Tasha Hudson | Write a Nonfiction Book with The Book Professor

Author Archives: Tasha Hudson

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I Started My Book But Got All Tangled Up

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As a nonfiction book coach, we often work with people that have never written a book before. We also get calls from people who’ve already started writing a book but got tangled up along the way. Maybe that’s where you are right now. You were really excited about your project, and you jumped in with both feet and started to write. But it wasn’t long before your writing was all tangled up. You had lots and lots of ideas floating around in your head, but now you can’t make sense of them, and you know they won’t make sense to anyone else.

The first thing you need to do before you do anything else is: cut the cord. Cut yourself free from the jumbled writing and start anew—this time with a concrete plan. You’ll probably be able to salvage some of what you’ve written, but you can’t move forward unless you start afresh.

I’m not really a storyteller myself. I tend to get all tangled up when I try and tell stories.

—Daniel Day-Lewis

Start With A Plan

I remember a conversation I had with my friend George. George, a successful businessman, had been writing a book to help others jumpstart their careers.

“I started writing my book,” he said, “but now I just don’t know what I’m doing. It’s a mess.”

“Don’t be too hard on yourself, George. If you’ve never written a book, how would you even know how to get started?”

“That’s it. I didn’t know where to start, so I just started. Now I can’t make heads or tails of any of it.”

“I know exactly what you need to do. But I’m going to ask you to set everything that you’ve written aside and to start from the beginning. We need to build the foundation of your book.”

“What does that mean—build the foundation?”

“We start with some Foundational Questions and distill all your thoughts into a single Purpose Statement. Once we have that Purpose Statement and we’ve defined your audience, we create BookMAPs that are a visual representation of everything that will be in your book. When you have these BookMAPs, you can write in an organized manner with cohesive themes.”

“But what about what I’ve already written? It seems like a waste of the time I’ve already spent to put it aside and start over.”

“It’s not a loss at all. We’ll figure out where it fits on your BookMAP, and we’ll plug it in at the appropriate spots.”

If you’ve already started writing your book, you may not want to go back to the beginning. I understand that. There’s nothing I despise more than doing something over. When you have a step-by-step process to follow, you have clear direction about how to write a book. It’s like having a recipe to follow when you’re cooking—essentially a set of instructions—to follow when writing a book.

That’s the kind of process I offered George. He enrolled in an Executive Group Coaching class and followed the instructions step after step after step until he’d completed his manuscript.

“I can’t believe how different this is from what I started with,” he said. “There’s no way I could have done this by myself. It was such a mess before, and now it all flows together and makes sense.”

“It’s really a great book,” I assured him, “and you did it all yourself. All you needed was a foundation to build from. After that, you followed the steps.”

It was all about cleaning up what George already had, putting it in the right order, and adding what was necessary to fill the gaps.

 

What about you? If you’ve gotten all tangled up in your writing, don’t fret and don’t put it aside. You can straighten it out and continue in an organized manner. Contact us today and we can show you how!

 


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Process Of Writing a Book—What Are The Steps?

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As a coach, public speaker or business leader, you have the opportunity to influence millions. You have the expertise and solutions that can help others. You know how to tell a story, and you have testimonials. You’re talented and what you have to say matters. But do other people know how credible you are? Do they know you’re an expert in your field? If not, you can increase your credibility and attract a following by writing your book with The Book Professor.

But, you might be thinking: how do I write a book? I don’t know the first step. Don’t worry, you don’t have to have one word written. I’ll walk with you on this journey and show you the steps to take.

 

Building with multiple staircases

Work With The Book Professor And Write a Top Quality Book

Writing a top quality book requires you to follow all the writing, design, and publishing conventions—which is a lot to learn.

The good news is, you don’t have to learn all these conventions. You can work with professionals like me who are deep in the publishing industry. Here, in a nutshell, is the process we’ll follow:

  • Editing and Testing

Once you’ve written your draft manuscript, it’s time to turn it over for editing by one or more professionals and testing by a focus group of readers.

  • Developmental Editing

Every top-notch author—and that’s what you aspire to be—has a first-class developmental editor. That professional takes a look at your manuscript and instructs you on critical elements, such as its structure and flow. A developmental editor is crucial for every author, particularly if you are not a professional writer.

  • Testing Your Message

The best way to learn if your manuscript achieves its goal is to gather a group of six to ten people who are part of your target market—a kind of focus group that works independently.

