How do you turn an idea into a nonfiction ExpertBook™?


It’s simple. Make a choice.

Saying yes to becoming an author sets the journey in motion and what happens next will amaze you.

Everyday I talk with professional business people—experts in their industry—about their ideas and thoughts about writing a book.  And, everyday I witness those same people giving up on their dream to capture in print the information, guidance and processes that transform the lives and businesses of their clients. They’ve devoted their professional lives to creating a body of knowledge and practices that work, but they say no to preserving their life work permanently and sharing it widely.

Why?  Because they don’t understand the writing and publishing process so writing a book feels daunting and overwhelming.

What’s the solution?  Start by taking these three actions:

Make a decision.

  • Write a book to expand your reach and share your legacy, or limit your exposure and influence. Which do you choose?

Answer these questions to start writing your book plan:

  • What is your purpose for writing your ExpertBook™? What do you want to have happen as a result of writing a book and becoming an author?
  • How would you describe yourself as an expert? What is your unique point of view?
  • Who is your audience? Describe the people you want to reach through your book.
  • What is the #1 problem or challenge your audience asks you to help them solve? What is the exact language your clients use when sharing about their biggest challenge?
  • How do you help your audience solve this problem?

Ask for help.  Writing a book requires a team; you can’t do it alone.

  • Key members of the team include a book coach, editor, proofreader, book designer, book printer, and marketing consultant.

Over the next four weeks I’m going to provide some guidance to help you answer these questions. So, stay tuned.

If you’d like to dive deep into answering these questions and creating a solid plan for getting your book done, I invite you to the writing conference I’m hosting on Saturday, April 29th in Kirkland.  Here are the details:

2017  ExpertAuthor™ Writing Summit

Get Your Book Done Now!

Saturday, April 29th — 8:00 am – 6:00 pm

The Heathman Hotel, Kirkland, WA

My colleague Margo Myers will be one of the experts I’ve invited to share with you. She’ll be teaching about marketing your book and yourself as an author. In 2013 we worked together to write  ExpertBookMarketing Made Simple:  Publicizing and Promoting Your Book.

In this short video Margo shares about what you can expect at the writing summit.  I promise, it’s going to be amazing.  I hope you’ll join us.

Stay tuned next week when I share about having a clear purpose for writing your nonfiction ExpertBook™.

Expert Authors Unplugged: Beth Buelow, Author of The Introvert Entrepreneur

LegacyONE Authors recently met with Beth Buelow, author, speaker, and certified professional coach. We talked about her newest book, The Introvert Entrepreneur and how she met the challenges of writing, publishing and marketing it.

Karen Lynn Maher (KLM): Good morning, Beth. First, what would you like people to know about you?

Beth Buelow (BB): I’m an introvert. People sometimes question if I’m really an introvert because I’m also an entrepreneur. But, I am absolutely an introvert. In my business, I act as a guide for other introverts who want to align their businesses with who they are personally.

KLM: What was your purpose for writing a book?

BB: Writing a book was a fantastic way to share my message broadly beyond the immediate circle of people I coach or work with in an organizational way. I was also hearing there was a lot of published information about building a business through networking – which for an introvert, is very taxing. So there was a gap in the marketplace addressing how introverts can be true to themselves and still be successful entrepreneurs.

KLM: How has your book been received?

BB:  All of the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

KLM:  Super! Can you share with us the key parts of your marketing strategy?

BB:  You have to start marketing your book before it’s written. Build your platform and draw people to you. I put a lot of emphasis on social media, particularly Facebook, to build that community. Another huge part is my interview-based podcast. It puts me in touch with a lot of influencers in a way that has been different from a lot of my colleagues.

KLM: You successfully published your book through a traditional publisher. I know there are a lot of people who aspire to have this experience as well. What kind of guidance can you give to them about what it takes to get published this way?

BB: Four key things had an impact on my success. One was timing. Author Susan Cain had just published the bestseller, Quiet. Introverts were a hot topic in the marketplace. The second was that even though there were books about introverts, none of them looked at entrepreneurship through an introvert lens. The third and fourth keys were platform and patience.

