How to Get a Book Deal When You Don’t Have a Platform

The Introverted Artist's Way of Getting Published and Other Advice for Writers

Courtesy of Unsplash

When my wife read my blog post about the importance of platform and Google search ranking for writers, she replied, “It makes me sad. I wish platform/Google weren’t so paramount.” She spoke for legions of writers, I expect. “Why can’t I just write a good book?” “I’m a writer, not a marketer. Why do I have to be both?” […]

5 Ways to Impress a Book Publisher in Half a Second

How to Achieve High Ranking in a Google Search for Your Name


I just noticed something I have been doing habitually for well over ten years. Whenever I review a book proposal, one of the first things I do is Google the author’s name. I do this because a book deal is a business partnership. When we sign an author, we’re excited about the author’s voice and […]

Can We Be Both Spiritual and Successful?

How to Reconcile Our Identities


The other day I walked past my bookshelf, and this juxtaposition caught my eye—two books that have no business being next to each other. The one is an Advent devotional titled Preparing for Jesus: Meditations on the Coming of Christ, Advent, Christmas and the Kingdom by accomplished writer and National Book Award winner Walt Wangerin. […]

The Most Important Thing I Learned from Selling My House Might Surprise You

5 Ways to Simplify and Declutter


The first thing realtors tell you when you’re preparing your house to go on the market is this: declutter. Not paint or redo the bathroom or update your windows. Get rid of the stuff, they tell you. Why? Because when we’re making what is arguably the most significant purchase of our lives, what we want more than […]

How to Turn Your Blog Posts into a Book Publishers Will Love


As editorial director for a major trade book publisher, I regularly receive questions like this: Is it okay to blog content that I want to use in my book? Will publishers mind if my blog content ends up in my book? If my book proposal is for a book based on my blog, will publishers […]

The Best Business Book I’ve Read in a Long Time

5 Reasons I Really Like Timothy Askew’s Book *The Poetry of Small Business*


Becoming an entrepreneur has done a lot more than pay the bills over the years, it’s saved my life.” That’s the first line of a wonderful little book by Inc. columnist Timothy Askew, The Poetry of Small Business: An Accidental Entrepreneur’s Search for Meaning. As I make my way into entrepreneurism, I find myself hungry […]

How to Be Yourself and Make Money

Embracing the Artful Tension between Identity and Value Creation

Courtesy of Unsplash

The way we work is changing rapidly. The number of us who have opted out of traditional corporate or government employment is growing. According to such sources as Forbes and Public Sector Digest, by the year 2020, 40 to 50 percent of the workforce in the U.S. will be freelancers. By 2030 we will be the […]

How to Stay Fresh and Create Your Best Content

3 Steps That Make All the Difference

shutterstock_144908260 (1)

Recently my family traveled to the Salt Lake City area to visit my dad. On the way to the airport following our visit, my eight-year-old son asked why the Salt Lake was full of salt water instead of fresh water. My dad explained the Salt Lake has no outlets. Water comes in, but it can’t […]

To My Son about His Tears

What I Wish More Men Knew about Emotions

Courtesy of

My son’s at an age when he has some difficulty maintaining his emotions. You can sense it in the crack of his voice or the quiver of his lip. When these times come, my wife and I know that if we can’t stem the tide quickly, the dam will overflow. The cause can be as inane […]

Why Blogging Might Be Your Fastest Way to Secure a Book Deal

If you have ever known a clean-shaven man who quickly grew a beard, you have a clue about changes in the publishing industry over the past five to ten years. Publishing today looks very different from how it looked a few years ago, and the transition can catch you off guard. Whether it’s the decline […]