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Author Archives: Tasha Hudson

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The Book Professor-The One Stop Shop For Writing Your Book

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You’ve always wanted to write a book, but you haven’t been able to get that dream off of your bucket list. You know there’s something you can share with the world through your memoir, your leadership book, or your how-to guide, but you’re overwhelmed at the process and unsure of where to start.

That’s where I can help. I have spent more than 25 years developing my process for helping authors share what’s inside of them. Whether you have a manuscript in hand and need help with editing and marketing or if you don’t have anything written and aren’t sure where to start—we can help.

Three Options for Those Wanting To Write A Non-Fiction Book

  • Self-Study: Do you feel confident in your ability to dedicate the time and follow along with the material on your own? Maybe our Self-Directed Course is right for you. With weekly lessons and homework through the course, you receive a wealth of information and support all designed to help you complete your manuscript in less than one year. Click here for details.
  • Group Coaching Classes: Are you looking for the group support that comes with my group coaching? Consider the online group writer coaching option, which connects you with a group of writers to push and inspire you throughout the one-year process. Click here for details.
  • 1-on-1 Writer Coaching: If you’re looking for more in-depth help with writing and publishing, consider my 1-on-1 writer coaching. You’ll receive my one-on-one attention and support from concept to finished book. Plus, you’ll get it done faster than if you chose the Group Coaching classes. Click here for details.

 

Book Marketing Blues? We Got You

Frustrated with marketing your book yet? It’s never an overnight success, and the best approach is to implement a variety of strategies to get the word out. It takes a consistent effort to get the word out and drive traffic to book sales. And you can do it.

Why not add one or more new channels to your marketing efforts such as:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIN
  • Amazon
  • Your author website
  • Book reviews
  • Further book publicity

Take a look at all the book marketing options you have when working with us.  Want to take it a step further? Are you Interested in more speaking opportunities, catalog sales and special distribution? Learn about our bulk sales options here.

Publishing and Editing

Publishing is an industry, and a very old one. There are standards and conventions—from the writing, to the interior design, to the book cover, to the choice of paper and cover stock that most lay people don’t notice or even understand. But others will judge you on the quality of your book, which makes self-publishing very risky. If you want to write and publish a book that reflects your professionalism, you must work with professionals.

At our sister company, Stonebrook Publishing, we walk you through the entire step-by-step process to produce a professional book product that’s a credit to your name and accepted by the market.

Not Ready To Write Yet?

Are you thinking about writing a book but not quite ready to sign up for our Get My Book Out course for writers? Do you want just a taste of the Book Professor’s book coaching or want to learn about a specific topic? Take advantage of these Small Bite Seminars that can get you started!

Choose one or select them all — they’re easily affordable at only $39 each! With topics like:

What You Need To Know Before You Write and Publish Your Book

10 Mistakes New Authors Make And How To Avoid Them

A Simple Formula For Telling Your Story

How To Attract The Right Audience For Your Book

How To Purpose, Plan, and Title Your Book

How To Manage Your Time To Finish Your Book

Chose one or choose them ALL and get one FREE!

Through the combination of our three sister companies, The Book Professor®, Stonebrook Publishing, and Bookarma®, we are a one-stop shop for the entire book process. This includes the writing, editing, designing, publishing, marketing, and repurposing your book material into additional revenue-producing products.   

If you or someone you know wants to learn how to write a nonfiction book, please contact us today and we will be happy to help you take the next step!


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Goals of Writing a Nonfiction Book-Establish a Purpose

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One of the worst things you can do is write a book without a purpose. Your Purpose Statement is the foundation of your nonfiction book. It defines your mission and describes your job as the author: to deliver your audience to realize the purpose of your book. It’s clear, concise, and specific. And it’s the can’t-do-without-it guide for everything you’ll write.

Purpose Statement

The Purpose Statement is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a statement—a single sentence, not a paragraph—that states what the book will accomplish for its specific audience.

If you want your nonfiction book to make an impact, it must perform an action. If what you’re thinking about writing doesn’t deliver your audience to realize the purpose of your book, then leave it out.

