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Author Archives: NancyErickson

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Define Your Purpose

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It’s almost summer. School’s out, and that vacation is just around the corner. Take some time off, but no matter how hot it gets outside, you must take time to water the garden! Let me explain. As a nonfiction book coach, I have the privilege of working with people from all walks of life. But something funny tends to happen in the summer. They’ve worked hard all year on their book, but for some, the summer months can make them want to go kerplunk and put their book aside until the Fall. Don’t let that be you. Whether you’re a coach, speaker, or entrepreneur, you still must water the garden, even when it’s hot outside! And that means the work should continue!

This is especially true for public speakers! If you’re a public speaker, you must continue to work the garden to set up speaking engagements, whether they’re scheduled now or later in the year. But first, your purpose must be defined.

Brand Yourself to Show People What You Are All About

If you want to prove yourself as a desirable speaker and land more speaking engagements, you need to establish a clear purpose. When you try to appeal to every audience, you don’t stand out as an expert in anything. If you brand yourself as an authority in a specific field, you are more likely to get booked to speak at relevant events.

So how can you decide on your personal brand and purpose?

brand yourself

It’s important to take a closer look at who you are, what you do, and what messages you hope to convey through your public speaking. If you are a personal finance expert, maybe your purpose is to help the average person better understand their finances and manage them. If you are a domestic abuse survivor, maybe your purpose is to tell your story of survival and help others recognize dangerous situations and see that they are strong enough to get out.

Be unique

Your personal brand and purpose might be similar to others within the same field, so what makes you so special? When you brand yourself, make sure that your purpose sets you apart from the rest. Make your message one that people will be dying to hear. If you want to get booked, you need to be like a great movie trailer — catch people’s interest and leave them wanting more.

Show The World You Are Available

You could be an excellent public speaker with a wealth of knowledge, but how will anyone ever find you if they don’t know you are available? If you want to brand yourself as an expert and public speaker, you will need to put information about your skills online so that the people who are interested in booking you can find you.

A bio is essential, as people will want to know your background, including relevant personal, professional, and academic achievements. There should be a clear statement, separate from your bio, stating the topics that you address for your public speaking engagements. That clarity alone will give a valuable preview of your unique message.

Visuals are always useful to catch people’s eyes, so whenever possible, include videos and photos of yourself in action. You want to demonstrate that you are confident and captivating in front of an audience.

Find Your Purpose And Be the Best You

As I always say, you are the only one who can tell your story. Explore yourself and your story to decide what your purpose is as a speaker, and then commit to the brand you have put forward. Clarity and confidence are sure to lead to more speaking engagements on your calendar.

Of course, one of the best ways to establish yourself as an expert in your field is to write a book, and it would be my privilege to show you how. But no matter what, continue your work this summer and enjoy the fruits of your labor later with a busy Fall speaking calendar!

 


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Nonfiction Writing Techniques: Conflate

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Do you know that word—conflate? Conflate means to combine or blend things, to fuse them into a single entity. It’s a helpful nonfiction technique where you merge several events or conversations or relationships and present it as one single event or conversation or relationship. It allows you to efficiently cover a span of time without boring your reader to death with the blow-by-blow details when all they really need are the pertinent points.

Do you know that word – Conflate? Conflate means to combine or blend things, to fuse them into a single entity.  It’s a helpful nonfiction technique where you merge several events or conversations or relationships and present it as one single event or conversation or relationship. It allows you efficiently to cover a span of time without boring your reader to death with the blow-by-blow details when all they really need are the pertinent points.

Spare Your Readers the Unnecessary Details

Let’s say, for example, that you had umpteen conversations with your spouse about adopting a child over the course of two years. In the first conversation, you might have talked about the possibility of adoption. And you talked about that for a number of months. Then you moved on and had numerous discussions about foreign vs. domestic adoption, older child vs. infant adoption, same race vs. other race adoption. These conversations took another several months. Finally, after two years, you made the decision to pursue a foreign adoption of an older child.

Do you need to drag your readers through all those conversations and decision points?  Maybe and maybe not. It depends upon the purpose of your book. Let’s conflate writing tipssay your book is about helping a foreign-born child assimilate into a family and culture that doesn’t look anything like them, and how to be your child’s advocate to overcome the unique obstacles they will face.

