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Why Are You Writing Your First Book?

pexels-photo-46274There are some generally held misconceptions about writing your first book, specifically the first novel.

There are two schools of thought on first novels. Some people believe your first novel is essentially practice. First novels are sometimes referred to as “Juvenalia.” Consider William Faulkner’s first two novels, Soldiers’ Pay and Mosquitos, both almost forgotten. Critics generally believe his third novel, The Sound and The Fury, only achieved greatness because he dumped his “precious darlings” into the first two failures.  Read more

Tracking Wonder - Confidence Curve

5 Stages of Confidence in Writing a Book

Tracking Wonder - Confidence Curve

A funny thing happens to a writer’s level of confidence in writing a book. It shoots up and down seemingly as erratically as weather.

Part of what makes confidence so unreliable is what we base confidence on. We try to base confidence on nebulous emotions such as passion and a blind belief in our own abilities & authenticity and bull-headed willpower.

If I just believe in myself, I can write this stellar book. Just gotta believe! Just gotta write, write, write. Practice, practice, practice.

What if your confidence in building your book could be grounded on something solid, authentic, and heart-opening at the same time? Read more

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5 Ways to Advocate on Your Path to Publishing

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Image: Unsplash.com

You’re writing a book. You’ve written a book. You’re looking to publish your book.

Your options are not just the Big 5 or self-publish or bust. The publishing world is so much more diverse than that.

What’s cool but confusing is that as a business artist, writer, executive, or professional, you now have more viable options than ever to publish.

But options can create anxiety.

Beyond my screen sits a table stacked with books. Yes, I still prefer print. So do most Americans. And so do most children and college students, by the way.

Read more

Tracking WOnder -Books That Matter-Jenny Blake

Books That Matter to Author, Consultant & Speaker Jenny Blake

Tracking WOnder -Books That Matter-Jenny Blake

Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

Few people bring joyful mindfulness to entrepreneurship and to pivoting toward the next best thing the way dynamo Jenny Blake does. When corporate life nearly spent Jenny’s soul, she discovered the power of meditation and other mindful practices to help be her best during the most demanding career transitions.

Jenny’s book Pivot: The Only Move That Matters is Your Next One (Penguin Portfolio) lays out a clear 4-part Pivot Method for high-net growth and impact individuals to craft more meaningful work. In this Books That Matter feature, Jenny shares the book that helped her through her pivots and why she’d dive back into Arabic for Dummies if she could.

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Do You Need a Publisher for Your Book?

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Image: Unsplash.com

Last week we discussed the six areas to consider if you plan to self publish. This week I’m spinning the lens around to examine at the same key areas you need to know to publish your book and how publishers add value in each of them.

The first is the most abstract and difficult for most authors to appreciate, but if you own a business you likely can appreciate the “hidden value” you bring that sometimes not even your employees or contractors can appreciate. That is, capital. Read more

Tracking Wonder - Self Publish

Should You Self-Publish Your Book?

Tracking Wonder - Self Publish

As a writer I’ve published my own books with Penguin and with independent presses.

In my 20+ years in the industry I’ve navigated the path to publish extensively with authors.

When you break down what a traditional publisher – regardless of size and reach and reputation – offers to you, you can start to figure out how or whether you can replace and add certain areas of value yourself.

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Tracking Wonder - Books That Matter - Roger Housden

Books That Matter to Author & Teacher Roger Housden

Tracking Wonder - Books That Matter - Roger Housden

Books That Matter is Tracking Wonder’s interview series that showcases influential thinkers’ and authors’ relationships with books that matter to them.

Few people speak and write as eloquently about the role that poetry plays in our lives than author, teacher, and writing guide Roger Housden.

Books such as Ten Poems to Change Your Life and Twenty Poems to Bless Your Marriage (and One to Save it) have delighted countless people to the daily pleasures and insights that poetry affords us. New World Library recently published his latest book Dropping the Struggle: 7 Ways to Love the Life You Have.

Since Roger is a beloved author 22 books, I wanted to know what books have mattered to him over the course of a rich life of writing, relating, and teaching. In this Books That Matter feature, Roger shares his thoughts on publishing and the next book he’d write if the stars aligned. Read more

Tracking Wonder - Persistence to Write Books

Persistent Sprints Build Books & Businesses

Tracking Wonder - Persistence to Write Books

Are you time-strapped or focus-challenged, but keen on writing a book or have a business to build?

It might seem counter-intuitive – even threatening to your cherished beliefs – to imagine writing a book or building your signature business Story 15, 30, 45 minutes at a time. But that’s how you can do it.

Fantasies trap us.

When we imagine writing a book or building our newest business artistry endeavor, we conjure images of languid, lush hours mulling, creating, wandering, and – eureka! – you’re writing that brilliant book or launching that extraordinary endeavor. It’s terribly romantic. Read more

tracking wonder - Big Book Myth

The BIG Book Myth: Does Your Book Have to Be BIG?

tracking wonder - Big Book Myth

Consider the book you want to write.

Why do we get caught up in thinking we have to write a 300-page “big” book or nothing? That’s the question my pal Charlie Gilkey invited me to consider, and that’s the question I want to get perspective on.

Do you think that to write your first or next book, it must make a cannonball splash? That it needs to be The Book?

The Book comes fraught with expectations. The Book must range from 250-350 pages. The Book must bring you into the limelight – or re-establish you there.

If that rings familiar, how is that expectation serving you? Read more

tracking wonder - how long to publish

How Long Does it Take to Publish?

tracking wonder - how long to publish

A lot of people ask me how long it takes to publish a book.

I wish I had the definitive answer. Let’s get perspective on the reality and why you might or might not need a traditional publisher.

It took one author a solid 15 years to publish her book because of the book’s complexity and because of the traditional Big 5 publishing process.

It took Lowell Thing over 25 years to see his book The Street That Built a City to life with Black Dome Press. Read more