Here’s a fill-in-the-blank formula that will help you craft your Purpose Statement:

The purpose of this book is to do action for audience.

What do you want your book to do? Hard question. Maybe it’s easier to explain what you don’t want it to do: You don’t want your book to raise awareness. Seriously.

You might think, I think I do want to raise awareness. Actually, you don’t. If you write a book to raise awareness, you miss an opportunity to change lives, save lives, or transform society.

You could write the most captivating, awareness-raising book in the world, but at the end, your readers’ response will be, “Well, that was interesting. Now I know about that.” Then they’ll shut the cover and promptly forget about it. Or maybe it will stick with readers a few days, and they’ll think, “Somebody should do something about that.” But that’s as far as it will go. In the end, you’ve spent your time, energy, emotion, and money to write a forgettable book.

You want to create change in a specific, targeted audience, and you can use this formula to write your Purpose Statement:   

The purpose of this book is to action for audience so they can result.

Here are a few examples that my clients wrote:

Example 1—Nancy Nelson, Lessons from the Ledge: The purpose of this book is to guide women in crisis to dig into their resilience, to push past the pitfalls, and to reframe the pain so they can thrive instead of merely survive.

Let’s analyze Nancy’s Purpose Statement in light of our formula:

The purpose of this book is to guide (action) women in crisis (audience) to dig into their resilience (result 1), to push past the pitfalls (result 2), and to reframe the pain (result 3), so they can thrive instead of merely survive (result 4).

Example 2—Craig Hughes, The Self-Driving Company: The purpose of this book is to inspire small business owners who are spread too thin, cash-strapped, and feel trapped by their business to take action that moves them from their current all­consuming, hands­on approach to the freedom of a self-sustaining enterprise.

Let’s break it down:

The purpose of this book is to inspire (action–part 1) small business owners who are spread too thin, cash strapped, and feel trapped by their business (audience) to take action (action–part 2) that moves them from their current all­consuming, hands­on approach to the freedom of a self­sustaining enterprise (result).

Example 3—Terry Lammers, You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know: The purpose of this book is to show (action) business owners who are seeking an exit strategy (audience 1) and people who want to purchase a company (audience 2) the critical steps and the resources needed to buy or sell a company. (result)

Practice these techniques when writing your own purpose statement for your nonfiction book, and watch your audience be motivated to change!

 


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Your Book Needs a Pre-Sale Period To Be Successful

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

A pre-sale period gives you an opportunity to build a foundation for your book’s success. Without spending the time and energy to make sure that foundation is ready, your book sales will suffer.

Want to know the best time to promote your book? Before it’s available to be sold.

Savvy authors know their pre-sale period can make or break a title and even start developing a strategy for targeting the market before their book is complete.  They understand that being “best to market” beats being “first to market.” The most successful authors are not thinking weeks in advance, but months.

I’d argue that your pre-sale period is so important, it should be the centerpiece of your book marketing and promotional campaign.

There’s a lot to do in your pre-sale period

Technically, your pre-sale period is the time between the moment you hand your book over to retailers to when it’s actually available to be shipped to readers.

First-time authors often see this time as a chance to relax. You’ve finally finished your book and shipped it to retailers. It’s time to take a break, right? Wrong. In fact, as an independent author, you now have a whole new series of responsibilities to take care of.

For example, if your book will be available on January 1, you need to make sure all the distributors you’ve enlisted to sell your book — Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. — know that your book should become available on that date. It’s your responsibility to make sure all your partners have their ducks in a row.

To complicate matters, each retailer has its own schedule and process for handling the ingestion of new books. Some are on a weekly schedule, others are monthly. Because this involves the shipment of a physical book, there is a lot of prep work involved to set up an inventory number in each retailer’s catalog database.

If you don’t work to make sure everything is good to go for your book’s launch from a logistical standpoint, your sales will suffer. This is one advantage of partnering with BookBaby: we make sure your book is available in all your desired retail locations in time for your release date.

BookBaby handles the pre-sale workload for you

After you’ve approved your book proof and the file is finalized, BookBaby will send your digital files and metadata to our entire retail store network, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Books-A-Million, and the Ingram and Baker & Taylor catalogs.