Does the reader really care about the two years you spent discussing adoption, or do they want to get to the purpose? My guess is they want the meat of your message, not your method of arrival.

So how do you handle those two years of discussion? Conflate it! Use dialog to convey all the pertinent information, and boil it down to a couple of conversations. Here’s how you might approach it:

“I think it’s time we face the truth. We probably aren’t going to give birth our own child, but maybe we’re not supposed to,” he said.

“It’s hard to give that up,” she said.

“I know, honey,” he said, “but we’re not getting any younger. What if we changed course while we still can? We’re not too old to adopt. I know the process takes time, who knows how long? If we want to have a child, I think we ought to consider this. To move in a new direction.”

“I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. It’s practically impossible to find a baby here, so I don’t know if that would be any better,” she said.

“What if we don’t look for a baby?” he said. “There are lots of children who need a loving home. Maybe we should think about rescuing a child, instead of searching for an infant.”

“One of the women in my support group showed me a picture of the orphans in Haiti,” she said. “They gathered them together after those earthquakes, but there aren’t enough adults to take care of them. One little girl – she looked about seven years old – had the brightest eyes, but her smile, it wasn’t right. Like she knew she had to smile for the picture, but only her mouth moved. She looked really, really sad.”

You can CONFLATE two years of the backstory of how this couple decided on a foreign adoption into a single conversation, and move the action forward.

Tell Your Story Like One of the Great Storytellers

Here’s another example of conflating. Let’s say you are a teacher, and you have had numerous students with a mild form of autism. Your book is about the socialization of the classroom, and over time, you’ve learned how to help these special needs students open up and relate to their classmates. Why not illustrate that through the eyes of ONE child, not four dozen children? Why not show the experience through a single set of eyes, give that child a representative name, and use a single character to demonstrate your teaching methods?

Does this seem dishonest to you? Insincere maybe? Well, if it does, then consider this. All the great teachers were story-tellers. Jesus, Aesop, Buddha, Indian Tribal Chiefs. They taught their people valuable lessons by telling stories. Were the characters in the stories real or did they conflate a number of people or people types into one representative character?

You tell me. Who was the Good Samaritan? Who was the Prodigal Son? Does it matter? Did you learn anything about human nature through Aesop’s fables, even though the characters were animals? Are the lessons any less valuable because you can’t attach them to a specific person?

When you conflate, you tighten your writing and move your story forward. It takes practice, but your story is worth it!

Ready to put this technique into your book? Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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Teachers Are Out of This World-Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week May 6th-10th

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This year we’ve talked a lot about writing, publishing, and promoting your book because that’s what I love to do both personally and professionally.  But I want to take a moment this week to pay tribute to teachers across the country.

Teacher Appreciation week is very important to me. As a professional book coach, writer, and former collegiate professor, I will forever be grateful to the teachers who ignited my love for all things “books.” I’ve always had an interest in reading and excelled in writing as a youngster, but it was my teachers who kept me motivated to pursue my dreams. They were always there to offer a kind word of encouragement when I felt discouraged. I believe there isn’t enough appreciation in our world for teachers. You usually only hear about the bad ones when there are millions of terrific teachers who do what they do, simply because they care. Teachers are often underpaid, criticized, and unappreciated for the job they do: to help shape and guide today’s youth. That, in my opinion, deserves more than a simple “thanks.”

teacher appreciation

I believe that our problems—all of them—can be solved, and that the answers are trapped inside of everyday people like you. If we didn’t have teachers to educate, inspire, lead, and cultivate the natural gifts that each person has, think about all the problems that would’ve gone unsolved.

Take a look at what some of these leaders have to say about their former teachers:

“My high school band director, Virgil Spurlin, had a huge impact on my life. Not because he was a particularly great band director. He was quite good, but he was a world-class human being. He took a personal interest in kids, and seemed to instinctively know when they were having trouble at home or having trouble in school, and always to know what to say to them and more importantly maybe what questions to ask to find out what was really going on in their lives. He also was always looking for things that young people could do besides play music. We put on the state band festival every year, for example, and he let lots of us help. And he taught us basic organizational skills and how to allocate resources and move things around. But always he was trying to find things that people were good at. He thought that everybody was good at something and if he just looked hard enough he could find it, he could convince them of it, and he could raise their aspirations and their hopes. He was unbelievable. All my life I thought of him. I stayed in touch with him on and off until he passed away. I really felt that my early years with him convinced me that I could organize and run things. That I could do whatever I wanted to do and that I could actually marshal other people in a common effort, and of course if you’re in politics that’s very important.”                  

