Top 10 Business Lessons from Mentors and Coaches

stevie award

Are you a mentor or coach to your readers? Writing books, especially how-to and self-help books, is a form of mentoring–of sharing both the expertise and wisdom you have been blessed with. And writing can also be a form of coaching–anticipating what your readers may be going through, offering them tools to help them achieve the results they seek, helping them feel capable that they can do it. Last week, I traveled to Manhattan where I was honored with receiving the Silver Stevie Award for “Mentor or Coach of the Year – Business – 2014.” Today, I reflected on many…  Read more

Author Resource Hunt, Day 1: How to Write a Book

author resource hunt

Many aspiring authors get stuck at the very beginning–they want to write a book, but feel unsure  how or where to start. Others may start out fine, but get a bit lost or stuck or overwhelmed if they don’t have a bit of a road map. So, I thought I’d start our hunt with some of the basics–how to write a book in 9 steps. It’s a bit of an overview and will help you get a sense of some of the crucial decisions that will dictate the steps you need to take to write a book. Plus, as you…  Read more

“How Do I Connect with My Writing Muse?”


Last week, I led Writing in the Zone course participants through a guided visualization to “meet their writing Muse.” I think of the Muse as the creative aspect of ourselves, that inner source of creativity that just “knows things.” Your Muse knows from deep inside your heart and soul, beyond all the constraints and perceived limitations of the ego. I love this work with the inner Muse. I love it for its sometimes playful, sometimes surprising, always wise counsel. Several people wrote me after the call to share the clarity, insights and shifts that came from connecting with their writing…  Read more

Join the Author Resource Hunt

author resource hunt

I re-launched my website to make it even easier, more practical and more fun to access the book writing and publishing information you have come to rely on at—information that’s there to help you become a terrifically successful published author. To introduce you to the new site (designed by Rachel C Vane), I’ve designed the Author Resource Hunt with the help of blogger and marketing goddess Lorraine Giordano, and my brilliant assistant Geri Lafferty. Join the hunt for new ideas, inspiration and book writing/publishing guidance! And there are prizes…lots of prizes. Will you play? Blogging and social media provide…  Read more

Best Publishing Dates: How to Plan Your Book Launch Timing


This morning, a client e-mailed to ask me for the best publishing dates. He’s planning a book launch for 2015 and asked what I recommend for his book launch dates. It’s such an important question and one that has some simple answers as well as more intricacies. Many of my clients write self-help and how-to books, books about healthy living and healing. One of the best times to publish a self-help book or self-improvement book is in January when people are thinking about “turning over a new leaf” and adopting healthy habits for the new year. Another good time for…  Read more

How Much New Material is Needed for a Second Edition of a Book?

book writing coach lisa tener

Revised edition vs. second edition? Reprint? Do you need to know the printing terminology? I recently received an e-mail from a client whose book had been featured in the New York Times, on and throughout regional and local press. After self-publishing, she is now in talks with foreign publishers interested in the international rights. At the same time, she saw the need to update the original US version of the book, which was self published, in order to provide the latest information and advances in the technology she describes at the end of her book. She wondered, “How much…  Read more

What’s Getting Published and What Can You Learn from The Authors?

book cover: mastering the art of recruiting

                        As I thought about the client books that have recently gone on pre-order, I wondered two things: 1. What can I share with you about their experiences that can help you get published? and 2. How can I help these outstanding new authors reach readers? So, let’s start with what you can learn: 1. Research and Be Fresh: All three of these authors looked at related books on the market to assess what has already been said and what they have to offer that’s fresh. Have you? If…  Read more

Writing Under Attack: What to Do When Someone Takes the Wind Out of Your Sails


It’s not uncommon for a writer to be verbally attacked by someone close to them when they share their writing. Sometimes the attack is subtle, questioning, and other times it can be an all out siege.  I received this letter in my inbox and the author gave me permission to share it, along with my response, in hopes it may help others who have less-than-supportive partners, family members or friends. I have been involved in relationship with a guy for the last two years. We got together just as I was leaving my teaching job to concentrate on writing (a…  Read more

When You’re Having Trouble Sitting Down to Write


Okay, writing time… I’ll just make myself a green smoothie and then…oh, maybe I should put in a load of laundry…now, I’ll just sit down and…oh, wow, it looks like it might rain. I’ll just take that bike ride first… huff,puff, puff…Now I’ll just sit down to write and…oh, the phone. Better get it. It could be Oprah wondering how my book is coming along…Okay, that was a huge time waste, but now to get down to wr…Doorbell?Are you kidding me? Much of the time, the difficulty in sitting down to write comes from the pressure we place on ourselves…  Read more

Don’t Believe Stephen King

on writing by stephen king

On a consultation call today with a new client, she’d mentioned that her self-confidence took a nosedive today.  On reading, On Writing, by Stephen King–a fabulous book about writing well, by the way–she was crestfallen by his pronouncement that you’re not really a writer unless you write every day. Rubbish. First of all, are you solely a writer? Or do you have another business? Perhaps you are a therapist, doctor, lawyer, coach, entrepreneur or stay at home mom…Well, Mr. King is a full time writer. Mr. King primarily writes fiction. You, most likely, are writing about your life, your work,…  Read more