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If you’re wondering how long you should make your book chapters, think of books you’ve read that kept a firm grip on your interest from one chapter to the next.

Do you remember taking half an hour or more to get through one chapter?

Did it feel too long, too short, or just right for the book you were reading?

Fortunately for us writers, there’s room for flexibility.

And as a rule, when it comes to deciding how many words in a chapter, it pays to think of your reader’s experience first.

Does chapter-length matter?

With fiction, your chapter length will affect — or be affected by — the pacing of your story.

Shorter chapters are best for a fast-paced story, though too short a chapter makes it hard to build momentum or to draw your readers into a relationship with your characters.

Longer chapters slow the pace and allow for a more gradual build-up of tension, intrigue, and anticipation.

After a long chapter, though, your readers are more likely to stop reading to take a breather, so it’s all the more important to give them a compelling reason to come back for more.

How many words should be in a chapter?

To answer the question, “How long is a chapter?” the genre of your book does afford some clues, but each chapter’s length has more to do with what’s going on in your story — or, with nonfiction, how much information you have to communicate in a specific chapter.

There are no set in stone rules governing chapter length.

And if you’ve read enough books, you’ve likely noticed that some chapters in the same book can be a few pages long (or shorter), while others are closer to 6,000 words.

And different authors have different preferences when it comes to chapter length:

  • James Patterson’s novel chapters average around 640 words.
  • Mary Higgins Clark’s I’ve Got You Under My Skin has chapters of around 768 words.
  • David Baldacci’s The Target keeps chapter length to an average 1,555 words
  • J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone has an average chapter length of 4,560 words.
  • Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch has chapters with an average length of 24,767 words.

There are also trends in different genres:

  • Romance and sci-fi novels tend to have chapters of around 3,000 words each.
  • Thrillers tend to keep the average chapter length to around 600 to 800 words.

And when it comes to nonfiction books, the length of each chapter depends largely on the subject matter, though author preference and industry standards also come into play.

Every chapter should be as long as it needs to be to cover all the material clearly and thoroughly (or thoroughly enough).

Related: How Long Does It Take To Write A Book

Depending on the level of scholarship, each chapter might give a clear but concise overview, or it might go in depth to explain every detail.

The latter kind tends to go longer.

While there’s plenty of room for variety, the average chapter length for a book is between 2,000 and 5,000 words, with the sweet spot lying between 3,000 and 4,000 words.

But that can change. And it may already be shifting toward smaller word counts.

Indie author Chris Fox makes a strong case for what he calls “potato chip chapters“ — or short, savory, and easily-digestible book chapters.

As cheap as books are, now, and with the competition authors face, it makes sense to use whatever means we have to hold onto our readers’ attention.

Not every author can get away with writing 25,000 word chapters. And while The Goldfinch won a prestigious award, most of us just want readers who will complain that we kept them up late at night reading our books.

And enough well-paid authors have shown that shorter chapters help them make devoted fans of these readers.

Are you one of them?

What’s the best chapter length for your readers?

Whatever chapter length you aim for with your book, consider how long it will take the average reader to get through one of them.

Then imagine where and when your readers are likely to read your book — during lunch breaks, on public transit, or at home before going to sleep — and whether they’re likely to have time to get through a chapter before they have to put your book down.

The average adult can read about 200 words a minute, depending on the flow and complexity of each sentence.

So, when deciding on chapter length for your book or novel, consider how long it could take your reader to get through chapters of the following lengths.

  • 10 minutes to read 2,000 words
  • 15 minutes to read 3,000 words
  • 20 minutes to read 4,000 words
  • 25 minutes to read 5,000 words

If this is a nonfiction book, you’ll want to give your reader as much valuable information as you can with as little unnecessary word padding as possible.

I won’t say “as few words as possible,” because packing too much information in each sentence can make your book easier to put down than to read.

But you don’t want to waste your reader’s time, either. So, make sure every sentence counts.

With nonfiction books, you can use subheadings to help break up your chapters into smaller, more manageable pieces.

If your readers can stop at a specific heading in a chapter, and if the subject matter referred to by that heading interests them, they’re far more likely to open the book again the next time they get the chance.

With novels, you can either keep the chapters short or break them up with visual markers, and begin each new section (or scene) with a drop-cap or by putting the first few words in all caps.

If you’re switching point of view with each section (rather than with each chapter), identify the POV character at the beginning.

Chapter Must-Haves

Whether you go short, long, or average, every chapter in your book should be self-contained, with a beginning, middle, and end.

Every chapter should present a problem or conflict and a resolution, along with a cliffhanger or teaser at the end.

If at the end of your chapter, you don’t give your reader a reason to come back for more (especially if the chapter they just finished was a long one), they very likely won’t.

Do you need to adjust your book chapters?

Now that you know roughly how long your book chapters should be, maybe you’re tempted to look at your work in progress to see how close you’ve gotten.

How Many Words Should Be In A Chapter Of A Book?
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If this is your first draft, though, don’t worry if they’re shorter than 2,000 or longer than 5,000 words each — or if they vary widely in length. You can always adjust that during the editing process.

And ultimately you want each chapter to be as long as it needs to be — but no longer than that.

For now, just enjoy writing your book. And may your creativity and thoughtfulness influence everything you do today.

The post How Many Words Should Be In A Chapter Of A Book? appeared first on Authority Self-Publishing.

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Would you like some practical tips on how to write faster?

Of course, you would.

Who in the writing community wouldn’t love to get more writing done in less time?

Fast writing means more time to spend with family and friends, more time to explore new creative outlets, and more time to read, among other things.

It also means you can write more books (or whatever it is you enjoy writing)!

Once you implement even one of the twelve tips laid out for you below, you’ll become more efficient at letting the words flow onto the page.

So, say goodbye to writer’s block, and enjoy becoming a more prolific writer.

12 Tips on Writing Faster

Use the following tips to crank up your writing speed, so you can write more in less time and get those thoughts onto the page before they slip away.

What you do with the time you save is up to you.

1. Check your mindset.

Your attitude regarding a specific writing assignment has plenty to do with how quickly you can get the words out.

If you’re busy thinking things like, “This is a waste of time,” or “I’m not good at writing about things like this,” you’re creating your own writing blocks.

So, check your mindset before you start writing.

Remind yourself that most, if not all, the things you’ve written about in the past were new to you at some point.

And you have what it takes to create an article (or book, etc.) that will exceed expectations — including your own.

2. Write like a journalist.

By that, I mean write what you know now, and use “TK” for areas that need more research.

Then, once you’ve finished writing the body of your article (or book), do a search on “TK” and fill in the blanks.

Related: How To Become A Better Writer

Doing this helps you write faster because you’re not holding off until you have all the information you could possibly need.

By the time you’ve begun researching to fill in those blanks, you’ll have most of the work done already.

3. Or research and organize before you write.

You can also choose to research and organize before you start writing.

This can make it easier to get the words out — as long as you don’t over-research and end up with information overload.

So, find out what information you need before you research. Then organize the information you find by creating a rough outline of your piece before you start writing.

4. Create a daily writing habit.

The best way to get the words flowing out of you is to create the habit of writing every day.

Choose a time of day that works best for at least five minutes of butt-in-chair time. Set a timer for five, ten, or more minutes, and write until the timer goes off.

Write for a project, or just write whatever is on your mind – whatever will help you get started. When the timer goes off, you can either take a break and repeat, or you can stop for the day.

Keep doing this every day for at least a month (ideally two) to make it a habit.

5. Set realistic daily and weekly writing goals.

Set daily and weekly writing goals that you can consistently meet.

Consistency matters more than the size of these goals, but as you improve, you can make the goals more ambitious to challenge yourself.

Once you’ve created the daily writing habit, use it to reach goals that matter to you, even if the first goals you set seem modest.

Just reaching those goals has a way of building your confidence and encouraging you to aim higher. Sooner or later, you’ll set goals you used to think were beyond you.

6. Set the tone for calm and distraction-free writing.

You know better than anyone else whether having music in the background helps or hinders you with writing, but do what you can to create a calm and distraction-free writing environment.

You can create a playlist on apps like Spotify to keep the music or ambient noise going while you write. You can also silence your phone and use apps that prevent your access to social media while you work.

If those distractions are off-limits, and you consciously commit to writing for a set number of minutes at a time — with breaks in between — it’s much easier to enter the writing zone and stay there.

7. Use the Text Expander app to speed up the addition of repetitive text.

The Text Expander app allows you to quickly insert a pre-written snippet of text using an abbreviation or a quick search.

If you’d like to save the time you’d otherwise spend writing a brief author bio or byline, your email signature, or other content you often add to your daily work, this app can be a tremendous help.

Take advantage of the 30-day free trial to see if it’s a good fit.

If you like it, membership costs only $3.33 per month billed annually, or $4.16 per month.

How to use Text Expander and save time writing - YouTube

8. Ditch the red, squiggly lines.

When you’re typing away at something, few things are as distracting as those annoying squiggly lines that show up under words you just typed.

The good news? You can turn them off.

Related: 15 Tips to Help You Write Better And Attract More Readers

With Microsoft Word, go to the “File” menu, and click on “Options” at the bottom of your left-hand menu.

Then click on “Proofing” and, under “When correcting spelling and grammar in Word,” deselect “Check spelling as you type” and “Mark grammar errors as you type.”

9. Write without your inner editor’s “help.”

Don’t expect your first draft of anything to be your best work. It’s going to need some editing, and you’ll write much faster if you accept this and just allow yourself to write freely without editing.

Don’t invite your inner editor into your writing space until it’s time to revise or rewrite your piece.

The first draft is all about turning on the faucet and letting the words pour out however they come.