-Bill Clinton

“There’s no way there would have been a Microsoft without what they did.”

-Bill Gates

“I credit my education to Ms. Mabel Hefty just as much as I would any institution of higher learning. She taught me that I had something to say — not in spite of my differences, but because of them. She made every single student in that class feel special.”

-Barack Obama

“I doubt I will ever meet another person who had the impact on my life that my English teacher at Episcopal High School did. All children should have a teacher like I had, who they remember when they have children and grandchildren as one of the most fortunate relationships in their lives.”

-Senator John McCain

Ways to Get Involved for Teacher Appreciation Week

The theme for this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week is “Teachers Deliver.” There are countless ways you can get involved this week and show your support for the teachers who have impacted your life. You don’t have to do anything fancy. A simple letter, email, or phone call to the teacher(s) that helped shape the person you are today would be great. Social media is also a great way to get involved. Check out this Promotional Event Toolkit from the National PTA for other ways to celebrate the teachers in your life.

What about you? Do you have a story to tell that can save lives, change lives, or transform society? When you share what you know and what you’ve learned, you become the solution. The answers are inside of you.

If you or someone you know has always wanted to write a book, reach out to us, and we can help make it happen!

 


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Writing a Book Memoir-Best Practices

I often find myself reflecting about the legacy I’ll leave behind. I’m blessed and beyond grateful to have experienced love, success, and the joy of having children and grandchildren in my life. But like many of you, my journey hasn’t always been filled with sunshine. I’ve had trials, tribulations, and problems that I’ve had to endure like anyone else. It was in some of my darkest moments that I learned many lessons about life for which I’m forever grateful. And it’s those lessons that I hope to share one day with not only my family but the world through my memoir.

A memoir is a written story that typically covers a portion of someone’s life. This type of book is often written by “normal” people like you and me, and can start at any point within an author’s life. Life is hard at times and people need real solutions to their problems. If you’ve experienced some of life’s greatest challenges and learned some valuable lessons along your journey, you have a message inside you that can change lives, save lives, or transform society.    

How to Write a Memoir

Your story deserves to be told – and, in fact, I believe it is your responsibility to tell it. Most aspiring authors get caught up in how to approach their memoir and become overwhelmed before they even begin. Below are some tips & tools, including some I’ve developed for you, which will help you share your truth.

“An autobiography tells the story of a life, while memoir tells a story from a life,”

-Gore Vidal

Developing a Concept for Your Memoir

A memoir captures a period of time or a set of events within your life, rather than cataloging your experience from cradle to grave, as in an autobiography or memoirbiography. In order for your memoir to have an audience beyond your friends and family, you need to develop a solid concept that helps bridge the space between your life and that of your reader. Publisher Sharlene Martin once said, “Your memoir needs a solid concept for the book that invites the reader’s concerns into the experience of reading it, instead of just saying, ‘Let me tell you all about wonderful me.’” Consider the elements of your story that are universal and find ways to write them that will invite your reader to imagine and consider their own life through the lens of your circumstances.

Make it Memorable

Nonfiction books can be as memorable as their fictional counterparts through the use of sensory language that conveys how you felt, what you saw, heard, smelled, and tasted during the pivotal moments you present. I often tell my writers to close their eyes as they begin to write a pivotal scene in their memoir – to take themselves back to the place, the time, and the emotion of the moment. Once you’ve transported yourself back to that moment, open your eyes and write your first draft. Once you’ve gotten it onto the page, go back through and look for ways that you can vary your language to make it richer, more interesting. Break out your thesaurus if that helps!

The Market for Memoirs

Memoirs continue to be a steady seller among book genres, enjoying a 15% increase in sales from 2013 to 2015, according to Publisher’s Weekly. Those that can be aligned with a universal theme of timely interest or that can be aligned with an organization, a cause, or an event tend to sell best.

According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of U.S. book sales, total sales in the categories of Personal Memoirs, Childhood Memoirs, and Parental Memoirs increased more than 400 percent between 2004 and 2008. Also, memoirs in Britain occupied seven out of ten bestselling nonfiction hardcovers in both 2007 and 2008.