I got my agent through participating in a pitch slam at a Writer’s Digest conference in Los Angeles, California. That’s like speed dating with literary agents. Eventually, I signed with the first agent I met.

But she didn’t sign me right away. We traded emails and proposal copies for over six months before she signed me. Once I signed with her, it was another six months before we started pitching to publishers.

The proposal writing was torture! I only had one chance to pitch to the high-level publishing houses. So it had to be the best proposal imaginable. It was so challenging! When you finish the manuscript, all that’s left to do is wait. But my patience paid off because we pitched to the first tier and got a bite within a few weeks, and a signed contract a few weeks later.

Equally challenging was shifting my focus from what had been a relatively solitary activity to actively promoting and marketing my book.

KLM: Would you say the effort you put into the proposal made the book writing a bit easier once you got the contract?

BB: Yes. I also highly recommend hiring a freelance editor to get help on your first draft. Getting feedback and being accountable to someone else was crucial in the writing of this book.

KLM: I love that you’re talking about that period of waiting while the book was being created and printed – and that all you had left was to market it and cement the plan you had already put in place.

BB: Yes. If you’ve done your marketing consistently before even beginning to write the book, getting to the marketing phase will be like watering seeds that you’ve already planted.

KLM: What would you say was your greatest learning experience throughout the process?

BB: I learned how valuable it was to not get isolated – to enjoy and nurture a team of people around me. There’s power in being connected with your peers, colleagues and even your competitors. There’s always an opportunity to form mutually beneficial relationships with people who can endorse your book, talk about it or just lend moral support. I learned it was fun to reach out to people.

KLM: You spent all this time writing a book. While you were waiting for it, did you feel you had tons of information to share with people during that seed-planting process?

BB: Yes, definitely. I felt grateful that no matter how many times I read the book, it still felt true to me. But at the same time, my thinking had grown and new client experiences led me to look at some things differently. But this book is not the end game or manifestation of all my thoughts. It’s a springboard that allows me a public platform on which to expand those thoughts and further the conversation.

KLM: I love that you share that in traditional publishing, the process can take a long time, from the time you get your agent to publishing your book – and that it’s important the content of your book be consistent, or “evergreen,” so it stands the test of time.

BB: Exactly. Unless you’re planning to churn out a book every year, you want to be thinking ahead to “evergreen.” For instance, you don’t want outdated technology or pop culture references to distract from your message.

KLM: How has writing your book benefitted you personally and professionally?

BB: Personally, it was a fulfillment of a lifelong dream of knowing I would write a body of work. Professionally, my goal was to shift my business model a bit. I’ve started incorporating more virtual book groups. I now have folks I meet with on Zoom all over the country. We go through the book one chapter at a time. It’s personally and professionally satisfying because I could talk to readers and hear what’s resonating with them and help them put it into action. I’m able to use the book as a tool to connect with and coach people in a different way.

KLM: Fabulous! What additional tips would you share about promotion for aspiring authors as they prepare their books and get ready for their big launch?

BB: Remember that you’re always promoting the book from the first word you put down until it’s launched. It’s up to you to keep the momentum moving. For example, a colleague of mine, Laurie Helgoe, who wrote Introvert Power recommended that a Wall Street Journal reporter talk to me for a story. Then I got into The Telegraph and Success Magazine. But I learned even the “buzz” at this level can fade quickly. So keep sharing your book over and over again. And keep sharing the media stories that you contriute to; if editors see their writers are getting attention, then you’re going to be more prized in their eyes as a resource.

Finally, have patience. It takes multiple big media hits before that tipping point when instead of you pitching yourself, others are coming to you asking to interview you. You’re going to have ebbs and flows. What’s key is to keep building on those hits.

KLM: Perfect. I love your recommendation, too, that it’s really up to the author to keep the buzz alive.  There is a myth out there that to get a traditional publishing contract means they will do all the marketing.