Your readers — old and new — can order your book once it’s available for pre-sale, which increases your chances of becoming a best seller.

If you’ve put in the work, as your book enters the various retailers’ systems, your listing will start appearing on retail websites around the globe — usually two to three weeks after you’ve finalized your files. This is when the critical part of your pre-sales period really starts and when the work you’ve put into getting everything set up for your book pays off.

It’s at this time that readers are able to purchase and pay for your book. This is exciting, but there’s a practical payoff: the longer your book is available for pre-order, the more time you have to send readers to Amazon and the other stores to accumulate orders. All these pre-sale orders count as sales on your release date, which gives you a good chance at cracking some top-100 bestseller sub-genre lists on sites like Barnes & Noble and Powell’s when that date comes.

Your pre-sale period is critical for your success on Amazon, but for different reasons, as your pre-sale numbers do not increase your chances of becoming a bestseller on Amazon. Amazon counts pre-sale orders on the day your book is actually ordered, not all combined on the eventual release date.

That’s unfortunate, but there’s a reason why your pre-sale period is important as a self-published author on Amazon (and every other retail outlet): inventory estimates.

During the pre-sale period, Amazon uses its inventory algorithm to build a sales forecast for new titles. Amazon takes into account things like product page views, adds to wish lists, and actual orders. This data is used to compile a two-week inventory model.

The more traffic you can send to your book product page, the more copies of your book Amazon will order and restock.

Essentially, this is a way of proving to Amazon that you have a following and that your book will be successful, which helps your book become successful. Titles that are in stock will be listed on Amazon as “Available” and will ship immediately.

If your book product page receives little traffic in the pre-sales period, Amazon will likely not stock any inventory of your book at launch. On your Amazon page, your book will be listed as “Available To Ship In 7 to 11 Days,” because Amazon knows that most new books will, at some point, see some sales.

If some period of time passes and still no traffic goes to your page, Amazon might move it to “Temporarily Out of Stock,” which is the online equivalent of walking into your local bookstore and finding that your book is not on the shelves. Your readers can still purchase your book, but they’ll have to be patient.

This hurts you badly as an independent author who is depending on Amazon to help your book sell: you need your book to be there when your growing base of readers go looking for it.

Here are some ideas to help build buzz around your release

  • Plan. Plan out a multi-week pre-order period with a different promotion each week to help build interest.
  • Contests. Hold contests, do chapter reveals, conduct giveaways, and host your own blog tours.
  • Promote. Include a link to the book product page in all your emails, tweets, and social media updates. This makes it simple for your customers to order quickly.

At the end of the day, it’s never a good idea to neglect pre-sales or otherwise rush the release of your book. 60 percent of BookBaby authors do some kind of pre-sale work through us, and they are, almost without exception, the most successful authors we work with.

Quite simply, you need to build a pre-sale period into your book release timeline. Doing so will help ensure you are employing a best-to-market strategy.


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How To Write a Book Online

Life is busy, and when you want to write a book, the task might seem daunting at first. But fortunately, due to advances in technology, you don’t have to leave your home to write your book. In fact, within one year, you can write a high impact nonfiction book without ever leaving your home—all online. When you work with a book coach and write a book 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. Our 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. If you’re looking for a method to complete your entire book online, you’ve come to the right place.

How Our Program Works

Each coaching group is limited to a maximum of 10 participants to allow for maximum participation and to give personal attention to each member.

The Curriculum
There are three modules in the program. Each module lasts 16 weeks:

Module One: From Concept to Concrete Plan-In Module One, we work together to build the foundation of your book, crystallize your message, and then build out two BookMAPs, which are the visual representation of everything that will be in your book.

Module Two: Write Without Ruts-In Module Two, you use those BookMAPs to build your book brick by brick and produce your first draft. This is where we pour everything out and get it all down on paper, share your writing with your fellow participants and gain valuable feedback. At the end of Module Two, you will have completed the first draft of your manuscript.


