Being a Critic

I was recently asked to review a nonfiction, “shelf help” book by one of the hundreds of book blogs that sponsor promotional campaigns costing an author anywhere from $120 a month to over $1,000 a month to generate buzz on Amazon, its allied company Goodreads, other book bloggers and media outlets including streaming radio stations, etc.

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Our Secret Garden

Six days in London and then three days in the Cotswolds – a short, manageable vacation with only two packings and unpackings of our behemoth suitcases and carry-on pharmacies as we call them. I planned this trip for my sister and me, selecting a new boutique hotel called the Belmond Cadogan in the posh neighborhood of London’s Chelsea that was once the home of Oscar Wilde.

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The First Sentence: For CEOs and Others

Verlyn Klinkenborg is on the editorial board of the New York Times, and a writer of memoirs and meditations. I am holding in my hand a small book entitled, Several Short Sentences About Writing, by Klinkenborg. Am I the only reader who finds it amusing that an author with such a long name writes on this topic? What is his point?

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Writing Prompts

What are writing prompts? They are usually short writing exercises prompted by a question, a sentence, an image that serve to motivate you. They may just be “palate cleansers” like the lovely lemon ice sherbet served in a glass between courses at a five star restaurant, or a bit of doodling that allows your subconscious to come up with a solution to a problem.

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Your Book is Your Calling Card and Business Generator

Many of our authors – as CEOs of their own companies – want a book that combines personal anecdotes that are normally found in a traditional memoir with a business book that shares lessons learned as an entrepreneur. Their books are great giveaways at trade shows, at boutique business meetings, and at conferences where they are asked to be on a panel or serve as a keynote speaker.

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The Art of the Interview

What makes for a great interview that will eventually find its way into a ghostwritten memoir or autobiography?

I turned to an interview with Terry Gross, the host of NPR’s Fresh Air written by Susan Burton for the New York Times Magazine, to reinforce my own experiences and theories.

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What’s In a Title?

I’ve ghostwritten 25 books for my author/clients and inevitably the job of picking a title is one of the thorniest. And why is that?  It sets the tone for the book; it is what catches a reader’s attention, second only to the cover, and it’s what an author repeats most often whether in an interview, or chatting a book up with friends.

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Book Tour Envy

Give or take a month or two, “Paris Nights: My Year at the Moulin Rouge,” by Cliff Simon with Loren Stephens was launched at about the same time as “A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles. Granted “A Gentleman in Moscow” was released to an expectant fan base – his first novel, “The Rules of Civility,”  was a surprise hit from a first time novelist, who was formerly an investment banker. In 2011 it lived on the NYT best seller list for months.

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Tool-Belt Diva

I never thought of myself as a tool-belt diva.  And then my husband mentioned the miracle of home leaf blowers, and I was a woman on a mission. I had recently added a forty-foot outdoor living room to our townhouse in Brentwood.  During the six weeks of construction – building a variegated bluestone terrace, installing drainage, a drip irrigation system, and a granite helix fountain with a catch basin of blue-green Mexican rocks – I would periodically marvel at the skill of the workmen with their saws, trowels, jackhammers, levelers, and muscles. I was giddy as the trucks rolled up to our front door every morning – it was a real male beehive of activity.  The patio exceeded my expectations – Shangri-la in Brentwood. 

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The 4 Benefits of Working with a Ghostwriter

Do you have a story in your head that you would love to get down on paper?

Working with a talented ghostwriter will make life a lot easier, without sacrificing the quality and vision you have for your project.

Here are four common reasons people turn to professional ghostwriters to take their ideas and turn them into compelling books for a general or niche audience.

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