Planning Is the Key To Successful Nonfiction Book Writing

Planning Is the Key To Successful Nonfiction Book WritingLike anything else in life, those who succeed at nonfiction book writing make lists and prepare in advance. By doing research on your topic, such as, your competition, possible titles, and amount of existing research and information available on your topic, you will be better able to approach your manuscript with some solid ideas in mind. Additionally, do not try to retain everything in your head, make many notes and lists as begin and proceed. List ideas and thoughts related to the book as they come to you. Have a recorder or pad in the bathroom, in your vehicle, on your bed stand, in the kitchen and other places where you spend time. Ideas come at the darndest times; capture them before they disappear.

Posted in book ideas for nonfiction authors, Book writing strategies, ideas for authors, Non-fiction writing, Nonfiction writing tips, quotations, quotes, Success tips for authors, Tips for Authors, writing tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Customer Service Skills for Success 6th by Robert W. Lucas Now Available

The top-selling customer service textbook in the United States, Customer Service Skills for Success by Robert W. Lucas, is now in print from McGraw-Hill. This 6th edition includes four-color layout with more images to enhance the content and a completely changed graphic appearance.

Customer Service Skills for Success 6th by Robert W. Lucas Now Available

Customer Service Skills for Success 6th by Robert W. Lucas Now Available

In the book, readers will find real-world customer service issues and provides a variety of updated resources, activities and examples for customer service representatives at different levels in an organization. It also includes tips from the author and other active professionals in the industry designed to gain and hold readers’ interest while providing additional insights into the concepts and skills related to customer service that are found throughout the book.

The text begins with a macro view of what customer service involves today and provides projections for the future of the customer service profession, then focuses on specific customer service skills and related topics.

Here’s what readers will find inside the book:

Part One – The Profession

  • The Customer Service Profession
  • Contributing to the Service Culture

Part Two – Skills for Success

  • Verbal Communication Skills
  • Nonverbal Communication Skills
  • Listening Skills

Part Three – Building and Maintaining Relationships

  • Customer Service and Behavior
  • Service Breakdowns and Service Recovery
  • Customer Service in a Diverse World
  • Customer Service via Technology’
  • Encouraging Customer Loyalty

This book answers everything from “What is Customer Service?” to “How do I handle a variety of diverse customers in various customer service situations?”.

To gain thousands of ideas, strategies and customer service tips for interacting successfully with internal and external customers in any type of customer service environment and deliver excellent customer service, get a copy of Customer Service Skills for Success 6th edition.

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Inspirational Quote for Writers By Truman Capote

Inspirational Quote for Writers By Truman CapoteLike many authors, Truman Capote enjoyed his career as an author and often provided positive motivational quotes and encouraged others to follow his approach to writing when they experienced writer’s block or a loss of enthusiasm. The result was that his works are famous.

A key to being a successful writer or author is to prepare yourself with the knowledge and skills needed to succeed, then focus your efforts on taking a positive outlook to what you are writing or want to write.

The inspirational quote above from Capote projects the result of taking a positive and enthusiastic approach to truly enjoying what you do as an author.

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Tips On Becoming a Writer and Writing A Book

Tips On Becoming a Writer and Writing A BookMany people want to learn how to write a book. Becoming a writer can be a fun and rewarding career if you take the time required to learn basic writing skills, such as, grammar, syntax, punctuation, proofreading, and editing. Some other things that you need to do are to read articles and books on ways to research, develop and fine tune your work.

As you develop your writer’s voice or writing style you will start to create products that people will potentially read and follow.

Of course there are some potential pitfalls along the way. For example, many new and experienced writers experience something called “writer’s block” that can potentially stifle your creativity for a short period or longer, if you let it. To overcome this, read articles in this blog and in books on the topic to learn how to potentially prevent and overcome the issue.

If you enjoy seeing a solid product that you completed and that other people enjoy, writing articles and books can be a great way to achieve those things.


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How to Write a Book Proposal for Non Fiction Books

How to Write a Book Proposal for Non Fiction BooksIf you are working with traditional publishers, or with some small to mid-size ones, you will likely either be using a query letter or a book proposal to get the acquisition editor’s attention.  Since many publishers no longer accept an unsolicited non fiction book proposal, it is crucial that you provide the information that will help make them want to take a look at what you have to offer.

After publishing the top-selling customer service textbook on the market (Customer Service Skills for Success) and thirty other nonfiction books successfully with traditional publishing companies, I thought I would share the format that I have used in my non fiction book proposals. You may want to use similar elements in any proposal that you submit along with an introductory letter about yourself.

The most important thing before approaching a publisher is to be committed to the work, since writing is a time-consuming and solitary experience. By creating a quality proposal, you are on the way to demonstrating your determination to see your book in print to a publisher.

There is no mystery to writing a book proposal, but just in case you need one, here is my nonfiction book proposal sample format:

Cover letter: A short one page cover letter introducing yourself, highlighting any previous writing experience and explaining why you are writing (e.g. to present a proposal for a book on _______). Explain that you book proposal is attached and request that they review it for consideration. Make sure you provide any links to blogs, websites or other places where they can view samples of your articles or other written materials. Also, do not forget contact information (e.g. phone and email address).

