) and bringing smiles to children and their families for 25 years. Aside from performing as a juggler, I also speak about my experiences and my unusual life choice. The following is an excerpt from my talk, “Juggling Fire and Other Life Lessons.” I connect the past to present from learning to juggle to succeeding in other areas of life. The […]
Why are you writing a book? Of all the questions you’ll answer, this is one of the most important ones. The “why” behind any project, whether it’s a business venture or a book, is the driving force behind what you do and how you do it. Your why is your mission statement and everything you write in the book, from the quality of the production to how you market it, should point back to why you’re writing the book in the first place. In his TED talk, Simon Sinek famously talks about why then what. Think about why you are writing your book and then decide what you’ll write based on your answer. So, what does your why look like? The WHY behind a memoir Let’s say you want to […]
You’ve been blogging for a while and you have a lot of great content, right? Your readers love what you’re sharing and they want more. Why not turn all your words into a book that informs, inspires, or entertains your readers? Why not sprinkle a little magic dust on your hard work and make the transformation into an author? Why not blog your book? If you already have a blog or a series of articles and want to turn it into a book, this post will get you to the heart of it. Turning your blog into a book is both easier and more challenging than starting from scratch. It’s easier because you already have lots of content written which can save you tons of time. It’s harder because you’re […]
I talk a lot about knowing your why behind writing a book. It’s the single most important step to a successful outcome for your project. Once you determine your why, the next thing is to think about what you want in your life. You might be thinking, Wow, you’re reaching pretty far, aren’t you Lois? Why can’t I just get to writing the book? It’s too easy to have vague goals. But, most often, vague goals lead to equally vague results. You want results, right? Even if the goal is to sell one book, or just finish what you started, it’s a result. Your goals aren’t going to be like mine. We all have different things we want out of life. We often think of a few things we want […]
If you’re a dedicated writer, you’ve probably got your favorite spot to write. Maybe you curl up in a little nook in your bedroom or plunk down at the kitchen table. But sometimes you need to get out of the house. You need inspiration. While routine can be good, very good, writers benefit by shaking things up every once in a while. Feed your creative soul with different sights, sounds, and smells of life outside of the usual. You need creative spaces to write. Here are a few places that may take your brain on a little inspiration vacation. 5 Creative Spaces Coffee shop If you are a regular follower, you know that I routinely hang out at Panera for my morning writing. I used to walk down Main St. […]