  • Final Editing

For this round of editing, you need a line-level editor. Your editor will scrub your work and make corrections in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and sentence structure.

  • Book Title and Design

Did you know there’s an entire psychology that applies to the design of book covers? Your book cover and your title work together to invite potential readers to purchase your book. Together, they communicate the essence of your book, while starting to answer a question in the potential reader’s mind: “What’s this book about?”

  • Proofreading

If you want a flawless manuscript, you must hire a professional proofreader after your designer has laid out your book. The fresh eyes of a professional proofreader are needed to catch errors that will undermine your credibility. You skip this critical step at your—and your book’s—peril!

  • Book Production

When it’s time to produce your book, you have some options. You can use an on-demand printer, such as Amazon or BookBaby, who only print the books after they are sold. Some authors, however, want to maximize their profits by investing in some inventory. If that’s the case, you can work with a local or regional printer, order a large quantity of books, and warehouse them until they’re sold. Either way, we will guide you on the best option for your book.

You can spend a lot of time and money to write your book and still end up with a substandard product—like all too many self-published authors. If you want your book to establish you as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, and attract a following you must work with professionals. There’s no wiggle room here. Contact The Book Professor today and we can help you take the next step!


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Author Feature: Beth Standlee-People Buy From People

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As a salesperson, do you find it challenging to engage in meaningful conversations with clients? In a world driven by social media, email, and the day-to-day demands, it can be hard to make the most of your time when you do have the opportunity to present your product or service face-to-face. It can feel like the culture only wants to connect through social media and stifle real conversation. But it doesn’t have to be. If you’re a salesperson looking for ways to make meaningful conversations that lead to sales and increased profitability, you must remember one thing, no matter how computer savvy your client may be: People will always buy from people.

Meet Beth Standlee, Keynote, Author, CEO/Founder of Trainertainment L.L.C.

At age 19, Beth was pregnant, unwed and dropping out of college. Today, she is the founder and CEO of a successful sales training and sales coaching company. There’s a reason her story ends this way, and it’s the confidence she gained from embarking on a sales career journey that taught her more than she ever dreamed possible.

Someone once said that when Beth talks about sales, it goes from black and white to color. That’s Beth. Her passion to help others never ends. Whether it’s five people or five thousand, she has ’em in her hand. You can’t say no to that passion. And she believes deeply that you can have it, too.

People Buy From People: How To Personally Connect In An Impersonal World

Equal parts smart and sass, Beth Standlee is an energetic and entertaining expert in the art of sales and how the profession elevates women personally, financially, and spiritually. From earning a new car every year in Tupperware sales, to selling high-tech solutions, and eventually leading her own sales and training company, Beth has never stopped selling—because sales have been the gateway to her full and satisfying life.

A 1-to-1 client of mine, I can attest that this is not another “how to” sales book. In the age of internet sales and automated communications, Beth takes us back to the basics and reminds us that People Buy From People! What’s her secret? It’s connecting first to create the kind of meaningful conversations that result in closed sales.  The purpose of this book is to introduce a simple, proven, and personal sales process. Beth’s overarching goal is to help others learn how to sell more and have fun doing it, so they gain more financial and personal freedom to improve their lives.

The book is available now. Click here to get your copy today! You won’t want to miss this one! It has been my privilege and pleasure to work with Beth.

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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A Poorly Written Book Can Kill Your Credibility

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As soon as I left the podium at a networking event last fall, a beautifully dressed woman walked up to me with a book in her hand. She explained that she was a public speaker and had written the book to boost her credibility. Then she offered her book to me as a gift.

“Wow! Congratulations,” I said. “Writing a book is a lot of work. Not many people do that. Does it help you get more speaking engagements?”

Her beaming smile disappeared, and she replied, “Not really. I’d hoped it would, but it hasn’t caught on yet.”

“What do you mean?”

“I send it out with my speaking proposals, and I thought it would give me an advantage and result in new business. But so far, I haven’t seen any results.”

Later, I looked through her book. The problem was obvious. The cover was pitiful; it looked like something a child had designed. When I opened it up, things got worse. She’d used an overly large, fourteen-point font for the text, perhaps to make the book longer. The copyright page was not formatted properly, and the margins in the chapters weren’t fully justified.

And then I started reading. The woman might have been a great speaker, but she couldn’t write or punctuate a clear, concise sentence. That’s okay for a draft manuscript, but this was her published book. She obviously hadn’t hired a professional editor to polish her ideas into a marketable product. So it was no surprise that the book hadn’t built her credibility. It had, in fact, killed it.

