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Monday, May 19, 2014


Nina Amir launches The Author Training Manual blog tour

& giveaway contest!

Have you ever looked at shelves of books written by successful authors and wondered "What's their secret?" As writers we probably spend as much time puzzling over this question as we do writing. So, if you'd rather spend more time writing why not check out a book that will answer all your questions about author success. In The Author Training Manual, expert editor and book coach Nina Amir reveals the exact process successful authors have used to create business plans and proposals for their books and teaches you how to view your ideas through the eyes of acquisitions editors and literary agents.

Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, plan to traditionally publish or self-publish, The Author Training Manual provides you with the tools you need to achieve your goals and become the author publishers want. Inside you'll find concrete steps, evaluations, sample business plans, in-depth training activities, editor and agent commentaries, and much more--all designed to help you stand out, from the slush pile to the shelf.

Paperback: 248 pages (also available in e-format)
Publisher: Writer’s Digest Books (March 18, 2014)
ISBN-10: 1599631458
ISBN-13: 978-1599631455
Twitter Hashtag: #NinaAmir

The Author Training Manual is available as a print and e-book at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and your local independent bookstore.

Book Giveaway Contest:

To win a copy of The Author Training Manual, please enter using the Rafflecopter form at the bottom of this post. The giveaway contest closes next Tuesday, May 27 at 12:00 AM EST. We will announce the winner the same day in the Rafflecopter widget. Good luck!

About the Author:

Nina Amir, author of How to Blog a Book, The Author Training Manual and 10 Days and 10 Ways to Return to Your Best Self, transforms writers into inspired, successful authors, authorpreneurs and blogpreneurs as an Inspiration to Creation Coach. She moves her clients from ideas to finished books as well as to careers as authors by helping them combine their passion and purpose so they create products that positively and meaningfully impact the world. She writes four blogs, self-published 12 books and founded National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge.

Amir holds a BA in magazine journalism with a concentration in psychology, has edited or written for more than 45 publications producing hundreds of articles and had her work published in five anthologies. She has self-published nine short books, including the popular workbook How to Evaluate Your Book for Success and 10 Days and 10 Ways to Return to Your Best Self. She is the former writing and publishing expert on the popular radio show, Dresser After Dark, hosted by Michael Ray Dresser, which has approximately 80,000 listeners per month. Amir also speaks and writes about self-improvement, human potential, and practical spirituality.

Find out more about the author by visiting her online:

Twitter: @NinaAmir

-----Interview by Jodi Webb

WOW: First, tell us a little about your writing and publishing experience.

Nina: I’ve been writing since I was a child. I got serious in high school. I revived the school newspaper, wrote a biweekly school-news column for the local newspaper, journaled regularly, and wrote short stories. I went to college and got a degree in magazine journalism and spent three summers getting experience, by freelancing for newspapers or magazines.

After college I worked for regional magazines outside of New York City for a few years. This entailed writing, editing and managing a variety of details for the publications. I then worked in Manhattan as an associate editor in the corporate communications department for Equitable Life Assurance of the U.S. From there I went on to manage four newsletters for a corporate communications consultant based in Oklahoma. I wrote, edited, and designed these publications as well as managed all the contributors. After that, I moved to Atlanta and began my own freelance writing business, CopyWright Communications. I did a variety of writing for publications, ad agencies and the like, including several years as the editor and writer of two medical newsletters, Same-Day Surgery and Clinical Laser Surgery.

While working in Atlanta, a friend asked me if I could edit his book. I remembered that my college professor told me I was trained to write a book, so I said, “Yes.” He then referred a friend to me, whose book went on to be picked up verbatim by Simon & Schuster and is still in print today; it has sold over 320,000 copies. That got my editing career going.

At some point along the way I decided to write a book of my own. I was told I needed platform. I already had my blog, Write Nonfiction NOW!, which was meant to support my business. I stepped that up. I began to learn more about publishing by immersing myself in the book publishing industry. I started the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge (National Nonfiction Writing Month), attended the San Francisco Writer’s Conference and then became a volunteer there, and eventually became an expert on nonfiction writing and publishing.

I landed an agent. Changed agents. Then got a book deal for my second book idea, How to Blog a Book. It’s been an Amazon Top 100 bestseller for over two years. My newest book, The Author Training Manual, which was my first book idea in this subject area, came out this year. Both were published with Writer’s Digest Books.

Of interest might be the fact that I did not set out to write books about writing and publishing initially! I was going to write books about practical spirituality and personal development, which I still plan to do.

WOW: What made you decide to write The Author Training Manual?

Nina: I discovered that there was a really precious moment at the end of writing a book proposal when were totally prepared to write your book. Plus, you knew you had created the best book idea possible and a marketable idea. Not only that, you had a business plan for yourself and your book.