You’ll no doubt do some editing as you go (it’s nearly impossible to make that inner editor shut up completely), but the more you allow yourself to write badly, the more freely you’ll write.

And the more your speed will improve.

10. Don’t be a slave to your schedule (or editorial calendar).

As writers, sometimes we get blocked because we’re forcing ourselves to write something just so we can move on to the next item on our schedule.

When it comes to creative writing, rigidity is not our friend. The more you try to force yourself to do (or write) something, the more you’ll resist it.

You need either a better reason to get the writing done or a better writing project.

While schedules and editorial calendars are both great tools for the professional writer, they’re meant to serve you — not to enslave you.

11. Become a faster typist (with FreeTypingGame.net and WordGames.com).

Kick your typing speed up a notch (or several) by making time for typing games like those at FreeTypingGame.net and WordGames.com.

Most of us think faster than we type — and certainly faster than we can write by hand — so the faster you get at typing, the more words you can get out of your head before you forget them.

Who hasn’t felt frustrated (or even unhinged) at being interrupted while frantically typing to get their thoughts onto the page before they turn to smoke?

Think of these typing games as a fun way to sharpen one of your most important writing tools.

12. Amp up the pressure by raising the stakes.

There are a few ways to raise the stakes and motivate yourself to write faster. One is to publish your goals and the consequences of failure to meet them.

If those consequences are sufficiently painful, you’ll work harder to avoid them.

And the more people who know about your chosen goals and the consequences “if you should fail,” the more driven you’ll feel to ensure you don’t.

You can also set a reward for achievement of a particular goal and share it with those who will cheer you on — and who will share your disappointment if you don’t meet it.

Now you know how to write faster — so what will you write?

Now that you know twelve well-tested and effective tips for improving your writing speed, what will you do today to reach a new personal best?

12 Effective Tips On How To Write Faster
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By far the most important tip you can implement today is to get your head right. Get rid of self-defeating thoughts like “I’m just not that creative” or “I’m not good at writing on command.”

We are all born to create, and you have as much creative potential as anyone else.

Remind yourself of this, and keep your mind open to learning and writing about new things and experiences.

May your creativity, passion for growth, and sense of adventure influence everything you do today.

The post 12 Effective Tips On How To Write Faster appeared first on Authority Self-Publishing.

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You have a book — or a great idea for a book — and you want a title that will immediately grab the attention of your ideal readers and make them want to click on it.

But you’ve been racking your brain for hours to think of good titles and you’ve come up with maybe a few. And they’re all missing something.

Where can you go for help on how to name a book?

Fortunately, there is such a thing as a book title generator, and we’ve created a list of some of the best to be found on the internet.

The thoughtful geniuses behind the generators listed in this post have created innovative, time-saving resources for authors everywhere.

For your convenience, we’ve grouped them according to genre, so you can try all the generators designed to help you create the best possible title for your specific book.

What is a book title generator?

Generally speaking, a book name generator takes the information you give it and creates good book titles based on your genre. If you don’t like the first suggestions, you can ask for more.

Some of the book title generators listed in this article offer only random title suggestions, while others require some input in order to generate titles better suited to your specific book project.

You can also use these title generators to get ideas for your next blog post, short story, or online course.

While looking for the best title for a particular book, you might just find one that’s perfect for another creative project (or something you’ve put on the back burner for now).

So, whether you’re a novelist, a nonfiction book writer, a blogger, a course creator, a coach, or a combination of any of these, you’ll benefit from using these book title generators.

If a title sparks something in you, but you’re not sure it’s the right one, add it to your “maybe list,” anyway.

It might grow on you, or it might make you cringe the next time you read it.

Related: Should You Italicize Book Titles?

Some of the titles I’ve come up with don’t make me cringe until I’m about to share it in a social media poll.

Keep in mind that when you’re making the first (long) list, you’re just collecting ideas. Some of the title ideas will make you wonder, “What was I thinking?” while a select few will stand out as definitely worth considering.

In any case, none of this is wasted effort. And a book title generator might get you to your next great book title a lot sooner.

List Of Book Title Generator Options

Some of the book title generators listed for each genre will appear in other genre lists because some of them — and some of the categories — overlap.

So, the book names created can suit more than one type of book or story.

Most of these don’t use either custom or suggested values to narrow the search, but some do, and if you’d like a less random approach to brainstorming book titles, click on those options first.

Fantasy Title Generators Romance Title Generators Random Title Generators Story Name Generators

Try a story name generator from the following list if you’re looking for something that would suit a work of general or literary fiction, whether it’s a novel, a short story, or something in between. Some of the following also work for genre fiction.

Novel Title Generators Sci-Fi Title Generators Horror Name Generators Mystery Novel Title Generators Crime Book Title Generators Nonfiction Title Generators Children’s Book Title Generators Character Name Generators

Book titles aren’t the only names that draw readers in; characters need appealing and well-suited names to make them more believable and compelling to the reader.

To that end, it pays to bookmark these book character name generators — if only as a stress reliever when you’re worn thin from your writing for the day.

Most of these are random, but the first offers a selection of values to narrow the search.

The Magic of Keywords

If you’re using a generator that allows you to input custom values, you’ll get farther faster if you know what keywords are vital to your book’s success.

To that end, we recommend checking out PublisherRocket (formerly KDP Rocket) by Kindlepreneur’s Dave Chesson.

It’s the best tool we know of for quickly finding the keywords that will make your book more visible and appealing to your target readers.

Amazon looks for keywords in your book’s title, subtitle, and book description. And if none of them contain the keywords your ideal readers are looking for, your book won’t show up in their search results.

Another excellent tool for testing the popularity of keywords on Amazon is the Keywords Everywhere extension, which shows you search stats not only for the words you type into Amazon’s or Google’s search fields but also the words in the drop-down suggestion menu.

Putting Your Titles to the Test

Once you’ve got some promising title ideas, it’s time to find out which of them are the most marketable. In other words, which titles are most likely to catch the eye of your ideal reader and get the visceral “I need that” response you’re hoping for.

Lulu created a free Title Scorer tool that gives your title a grade based on its marketability — or likelihood of succeeding in a crowded book market. It’s well worth a look just to see what grade each of your titles get.

Related: 6 Simple Steps to Picking Your Perfect Title

When you’ve narrowed your options down to a few, and you’re ready to expose your darlings to the scrutiny of others, you could post a poll on social media.

But if you want a more carefully selected group of voters — folks who are more likely to be interested in your book — go with PickFu.

It’s not free, but it’s not a bank-breaker, either. And the results are likely to be more helpful than a random poll on your favorite social media channels.

Ready to generate your own book title?

I hope you bookmarked your favorites and found some intriguing book title ideas.

Writing books is challenging enough without spending weeks agonizing over book titles. And we want your book to make the biggest possible impact.

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Your title and cover will be the first thing readers see, so it pays to make sure they’re market-worthy.

Playing with these title generators can also jumpstart your own creative idea machine, helping you add to your list and building your confidence as you get closer to the best possible title for your book.

So, try a few of them today, using keywords you already know or those you can find using Publisher Rocket, and see how many titles you can come up with.

May your creativity and resourcefulness influence everything you do today.

The post The Best Free Book Title Generators For Choosing Your Bestselling Title appeared first on Authority Self-Publishing.

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Looking for some great book lover gifts?

It doesn’t take much internet searching to find a wide variety of gift ideas, but we’ve curated this list of our favorites to help you narrow the search a bit.

I say “a bit,” because this list is 51 items long.

We tried to keep it shorter, but we kept finding gifts that made the readers in us feel a definite pull.

So, the list kept on growing.

Some of these gifts aren’t exclusively for book lovers, but all are gifts your favorite bookworms will appreciate.

And they’ll know you put some thought into shopping for them.

So, enjoy perusing 51 of the best gifts for book lovers. And if you number among them, don’t forget to pick up one (or more) for yourself.

51 Gifts for Book Lovers

As gift ideas for book lovers go, I think we nailed it with this list, and I hope you enjoy looking through it and clicking on the items that intrigue you most.

1. Amazon “Bookmark” Gift Card

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Who doesn’t love a gift card — especially when it makes it even easier to snag some new books?

The bookmark shape is a nice touch.

2. Literary Candles

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When it’s time for some quiet, relaxed reading, a lit candle (see what I did there?) helps set the mood.

Each of these scented candles features a particular author.

3. Funny Bookend or Pair of Katana Bookends

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As much as we love ebooks, printed books are still very much a beloved part of our lives, and these bookends can make the bookshelf look even more inviting.

4. Memory Foam Reading Pillow

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If the person you’re shopping for loves to read in bed or on the couch, this pillow makes it more comfortable to do so.

5. Wired or Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones

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If your reader likes to shut out the world by listening to music while reading, why not make it easier with some noise-canceling headphones?

6. Throw Pillow Cover for Bookworms

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This one reads “Just one more chapter,” which resonates with book lovers everywhere.

It fits an 18” by 18” pillow insert and belongs in every reader’s home.

7. Weighted Throw Blanket

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When cuddling on the couch with a good book, a weighted blanket adds an extra dimension of comfort, especially when it’s cold or stormy out.

8. Novel Teas Collection

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If your reader is also a tea lover, this is the perfect gift (or part of it). Add a teapot, a mug, or teacup, and you’re set.

9. Edgar Allan Poe Booze Book with Hidden Flask

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This fake book hides a flask with your reader’s favorite liquor. Add a small bottle of something to fill the flask, and the gift is complete.

10. Kindle Paperwhite E-reader

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If your reader has yet to discover the joys of undistracted reading — with built-in reading light — the Kindle Paperwhite makes a fantastic gift.

