Author. Nerd. Book Publishing Expert. Lover of Life. Socialite.
Welcome, Writers and Book Lovers!

Hi there! So you made it to my site. I’m so glad you came. I'm the author of The Man With the Green Suitcase, a paranormal mystery. I set up this website for you. That’s right, you. You, the writer sitting right there in a chair in front of the computer with red eyes and cramped fingers, tapping on the keyboard, working on your next book. Or, maybe you just like reading books and learning more about the book writing and self-publishing process. Either way, you're at the right website.

Okay, for my regular readers that come here for marketing information, I’ve made this marketing blog into an author and book publishing tips blog. The old marketing information is archived here, but now I'm a full-time fiction writer. Yeah!!

 Get information here on writing books, marketing, book self-publishing tips, writers and publishing news,author interviews, and video interviews. These tips will help develop your writing skills and help market your book.

Why Dee’s Blog?
1. I will be giving tips on how to market and promote books
2. I will be interviewing writers and book industry professionals to give you an inside view of how the book and self-publishing industry works.
3. I will also be throwing in some words of wisdom, positive messages, and other cool stuff to make you smile and maybe even laugh :-)

It's great to be a full-time writer. I also have a background in marketing and communications. So I don’t clog up the home page with stuff about me, click the Who is Dee? link to find out more about me.  Also, click on the Dee’s Events link to see what author events I'm having, events I am attending, view pictures and videos of my writing and personal adventures. I love to have fun! 

I also am on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Facebook, Twitter, Good Reads, Smash Words, and LinkedIn so add me there and drop me a note.

Don’t forget to support with time and money, your favorite charity. My charities: They offer financial support to the families of kids undergoing cancer treatments. Girls group home: . They support several Atlanta local charities. Also donate to Tellman’s cause for Sir Richard Branson’s charity, he is running across America BAREFOOT, helping homeless youth:  

Top 5 Christmas Books of All Time

I used Grammarly’s proofreading software because every time I do Santa twerks like Miley Cyrus while reading kid’s Christmas lists!  


Ho, Ho, Ho! It’s that time of the year again! Amongst the cheer and celebration I want to highlight some Christmas books that are favorites of many readers.

I’m an avid reader and enjoy many types of books. During Christmas time I like to get in the holiday spirit by curling up with a good classic Christmas book, then later, find a movie based on the book playing on the classic movie channel.

These are books that make you smile or bring a tear to your eye. Hopefully you get a chance to read or re-read these books. Enjoy!



A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Top 5 Christmas Books of All Time















How The Grinch Stole Christmas! by Dr. Seuss

Top 5 Christmas Books of All Time















The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen

Top 5 Christmas Books of All Time











Louisa May Alcott’s Christmas Treasury (A collection of short stories and novellas)

Top 5 Christmas Books of All Time














The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg

Top 5 Christmas Books of All Time










And as a bonus, my recommendation for a newly released Christmas book!


Diary of a Mall Santa by Stewart Scott

Top 5 Christmas Books of All Time


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Health Plus Style Alternative Health 

My new website is now live!

Health Plus Style Alternative Health








Hey everyone, I’m pleased to announce that Health Plus Style, my new alternative health lifestyle blog is live!

Health Plus Style has health tips for keeping a balanced body, mind and spirit.

Connect with me and ask plenty of questions:





Get a free eBook: 50 Health Tips For the Body, Mind, and Spirit

Health Plus Style Alternative Health
























all new subscribers for each month will be entered into a giveaway.

Make to sure to subscribe to our newsletter to have a chance win something healthy!

Stay tuned for other giveaways.

3 boxes of organic tea giveaway


Health Plus Style Alternative Health

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Free Atlanta Career and Job Search Workshop Monday Nov. 4


I will be one of the speakers at a FREE Atlanta Career and job search workshop hosted by Unity North Church. Please come if you’re looking for  a job or need career advice. Tell your friends!


Free Atlanta Career and Job Search Workshop




Where: Unity North Atlanta Church (Sanctuary Foyer)

4255 Sandy Plains Road

Marietta, GA 30066


When: Monday, November 4

Time: 6:00 to 9:00 pm





  • Marketing Exeprt Dee Doanes: Transitioning Careers and Freelancing
  • Social Media Guru Jeff Sheehan:  Twitter for Job Search
  • International Job Coach Al Smith:  Advanced Interviewing




Questions? Contact Al Smith at: or 770-355-1776

Unity North Church directions and info

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Dead Bodies…No Fun! This article is by author and retired ATF Special Agent Mark Rusin


 Dead Bodies…No Fun!


