Category: The Publishing Business

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The Five Reasons to Write a Book

There are always five reasons to write a book. And to help the world may be on the list. But chances are it isn’t number one.

I know one author for whom helping the world really is number one on his list. For the rest of us mixed-up mortals, I think contemplating our five reasons is a healthy exercise.

Here are my five reasons for writing the book I just released, Finish Your Book in Three Drafts: How to Write a Book, Revise a Book, and Complete a Book While You Still Love It. Forgive me if any of these sound immodest or crazy. I feel comfortable opening myself up to you for some reason:

  1. Because there are writers out there who really care about what I have to say. (They told me. They capitalized WE CARE.)
  2. Marketing my business. (Need some help?)
  3. Exercising my genius. (With a little ‘g’ – don’t get excited. We all have one, substitute ‘higher self’ or ‘voice’ here.)
  4. To have fun. (Finally.)
  5. Because it belongs to the grand unfolding plan of my life. (Now how do you know that?)

What are your five reasons for writing the book you are writing now? Not what are the five reasons you’re not writing your book right now, that’s a different blog. And not five bad ones either. “So my parents will finally understand,” and “as a way of escaping my present life” are two that I had to grow out of, for example.

I asked my friend Windy about her five and she gave some great ones: it gave her an excuse to travel, she wanted to see if she could do it, and my favorite one: “I want to follow the idea that was sparked that day at the museum.”

Write them down and keep them close for the times when you lose your momentum. You don’t need all five for every writing session – one will do. I just think it’s important to have some idea why you’re doing what you’re doing. I guess that goes for life in general. It can be useful in case you encounter obstacles, rejection, or misunderstanding. Why am I doing this again?

Five good ones total so you’ll know for sure – in this very subjective, relative endeavor – whether what you’ve done is as good as it gets.

LMK.

Announcing the 1st Annual Book Architecture GIT-R-DONE Travel Grant

Last year, we traveled 19 states to tell the story of Doris Buffett’s unique philanthropy. Crafted with co-writer, Anita Mumm, and accompanied by Stephanie Craigs dynamic images, LETTERS TO DORIS: One Woman’s Quest to Help Those with Nowhere Else to Turn presents a slice of the heartwarming and selfless community that Doris created through her Letters Foundation. One thing that working with the Letters Foundation has taught us is that our charitable giving has been all…over..the…place. Executive Director, Amy Kingman, challenged us to really think about where we wanted to focus our efforts. What do we think is most helpful for the writers that we work with?

The answer was resoundingly clear: A travel stipend for the author of a work-in-progress to get away and finish the damn thing.

Book Architecture thrives as a finish line business.

Our proudest testimonials go something like: “We’ve been thinking as an organization of doing a book for ten years and with your help we were holding it in 9 months.”

 

Hence the BOOK ARCHITECTURE GIT-R-DONE GRANT was born.

Without further ado, then, the Particulars:

Grant Money Awarded: $2,500. Book Architecture will also provide 1 hr. of coaching prior to departure to help you get clear on your production goals and 1 hr. of coaching while you are away to help you stay on track.

Deadline: Jan. 15th, 2020, to BAGrant@bookarchitecture.com

Submission Criteria: 10 pages of writing (max 2,500 words) from a work-in-progress of any genre, along with a 1-page cover letter (max 400 words). This cover letter should answer the following three questions:

  1. Why will getting away from the unending stream of responsibilities (children, aging parents, day jobs, chores, etc.) help you push this project over the top… i.e, git-r-done? We want to know things like: How long have you been working on it? What number draft is this? How clearly can you see the finish line, etc.?
  2. What good is this project doing you? Who were you before this project started and who do you hope to be when it ends?
  3. What good is this project doing the world? Like, really. We’re interested.

Stipulations:

  • Grant money will not be delivered to recipients. Instead, travel expenses up to $2,500 will be paid directly by Book Architecture. Approved expenses include transportation, lodging, and meals. Requests for equipment upgrades will be considered as part of a getaway package. Wine-in-a-box you will have to get on your own.
  • Grantees will share a description of their travel/writing experience in a blog on the Book Architecture website.
  • Grantees will be required to sign a legal waiver stating that if anything happens to them while they are away it’s not our fault (duh).

Judging: Book Architecture has partnered with InkHouse to be the sole judges for this award. InkHouse is an integrated PR agency for innovative thinkers, creators and leaders who believe in the power of stories to effect positive change. We are satisfied with their judging criteria, and their decisions will be final. Book Architecture will be able to confirm that your submission was received and passed along…but that’s about it.

Stop Writing Now

When a writer approaches me for a critique, there is always this no-man’s-land between what they have finished at that moment, and what they want to have finished by the time I look at their work. Quite frequently a writer will ask for a period of time, three weeks, say, to clean things up a little, or two months, to write the rest of what they have in mind. After that they will send me their work, what do I think of that? I tell them that if they want my honest opinion, it’s to stop writing now.

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Performing Your Own Work

Some people hate to perform. I tell them that, while being able to present your work in public is great for building your platform, a lot of performance is actually for your own benefit, to improve the writing in the first place…it seems to make them feel better. In that spirit, I have put together a list of nine things you might learn about your writing when you make that dark walk to the stage.

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