What are you waiting for? What better time is there than now? Tomorrow is not promised, and someone needs your memoir today. When you share what you know and what you’ve learned, you become the solution. The answers are inside of you. You ARE the solution.

Contact us today to get started on your memoir!


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Plant, Water, and Watch Your Business Grow-Author Success Stories

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At The Book Professor, it’s a privilege to work with aspiring authors who want to write books that change lives, save lives, and transform society. Whether they’ve completed one of our group coaching programs or worked with me one-on-one, I never forget the look on the author’s face when they hold the first printed copy of their book.

You know what else makes me beam with pride when my clients complete their book? It’s watching their business grow. When they finish their book (plant), market it properly (water), my authors are amazed by the growth of their business and brand. And I’m grateful to be a small part of their success story.

Take Maryanne Dersch. When you hear the term nonprofit organization, you might think of groups like The American Red Cross, Girl Scouts of America, and Habitat for Humanity, just to name a few. All of these groups do wonderful work and have provided assistance and guidance to millions of people across the globe. But when you work for a nonprofit and are responsible for soliciting donors, you quickly realize the intricate planning and strategizing that must be executed to succeed. Nonprofit fundraising is not easy. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could attract more long-term committed donors year after year? “If only it were that easy,” you might think. With the right guidance and innovative strategy in place, it can be, and with the advice and direction of Maryanne Dersch, your nonprofit will succeed.

Meet Maryanne Dersch, Author, Principal of Courageous Communication, LLC

Maryanne Dersch has spent more than 25 years working in the nonprofit world, where she helps clients reach their communication and branding goals.  From this experience and her experience with cognitive behavioral therapy and behavior change psychology, she believes that teaching people how to communicate more efficiently requires a change of feelings, which changes their thinking and then changes their behaviors. As a leader within your nonprofit, if you see your organization as smart, stable, interesting, confident and strong, then you can begin to communicate more effectively about it to others. Look at the feelings and thinking FIRST, then the behavior.

Nonprofit Fundraising: Attract Like-Minded Donors and Raise More Money

Because of her successful career in nonprofit branding and communications, Maryanne came to us with a book idea to help other non-profits achieve the same success. Maryanne’s book: Courageous Communication: How Co-dependence is Making Your Nonprofit Brand Boring and What to Do About It, is changing how nonprofits are doing business!  The purpose of this book is to show nonprofit organizations how to stop trying to be everything to everyone and to develop their own organizational personality, so they can attract like-minded donors and raise more money. Maryanne Dersch works with nonprofits to create brands of attraction so they can connect with long-term, loyal donors and raise more money. In addition to being the author of Courageous Communication: How Codependence Is Making Your Nonprofit Brand Boring and What to Do About It, she is also the founder of Courageous Change workshops.

She’s leading a movement to change “nonprofit” to “human investment company” to accurately reflect the contributions of the sector. She is a contributor to the Giving Back podcast and International Association of Business Communicators Communications World website and is known for her love of ultrahigh heels, extra-large Diet Cokes, and short karaoke rotations.

This book can help you reach new non-profit fundraising goals and is available today! Click here to get your copy.

What about you? Are you ready to plant, water, and watch your business grow by writing your book? If you or someone you know has always wanted to write a book, reach out to us, and we can help make it happen!


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Writing A Book Is Hard But Possible With The Right Guidance

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I can’t do this. No one will read it anyway. I don’t even know where to begin. This is hard.

Have you ever said any of these things to yourself? As The Book Professor, I help people write books that change lives, save lives, and transform society. But it’s the people I meet that want to write a book but have sadly talked themselves out of it because they don’t believe they can do it. When you’ve built your life on a lie, it’s hard to overcome that thinking. I say “lie,” because deep down these lies boil down to one thing: the belief that you aren’t good enough.

I believe its the lies we tell ourselves that prevent us from doing the things we were meant to do and for which we are gifted. I don’t know what lies you tell yourself, but I know the truth. You do matter. You are important. You can help other people. Writing a nonfiction book is hard at times, but you can do it with the right guidance!

Why You Should Write A Nonfiction Book

There are many reasons to write a nonfiction book:

  1. Maybe you survived a harrowing experience and want to give others the strength to fight through their issues.
  2. Your business expertise may have driven you to the top of your field and you’d like to help others succeed.
  3. Perhaps you’ve been blogging for years and have built your brand and you’re ready to write a book.