Since I was a young, rookie cop in Las Vegas, dead bodies have always bothered me.    Not so much the elderly who pass due to natural causes.  Those people (although still sad to see) are expected to pass on. 


However, the younger the victim the more I couldn’t sleep, especially when blood and violence were involved. 


Walking into a crime scene where a dead body lies is a horrendous, eerie feeling.  It causes your mind to wander and wonder what was going through the victim’s mind when they fought for their life and lost.  After all, it was their scary final seconds on earth.


Shootings and knifings were particularly hard on me.  Hell, I hate to get a paper cut let alone come upon some guy or gal who has just been shot or sliced open.


I vividly recall the faces of a lot of the dead bodies I saw.  The hard part is that while on duty you must disassociate yourself from the victims.  You must or you can’t do your job. 


I remember being overwhelmed at the MGM Grand Hotel fire scene.  Although I was running on pure adrenaline for most of my shift, I couldn’t help but break down near the end when I had to pull a couple apart and place each into a body bag.  They were recently married and locked in a sleeping embrace.  This really bothered me, but I had to keep on and “pretend” like it didn’t.


A dead guy hanging from a tree, a young Asian girl who drowned herself in her family pool, another poor guy who ended his own life by wedging a shotgun between the floor and his throat, just to mention a few.


How do cops deal with such tragedies?   It’s not easy.  A lot of them drink.


Drinking and writing worked well for me and it still does.  Although since my heart attack in 2011 the drinking part not so much. 


Coping with tragedies and being able to talk about them and for me write about them has been a Godsend over the years.  I love telling a good cop story.  It is a lot easier telling stories from experience rather than making stuff up.  Expressing yourself on paper is rather soothing I find.  It allows me to vent and relive the tragedy.  Then I feel a lot better and that is good enough for me.  It is also a lot more cost-effective and serves to avoid the stigma of going to a psychiatrist.

Dead Bodies…No Fun

One quadruple homicide crime scene so gruesome that I worked as an ATF Special Agent actually inspired me to write my first crime novel title: JUSTICE FOR DALLAS which is available on

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Science Fiction Future


I’m happy to have science fiction thriller writer Michelle Muckley guest post today. Her new book is Identity X.


Science Fiction Future

It was over twenty years ago that I sat down to watch The Terminator.  Besides the obvious lapse in parental responsibility (I was ten at the time) I was amazed at the concept of a robotic ‘man’ from the future.  The fact it could move and walk like a real man, and had hands formed from a metal skeleton was a notion way beyond my childish brain.  But whilst this film may have been the initial spark, there have been many other books and films that have helped form a love for the world of science fiction since… Alien.  Star Wars.  The Matrix.  If it’s Sci-Fi, I’ll love it.


So what is it that I like so much? 


Sci-Fi to me is like a view to a possible future.  Sometimes that view is just around the corner, sometimes thousands of light years ahead.  I know I have read a good science fiction book or saw a good film when I am left asking just one question.  Is this actually possible?

Let’s take The Matrix.  Humans as batteries being controlled by machines who have taken over the world?  Now that would indeed be one giant leap for mankind.  But what about Alien?  Is it so unfeasible that a group of astronauts could come across alien life?  Is it impossible that it could go horribly wrong?

Science fiction is exciting because you never know when an element of that creation might become something more than an idea and stretch itself into the world of science fact.   Robotic arms being controlled by the human mind seemed impossible twenty years ago.  But now that very concept is a reality.  At the University of Pittsburgh scientists have developed a robotic arm that can be controlled by nothing more than the power of the mind.  After implanting ninety six microelectrodes in the motor cortex of the brain, thirteen weeks later the recipient of this arm could perform complex tasks with a seven dimensional capacity for movement.


Science Fiction Future



In Minority Report cars drive themselves.  This too is happening right now in the USA, and with over 300,000 hours of autonomous driving logged you might wonder if there have been any accidents.  Yes, two.  But only when they were being driven manually.

So when I chose to write about a cure for genetic disease, I knew I was writing about something that could one day become a reality.  One day, just like in Identity X there might be an injection that can root out genetic disease and cure it, and in the process eradicate inherited disease.  There is a constant wave of scientific and medical developments that is helping turn fiction into reality all the time.  There are already robots that can navigate obstacle courses.  There are artificial leaves that produce hydrogen which can be used in fuel cells. But what next?  It seems that our current capabilities and discoveries may only be the tip of the iceberg.  When it comes to science fiction crossing over into science fact, it seems the only thing preventing us in the future might be our own desires.