Synopsis: Write a one or two page overview of what the book will contain. The format I use for this is to put a draft Table of Contents listing intended chapter titles (the order and titles can change with editor approval as you develop the manuscript). I also add one or two paragraphs explaining what I will cover in each chapter under each chapter titles.

Author biography: This is a one-page overview written in third-person that highlights your professional and educational background, and shows that you are the best person to write a book on the proposed topic. List special qualifications, especially any related to writing and anything that you have published, or for which you have won awards.

Intended Audience: Who is your target audience? Do not use generalities (e.g. anyone who is employed for a large organization). Be specific and focus on large, but specific, groups (e.g. supervisors and managers in the hospitality industry or instructors in higher education institutions who  teach courses on biology).

Competition: List the titles, authors, publishers and years of release for each. Explain how will your book will differ from each book and what will be unique about it.

Marketing plan: Since most publishers do not allocate large quantities of money for marketing a book for a new or non-best-selling author you will expected to do the majority of marketing, advertising  and promoting your book. That is why developing an author platform is so important before you approach a traditional publisher with a proposal. In your proposal, explain who you know or have connections to in a one-page document. For example:

  • Do you have famous friends or professional connections that might write a forward or recommend the book?
  • What social media are you using and how many connections do you have for each?
  • Do you plan to contact local media (e.g. radio, television and print)?
  • Do you regularly speak to professional or other groups where books might be sold or promoted?
  • To what professional or other groups do you belong to and attend meetings where you can network and share information or sell books?
  • Do you blog regularly on the book topic where you can promote it? Give visitor numbers and how often you post entries.
  • Mention any other venues, groups or opportunities you have available to promote the book.

Book specifications: In this final section, detail your vision for the book format (e.g. word count, size, binding, final page count, number of pages based on a specific existing format. Approximate number of graphs, illustrations, images,  photos, or sidebars you anticipate. If using these, explain whether you will produce them or use ones from another source. If the latter will you be obtaining copyright permission for their use or will the publisher have to do so.

If there will be anything about the format that requires special adaptations or design, make sure to point that out. For example if you are writing a book on architecture and you plan three-dimensional pop-up images of buildings, indicate this in the book specification.

Sample chapter(s): If you are first-time author with no published books, most publishers will want to see at least three chapters of your manuscript. This will give them a feel of your voice, writing style, and ability to use correct grammar, syntax, punctuation and other necessary elements in writing. It also shows that you are sincere about the project and have already begun to produce a product that they can convert into a book.

One personal note of importance when writing nonfiction… I have only written one query letter to a publisher in my life. I followed all the suggestions from sources like Writer’s Digest and sent out eighty-two queries to publishers listed in the Writer’s Digest Writers Market. I got two responses… both “no.” I also have never used an agent to get a contract.

What I have done successfully is to learn how to write a book proposal and attend professional conferences where I visit their vendor expositions. There, I find all the major publishers who create products for the industry hosting the show. 99% of the time, those publishers have an acquisitions editor on site whose sole purpose is to identify potential authors. After talking to them and sending a cover letter, biography and book proposal, I have always gotten a contract. I suggest this approach, especially if you are looking to write a textbook, self-help or business type of book. Obviously, your experience might be different depending on your personal experience and subject matter expertise.

To get ideas on how to build your author platform, market and make money from your book once it is published, get a copy of Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors.

Posted in book ideas for nonfiction authors, getting non-fiction books published, ideas for authors, non-fiction book publication, strategies for non-fiction book publication, Success tips for authors, Tips for Authors | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Inspiring Quote for Writer’s – Robert W. Lucas

 Inspirational Quote for Writers - Robert W. Lucas

As the short inspirational quote above suggests, writing a book can result in extrinsic rewards like money, fame and recognition. It can also lead to intrinsic rewards like enhanced self esteem and a feeling of accomplishment.

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3 Tips for Reducing Writer’s Block and Eliminating Anxiety As An Author

3 Tips for Reducing Writer's Block and Eliminating Anxiety As An AuthorDealing with anxiety as an author can cause often put undo strain on your creativity. If you have ever experienced writer’s block as an author, you know that it can be frustrating, stressful and anxious.

Writer’s block is often caused by a lack or loss of confidence due to a variety of things. There might be outside issues putting pressure on you to produce a quality product (e.g. a publication deadline, personal issues, loss of inspiration, or possibly a previous work that was not well received by readers and critics). Whatever the reason for the block, it is important to try to get past it before more serious issues result (e.g. physical or mental issues).

Authors often search for new inspiration and ideas when writing a book or article and for ways of overcoming writer’s block when it strikes. While research shows that there is no absolute way of totally eliminating anxiety for authors when they experience self-doubt or loss of focus, there are many ways that you might rebound if you feel that you are dealing with anxiety as an author. If you suffer from this condition and cannot get past it on your own, it is important to get professional help before potential long-term harm is done.

