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Notes on Freelance Camp 2011 – How to Write a Book (Session #3)

This is a continuation from my previous post What Clients and Consultants Really Think? (Session#2). The third session that I attended is on writing and publishing a book.

How to Write a Book, by Kathrin Lake
This was a very interesting session for me because I aspire to one day publish my very own paperback. Kathrin says that for her, it usually takes her 2-3 months to write a book. She says that it is about trust, in that readers wants to get to know you. She also says that successful writers have memorable stories to tell. They are about life stories and must have a message. Everyone knows how to write but Kathrin says you must intimately know the process that you use to do that. If you don’t already, then you have to figure out your own process for writing. Her suggestion for finding your writing process is to:
1) write blogs;
2) get the bulk of your book done;
3) read, educate yourself.

Editing
If you are starting out, you probably should send out an electronic copy of your book to family and friends. Kathrin pushes for a quick push to get the majority of your book done and multiple edits from multiple editors. If you can afford it, professional editors are obviously the way to go.

Publishing 
Kathrin says that the publishing world is in complete chaos right now because there are so many formats, i.e. ebooks, kindle, and ipad. Since it is so easy to publish, there is also a lot of competition. She says there are 5 ways to publish: 1) Traditional publishing; 2) Self-publishing, print-on-demand; 3) Sponsored publishing, paid expert advice; 4) Kindle, this is the cheapest; 5) Blogging. Item number 2 appeals to me.

Marketing 
Sharing excerpts of your book is a great marketing tactic. Selling by chapter or chunks is also a very good way to tease readers into reading your entire book. You have to have a ‘platform’, i.e. what is your form of exposure for your book? Put together book trailers and videos, and get endorsements from your Advanced Reading Copy (ARC) that you send out. So get started. If you already run a blog like this one, convert your blog into an ebook. One of the myths is that you have to write chronologically, but that’s just not true. You can write it any way you like. Someone asked why readers would buy an ebook when they could just go online to read the blog. The answer is that some people like their reading materials all neatly packaged and in print. I know I do.

I enjoyed this session and I may sign up for more of Kathrin Lake’s classes at Douglas College. These were my notes from a weeks back so I hope I covered everything. There are still other sessions that I attended at Freelance Camp but I’ll save them for next time.

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