Maria Martinez Aenlle's Blog

April 11, 2017

Tips for Writing Your Book

You have the idea for your book. It is taking shape. You have made the outline, done research, and now are writing and rewriting. The following tips may help you as you develop your manuscript. I found them in the “The First Five Pages. A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile” by Noah Lukeman.
• Worry more about the prose than the plot.
• Avoid too many adjectives and adverbs but use strong nouns and verbs.
• Do not tell but show.
• Pay attention to how your prose sounds. Poor sentence construction and punctuation can harm the sound.
• Show your manuscript to others to get feedback and read it aloud.
• Specificity and a good vocabulary always help.
• Dialogue is best when used sparingly and it should not be melodramatic, commonplace or unreal.
• Cut and simplify.

More about style can be found in “The Elements of Style” by William Strunk, Jr. and E.B. White.

About Maria Martinez: She is a writer and independent business, marketing and publishing contractor. She is the author of “Cuban Stories” and “The Life of Fritz, the Dog”, both memoirs.
www.mariamartinezbooks.com
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Published on April 11, 2017 09:48

March 9, 2017

Publishing Your Book to Market Your Brand

Have you been thinking about writing a book? Have you thought that you could use it to market yourself?

In today’s world, even if you work for a company, you may want to think of yourself as an independent contractor who can create your personal brand to promote yourself.

Brand building can include various steps such as:
• Being consistent in the way you present yourself through different channels.
• Being good at what you do.
• Seeking out public speaking engagements.
• Working with professional organizations and volunteering.
• And last but not least, writing and publishing your book.

As a professional, you may have an idea and subject matter expertise to write and publish your book.

Following are some tips to do just that:
• Research your competition.
• Organize your thoughts with an outline.
• Start writing and worry about editing later. You will need to write and rewrite a lot.
• Choose a good title and include words in the subtitle that explain what readers can expect to find in the book.
• Once ready to publish you could try to get an agent to be published the traditional way. There are many factors that agents consider before agreeing to work with a writer and one of them is whether or not he or she already has a platform that will help to sell the book.
• If the traditional way does not work, you can try self-publishing. Houses like Create Space (part of Amazon), Lulu, and others offer a variety of services and help you to print your book on demand. You will find information on self-publishing on their websites.

These are three good reference books to help you through this process:

For writing and style guidance, The Elements of Style by William Strunk Jr. and E.B. White.
For writing good book proposals to get an agent, Book Proposals that Sell by W. Terry Whalin.
To find agents, publishers and to know what genres they represent, Guide to Book Publishers, Editors and Literary Agents by Jeff Herman.
Building your brand with a book can help you to uniquely communicate your ideas and messages to your audience who could benefit from your story. If you have a message to share, think about it and do it.

About Maria Martinez:
Maria Martinez is a writer and independent marketing and publishing contractor. She is the author of Cuban Stories and The Life of Fritz, the Dog, both memoirs. www.mariamartinezbooks.com
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Published on March 09, 2017 09:06

February 23, 2017

Should You Self-Publish Your Book? Find Out More in This Conversation with Marvin Rudman, Co-Author of From Fear to Freedom

I was able to sit down with Mr. Rudman, a psychotherapist and executive coach, to learn more about his inspiration for the book he co-authored with Charlotte Rosner and his thoughts about self-publishing.
MM: What motivated you to write this book?
MR: Charlotte Rosner, a psychotherapist with whom I co-authored the book, had the inspiration. She asked me to write the book with her. She believed the book could communicate a message to help others. Charlotte managed to blend Gestalt and Eastern philosophy into a way to look at life. Eastern philosophy emphasizes acceptance and avoiding resistance while Gestalt focuses on looking at the whole person and all the players in one’s life.
MM: What is the main message of the book?
MR: This book is a simple primer to knowing yourself and to living the truth, as only you can know it. The reader is led to see that when one is living a true life, illusions and fear fall away. Only then can love take root and flourish. If you pick up this book looking for answers, know that there are none. You are the answer. Through the book, one realizes that living a true life is not about following someone else’s formula for happiness; it’s about listening to your own heartbeat, your own rhythms.
MM: You have been a professional coach for many years. What led you to this specific subject?
MR: The subject was Charlotte’s idea. Charlotte and I believe people are innately strong. In our practices, we use a client’s strengths. We are always optimistic about people and believe that they can change and improve their lives.
MM: What did you learn from this experience?
MR: Writing a book is a process that involves intimately sharing the author’s thoughts and philosophy with a prospective audience. The book became an entity for us; a creative process of giving expression to a set of personal beliefs that we shared.
MM: You self-published the book. How did you make this decision?
MR: By process of elimination. We tried to sell the idea to publishers through letters, summaries and sample pages but got rejected. Then we tried to get an agent with the same results. So we began to look at self-publishing as an option. It gave us control; it was economical and got the book published.
MM: What advice do you have for writers thinking of self-publishing?
MR: Realize that self-publishing has some real benefits. For instance, you have total control of content and it is a straightforward process (you are guided step-by-step). Try to enlist the guidance of someone who has self-published—that kind of consultation was invaluable for me. And self-publishing companies will help you reach a broad potential audience through connections with distributors such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
MM: What message do you have for other professionals who may be thinking of writing a book about their area of expertise?
MR: Stop thinking and do it!
About the Authors:
Marvin Rudman is a psychotherapist and executive coach at Executive Coaching Partners. He has dedicated his career to helping people live fulfilling work and personal lives. He collaborates with businesses, helping them invest effectively in their most important assets—their employees. Marv has always believed the place to deal with issues of performance, balance, relationships, productivity, and efficiency is the contexts in which they occur; the family and workplace.

