TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part 1: Getting Started
1. Basic Equipment Needs
Get these low-cost but necessary items now so you can do your job efficiently.
2. What Is Your Writer’s Space?
You’ll be spending a lot of time there so make it inviting before you start writing.
3. Make Those Precious Moments Count
If you have the desire, you have the time. I show you where it is.
4. Name Your Files So You Can Find Them
How do you locate those freewrites, chapter drafts, letters to experts, and other emerging files when you need to refer to them later? It’s easy with this simple method.
Part 2: Writing Your Book
5. Freewriting: Creating Order out of Chaos
How do you tame the brilliant thoughts and crazy ideas already swirling around in your head and make sense out of it all? Start with freewriting.
6. Turning Your Freewrite into a Book
Okay, you freewrote. Now turn those freewritten ideas into a completed manuscript.
7. Titling and Subtitling Your Book
War and Peace is already taken. Make yours as enduring.
8. Conducting Interviews
Your opinion only goes so far in establishing your expertise. At some point you’ve got to turn to the experts. Organize your questions first.
9, Moving Beyond MGS Paralysis
“But I can’t be a writer. I’m no good in mechanics, grammar, and spelling.” Not so. FYI: John Steinbeck couldn’t spell.
10. The Joy of Deleting, and Other Neat Tips
If you grew up in the digital age, you’ve always known that deleting errors and correcting them was immediate and painless. Don’t settle for “It’s good enough.”
Part 3: As Your Book Nears Completion
11. A Few Notes on Indexing
If your book will need an index, you probably will have to pay for it. Make the most out of the requirement for the least amount of money.
12. Tracking Down Experts for Forewords and Testimonial Quotes
Don’t settle for a quote from your next door neighbor, the English major. Reach out to the best names in your field.
13. The Best Prose Is Poetry
Don’t let that lazy writing that you allowed to slip into your freewriting make it into your published book. Twenty tips to make your final draft shine like a diamond.
14. Peer Reviewing with Honesty and a Base of Goodwill
Editors are necessary but good ones are not cheap. Before you hire one, get concrete, specific feedback from your community.
Part 4: Publishing Your Book
15. Choosing Your Route to Publication
Do you publish your book yourself or let another publisher do it for you? I give you pros and cons of each route.
16. Ordering the Front Matter and Back Matter
Someone has to write and position those pages. If you publish independently, you’re that someone.
17. Designing the Cover
The first impression most readers will have of your book will be from an icon of the front cover on Amazon. Make it stand out.
18. Get Your Own ISBN and Barcode
You can’t upload your files until you’ve got your ISBN and barcode. It only takes one web search apiece to get them.
19. Manuscript Submission and Coding Your Files
You need two files for each version of your book that you publish: one for the cover and one for the inside text. Next: Select your platforms and launch your book.
20. Grab Your Share of the Growing Audiobook Market
Because “who’s got time to sit and read a book nowadays anyway?”
Part 5: Promoting and Selling Your Book
21. Build Your Income Stream
Writing and publishing your book is the easy part. Promoting and selling it is where the hard work begins. But you have so many opportunities.
22. It Starts with a Business Plan
You can make a lot of money with your book if you don’t get overwhelmed with the vast amount of marketing options. “Know your Jennifer.”
23. Think Like a Bestseller—Whether or Not Your Book Makes a List
Do you think being a bestseller will help increase sales? Of course, but make the pursuit part of your business plan—not your whole plan:
24. An Exercise in Stress Relief
You’ve got good news to share about your upcoming book. So much stress—but it’s good stress. Here’s what you do to harness it.
25. Selling Ebooks with Smashwords: An Interview with Mark Coker
The founder of the author-friendly ebook platform shares secrets and best practices for selling ebooks on Smashwords.
Part 6: Some Notes about Book Contracts
26. Question This Chapter: An Introduction to Author Contracts
Wherein I introduce you to the boilerplate book contract and begin to describe the beast it is.
27. You’re Screwed No Matter What You Do—but You Can Make It Better
If you ask for everything you want, you get some of it. If you ask for nothing, you get all of it.
28. Negotiating Your Book Contract
Warning: Nearly every clause that matters in a boilerplate book contract works heavily against your interests. Don’t settle without a fight.
29. Copyright: Keep It in Your Name
What? Your publisher said it would be more convenient if you signed over the copyright to them? Don’t fall for that phony line.
30. How to Register Your Copyright
Now that you understand copyright, register to get yours. Here’s how.
31. Bank on Their 501(c)3 Status
Couldn’t negotiate travel money in your contract? If your publishing house has nonprofit status, you can raise money yourself while giving your friends tax deductions for the coming season.
32. The Drunk Lawyer Clause
Only a drunk lawyer could have conceived of a clause so stupid it harms the lawyer’s client. Change this clause in your contract if it’s there and don’t look back.
Part 7: “You Can Do It” Section
33. The Reward System Works
The big reward is your finished book. Short-term rewards along the way give you the boost to get there.
34. The Me-You-Us Theory
You can deepen your bonds with your loved ones as you approach the finish line even as your book starts sucking up your family time. And it will.
35. I Write a Wrong in Syracuse: The Power of a Well-Written Message
The author praises the power of words and recalls his victory over the city of Syracuse with a series of forceful letters.