 

“It takes a lot of effort to win back credibility after having lost it so heavily.”

—Giorgio Napolitano

 

Your Book Should Enhance Your Brand, Not Distract From It

Her story is not uncommon. A lot of people give me their books, and I see these same types of serious flaws all the time. Self-publishing has opened a door, and anyone can now write and publish a book—which is a very good thing. But self-publishing doesn’t mean do-it-yourself publishing. Publishing is an industry—a very old one—and the people who are successful hire professionals who know the conventions and can help them produce high-quality products.  

We’re talking about your reputation. Everything you put in your book is either going to enhance your reputation or detract from it.

You’ve probably spent quite a bit of time and energy in your business, you deliver excellent products or services, and you want that reputation of excellence to be evident in your book. Your book should be an extension of you, an enhancement of your brand. Accept nothing less.

If you want to establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, and attract a following, you don’t want to write a book. You want to write a top-quality book. That requires you to follow all the writing, design, and publishing conventions—which is a lot to learn.

The good news is, you don’t have to learn all these conventions. You can work with professionals like me who are deep in the publishing industry. I can walk you through all the steps, from your initial idea to your finished product, and the result will be a professional product that stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the best on the market.

If you or someone you know is ready to take the next step in writing a high-impact nonfiction book, please contact us today!


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Group of hands

Writing Your Book-The Power of We

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I don’t know if you’re a goal-setter, but I’ve become one—somewhat reluctantly. I don’t like to set goals because I don’t really want to be accountable to them. I don’t want to set a goal and fail, so I prefer just not to do it. And yet, if I don’t set goals, I don’t accomplish anything significant.  It’s the same when you write your book. It all starts with a goal.

When I first started the practice of goal-setting, I’d write down my ultimate goals and hope they’d come to fruition. But that wasn’t a realistic approach. I had to break each goal into smaller steps and execute those steps to move forward. There are tons of books on how to set goals and break them into smaller tasks, and that’s all well and good. But these resources weren’t helpful to me until I added the layer of accountability. I have to have someone to answer to.

If you want to write your book, you not only need a step-by-step plan, you also need structure and accountability. It takes a year to write a book, and it isn’t reasonable to expect that you’ll keep going and going week after week, for fifty-two weeks, without a little kick in the pants every now and then.

We’re All In This Together

Human beings are social animals, and many of us stray off the path if we get isolated from a group. We were designed to be known and to know others. The Lone Ranger, the self-made man or self-made woman, the I-did-it-my-way persona are myths. We need each other and function best in community. It’s how our brains are wired.

That’s why my Executive Group Coaching classes are so effective. Limited to ten people, a group functions as your Book Mastermind. Every person in the group starts with only one thing—an idea—and at the end of the journey, you all end up with books. It’s not only a rich experience that you share with others. It’s the power of the group that keeps you going.  

It’s the same approach that made Weight Watchers the most successful approach to long-term weight loss. Their formula is based on weekly meetings and strict accountability to the group and to the scale.

When you write your book with our Executive Group Coaching class, we follow a step-by-step process that provides accountability. It’s a weekly commitment. Each week, you have a new lesson that includes homework to complete. And each week, in a one-hour group conference call, each member reports on the progress he or she made and any roadblocks or challenges encountered. Of course, a lot of scrambling happens on days before our group coaching calls, but that’s to be expected. It’s the jolt that keeps you moving forward, step by step by step and week by week by week.

Why is accountability so effective? For me, it’s an ego thing. I simply don’t want to fail, and I certainly don’t want to fail in front of anyone else. My pride can make me push myself when my will tells me to give up.

There’s something about establishing a regular habit, a regular rhythm, that when coupled with accountability, leads us to achieve our goals. Just like I need the rhythm with my trainer, the rhythm of Executive Group Coaching is the key to finishing your book.

CrowdYou Will Never Be Less Busy

Once this habit of accountability is established, you have to protect it as if your life depends on it. Skip a couple of group coaching calls, and you’re like an ember that’s rolled out of the fire. You may think you’ll keep up with the lessons on your own but then find that there’s never a good time to watch the lessons or do the homework. Soon you’re so far behind that you rationalize that you don’t need to write your book after all—or that you’ll pick it back up again next month, next year, when you aren’t so busy.

