Staying Loose Versus Staying on Schedule—Pause Before You Set a Due Date

At what moment do you schedule the due date for a book manuscript? When do you dare make the commitment to deliver? I’ve answered these questions many times during my years as a freelance book editor. Clients require a due date. Publishers want to know when they can expect a manuscript. Of course. They have… Continue reading Staying Loose Versus Staying on Schedule—Pause Before You Set a Due Date

Dictating Your Book Manuscript Won’t Work, and Here’s Why

For years I attempted to create book manuscripts based on transcripts of interviews with clients. In most cases, I failed. This disappointed me and my clients—most of whom liked to talk much more than write. Eventually I discovered the reason for my failure. It was masterfully explained by Richard Mitchell, author of a wonderful newsletter… Continue reading Dictating Your Book Manuscript Won’t Work, and Here’s Why

Your Next Non-Fiction Book—Assembly Required (Part Two)

In part one of this post, I posed a question: How do you take a mass of documents that you’ve already accumulated and assemble them into something that resembles the first draft of a book? This is not an abstract problem. For a recent project, I got a 12-inch high stack of background materials—books, articles, press releases, technical manuals, PowerPoint slides… Continue reading Your Next Non-Fiction Book—Assembly Required (Part Two)

Your Next Non-Fiction Book—Assembly Required (Part One)

The non-writer’s vision of writing a book is that you: Open a blank document in a word processor. Type the first sentence. Type more sentences until you’re done. If you’ve ever tried to write a book, you know that this is a fantasy. Chances are that you’ve already created a ton of material related to your book… Continue reading Your Next Non-Fiction Book—Assembly Required (Part One)