Showing posts from 2010

The journey from book idea to publication

I've been helping people write books for years and I keep telling them how easy it is. But now that I've done it myself, I have to admit the process gets increasingly more and more difficult with every step. On a scale from 1-100 with 100 being impossibly difficult, this is how I rank every step in the process:

Step One: Coming up with a book idea = 1
This step is so easy it's almost laughable. I talk with authors all the time who are afraid someone is going to steal their book idea. But having gone through the entire process, the idea is the easy part.

Step Two: Outlining the idea = 20
Once you have the idea it's not that much harder to outline it.

Step Three: Writing = 30
Writing is mostly about discipline. If you can force yourself to sit down and hammer on the keys you can get through this phase.

Step Four: Editing = 50
It's a lot easier if you can get people to help out. But it also makes it harder. The more people who give you their opinion, the harder it is to trust…

Inspired by Matt Cutts

Matt Cutts does this 30 day challenge and I like reading about his experiences and how it affects him. So this month I've decided to give it a try myself. He asked his readers to give him some ideas and there were some good ones on the list. I actually suggested he write a book, and of course I'd want him to use but it's not for everyone. Tom Foremski just did it and I think it took him about 3 weeks. Wallace Baine did it and it took him two. But they are journalists with years of old articles and blog posts. It would be more difficult if you started with just an idea. But that would be a good challenge.

KION FastPencil Interview

I had a chance to speak with the nice folks at KION about FastPencil and how writers are flocking to self-publishing during the economic downturn. Now that authors can choose print-on-demand and ebook distribution on the Kindle and iPad, publishing is actually cost-effective with almost no risk. Today you can sign up with, import your manuscript or start a new book, click a few buttons and be a published author. Here's the snippet from the news:

Memoirs of a Texan: War by Tim Murray

Memoirs of a Texan: War by Tim Murray Preview this book at
Tim Murray has some words in him! Memoirs of a Texan is over 500 pages of real, civil war, historical fiction. I have to admit, I'm not a Civil War buff, but Murray does a wonderful job of wrapping an interesting story around historical events and people. You can preview the first 50 pages or so at FastPencil, then buy the book. It's worth it!

Seth Godin interview and the AuthoREvolution

Seth Godin is an Authorist even if he doesn't know it. This interview is a great glimpse into the future of eBooks, Kindle, iPad and the AuthoREvolution. Enjoy,

2010 Authorist Review - Call for Submissions

AuthREvolution is publishing the 2010 Authorist Review: Poetry and Short Stories by REvolutionary Authors. We are accepting submissions until March 30, 2010. The top 100 poems and short stories will be published and receive a free copy of the Authorist Review. Submit your poetry or short story now.This is not a free poetry contest. The Authorist Review will judge every submission and choose the top 100 for publication.
After payment you may submit up to 3 poems or short storiesOne Entry $10.00Two Entries $20.00Three Entries $30.00
By submitting poetry and short stories you agree that you own the copyright to your material and give permission to the Authorist Review to publish and distribute, if selected, in the 2010 Authorist Review.

New Examiner Title

Just found out my new title as Silicon Valley Publishing Examiner... I'm moving up in the world!

The end of bookstores

It will be a sad day when bookstores disappear completely, but it may not be far away. Read about my take on it and when it's going to happen at the Examiner,
Hosting the first FastPencil-Santa-Cruz Meetup tonight,

Why is iPad an AuthoREvolution?

What's happening in the publishing industry is not just natural evolution - it really is a revolution. The pendulum is swinging back toward the author and the iPad is just one more milestone along the way. Here are four reasons why the iPad is an AuthoREvolution:

1. It's not just a book on a computer screen. The whole concept of "Book" is finally changing and the idea that a book is a bunch of chapters packaged between two covers is fading. The iPad is a true multi-media device. That means the author can use all available means to convey content. It's not just a better book, it's changing the nature of books and giving the author more tools to connect. We will soon see eBooks with meta data, annotations, multimedia, links and social connections.

2. It's not just another distribution channel. The iPad brings iTunes simplicity to book purchases. With the integrated iBookstore authors will be able to reach out to an audience already downloading and reading eBo…

Setting up your new author workspace

Technology is great if it really makes your life easier. That's what the AuthoREvolution is all about: discovering and using technology that makes your job easier... and more fun!

After I created my book project on FastPencil for AuthoREvolution, I immediately started setting up my community and networks. That included the following:

1. @AuthoREvolution twitter account
2. Facebook page for AuthoREvolution
3. Wordpress blog for AuthoREvolution

Then I made sure my personal accounts were in order:

1. blogger account
2. Tumblr blog
3. LinkedIN
4. Misc other communities I participate in

NOW, if I had to manage every single account I would go crazy - so I setup a account. will allow you to post to all of your accounts from one place. It's the slickest interface and time-savings tool you will use. Plus, they make it dead-simple to post different content to different containers. So you can post a blog to your blogging accounts, and status updates to your social conta…
Just setup my account for @AuthoREvolution

Mobile Book Authoring Transforms Your Publishing Workflow

When the muse comes calling, you have to start writing. Today that means more than just a pencil and paper. If you are a writer it means mobile book authoring, editing and publishing. Here are four new technologies that will forever transform your workflow as an author:SaaS Applications
SaaS stands for Software as a Service. It means the software you use to write your book (your word processor, for example), isn’t actually installed on your computer. It’s a service you subscribe to over the Internet. One popular book authoring SaaS option today is, which is a writing and collaboration service powering thousands of authors. SaaS word processors transform the way you write your book because they can do much more than just store content and perform spell checks. A good SaaS writing tool will connect you in a meaningful way with the people helping you write, publish and market your book. It may be a co-author, an editor, or just some friends who read and comment on your book…