“Marketing Terrifies Me”: How to Overcome Fear of Marketing / Sales (for Authors and Others)

marketer of the year award

In preparing for her recent VIP Day consultation with me, a client divulged her immobilizing fear of marketing. She’s not alone. I’ve heard dozens, maybe hundreds, of variations on this theme for years  now. And, if you can imagine yourself saying these words, I want to be clear: It’s probably not marketing you’re terrified of. No. No. No. In a minute, I’ll share how to overcome fear of marketing or sales, but first, here’s my own admission: When Melissa Sones encouraged me to apply for “Marketer of the Year” from the American Business Awards, I felt that clutching fear in my tummy. I…  Read more

How Carol Lambert Got Unstuck, Finished Her Book Proposal and Signed a Book Deal


“Last summer I imagined being 80 years old and asked myself, ‘What regrets would I have?’ Not finishing and publishing my book. That would be a big regret.” Carol A. Lambert’s work on her book and book proposal had slowed down due to a couple of personal transitions. “Life got in the way. My progress was slow, on and off.” When she anticipated the potential regret of not finishing, Carol decided to make the book a priority again. “I felt stuck, though, not as energized. Then I got an email to sign up for the free call Writing in the Zone.” That call inspired Carol…  Read more

Timeless Tools for the Modern Writer: An Interview With Greg Miller

millers compendium

Last year, my colleague, the hyper-creative, witty and multi-talented Greg Miller, told me he was working on an ebook and asked if he could share an article I’d written as a resource in it. I was flattered, of course, and curious. Recently I had a peek at the book – and it is more inspiring, brilliant, practical and playful than I even imagined when he first shared the idea. Now, Miller’s Compendium of Timeless Tools for the Modern Writer is written and soon-to-be-available. Since Greg’s Kickstarter campaign started Saturday , I thought it the perfect time to share this rich resource with you–give you a chance…  Read more

What Authors Need to Know About Amazon Marketing Tools (Part 2)

Howard VanEs, Amazon Expert

Last week, in  3 Things Authors Need to Know About Amazon, Howard VanEs generously shared the importance of Amazon and Amazon Marketing Tools, what authors need to know about selecting keywords on Amazon (and why this is essential),  BISAC categories (what are they, why you should care and what you need to know) and more. In today’s interview, Howard de-mystifies Amazon marketing tools, including Amazon’s KDP Select Program, Pay per click, Author Central and Kindle Countdown. LT: Why are you excited about Amazon’s marketing tools? HV: Amazon’s marketing tools are very effective at helping authors sell books. No other platform online…  Read more

How Many Websites Should an Author Have?


A client recently wrote me this question, one I hear often enough that I decided to answer here publicly. “How many websites should an author have?” There are different schools of thought on whether an author who is also an entrepreneur should have two websites–one for the business and one for the books. Before I advise you, a bit of a background on SEO is helpful. SEO: Search Engine Optimization. Translation: Getting found on Google and other search engines. My husband Tom Patterson is an SEO Expert and here’s what he taught me: when someone types in a “keyword” or…  Read more

3 Things Authors Need to Know About Amazon

Howard VanEs, Amazon Expert

When it comes to book marketing, I learn half of what I know from my editing and publishing clients. So, when Cathy Turney, author of Laugh Your Way to Real Estate Sales Success told me her book was the #1 ebook sold on Amazon that day, I had to know what she was doing! Cathy put me in touch with Howard VanEs, an expert in both book publishing and book marketing who designed her book, a finalist for a Stevie Award for Best Business Book of the Year and Best Business Ebook of the Year. Howard graciously agreed to share…  Read more

Should I Focus on My Book/Proposal, Author Platform or Both?

book writing coach lisa tener

A client asked me today whether he should focus only on writing his book proposal or work on building his author platform at the same time. First, my advice to him, followed by my advice for you. For him: “I understand you’re feeling overwhelmed, but right now you’re not getting contact information for the people interested in your topic. If you write the proposal and completely wait to develop your platform, it will be a hurry up and wait scenario, where we can’t put the proposal out until we’ve built more platform.” [His is a fairly competitive category in the book…  Read more

“Should I Give Up?”: What Publishers Look for in A Memoir and What You Need to Know About Publishing a Memoir

you really should write a book

I received an e-mail from an aspiring author who  found my website recently. She had shopped around her memoir and it did not generate interest from publishers. Now she says she’s about to give up. In her words, she doesn’t want to publish an ebook. My sense was she did not necessarily have a solid understanding of what publishers look for in a memoir. She may have assumed that if her book was well written and would help people that would be enough. It’ s not. Publishing is a business and publishers need to make money. They want to be sure there is…  Read more

How to Write a Memoir? The 5 Things You Need to Know


So, you’re writing a memoir. And maybe you’re not sure how to start, or you just want to make sure you’re doing things right before you go off in a cave, or on retreat, to get it done. There are 5 mistakes I see all the time in memoirs: 1. Too broad a scope 2. Rambling 3. Telling 4. Over reliance on visual details 5. Generics You won’t have to make those mistakes when you keep these 5 points in mind: 1. This isn’t an autobiography: An autobiography is about a famous person, like a president or celebrity or sports figure,…  Read more

Writers Block After a Bad Book Launch? It’s Bigger Than Your Book, Part II

book by writing coach lisa tener

What if your book disappoints you? Most of my clients report amazing opportunities that come out of publishing their books–new careers, travel, keynote speaking, national publicity, making a bigger impact than they ever imagined…but not everyone. I recently e-mailed a client to ask about her post-publishing situation. “Not good,” she wrote. There were the folks who let her down–businesses that seemed interested in promoting her book and then retracted. She also felt burned out after pounding the pavement to sell books with only lackluster sales to show for it. The author pointed to the opening letter in my recent newsletter…  Read more