Do you really think you’ll ever get less busy?

The members of my Executive Group Coaching classes who don’t finish are the ones who skip our weekly calls. So if you want to write your book at the end of the year, guard the time for our group coaching calls as if your book depends on it—because it does!

The group coaching calls aren’t simply for accountability; they’re fun, too. You get to know other professionals—many from outside your industry—and learn how they’re impacting the world. Some groups are international, so you may get a global perspective on your work. These weekly coaching sessions have spawned quite a number of longstanding friendships among participants.

A Mastermind functions best when all members are invested and engaged, which is why Executive Group Coaching cohorts are limited to ten. After all, you need plenty of time to talk about your writing and get feedback on your work.

The other participants give you that much-needed feedback and are the first test ground for your material. As the group bonds and you function as a Mastermind group, your confidence in your message and as an author grows. By the time your book is published, you’ll have grown your “sea legs,” so to speak, and you’ll be ready for your launch into the public sphere.

Who wouldn’t want a group to cheer you on week after week until you all have your books completed? What about you? Are you ready to write your book with a group and experience the unity, accountability, and long-lasting friendships along with having a book in your hand at the end of a year? You are important and what you have to say matters.  If so, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step!

 


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You Can’t Skip Hiring a Cover Designer

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

Readers are basing their book-purchasing decisions on a single image with a few pixels. That’s one reason you need the services of a professional cover designer.

Now, more than ever, readers are literally judging your book by its cover. With more than 75 percent of book sales happening online, your cover’s design is a tipping point in a one-click decision.

It used to be that readers would come through a brick-and-mortar shop, pick a book up, and leaf through it for a few pages before making a buying decision. Now, readers are basing their purchasing decisions on a single image with a few pixels.

That means you have to have a strong design, and finding the right cover designer for your book is a crucial first step in getting there.

Before you pick one at random and shell out a few hundred dollars, consider the following.

How can I find the right cover designer?

Cover designers frequently list their services on freelancer marketplaces like UpWork or Guru. Or you can make it real easy on yourself and go with the professionals in the BookBaby Design Studio.

Once you’ve found a candidate or two, look through their online portfolios. Do you like the work they’ve done? Do they have a solid number of titles under their belt? Are the other covers in their arsenal in the same or similar genre to your book?

Pay attention to that last question

A book designer with experience in mystery novels is going to know how to make your book look like it fits within that genre. That’s crucial, since mystery readers are going to look at your cover for a split second and decide immediately whether or not it looks like a book for them. That doesn’t mean the same designer will be adept at designing a memoir or nonfiction cover that suits your title.

Do the process in reverse

Check titles in your genre to see if they’ve listed the cover artist and reach out to the ones whose designs you like. If there’s no listing, try messaging the author directly. Self-published authors typically want to help — especially if it means they get to talk about their books.

Does the designer have the right skills?

Just because someone can make a lovely poster for a piano recital, it doesn’t mean they’re going to make an impactful book cover. Book cover design is a niche with rules, format requirements, and genre-specific needs. A book designer will know this.

Will you own the rights to the design?

In all creative industries, discussing ownership and rights upfront is critical. There are authors who have published their books — with covers they paid for — only to have the designer demand they take it down.

It helps to have your own contracts prepared in advance so you have a starting point for negotiations. Include the expected timeline, rate, and terms for the cover design. This means stating the date the cover will be completed, how much you’ll pay for it, how many revisions you’re entitled to, what happens if the contract is terminated, and who owns the rights to the finished work.

Working with a designer should be a collaboration

It’s your job to give your designer the broad strokes of what you want in your cover design — it’s their job to deliver. But this doesn’t mean a designer can read your mind. Provide covers that inspire you. Send them a Pinterest board, a video montage, a bunch of paint chips with poetry on them — whatever it is that you feel best communicates the look you want for your book cover.

And then, talk it through. Be clear and thorough. Answer questions. Ask for changes on first or second drafts and know that it’s okay to walk away if the relationship begins to head south. If a designer isn’t giving you what you’re looking for, or if after two revisions the cover still isn’t right, it’s okay for you to cancel your contract. You can find another designer but you can’t buy a second chance at impressing your readers.

At the end of the day, you could publish War and Peace with a million-dollar marketing budget, but if the cover is wrong, you’re still going to lose. Get a great cover and increase the chances you’ll get your book into the hands of readers who will love it.


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Best Practices to Stay on Schedule When Writing a Book: Stick To Your Schedule and Clear Your Head

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Earlier this year I talked about the importance of blocking out your time when writing a book and even provided an example of my schedule in a block format. But what good is having a schedule if you don’t stick to it? When it’s time to start, don’t make one more phone call; turn off your phone. If you want coffee, have it on your desk when you sit down at your appointed time. Don’t play games with yourself. If you’re tired, then do it tired. If you’re frustrated, then do it frustrated. If you feel stuck, then do it while feeling stuck.

Having said that, there could be something that stands in your way. It’s your brain. For example, it’s time to write, and you know what you’re going to write. But you just got home after a long commute, or you were balancing your checkbook five minutes earlier, or you dropped your kids off at school after a hectic morning. Your brain can’t simply shift from chaos to creative; it needs time to transition.

You’ve probably heard a lot about writer’s block and that some writers claim they can’t write a word because of it. That’s bunk. There’s no such thing as writer’s block. It simply means that a writer isn’t writing, and the only way to correct that is to write.

Writers Block Strategy—Clear Your Head

You can write, and you can write at any time and any place. I even contend that you can write your book in fifteen-minute increments if all you have is the back of a napkin and a pen. Your biggest challenge isn’t finding time to write; it’s clearing your head to do it.

Here’s a little exercise that will help you do that. Read it through a couple of times and then give it a try. It’s a simple guided meditation.

Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath. Breathe in . . . and out, in . . . and out.

Keep your eyes closed.

Picture a paperclip.

Fasten it in your mind.

Look at it, feel it, regard it from all angles.

Now let the words that describe that paperclip explode in your mind. Shiny, smooth, cold. Continue to find words that describe the paperclip for thirty seconds. Exhaust your vocabulary.

You know that paperclip. You know it from all angles. You see it before you.

Keeping your eyes closed, remember your first kiss.

Feel it, smell it, taste it, love it, hate it, welcome it, resist it.

Your kiss, that kiss, you remember it don’t you?

Now open your eyes, and for the next five minutes, write—in detail—about that moment of your first kiss.

If you followed that guidance, in less than one minute you were able to clear your mind by putting all your focus on a simple, inanimate object. Then you switched your focus to something else that was memorable, and you were prepared to write.

This technique can work for you every time you sit down to write. You don’t have to limit your item to a paperclip; any simple item will do. I like screwdrivers, coffee mugs, picture frames, staplers—whatever. The trick is to fully visualize the item and let the descriptive words pop. Then, when I turn my attention to what I need to write, I’m no longer thinking about email, budgets, employees, or pets. I’m fully focused on my subject matter. Try this exercise next time you sit down and write and get ready for the creative juices to flow!

What about you? Are you ready to take that step and start writing your book and put these strategies into action? Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!

 


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Getting Published

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If you’ve written a book that can change lives, save lives, or transform society and you want to get published, keep reading to learn how!

Stonebrook Publishing is the publishing arm for The Book Professor authors, but we also publish other authors’ work. We offer a unique model in the world of hybrid publishing and strictly work with high-impact nonfiction material that will either save lives, change lives, or transform society. We are “publishing with a purpose.”  

You invest in our services, and when your book is published, all proceeds from book sales belong to you. In fact, the funds from sales are automatically deposited in your account each month. After you’re published, we collect nothing further from you for that project.  

Many self-publishing platforms publish anything and everything they can get their hands on, but that’s now how we work because we aren’t a self-publishing platform.
We are a small press dedicated to nonfiction. We carefully evaluate each submission against these criteria:

  1. Does the work have a message that can change lives, save lives, or transform society?
  2. Does the writing meet our standards of writing?  

When we receive your manuscript, we evaluate it to determine what kind of editing is needed. Or if your manuscript is market-ready, you’ll jump right into The Complete Publishing Package.  

Our signature offering is TheComplete Publishing Package, an all-inclusive service to publish your nonfiction book. The cost is $7,500 and it includes:

  • Original, professional cover design with a minimum of 4 options for you to choose from
  • Custom interior design and print layout for up to 100,000 words  
  • Proofreading of your final manuscript
  • e-Book file conversion and upload  to 127 e-retailers, including Kindle, Nook, iTunes, and Kobo
  • Traditional distribution through our distribution partner, Ingram Publisher Services
  • ISBN purchase and assignment
  • Obtaining your Library of Congress control number (LCCN)
  • Filing the book copyright in your name with the Library of Congress

When your book is finished and available for purchase, all proceeds from the sales go directly to you!. There are no royalties to share. You did all the work, and all the proceeds from sales go to you!

 

If you or someone you know is ready to publish their book, contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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With Accountability and Rhythm, You Can Finish

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I don’t know if you’re a goal-setter, but I’ve become one—somewhat reluctantly. I don’t like to set goals because I don’t really want to be accountable to them. I don’t want to set a goal and fail, so I prefer just not to do it. And yet, if I don’t set goals, I don’t accomplish anything significant.  

When I first started the practice of goal-setting, I’d write down my ultimate goals and hope they’d come to fruition. But that wasn’t a realistic approach. I had to break each goal into smaller steps and execute those steps to move forward. There are tons of books on how to set goals and break them into smaller tasks, and that’s all well and good. But these resources weren’t helpful to me until I added the layer of accountability. I have to have someone to answer to.

If you want to write your book, you not only need a step-by-step plan, you also need structure and accountability. It takes a year to write a book, and it isn’t reasonable to expect that you’ll keep going and going week after week, for fifty-two weeks, without a little kick in the pants every now and then.

The Power of We

Human beings are social animals, and many of us stray off the path if we get isolated from a group. The Lone Ranger, the self-made man or self-made woman, the I-did-it-my-way persona are myths. We need each other and function best in community. It’s how our brains are wired.

That’s why my Executive Group Coaching classes are so effective. Limited to ten people, a group functions as your Book Mastermind. Every person in the group starts with only one thing—an idea—and at the end of the journey, you all end up with books. It’s not only a rich experience that you share with others. It’s the power of the group that keeps you going

In our Executive Group Coaching classes, we follow a step-by-step process that provides accountability. It’s a weekly commitment. Each week, you have a new lesson that includes homework to complete. And each week, in a one-hour group conference call, each member reports on the progress he or she made and any roadblocks or challenges encountered. Of course, a lot of scrambling happens on days before our group coaching calls, but that’s to be expected. It’s the jolt that keeps you moving forward, step by step by step and week by week by week.

Establish a Rhythm and Finish

Why is accountability so effective? For me, it’s an ego thing. I simply don’t want to fail, and I certainly don’t want to fail in front of anyone else. My pride can make me push myself when my will tells me to give up.

There’s something about establishing a regular habit, a regular rhythm, that when coupled with accountability, leads us to achieve our goals. Just like I need the rhythm with my trainer, the rhythm of Executive Group Coaching is the key to finishing your book.

Once this habit of accountability is established, you have to protect it as if your life depends on it. Skip a couple of group coaching calls, and you’re like an ember that’s rolled out of the fire. You may think you’ll keep up with the lessons on your own but then find that there’s never a good time to watch the lessons or do the homework. Soon you’re so far behind that you rationalize that you don’t need to write a book after all—or that you’ll pick it back up again next month, next year, when you aren’t so busy.

Do you really think you’ll ever get less busy?

The members of my Executive Group Coaching classes who don’t finish are the ones who skip our weekly calls. So if you want to have a book at the end of the year, guard the time for our group coaching calls as if your book depends on it—because it does!

What about you? Are you ready to establish a rhythm and finish your book? You can do this. Reach out to us today and we can help you take the next step!

 


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Writing a Book—Communicate Your Purpose With a BookMAP

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I was thumbing through a book that a new author had given me. From the title, I’d thought it would be about building inner strength, and I was interested in learning more. But as I scanned the pages, I felt like the author was shoveling piles of information at me—information about research studies, how the brain works from birth to adulthood, and a random review of another author’s work. The book didn’t deliver what the title promised. It was like the author had this bank of information that he needed to cough up, but he had no clue about what I wanted to learn. The book was about him, not me.

When you write your book, you’re writing for the reader, not yourself. So you’ve got to construct it from your readers’ perspective, not yours. Your job isn’t to push information on readers; it’s to offer them what they’re seeking. Your job is to deliver the reader to realize the purpose of the book. Your Purpose Statement is your compass, and it tells where you want to take your reader. BookMAP 2 works with your Purpose Statement to show how you’ll communicate the book’s purpose to your audience.

We’re all pilgrims on the same journey—but some pilgrims have better road maps.