11. LED Neck Hug Book Light

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For after-dark reading with printed books, this neck hug book light with long, flexible arms easily bends to send the light in the right direction.

12. The Clapper Sound Activated Light Switch

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When you’re done reading for the night, there’s a good chance your legs aren’t working as they should.

With this, you can turn off the lights from anywhere in the room.

13. Novelty Teaspoon for Book Lovers

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If your reader has plenty of mugs and cups for their favorite reading beverage, they’ll still enjoy this thoughtful teaspoon and think of you every time they use it.

14. Smart Wifi Wireless Essential Oil Aromatherapy Diffuser

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If your reader isn’t really a candle person, this is a great way to fill the air with soothing aromatherapy.

You can even set and control it with a phone app.

15. “Book Nerd” Enamel Pin

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Let your inner book nerd and that of your reader friends shine out with this enamel pin.

Get some for your reading club buddies or just for your favorite reader.

16. Wet Wipes and Soft Tissues

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Don’t forget essential paper products — like wet wipes to clean up after snacking and soft tissues for emotional reads.

Add a classy wicker wastebasket to make disposal easy.

17. Antiquarian Bookplates

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Readers have their own private libraries, and these bookplates are a classy way to remind borrowers of the generous soul to whom those precious books belong.

18. Book Lover’s Cookbook

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For readers who enjoy cooking and trying new things, this cookbook features recipes from celebrated works of literature — along with the passages that feature them.

19. Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist by Tim Federle

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You and your literary friends can now enjoy book-themed cocktails, thanks to this funny and informative book by Tim Federle.

The sequels also look tempting.

20. ”Shh! I’m Reading” Socks

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You have a great idea for a nonfiction book, but you don’t know how to get started — and you’re not sure it would even sell.

How do you first verify that there’s a paying market for your book idea and then create the book those readers are looking for?

You already know more about your subject than most people you know, but how do you make this book bridge the gap between what you know and what your readers specifically want to learn?

How do you go beyond what you now know and your reasons for writing this book to create something that will change the lives of your readers for the better?

The secret is in the book-writing process outlined in this article.

Once you learn how to write a nonfiction book from start to finish, you can develop a routine that helps you write each book more quickly and easily than your first.

You’ll learn plenty just from having written that first nonfiction book.

Whatever worked well for you the first time, you can do again. And if some part of the process didn’t work as well as you’d hoped, you can try something else.

The more books you write, the better you’ll get at it, and the more you can help other writers do the same.

How To Write A Nonfiction Book: Your Step-By-Step Guide

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know how to write nonfiction books your ideal readers will eagerly snap up and share links to once you’ve published it.

And the more people find the answers they need in your books, the more they’ll want from you.

Before you get started writing a nonfiction book, though, there are a few questions you need to answer:

  1. Why do you want to write this book?
  2. What type of nonfiction book are you writing?
  3. For whom are you writing it — and what do they want?
  4. What will it take to write the book they want?
  5. Are you willing to invest the time and energy into writing that book?

Did you notice the transition from “this” to “that”? “This book” is the book as you’ve originally conceived it and is the product of your experience and your inclinations.

“That book” is what “this book” becomes after you’ve done your research into the kind of book your ideal readers really want and are willing to pay for.

And if you’re wanting to actually sell the books you write — and to earn positive reviews — you can’t afford to ignore what your reader wants.

Another part of “that book” is the stories you weave into your book that come from your own experience (or someone else’s) and that resonate with your readers.

To get closer to that book, we’ll start with a working definition of nonfiction.

Definition of Nonfiction

Look up “nonfiction definition” on the internet, and you’ll most likely see it defined as writing that is based on facts, real events, and real people — which distinguishes it from fiction.

Most nonfiction authors write their books with the intention of helping their readers with something. This is more apparent when we look at the types and subtypes of nonfiction, which we’ll cover next.

Types of Nonfiction

Check out the categories for nonfiction on any bookseller’s website (we’ll use Amazon’s best-seller list), and you’ll see a long list of nonfiction options, including the following:

  • How-to
  • Self-help
  • Biographies and Memoirs
  • Arts and Photography
  • Crafts, Hobbies, and Home
  • Foreign Languages
  • Education and Teaching
  • Health, Fitness, and Dieting
  • Historical nonfiction
  • Humor and Entertainment
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Reference
  • Science and Math
  • Travel

There’s a subcategory called “Short Reads“ for short nonfiction books and novelettes or short stories.

So, if you’d like to keep your books short, sweet, and addictive, this category could become your favorite.

What Are Narrative Nonfiction Books?

This is a category of nonfiction that presents a true story in a style that feels more like fiction.

It’s also called creative nonfiction and is essentially storytelling based on what is known to be true.

Writers who excel at narrative nonfiction write storytelling articles for magazines and newspapers. Or they might write biographies or ghostwrite memoirs for clients.

They enjoy bringing out the most resonant aspects of a true story and presenting it in a way that keeps their readers hooked from start to finish.

If you write narrative nonfiction, you don’t have to make anything up; you just have to find a way to make a known story as compelling, emotionally affecting, and memorable as possible.

How to Write a Nonfiction Book Outline

When you’re writing a book — whatever the subject matter — it helps to start with at least a rough outline.

The outline helps you divide your book into parts and chapters, so, once your outline is written, you have at least the rough draft of your book’s table of contents.

And once you’ve got your book broken down into those components, you can flesh out each part to give yourself an idea of the points you want to make in each chapter and the overall message you want to send with each part of your book and with your book as a whole.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Writing A Novel

You can start with something as simple as a bulleted or numbered list of points you want to make with your book — or topics you want to cover.

Once you’ve got that list, you can turn each major point or sub-topic into a chapter heading (something to start with, anyway). And from there, you can add your book’s Introduction, a Conclusion, and other front and back matter pages.

Then, it’s time to start adding content.

How to Start Writing a Book

You can start by writing any of the following:

  • Preface (if you have one) — explaining the inspiration behind your book
  • Introduction — giving the reader a taste of what they can expect from your book
  • Chapter 1 — diving right into your book’s content

Some authors like to start with the Introduction, while others prefer to dig in with Chapter 1 and write the Introduction (and Preface) last — after they’ve written the rest of the book and have a better idea of what’s in store for the reader.

Depending on how long your chapters will be, you can set up a writing schedule for the week and make it your goal to write a minimum number of words a day, whether that adds up to a chapter or not.

Your Introduction should give your reader a clear idea of what they’ll gain by reading your book. It should make them anxious to start reading Chapter 1, and it should smoothly and efficiently lead them right to it.

Writing Your Best-Selling Book Step-By-Step

Best-selling nonfiction books give readers more of what they want and as little as possible of what they don’t.

Maybe it’s hard to know how much of your content belongs on the cutting floor while you’re writing it, but keep your reader in mind while you’re writing the book.

Ask yourself, “Would I really care about this information?” or “If I bought this book based on my sales pitch for it, would this be something I would be glad to have read if I only had five or ten minutes to read during the workday?”

Step 1: Gather Up Your (Relevant) Stories

There’s nothing wrong with illustrating your point with stories from real life.

In fact, if you can think of stories that make your points come to life, by all means, use them.

Looking at your outline, brainstorm some story ideas that draw from your experience or someone else’s to help illustrate the points you’ll be making.

Make sure each story helps you make each point more clearly, powerfully, and memorably.

Keep in mind, though, that your book on crafting the perfect Arts and Crafts bookcase doesn’t have room for your life story.

Related: Should I Write a Book? 9 Reasons to Write It in 2019

And readers of your self-help book on morning meditation don’t need a detailed history of every meditation practice developed over the centuries.

They just need what they were looking for when they bought your book and not someone else’s.

Don’t give them a reason to think, “Maybe that other book I was looking at will get to the point more quickly.”

You want your reader to keep reading because each sentence they read makes them want more. Each sentence is clear and easy to understand. Each sentence confirms their suspicion that your book was one of the best investments they could make.

Step 2: Do Your Research

To fill that gap I mentioned earlier — between what you know now and what your readers want to learn — your stories may not be enough.

It never hurts, anyway, to look up your subject and see if there’s anything you don’t know that could make your book even more helpful and interesting to your readers.

Use any or all of the following research tools:

  • Google Scholar — a simple way to conduct a broad search of scholarly materials
  • Incognito Google Search — Go “incognito” to use Google’s self-populating search field without the influence of your personal internet history
  • DeepDyve — Look beyond the abstract (for a monthly fee) with “the largest online rental service for scholarly research.”
  • KeywordsEverywhere — You’ll love this free browser extension for keyword research (thank you, Patrick Flynn).
  • KWfinder — Register for free to search SEO stats for up to 5 keywords per day.
  • SEM Rush — This keyword research tool also shows trends. Register to get ten free searches, which can lead you to sites with more information.
  • BuzzSumo — This one also shows you where pertinent information is being shared, which tells you where to find more of your ideal readers (Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)
  • Amazon Search — Use Amazon’s own self-populating search field, which is made even better with the KeywordsEverywhere extension.
  • Publisher Rocket (fka KDP Rocket) — Find other books written on the subject, and research keywords and related terms.
  • Zotero — This personal research tool integrates with your browser to capture and save research material.
  • Evernote — You can use this tool to save and organize your research for each book project.
Step 3: Write the First Draft

Once you know how long it takes you to write 500 words — and you know how long you can realistically commit to writing each day (and how many days a week), you can calculate how long it will take you to write the first draft of a 30,000-page book.

If your book will be shorter or longer than that, adjust your calculations accordingly.

Then you can set a deadline on the calendar, giving yourself an extra few days’ cushion, in case something comes up that makes it impossible to write as much on one or more of your book-writing days.