I thought every aspiring writer should go through this process. So I bounced the idea off people literary agents and self-publishing guru Dan Poynter to see if they agreed. Everyone did. Dan told e that I was right—even indie authors needed to go through this same process prior to writing a book.

WOW: Tell us, is there a difference between a person who writes a book and a successful author? How can we ensure that we fall into the latter category?

Nina: Yes, there is. Anyone can write a book and publish it these days. That does, in fact, make them an author.

Each person has his or her own definition of success. In The Author Training Manual I ask readers to define success for themselves. If you think success is selling 100 book, then that’s all you need to do to become successful in your own eyes. In the eyes of the publishing industry, however, large numbers of sales equate to success. A bestseller outsells the other books in a category. To be called a successful author by publishing industry standards, therefore, you must sell an above average number of books or earn back your advance, which few traditionally published books do these days. The average book today sells about 250 copies per year; ebooks sell about 560 books per year.

To increase the likelihood that you become a successful author, you must, first, produce a marketable book—one that will sell. This means it is unique and necessary in its category. It also must have a large enough target market, and the readers must want or need it. Beyond that, you must have a great idea and good writing—or a good editor or ghostwriter. And you need what I call an Author Attitude.

WOW: You've worked with many successful authors. Did you find they have any traits in common that helped their career?

Nina: Yes…this goes back to Author Attitude. They all possess willingness, optimism, objectivity, and tenacity. They are willing to do everything it takes to succeed—even the stuff that doesn’t involve writing. They are optimistic even in the face of rejection, criticism, challenges, and the long road to publication. They are objective about their work and able to see it and themselves from the perspective of a publishing professional. And they have perseverance, persistence and determination—tenacity.

Successful people in any industry will tell you attitude makes a huge difference in achieving success. You can learn how to write. And you can learn how to produce a marketable book or do all the things necessary to become a successful author, such as building platform and promoting your book. And you can change your attitude. But with a bad attitude, and the unwillingness to change it, it’s unlikely you will improve your writing skills or embrace the tasks necessary to achieve the goal of successful authorship.

WOW: Have you found one step crucial to success that many aspiring authors forget or skip when planning their book?

Nina: Two actually…They don’t bother to do a market analysis or competitive analysis. These two steps help them hone, retool, revise, or re-angle their book—fiction or nonfiction—to make it the most unique and necessary in its category. That means the most marketable book possible. Marketable books sell. Marketable books get read.

To start a market analysis, go to Google and look for actual numbers to indicate the size of your market. To do a competitive analysis, go to online and brick-and-mortar book stores and look for the top 5 books that represent competition to your book. These should be books published in the last 3-5 years. Besides the normal details (number of pages, when published and by what company, price, format), look for details that will help you determine how your book is more unique and more necessary in the category.

WOW: We have so many options when it comes to publishing--do you feel self-publishing is a better choice because it gives an author more control or is it too much to handle for someone new to the publishing world?

Nina: I think most aspiring authors have no idea what it really means to self-publish. I think self-publishing is a great option for the right type of person—someone who wants to become an authorpreneur and start their own publishing company. This person has to like project management and want to invest their own time and money in their product, their book. If they want control of the project and product, great! If they want to earn more money, great! But they need to also want all the other things that go with it, like hiring subcontractors, buying ISBN numbers, reporting book sales to the IRS, and running a business.

WOW: Increasingly we're seeing authors that are developing books outside their "specialty". Instead of strictly writing murder mysteries or gardening books or...whatever, they're diversifying. They write murder mysteries, gardening books, poetry books, children's books. Do you feel it's easier to develop a long lasting career by diversifying or specializing?

Nina: It’s easier to brand yourself as an author by specializing. You might be able to make more money by diversifying. Diversity might mean more work for you…more blogs, more social networking sites…unless you can find an umbrella under which to brand yourself.

I do a lot of different things, but I’ve been able to brand myself under one umbrella. That said, I have one topic, boys in dance, that doesn’t fit anywhere.

I think authors should follow their passions and interests, but they should do some early planning if possible. Create a career plan. Consider how they want to be known as an author, what books they will write and if or how they will all tie together. Sometimes they do tie together even though they are divers—or they can with careful planning and thought. In The Author Training Manual I talk about spin-offs and branding. This is the place to create that career plan.

WOW: What do you want readers to remember after reading The Author Training Manual?

Nina: That it’s possible to become a successful author if you simply take a business approach to your book, but that this approach also is creative—and fulfilling. Creating a marketable book means you create a book that gets read, which means it has positive and meaningful impact on your readers. That is very fulfilling.

