on Career Authors:
As a nonfiction editor and ghostwriter, I’ve worked on many how-to books with my clients on topics ranging from addiction to entrepreneurship. So when it came time to write my own, Writing Compelling Fiction, I thought it would be easy. After all, I’ve taught writing for years and have written multiple columns about how to be a better writer.
But it turns out writing my own how-to book wasn’t the piece of cake I expected, and it took me longer to get it going than I thought it would. I knew a how-to book had to provide value for the readers’ time, information that they could use, and be unique in the marketplace.
What I was writing about, however, was fiction, a topic I had taught and knew a lot about (after publishing more than seven dozen novels of my own) but had never compiled into one resource. How was I going to deliver value in a unique way, and in a crowded market?
I needed a how-to book on how-to books.
The lessons I learned are ones any how-to writer can take and apply to their own book to make it as powerful and effective as possible. They’re also lessons that will help the author make money off their book, particularly if they are using the book as entry into the lucrative worlds of speaking, teaching, and coaching.