Step 4: Revise and Edit Your Book

After that, set another deadline, giving yourself at least half the time you spent writing the first draft, so you can revise your book. This process is every bit as important as writing your first draft.

Pay close attention to each sentence as you reread it.

Eliminate clutter to make your sentences clearer, more elegant, and easier to read. Be brutal, so your reviewers don’t have to be.

Then it’s time to get someone else’s eyes on your work — preferably a professional editor — at least for copy-editing and proofreading.

You don’t want to give your readers any reason to leave a “Needs editing” review.

If your current book budget doesn’t allow for professional editing, you’ll have to do the best you can with the resources you have — though it’s still important to get someone else’s eyes on your book.

You can use Grammarly and the Hemingway Editor app to find and fix grammar and spelling errors and make your sentences easier and more enjoyable to read.

After the editing’s done — and especially if you’ve done the editing yourself — you’ll want to find some beta-readers to look over your book and offer their constructive feedback.

Good beta-readers are priceless and deserve to be recognized and rewarded, even if all you can currently afford to do is mention them in your book and return the favor when they need beta-readers.

Read to write your nonfiction book?

Now that you know how to write your nonfiction book, which one will you work on today — even if all you do is make a list of the ideas you have for it?

Take a few minutes to brainstorm the topics you’d want to cover or the questions you want to answer with your book.

How To Write A Nonfiction Book: Your Step-By-Step Guide
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Think of the book you wish had existed before you learned something that changed your life for the better. And find out what it will take to create that book for others.

Write down, for your benefit and for your readers, why you want to write this book.

Write about the life-changing difference made by something you learned.

Then do some keyword research to find the most popular questions and keyword combinations to give you a better idea of the information your readers want.

If you’ve got an idea for a book that thousands or even millions of people are searching for, it’s worth the investment of time and energy to make your book as clear and satisfying an answer to their questions as it can be.

May your creative energy and passion for helping others influence everything you do today.

The post How To Write A Nonfiction Book: Your Step-By-Step Guide appeared first on Authority Self-Publishing.

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Why should it matter so much whether your verbs are strong or weak?

And how do you even know if you’re using weak verbs?

If you know the answer to the question, “What is a verb?” and if you enjoy reading, it won’t take long to answer the bigger question of how to replace weak verbs with strong ones.

Because you know the purpose of the verb isn’t just to give you a pencil tracing of what’s going on.

It’s supposed to show you as much as possible with an economy of words.

This is why adverbs get so little love from writers nowadays.

They try to compensate for the inadequacies of weak verbs, but all they end up doing is making the sentence harder to read (without cringing).

Who knew there were two types of verbs, anyway, though?

Don’t all verbs basically do the same thing?

Well, yes and no.

Weak verbs can tell your reader what’s happening, but only strong verbs can catapult them right into the action.

Want to know how? Of course, you do!

What writer doesn’t want to master the art of captivating their readers with strong, evocative language?

And to help you do this, we’ve included a strong verbs list, which you can draw from to turn a basic narration into a full-color IMAX in-house movie.

But how do you tell a weak verb from a strong one?

What Are Strong Verbs

Strong verbs are the best verbs for a specific context because they do the following:

  • They stand out as both unusual (or unexpected) and appropriate.
  • They paint a specific picture of what’s going on — creating a stronger visual.
  • They evoke an emotional response in the reader.

The strongest verb is the one that communicates exactly what someone is doing and how they are doing it — without any need for an adverb.

By contrast, the weakest verb is the easiest one to use, and it communicates as little as possible while giving you the basic idea of what’s going on.

Sometimes, a weak verb is the one to use, but if all or most of your verbs are weak, your writing will be dull and lifeless. It won’t paint a clear picture, and it won’t evoke an emotional response.

And it’s way too easy to put down.

Strong Verbs Vs. Weak Verbs

While strong verbs are specific, weak verbs are general.

For example, you can say someone ran down the hallway, and that gives you the basic idea of what’s happening, but it’s also bland.

But if you say he bolted down the hallway, you communicate more of the urgency or even panic behind it.

You show the reader some of the emotion behind the action. Weak or “basic” verbs don’t do that.

When you use weak verbs like “ran” or “walked” or “smiled,” it’s tempting to use an adverb or a clichéd adverbial phrase to make the verb sound more interesting by telling the reader how the subject is doing something.

Strong verbs SHOW. Weak verbs — and their supporting adverbs — TELL.

  • He ran like a cheetah.
  • He ran frantically.
  • She smiled
  • She smiled from ear to ear.

The adverbs don’t really make the verb more compelling. They add detail but without making the action feel more real.

The character running frantically down the hallway is as much a stick figure as the one running like a cheetah. But the character bolting down the hallway makes the reader wonder what might be pursuing him or what’s at stake.

Or if the reader already knows the why, the word “bolted” is more satisfying than simply “ran.” As the more appropriate verb, it feels more like the appropriate response to the danger at hand, and it leads the reader deeper into the story.

Strong verbs paint clearer and more vivid images in the reader’s mind, making them care more about what will happen next. They add an extra dimension to the character taking action.

How easy is it, though, to replace your weak verbs with strong ones?

Replacing To Be Verbs

Weak verbs are everywhere because they’re easy to use.

If there was a supermarket for verbs, the weak ones would be at eye-level and right across from the ice cream freezer. We’re only human.

The weakest of the weak verbs are “to be” verbs (also called simply “be verbs”). They’re not evil incarnate, though. and there are times when they’re the best words to use.

If you can say the same thing with a strong verb — in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re forcing it in there — go with it. But don’t try to make every verb a strong one.

No one wants to read something that sounds like the writer swallowed a thesaurus and chased it with some ipecac, but try to mix it up as much as you can.

When your reader’s attention is at stake, it’s worth it to find verbs that will get the response you want.

It’s also worth changing combinations like the following to eliminate the extra “to be” verb:

  • From “I was wanting“ to “I wanted”
  • From “He’s already been waiting” to “He’s already waited.”
  • From “She was being sad“ to “She was sad.”
To Be Verbs List

These verbs are used alone and as part of compound verbs like “are used” and “has been scared.”

If you’re yawning right now, you’re not alone. While there’s definitely a place for “to be verbs,” don’t let them do all the work.

Don’t beat yourself up, though, if you look through something you’ve written and you find that most of your verbs (or even all of them) are weak verbs. As I mentioned earlier, they’re low-hanging fruit. We all use them.

Related: 15 Common Grammar Mistakes That Kill Your Writing Credibility

But when you’re more conscious of the verbs you choose, chances are your readers will be more conscious, too.

If you’re not already familiar with the “to be” verbs, here’s a list:

  • Am
  • Are
  • Be
  • Been
  • Being
  • Can
  • Could
  • Did
  • Do
  • Does
  • Had
  • Has
  • Have
  • Is
  • May
  • Might
  • Must
  • Shall
  • Should
  • Was
  • Were
  • Will
  • Would
The Ultimate Strong Verbs List

We’ve broken the following list of strong verbs into subsets to help you more quickly find the strong verb with the exact quality you want — from vivid to forceful to fun.

Verbs do have a tone, and even verbs that mean generally the same thing won’t work equally well in the same context.

If your character is having a nighttime phone conversation within earshot of her sleeping captors, you’ll want to avoid dialogue tags with verbs like “broadcasted,” “blabbered,” or “announced.”

The thesaurus does open the door to a whole new universe of more evocative verbs, though, and the lists below give you a taste.

Part of what makes the verb appropriate, though, is the sound it makes and how it affects the rhythm of your sentence.

So, read the word aloud in the context of your sentence and make sure it reads easily, sounds like it belongs there, and creates the right visual effect.

The same verb can belong to multiple categories, based on the impact you want to make and on the mood you’re in as you read this.

Take a slow read through the lists that follow and take note of the ones that stand out for you.

Power Verbs

If you’re rereading one of your sentences and feeling the need for a more powerful verb — one that grabs the reader’s attention and leaves them in no doubt as to your meaning — see if one of the following verbs are a better fit.

Maybe they’ll at least get your mind so in tune with powerful verbs that you have an easier time thinking of just the right one.

  • Advance
  • Amplify
  • Attack
  • Blast
  • Bolt
  • Broadcast
  • Bust
  • Charge
  • Clutch
  • Command
  • Devour
  • Drag
  • Engulf
  • Explode
  • Fight
  • Fling
  • Fly
  • Glare
  • Grasp
  • Growl
  • Hack
  • Ignite
  • Leap
  • Plunge
  • Rip
  • Rise
  • Scorch
  • Seize
  • Shatter
  • Slash
  • Smash
  • Soar
  • Storm
  • Supercharge
  • Swipe
  • Wrestle
  • Yank
Vivid Verbs

Some verbs just don’t create a vivid enough picture for your reader. You want a verb with visuals that pop in your reader’s mind. The following should give you some ideas.

  • Batter
  • Beam
  • Blab
  • Burst
  • Catapult
  • Clasp
  • Climb
  • Collide
  • Crash
  • Dash
  • Dismantle
  • Drain
  • Expose
  • Gleam
  • Glitter
  • Grope
  • Gush
  • Hobble
  • Intertwine
  • Jostle
  • Launch
  • Lurk
  • Peek
  • Paint
  • Pinpoint
  • Plant
  • Poison
  • Retreat
  • Scratch
  • Scrawl
  • Sizzle
  • Slide
  • Skip
  • Slump
  • Snag
  • Starve
  • Struggle
  • Surge
Forceful Verbs

If you’re looking for a verb with a strong and undeniable presence — one that gets the message across with a one-two punch and without apologies — consider the verbs in this list.