Module Three: Polish and Perfect-In Module Three, you begin the challenging work of making your manuscript ready for publication. All of our time is devoted to polishing your work and getting it as close to perfect as you can before you engage a professional editor to give it that final spit-shine. At the end of Module Three, you will have a manuscript that you developed, organized, wrote, and polished. You will have written your book! Then we’ll get it in the hands of a capable editor for that professional seal of approval.

Weekly Group Coaching Calls
All three modules are delivered online in 16-week modules. We start with a weekly Group Coaching call, which is scheduled on the same day and time every week. This is your own Book Mastermind, and during these calls, we review the lesson for that week, discuss what you wrote, and get valuable feedback from the other members.

It’s a dynamic process, and you learn a lot from each other and enjoy the camaraderie of other professionals who are also writing their books. Group Coaching calls are recorded and are available for replay in case you miss a session.

Accessing the course
During that week, you will log into the exclusive client portal and access the online material, which includes high-quality HD instructional videos, handouts to download and reference during the lesson, and your writing homework to complete before the next lesson. These online tools are available to you at any time of day or night and are accessible for a full year!

One-on-One Coaching Sessions
In addition to our weekly Group Coaching calls, you will also have two separate 45-minute video conferences per module with The Book Professor to discuss your work in greater detail. Your first conference is at the mid-point of the module during Week Eight, and the other is at the end of the module. During your conferences, we will focus specifically on your work, crystallize your message, address any challenges you may be having, and get you ready for the next step.


What about you? Are you ready to write a book online? If you or someone you know is ready to share your story with the world,  contact us today and we can help you with the next step!

 


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Should You Redefine Your Business Model?

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This article originally appeared in the “Book Marketing Matters Newsletter.”

Based on my 25 years as a participant in, and consultant to, the publishing industry, I estimate that close to 100% of self-published authors and more than 90% of independent publishers seek sales only through libraries and bookstores (both bricks and clicks). If you are in that category you are
significantly reducing your ability to reach and sustain profitable growth.

But what can you do? Look for sales in a larger, more profitable arena – non-retail markets. Examples are buyers in corporations, associations, schools and the military. Re-allocate your publishing company’s resources by focusing on buyers who will purchase your books, not for resale, but to give away. Create a new business model to focus on this untapped opportunity to increase your sales, revenue, and profits. Here is how you can re-evaluate your business model:

  1. Seek dual distribution. Selling only through bookstores is not necessarily bad, just limiting. It
    should not be your sole source of revenue. Look for additional sales to non-retail buyers who could use your content as a promotional tool, purchasing your books in large, non-returnable quantities.
  2. Lower the cost. Non-retail buyers are looking for promotional items that will help them reach their company’s (or association’s or school’s) objectives yet stay within their budgets. In this model your emphasis is driving down your unit costs – without sacrificing quality – so you can compete against coffee mugs, thermos bottles and similar items. You could do this by printing in larger quantities, eliminating unnecessary embossing or other frills, or publishing books in a more economical size.
  3. Raise the price. There are times when you might choose to be the high-priced entrant in your category. Reasons include creating an image of high quality, publishing content that is quickly
    outdated with short-term profit potential, marketing through a relatively complex distribution channel, experiencing high unit costs and seeking selective market coverage.
  4. Customize the form. Instead of selling only printed books, you might produce content in the form desired by your prospect. This might be an ebook, a booklet, a DVD, an audio book or even
    through personal presentations.
  5. Look for international sales. Generate additional revenue from sales outside our borders. This could be through selling the foreign rights to your books, having your content translated into other
    languages or entering into other cooperative arrangements.
  6. Integrate Vertically. There is no formal distribution channel that reaches most non-retail buyers. However, there are thousands of independent salespeople who call on them. Find groups
    or individuals to represent your books to corporate buyers. Or, you can sell directly to them. Or, we can do it for you (www.premiumbookcompany.com)
  7. Sell horizontally. If your content is suited for a particular function across industry lines organize
    your business around selling to a prospect who might be Human Resources Managers, Marketing Managers, Safety Directors or Executive Directors of Associations. You may have multiple prospective customers or markets. If so, organize your business to focus on the needs of your primary customers and seek experts in other areas to extend your reach without extending your resources. 

The key question is to ask yourself, “Does my current way of running my business optimize my revenue opportunities?” If the answer is no, look into other ways to generate more profitable sales. This does not mean abandoning that with which you are familiar, but re-organizing to create a new dimension for long-term growth.

For more information please visit www.bookmarketingworks.com


Brian Jud is the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS –www.bookapss.org), and the administrator of Book Selling University (www.booksellinguniversity.com) Contact Brian at brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.premiumbookcompany.com


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How One Consultant Makes a Bucketful Of Money Before 9AM…You Can Too!

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Brent knew that speaking is a powerful way to promote himself, but his next presentation was three months in the future, and that wasn’t going to help him help get clients right now. He needed a plan to shortcircuit all that and get something going… and it worked. Just how well did it work for him?

I’ll tell you… but first, let me tell you what he did…

He hosted what I call a “Power Breakfast”

Here’s how you can do the same thing…

Let’s face it… there’s nothing like face-to-face contact over coffee and bagels, sweet rolls, tortillas, toast, doughnuts or even English muffins!

To get started, book an early morning hotel or restaurant meeting room (or even better at your bank’s or CPA’s office conference room) for a breakfast meeting. Breakfast is an easier time to get people into a room. Once your invitees are at work, it’s harder for them to get away from day-to-day demands on their time. And forget about anything related to or after the cocktail hour…in my experience, you’ll lose them after the first drink! Trust me, I’ve been there!

Invite local acquaintances, clients, former clients, and referral sources. Send them two free “tickets” each and invite them to bring a guest. Have an assistant follow-up for RSVPs. I like to line up at least 15 attendees, so it looks better if you have some no-shows. Have “networking” for the first 20 minutes, then start your talk once they are nearly done eating.

Keep the food simple… like a continental breakfast to avoid distracting service hassles. Plan no more than 90 minutes for the entire event. Leave time in the end for questions and some time to visit with attendees at the end. In my experience, Thursdays are pretty good days but may vary in your business… so do a little research.

Boost attendance by giving your talk a benefit-laden title that makes people want to attend!

Your objective in all this? To meet people and demonstrate that you are a credible authority in your area of expertise who can help them. Have someone else introduce you with a double-spaced one-page intro you have prepared in advance. (Let them see it in advance so they don’t trip over the words when they are reading it.) That might be someone like your banker or accountant “sponsor” who can also benefit from meeting the same people. Heck, they may even help share the food costs with you!

I promised to tell you how he did… Here is the email he sent me after I gave him the idea…

“I’m holding my 2ndpower breakfast next week with 10 invitees. The first one led to 2 new engagements and the idea for a new blog post. Since I live in Cajun country, we called it bagels and boudin. Thanks for the idea!”   – Brent Henley, Lafayette, LA

When you schedule your power breakfast, I’d love to hear how you did!

Looking for more new clients? Register for my free 5-Part Clients Acquisition Email Course

About Jim McCraigh

Jim McCraigh teaches coaches, consultants, and speakers how to find more high-value clients.

With over three decades of executive coaching, speaking, and most importantly, real-life, in-the-trenches business and corporate experience, his views are fundamentally different from most coaches in that he helps his clients with not only the what to do, but the step-by-step of how to do it along the way. For more information about Jim, please visit his website at www.mccraigh.com


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Giving Tuesday: Time, Money and Your Story-Gifts That Inspire

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two of the biggest and most advertised shopping days of the year. But there’s another day you might not have heard much about called #GivingTuesday. Celebrated today, the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.), #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving and center on giving gifts that inspire. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources (Source).

What’s so special about this day is that you don’t have to simply give your money. You can give the gift of time by volunteering at your favorite organization or maybe give back to an organization that’s impacted your life. Or if you have special skills, perhaps you can give pro bono by using that skill set to help nonprofits with their campaigns. The opportunities are endless, and www.givingtuesday.org is an excellent resource if you’re searching for ways to participate.

Do you know what else you can give that can change lives, save lives and transform society? Your story. Stories are the ultimate gifts that inspire. It’s the gift that keeps on giving because it provides hope and help to someone who desperately needs it. Keep reading to learn how.