Science Fiction Future

Learn more about Identity X on Goodreads

Order it from Amazon


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I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because nerds need to rest their brains sometimes!



Are eBooks the Wave of the Future?

This article comes from  Cina Coren


Are eBooks the Wave of the Future

When I was younger, there was nothing I enjoyed more than spending time over at the local library. The quiet was serene, almost eerie. Everyone spoke in whispers and readers of all ages sat almost motionless, sharing space at long wooden tables set out for just that purpose. There was something almost pristine about all the books that were lined up neatly in rows covering the entire room. What stories did those pages tell? What secrets were hidden between those covers?

How I loved selecting the books I would check out and taking them gingerly off the shelf. I was allowed 4 books for a two week span. So, indeed, I had to choose carefully. I didn’t want to bring home a book that I would later find was not to my liking. Although the saying goes, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” I must admit that the picture on the front of the book was of tremendous importance to me. The size of the book, the different print and the amount of pages were also taken into consideration. But most important was the feeling I got when holding the books in my hands.

I felt a sense of pride as I carried the books back to my house. I was part of an elite group of people who enjoyed reading just for the sake of the written word.



eBooks for some


Today, although libraries are still popular, it’s difficult to find folks that take pleasure in the physical attributes of a printed hardcover or think twice about the journey that each book traveled before reaching the library’s bookshelf. Today, everything is taken for granted and with that, books have lost their place of honor in the home, only to be replaced by Kindles and Kobos and other eBooks.

I do admit that there are certainly benefits to eBooks. The ease of downloading a book in the comfort of your home is inviting. The ability to enlarge the letters to any size allows the reader to adjust the words to meet his eyesight. And of course, there is no due date on eBooks so they can be read at any pace.

But the most beneficial feature of eBooks is their educational value. A written instructional volume can be converted into an eBook and used online to teach any number of different courses. Or chosen chapters can be used to illustrate specific points so students better understand the information being taught. For example, some chapters from Cliff Wachtel’s book, The Sensible Guide to Forex, have been converted into lessons for the online tutorial, FX Academy. Instead of a student having to read through the entire book, the online course highlights only what is important for him to know in order to understand the lesson at hand.

The main drawback to eBooks is the technological knowledge required to use them. Even non- computerized Nooks or Kindles need a minimum of tech knowhow to operate. And downloading other types of ‘readers’ from the internet requires even greater computer proficiency.  Many baby boomers have bypassed the technology stage and find difficulty in reading books online. Others, like me, are self- taught techies who can ‘Google’ like the best of them. But I still wax nostalgic for the feel of a good, hard covered novel resting leisurely on my lap, (rather than my laptop), as I sink comfortably into my upholstered armchair and let the written word waft over me…..

Cina Coren is a staff member of FX Academy, an online program where a trader can learn Forex in depth.


Check out another post on this blog about eBooks

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Using Research To Write A Book.  

This article comes from historical mystery author Connie Knight. She wrote Cemetery Whites.

Using Research To Write A Historical Mystery Book


I’ve been writing since junior high, but Cemetery Whites is the first novel I tackled and brought into being. It’s a cozy mystery, fun to read and fun to write. I chose the genre I love to read, where some of my favorite mystery writers set standards I aspired to meet. Regional history, vernacular language, large families descended from pioneer settlers, beautiful rural landscape, Texas ranches and farms—these were elements of my story, but not the story itself.


The story is a murder mystery. Two murders are involved, one from 1875 and one from today. The one from today is completely fictional, but the 1875 family secret of a second body in the family founder’s grave is inspired by a story in my Texas family, still not known in detail or freely told.



That’s how some episodes in my book materialized. In Chapter One, Professor Thomas Harrison, a black man from San Antonio, asks elderly Hettie Hargrove Harrell for a ride to her family cemetery deep in the country. Once there, he pulls a small shovel out of his big briefcase and starts digging up the large patch of Cemetery White irises (an old-fashioned flower) at the base of the family founder’s grave. Stunned by his pirate behavior, Hettie pulls her Colt .45 out of her purse and shouts at him to stop. He swats at her gun with his shovel; her grandson Donny tries to grab the shovel, but knocks his grandma down, and her gun goes off. Professor Harrison falls down dead.


She didn’t kill him, though. We know that by the end of the chapter. An observer, with his gun in his pocket, waits until Hettie and Donny run away, then confronts the corpse. Takes the briefcase and tells the professor goodbye—in a mean way.

