Amanda Turner, Non-Fiction Writing Coach – InnovaBuzz 263
Amanda Turner, Non-Fiction Writing Coach
In this episode, I’m really excited to have as my guest, Amanda Turner, who writes under the name AK Turner. Amanda is a writing coach and completes an average of two books each year, while also managing to travel for four months of every year as a part-time digital nomad. Together with her husband and two young daughters, their travels have taken them from her home in Idaho to Australia, Alaska, Mexico, Brazil, Spain, Scotland, Ireland, and Thailand.
Amanda is The New York Times bestselling author of the Vagabonding with Kids series (Brown Books) as well as This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store, Mommy Had a Little Flask, and Hair of the Corn Dog.
In our discussion, Amanda and I talked about:
- The importance of your book cover and title to capture attention from the beginning
- Understanding your audience and getting your message in front of the right audience
- Focusing your writing for one reader and in building a connection with that one reader
Heather Lee Dyer in episode 235 introduced us to Amanda.
Listen to the podcast to find out more.
Listen to the PodcastYour job is to connect with one reader at a time. If you can make a difference to one reader then you are moving in the right direction. – Amanda Tuner @BusinessofUs on #InnovaBuzz podcast Click To Tweet
Show Notes from this episode with Amanda Turner, Non-Fiction Writing Coach
Key points and takeaways from this episode include:
- You can get to where you want to go and it doesn’t necessarily have to be the path that you’ve been told as the traditional way to get there.
- Humour lends itself to everything.
- Pack your sense of humour and you can figure out everything.
- Always have a bank of ideas running.
- Schedule something and structure it in a way that is manageable for you. Stop thinking about the big picture of the book and just think of the piece that you need to complete in a day.
- Be authentic and vulnerable. Be willing to talk about your flaws and all the things you perhaps don’t excel in. There is always good material there.
- When you are authentic and vulnerable enough, the readers will feel that they know you because you’ve let them in. You’re giving them a version of yourself that you wish you were and you’re really letting them into your head.
- It doesn’t matter how many screens are between you and another person. People can see inauthenticity right away. Just be YOU. Just put yourself out there because that is always going to be your best road.
- Get rid of all your expectations especially if you are a first time author. Understand that the people you are trying to reach are probably not the people you already know. You are targeting an entire mass of readers out there who have never met you and have never heard of you.
- The number one thing you need to have is a really good cover and title. You have to have something that is going to catch people’s eye especially when you are just starting out. Get a professional graphic designer.
- Pursuing any sort of venue where you can get in front of people with similar interests is huge. Be clear about who it is that you are trying to reach and find the most effective way to deliver your message.
- You don’t need to do everything. You just need to find the most effective way to get your message in front of your audience, and it doesn’t mean that it’s the same as what somebody else is doing.
- Don’t just try to mimic the successes of the people you admire. You need to find your own way where you are most comfortable. Any writer who is trying to market themselves on a social media platform where they are not comfortable is not going to reach a lot of people.
- Your job is to connect with one reader at a time. If you can make a difference to one reader then you are moving in the right direction.
- It’s more important to focus on that connection that you have with people than to be constantly checking on your reviews and sales numbers. Focusing on that person to person connection is what really matters.
- If you’re struggling with what your audience will like, pick one person and write for him.
- Traveling broadens your perspective. Traveling fosters compassion and curiosity.
The Buzz – Our Innovation Round
Here are Amanda’s answers to the questions of our Innovation round. Listen to the interview to get the full scoop.
- #1 thing to be more innovative – Prioritise your personal happiness.
- Best thing for new ideas – Shed all adherence to conventional thinking. Recognise that conventional thinking is not necessarily the truth or the only option. Look at things in a new light.
- Favourite tool for innovation – Having breakfast with my husband every morning, pen and paper, Airtable
- Keep project / client on track – Making people around you aware of the time and space that you need.
- Differentiate – Be authentic. There is only one YOU so might as well be that. Always give first and give without expectations.
To Be a Leader
Things don’t have to be perfect for you to take the next step. The tough reality is that it’s never going to be perfect. As you move forward, you will continue to improve and learn as you go. Never stop learning. Part of that learning process is sometimes just taking that step even when it’s a bit scary.
Amanda suggested I interview CJ Thomas, “Vice King” of Operations & Head Trainer at St. Louis Fitness Boot Camp. So CJ, keep an eye on your inbox for an invitation from us to the InnovaBuzz podcast, courtesy of Amanda Turner.
- Website – Non-Fiction Writing Coach
- Website – The Business of US
- Twitter – @BusinessofUs
- Vagabonding with Kids: The Uncensored, Awkward, and Raucous Pursuit of Family World Travel
- This Little Piggy Went to the Liquor Store
- Mommy Had A Little Flask
- Hair of the Corn Dog
Cool things about Amanda
- She’s a contributor to the anthologies Leave the Lipstick, Take the Iguana (Traveler’s Tales), Little White Dress (Mill Park Publishing), I Just Want to Be Perfect and I Just Want to Be Alone (Throat_Punch Books).
- Her works have received a starred review from Publishers Weekly, IPPY Awards in Humor and Travel, a Foreword Indies Award, an Independent Press Distinguished Favorite, and listing in BookLife’s Top 5 Indie Books of 2014.
- She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian Language and Literature from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.