Tell Your Story and Give the Ultimate Gift This Holiday Season

Lots of things can deter us from telling our story, and I believe the main one is fear. What will people think? What if they don’t like it? What if they don’t like me? What if I’m criticized? What if I’m ridiculed?

You don’t have to try to think of the “what ifs”; they attack you without effort. It’s scary to put yourself out there for all the world to see.

Maybe you can turn these fearful “what ifs” into something positive: What if you change someone’s life? What if you save someone’s life? What if you help someone who is without hope? What if your pain is the path to another person’s healing? What if writing your book and laying it all out there actually helps to heal you?

There’s so much happening in our country right now. Giving a wrapped gift is a wonderful thing. But giving gifts that inspire by sharing your story has the power to transform a life and society for the better.  

What are you waiting for?

You’re the only one who has your story. You’re the only one who can write it! If you or someone you know is ready to give gifts that inspire this holiday season, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step!

 


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The Book Professor Advice: Gratitude is The Missing Ingredient In Your Life

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Before I started The Book Professor, I read articles by some of the world’s most successful people and wondered “What’s the secret to their success?” Why did they always look so happy? The answer is gratitude. From Sir Richard Branson to Paul McCartney (Paul even wrote a song called Gratitude), successful people attributed their prosperity and happiness to gratitude—the missing ingredient in many lives.  Is it really that simple? I think so.

Tomorrow millions of us will celebrate Thanksgiving. Many take a moment to express their gratitude for the blessings or goodwill they’ve received throughout the year and then share a feast with family and friends.

But what if you made practicing gratitude a daily part of your life, not just once a year? Could the practice of gratitude be the missing ingredient to having a successful life with long-lasting happiness? What would happen to your life and daily outlook if you decided to practice gratitude every day, in spite of what your circumstances look like? It turns out that this daily practice may do more for your life than you may 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 daily gratitude that I’d like to share.

It wasn’t until I became an adult, leader of The Book Professor, and had gone through a few trials and tribulations that I learned about the art of gratitude. My circumstances were difficult at the time, and they may not have changed overnight, but my outlook on life did. I no longer focused on just my problems because when I incorporated 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 frustration 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. If left to fester, toxic emotions cause toxic health problems. Gratitude, if practiced consistently, slowly erodes the rust that toxic emotions cause to your soul and makes you feel physically better. As a book coach with The Book Professor,  I work with writers that incorporate this practice into their life, especially when and when writing their book because of all the emotions it can bring up.

  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 lowers your self-esteem), people who practice gratitude can appreciate other people’s accomplishments.

What about you? What are you grateful for? At The Book Professor, we are thankful for all of the aspiring writers that we’re privileged to help share their story with the world. If you’re ready to share your story, contact us today and we would be thankful to work with you too! But whatever you do, enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday this year with your loved ones, turn on Paul McCartney’s Gratitude, and consider sharing the importance of daily thankfulness during a conversation. It’s a gift they’ll always be grateful for.

 


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Why You Should Put Your Books On Subscription Services

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This article originally appeared on Bookbaby.com

The way readers consume and discover new books is rapidly changing, which is why you should consider making your work available by putting your books on subscription services.

Earlier this year, Walmart (the world’s largest retailer) announced it would start selling eBooks through its own co-branded app and Google released a new in-home way for readers to listen to audiobooks. Meanwhile, brick and mortar stores, like battleships going to rust, continue their slow and hulking demise.

And now you can add another development to the forces warping the publishing world: the industry-wide adoption of subscription-based reading services which allow customers the chance to read as many books as they’d like for a minimal monthly fee.

Publishers, tech giants, and service companies are all racing to become the Netflix of eBooks.

For independent authors, hosting books on subscription services has become a necessary part of the publishing process. Not doing so would be equivalent to siloing your new TV series on basic cable, or releasing your debut album solely on vinyl. Here’s why.

Subscription services make it easier to expand your audience

One of the chief benefits of subscription services is they allow readers to “try before they buy,” sampling new authors before committing to a purchase. That kind of freedom used to be impossible, since readers only had a thin selection of digital preview pages to decide whether or not to purchase a book. As a result, readers took fewer chances on authors they were less familiar with.