  • Capture
  • Crush
  • Decimate
  • Deviate
  • Demolish
  • Devastate
  • Dominate
  • Extract
  • Expel
  • Oppress
  • Revitalize
  • Rip
  • Ruin
  • Stare
  • Smash
  • Smite
  • Strip
  • Terrorize
  • Wreck
  • Wrench
  • Wrest
  • Wring
Interesting Verbs

Maybe you just want a verb that sounds more interesting than your original choice — but without sounding forced or flowery.

You don’t want purple prose, but you do want to keep your reader interested. So, mix it up with one of the dazzling verbs below.

  • Brood
  • Discover
  • Ensnare
  • Envelop
  • Fuse
  • Gaze
  • Glisten
  • Illuminate
  • Intuit
  • Journey
  • Mystify
  • Perceive
  • Position
  • Realize
  • Refashion
  • Reveal
  • Reverberate
  • Transfigure
  • Transform
  • Travel
  • Uncover
  • Unearth
  • Withdraw
Fun Verbs

Some verbs are just more fun than others. It’s not a competition; it’s just how it is.

Some verbs get all the oohs and ahhs but none of the laughs. They’re cool with it. They know their place.

If you’re looking for verbs with more of the fun factor, here are a few to consider:

  • Eyeball
  • Fizz
  • Garble
  • Gobble
  • Plop
  • Pop
  • Prickle
  • Prune
  • Splat
  • Swoon
  • Tattle
  • Tussle
  • Trudge
  • Whiz
  • Wrangle
  • Zap
  • Zing
Descriptive Verbs

Some verbs just do a better job of describing how a character is doing something.

It paints a clearer picture, so the reader is better able to visualize what’s going on.

These might not be the most vivid verbs, but they do show you more detail than your average “basic” verb.

  • Balloon
  • Bash
  • Clutch
  • Download
  • Eavesdrop
  • Escort
  • Expand
  • Explore
  • Extract
  • Frown
  • Hack
  • Hobble
  • Lead
  • Lurch
  • Peer
  • Probe
  • Pluck
  • Recite
  • Rush
  • Saunter
  • Scamper
  • Scrape
  • Shepherd
  • Skulk
  • Slink
  • Snarl
  • Sneak
  • Snowball
  • Spray
  • Sparkle
  • Sprinkle
  • Stroll
  • Strut
  • Stumble
  • Survey
  • Toddle
  • Untangle
  • Unveil
  • Usher
Cooler Ways to Say “Said”

You’ll find some of these in the other lists, but it makes sense to gather up other ways to say “said” into a list of their own.

Sometimes, “said” is just fine. But if you’re using a lot of dialogue tags, and you’d like to show a little more of how your character is saying something (with making things awkward), a list of strong “said” verbs will come in mighty handy.

Related: Grammarly Review: Is This the Best Grammar Checker?

Don’t overdo them, though. And if you can indicate who’s speaking without using a dialogue tag at all, so much the better.

The following verbs are also helpful in other contexts where you might use the word “said.”

Side Note: I’m omitting the word “exclaimed” on purpose; the word is overused and pure torture to read.

  • Advertised
  • Affirmed
  • Alleged
  • Announced
  • Articulated
  • Asserted
  • Avowed
  • Bellowed
  • Blabbered
  • Blurted (out)
  • Broadcasted
  • Breathed
  • Chanted
  • Chirped
  • Commented
  • Crooned
  • Declared
  • Drawled
  • Enunciated
  • Gasped
  • Growled
  • Gushed
  • Hinted
  • Imparted
  • Implied
  • Instructed
  • Lisped
  • Mumbled
  • Murmured
  • Paraphrased
  • Piped up (with)
  • Pontificated
  • Postulated
  • Proclaimed
  • Purred
  • Put into words
  • Rattled off
  • Recited
  • Reeled off
  • Remarked
  • Repeated
  • Rephrased
  • Reported
  • Restated
  • Roared
  • Shared
  • Shouted
  • Snarled
  • Spluttered
  • Spouted
  • Stated
  • Stuttered
  • Suggested
  • Summarized
  • Vented
  • Voiced
  • Wailed
  • Whimpered
  • Whined
  • Whispered
Was this list of strong verbs helpful?

Now that you have a fair sampling of strong verbs to choose from, we hope you keep this post handy, and that it serves you well.

Remember that it’s not so much a question of good verbs vs. bad verbs.

The Ultimate Strong Verbs List And Guide To Power Up Your Writing
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The weakness of a “to be” verb or a general verb doesn’t make it bad; it just makes it less communicative. It has less of an impact than a strong verb.

But as we mentioned before, sometimes a weak verb is honestly the best fit. Think of dialogue, for example. How many people do you know who always use strong verbs in every spoken sentence?

I don’t know any. And that’s okay. Sometimes, phrases using weak verbs — like “Need more coffee” — say everything you need to say. So, no verb shaming allowed.

May your ingenuity and compassion influence everything you do today.

The post The Ultimate Strong Verbs List And Guide To Power Up Your Writing appeared first on Authority Self-Publishing.

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How long should a book be?

Whenever that question comes up, the answer is usually “It depends” (or something to that effect), but we can get closer to a more helpful answer by getting more specific on the type of book we want to write.

Whether you’re writing a novel or a nonfiction book, though, the average length will depend on how your book compares to others of the same genre or subject matter.

So, before you can answer the question, “How long does it take to write a book?” you need to know some crucial details — and not just about the book itself:

This article is all about helping you determine how long it will take you to write the book you want — and to help you write it.

Only then can you work on getting your words out to those who will most enjoy reading them.

How to Make Time for Writing

The best way to ensure you make time for writing is to create a daily writing habit. You can use the following tools to help with this:

  • Triggers — Attach the new habit to a habit you already have. And establish sensory triggers that tell your brain it’s time to write.
  • Accountability — Find someone to whom you can be accountable for your progress. You’ll report to this person on a regular basis.
  • Rewards — Set up meaningful rewards to enjoy when you reach each writing goal.
  • Setting up a Writing Space — Create a writing-friendly workspace.
  • Scheduling Your Writing Time — Commit to writing at a particular time every day.
  • Choosing the Best Writing Music — Create a writing-friendly auditory environment for your writing time and space.
  • Break the Project into Smaller Tasks — Make the whole project less daunting by tackling one task (or “sub-project”) at a time.
  • Set Realistic Deadlines — Make them challenging but attainable. Keep your other important commitments in mind while setting these.

The best times to write are usually in the early morning or in the evening, depending on your personal preferences and sleep schedule. But you know better than anyone what time of day is best for creative thinking — at least where your brain and energy levels are concerned.

Once you have an idea of how long it will take you to write your book, you can schedule your writing times for the month and set reasonable deadlines for each task or milestone along the way.

Your writing time is sacred, so don’t let others treat it as open-door time. If you can’t close a door, use noise-canceling headphones (if it helps) to send the signal that you are “at work” and not to be disturbed.

Play music that signals to your brain that it’s writing time, and get those fingers on the keyboard. Atmospheric cues act as triggers for your new writing habits and get you into the right mindset for creative work.

Your writing space should be as clutter-free and distraction-free as possible, so your attention will be on your writing and not on social media, household chores, or the notifications that keep pinging on your phone.

There’s a reason many smartphones now come with a “Flip to Silence” feature. If yours doesn’t, consider turning it off, muting it, or keeping it in a different room.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Book?

How long it will take you to write a book depends not only on the type of book you’re writing and its estimated length but on the time you spend each day writing. Check out the following chart to get an idea of how long it will take you to complete a book if you keep to one of the suggested daily word count targets.

For a 30,000 word book,

  • If you write 500 words a day — 5 days a week — it will take you 12 weeks.
  • If you write 1,000 words a day — 5 days a week — it will take you 6 weeks.
  • If you write 1,000 words a day — 6 days a week — it will take you 5 weeks.
  • If you write 1,500 words a day — 5 days a week — it will take you 4 weeks.
  • If you write 2,000 words a day — 5 days a week — it will take you 3 weeks.

Set your daily word count goal based on how much you can reasonably commit to writing each day and how quickly you’d like to finish writing your book.

How Long Is a Book?

How many words in a novel depends on its genre and complexity. Fantasy novels are typically the longest with epic fantasy reaching to 120,000 words and beyond.

Using the chart above, you can calculate roughly how long it would take you to write a novel of twice, three times, or four times the length of a 30,000 word book.

Related: Should I Write a Book? 9 Reasons to Write It in 2019

How many words in a nonfiction book depends on its subject matter and complexity, as well as whether you plan on writing one book with all the content from your research or a series of smaller books covering different branches of your material.

If you have a specific book in mind you’d like to emulate for its length and overall structure, look up its page count, how it’s divided into parts and chapters, and how many pages each chapter has. You can learn plenty just by revisiting books you’ve enjoyed and paying attention to these details — as well as anything that made those books enjoyable to read from the first page to the last.

How Many Words Per Page in a Book?

The number of words per page in a book depends on the following factors:

  1. Page size
  2. Font size and type
  3. Letter and paragraph spacing
  4. Margins and indentation
  5. Paragraph structure
  6. Images and other non-text features

To answer the question, “How many pages is 30,000 words?” with a reasonable guesstimate, we need to know the answers to at least questions one through four.

For a standard document page in Microsoft Word, using a font like Lato in 12 point, 500 words fill roughly one 8.5” by 11” page with single-spacing and a 10 point space between un-indented paragraphs. With spacing set at 1.15, a first line indent at 0.25, and no spaces between paragraphs, 500 words take up close to the same amount of space.

If you take those same pages and change the page size to 6” by 9” (without changing the margins), the number of pages per 500 words jumps to roughly one and three quarter pages (give or take a few lines).