All of this is fictional, except the double-body grave, which is fictionalized—not real.


Using Research To Write A Historical Mystery Book

Research To Write a Historical Mystery Book

The real things in the background had to be researched or remembered. Several branches of my father’s family settled DeWitt Colony as early as 1825; part of my book was researched and some was remembered. My amateur detective Caroline had just moved to DeWitt County to a little house in Yorktown. She’s a widow, reshaping her life by returning to her father’s family. Her cousin Janet drives them around, and one morning they head for the family cemetery for Caroline’s genealogy research. She can find dates and names from the tombstones. Instead, they find the body, call the constable, and become involved in solving the murder that has ancient roots, and the one from today.

So, to write the novel, I researched Texas history for the Coastal Plains area of Texas which is southwest of San Antonio. When Mexico became independent of Spain, it wanted to populate Texas and make it productive. Spain had been there a long time, but sparsely. There were huge areas, like DeWitt Colony, that were never intruded upon under Spanish rule. American settlers who established more than one colony in 1825 received grants of 5,000 acres, but in taking possession of their land, they routed Comanche and Apache tribes, who fought back.

An element of research that shaped my book had to do with colonization. The settlers of DeWitt Colony, and other colonies settled by Europeans, did not practice slavery. They set up small family farms, like those they came from, along with free-ranging herds of cattle. No fences existed.

Slavery existed in the coastal areas where large plantations were established, and it was legal and could exist on the ranches and farms, but generally did not.

Serving as the family amateur detectives, Caroline and Janet drove to San Antonio several times. Professor Harrison had lived in Dignowity Park, a historic neighborhood. They drove through the neighborhood and found a garage tenant at Harrison’s house. They talked with him and found information. Later, they visited a huge nationally historic cemetery, looking for family graves, and found a grave for Priscilla Gaines. But the grave was in the black section of the cemetery. In genealogy research, Caroline found Priscilla had been a slave in the Hargrove family before the Civil War, and a friend after it. She, and her son Willie, had been sent to Texas from Mississippi when Sarah Gaines married John David Hargrove.

Because of my personal interest in family history and genealogy, I knew how census records, wills, deeds, and other documents could be put to use, so I put those things in Caroline’s hands while researching Professor Harrison’s motive in digging up the grave.

I made several trips to San Antonio to visit places I wanted to write about. The cemetery and the Dignowity Park neighborhood were visited; so was Ellis Alley, an integrated area of small houses post-Civil War, but now almost gone. That’s an element in my book. So is Schilo’s, a German restaurant downtown that’s been there for years. Caroline and Janet met their cousin David there for lunch one day; I ate lunch there, too.

Other elements of personal experience—not recent—include going to a place like Billie’s Bar-B-Que to listen to the band every Friday, and to shoot pool during the band’s break. Billie’s is a fictional place, but Caroline and Janet enjoyed it.

In brief, I researched Texas history for my book in various ways. I have a Texana library, I grew up in San Antonio, I still visit my relatives in DeWitt County, I made trips to San Antonio, and I looked things up on the computer, including census records.

There’s more to the book that came from the research, but the research shaped the development of the mystery. The history in the mystery, you might say.


Check out my blog for another historical book here

Check out this historical mystery author here


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A Nerd in Cute Shoes. A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes

I haven’t posted lately since I’ve been featuring guest posts from writers. I’m happy to share my thoughts with you today :-)

A Nerd in Cute Shoes. A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes

A Nerd in Cute Shoes

I’m a writer of a paranormal mystery book and an admitted nerd.  But probably most people wouldn’t think I’m a nerd since I have an obsession with shoes. And not just any shoes. Cute shoes. Unique shoes. Very high heels. Yes, cute shoes.  I have several favorite designers: Christian Louboutin, Manolo Blahnik, Jimmy Choo … and much more.




A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes

A Nerd in Cute Shoes. A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes

With 250 260 pairs of shoes and counting, I most certainly am a shoeaholic and proud of it. I even have fashionable workout sneakers in hot pink and glittering blue for when I do my 600 jump rope skips and interval training every other day. Last week on Facebook and Twitter I posted pictures of my latest shoe acquisition (pictured here.)  Ahh!  Just looking at them right now gives me shoegasms. (Eyes roll in the back of my head). Yes indeed.






Anatomy of a Nerd

Top 10 Writers New Year’s Resolutions

7 of 9 Dragoncon


A nerd is a person that reads lots of books and has a lot of intellectual pursuits. They could like collecting rocks or X-Men comic books. (I love Hugh Jackman as Wolverine. He’s hot.) Going to museums or to medieval festivals.  Bird watching or video games. They may know three or four languages or be fully fluent in Klingon. So, yes I fall into this category.  I’m a Trekkie and go to Dragoncon almost every year dressed as 7 of 9(pictured here), or some other Star Trek character. I have more than 2000 books. And I ‘m a science geek and think physics rock! Big time nerd for sure.







Don’t Judge me by the Five Inch Stilettoes I Wear

My entire life doesn’t revolve around shoes. I’m also obsessed with health, nutrition, and fitness.  And I’m a board member of a local charity in Atlanta.  I think it’s important to show my personality and let people know the real me. Maybe people will like me. Maybe not. But this is me!


Time For Some Shoe Trivia!


1. The Oldest Leather Shoe

A Nerd in Cute Shoes. A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes


The oldest leather shoe is Armenian and 5,500 years old! One of my favorite shoe designers, Manolo Blahnik said this about the shoe, It is astonishing how much this shoe resembles a modern shoe!” (The oldest pair of shoes in my closet is a 12 year old pair of Fendi heels.) I wonder if they also found the oldest pair of Odor Eaters with the shoes they found??




2. High Heels Were First Worn by…

High heels were first worn by men! (I’m sure Rupaul knew this.)It started from the need for soldiers to have proper shoes while riding horses and shooting arrows. Years later, male aristocrats raised heel heights and wore them all the time. Check out French king Louis XIV high heels(below.)

A Nerd in Cute Shoes. A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes













3. Who Invented Wedge Heels?

The first wedge heels were created by Salvatore Ferragamo in 1936. The  picture below shows a shoe he created for Judy Garland.

A Nerd in Cute Shoes. A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes











Keeping in line with the shoe theme, here are some great books about shoes.

A Nerd in Cute Shoes. A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes

My personal favorite is, Shoes: A Lexicon of Style by Valerie Steele . This is a picture of my copy. It’s part of my shoe shrine in my bedroom. This is a big, thick collectible book with tons of color pictures.







Shoes: A Celebration of Pumps, Sandals, Slippers & More by Lisa O’Keeffe

A Nerd in Cute Shoes. A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes








Shoe Obsession by Valerie Steele and Colleen Hill

A Nerd in Cute Shoes. A Writer’s Obsession With Shoes





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Market Your Book Without Spending a Cent. This article comes from Kathryn Elizabeth Jones. She’s  the owner and editor-in-chief at Idea Creations Press, a publishing services company offering writing, publishing and marketing services to writers and non-writers alike. She is also the author of five books, including Marketing Your Book on a Budget, a short, insightful read focusing on getting the word out.


Market Your Book Without Spending a Cent

I don’t know about you, but the idea of marketing used to frighten me. I imagined thousands of dollars slipping from my bank (thousands, by the way, that I really didn’t have) and in the end, selling about two books for my effort.



What I’ve discovered some 10 years later, is that marketing doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Heck, it doesn’t even have to cost a dime if a dime is the last thing you have in your pocket. Marketing is all about sharing you and your work. It’s about helping others to sell their work. And it’s about exchange.



Great Tips To Market Your Book Without Spending a Cent


Guest Blog

When you write a guest blog for another site (such as this one) you are not only sharing your knowledge of writing but you are helping others to better their work and reaching out to a blog owner eager to gain new readers.


Interviews and Blog Tours

When you fill out a questionnaire for a site doing author interviews, do a blog tour, or a blog radio interview, you’re getting the word out without spending a cent.


Book Signings, Teaching, Classes, Speaking Engagements

Market Your Book Without Spending a Cent

Not everything marketing oriented has to be online, of course. When you do a book signing, you stand up to meet and greet readers instead of sitting silently behind the table. You teach free classes in your community and offer your books for sale at the end of the event. You speak at libraries, schools and hair salons. You connect your book with a theme, and then you carry that theme forward in whatever you do, both online and off.

For example, when my book, Marketing Your Book on a Budget 2013, came out, I made sure that those in my online writing groups knew about it. I gathered up my courage and offered to speak (for free) at writer’s conferences and classes in my area. No, I didn’t do a typical book signing, but I could have offered a signing and invited all of my writer friends.


The key here is to know your audience, and focus your marketing in that arena. 


