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

What Improv Can Teach You About Writing

peeking out of box

With something like 17 of us gathered around the stage, Chris Simpson singled me out to take a step back to enlarge the circle. I looked down at my feet. The woman to my left stood about 8 inches farther back, as did Kevin, to my right–their heels a mere inch or two from the edge. Every fiber of my being told me not to step any closer to the edge of the stage–especially with my back to the drop. I inched back a couple centimeters as a compromise. Thus began my first lesson in trust last night in Improv…  Read more

October is the Month for Writers Conferences and Book Festivals!


I love writers conferences–both presenting and attending workshops. Perhaps my favorite aspect of writers conferences is the opportunity for new input into one’s writing: An essayist may show you a new way of seeing something about your writing. Or a poet may teach you a nifty trick to get your creative juices flowing. Or you may learn some editing tools that make your writing better. There’s also, of course, the sense of community–just being around other people who love writing, who love words. I often find myself especially inspired after the evening readings–staying up late to write some more. Writers…  Read more

Find Your Writing Voice: Tips for Writing Self Help Books and Memoir

“Find your writing voice.” Maybe you’ve heard this advice before as a way to make your writing stand out and powerfully resonate for your readers. Yet, voice can be such an elusive thing—how can you uncover, discover or find your writing voice? First, I suggest you consider both your audience and topic. What would help make the book work for your audience? With a self help book, is there anything getting in the way of your readers benefiting in the book—a problem that voice can address? For example, since readers of The Ultimate Guide to Transforming Anger were likely to…  Read more

If Your Writing Gets Stale…

mad magazine

Ever feel like you’re in a slump with your writing? It needs something fresh? One trick I’ve found is to read something in a completely different genre. Then, if inspired, even write something short in a similar voice. When you go back to the first project, you may find new inspiration. For example, I recently bought a MAD Magazine at Casablanca Comics in Portland, ME. I hadn’t read MAD since I was fourteen or so and I felt like a pre-teen again as I turned the pages, lying belly down on my friends’ lakeside dock, sometimes laughing out loud. Inspired…  Read more

How to Launch a Website…Your Ideas Needed

book writing coach lisa tener

While I spent much of this glorious summer with family–walking the beach and watching my sons swim and play tennis– the brilliant Rachel C. Vane was redesigning my website (and she did a beautiful job). Although the new site is mostly up (do you like the updated look?), we’re still fixing, tweaking, adding testimonials, etc. When complete, this will call for a celebration and website launch and I’m hoping my community–you–will be part of it, but I’m still trying to figure out what “it” is. I’m thinking some prizes–free books, free self-study courses, maybe a free teleseminar…what do you think?…  Read more