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Being bookcurious, my favorite session at #scio13 was the one moderated by @mkonnikova and @katherinesharpe. It was buzzing with ideas and suggestions, collected in this Storify.


How do you get a book written

Being bookcurious, my favorite session at #scio13 was the one moderated by @mkonnikova and @katherinesharpe. It was buzzing with ideas and suggestions, collected in this Storify.

Storified by Frank Nuijens· Fri, Feb 08 2013 11:48:06

Tip #1: choose your topic carefully
You live with your topic, and it will come to define you in some way when it’s your first book says @mkonnikova #scio13 #bookwriteErin Podolak
@mkonnikova : you should love your topic, because your first book will be associated with you. #bookwrite #scio13Matthew R. Francis
Write the book you want to read. And make sure it’s interesting enough for a book and not a magazine article @mkonnikova #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
Tip #2: stay focused
@katherinesharpe : stay focused using Freedom (http://macfreedom.com/) to block distractions. Also, take breaks. #bookwrite #scio13Matthew R. Francis
Stay focused on your book project by stepping away from it from time to time, says @katherinesharpe #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
#scio13 #bookwrite Writer’s residencies. When writing a book, they can put you up for a few weeks to a month.UNC med/sci Journ
Tip #3: set a daily word count
Set word counts of what you’ll work on per day to help balance writing with research #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
#bookwrite tip: use word count for daily goals (Scrivner program helps with this) #scio13Walter Jessen
I *love* Scrivener, though – helps me organize my nonlinear thinking into a linear form. #bookwrite #scio13Matthew R. Francis
Tip #4: don’t stop writing
One tip 4 writing books: give yourself req’d word count and skip over sections that require more research to go back to. #bookwrite #scio13Tara Haelle
Don’t stop writing when you hit a part where you need to do more research. Skip ahead, come back to the research. #bookwrite #scio13Rachel Dearborn ϟ
Tip #5: BIC
"BIC: Butt In Chair time" – a tip from novelists for book writing. MUST be in chair, not clean house or walk dog, etc #bookwrite #scio13Tara Haelle
Book writing tip from @orzelc: schedule time for BIC (butt in chair) #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
German word "sitzfleisch" = sit your ass down and get the work done. Great word! #bookwrite #scio13Tara Haelle
Tip #6: cultivate a little OCD
@BrentN it helps to cultivate a bit of OCD when writing for a book #bookwrite #scio13sarah keartes
Tip #7: writing sprints
Writing sprints can also be useful, set time instead of word count to take the pressure off #scio13 #bookwriteErin Podolak
@rdearborn Setting time works better and working with friends helps – see #madwriting http://madwriting.posterous.com/ #bookwrite #scio13Matthew R. Francis
avoid pressuring yourself on word count by doing "running sprints" focus on an amount of time to write @annaleen #bookwrite #scio13sarah keartes
Tip #8: quit your job or take a sabbatical
Q from attendee: IS it possible to write a book w a 60-hr week job? Good question! #bookwrite #scio13Tara Haelle
Both @katherinesharpe and @mkornikova quit their jobs to write fulltime #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
@Annaleen : if you have a job where you can take a sabbatical, do it. You need to work on your book full-time. #bookwrite #scio13Matthew R. Francis
Researching book is something you can do next to your job, but you need a few months off when writing #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
However, some dissenting views: some people can write evenings, weekends, dribs and drabs. #scio13 #bookwriteMatthew R. Francis
For full-time writers, balance of short-form freelancing and long-form book work depends on deadline pressure of latter #bookwrite #scio13Blake Stacey
Tip #9: just start
Your first draft is going to suck. Just start. #scio13 #bookwriteErin Podolak
"write something you know is awful & fix it, rather than try to get good words the 1st time" #bookwrite #scio13 see fiction authors say thisKelly
Tip #10: get yourself out there
Repurpose material that you’ve already written but that gets cut from your book when freelancing #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
Keep yourself out there when you’re writing a book you don’t want ppl to forget who you are #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
Think abt outlets you want your book to be featured in and establish relationship with editors by freelancing @mkonnikova #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
Tip #11: get into the groove
You don’t have to write linearly, if you have an outline you can write in chunks #scio13 #bookwriteErin Podolak
One way to manage the cognitive switch back into the zone: chunking time: create outline and write in bite-size pieces. #bookwrite #scio13Tara Haelle
Recommends re-reading or re-typing the last page or two you wrote to get back into your groove #scio13 #bookwriteErin Podolak
Another way to get back into zone: Revise previous chapter or pages before writing on. #bookwrite #scio13Tara Haelle
Tip #12: get a good agent
Get a good agent. Essential, don’t do this on your own. #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
Get a good agent, it’s worth the money @mkonnikova #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
What makes a good agent can be a personal preference – long term relationship #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
find a good book agent to contribute to your project "someone who fights for you" @mkonnikova #bookwrite #scio13Courtni Kopietz
A good agent will help you navigate your contract #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
Good agents shouldn’t want money upfront. Ask to speak to other clients. Use one that has experience in science field. #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
Red flags for agents: make sure they have other narrative nonfiction or science books they’re representing #bookwrite #scio13Tara Haelle
Agent recommends no upfront fee, speak to one of their clients, have a working website #scio13 #bookwriteSean Ekins
Ask other writers who are familiar with your writing if they can help connect you with great agents #scio13 #bookwriteErin Podolak
Talk about expectations with your agent ahead of time #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
Vetting agents: ask them for feedback on your proposal #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
You want an agent who knows who the best editors to give your book to are going to be #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
I’m not in #scio13 #bookwrite, but wd be saying: agent value is partly in telling you what ideas not to bother with.Mark Henderson
Tip #13: don’t get scooped
You need to talk about book topic some in order to establish yourself as expert, but make sure you don’t get scooped #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
You need to talk about your topic some, but to blog through your whole book opens you up to having your topic scooped #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
Your topic is not proprietary, if you’re the best person to write about this then write it. Go for it. #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
Find a book topic that has a unique personal angle so you won’t be easily scooped and you stay motivated @orzelc #scio13 #bookwriteFrank Nuijens
Tip #14: collaborate in a smart way
When collaborating separate duties in a smart way #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
@huler In any collaboration, you have to decide who’s in charge of each thing in wrking w others on book. #bookwrite #scio13Tara Haelle
Tip #15: think like an editor
"Thinking Like Your Editor" recommended in #bookwrite #scio13 session w/ @mkonnikova + @katherinesharpe: http://amzn.to/YrRRSUDave Mosher
Tip #16: get organized
. @marynmck: "There is no procrastination technique more seductive than comparing organizational tools." #scio13 #bookwriteAviva Hope Rutkin
What is your organizational scheme? "Big piles of crap" #bookwrite #scio13Erin Podolak
Not tweeted, but someone suggested DevonThink as a great tool for organizing your research: http://www.devontechnologies.com/products/devonthink/overview.html