But readers are far more likely to investigate new authors, and try out new genres and writing styles, if it doesn’t cost them anything extra. For authors who lack the marketing resources of traditional publishing houses, subscription platforms serve as a great way to introduce your work to new audiences.

In this sense, subscription platforms aren’t just vehicles of distribution: they are channels of discovery.

The big players in the industry are now moving to this model

As an independent author, you need to realize these streaming services are not a flash-in-the-pan solution for selling more books.

With major companies in the self-publishing industry moving to subscription models, self-published authors will do themselves a disservice by not taking advantage of every tool at their disposal.

Amazon allows authors participating in theKindle Direct Publishing program the chance to house their books on Kindle Unlimited at no additional cost. Hoopla, a company that partners with local libraries, allows writers to make their books available to any reader across the country who has a library card. And Scribd, a company claiming to be “the Netflix for books,” has over 500,000 subscribers.

Combined, these companies reach millions of readers every day, many of whom are actively looking for new authors telling new stories.BookBabyoffers all three of these options to our customers. If you’re not making it easy for subscribers to discover your work, you’re leaving thousands of potential fans behind.

Authors with books available on subscription services make more money

If nothing else, subscription services provide authors with additional revenue streams. Similar to how musicians on Spotify are paid according to the number of times their songs are streamed, authors with books available on subscription platforms are paid according to the number of pages read. That means readers don’t need to purchase your entire book for you to make money. If they only read 25 pages of your novel, you still get paid for that.

But the real benefit to publishing on a subscription-based platform is the opportunity to have new readers stumble upon your work. As a member of that platform’s community, readers are more likely to give your work a chance. And if they become fans of one of your books, chances are they will read others in your catalog, which means more reads, and ultimately more money in your pocket.

At the end of the day, you’re not losing anything by publishing your book on a subscription platform like Kindle Unlimited. But by not doing so, you’re certainly missing out. Think of housing your books on subscription services as a marketing tool.

The great debate over the past decade has been whether the publishing industry is dying. But innovations like subscription models prove that the art of writing and publishing books isn’t dying at all — it’s evolving.

Join Steven and a host of great presenters, speakers, and exhibitors at BookBaby’s 2018 Independent Authors Conference, November 2-4 at The Sheraton Philadelphia Society Hill Hotel in Philadelphia! The Independent Authors Conference is the only writing conference dedicated to helping independent authors publish successfully. Register now! Don’t miss this opportunity to listen and learn from some of today’s leading self-publishing experts!


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Writing a Book is an Investment-Go Public To Stay The Course And Finish

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Writing a book is one of the best decisions a person can make. The power to change lives, save lives and transform society is one reason why I decided to become an author, and then later help others learn how to write a book. But before I became an author and a book coach, I had to learn how to set goals and stay accountable to them. As a book coach, this is one area we help our students learn what to do.

On a recent group coaching call, our conversation went like this:

“How many of you think of yourself an author?” I asked.

No response.

“None of you? You’re all writing a book, and you don’t consider yourselves authors?”

“I don’t really know how to write,” one client said, “so I don’t think of myself that way.”

“People who write books are authors,” I said, “and since that’s what you’re doing, that’s what you are. I have a challenge for you this week. Tell at least five people that you’re writing a book, and see if it changes your view of yourself.”

When you tell others that you’re writing a book, you add another layer of scrutiny. They’ll want to know all about it: what it’s about, how it’s coming along, when it will be finished. They may offer their opinion about what you’re writing—which could be either encouraging or discouraging, depending on what they say. But you can bet your boots that they’ll ask you about it again and again, until your book is finished. Even if you don’t like the questions, you’ll be accountable to finish your book—or else suffer a bruised ego and a slight humiliation.

The Investment Tether

Psychologists tell us that when we pay for something, we place a higher value on it. But I don’t need to tell you that. If you’ve ever purchased movie tickets in advance, you know the push that gets you to the theater in time for the show. But if the tickets were free, there’d be no push.