Charlotte Rosner was a practicing psychotherapist for more than forty years. As one of the founding members of the Gestalt Institute of Chicago, she made significant contributions to the careers of a generation of gestalt therapists as a teacher and mentor. She was also a co-founder of Oasis, which provided a forum in which the best minds in psychotherapy and philosophy shared their ideas and experience with the populations at large.

From Fear to Freedom. Living a True Life is available at: www.amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com and www.lulu.com

About Maria Martinez, www.mariamartinezbooks.com
Maria Martinez is an independent marketing and publishing contractor and writer with over 25 years of experience in financial services, retail, and publishing. She is the author of Cuban Stories and the Life of Fritz, the Dog, both memoirs.
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Published on February 23, 2017 09:22 Tags: self-publishing

February 2, 2017

Don't Eat the Marshmallow Yet and for Sure Don't Gobbel the Marshmallow...Ever!

A few years ago I interviewed Dr. Joachim de Posada, my late cousin and author of the two books in the title of this article. We discussed the messages of his books, his writing process, what made the books best sellers and his tips for professionals who may be thinking of writing a book. I’d like to share our discussion with you.

MM: What inspired you to write the first book, Don’t Eat the Marshmallow Yet?

JDP: I was on a flight from San Juan to New York reading a great book titled Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman when I read about a fascinating study conducted by a psychologist named Walter Mischel in Stamford University. It was the marshmallow experiment. I realized right there that self-discipline, the ability to delay gratification is the most important factor for someone to achieve success in life. I made the decision to write a book about it. This also proves that everyone is just one applied idea away from a very big success in their lives, be it a book, an invention, a process, a new product or service, anything. The key word is “applied” because people have lots of ideas but they simply don’t execute on the idea.

MM: How did the second book, Don’t Gobble the Marshmallow…Ever! expand on the first one?

JDP: Don’t Eat the Marshmallow Yet is a story about a chauffeur and a millionaire. The chauffer wonders why he is not rich like the millionaire since he is also intelligent and hard working. When he tells the millionaire, the millionaire asks him if he wants to change his ways and become rich. So, the book is about the lessons the millionaire teaches the chauffer. The story ends at a certain point in the chauffer’s life, when he goes to college. Don’t Gobble the Marshmallow Ever! takes the story forward after the chauffeur graduates from college. In the Gobble book I take advantage of discussing other success principles that are important such as handling defeat. In this second book Arthur forgets what made him succeed, in other words, the lessons taught by his mentor the millionaire, and his life goes south.

MM: Your books have been best sellers. What factors, besides the useful content, do you think contributed to that success?

JDP: Many factors: one of them, I must admit, was “luck”. Penguin’s decision to take my book to the Frankfurt book fair, the most important one in the world, exposed my book to foreign publishers all over the world. As a result, the book has been published in 20 languages. Another factor is that I am a professional speaker who travels internationally, allowing me to sell the books after speaking. Marketing is such an important factor. An author must constantly be on the radio, on television, everywhere talking about the book.

MM: What do you enjoy most about the writing process?

JDP: When I am able to put an idea on paper. As I develop the idea and I see it take form… it is a great feeling. I also enjoy the thought that my writing can benefit people. Great feeling.

MM: What was the most difficult part of this creative process?

JDP: Sometimes you don’t feel the creative urge but you know you must write. It seems that your mind is not ready and you have to have the discipline to sit down and make an effort. I recommend that when that happens, you sit down anyway and start writing, even if what you are writing is garbage. When you continue writing, the garbage starts getting better and better and you end up with golden nuggets.

MM: What do you hope readers get or learn from these two books?

JDP: The books are changing people’s lives. I get emails from all over the world. The most important lesson the books teach is the concept of self-discipline, the ability to delay gratification. Everyone can be successful by just applying a few simple techniques. If you sell ten items of anything and you save one, you will end up a rich man. I also communicate that doing what you say you are going to do is very important. Keep your promises because that will generate trust and with trust all kinds of opportunities will open up for you. Trust makes everything faster and cheaper, lack of trust makes everything slower and more expensive.

MM: Any tips for professionals who want to write a book about their area of expertise?

JDP: Yes, it is the most important activity a professional can take on. It will change their lives. The book will become the business card and all kinds of doors will open. Being an “author” is seen by society with great admiration and the author will feel very happy. I would recommend that you start writing your experiences and anecdotes, even if you still don’t know what you are going to write about. Just write what happens to you in your daily life and that can become your book. For more scientific or specific books, see what is out there in your field and decide where you can contribute to what has already been written.

Note: Joachim de Posada co-authored both books with Ellen Singer.
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Published on February 02, 2017 14:52

January 6, 2017

Publishing your book

Many of us are writing and trying to get published but it seems almost impossible. It seems that if you do not have a large platform or are already well known, no one wants to publish you. So many turn to self-publishing. It is a learning process, the whole thing. Interesting. Self-publishing can be rewarding but at the same time difficult. Some self-publish so that the message of the book is shared and captured by the small audience interested to read about the topic. Others also self-publish to add credibility to what they do and to share and teach ideas.
Are you writing and trying to get published or are you self-publishing? Would love to hear from you.
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Published on January 06, 2017 09:11