So, if you’re planning to write a book with around 50,000 words, and you’ve chosen a 6” by 9” trim size, you’re looking at roughly 175 pages. How you set your margins and whether your book contains images or other visual aids (charts, graphs, etc.) will also affect your page count.

How Long Does It Take to Write 500 Words?

This is important to know if you’ve decided to write a minimum 500 words a day. You need to know roughly how long that will take you. If you don’t know, yet, give yourself an hour or half an hour and record your word count for that amount of time.

When you’re just starting out, don’t be hard on yourself if it takes longer than half an hour to write 500 words. The more you honor your commitment to your daily butt-in-chair time, the more freely the words will flow when you sit down to write.

If 500 words is too much to commit to at first, try 300. Or just focus on writing for one or more 25-minute “Pomodoro” sessions a day (with short breaks between them).

Once you know how long it takes you to write 500 words, you’re closer to determining how long it will take you to write each chapter of your book — once you have an idea of each chapter’s approximate (or target) word count.

How many words should a chapter be? At the risk of sounding unhelpful, it depends. There’s no law saying a chapter has to be at least 500 words. Neither is there a fixed limit to chapter size.

If you’re writing a nonfiction book, and you want your readers to be able to finish a chapter in twenty minutes or less, keep in mind that the average reading speed is 200 words per minute. At that rate, you’ll want to keep your chapter length to no more than 4,000 words.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Nonfiction Book?

If you want your readers to be able to get through your whole book in two hours or less, you’re looking at a target word count of 24,000 words. If three hours sounds about right, shoot for 36,000 words.

How long each book takes to write depends on the type of nonfiction book and how long you want it to be. How many words in a self-help book, for example, depends on how many topics you’re covering and how thoroughly you want to cover each one.

Check out your favorite self-help books and list their word counts and number of chapters to get an idea of how long to make your book. Once you know how many words you can comfortably and consistently write every day (five or more days a week), you can calculate how long it should take to write the entire book.

How Long Does It Take to Write a Novel?

Three are two reasons why novels generally take longer to write than nonfiction books:

  1. They’re usually longer (depending on genre).
  2. They’re more complex.

As a rule, it takes longer to craft a compelling story than to write factual information. Creative nonfiction combines story with fact and may take longer than nonfiction that doesn’t involve narrative.

Because most novel are longer and more complex, writing, rewriting, and editing are going to take longer — at least if you want the finished product to earn five-star reviews from your ideal readers.

The answer to the question, “How long is a novel?” depends largely on its genre, though there’s room for some variability. Check out the following average word counts for each genre:

  • Science Fiction / Fantasy — 90,000 to 120,000 (sometimes 150,000 or more)
  • Mainstream Women’s Fiction — 90,000 to 100,000
  • Crime / Mystery / Thriller / Horror — 70,000 to 90,000
  • Cozy Mystery — 70,000 to 80,000
  • Young Adult (YA) — 70,000 to 80,000
  • Middle Grade (MG) — 40,000 to 50,000
  • Novellas — 30,000 to 50,000

By contrast, here are some typical word counts for non-fiction book genres:

  • Standard Nonfiction (Business, Health, History, etc.) — 25,000 to 80,000
  • How-to / Self-Help — 40,000 to 50,000 words
  • Memoir — 80,000 to 100,000

How long it will take you to write your novel also depends on how hard it is to write. When you’re writing your first draft, hopefully you can turn off your inner editor and just get your words onto the page.

At the end of each daily writing session, stop when you have some idea of where you want to go from there. Don’t write until you hit a wall, or the wall will be there to greet you the next time you sit down to write.

Related: How To Write A Book For Kindle About Your Expertise Or Passion

Leave yourself a note about what comes next to help get you started the next day. Once you do, the momentum will build and the ideas will flow more freely. And it doesn’t all have to be gold the first time you write it, anyway.

When it comes time to revise and rewrite your novel (a different kind of fun), set yourself a different daily target if you’re not rewriting your novel word for word.

For example, if you find you can revise ten pages in a half-hour period, and your novel is 245 pages long, you can plan each day’s editing time and calculate how long it should take you to finish revising your novel.

If you revise for a full hour and get through twenty pages a day, it’ll take you 12.25 days — or roughly two and a half weeks — to get to the end.

After that comes editing, which can also take a couple weeks, depending on your editor and whether you’re paying for structural editing or just copy-editing and proofreading.

How Long Does It Take To Publish A Book?

Once you’ve written, revised, and edited your book, it’s time to get it formatted. If you want it published as both an e-book and a print paperback, you’ll need formatting for both of those. And depending on whom you contract with (or whether you learn to do this yourself), you can expect to devote a week (maybe two) for professional-quality formatting.

Then comes the cover design, which can take another week or two, depending on the artist you choose and how many edits you request.

After that, getting your book set up on Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) as a Kindle e-book and as a print paperback shouldn’t take more than a few hours at the most — and most of that time will be spent on crafting and formatting your book’s description and choosing the best keywords and book categories.

If you need help with your book description, check out this helpful podcast on Authority.Pub.

This online html editoris a huge help with formatting your book description. When you get it looking just right, copy and past the html copy right from the right-hand pane into the “Book Description” field in your book’s KDP set-up page.

And by far the best tool for finding those keywords and categories is Publisher Rocket (formerly KDP Rocket).

Once your book is set up as both an e-book and a print book and you’ve hit “Publish” for both, Amazon’s KDP will take up to 72 hours to check out your book and either publish it or tell you (by email) why they can’t.

Conclusion

Now that you know how long it takes to write a book, how soon will you get started on your first (or next) one? Do you know where and when you’ll be writing when you sit down to sketch out the idea for your book?

Whether you prefer to type it out or write it in a notebook, why not start now by telling yourself the first book idea that comes to mind — as if you were telling your ideal reader about the book while riding together in an elevator.

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Don’t overthink it. Just get the ideas out of your head and onto the page.

And if that idea loses its shine mid-sentence, try another one. Or blend a couple ideas into something new. Think of the kind of book you wish had existed at one point in your life, when you felt lost, frustrated, or confused. What would you want to see in that book’s description?

Then figure out what you need to learn in order to make that book all that it could be.

And may your passion, curiosity, and creative energy influence everything you do today.

The post How Long Does It Take To Write A Book appeared first on Authority Self-Publishing.

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What on earth is blackout poetry?

And how can it stoke the creative fire within you?

And what if you’re not really “the poetic type”?

Good news! Even if you’ve never met a poetry assignment that didn’t fill you with dread, you’re about to learn something that will change the way you think of poetry.

This is something you can do to de-stress and restore your energy, even while you’re tricking yourself into doing something creative.

And all you need are someone else’s words and something to write with.

You can start with a newspaper that hasn’t been recycled yet. Or go through some of the books you’ve been thinking of donating.

Or see what you can do with those literary journals you’ve been holding onto but will probably never read.

As for your writing instrument, go with something that doesn’t make the tiny hairs stand up on the back of your neck. This is supposed to be relaxing.

Ready to learn how to write your first blackout poem?

What is Blackout Poetry?

Blackout poetry is a type of “appropriation art” — which means you’re taking something someone else created and using it to create something else.

Austin Kleon – the author of Steal Like an Artist and Newspaper Blackout– posts images of his own newspaper blackout poetry on his website and explains it in a YouTube video below.

How To Make A Newspaper Blackout Poem - YouTube
All you need are good books (or newspapers/magazines) to use for blackout poetry, along with a pen or pencil and a black permanent marker or acrylic paint (with a fine-tip brush).

If you’d rather use color to block out the words you don’t use, feel free to choose paint or markers in colors other than black.

You can even create full-color illustrations around the words you’ve chosen for your blackout poem or build a scene around them.

You can find books, magazines, and newspapers that will work for blackout poetry in any or all of the following places:

  • Your own shelves at home
  • The “free shelf” at your local library
  • Used bookstores
  • Garage/yard/moving sales
  • Craigslist book sales
  • Recycling bins

You can probably think of at least a few books you were forced to read for school but will probably never read again. Those books (if you still have them) are great candidates for blackout poetry.

You can also choose a book you enjoyed reading in the past. Buy an old copy from a used bookstore, Amazon, or wherever you can find one, and use it to create a blackout poetry journal.

Keep in mind you’re not creating poetry from scratch; you’re just picking out words that stand out to you or that you want for your poem.

Related: How To Write A Book For Kindle About Your Expertise Or Passion

These don’t all have to be meaningful words or phrases. Sometimes you’ll need an article, a preposition, or conjunction to help string the other words together into something that makes sense — at least to you.

You can even select individual letters to make up a word you want in your poem.

So, while you’re taking a break from writing with a relaxing activity that looks suspiciously like destroying perfectly good books (or redacting newspaper articles), you’re also creating something new.

Blackout Poetry Examples

You can get all sorts of blackout poetry ideas on Pinterest, on YouTube, and all over the internet. It’s blowing up as more and more creatives learn about it and dive in to restore their creative energy.

As you can see by the wealth of examples available online, you can go simple and focus on the words or turn each page into a work of art.

You choose how much detail to put into it, so whether you’re into mandalas, zentangles, manga or any other art form that takes your mind off writing and restores you, each page of blackout poetry is the combination of what the original artist brought to the table and what you do with it.

Enjoy the following examples to get some ideas for your first blackout poetry project.

1. Use black ink (or paint) to create a picture around the words.

You can also use stencils to add the shapes you want. The bird in this one doesn’t surround any selected words, but it, along with the branches, helps illustrate the poem.

2. Set apart your chosen words with shading, and use lines to connect them.

You can shade using lines, dots, or smudges — below, along one side, or all around each word. Lines can be wavy or angular, depending on the effect you want to create.

3. Use different colors to create a landscape with lines.

Only lines are used to cross out the words that aren’t needed for the poem, but the use of different colors and wavy lines creates a landscape.

4. Create an elaborate geometric design in black and white.

This one provides a solid black background for the words of the poem. The geometric rays of the sun don’t completely black out the rest of the text, but they don’t have to.

5. Create a colorful zentangle around your chosen words.

If you love creating zentangles for stress relief, combine that with blackout poetry to create a journal full of artful “notes to self.”

Related: 36 Of The Best Short Story Ideas

6. Keep it simple with straight lines.

Here’s an example using simple lines to cross out the words not used in the poem.

7. Keep it simple with wavy lines.

This example uses lines that are wavy rather than straight. Jagged “lightning” lines can also work, depending on the tone of your blackout poem.

8. Completely fill the space between the words of your poem.

This is the classic and more thorough blackout technique, using a permanent marker or black acrylic paint.

How to Do Blackout Poetry

Blackout poetry instructions are simple. What you do with them can be as simple or complex as you want.

  1. Start with a book, magazine, or newspaper and open it to the page you’ll be using (one with plenty of words to choose from).
  2. Scan the page for words you want for your blackout poem and either write them down on a piece of paper next to your source or underline them right on the page. You can also draw a rectangle around them to isolate them from the surrounding words.
  3. Cross out, black out, or color over the words surrounding the words you’ve set apart for your poem. You can do this using a permanent marker (best for lines) or acrylic paint, which won’t bleed through the page as much as ink.

You can also connect each word of your poem to the next using lines or an image that surrounds all your chosen words and provides a uniform background.

The background for your words doesn’t have to black or even one color.

Related: Best Writing Software For Your Writing Style

While a smooth, uniform background makes for easier reading, as long as you set your words off in a way that makes them stand out, you can make the background as elaborate, colorful, and detailed as you like.

Or if you prefer to stick with black and white, vary your designs and use geometric shapes and patterns to add visual interest.

Follow Austin Kleon’s example and use this 250-year-old art form to cure writer’s block by awakening your mind to new connections and ideas.

Steal from the best (or from a random newspaper) to make your blackout poetry creations something you’ll be proud to hold onto and share with others.

Digital Blackout Poetry

You can also do blackout poetry using Google Docs. All you need is some text you’ve copied from the internet or from another document.

If you like, you can also change the orientation of your blackout poetry page by going to the “File” menu, selecting “Page Setup,” and changing the orientation from Portrait to Landscape.

The easiest way to remove the original formatting of your copied text is to either go to the “Edit” menu of your Google Doc and select “Paste without formatting,” or press Ctrl-Shift-V to do the same thing.

There are three easy steps to digital blackout poetry with Google Docs:

Step 1: Temporarily change the background color.

Do this so you can more easily see the words you’ll keep for your poem. Go to File and “Page Setup.” There, you can change the color to anything other than white or black (gray works just fine).

Step 2: Highlight the words you want to keep in white.

This makes your selected words stand out and will keep them visible once you do step 3.

To make word selection quicker, select the first word you’ve already highlighted in white, go up to the paint roller icon on the far left of the menu bar, and double-click on it to turn on “Paint Format” mode.

Then, all you need to do is click on any other words you want to keep, and Google will automatically highlight each one in white.

When you’re done doing this, double-click again on the paint roller icon to turn it off. If you have all your words selected, it’s on to Step 3.

Step 3: Change the background color to black.

This hides all the text you didn’t highlight in white. All that’s left is your blackout poem.

If you’d rather have a different background color for your blackout poetry, just change the font color to match your final background color choice.

Any text highlighted in white (or another contrasting color) will still stand out, and the font color of your highlighted text will match the background.

Ready to start writing blackout poetry?

Whether your first blackout poem looks like a redacted CIA document or something that belongs in an art gallery, I hope you enjoy making it and that it brings to mind more ideas you’d like to try.

The point is to take a break from generating words of your own and use “found words” to create something. Like any first draft, it doesn’t have to fit anyone’s idea of great writing.

How To Write Blackout Poetry To Restore Your Creative Energy
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Just letting your gut choose the words and stringing them together can be cathartic or at least relaxing.

So, use a book you may never read again, or use an extra copy of a book that holds a special place in your heart. Or use an old newspaper that hasn’t yet been taken out for recycling.

Choose a headline or a page that calls out to you and grab a permanent marker or your favorite black pen, and get to work turning someone else’s words into a poem (however random) of your own making.

Do it for fun or just to kill some time. But give it a try and see if it doesn’t accidentally create some new connections in your mind. Call it a bonus – or a side-effect. Maybe don’t do this before going to sleep for the night.

And don’t be surprised if you get hooked.

The post How To Write Blackout Poetry To Restore Your Creative Energy appeared first on Authority Self-Publishing.

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Looking for the perfect gift for the writers in your life?

Maybe you’ve already bought a writing notebook and some pens, but you’re looking for something to add to it to make the gift extra special.

So, where do you find good gifts for writers — particularly the ones you know?

The best we can do here is provide a long list of gift ideas; you’re the one who has some idea of what the writers you have in mind would actually like.

But since we’re all writers, here, we weren’t just guessing when we made this list.

We didn’t just do a random search of gift ideas for writers.

We know what we like, and we hope you find something on this list — if not several things — that make you smile and think, “That would be perfect!”

So, enjoy browsing. We bet you’ll find something good. And nothing says you can’t buy an extra for yourself.

51 Of The Best Gifts For Writers

We found 51 unique gifts for writers to give you a fair and varied sampling to look through.

Some of them have definitely made it onto someone’s Christmas list, though we won’t reveal any personal biases in the descriptions.

1. Messenger Bag

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For those writerly trips to the coffee shop, your writer friend will need a laptop bag with enough pockets to hold their other essentials (a notebook, pens, tissues, snacks, etc.).

This one has a vintage look with plenty of storage.

2. A Writerly Mug

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Just make sure it’s big enough to hold a goodly amount of your writer friend’s favorite thinking juice.

3. Authority Pub Academy Membership

If you’re buying for a writer who wants to become a published author, this is a gift that keeps on giving — with step-by-step instruction on writing, polishing, self-publishing, and book marketing, extras to help you take your writing business to the next level, and access to a supportive author community.

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4. Publisher Rocket

This is the best tool for helping you optimize your book’s set up, sales page, and book ads, so it’s among the best gifts for authors.

Make sure your writer friend doesn’t already have a copy (it’s pretty well-known in the indie publishing community).
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5. Scrabble Fridge Magnets

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If you love Scrabble but don’t really have time to sit down to a game, why not turn your fridge into a Scrabble board and invite players to create words (one at a time) while they’re passing through.

6. Laptop Lapdesk

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If your writer friend likes to type from the couch or propped up in bed, this lap desk will be their new favorite piece of furniture (after said couch or bed).

This one comes equipped with a memory foam lap cushion, wrist rest, and USB light

7. An Audible Membership

Who wouldn’t love a membership that gives them a free audiobook of their choice every month?

Related: 15 Fantastic Author Websites To Inspire You

Audible has the largest selection of audiobooks and membership also provides two free “Audible Originals” every month, as well as other perks.

8. Typewriter-Inspired Retro Mechanical Keyboard

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This keyboard is the stuff of steampunk dreams and belongs on the desk of someone who loves all things retro.

Considering the price, though, make double sure this fits your writer friend’s personal tastes.

9. Writer’s Digest Magazine Subscription (printed or digital)

Writers around the world love this magazine — and for good reason. Among gifts for aspiring writers, this should be high on the list.

10. A Taotronics Laptop Desk

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This one has legs, with five elevation levels and a surface that can tilt to four different angles.

The surface also has plenty of space for a large laptop, a mouse and other items, and retractable blockers keep items from sliding off. It also doubles as a folding table for kids or picnics.

11. Wordsworth & Black Fountain Pen Set 

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If your writer friend has a flair for the artistic, consider this fountain pen set, with a medium nib calligraphy and scribe tool, 6 ink cartridges, an ink refill converter, and a luxury gift case. It comes in different colors and trims.

12. “Do Not Disturb Writer at Work” Plastic Doorknob Hanger Sign

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If you know a writer who doesn’t get enough alone time for writing, hanging this sign on the door to their office or bedroom might help.

You could even include a gift card to their favorite coffee place if they still don’t get enough uninterrupted writing time at home.

13. Amazon Gift Card, Gift Card Bookmark, or e-Gift Card

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If you’re in a hurry to find a thoughtful gift for the writer in your life, you can’t go wrong with a gift card — which they can use to buy more books, office supplies, or other helpers.

14. TaoTronics Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones or Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones II

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If you know a writer in need of more uninterrupted quiet time, these headphones can help, whether they’re working at home or in a public place.

Nothing says, “I’m here to work, not to socialize” like a pair of headphones.

15. Fred THE END Bookends or Superwoman Bookends

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Novelty bookends are a fun and artful way to help your writer friends organize their books. And there are so many eye-catching choices. Keep your writer friend’s personal tastes in mind while shopping for these.

16. Scrivener 3.0

You don’t have to look hard to find writers who swear by this writing software – especially for writing books. The newest version is now available for macOS and will soon be available for Windows.

17. Editing Pencils/ Charles Leonard Checking Pencils

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Red on one end and blue on the other, these pencils allow your writer friend to use one tool for making editing marks in red and editorial notes in blue.

Whether your writer friend only edits their own work or does some freelance editing on the side, these pencils will earn their place.

18. Once Upon a Time Storytelling Card Game or Story Cubes

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Check the latest price ==>

Writers need playtime, too, and these storytelling games take advantage of the..