WOW: What are you working on now?

Nina: I’m working on one project that I can’t mention that I have to finish by the end of October and involves blogging.

I am working on three ebooks, one of which is mentioned in The Author Training Manual and was supposed to be published already (and will be very soon). It’s called The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified.

I have another ebook that will be released later this year on building a business around your book and one more on building a better blog that also will be released this year or early in 2015.

Additionally…if that was not enough…I have two book proposals I’m starting on for writing-related books. I hope to get around to a personal development or practical spirituality book or ebook in the not-too-distant future as well.

WOW: Well, I’m exhausted just looking at your list!

----------Blog Tour Dates

Monday, May 19(today!) @ The Muffin
Stop by for an interview with Nina Amir and a chance to win The Author Training Manual!

Tuesday, May 20 @ Women’s Writing Circle
Want to improve your chances of success? Learn five ways negative beliefs make it hard for authors to succeed from Nina Amir. Also enter to win a copy of The Author Training Manual.

Wednesday, May 21 @ Words by Webb
Hear what an author who needs training thinks about The Author Training Manual by Nina Amir.‎

Friday, May 23 @ Selling Books
Don't miss an interview with Nina Amir about her latest book The Author Training Manual.

Monday, May 26 @ Vickie S. Miller
Find out more about author Nina Amir in today's interview and enter to win her latest: The Author Training Manual.

Wednesday, May 28 @ The Write Life
Nina Amir has a few tips on creating a successful book and a giveaway of The Author Training Manual.

Thursday, May 29 @ Create Write Now
Are you ready to succeed? Then don't miss "Hack Into Your Mind for Author Success" by Nina Amir, author of The Author Training Manual.

Monday, June 2 @ All Things Audry
Have you ever wondered where you could get some help creating a business plan for your book? Look no further! Nina Amir, author of The Author Training Manual, will tell all today!

Tuesday, June 3 @ Chaos in the Country
Wonder what Nina Amir thought would be "must haves" for her latest book The Author Training Manual? Read today's review and interview to get a sneak peek.

Thursday, June 5 @ Memoir Writer’s Journey
Don't miss Nina Amir's take on "author attitude"--what is it and why do we all need it? Also enter to win her latest book The Author Training Manual.

Tuesday, June 10 @ The Lit Ladies
Don't miss a chance to learn more about Nina Amir, the woman behind The Author Training Manual and a chance to win your own copy.

Wednesday, June 11 @ Cathy C. Hall
Last chance to win The Author Training Manual by Nina Amir, a book to help you plan your success as a writer.

To view all our touring authors, check out our Events Calendar. Keep up with blog stops and giveaways in real time by following us on Twitter @WOWBlogTour.

Get Involved!
If you have a website or blog and would like to host one of our touring authors or schedule a tour of your own, please email us at

Book Giveaway Contest: Enter to win a copy of The Author Training Manual! Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. We will announce the winner in the Rafflecopter widget next Tuesday, May 27.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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Blogger Barbara said...

What a wonderful tour! I entered the giveaway - but plan to buy the book and check out the others. Just the tools I am looking for. I am sharing this info with my writers' guild too!

8:24 AM  
Blogger Carl Scott said...

Thanks for the informative interview. The thing that stands out most to me is the importance of Author Attitude in all its aspects. It seems that if you have the right combination of these attributes you have the best possible chance of moving forward. Something to strive for. Thanks again.

9:13 AM  
Blogger Debbie A Byrne said...

Great interview. I will have to check out the books. Good luck to everyone with the drawing.

1:32 PM  
Blogger Alison James said...

Hi, do you find more people are leaning towards ebooks or paper still in the lead?

5:29 PM  
Blogger NinaAmir said...

You are right! Attitude gives you a huge advantage.

6:47 PM  
Blogger NinaAmir said...

I'm not sure...but I know that I had a discussion at dinner (at a conference)the other day and most people said they preferred print books but used an ereader for a variety of reasons. So I think it's a toss up.

6:49 PM  
Blogger Shirley Corder said...

Fabulous interview. I intend to look into this blog tour as often as I can - and I'd love to read the book! I'm in South Africa, but an e-book would work. :-) Thanks for sharing, Nina

1:43 AM  
Blogger Julie Luek said...

I've been following Nina's blog for some time now and am delighted to see this book out. I know it will contain her usual brand of enthusiastic and very helpful insights and guidance. Thanks, Nina!

3:37 PM  
Blogger Sioux said...

I certainly need this book. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I win.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Sioux said...

I certainly need this book. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I win.

3:46 PM  
Blogger NinaAmir said...

Thanks, Shirley and Julie for your comments and for following me in more than one place! I really appreciate it.

11:27 AM  

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