Thanks to many professionals who have contributed, people like Sue Collier, Valerie Douglas, Bobbi Linkemer, Karen Hodges Miller, Dan Poynter, Karrie Ross, Marilyn Ross, Dana Lynn Smith and Danny O. Snow, we've compiled the top 10 writing tips. Here they are!
- Before your start writing, consider who will buy and read your book, and what you plan to give them.
- For nonfiction writers, the more specific you make your book, the more potential buyers will identify with it.
- The key to any book is the strength of its concept, its point. If you can't explain what your book is about in one sentence, you don't have a clear idea of your message.
- Chances are if you have an idea for a book, someone else has likely had it also - and has probably written about it. This doesn't mean you should abandon your idea. It simply means you must tackle it in a different way.
- Visit a bookstore. Look for a book that you like for its binding, layout, overall feel, margins, typesetting, everything. When you find such a book - buy it, and use this book as your book model.
- Your book cover should not only tell people what your book is about, it should tell them why they should buy it.
- Place your book title near the top of your cover. Your book may wind up being displayed on a rack with only the top one-third of the front cover peeking over the book in front of it.
- Always subtitle your nonfiction book. There are two very good reasons. First, Books-in-Print and other important listing sources enter both the title and the subtitle in their databases, so you can get more mileage out of your listing if you have a subtitle. Second, a subtitle gives you more opportunity to describe your book.
- Every writer needs a profession editor - someone who can clarify your concept; plan and organize your material; read for content, consistency and style; check for grammar, punctuation and typos; and catch those mistakes you and everyone else has missed.
- It is highly possible that you will sell more books through specialty stores than bookstores. Look for stores that you believe your potential buyers would frequent.
And finally, here is a bonus tip. "Limit your book title to five words maximum."