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You’ve written a book (or an article), and you think it sounds pretty good. But you want to make sure it’s as error-free and enjoyable to read as possible.

You’ve heard of Grammarly, and maybe you’ve even tried the free version to see what all the fuss was about.

But editing is about more than fixing typos and grammar mistakes.

Ever read something in the past that was free of grammar mistakes but still a slog to read?

If you have to read a sentence more than once to understand what the author is trying to say, it doesn’t mean they’re smarter than you.

It more often means the author needs to improve their written communication skills. If you can’t communicate in a way that makes sense to your readers, you won’t have readers for long.

So, what can you do to clean up your work and make it easier for a skilled editor to polish it to a shine in less time and with even better results?

Go ahead and use Grammarly — at least the free version. But when it comes to improving the readability of your work, you’ll need something that can target weak words and phrases and overly complex or long-winded sentences.

Enter the Hemingway Editor app.

It’s precisely because of what this tool can do to make your writing clearer and more powerful that we’re offering our very own Hemingway Editor review.

Our Hemingway Editor and App Review

As a writer who has used the Hemingway Editor app, this review is personal.

I first learned of this app from a blog post about writing tools, and after playing with the free Hemingway grammar and style checker, I went ahead and bought the desktop app, so I could use it on my laptop any time I chose.

I bought it because I saw what it could do. I saw how much it helped me clarify my writing, declutter my sentences, and make the whole piece easier and more enjoyable to read.

So, I’m thrilled to write a Hemingway app review, so I can share its virtues and its limitations with my curious fellow writers.

What is Hemingway Editor?

The purpose of the Hemingway Editor is not to make you sound like a grammatically-correct robot. And you don’t have to write like Hemingway to write effectively.

The purpose of this tool is to help you address anything in your writing that might make it harder for readers to understand and enjoy it.

What Hemingway Editor cannot do is understand your particular voice as a writer. All it can do is catch what it’s programmed to perceive as weaknesses and suggest fixes or alternatives.

But if you look at something it flags as “weak” or “hard to read,” and you think, “I can’t make this any simpler than it already is,” or “I like the way it is just fine, thanks,” you have every right to disregard the Hemingway app’s suggestion.

Ultimately, it’s a tool for writers. It doesn’t know better about everything.

A qualified, human editor recognizes the value of each writer’s voice and works to call it out, removing anything that gets in its way. That’s the magic of an intuitive and highly-skilled human editor.

Just as Grammarly can make as many mistakes as good calls while it’s screening your work for spelling and grammar mistakes, the Hemingway Editor app can get it wrong, too.

But where does this editing tool shine?

Hemingway Editor vs Hemingway App

Both the online and desktop Hemingway Editor let you write or copy and paste your work right into their editing window.

Once you paste your content or switch over to editing mode, the Hemingway app immediately gets to work highlighting what it perceives as problematic.

Each problem is highlighted with a different color:

  • Lavender = Pretentious words that could be replaced with simpler and clearer words. Use your mouse to hover over the word, and the Hemingway app will suggest alternatives.
  • Blue = Adverbs and other weak words or phrases. The Hemingway app doesn’t tell you to never use adverbs, but it does suggest you keep them to a minimum and use stronger verbs instead.
  • Green = Passive voice. Again, the Hemingway app doesn’t tell you to never use this, but it does suggest minimal usage.
  • Yellow = Sentences that are hard to read. It doesn’t take much to make the app think your sentence is hard to read, though. And from yellow, it’s a short trip to red.
  • Red = Sentences that are very hard to read. If you’re used to writing for college-educated readers, you’ll probably get plenty of red highlighting. If nearly every sentence is in red or yellow, though, consider simplifying your sentences to make them easier to read.

Besides pointing out problems and assigning a readability grade level to your work, the Hemingway Editor also provides a quick count of the following:

  • Paragraphs
  • Sentences
  • Words
  • Characters
How much does Hemingway Editor cost?

While the online version is free, the desktop app costs $19.99 for either the macOS version or the Windows version.

The most obvious benefit of buying the desktop app is that you can use Hemingway Editor even when you’re not connected to the internet.

But there are other benefits of paying the small price for the desktop app:

  1. Export your work as one of six different file types.
  2. Import four different file types for editing.
  3. Print your edited and formatted work.
  4. Publish your work directly to Medium or WordPress.

Once you’ve edited and formatted your copy with the Hemingway app, you can export it as a one of the following:

  • Plain text (.txt)
  • Markdown (.md)
  • Web page (.html)
  • Word document (.doc)
  • PDF document (.pdf)
  • PDF document with Hemingway highlights (.pdf)

You can also import files of the following types to edit and format:

  • Plain text (.txt)
  • Markdown (.md)
  • Web page (.html)
  • Word document (.doc)

Besides printing and publishing options in the “File” menu, the desktop app also has basic functions in its “Edit,” “View,” “Window,” and “Help” menus. The free version doesn’t have any of these menus.

How to Use Hemingway Editor (Free version)

Go ahead and use the free version to get to know Hemingway Editor. That’s how most of us get acquainted enough to decide whether it’s worth it to pay for the desktop app.

If you’re going to use Hemingway Editor with everything you write — or with a lot of it — then the price is a bargain.

But if you try the free version and decide you probably won’t get much use out of it, you’re better off saving your money for something you will use.

All you have to do to get started is to open the online Hemingway Editor window and write something in “Write” mode or copy and paste some already-written content into the space for text.

via GIPHY

Then, if you’re not already in “Edit” mode, switch on over and let the Hemingway Editor do its thing.

Go through each highlighted word, phrase, and sentence, and either change it or don’t. You make the call.

The folks who made the Hemingway Editor are great at making editing software; but when it comes to your own writing voice, you are the expert.

Hemingway Editor Modes (Write/Edit)

On the far right of the Hemingway Editor window, you’ll see the Write/Edit selector.

Click on “Write” if you’d rather type directly into the app’s text window. The editing tools disappear, leaving a distraction-free writing space.

When you’re done writing, click on “Edit,” and the editing summary will appear on the right-hand side.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Writing A Novel

And if the Editor found any problems, highlighting will appear in your typed or pasted text.

Hemingway Formatting

If you export a file to Hemingway Editor or copy and paste it from a word processing program, the formatting in the original file may not convert well.

Also, if you’re typing content directly into the app’s text window, you’ll want to format it before printing, exporting, or publishing it.

Fortunately, the Hemingway Editor has a panel of formatting tools along the top of the writing window to add the following features:

  • Heading styles (H1, H2, and H3)
  • Bold and Italic
  • Quotes
  • Bullets
  • Numbers
  • Links

Once you’re done editing and formatting your text, it’s ready to save, export, publish, or print.

Hemingway Summary Meanings

Whether you’re done editing or just starting, it helps to understand what each part of the editing summary means. Here’s an overview:

  • Readability Level (Grade 15 is bad) — Hemingway’s own writing was rated as “low grade 5,” even though he wrote for adult readers. As a general rule, try to stay in the single digits to make your writing easy reading for as many as possible.
  • Number of Adverbs — Here’s where you’ll see the number of adverbs and how the Hemingway app compares that number to what it considers ideal, relative to the length of your writing sample.
  • Use of Passive Voice — Next, you’ll see the number of incidences of passive voice and how that compares to the goal relative to the length of your writing sample.
  • Simpler Options — If Hemingway Editor sees a word and can suggest simpler options, it highlights it in lavender. Ultimately, though, it’s up to you to decide whether you want to go with one of the app’s suggestions, keep the word you have, or find another alternative.
  • Hard to Read Sentences — If the app considers a sentence hard to read, it highlights it in yellow. The summary counts how many sentences are highlighted in yellow out of the total number of sentences in the text window.
  • Very Hard to Read Sentences — Next, it gives a count of sentences deemed “very hard to read” and highlighted in red, compared to the total number of sentences.
The Readability Rating

The Hemingway app uses the Automated Readability Index to judge the grade level of your writing, based on the lowest education needed to understand what you’ve written.

So, while Hemingway wrote for adult readers, according to Hemingway’s Help page, his readability score meant that those readers didn’t need more than a fifth-grade education to understand and enjoy his prose.

It doesn’t mean he talked down to them. He just didn’t make his writing more elaborate than it had to be.

It’s ironic, then, that when a New Yorker article put the Hemingway app to the test – using a sample of Hemingway’s own writing – he earned a readability score of (grade) 15, which, according to the Help page, is not great.

And if some of Hemingway’s own writing didn’t meet the Hemingway Editor app’s strict standards, you can probably cut yourself some slack if your own writing creeps into the double digits.

Related: How To Accomplish Your Writing Goals In 2019

Just do your best to make your sentences easier to read – without sacrificing meaning and the content your readers want — and more people will read it to the end.

According to Hemingway Help page, “the average American reads at a tenth-grade level,” so for most writing, if your readability grade is 10 or below, you’re in good shape.

Is the Hemingway Editor for you?

Now that you know what the Hemingway writing checker can do for you, maybe you have a specific writing sample in mind to put it to the test.

The bigger the sample, the better idea you’ll get of your readability score and the more easily you’ll see habits that may weaken the impact of your writing.

For example, if you’ve fallen into the habit of using passive voice or throwing in fluff words like “really” and “very,” the Hemingway Editor will let you know.

It’s sort of like a spell-checker, but instead of spelling (which the Hemingway app completely ignores), it focuses on style. Use it regularly, and you can improve the overall readability of your writing.

It’s thorough and a bit over-reaching at times (like Grammarly), but it’ll no doubt help you see your writing from a different angle and help you declutter and strengthen your sentences.

What could that hurt — especially when it costs nothing to take it for a test drive?

The post The Hemingway Editor And App Review appeared first on Authority Self-Publishing.

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