There are so many reasons to write a nonfiction book, but people always seem to focus on the reasons why they can’t. They make excuses like, “I’m not a writer” and “I wouldn’t know where to start.”  Working with a book coach online can help you start and finish your book, and it will ensure that you put out a quality product.

Work With a Coach Online

Life is busy and it can be difficult to not only sign up for classes, but it also takes the time to commute to class. When you work with a book coach online, you can access instructional videos, lessons, and handouts at any time, day or night. Your study time is whenever you want it to be. My Group Writing & Publishing Program includes homework assignments that will ensure that you are making progress on your book, as well as one-on-one coaching sessions. Halfway through each of the 3 modules, you will have a 45-minute one-on-one coaching session where you can go over your work in greater detail, discuss any issues or challenges you are facing, and receive valuable feedback. At the end of each module, you will have another 45-minute one-on-one session to discuss your overall progress in depth.

Stay Motivated With a Group

The Group Writing & Publishing Program is perfect for people who want constant motivation and feedback. Without structure, it’s easy to put off writing your book. The Group classes force you to carve out time to work on your book. Each 16-week module includes weekly Group Coaching calls that allow you to discuss your progress and get feedback from other members. In short, it’s your own Book Mastermind! The lessons are available online all the time, and the weekly Group Coaching calls are scheduled on the same day and time each week. Flexibility for solo study is great, but the regular meetings with your fellow writers ensure that you receive your weekly dose of motivation. They give you the chance to share what you have been working on, receive feedback, and workshop with other authors, while providing accountability and guidance, every step of the way.

If you’re not a writer, don’t worry. You don’t have to have one sentence written, and you don’t have to be a professional writer to publish a powerful nonfiction book. You simply need to have an idea – and the commitment to see the process through, and I’ll help you every step of the way.

To get more details about the curriculum, read testimonials from past participants, and to register for the next session, click here!


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Writing A Book About Abuse

Abuse. It’s one of the hardest things for someone to experience and recover from and can present itself in many forms: emotional, physical, sexual, and even spiritual.  But one of the most under-reported forms of abuse in our country is domestic violence. Domestic violence against women continues to be one of the biggest problems in our country. Sometimes it’s obvious who these victims are, and other times she might not “look” like your average victim. Domestic violence victims come from all races, and all social, education, and economic classes. They could be someone you see in your own neighborhood.

These victims are not just abused physically, but emotionally, verbally, financially, and spiritually. You might be thinking, why don’t they just leave their abuser? It’s not as easy as you think. Many times, they’ve grown up in in a cycle of violence that began in childhood, and it follows them into their adult life. The feelings of being unworthy and undeserving were ingrained in them as children, and many of them witnessed horrors in their own home.

Take a look at some of these statistics:

  • 1 in 4 women will be victims of severe violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime.
  • 3 women are murdered every day by a current or male partner in the United States.
  • Over 4 million women experience physical violence by an intimate partner every year.
    Helen Gennari

    Helen Gennari

  • 8 million: The dollar amount working women lose every year due to time off from the job because of the abuse perpetrated against them by current or former male partners. The loss is equivalent to over 32,000 full-time jobs.

(Source)

Meet Helen Gennari: Author, LCSW, MSW

Helen Gennari is a licensed clinical social worker, psychotherapist, and advocate for abused women who has taught and counseled many women toward self-empowerment. She offers compassionate guidance and hope for healing, especially to women who have grown up with family violence. She believes that abused women can be more than survivors–that they can return to their true selves, replace the patterns that kept them imprisoned, and thrive as whole happy people. After working with Woman’s Place in St. Louis, a shelter for abused women, Helen was confronted with her own issues, which led to writing a book she initially never planned to write.

Hope and Help for Abused Women

helping abused womenWhen Helen first came to us with her book, she already had much of it written but needed some help to pull it all together and get it ready for publication. Her book: From the Heart of an Abandoned Daughter: My Personal Journey Through Family Violence and Beyond is her personal story about growing up with and surviving family violence, and how to work through the emotional aftermath. We are honored to have been a part of this journey for Helen and are humbled by the countless women that she helps daily. This book is a must-read for anyone affected by domestic violence and/or childhood family abuse.

