Writing the Truth: A Reflection on Authenticity in Writing and Life

On the Virgin America airplane ride back from a writers conference, I watched three movies—a decadent luxury for this mompreneur. After watching a documentary about the life of one-time musical prodigy Ben Lee, I found myself inspired and wrote a song—not something I usually do. In fact, my family used to joke about how un-musical I am;  my childhood piano teacher begged my parents to send me for dance lessons—and not because she loved my Plié or Relevé. I found the song writing experience surprising and soul-nourishing in a way my other writing hadn’t been lately when I’d tried to write…  Read more

When a Famous Literary Agent Delegates Your Book Proposal

questions about literary agents

Once in a while, I hear from a client who signs with an upper echelon literary agent only to have that agent hand the project down to a less senior staff member. This is not a problem in itself as the staff member has more time to implement work on your proposal and, ideally, the big name agent will provide guidance and weigh in. However, sometimes the greener agent isn’t as excited about your project as her others since she didn’t choose it. She may also feel less comfortable with your project than others because she hasn’t taken ownership of it. Maybe…  Read more

Simplicity, Book Writing and Teaching by Connecting

book cover laws of simplicity

I’d like to share a story about my recent experience with simplicity because it points to a powerful strategy for book writing. Every year when I send out the welcome letter for my Bring Your Book to Life© Program, I apologize for the length and quantity of information contained!  There’s just so much I need to impart about how to schedule the consultations with me, the questionnaire to fill out, what participants get with the program, how the optional accountability partner system works–and how to make it especially effective for you…the list goes on. The complexity troubled me. Even after cutting…  Read more

5 Authors Share the Quirky Workplace Skills That Make Them Successful in their Creative Writing Careers

tama kieves with books

While writing a post for Writer’s Digest on 12 Workplace Skills to Apply to Your Creative Writing Career, I thought about how we often dismiss our previous jobs as irrelevant to our current life as writers. Yet, many of our best assets are skills we learned in those “irrelevant” jobs. Serving as Executive Director of the wonderful nonprofit organization Hospitality Homes taught me most of what I know about Marketing and PR. I learned everything from how to write a press release to how to interview someone about their compelling life experience to how to be informative—and even entertaining, I…  Read more

Publishing Trends and Tips from Julie Silver, MD

julie silver

Publishing is changing by the minute and the savvy author learns about these trends and shifts to see how she can avoid new pitfalls and leverage the trends to benefit. I’ve been speaking and writing on this subject quite a bit recently, most notably on the Huffington Post and on Live Write Thrive. One of the best ways to immerse yourself in this moment in publishing is to attend a course or conference. The Harvard Medical School publishing course (which offers CME credits for medical professionals, BTW) Achieving Healthcare Leadership and Impact through Writing, Publishing and Social Media is one of the best…  Read more

6 Trend-Savvy Book Publishing Strategies

book writing coach lisa tener

The publishing industry continues to be in a state of flux, but all you really need to know as an author is how that change affects you. I’ve been thinking about the 6 main trends I see in publishing and how authors can leverage those trends with publishing strategies that translate into reaching readers, selling books and having an impact. Hop on over to my post on the Huffington Post to see how you can avoid the pitfalls of publishing trends like competition, cost-cutting, digitiality–and actually benefit! And, please, share your comments on the Huffington Post–the most useful comments are insightful observations or…  Read more

SEO for Authors: How to Rank Higher on Google


SEO: Search Engine Optimization. In English? Having your website or book show up when someone Googles a term related to your book or business. Well, it’s a little more than that, too, as Ian Garlic will tell you. As a writer and writing coach, I know firsthand how important SEO is for being found by clients. And as an author, good SEO can help you sell many more books. Most authors don’t do a great job of SEO and their websites are not necessarily found that often by potential readers or potential clients. After meeting Ian Garlic when he joined…  Read more

How to Come up With a Book Title that Sizzles

An example of a one-word title for a memoir by Bring Your Book to Life graduate Kimber Simpkins (the book won a Nautilus Award in 2014 and was picked up by a traditional publisher).

It’s always exciting to help a client come up with a great book title. I still remember the conversation where I suggested The Creativity Cure to Carrie Barron. The title came from listening to Carrie talk about the work she does with her clients, the problems they have, the promise, benefits and results they are seeking. I heard two things in listening to Carrie: a) Creativity was the method by which she helped people  and b) the people she helped were depressed, anxious and unhappy. The Creativity Cure spoke to the audience and offered a solution to their problem–a potential cure,…  Read more

How to Sell More Books Through Niche Media

If you’re the author of a business book, you may long to be quoted in the Wall Street Journal or Financial Times or Fast Company. Being quoted in a big, national news source is always good for a book and its author, but the truth is, you may sell way more books by being quoted in a media outlet that only your readers have heard of. I’d never heard of Inman.com, yet that is the real estate equivalent of Bloomberg News for business. For Cathy Turney, author of Laugh Your Way to Real Estate Sales Success, Inman reaches the specific…  Read more

Top Book Writing and Publishing Posts of 2014

As we look back on 2014 with gratitude, I thought I’d share some of my own top posts of 2014 along with some of the most helpful book writing and publishing posts from other experts in the field that will help you with many aspects of writing and publishing a book. Thanks to Mike Larsen, Jane Friedman, Michael Hyatt, Shelton Interactive, Nancy Tierney, Rachel Vane and Chris Freese for the informative posts I refer to here. Writing If you’ve done any work with me, you know that I love to help authors connect to their muse–for inspiration, to write with…  Read more