Randall Payleitner

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Questions I ask Before I Read a Book: Who Endorsed it?

The effective endorser list of people on a book has two main reasons for existing: (1) to have experts in a field lend a credible voice to a work and (2) to get those same experts/influencers excited about your book ahead of time. Ideally it’s not just a list of famous/semi-famous people willing to write something.

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Editing and Writing Aren’t the Same Skill

Then I experienced being edited. I honestly don’t remember any specific changes that editor made to any of my pieces, but I do know they got shorter, clearer, and less inside my own head. Even though I didn’t realize it then, I think that’s when I decided (somewhere in the deep recesses of my brain) what I wanted to do. But was it writing or was it editing? And what was the difference?

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Where Books Usually Lose People

I was going to start writing about how to keep a reader interested in your book. How to make sure that page one is interesting enough for them to turn to page two, etc. But instead I thought it’d be more fun to flip the coin over and look at the places most readers usually check out… And then encourage the bookmakers of the world to address them with each aspect of their books.

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Don’t Treat Your Reader Like an Idiot

Authors of great books know it takes a certain amount of smarts on the reader’s end to be picking up a book in the first place. The great ones don’t start at the very beginning of time—explaining all the background details in order—for no reason. It needs to be less “classroom lecture” and more “guided historical monument tour.”

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