BB: Yes. Traditional publishing is very different from self-publishing up until a month after you’ve launched. Then, unless you have a million-seller blockbuster, it’s almost as though you self-published. Even if you’re working with a publisher, you are your own best champion. Make sure they know you are advocating for your book. To be clear, it’s nice to have the support of a publisher. However, you need to treat being an author and having a book as a business.

KLM: What should an aspiring author know about the life of an author during the writing process. What does it take to successfully write, publish and market a book?

BB: Know how you work best. Some authors hunker down and don’t do anything but write the book. Others say they’d go crazy working that way. So during the process, understand what days and times work best for you, if you have long or short bursts of energy, need to isolate yourself, work well under pressure, or need to go to a writers’ retreat. Then honor what works best for you.

In author Jim Collins’ book, Good to Great, he talks about “pushing the flywheel.” If you give a flywheel a good push, it will develop enough momentum to start going on its own. I would tell my husband, “This is a flywheel weekend.  I’m going away to a coffee shop to write and work so you don’t feel like you’re intruding on my space. But I need to get the flywheel going.”

KLM: How can readers get in touch with you and especially get a copy of your book?

BB: The best way is to go to my website, the You can find the book on Amazon, in Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold online and off. You can also email me at  I’d love to hear from you.

KLM: Perfect. Thank you so much!

BB: You’re welcome. I wish everybody great success. Just keep at it!

Karen Lynn Maher is a leading authority on writing and self-publishing expert non-fiction. Since 2001, she’s developed more than 50 authors, guiding them from concept to published book. She’s the author of ExpertBook™ Planning Made Simple: The Best Ever Guide to Writing Your Book, and co-author of ExpertBook™ Marketing Made Simple: Publicizing and Promoting Your Book.

What are you waiting for?

Discover Your Point of ViewDo you want to share your ideas through writing but hesitate because you’re not sure how they will be received or if you’re ready to communicate them? The truth is, if you have the desire to write, then you’re ready. And, it’s time to get started. If you don’t get started now, you’re never going to do it.

One of the biggest aha moments in my business came to me a couple years ago when a coach asked me, “What are you waiting for?”  I realized two truths:

  1. I was withholding a God-given message and talent from executives and business experts who want help writing well.
  2. I was hiding out due to self-doubt and a need for others’ approval.

Countless CEOs and entrepreneurs who could benefit from authorship would never have the chance to learn from me, and that loss would be my own undoing. It was a startling and sober moment.

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Expert Authors Unplugged: A Series of Interviews with Professional Authors—Donna Howell-DePew

LegacyONE Authors recently met with Donna Howell – DePew, Communication Expert. We talked about her newest book, Improv Your Way on the Stage of Life…All Day, Every Day and how she met the challenges of writing, publishing and marketing it.

Karen Lynn Maher (KLM): Donna, you wrote your book back in 2012. Give us an update about what you’re doing now and what part the book has played in your journey.

Donna Howell-DePew (DHD): My company is Let’s Get Real Communication Training. Since the root of nearly every breakdown is a breakdown in communication, my mission is to take everyone off autopilot when they talk and help them realize the impact of what they say. I help people see what’s really going on in their communication.

KLM: When we met in Houston, your business focused on using improvisation in your trainings with people and corporations. What was your purpose for writing this book?

DHD: The purpose of my books was to educate the masses about improv. People tend to think improv is the ability to be funny and/or do stand-up comedy and that not everyone can do it. But this is a misconception. Stand-up comedy is usually scripted. It’s a great craft, but it’s not improv. Anyone can do improv.

KLM: What’s the connection between improv and excellent communications?

DHD:  We all use improv daily. Few people know there’s an improv system that helps them succeed on the “stage of life.”  Improv involves using teamwork and collaboration to improve communication. When I wrote this book, my husband and I owned a theatre that had an improv troupe and improv classes. We trained people to perform improv on the “stage of life.” I still use improv as a main tool to help people make the distinction between what they think is happening and what’s really going on.