If you or someone you know has an autobiography or memoir you would like to write, please contact us today and we can help make it happen!

 


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Book Reviews: The Ultimate Word Of Mouth Promotion

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This article originally appeared on BookBaby.com

When planning your book promotion and marketing, remember this equation: more book reviews equals more sales.

Excerpted from BookBaby’s latest guide, 5 Steps To Self Publishing, Part V of our series addresses why book reviews should be the cornerstone of your book marketing plan.

Book reviews should be the cornerstone of your book marketing plan. Most authors agree that reviews – good or bad – are critical to promoting your book, and here’s why:

    • Readers use them. In a recent Kindle Board survey, over 85% of all Amazon Kindle readers report they rely heavily on book reviews before making an online order.
    • It’s the ultimate WOM (word of mouth) marketing. Friends don’t let friends read bad books. Everyone wants to know about the next great book and no one wants to waste their time on a terrible one.
    • Reviews count heavily in the booksellers’ algorithms. More reviews and sales page views can equal higher ranking, better inventory position, and exposure to more book buyers. Reviews also affect the “If you liked this, then you may like that” book recommendation features on many sites. This is particularly helpful for a debut novel or authors with a smaller following.

Bottom line: More reviews equal more sales for authors and more invested readers. In addition, authors gain exposure to other book review sites, blogging communities, and book clubs.

How to get reviews

The good news: There have never been more book reviewers available to the self-published author. But before you go hunting for reviewers, make sure you’ve got the essentials you’ll need to attract and engage with reviews. At the minimum you should have:

  • Your book (obviously!). Some reviewers prefer digital copies so you should have both eBook file types (.ePub, .mobi), print copies, and even a PDF version. All must have images of your book cover. (Note: Even if you have Print On Demand distribution, you should fulfill the requests from your own supply of books for the personal touch.)
  • Mailing supplies for printed copies. Don’t skimp here – it needs to look and feel professional.
  • A press release about the launch of your book.
  • A cover letter. This should be a short and sweet introduction to you and your book.
  • Author biography. This is a good place to show your qualifications, particularly if you’re a nonfiction author.

How to find and work with reviewers

There are literally thousands of book reviewers and bloggers online, and most of them review books even though they aren’t paid. A quick search online can provide you with plenty of links, directories, and lists. We recommend sites like Midwest Book Review, Indie Reader, and Self-Publishing Review as a starting point.

Just as important as the “who” is the “how” of working with reviewers. Here are some ideas of how to engage and work with these very important people in your literary career:

  • Choose carefully. If you pick the wrong reviewer – one who doesn’t review your genre, for example – it’s a tremendous waste of time. It’s critical to find out what kind of books the reviewer likes to review and only select appropriate reviewers.
  • Meet the requirements. Some want you to just send the printed book. Some review eBooks, many do not. Conforming to their requirements saves both of you time.
  • Send the book on a timely basis. You’ve got their attention – don’t waste even a moment to get your book out to them. Don’t let them lose interest in your book.
  • Follow-up… gently. Stalking or harassing won’t help your cause. The reviewer is very likely doing this in his or her spare time. If you haven’t heard anything after a few weeks, it’s very appropriate to follow up to see if they still intend to write the review.
  • Thank the reviewer. It’s common courtesy, but it also shows you appreciate the time and effort someone else took to help bring your book to the attention of more people. It’s also something they’ll remember when it’s time to review your next book!

This post was excerpted and adapted from 5 Steps To Self Publishing: All the essential information you need to go from manuscript to marketplace. Download your free copy today.

 

Find your way to self-publishing success in just 5 easy steps with this 62-page book. Yours absolutely free.

About BookBaby

Based in the Philadelphia-area, BookBaby is a team of authors, poets, bloggers, and artists — so they know the thrills and challenges of bringing a book into this world.

Since 2011, BookBaby has helped thousands realize their publishing goals by offering the largest eBook distribution network, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, and many other popular retailers in over 170 countries around the globe.

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.

 

 


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Thanksgiving: Incorporate the Practice of Gratitude Daily – Not Just One Day a Year

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The Thanksgiving Holiday is celebrated by millions throughout this country, thanks to the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Indians. In 1621, they shared an autumn harvest feast that historians acknowledge as one of the first Thanksgiving celebrations. But it wasn’t until in the midst of the Civil War in 1863 that President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held each November (Source).