Here are three simple writing tips that might help you get back on track to a successful book or article:

1.  Validate your title. Before writing an article or book, test out the topic to see if it is something that people even want or that might be a viable topic. For example, go online to Google AdWords Keyword Planner (or whatever Google is calling it at the time you read this article, since they change the site regularly) and search potential words that you intend to use in your title. This is especially important if you are posting articles on a blog or website since common keyword terms are how people search topics and find your work.

Other sources for finding a good title are and Barnes and Noble online. Go to them to search potential book titles by typing in your book topic to see what has already been published. If the title you planned is already in use; move to an alternate so that competitors do not benefit from your future marketing efforts. For example, if you use the same or similar title, a potential customer might search and end up on the competing book instead of yours.

2. Do background research on your subject. Once you decide on a topic or genre, go online, to a bookstore, or to a library and search out other books, articles and information on your intended work. Look for reference books that might help provide ideas for articles or other written products (e.g.10,000 ideas for term papers, projects, reports and speeches). Also search for materials that have been written on your topic and do some reading to see the types of content, style and information that the authors of those products used. Check out the sources they used or referenced in their work for additional ideas.

3. Check out your competition. While any current issue or trend is a potential topic target, if your research indicates that there is a plethora of material on it, you might want to fine tune or reduce the focus of your intended work. For example, instead of a book on “Successful Internet Marketing,” try something like “Successful Internet Marketing on Facebook.”

For more ideas and information on writer’s block and how to potentially reduce it, check out these resources on Amazon.





Posted in Article writing tips, book ideas for nonfiction authors, Book writing strategies, ideas for authors, inspiration for writers, Non-fiction writing, Nonfiction writing tips, Success tips for authors, Tips for Authors, writing tips | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Writer’s Block Can Be Overcome With the Right Attitude

Writers Block Can Be Overcome With the Right AttitudeIf you ever have a period of time in which you cannot think of something to write about and are dealing with anxiety…look around you. Most people have a book inside them, they just need a bit of inspiration.

When you doubt yourself as an author or aspiring author, simply take to time to jot down a list of your areas of knowledge, skills, experience, things that you really enjoy or that inspire you. All of these are great opportunities for both nonfiction and authors to address.

By doing an Internet search, you can also find guidance on everything from eliminating anxiety for authors and how to deal with anxiety when writing to writing tips for authors or specific tips on writing a book.

Posted in ideas for authors, inspiration for writers, Non-fiction writing, Nonfiction writing tips, quotations, quotes, Success tips for authors, Tips for Authors, writing tips | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Writing Inspiration by William Wordsworth

Writing Inspiration by William WordsworthPeople who love to write articles and books typically have a rich imagination, are creative in their use of words and really enjoy what they are doing. Non fiction writers also enjoy the additional challenge of researching new information and sharing their message with their readers.

To be successful at writing, you must embrace the opportunities and truly want to write. Even when you encounter momentary writers block or cannot seem to get words in print, by realizing that “this too shall pass,” you will ultimately succeed.

The satisfaction felt upon successful completion of an article or book will soon make you forget the challenges encountered on the way to that finished work.


Posted in Article writing tips, Book writing strategies, ideas for authors, inspiration for writers, Non-fiction writing, Nonfiction writing tips, quotations, quotes, Success tips for authors, Tips for Authors, writing tips | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Coping with Anxiety as a Writer or Author

Coping with Anxiety as a Writer or AuthorAspiring and newer writers and authors often ask me for tips on writing a book or how I handle various situations and issues related to developing an idea and turning it into a published book. While there are probably thousands of articles and book offering writing tips for authors, I thought I’d share a few points I’ve found useful over the years related to the writing process and specifically, writers block.

Many writers and authors face the daunting writer’s block when they sit before a blank piece of paper of computer monitor. Causes stem from things, such as, not being prepared, lack of a developed ideas or theme, outside distractions interrupting their thought flow, or a lack of confidence as a writer. No matter what the cause, here are three simple techniques to reduce or alleviate writer’s block and that might get you back on track if you experience this dreaded impairment.

1. Take our a blank piece of paper and a pen and write your topic of central message or theme that you wish to share in the middle of the paper.

Next, just start brainstorming anything that you can think of related to that topic and list these around your central theme. Do this for 5-10 minutes until you have as many ideas as possible on the paper. You can now use these as subtopics in your writing by creating sub-headers on your paper or screen and then starting to fill in content under each.

2. Ask a friend or colleague that you trust to listen as you share your idea or concept and then share some general elements of the content that you hope to create. If you do not have someone to talk with, use a voice recorder and just do some free-flow talking into the machine listing the central topic or theme. Also record associated elements that would likely tie to into the book or article topic.

3. Do some research in other books or articles, and on the Internet, on a similar theme or topic to discover what key points other writers or authors have addressed on the topic. Do not copy theirs. Instead write down key points that relate to your idea and later go back and put a different spin on what you have read. Once you have this as a starting point, begin to develop content under each point.

If you are looking for additional resources and ideas on how to reduce or eliminate writers block, check out these resources.

Posted in ideas for authors, Nonfiction writing tips, quotations, quotes, Success tips for authors, Tips for Authors, writing tips | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment