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Writing a book online: Q&A with Lindsey Jacobs

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Future author Lindsey Jacobs on finally sharing her story

Future author Lindsey Jacobs on finally sharing her story

In recognition of our upcoming Spring/Summer 2016 Group Writing Program kickoff, we wanted to take time to highlight our aspiring authors. Today, we are highlighting Lindsey Jacobs, a blogger and aspiring author who is writing her book, When Opportunity Knocks. Lindsey is a 40-year-old single mother and nursing student. She has completed the Ironman and is now driving for another achievement — to write her first book. Lindsey blogs about her experiences at RamblingRunnerGirl.com.

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How to Attract an Audience for Your Book

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How to attract an audience for your bookAs a writer, you may enjoy the solitary pursuit of writing, but one thing’s for sure—when your book is finished you’ll want get it in the hands of readers. The best way to do that is to start now, even as you write your book, to attract your audience.

You may have heard the old adage that it takes seven touches to make a sale. In book marketing, that has held true. Your audience needs to hear what you’re about, to learn to respect you as you prove your expertise, and to become interested in you and enticed by what you have to say, well in advance of a purchase.

1. Define Your Audience

Before you can attract an audience, you need to know who they are. Of course, your readers are your audience, but who are they? Picture them as they walk in the bookstore. What do you see? Is it women between the ages of 30 and 50? Parents who want to instill values in their children? Business owners who are short of cash?

The key is to figure out who your audience is before you begin writing your nonfiction book because that’s the group you will influence, the group you will impact, and the group you will target when your book is complete.

2. Define Your Book’s Market

Isn’t your audience the same as your market? Not necessarily. Your market is the people/organizations/institutions that will purchase your book. For example, if you are writing a book for children, children are your audience, but they’re not your market. Your market is the person with the pocketbook – the parents.

Think about those people/organizations/institutions that might purchase your book, for example, educators if you’re writing about children, or mental health practitioners if you are writing about walking conquering depression. Try to identify at least six markets for your book – a primary market and five secondary markets. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to potential customers, so be thorough.

3. Classify Your Book

Part of knowing your audience is knowing where your book fits in relation to other books. In other words, what is it’s genre?

The term genre simply means a particular classification or type of book, and there are two main genres in writing: fiction and nonfiction. There are numerous sub-genres within each of these genres, and you need to know where your book fits. Why is this important? It’s important to you because you want to reach a certain audience, and people often select the books they read according to genre. That’s why bookstores divide their selections by genre—it makes it easier for people to find the books that appeal to them.

Think about your audience again. If they are looking for your book, what section will they browse in a bookstore? Assume they don’t know the book title or your name as the author. They simply want to find the information that your book delivers. Where are they going to look? Identify your book’s genre, and you will have some insight on how to reach your market.

This is the starting point for identifying your readers, but there’s more to it than simply identifying your genre. Your readers are buried within your target markets, and I want you to know how to scout them out.

4. Target Your Markets

With all the books being published, it’s more important that EVER to know your market and how to reach your audience.

So, go back to your ideal customer. They’re hard to find because they look like everyone else, so we have identify them according to what they need. And what is that? They need the SOLUTION that is found in your book. You may think, “I know who they are – generally – but I don’t know how to get to them specifically.”

Go back to your list you made of primary and secondary markets and create a detailed plan to reach them. Do this before your book is finished, so you’ll be ready to get your book in their hands when it’s published.


 

 

 

 


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Creating the best story structure for your non-fiction book

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Creating-a-story-nonfiction-book-writing-book-coach-how-to-write-a-bookWhen it comes to crafting your personal exceptional story, it can be difficult to know where and how to begin. I’m here to help you design your story so you can start writing and get your story out into the world. As a book coach, my life is spent working with individuals who have a story to tell, and helping them share that story in a way that moves people to action. 

What is your story?

All of us have our own story, and people are truly interested in hearing it. Every day, each of us are asked questions such as:

  • What do you do?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Where did you go to school?
  • Do you have kids?

You see, even if people are not directly asking about your story, these types of questions are all indirect ways to try to learn more about you and the story you have to tell.  

Physiologically, humans are wired to enjoy and relate to stories. Stories have been a part of the human fabric since the beginning of time. People like to listen to stories, relate to them, and remember them. Find your story and give people what they crave!

It’s important to understand the difference between telling your story and presenting your resume. You cannot tell your exceptional story by reciting a list of your accomplishments or delivering an elevator pitch. You need to dig deeper. Your story will communicate who you are, so you need to figure out exactly who that is and how to showcase that person.

Start with the foundation of your story

Before you start writing your story, you need to answer two questions:

  1. What is the purpose of your story?
  2. Who is the audience?

Stories can help you cross racial, social-economical, political, and religious, boundaries; they are that powerful. I believe there are two key things all people need: hope and help. Your story has the power to offer hope and help to others. Your story can change lives and have an impact on society, but you need to decide just what kind of impact you want to make. What do you want your story to communicate? What change do you want to invoke in the reader? How will your story help people?

Knowing your audience is essential. Your target audience will determine what you tell them and why. Cater your story to grab the interest of your audience, so that you can deliver a helpful and memorable story. Take a look at my blog post, How to Define an Audience for Your Book, for a more in-depth explanation of how to tackle this important task.

Outline the three parts of your story to lay the plan for your nonfiction book

Obviously, all stories have a beginning, middle, and end, but the three parts I suggest you consider are these:

  1. What it used to be like
  2. What happened
  3. What it’s like now

Start with what life was like before the change happened.  Were you happy? Overworked? Unfulfilled? Paint a picture of your “before” and set your audience up for the change.

The “what happened” section is the turning point in your story. It’s your pivotal moment, the bridge that connects the before and after. Something happened that caused a change in your life, and that’s what you’ll share with your audience. Some changes are internal, such as an “aha!” moment that directed you to take action or make a change, but some people need more of a push. External changes are things that force us into change, such as the death of a family member, birth of a child, a divorce, loss of a job, or some other life-altering occurrence. What happened to you? How did it force you to change and why?

Create closure in your story

Next, tell your audience what it’s like now. Where are you in your life? How are things different?

If you’re struggling with how to wrap up the impact of your life or a specific chapter in your story, consider these six areas of your life and how they have been impacted by the events you shared in your memoir or business book:

  • Spiritual
  • Health
  • Relationships
  • Emotional
  • Professional, 
  • Financial

How have these areas of your life been affected?

If you take these three aspects–What it Used to be Like, What Happened and What It’s Like Now–put them together, and seal them with a solid purpose statement that clearly communicates the purpose of your story, you will have a solid design in place.  

You have a story to tell, and people are ready to hear it, but whether or not they will relate to it and remember it depends on how well you tell it. How you tell your story is just as important as the story itself. I can help you craft your story and work with you when you have trouble writing. Don’t let fear of writing keep you from sharing your story with the world!

If you need help to write your book, consider working with me as you write your first book. Details below!


 

nancy erickson book coach book coaches How to Become an Author: Module One 1About Nonfiction Book Writing & Publishing Expert Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson is better known as “The Book Professor,” a writing and publishing consultant who specializes in helping aspiring nonfiction authors bring their book ideas to market. Nancy works as a book coach assisting authors that write self-help books, biographies, business books, and other nonfiction books through online courses and book coaching. Contact Nancy with questions or to have her speak at your upcoming event by clicking here.

 


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book marketing resources

6 marketing resources to help you sell more books

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book marketing resources

By Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

The process of promoting your book starts well before you’ve published it. Building a network of interested and supportive followers is a process that should start while you’re writing your book, and it should continue as long as you want to sell your books. This is especially true if you are opting to self publish. Your friends, family, and colleagues will be a rallying point to keep you motivated as you go – and they will also be rooting for your success all along. They will celebrate as you launch your book, and their enthusiasm, likes, and shares on social media will help you to reach their friends and family as well.

This month, we’re going to focus on marketing your book – how to promote your book to realize stronger sales numbers. In today’s blog post, I’m going to introduce you to six experts who have created expert marketing resources in the form of websites, social media posts, and podcasts, who can help you begin to master digital marketing.

Social media made easy for authors.

Amy Porterfield produces a weekly Podcast, Online Marketing Made Easy, which is full of great information and easy-to-implement advice that can help you successfully market your book on Facebook. If you think Facebook ads are a waste of time and money, I guarantee, Amy can change your mind!

Before you completely write her off because you don’t think you have time for Podcasts, hear me out. I used to avoid Podcasts because I didn’t believe I had the time to sit down and listen to a full Podcast. Then I realized how much “dead time” I had throughout the day when I am in the car, getting ready in the morning, cooking, cleaning, etc. These are all perfect times for listening to a Podcast and getting some great information. I now listen to so many Podcasts in my car that I call in my “Auto University.”

Not only is Amy herself a wealth of information, she also uses her Podcast to introduce you to other online marketers and their Podcasts. All of these marketing gurus can teach you so much, all while you multitask in the car, in the kitchen, or anywhere you can tune into an episode.  

Here are a few of my favorite online marketing Podcasts:

Create online courses to supplement your book.

If you feel like you have valuable information to share, and want to take it a level beyond your business book, David Siteman Garland can help you develop an online course to complement or supplement your book. He offers a step-by-step proven system for creating, promoting, and then profiting from your own online course. His free video series: How to turn your ONLINE PLATFORM (blog, web show, Podcast, etc. (into REVENUE by creating your own ONLINE COURSE, can be found right here. Follow his advice and you’ll be turning a profit in no time.

Powerful mobile marketing expertise.

Anyone who has a smart phone of his or her own knows that mobile marketing is essential. Greg Hickman can help you incorporate mobile marketing strategies for your retail business and show you how to be successful with that marketing. He’s all about making use of his extensive network of marketing expert friends to help you dominate mobile. Greg’s web show gives you access to free, uncensored interviews with some of the world’s top experts and most successful mobile marketers. Listen in and take advantage of their experience, insight, and expert advice about how to help retailers and marketers completely dominate mobile marketing.

Managing your book marketing and promotions with help.

If you consider your book a business, the New Business Podcast is for you. This weekly show introduces you to top minds within the “new business” realm. You’ll hear discussions about everything from branding, strategy, business growth, and much more. Chris Ducker is known as “The VA Guy” (VA, as in Virtual Assistant) so when it comes to the world of outsourcing, he really knows his stuff.

Create a successful podcast to promote your book.

Ready to strike out on your own and create your very own Podcast? John Lee Dumas, the founder and host of EntrpreneurOnFire, can help. This award-winning Podcast covers the inspiring journeys of successful entrepreneurs, every day of the week. This Podcast generates over $250,000 a month in revenue, which in itself is a pretty solid argument for you taking the free 15-day course on Podcasting.

Up-to-the-minute social and digital marketing expertise.

If you are looking for a Social Media marketing guru Michael Stelzner is your guy. His on–demand talk radio show, Social Media Marketing Podcast is designed to help business owners and marketers figure out what works and what doesn’t when it comes to social media marketing.


 

author-coaching-book-coach-online-writing-class-get-my-book-outAbout Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson is better known as “The Book Professor,” a writing and publishing consultant who specializes in helping aspiring nonfiction authors bring their book ideas to market. Nancy works as a book coach assisting authors that write self-help books, biographies, business books, and other nonfiction books through online courses and book coaching. Contact Nancy with questions or to have her speak at your upcoming event by clicking here.


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New Year’s Resolutions – Imagine Your Life as An Author

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When did you realize you had a story to tell?

Was it when you were a child, as you were watching events unfold around you? Did you know that you were seeing or experiencing something powerful before you even had the full vocabulary to express it to anyone?

Was it when you were an adolescent, as you bridged into your teenage years and your relationships started to take on new meaning and significance? Did you feel your more grown-up observations form as you tried to make sense of a world that changed fast — but less quickly than you did at that time?

What about as a young adult when you entered the workforce or college or marriage? How did it feel to take on those new responsibilities? Did you handle them well, or are there things from that time you still need to sort through?

Was there a turning point in your career? A significant change in relationships such as a birth, a sickness, or a death?

What about an opportunity missed? Was there a botched opportunity, or a mistake that turned out to give you greater clarity and forward motion?

How have you thought about your story since you decided you wanted to tell it?

It is now 2016, the start of a brand new year where we have the symbolic opportunity to make brand new decisions about how we want our lives to be from this point forward. What goals do you have for 2016?

I want to get my book out!

Or maybe you have already broken it down into pieces:

  • Gather my scattered thoughts about this book–what do I even want to say?
  • Set a regular schedule to sit down and write.
  • Finally finish chapter 1!

This year will pass, no matter what we do or don’t do. Why not set the course to do something that will allow you to finally have a completed manuscript at the end of it?

Here are 3 ways I can help you realize this goal:

Get My Book Out!™, an Online Course for Aspiring Authors

Get My Book Out!™ is your complete guide to get your nonfiction book out of your head and into the hands of your future readers in less than one year. My step-by-step online course includes 3 modules of lessons, a wealth of downloadable guides, and support from your fellow writers. Are you confident that with the right course you can write your book on your own time at your own pace? Click here to learn more!