This year we celebrate Thanksgiving on Thursday, November 23, 2017. Many celebrate this holiday by taking a moment to express their gratitude for blessings or goodwill they’ve received over the course of the year and then share a feast with family and friends.

But what if we made the practice of gratitude a daily part of our lives, not just once a year? It’s interesting that President Lincoln declared a day to give thanks while in the midst of chaos and turmoil. Could there be a hidden lesson that we can all learn? What would happen to our lives and daily outlook if we decided to practice gratitude on a daily basis in spite of what our circumstances looked like? It turns out that practicing gratitude each day may do more for your life than most realize.

Benefits of Practicing Gratitude Daily

Psychotherapist and author Amy Morin published an article in Forbes Magazine entitled “7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude That Will Motivate You to Give Thanks Year Round.” In it, she lays out the benefits of practicing gratitude daily that I’d like to share.

It wasn’t until I became an adult and had gone through a few trials and tribulations that I learned about the art of gratitude. My circumstances at the time may not have changed overnight, but my outlook on life did. I was no longer focused on just my problems because when I began to incorporate this practice into my life, I realized that the blessings I’d been given significantly outweighed my problems. Here are a few of my favorites from her article:

  1. Gratitude Opens The Door To More Relationships

According to a 2014 study in the journal Emotion, showing appreciation and a simple thank you either through a note–or just acknowledging someone else’s contributions–can lead to more opportunities. It makes people feel good to be appreciated, and in return it makes you feel good too!

  1. Gratitude Improves Physical and Psychological Health

Leading gratitude researcher, Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D. concludes that gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to practicing gratitudefrustration and regret. And according to a 2012 study in Personality and Individual Differences,  grateful people experience fewer aches and pains, and they report feeling healthier than other people.

I can personally attest to both of these. Toxic emotions cause toxic health problems if they’re left to fester. Gratitude, if practiced consistently, slowly erodes the rust that toxic emotions cause to your soul and makes you feel physically better.

  1. Gratitude Improves Self Esteem

Studies have shown that gratitude reduces social comparisons. Rather than becoming resentful toward people who seem to be better off financially or professionally (which reduces your self-esteem), people who practice gratitude are able to appreciate other people’s accomplishments.

President Abraham Lincoln was a thinker ahead of his times, and I believe he personally knew the benefit of practicing gratitude. He had many trials in his lifetime, yet was able to accomplish many great things in spite of the setbacks.

This year, enjoy this Thanksgiving holiday with your loved ones and consider sharing the importance of daily gratitude during a conversation. It’s a gift they will always be grateful for.


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Author Feature Jim Canfield: A Classic Rewrite of CEO Tools by Kraig Kramer  

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Leading an organization to success and maintaining that success is no easy feat. People sometimes look at successful companies and think “Wow, that’s a great company,” without thinking about how that company became a success. Executive leaders often find themselves scrambling to create a winning strategy that will take their company to the next level.

But what if there was a manual to help you answer questions like: Is your business positioned to profit in tough times? Can you make sense of what your CFO is telling you? Do you know what really creates sales in your business? Do you know how to hire, grow, and keep top talent? If you’re an Executive Leader and want to confidently answer those questions, CEO Tools by the late Kraig Kramer, updated and rewritten by Jim Canfield, may be just the book you need.

Meet Jim Canfield: Managing Director of CEO Tools, Author and Executive Coach

As managing director of CEO Tools and consultant to Aprio LLP, a CPA-led advisory firm, Jim provides winning strategies and business performance tools that empower CEOs to drive profitable growth. He brings a unique blend of experience, including extensive learning in leadership theory and practice as well as “been there, done that” practical experience from running several companies.

Jim has a long history of working with Executive Leaders. Before joining CEO Tools, Jim served as CEO of Renaissance Executive Forums, a leading membership organization for CEOs. He also worked with Vistage, the world’s largest CEO organization, as Chief Learning Officer and VP of west coast operations. He facilitated several CEO groups in Memphis, for which he won a “Chair Excellence” award. He has also logged over 10,000 hours as an executive coach.

When he’s not working, Jim enjoys a variety of hobbies including golf, cooking, yoga, and competitive athletic events. His goal this year is to compete in at least one competitive event every month in 2017. So far, these events have included several 5k races, a 32-mile bike race, a sprint triathlon, and an obstacle course race.