—Nelson DeMille

BookMAP 2 Elements

Your second BookMAP will contain these elements:

  • Problems
  • Solutions
    1. Features
    2. Benefits
    3. Examples

Problems

What problems does the reader have? Think about why someone would purchase your book. Are they looking for ways to save money? Do they want to help their children? Are they seeking some type of fulfillment or satisfaction? Are they in the middle of a personal crisis? Are they floundering in business? What kind of problems do they have that can be solved by the solutions you present?

Solutions

There’s a lot to explain when it comes to your solutions, which is where your expertise comes in. You may be tempted to gush forth everything you know at this point, and I don’t blame you. You know a lot and have some brilliant ideas to share. In fact, it’s been a world of work to get where you are now, and the lessons were hard-earned.

Your job, however, is to present your solutions in a way that readers can follow and apply them, which means you can’t tell them what to do. You have to show them how you solved a particular problem or helped someone else to solve it.

The way you’ll show readers your solutions is by first focusing on—and later writing about—the features and benefits of your solutions, as well as examples.

Features and Benefits

According to Google, the definition of the word feature is “a distinctive attribute or aspect of something.” That’s what you’re going to record on BookMAP 2—the attributes and aspects of your solutions to the problems you’ve identified.

On the other hand, we’re all driven by “what’s in it for me?” If you want your audience to put your solution into practice, you need to tell them why they should. Why is it good for them? What will they gain? In other words, what’s the benefit? So for each feature of your solution, you’ll tell readers its benefit.

Examples

It’s all well and good to share the features and benefits of your solution, but if you can’t make the concept come alive in readers’ minds, the point will be lost and you won’t accomplish your purpose. The next step is to seal your message with a story. The story is your example.

Our brains are wired to respond to stories. Other than personal experience, hearing stories is the easiest way for us to learn. For each of the features and benefits of the solution, you’ll tell a story that engages readers and causes them to remember the lesson. It’s the story that will convince your readers; it’s the story that will lock the principle in their minds so they can apply it to their lives; it’s the story that will live on when all your words have faded away.

If you or someone you know is ready to write your book and learn how to communicate your purpose using our BookMap 2, contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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How To Get Media Coverage For Your Book

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

There is no one-size-fits-all marketing solution, but that doesn’t mean marketing your book is impossible. The media can still be a powerful partner, and here are five ways to get media coverage for your book.

It’s the most common dilemma in the publishing industry: “How do I market my book?”

This question plagues everyone who has written a book. We’re all searching for that “can’t-miss” marketing technique that will turn our books into best-sellers. And as the marketplace continues to grow , the question is only becoming more relevant. With more and more books being released, readers are increasingly hard to find.

There is no one-size-fits-all marketing solution, but that doesn’t mean marketing your book is impossible. When it comes to boosting your book’s sales, the media can still be a powerful partner.

Take, for example, the story of Carl Johan Ehrlin and his book, The Rabbit Who Wants To Go To Sleep.

Ehrlin, a Swedish psychologist, self published the book in 2010. He had little luck in selling his parenting guide online, so he started giving away free eBook copies. He sent one of those copies to a writer at the Daily Mail, a UK newspaper. That writer wrote an article about how he used the book to put his precocious children to bed.

The article was syndicated to other papers around the globe. Soon after, the book rocketed to #1 on the Amazon and New York Times best-sellers lists.

This is evidence that the media remains a reliable vehicle for promoting and selling books. While you might not achieve the explosive success of The Rabbit Who Wants To Go To Sleep, you can still position yourself and your work in such a way that newspapers, radio stations, websites, and even TV outlets take notice.

Here’s how.

Do a public relations audit

Take the time to think about what the media might find noteworthy and different about you. Are there past experiences that lend themselves to interesting stories? Do you have any industry connections that would pique the interest of a reporter? What aspects of your book are particularly press-worthy? Identify them, then sell them.

You should also conduct an internal audit. What do you hope to accomplish by getting media coverage? Are you trying to brand yourself and promote a business venture? Are you trying to establish yourself as a subject-matter expert? Are you simply hoping to have your book discovered by as many potential readers as possible? Knowing all of this will help you act more purposefully moving forward.

Target potential media partners tactfully

More media outlets, stations, and content sites exist today than ever before. This is a good thing, as it provides you with lots of potential partners, but it also means that the value of any of these partnerships — at least when assessed individually — is more diluted than ever before.