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Success Tips From Cool Kids – Their Book

August is here and summer is in full swing!  The flowers in my yard are awesome.  I hope you are making time to get outside and enjoy this wonderful Pacific Northwest weather (or great summer weather where you are!) My summer is going well; I’m having a blast with family and friends!


I’m excited to share something fun and different with you.  Last week I had the pleasure of working with these students in Richmond, Texas, at the Shady Oak Primary School.  My friend and colleague Debbie Elder (director of the school) guided them to write the book during a two-week summer program. The enthusiasm they had about writing was inspiring so I thought I’d share some of it with you.  Here’s what they shared with me:

  • It’s easy to write a book. Just learn about a subject and then write down what you learn.
  • Working together as a team is fun. Give everyone on the team a job and a deadline. Here are the tasks they split:  writing, researching, illustrating and taking photos.
  • The reason to write a book is to share information with people we care about. Make a list of who you want to share the information with and go ask them if they want to buy the book.

I love the simplicity of their guidance. What I love more, though, is the joy and sense of accomplishment they expressed about the topic of success and the opportunity to share what they’ve learned through a book.

Sometimes I start taking myself too seriously and forget that we’re meant to live joyfully in service to others. I appreciate the reminder these young writers and entrepreneurs gave me last week.

Here’s how you can get a copy of their book, What Every Cool Kid Deserves To Know:

They would love it if you would post a REVIEW once you have read your copy.

Expert Authors Unplugged: A Series of Interviews with Professional Authors – Jena Rodriquez

Jena Rodriquez, Author of Stand Up, Stand Out: Secrets to Discovering a Brand That Shines

LegacyONE Authors recently met with brand strategist and author Jena Rodriquez. We talked about her newest book Stand Up, Stand Out: Secrets to Discovering a Brand that Shines, her purpose behind writing it and the challenges she overcame in the process.

Karen Lynn Maher (KLM): Welcome, Jena, and thank you for being with us today.

Jena Rodriquez (JR): It’s always a pleasure to hang out with my Karen-friend.

KLM: Absolutely – and I’m thrilled to offer my community the chance to get to know you. First off, Jena, tell us a little about your book – and what was the purpose for writing it?

JR: Originally the idea behind writing Stand Up, Stand Out: Secrets to Discovering a Brand that Shines was that it would be a tool; an extension of my concepts. Because it is partially a workbook and supports my conversation around brand and the difference between brand and branding. And it helps people who are developing a brand and business to build a foundation which is strong, stable and sustainable. That’s why I wrote the book – so people could start that process on their own and have a resource to start building that foundation.

KLM: Great! It’s a beautiful book and chock full of great information for people who want to do just that; to spend some time thinking about their professional brand. It also goes into personal branding as well because as you’ve taught me, there’s really not a difference. Because we are who we are and you encourage them to be conveying that at all times.

JR: Yeah, you’re right-on. My definition of brand is it’s who we are, it’s what we stand for, it’s our point-of-view and perceived value and that expression we want to have in the world. Business, I believe starts with that leadership, starts with that vision. And so if you can get in touch with what your brand truly is, personal and company, then you’ve got such a powerful foundation on which to build.

KLM: Great. So, if you think about what it took to write your book and become an author, what was your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?

JR: Fear of not believing I could write a book. For that matter, it felt unattainable, out of reach. But I think in some ways I created it in my life nearly twenty years ago when I said, “okay, one day I’ll write a book.” There was always that inclination to do so. I was a writer back then. I wrote poems, I wrote short stories. I was a creative writer and I enjoyed it. But I never accumulated anything or put it into form.

And, so, fast forward to being an entrepreneur. I saw what power and credibility writing a book built for others. And I thought, okay, this would be a good reason to do it. But I was still scared and afraid. The process was unknown. The fear was lack of knowing what was possible and how to break it down and just get it done. You know, and just get over myself, really. That was the hardest part. I was just in my way about it.

Initially I felt as though I had to put all of me into one book. I had to overcome that obstacle and really let go of it because the perfectionist in me and the “I gotta do this right, I gotta figure it out” – all those things were in my way. I’ve learned that you don’t have to only write one.

