How to Turn Your Book Ideas into Money in the Bank, Step 7: Marketing

Welcome back to our Turning Book Ideas into Money series! So far we have covered:


Now it is time to market your brilliant book idea. Simply publishing it isn’t going to win you more than a few downloads, maybe enough to pay your monthly coffee bill. Fortunately there are many ways to promote your baby. For this post we’re going to focus on AMS Ad Campaigns.

So, you’ve earned a breather. Take a moment to congratulate yourself.

Okay, lazybones, it’s time to get back to work. What do you want, an award?

As soon as (or before) you hit that Publish button, it is time to set up an Amazon Ad Campaign. This is a low-cost tool Amazon has set up for self-publishers, and it is a must-do task for all writers who wish to sell more than a few copies of their books. It is fairly simple to set up, though you will be spending a lot of time collecting keywords.


If you’ve purchased the guidebook on which this series is based—Take it to the Bank—or if you’ve been following these posts, then you have already learned a lot. People lay down fat stacks to learn how to do some of what you have learned on your long journey to publication. Many other guidebooks go into greater detail for you, but they tend to steer you toward steps that will drain your bank account. Take it to the Bank is designed for frugal new writers.

STEPS TO MARKETING YOUR E-BOOK Continue reading “How to Turn Your Book Ideas into Money in the Bank, Step 7: Marketing”

How to Turn Your Book Ideas into Money in the Bank, Step 5: Editing and Revising

Welcome back to our journey from Book Idea to Money in the Bank! So far we have covered:

  1. The vital (and exciting) Step of fantasizing your idea into life inside your mind
  2. The importance of outlining your idea and everything you need to include in that outline
  3. The actual act of writing in all its glorious detail
  4. The soundtrack to your writing, used to elevate your scenes from hum-drum to enthralling

So today let’s explore the crucial Step of editing and revising.

A tip before we get into the nitty-gritty of editing and revising: Once you have completed your bold beautiful idea, it is time to edit that bugger. Right?


If you start editing the day after you finish typing THE END in your manuscript, you set yourself up for failure. Sorry, but that’s the truth. Avoid some amateur bad marks against your writing by taking the advice I wish I had taken when I was starting out as a young, wet-behind-the-ears, totally pumped, and ready to go writer: Set your first draft aside for at least 4 to 6 weeks and work on something else.

The point of this is to give yourself distance from your created world, so that when you return to it for the crucial execution of revising and editing, it will be with fresh eyes and an open mind.

We have a tendency to view our recently completed books as works of art. We sit back, stretch our arms, crack our knuckles and declare, like Ralphy in A Christmas Story as he’s reading his essay, ‘Wow, that’s great.’

Wow, that’s great!

 Following a healthy span of time away, we’ll come back to look at the same manuscript as a work in progress. It has a fine solid foundation, but is in dire need of polishing.


Many ‘How to’ writing guides and sites will advise you to send the first draft of your manuscript out to a ‘professional’ editor.


This is another mistake. Not only will it cost you hundreds of dollars, but you’ll be missing out on a key learning point in the development of your writing career. (Some ‘professional’ editors even charge by the hour!)

Since I created Take it to the Bank for frugal-minded writers, we will not send it out, but instead do the work of editing it ourselves. With each manuscript we will improve our skills and become professionals.

Grammar and punctuation and other items of import will reveal themselves to your fresh eyes and open mind; pacing and voice, which are almost impossible to detect while writing, will appear as glaring structural weaknesses. You’ll notice all the plot holes that slipped past your attention while you were cruising through your manuscript. Too many hollow adjectives and excessive attributives will stand out as the embellishments of an amateur.

All of these negative elements can be easily fixed, now that you notice them. Continue reading “How to Turn Your Book Ideas into Money in the Bank, Step 5: Editing and Revising”

Enhance Your Writing by Reading Poetry

Edgar Allan Poe provides this lovely line from his poem Tamerlane:

I have no words—alas!—to tell

The loveliness of loving well

I read this passage the other night, while I stood alone, left to my devices and imaginings. Its irony and beauty struck me. How true and ironic it is that we writers have no words to express our truest passion.

We sit at our keyboards and tap out line after line. Our vocabularies are exemplary, better than most, in fact. And yet, we never seem able to squeeze out that last exquisite bit of beauty we so nobly wish to share with the world.

Does anyone know how lovely it is to be able to express our emotions in the written word, in the careful crafting of worlds and cities and gathering rooms, and in the gratifying creation of fictional people? Can anyone who reads our work ever truly grasp the depth of emotion, the soul-baring range of life we strive to imbue into those white screens and onto those white pages?

Even if they can, they will still fail to grasp the utter ineptitude we feel at times.

We have the ability, the skill, the words and the wisdom to express just about every facet of human sentiment; but even the greatest among us do not have the words—alas!—to tell the loveliness in loving well the worlds in which we live, inside our own minds. And their creation is not merely our passion—it is our love affair with the unknown, with the unknowable worlds which never were.

Forgive me for waxing poetic. That is what happens when you read Poe late at night, when you stand pondering over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore…

My point here is that, as many great writers and advice givers have written, it is in an author’s interest to add poetry to his or her daily reading selections.

At writingforward, Melissa Donovan shares an excellent article about the virtues of poetry, and how it helps writers enhance their writing.

Of all those who earn their living or hope to earn their living through the compilation of written words, no one agonizes more over their word-choice than poets. No one possesses a firmer grasp of the rhythm and flow of ‘narrative’ than do poets. Are you a novelist? Read Poe, or Lawrence, or Whitman or Eliot. They will teach you—in so many words—how to master the subtle art of rhythm.

(Obviously, we are not speaking of rhyme; rhyming in a novel is perhaps the truest mark of an amateur.)

Have you ever read a certain writer (Janet Fitch, Laini Taylor, for example) whose writing seems to flow? Their rhythm and cadence, their perfect selection and placement of words seem exquisitely balanced, poetic even. You can tell these authors are well-read. No doubt their reading habits are diverse and extensive.

Diversity is a wonderful thing. Diversity in your reading habits will help improve your writing—I guarantee it!

Smartblogger offers many excellent points and writing tips, including the value of reading poetry. Check it out here, if you like.