Put together an extensive list of potential partners to target before you start reaching out. Consider which outlets might be a good fit for your book or topic. Consult folks working inside these companies and who lend credence to both local and international opportunities. That paid off for Carl Johan Ehrlin.

Understand what the media needs

Before you start reaching out, consider what the folks on the receiving end of your pitch want and need. You’ll find, more than anything else, they need quality content — books that are well-written, interesting, and new. That’s a given.

So think about what other value your book might add. What tie-in to audiences can you establish? Can you capitalize on your location, content, or theme? Some books lend themselves to be more “newsy” or controversial. Does your book make an allegation or accusation? Does it challenge the status quo? If so, sell that. All these themes could be the cornerstone of your book pitch.

Develop a focused pitch

Finally, after you’ve done all your homework, draft your pitch.

What this means, essentially, is that you’ll need to need to create a press release. This should be based on your core message and informed by what aspects of your book you think might prove relevant to different editors. Chances are, the folks you’re pitching will not have read your book. You’ll need to explain why your book deserves attention and you’ll need to do it quickly and succinctly.

But also be prepared to change or edit your pitch over time. You might be surprised at some of the quirky things that grab the attention of a reporter. That means you need to be okay with trying different angles.

Keep to a PR schedule

Finally, you need to make sure you’re approaching this job with diligence and grit. As such, it pays to abide by a specific schedule. Start out with this rather standard timeline:

  • Six months prior to your book launch: Create your website. Brainstorm ideas and craft a book marketing plan.
  • Five months out: Develop your press kit and media pitches. Pull together your advance review copy (ARC) media list. Start to solicit testimonials, if possible. Research the media you plan to approach.
  • Four months out: Send out your advance review copies (ARCs) to media that have long lead times. Schedule book signings and appearances if possible.
  • Three months out: Follow up on ARC media, including local TV and radio programs. Continue to query book stores and speaking opportunities.
  • Two months out: Contact non-book reviewer media. Approach online reviewers.
  • One month out: Start scheduling interviews. Finish ARC follow-up. Follow up with online reviewers. Look for more blogs and websites for outreach opportunities. Send your media kit to local newspapers and weekly publications.
  • First 90 days after the publication date: This is the time for interviews and stories to run. Media and bookstores see it as new and you’ll be at your peak in terms of attractiveness.

Marketing your book takes a lot of effort, no doubt. But with a little luck and a lot of grit, you’ll broadcast the news and introduce more readers to your hard-wrought words.

And who knows? Depending on what partnerships you manage to form, you might find yourself on that all-important list near the back of The New York Times — alongside sleepy bunnies and all the authors whose work you aspire to match.


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Stages of Writing a Book

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You’ve got a strong message, and if you’ve been thinking about writing a nonfiction book, you may feel hesitant because you don’t know how to get started. That’s no surprise. You can spend a lot of time spinning your wheels and burning precious hours if you don’t have a process to follow. But when you have a step-by-step method and follow it faithfully, you can systematically write a high-impact nonfiction book that will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the best on the market.

Your starting point is here, where you have nothing. Your endpoint is the published book and its purpose, which is reflected in your Purpose Statement.  Let’s talk about the beginning stage-the BookMAP.

BookMAP 1: It’s Personal

When you take our book writing class, you’ll learn that your personal story is one of the most important parts of your book. Some writers, particularly if they’re writing a business book, want to leave out this part and simply share their knowledge or instruct the audience. That would be a mistake.

Before you can tell your readers anything, you must earn the right to be heard. Nobody likes to be told what to do, especially if they don’t know anything about you. What makes you an authority on this subject? Why should they listen to you? Those are the questions you answer when you share your own story.

And your readers don’t want the whitewashed version of you. Share your high points and the deep canyons, the wins and the demoralizing losses, the beautiful and the ugly. You must be real and transparent. So shuck off your pride that tells you if they know who I truly am, they won’t like me. That’s bunk. When you’re real, people will love you. When you’re open and honest, you give the reader permission to be open and honest, too.

I’m not saying it’s easy. It takes a lot of courage to be this vulnerable. We all want to put our best foot forward to make a good impression. We like to hide the messes we’ve made, but sometimes the mess has become your message.

That’s what’s so effective about my Executive Group Coaching classes. In this book writing class, you get to share your failures and foibles in a safe place, test out your message with others in the class, and gain strength from doing so—before you bare your skin to the world.

What about you? What personal story do you have inside? Contact us today, and we can help you get it out of your head and onto paper!

 


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