Group Book Coaching for Executives

Through three 16-week modules in my exclusive online writing course, I work directly with busy executives and help them develop their nonfiction book concept, organize their material, and write a book that will change lives, save lives, or transform society. This course offers the advantages of a personally available writing coach and the structure of an academic course at a high-value price point. Would you like to write your book with the hands-on support of a coach and peers? Click here to learn more!

One-on-One Book Coaching

As your private book writing coach, I will work with you one-on-one every 2-3 weeks through six (6) 90-minute Skype sessions where we will plan your nonfiction book project, and work to build it piece-by-piece. You will have “homework” to complete between sessions so that you can make significant progress on the foundation of your book and write a piece that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best books on the market.  Do you want the most exclusive and customized book coaching experience to get your book out FAST? Click here to learn more!

You’ve imagined the story you would tell and you’ve imagined the kind of goals you would like to realize this year, but how you would like your life to feel this year and after?

Imagine your life as an author. How will it feel to know that you’ve:

  • Worked hard and been disciplined
  • Set a goal and achieved it
  • Completed something big that most people will never do
  • Created an opportunity for more income for yourself
  • Started down a path to write more books
  • Told your first story

And that is just the beginning, your first story. How much more is stored in your heart?

If that vision of Future Author You is still forming, here are some other opportunities for you to connect to that energy and know where to start when the time is right:

  • Sign up for my newsletter below to receive great writing tips and tricks each month right in your inbox!
  • Attend this special event on January 20th online or January 27th in person to learn 10 Mistakes New Authors Make (and How to Avoid Them!)

Here’s to you, Future Author! Let’s make 2016 a wonderful, meaningful year.

 

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How to Become an Author: Time Block 2

How to Become an Author: Time Block

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By Nancy Erickson, The Book Professor

Congratulations! You’re going to write your book and are ready to start. But how will you find the time? The rest of your life hasn’t changed, and your schedule was already full.

You’ve heard about The Law of Attraction, haven’t you? The Law of Attractions says that what you think about is what you attract into your life. Your dominant thoughts will find a way to manifest. When you change your thoughts, you change your life.

So what will you think about—that you’ll never get your book written or that you don’t have enough money to pursue it? Of course not!! When that nagging voice in your head says, “you’re not good enough, you’re too busy, this is too hard,” you have to knock it down. You know what I do when that voice attacks me? I stand up and shout out loud, “ STOP LYING TO ME!”

You didn’t wake up one day and say, “Oh, I think I’ll write a book now.” No—something put that seed inside you. And it’s been growing over time. This desire came from something bigger than you, and its effect will be bigger than you, too. Your message can change the world, and that’s exactly how we change the world … one reader at a time.

Life is busy, and time is precious. You’ve got work, the kids, vacation, responsibilities, blah, blah, blah. That little voice that whispers sweet defeat in your ear even before you even get started needs to be put in its place. Tell it you ARE going to do this and you DO have enough time. This is a challenge, but you’re up to it.

So how do you find the time to write your book? I use a method for organizing my time called Time Blocking, and it can work for you, too. When you Time Block, you divide your time into blocks so that you can use it wisely and be productive. Of course, you have to be efficient when you carve out the time for writing, which means that you take a look at EVERYTHING you do, evaluate all your responsibilities, and organize the tasks into specific blocks of time. That’s how you get everything done.

Become an author by having a time block planTime Blocking also means that when your calendar is set, you HONOR the calendar, that you ENFORCE the calendar, and LIVE BY the calendar. It takes discipline, but it’s very effective once you get the hang of it.

When I was first introduced to the idea of time blocking, I thought Good Grief! I’m going to have to get up at 5:00 am in order to get everything done. I’m not suggesting that your days be as long as mine are, but on the other hand, if you need to pack more in for the short term in order to can get your book written, then so be it.

Notice how I block my time. Everything is color-coded, and you can see that I devote large blocks of time to my tasks– not just fifteen minutes here or there. I organize my time so I can concentrate fully on one thing, then move on to the next.

Every week, I have to schedule time to plan, write, deliver, and produce my classes, as well as coach my clients, so I calculate how much time I need per week for those tasks, and schedule everything in blocks throughout the week.

If you need  more help, contact me for one-on-one coaching or group writer courses or sign up for my newsletter for more information, class announcements, and tips for writers.

 

 


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