What to Put on an Author Website

Nowadays, every author needs a website. Agents and publishers expect an author website before you ever contact them. And your website may well be a top way readers find you and your book. And, so, many of my clients find themselves  asking me, “What do I need? Can you look at my author website and tell me what’s missing?” I’ve answered these questions so frequently lately, I figured it’s time for a post on the subject: What to Put on an Author Website: 12 “Must Haves” 1. Your Name: Okay, obvious that your name should be on your page. Make…  Read more

Questions to Ask a Publisher and How to Negotiate a Publishing Contract

book cover favorite child

As we prepare for the final class of my Bring Your Book to Life® Program–a bonus call with literary agent Jody Rein–a participant sent in one of the most exciting questions you can imagine. A traditional publisher is interested in her book after reading the proposal. They had a few questions for clarification before bringing the book proposal to the editorial board. She wanted to know what’s next. In particular, she wondered what questions to ask a publisher once you have a book offer in hand. Here are a few questions I recommended: 1. What’s their vision for the book?…  Read more

10 Things First Graders Can Teach You About Writing Anything

dog haiku

My son’s first grade teacher asked if I’d volunteer to teach a writing lesson with the class as school winds down. I enjoy turning kids onto writing and I love the enthusiasm they bring to a creative project. Of course, I said, “Yes.” I didn’t want to take lots of time to prepare so I picked something really easy–Haiku poems. We talked about the Haiku form, which you may remember from English class as a poem of 5 syllables-7 syllables-and a final line of 5 syllables.  We wrote examples as a group together. Then the children wrote their own as…  Read more

Meet PR Intern Janine Squillante

Over the years I’ve been fortunate to meet many bright, creative and hardworking young people through internships with the University Of Rhode Island (URI) and Brown University. This summer, public relations major Janine Squillante is working on PR and social media. She’s adding beautiful visual images to our author quotes and writing tips for social media, interviewing authors for How-to-write-a-book.com and researching new ways to reach our community and provide value to you. Says Janine, “My first author interview is with Gail Alofsin, author of Your Someday is Now. I started reading the book and realized how much the lessons…  Read more

How Your Lack of Credentials May Be Your Greatest Author Asset


Kari Vernon, a participant in my Bring Your Book to Life Program, called today to thank me for facilitating several breakthroughs this week while she’s been on retreat working hard on her book. “But I still feel I have to make up for not being an expert in my field. I’m thinking I need a logo, marketing materials–and I need to make them really good to make up for my lack of mainstream credentials.” So, I told her a story about when my husband needed back surgery. I secured him an appointment with the top doctor at one of the…  Read more

Editing Tips from Writing Class


I’m in the midst of editing manuscripts and providing feedback for participants in my Bring Your Book to Life Program and it’s thrilling to witness the variety, the wisdom and the diversity of voices! I thought I’d share a editing tips that are coming up consistently and that might help you with your writing. 1. Write to a Specific Person: imagine a specific person in mind when you write. You might even picture this person in your mind. They can be real or imagined. Your writing will automatically become more engaging and conversational when you do this. When you write…  Read more

Finding Writing Voice and Polishing: Congratulations to Nautilus Book Awards Winners

kimber simpkins, award winning author

A big congratulations goes out to two Write Your Book Clients who received prestigious 2014 Nautilus Book Awards: Vint Virga, DVM, author of The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach us About Being Human won the silver Nautilus Book Award in the category of Animals and Nature. I met Vint at the Harvard Medical School CME publishing course and guided him in writing his book proposal, which won the book proposal contest at the Harvard course the following year. One of the things that most impressed me about Vint was his commitment to the art of writing. He received…  Read more

Writer’s Block: How to Get Unstuck & Make the Writing Flow

Yesterday, Bridget Engel, a participant in my Bring Your Book to Life® Program, shared a particularly brilliant and helpful insight for writer’s block, or any instance where you are questioning your ability to write a book. Bridget had been feeling challenged that day and coached herself to an answer from her inner guidance, in her case, her angels, similar to the work I teach people to connect with your “muse.” Her inner voice simply offered this: “Act as if no one has ever written about this topic before and you know what to say.” I thought it was great advice…  Read more

12 Author Tips to Write a Book: Inspiration & Advice from Successful Authors

book cover

Last week, my inbox was filled with exciting news from former clients and Bring Your Book to Life® Graduates. Whether you’re just beginning to write a book or meeting some challenges on the path, it’s always helpful to find others who have trod the way before you for both inspiration and mentoring. Here are their recent successes and a dozen author tips to write a book: FEATURED ON KATIE COURIC! Susan Rizzo Vincent, Bring Your Book to Life® Program graduate and author of Dreas’ Dream: An Unfinished Dance  shared her surprise when actress Jane Seymour spoke about Dreas’ Dream and…  Read more

How to Hire a Ghostwriter: 7 Tips for a Great Match

hire a ghostwriter

People often ask me how to hire a ghostwriter–someone to make the book a bestseller, of course! 3 main areas to consider before you hire a ghostwriter are: 1. What level of involvement will work best for you? Do you want help organizing, but then write much of the first draft on your own, with a heavy edit from your ghostwriter? Or do you want the person to write the whole first draft and finished book using your research and knowledge?Do you want a ghostwriter to the do the research as well? 2. What is your budget? Andre Agassi hired …  Read more