free the pen, a blog for writers

December 18, 2013

Don’t Sell Your Book!

Filed under: marketing — freethepen @ 8:05 pm

Don’t sell your book! When you ask someone to buy your book don’t talk about the book. So, what should you talk about? Which marketing strategy is best? Which one would make you want to pursue a purchase?

1. You’ll love my book. It is a memoir. I have the best agent and editor in the world. I’m so glad it is finished. It took me ten years to write. People who read it say my book makes them want to live healthier. You’ll love it.


2. I think my story of how I survived cancer will inspire you to live a healthier life. I talk to readers about how I thought I was living well and then I got a diagnosis that changed my world. I’ve had many people give me their critique. Each one has told me in surprise that it was not a sad book even though they were afraid it would depress them. Instead they say my story inspired, enlightened, and made them want to share with the people they love how my book changed their thinking about health.

So — do you want to talk about the book — or the story in the book? We all love books for their stories.

Keep the pen moving,

Jan – CEO and Founder of About the Author Network. and

December 13, 2013

Here is How You Start!

Filed under: Uncategorized — freethepen @ 4:03 pm

Those who hear that I have written daily since June 1972 ask me how they can begin to write their story ideas. Their eyes display a genuine look of distress and their body language reveals that they have been carrying the burden of wishing to write for a long time. I look them in the eye, sit them down, hand them my pen, and tell them to write one word of their story – just one word. They do so with a grunt. I congratulate them. It is truly that easy to start. One word, that is all it takes. I tell them to write a second word tomorrow and a third the next day.  Each story starts the same way. Everyone wishing to write can. We are educated. We know what we are thinking and have the capacity to write our thoughts. Writing story is just writing thoughts. But here is the pebble in the shoe. When anyone sees the finished, edited, and perfected result before they see the first word, it freezes the mind. No one can begin with the end vision. No journey starts at the finish line. Or this: when we feel our story all over our body and can’t organize it, the pen stops waiting for the mind to compartmentalize what it wants to say. I trust that everyone’s life is full of rich, wonderful, and heartfelt stories that ought to be told and shared. Take out your pen – write just one word that resonates with the feeling inside your heart when you think of your story. Trust me, it is ready to be born, right now.

If you wish to be a writer, write. Epictetus

Keep your pen moving,

Jan, CEO and Founder of About the Author Network

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