One of the joys of my job is all the talented, capable professionals and the invaluable resources I have been fortunate enough to find and work with over the last thirty years. From one-on-one partnerships to publishers and professional organizations, these are behind the scenes collaborators without whom we could not produce the excellent books our readers expect. What follows are links to some of the very best.
Graphic Design. You may not be able to tell a book by its cover, but you probably won’t buy one if its cover doesn’t grab you. Enter book designer extraordinaire Peggy Nehmen of Nehmen-Kodner Graphic Design. Peggy has done five of the books featured on this site and they are all, in my opinion, fabulous. She designed the figure that became my brand and is featured on the covers of all of my books on writing, beginning with Words To Live By: Reflections on the writing life from a 40-year veteran and How to Write a Nonfiction Book: From Concept to Completion in 6 Months.) Check them out her Web site where she and her partner Gary bring books to life with unfailing regularity.
Website Design. If you want a website that shows off your company, products, or services and operates flawlessly, I would suggest that you hire a professional web designer. If you find one you like, you should ask to see some of the sites they have created. Be sure to communicate your ideas and desires clearly at the very beginning. If you are on a tight budget, you can still have a beautiful website that won’t look outdated in a couple of years. John Stevens has published a guide to the ten most popular website builders, along with their strengths and shortcomings. Check out https://hostingfacts.com/website-builders). This excellent guide will help you choose the right platform for your website and walk you through the steps getting it up and running as quickly and stress-free as possible.
Copy Editor. Every author needs an editor. No exceptions. There are various designations of editors. Some come early in the book process; some come toward the end. If you are self-publishing, two you will need (and they may be the same person) are a copy editor and a proofreader. In my case that individual is Katherine Pickett. She is fast, fastidious, and incredibly professional. That’s enough for me!
Organize Your Writing. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for aspiring authors is finding the time to write. Julie Hood, author of The Organized Writer: 30 Days to More Time, More Money and Less Frustration, has a great website and lots of free materials to help writers negotiate this obstacle course. Her free newsletter provides weekly tips, tricks, and resources; and, when you subscribe, you also receive a free eBook, The Sidetracked Writer’s Planner. For more information, contact Julie at Julie@organizedwriter.com.
Publishing. There are a number of print-on-demand (POD) companies on the Web that offer services to authors. Some of them are in the “buyer-beware” category, but there are several good choices for publishing print or e-books. I’ve had books published by BookBaby; draft2digital (d2d); Amazon’s CreateSpace, which has been merged with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP); Ingram’s original self-publishing company, LightningSource, which is now called IngramSpark. For an in-depth look at what else is out there, as well as their costs, I recommend Mark Levine’s well-researched book, The Fine Print of Self-Publishing, Fourth Edition – Everything You Need to Know About the Costs, Contracts, and Process of Self-Publishing
Life Coach, Teacher, Author. Want to meet a real, live Web Wonder Woman? Meet Lynne Klippel, author and publisher of a book by that name, life coach, teacher of teleclasses, and champion of women. She’s amazing, and her Web site is worth checking out. Meet Lynne at http://www.lynneklippel.com, and click on topics from stories of success and self-publishing to “Surviving HIS Job Loss.”
Marketing & PR. Do you know the value of adding e-mail to your marketing and PR? Check in with Katey Charles Communications – http://www.kateycharles.com – and find out. Katey helps clients build cost-effective, successful e-relations programs through E-newsletters, education and consulting, newsletter templates, personalized software training and technical support, and flexible pricing packages.
Blogging is big. Everybody’s doing it, but not necessarily correctly or well. If you really want to market your site, your service, or your project, you might need a marketing expert. I would suggest starting with The Marketing Blog (ranked #2 on Google for the keywords, “Marketing Blog”). Its author, Michael Fleischner is considered a marketing expert and has published a new eBook, The Webmasters Book of Secrets.
My favorite book on this subject is The Huffington Post Complete Guide to Blogging by the editors of the The Huffington Post with an introduction by Arianna Huffington.This really is the A to Z instruction manual on everything from how to get started to tips from HuffPost’s big-name, contributing bloggers. Entertaining, informative, and well written (of course), this may be the only book on blogging you’ll ever need.
Here’s a website I never would have found if I didn’t haunt article sites that feature other authors. Sandra Beckwith is a former publicist who figured out the only way to get her books properly promoted was to do it herself. Check out www.buildbookbuzz.com to see how she’s done it and what she can do for you. While you’re there, you really should visit her new blog, http://buildbuzz.blogspot.com, and subscribe to her newsletter.
The book is written and now you’re at the hard part — marketing it. Chances are if you’re like many authors, you find this process mysterious. Help is available from a pro — Book Marketing Expert, Penny Sansevieri. Author Marketing Experts is a full-service book marketing, promotion, and publicity company. Check out the great (mini) newsletter at http:www.amarketingexpert.com.
I have a friend in Canada whose name is also Bobbi. We do many of the same things — writing books and teaching, among then — but she is famous in cat circles, which I am not. Barbara Florio Graham (her real name) is an award-winning author and online mentor in a wide variety of areas, including writing, publicity, publishing, copyright, and creativity. Her website, www.SimonTeakettle.com (her cat’s real name), contains free information on all of these topics, as well as a special section for cat lovers.
I’ve been privileged to work with many authors as a book coach, ghostwriter, or editor. Here are a few of my favorites: Felicia Graber, author of Amazing Journey: Metamorphosis of a Hidden Child and Our Father’s Voice; Pamela J. Vaccaro, author of Beyond the Ice Cream Cone: The Whole Scoop on Food at the 1904 World’s Fair; Lauri L. Wolf, author of The BS of my MS: Making sense of a disease that doesn’t make sense; Kevin G. Abney, author of Celebrating Lincoln’s Legacy: Reflections by Twentieth-Century Newsmakers; Robert M. Misic, author of Crash & Burn: The Bureaupathology of the Federal Aviation Administration; and Bobette Kyle, author of Dream Wedding on a Dime: 7 secrets for the budget-savvy bride.
Yes, I know there are many website hosts in cyberspace, but let me tell you about mine. It’s LEXICONN — and these people are technological wizards. Their customer support staff is amazing, their advice is always right on the mark, and they are there when you need them. I am a fan. Can you tell?
Thinking of starting or reinventing your small business? Get help from SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). SCORE provides no-cost, confidential business counseling to small businesses, as well as workshops and seminars at low fees. SCORE volunteers are real-world professionals with time-tested knowledge, who donate thousands of hours to help small businesses succeed. Find a chapter in your city at http://www.score.org.
Self-publishing is big and getting bigger all the time. If you have a book on your mind, you should know about the Independent Book Publishers’ Association (IBPA). There are local chapters in many cities. If you can find one near you, go to a meeting. The people are great; the networking is better; and the information you will gain is the best. (In St. Louis, where I live, our chapter is St. Louis Publishers Association (SLPA).
Need a ghostwriter? There is only one place to turn: The Association of Ghostwriters (AOG). Its founder and chief is Marcia Layton Turner, a gifted author and seasoned veteran in this tough profession.