Free books, Contests, Book Reviews

Market Your Book Without Spending a Cent

Marketing free online can come in the form of offering your eBook free for 1-5 days with Amazon. This costs you nothing. Free marketing can also come when you speak up about your book at the grocery store, bank, or wherever you happen to be. It can come when you offer your eBook in an online contest, or carry it with you in the trunk of your car. It can mean getting book reviews from blog owners who will gladly post the review on their site as well as offer to place it on Amazon and Goodreads. It may even be about writing a review for someone else in exchange for them writing one for you.

It’s been said that publishing one book may not make you a millionaire, but the more you write, the finer that line of success becomes.

I’d like to think that success is what you make of it anyway. Just as you may have little or no money to spend on a marketing campaign, try not to focus on money as the end result for what you have written.



If you want fame and glory, fine.

But if you’re searching to help someone, to lift or just to create some fun for your reader, if you want to connect with others online and off, and give them a little piece of you as they share their own lives, then you’re already a success.


Check out this blog post for some other tips for marketing your book.

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   Great Business Books For Setting Up A Law Practice. This guest post is from Maya Johnson.


  Great Business Books For Setting Up A Law Practice

Starting any business is bound to be hard and stressful, especially today, when nobody can tell what kind of global financial woe may be lurking around the next bend, ready to claim the title of the next big economic crisis. However, life cannot stop because of the global aure of insecurity, nor can we stop taking calculated risks because of it.

With that in mind, I would like to share the experience of a good friend of mine, who has successfully set up an injury law practice.


Aforementioned friend made the business plan for setting up an injury law practice himself, using two business books, Anatomy of a Business Plan by Linda Pinson and Flying solo: A Survival Guide For the Solo and Small Firm Lawyer by K. William Gibson and Reid F. Trautz. These books have proven to be useful guides in making business plans that will be strong building blocks for any enterprise.


 First Business Book  Great Business Books For Setting Up A Law PracticeTo Read–Anatomy of a Business Plan


Why is business plan so important? Follow Linda Pinson’s advice:


Though a venture as setting up a law practice inevitably requires relatively big starting expenses, as well as a lot of time and effort, making a good business plan can minimize the costs and ensure that one’s time and resources aren’t wasted and that their hard work doesn’t go unrewarded.

Business planning expert Linda Pinson identifies two main benefits from the “preparation of a well-written business plan”.

(1) To serve as a guide for your business

Pinson cites that “…business plan is a blueprint of your business that will provide you with the tools to analyze your business and implement changes that will make it more profitable”.

(2) As documentation for financing  

A business plan is a requirement if one is planning to seek financing. According to Pinson, every lender wants to know how you’ll maintain the cash flow and repay the loan on a timely basis. You will have to detail how you intend to use the money and back up the figures with estimates, industry norms, rate sheets, etc.


Second Business Book To Help You–Flying solo: A Survival Guide For the Solo and Small Firm Lawyer

 Flying solo: A Survival Guide For the Solo and Small Firm Lawyer

When it Comes to Research and Creation read “Flying Solo”


Gibson and Trautz in “Flying solo” state that “every firm – large and small – should think strategically about its goals and objectives”. They also stress that “going through the process of developing a business plan requires a great deal of strategic thinking on your part”. The business plan should be adapted to one’s needs and limitations. You should thoroughly research what exactly you are getting into, and an apprenticeship in a law firm might be very useful in that regard. That kind of experience will be invaluable in identifying the issues you will face, as well as in structuring your payroll, marketing, case management and billing.

K. William Gibson specifies the following elements needed in a good business plan:

(1)       Description of the services the firm will offer.

(2)       Statement of the location where the practice will be situated.

(3)       Description of the target market.

(4)       Projection of expected revenue and operating expenses.

(5)       Statement of personal resources intended to commit to financing.

(6)               Statement detailing personal worth (assets and liabilities).


Things You Need To Do On Your Own:


It is a good idea to hire a certified public accountant (CPA), who will give the financial aspect of your business plan credibility with potential lenders. A CPA will standardize the form of your financial statements and projections and lead you through the process of complying with the regulations of International Revenue Service and other government institutions.

You may get useful advice from Bar Association Practice Management Advisors, usually former lawyers of law practice administrators. It is also advisable to find a mentor among the established personal injury lawyers, whose advice will be invaluable in avoiding the hidden traps every young law firm will face along the way.

An effective business plan must never be considered completely finished. It is advisable to have a copy of it in a loose-leaf binder, so current financial statements, updated rate sheets, recent marketing information, and other data may be added as they become available.


Check out this blog post about 5 business books for small business here


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