Writing Business

Knowing Your Competition

Cheri Cowell here—

Cheri Cowell
Cheri Cowell

When authors are asked about their book’s competition, sometimes they are hesitant to respond. They might be fearful of sounding critical of others or too highly of themselves. But, knowing your competition and how you are positioned with them is critical not only to completing that pesky part of the proposal, but also in selling your book. You want to learn the competition dance.

The first step in the dance is reading the books similar to yours in genre, subject matter, and theme. You should have read the top five, if not more. As you read, note how your book is similar to them. Is it similar in content, layout, point-of-view, or conclusion? Answer the “If you like this book then you’ll love my book because” question. Then determine how your book is different. Be specific. Do you have different experience, a different approach, or a different conclusion? In fiction, is your story coming from a different POV then another story told during the same time period or with a similar plotline?

Author Interviews

Tips from the Pros: Twila Belk

"Pieper1"Almost six years ago, I had the privilege of meeting the wonderful Twila Belk and her partner in crime, Cecil Murphey, at the International Christian Retail Show (ICRS) in Orlando. Since then, I've come to count both Twila and Cec as good friends. That's why I'm delighted to introduce Cec's much-maligned sidekick to you today. Not only does Twila serve as Cec's manager, protector, and as Cec would say, "mother," but she is a talented speaker, writer, and the “GottaTellSomebody Gal.”  She was also brave enough to invite me to teach at my first writer's conference in 2009. So without further ado, heeeeere's Twila! 

Welcome to the CAN blog, Twila. How did you get into writing?


Using Templates to Multiply Your Marketing Efforts

Using Templates to Multiply Your Efforts- by Cheri Cowell


Last weekend I taught one of my favorite classes to a group of wonderful writers. It is a class on Using Templates for the Query. I want to take this concept further for today's blog and ask, what templates have you or could you create to make the repetitive tasks of marketing easier? Here are a few of my ideas: