This Author Spotlight
The Author Training Manual
Nina Amir, the bestselling author of How to Blog a Book and The Author Training Manual, is a speaker, a blogger, and an author, book, and blog-to-book coach. Known as the Inspiration to Creation Coach, she helps creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and positively and meaningfully impact the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. Some of Nina’s clients have sold 300,000+ copies of their books, landed deals with major publishing houses and created thriving businesses around their books. She is the founder of National Nonfiction Writing Month, aka the Write Nonfiction in November Challenge, and the Nonfiction Writers’ University. As a hybrid author she has published 15 books and had as many as four books on the Amazon Top 100 list at the same time.
1.How did you get into writing and why do you write?
I’ve been writing since I was in middle school or so. I used to write stories about horses when I was young, and in high school I thought I might become a novelist. My mom told me that “only good writers make a living as novelists,” so I figured maybe I should find another way to make a living as a writer! I took a journalism course, began writing for the school newspaper and local papers, and went on to get a degree in magazine journalism. I graduated from college and began working as an editor and writer.
One day a friend asked me to edit a nonfiction book. I figured I could probably do the job since my college professor told me I could write a book if I could write an article; he said a nonfiction book was just a series of articles on one topic strung together. I knew how to edit. I edited his book. And then the next two books I edited went on to be great successes. One was picked up by Simon & Schuster and has sold well over 300,000 copies and is still in print. The other was self-published and sold more than 150,000 before the author sold it to Sounds True many years later.
While supporting other people in their efforts to write books, I realized I also wanted to write some of my own. I write to help and inspire others. I like to help creative people combine their passion and purpose so they move from idea to inspired action and become able to positively and meaningfully impact in the world as writers, bloggers, authorpreneurs, and blogpreneurs. I enjoy inspiring others to become their best selves and to fulfill their potential and their purpose.
2.What do you like best (or least) about writing?
I like that I get to express myself, to share my knowledge and experiences and, in the process, to impact others in a positive and meaningful way.
3.What is your writing process? IE do you outline? Do you stick to a daily word or page count, write 7 days a week, etc?
I write something almost every day, because I have so many blogs. If I am writing a blog post, I have a minimum word count—400 words—to meet. If I’m writing a book, I may have a word count or simply a deadline to complete a chapter a day or a week.
I brainstorm my book projects with a mind map. This becomes a detailed chapter outline.
Articles and blog posts might start with just a title or a title and a few bullet points (subheads). I don’t necessarily outline them.
4.Who are some other writers you read and admire, regardless of whether they are commercially “successful?”
5.Should the question mark in the above question be inside or outside the quotes?
6.What’s your stance on the Oxford Comma?
Because I am trained as a journalist, and I have used the AP Stylebook in much of my work, I prefer to only use the serial comma in a series of more than three. However, because I have edited many books, and book style uses Chicago Manual, I also know how to use the “Oxford Comma” and do so in my book manuscripts.
7.What is your newest book about and how did it come to fruition?
I have 14 books at this time, some self-published and some traditionally published. Some are available only on my websites and some at Amazon or other major booksellers (online or off).
Let me mention my traditionally published books. I am the author of How to Blog a Book. I decided to write a book. I needed a platform. So, I started blogging, one blog, two, three, four—five at one time. I got involved with the San Francisco Writers Conference, first as an attendee, then as a volunteer, then as a panelist. The panel was about blogging—and something to do with blogging books, but no one was an expert on this. I decided blogging a book was a good idea and that I could apply the idea I had for a different book on how to write marketable books to this idea. I started a blog called How to Blog a Book a month before the conference and become the expert on how to blog a book. How? I was now blogging a book on the topic. I blogged the book in five months. My agent sold it to Writer’s Digest Books. It immediately became an Amazon bestseller and has stayed that way for more than two years.
Writer’s Digest Books then published the first book idea, which I had actually test marketed as a self-published workbook. This book was released in May of 2014 as The Author Training Manual. It also became a bestseller fairly quickly.
Since then, I have also published three bestselling ebooks: Authorpreneur, The Nonfiction Book Proposal Demystified, and the Write Nonfiction NOW! Guide to Writing a Book in 30 Days.
8.What’s your current writing project?
Well, I don’t have just one project…I have numerous projects.
I’m working on an e-book on blogging basics and on a proposal for a follow-up to The Author Training Manual.
And I just finished the revision of How to Blog a Book. The second edition will release in June 2015.
9.What book(s) are you currently reading?
Just like my writing, I read a lot of different books at a time. I’m reading Launch by Jeff Walker, Crush It by Gary Vanerchuck, The Charge by Brendon Bouchard, and The Real Name of God by Rabbi Wayne Dosick.
10.Who or what inspires your writing?
Passion, purpose and success inspire me and my writing. I’m passionate about personal development, practical spirituality, metaphysics, and anything that helps me and others achieve our human potential. When I see or hear about people who are passionate and on purpose and who achieve great success—especially success that creates a positive and meaningful impact on others or the world—I get inspired. I want to learn how they did this, apply it and share what I have learned.
Finally, is there anything you’d care to add? Please also include where people can read your published stories, buy your book, etc.
I believe when you combine your passion with your purpose you get inspired. That’s often the moment at which ideas are born and creativity is at its height. That’s when you take inspired action, which leads to success in any area of life.
Be sure to check out Nina's books, website, blog, and services!