Writing for Publication – English 204

Writing for Publication – English 204

This course is intended to be a practical application of basic writing skills into the production of a nonfiction book for publication. Students who have strong writing skills are encouraged to enroll. While this course will help competent writers to become better, it is not a course that is designed to help students develop those initial writing competencies. Though you do not have to register for this class as a credit bearing course, it is offered as a 3 credit elective toward the associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs or certificate programs. It would be particularly relevant for students studying business or digital arts as well as those focusing on a career in nonfiction writing.

This is a course about books – how they impact people, history, and you, the author. It is a course based on the work of a well-known author who has experience with the process of planning a book, writing it, publishing it, promoting it, and turning the “book business” into personal good fortune, while impacting others in a positive way.

The course is based on Mark Victor Hansen’s newest book, You Have a Book In You!!! Impact Your Life Profitably and Permanently With Your Own Book© . The course follows the three parts of the book. Part One focuses on the writing process itself; how to frame your basic message, how to engage the reader, how to improve your writing, based on the experiences of great writers, how to overcome writer’s block, and some very practical suggestions about how to manage the writing process. Part Two introduces you to the “book business” by offering you 31 specific tips about how to market your bestselling book. In Part Three you are introduced the new world of developing an audience through the use of social networking sites, like Facebook and Twitter, and the incredible ways in which the playing field has been leveled for the “little guy” versus the “big guy” of the world where corporate publishers held all of the power over developing and marketing books. Thus, the course has something to offer to anyone interested in writing, the “book business,” business and marketing, and the new, and constantly changing world of social networking and its relationship to building an audience for any new product, especially your book.

Like all of WEU’s courses, this course is presented to you in 15 Units. Each unit is accompanied by a competency assessment to assure that you have been able to master the key concepts presented. Each unit also has at least one Discussion Forum where you will be asked to post your comments to specific topics that are presented. You, and other students, will respond to a specific number of other student postings, and will rate those responses on a point scale. In this manner, you will be receiving feedback from your peers as well as providing feedback to them about the quality of their thinking, effective application of knowledge gained, and their ability to express themselves effectively in the writing used in their posts. This will provide each student with a great opportunity to gain practical writing experience and direct feedback. Research on this kind of learning has shown that peer and self-grading yield very similar outcomes to instructor grading. In addition, by working directly with the basis for grading the submissions made by yourself and other students (this is what is referred to as the grading rubric) you will be able to move beyond simple repetition of information to a higher level of information processing. This is what we refer to as critical thinking. This kind of thinking is the ultimate goal of educational processes.

You will also be expected to develop a proposal to participate in our WEU Give – Pay It Forward program. This is required in all WEU courses. This is due at the end of the course, but starting it early may help you to get the most out of the course. For example, you might be able to find a mentor for your writing by starting this process at the beginning of the course. It turns out that virtually any nonprofit or charitable organization has a need for good writing assistance. In this interaction you could refine your writing skills in a very practical way and assist a good cause at the same time.

Lesson topics include:

Writing a Great Book

  • Your basic message
  • Engaging the reader
  • Writing is hard work
  • Writing fast and intuitively
  • The “inductive method” of writing
  • Completion of your thoughts
  • Sentence structure
  • The “rule of three”
  • Connecting with your reader
  • Developing discipline
  • The role of a great book title
  • Making yourself interesting
  • Reading out loud
  • Dealing with writer’s block
  • Paragraph structure
  • The role of dialog
  • Working on multiple projects
  • Getting right to the message
  • Table of contents
  • Word count
  • Backing up files
  • Keeping a journal
  • Tracking key ideas as you write
  • Final thoughts on the writing process

Marketing Your Bestseller

  • Creating a business plan
  • Development of big goals
  • Plans to write multiple books
  • Keeping ultimate goals in mind
  • How to handle rejection
  • Focus on strategies to maximize your impact – matrix multiples
  • Getting connected
  • Book signings
  • Become the expert
  • Remnant ad space
  • Distributing content
  • Role of charitable activities
  • Create blogs, not websites, first
  • Build databases
  • Planning for your first website
  • Maximizing your database
  • Book reviews
  • Best chapter as a marketing tool
  • Newsletters
  • Branding
  • A must read book
  • Speaking engagements
  • Bypass marketing
  • Role of a mentor
  • Events
  • Pictures
  • Magazine covers
  • Partnerships and affiliates
  • Pitch partners
  • Cold calls
  • The “Four Ds”
  • Final thoughts on Marketing Your Bestseller

The Power of Social Networking

  • The game has changed forever – embrace the change
  • What really matters in social network marketing
  • Monetizing social networks
  • Where’s the money on the web?
  • Jumping in
  • The key is to be social
  • Maximizing the advantages that social networking sites give you
  • “When push comes to suck”
  • Turning social network marketing weaknesses into strengths
  • Focus on key social networking sites
  • Friendship vs. business – friendship first
  • Role of personal contact – Google names of potential contacts
  • Making your profile interesting (pictures, pictures, pictures)
  • Branding without branding
  • Visibility
  • Numbers are important – but the first 300 are critical
  • Observing the rules – but still finding ways to get attention
  • Fan pages vs. profiles
  • Facebook groups
  • Launching a group
  • Messaging – numbers vs. being a real person
  • Phishing scams
  • Copyright
  • Facebook tagging
  • Facebook events and marketing solutions
  • Twitter – to listen, not just to talk
  • Your profile
  • The realistic limits to Twitter
  • Followers-to-following ratio
  • Make it worthwhile to follow you – learn from the best
  • First give, then ask
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace
  • YouTube