A Blueprint for Writing Nonfiction

Judy Cullins

Do you ever wonder how to get started on a nonfiction writing project? Do you stare at the screen wondering what to say? Do you get tired of the sound of your own voice? (I know I do.)If that sounds familiar, you'll want to read Judy Cullins' blog post, The One Edit Book Chapter Writing Blueprint. It gives a quick and compelling structure for informational and problem-based nonfiction.If you're writing literary fiction, memoir or biography, her approach is probably not going to be as … [Read more...]

When to Use Jargon in Writing for the Web

Speak your audience's language

From web usability expert Jakob Nielsen, a few kind words about jargon: Jargon has a bad reputation in communications circles: in fact, a thesaurus suggests “waffle”, “gobbledygook”, “guff”, and “mumbo jumbo” as possible substitutes. But that’s because jargon obscures the message for readers outside a field. For professionals, enthusiasts, hobbyists, or others who specialize in a field, using that field’s jargon improves communication. Furthermore, using appropriate argot defines you as a … [Read more...]

When Your Publisher Buries Your Book . . .

Mourning doesn't matter if your book has disappeared from your publisher's memory.

This cautionary tale about book publishing is true. I heard it from the author herself, and I’ve run across similar others. I’ve changed all the identifying information to preserve the author's privacy so that you can have the benefit of her experience.Margaret is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in treating depression. About 10 years ago, before the publishing revolution hit, she was approached to co-author a book about her specialty. Titled The Depression Recovery … [Read more...]

How Do You Find Ebooks That Are Worth Reading?

Man searching through tall grass

Whenever the topic of the new publishing landscape comes up, the sticky objection is that with all the new books being published, there’s no way to sort out the good from the bad.The objection often comes from advocates of the established traditional publishers, confident that they have always and will continue — if permitted — to serve in that role of gatekeeper for what is worthy of publication.It’s easy to snap back with their failures to close the gates on some egregious works or to … [Read more...]

Why Do You Write?

A man's hand with "listen" written on it

Someone on one of the LinkedIn authors’ groups posted something like: I heard that sex sells! Get my sexy new romance … I didn’t finish reading the pitch.Now, I’ll admin that a sexy romance isn’t my cup of tea, but don’t we all want our authors to bring something more to a book than, “I heard _____ sells”?Of course we authors want our books to sell —To compensate us for our effort To make writing our life’s work To pay for that trip to France we’ve always wanted Or just as a … [Read more...]