We were excited when Jim came to The Book Professor and wanted to rewrite Kraig Kramer’s, CEO Tools. The new version is titled CEO Tools 2.0.  It is updated with a new format and new case studies from companies that have followed and benefited from the book since its original publication.

It’s a challenge to take a classic business book that is known and loved by thousands and update it. The goal is to remain faithful to the original concepts and constituency, while attracting new readers to the work. Jim and his colleagues at Aprio will use the CEO Tools content as a launchpad for a suite of online tools, workshops, presentations, and a certification program for coaches and consultants.

 This book will be available in January! Stay tuned for its release date—you won’t want to miss this one! If you or someone you know has always wanted to write a book, reach out to us, and we will help you make it happen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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write a business book

What Type of People Do We Work With? Entrepreneurs

I love the fact that you don’t have to be following some grand plan or know exactly where you’re going in order to be on the right track. Let me explain. I’ve spent a lot of time–years, actually–pursuing things that weren’t really my thing but that I could do fairly well. In other words, I spent a lot of time trying not to be me.

Ultimately, my true gifts pulled me back, and that’s when life got amazing. I officially became an entrepreneur and started my business as a nonfiction writing coach, which is why I love working with entrepreneurs. They’re passionate, inspirational, and although life may temporarily take them on a different course, they eventually return to their true calling. I’m living proof of that.

How to Write a Business Book

If you’re an entrepreneur, you wear dozens of hats and are running, running, running all the time. So many ideas, so many projects, so many directions!  You’ve learned so much along the way that could help others get beyond their own entrepreneurial struggles.

Entrepreneurs write a business book for a number of reasons:

write a business book

  1. You have something to share that will benefit others.
  2. You want to leave a legacy that will impact the future.
  3. You see others struggle and have learned how to overcome obstacles.
  4. You want to showcase your business and the path to success.

When you write a business book, you establish yourself as an expert, increase your credibility, and attract a following.

If you’re not a writer, don’t worry. You don’t have to have one sentence written, and you do not have to be a professional writer to publish a powerful nonfiction book that sets  you apart from your competition. You need to simply have an idea – and the commitment to see the process through.

If you’re an entrepreneur who wants to write a book, reach out to us. We will help you get it done!


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October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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By Tasha Hudson,
Operations Manager at The Book Professor

Just about everyone has been affected by breast cancer or knows someone who has had the disease. It could be your mother, wife, sister, grandmother, neighbor, friend, or co-worker. While more and more women are being cured of the disease, countless others have, unfortunately, lost the battle. I’m humbled by the strength and perseverance of all who continue the fight today.

I’ve never had breast cancer, and I don’t have first-hand knowledge about the matters these brave women endure. But my heart has been torn as I’ve watched those close to me battle this disease. When someone I care about is in the midst of pain, I have an inner urge to do something. Have you ever felt like that?

I can’t take away the disease or their pain, but I can do something by being the shoulder they cry on and the support person they need–even if they simply want to scream. If you’re like me and have the urge to do something, then participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Month: October 1-October 31, 2017.

Ways To Get Involved for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Women – Perform a Self-Breast Exam

One of the best ways to fight this disease is through early detection, and 40% of breast cancers are detected by women who find a lump in their own breast. Self exams should be performed each month, not just during breast cancer awareness month. John Hopkins University, encourages all women to perform self-breast exams once a month. For more information on how to perform a self-breast exam, please visit the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

breast cancer awareness

 Participate in a Local Breast Cancer Awareness Walk

If someone you love is fighting breast cancer, what better way to support them and countless others than to walk right alongside them, even if it’s just for a day? Your presence alone will add to the feeling of unity and support. No one should endure this disease alone, and walking with the women who suffer can be a great encouragement. Contact your local Susan B Komen office for a list of walks in October.

Donate Your Time or Money

There is no certain cure for breast cancer, but that doesn’t mean that doctors aren’t working around the clock to find one. More research is needed. Donate to your favorite breast cancer organization or even host an in-person or virtual party. If you can’t make a monetary donation, no worries. Spread awareness by sharing some educational content about breast cancer on social media to your Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

Breast cancer is not a woman’s disease. It affect husbands and sons and fathers, too, and we can do something to help raise awareness or find a cure.

 


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