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Expert Authors Unplugged: A Series of Interviews with Professional Authors – Jessica Butts, Author of Live Your Life from the Front Seat

Jessica Butts, Author of Live Your Life from the Front Seat

LegacyONE Authors recently met with Jessica Butts, psychotherapist and relationship coach. We talked about her newest book, Live Your Life from the Front Seat and how she met the challenges of writing, publishing and marketing it. We were also joined by public relations consultant, Margo Myers, who has helped promote the book.

Karen Lynn Maher (KLM): Thank you for talking with us today, Jessica. I’d like to capture the full experience you had writing, publishing and marketing your book since launching it July 7, 2015.  As I understand it, you help people discover their innate selves through the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. What was your purpose behind writing this book?

Jessica Butts (JB): My primary purpose was to take what I talk about all day with my clients and put it into one place as a resource for my clients. I also wanted to reach a much larger audience with my work – to share the intellectual property I developed based on Myers-Briggs to help launch other engagements; speaking, television appearances. Basically, I wanted to enhance my career.

KLM: As you reflect back on that initial purpose, how has that worked for you?

JB:  Great! It’s exceeded my expectations. I’m passionate about this content and will be talking about it for a number of years. And the book is a launching point – it gives me the credibility to get on talk shows.  It’s just the beginning.

KLM:  Has your audience share shifted since writing and launching the book?

JB:  Yes, initially my perception of my audience was too broad. There’s a saying, “niche is rich, broad is broke.” In the beginning, I thought my audience was everybody. But as you coached me, I discovered I was being too vague and needed to focus on a specific audience. I realized people who think outside the box, intuitive types, are my client. After this realization, it became so much easier to write the book. It’s written for entrepreneurs.

KLM: What was it about the process that helped you get that clarity and what could we have done to get you there sooner?

JB: Honestly, I don’t think we could have gotten there any sooner because the time involved was part of the process. There are people who want to write their first book in ten days.  I don’t see how that’s possible because so much goes into it. I think now that I’ve been through that process, though, the next book will likely go faster.

KLM: What’s the problem you help intuitive entrepreneurs solve through your book?

JB: People don’t really understand Myers-Briggs. They may have known about Myers-Briggs for years but never saw it put into context like I do in my book. So that’s the first problem it solved. Secondly, it helps people figure out their innateness so they can start designing their lives around what is true about themselves. So many people throw darts at a global dartboard when they need to get focused and specific. I believe my book does that for them. And, lastly, I hope it really shows the differences in the types, especially the intuitive types because we are marginalized in this world. Intuitive types can learn to embrace their awesomeness and know being intuitive is a strength, not a weakness.

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Working with a Ghostwriter: What can I expect?

Recently I’ve realized there may be some misconceptions among aspiring authors about the role ghostwriters play in helping them produce their books and other written content. I’d like to clear these up and offer publishing guidance which can save you time, money and possible frustration.

What is a ghostwriter?

A ghostwriter is a professional writer who can help you write books, articles, web content and other published works that are credited to you. If you’re too busy to write these on your own or find the process daunting, they are a great asset. 

And since the purpose of hiring a ghostwriter is to help you create a publication which is credited to you, your readers won’t know the work wasn’t written by you. It’s your story and expertise. The ghostwriter merely works with you to help you tell it in a way that will be engaging to your readers. Of course, LegacyONE Authors offers ghostwriting services.

How does a ghostwriter work?

Though you may not realize it, ghostwriting is everywhere, from political speeches to books, website content, magazine articles, or your favorite celebrity’s news. Using clients’ recordings, written input and edits, ghostwriters transcribe conversations, ideas, experiences and feedback into books, website content and other materials.

The process a ghostwriter uses to write resembles film, television and theater acting. The best actors completely immerse themselves into the roles they play and, for the purposes of the performance, actually become those characters. Similarly, when a ghostwriter writes a book, they adopt another person’s voice, inflection, ideas and delivery.

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