It’s not only the monetary investment in your book that will keep you going. Writing your book is also an emotional investment. There are a lot of ups and downs in the process, and if your material is sensitive and pulls you back to unhappier times, you may relive those moments as you are writing. Writing a book costs time, money, energy, and emotion, and while it’s worth it in the end, it can be tempting to give up before you’re finished.

I was at a conference recently where one of my authors, Terry Lammers, was being interviewed about his experience writing his book. Even though Terry’s material is rather serious, he’s not! The interviewer asked him what the process was like, and I wanted to clamp my hand over his mouth when he answered.

“It was a lot like getting tased,” he said.

The audience roared. I grimaced.

“I was rolling along at a pretty relaxed pace in the beginning,” he said, “just answering some questions and figuring out the purpose of my book. But then I started writing, and it was like Nancy had a taser that jolted me every week to keep me writing. I actually wanted to quit because the deadlines just kept coming, week after week. But by then, I’d invested too much time and money to stop.”

I guess that’s one way to look at it!

The bottom line is, if you invest in your book, you’ll be more likely to finish it.

What about you? Are you ready to set the goal of writing your book and learn how to be accountable so that you finish? If so, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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Group of hands

Write Your Book With a Group and Stay Accountable

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Write Your Book-The Power of We

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. 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? If so, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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The Book Professor Advice: Don’t Be Scared of the Boogeyman In Your Head

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In 24 hours, millions of children will be dressed up in their favorite Halloween costume to go trick-or-treating. And they’ll be adorable!  But do you know what I haven’t seen? The boogeyman. I know you remember the boogeyman. The funny thing is, I can’t exactly explain who or what he was, but I was terribly afraid of him. I eventually grew out of my boogeyman phobia and sleep quite peacefully at night these days. As the Book Professor, I need my brain to be at full capacity!  

But do you know what I still struggle with from time to time? Negative thoughts. To me, that’s like having a “boogeyman” in my head. Negative thoughts—if they go unchecked—can invoke fear, anxiety, allow toxic emotions to reign, and prevent me from living my life to its fullest. It wasn’t until I learned to change these thoughts that I became free to be the person God created me to be.

Full moonChange Your Thoughts and Say “Boo!” To The Boogeyman

What we innately believe about ourselves can be the driving force behind the decisions we make. As a child, my family moved around a lot due to my father’s corporate job. I was always the new girl and it wasn’t easy.  Every place we moved was so different. What were the rules here? Who could I trust? Who should I be?

It was important that I figure things out before I shared myself in any way. I needed to learn the rules and customs and behaviors in a new place, so I could mimic them and fit in. I became a completely different person every time we moved, and I adopted new personas to match what I saw in others. That’s when I developed my three most crippling self-defeating beliefs:

  1. If people know who I really am, they won’t like me.
  2. No one cares about me.
  3. I don’t matter.

It’s been a long time since I was twelve years old, and I wish I could say that those internal messages disappeared with my youth, but they did not. To the contrary, these became my core beliefs about myself, and they kept me in chameleon mode for far too much of my life. These negative beliefs caused me to neglect myself and my own needs, to marry an abusive husband, to work in a career that I hated (before I found my calling as The Book Professor), to be under-developed as a human being, and to live a life of crippling anxiety — always trying to figure out what to do, who to be, how to act.

With the help of some good therapy, journaling, and a daily practice of meditation, I’ve worked through these issues, have changed my thoughts and can officially say: the “boogeyman” is out of my head.

Recognize the Lies We Tell Ourselves

As The Book Professor, I help people write books that change lives, save lives, and transform society. But it’s the people that I sadly meet that don’t believe they have anything to offer that’s worthy of writing about in a book that breaks my heart. When you’ve built your life on a lie, it’s hard to overcome that thinking. The lie becomes the truth and the truth becomes a lie. 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. And once you change your thoughts, recognize the lies you’ve told yourself over the years, you too can break free from negative thoughts and finally put that boogeyman out of your head forever.

What about you? If you or someone you know is ready to break free from negative thoughts and give hope and help to others by sharing your story, please contact us today!

 

 


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