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Executive THINK Forum — Doing Business With Millennials

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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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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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Lessons From a Book Coach: Tell Your Story And Save A Life

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As a book coach, I often reflect on the amazing people I’ve met. I believe all encounters are part of God’s master plan, but there are some that stand out more than others. I remember when my husband Tom introduced me to his blind friend, Bill. I’d never known a blind person, so I didn’t know what to expect.

“So you guys worked together?” I asked  

“Yeah,” Bill said, “I was in consulting, and Tom was in tax.”

“Consulting can be rough on the home life,” I said. “You probably traveled a lot. Out Monday mornings and home on Thursday nights, right?”

“I lived that way for years,” he said, “until I got shot.”

Tom jumped in. “That’s why Bill is blind. He was in Atlanta, coming out of the MARTA station with his boss and their customer. Some deranged guy jumped out and shot all three of them. Bill’s bullet entered and exited through his temples, and it severed his optic nerve. He’s been blind ever since. The other two guys died.”

“It was an adjustment,” he said, “but it wasn’t really that big a deal. I thought, ‘This is the way my life is now, so I may as well get on with it.’ And I did.”

“Wasn’t that big a deal! How could you say that?” I asked.

“It just wasn’t,” he said. “I made up my mind to get back to doing the things I loved as soon as I could. It didn’t make sense to sit around feeling sorry for myself.”

“Get this,” Tom interjected. “He really did get back to the things he loved. Six months later, he was snow skiing.”

“That’s amazing, Bill. Really inspirational. Have you ever thought about writing a book?” I asked.

“A book?” he snorted. “What would I write about? I wouldn’t have anything to say. I just took things one day at a time and got back to being me. That’s not very interesting. I can’t imagine anybody would want to read about that.” He shook his head, rejecting the idea.

man standing in front of wavesReject The Belief That Your Story Isn’t Inspirational

I don’t know about you, but I think Bill’s story is incredibly interesting—amazing, inspiring, and unusual. I wanted to learn how Bill was able to simply accept the fact that he was blind. I wanted to know what he’d done to reenter life as a fully functional man. And I wanted to know what sparked the thought that he could snow ski again.

Surely he’d been faced with all the can’ts: You can’t drive, you can’t go out by yourself, you can’t travel, you can’t work, you can’t date, you can’t ever be a whole human being again. And you certainly can’t ever snow ski again. That part of your life is over. You will be in the dark forever.

But Bill didn’t think those things. Instead, he put one foot in front of the other and lived what he thought was an unremarkable life. That he actually thought his life was unremarkable, to me, is remarkable.

In fact, Bill isn’t unusual. As a book coach, I’ve met hundreds of people who have been through things, have learned things, have discovered things, and have developed things that could truly change the world—if only the world knew about them. But there’s a nagging voice in their heads that tells them that they’re average, that they don’t have anything to say, that nobody would care about their story, that it’s not a big deal. Just the opposite, however, is actually true.

 

What if someone out there is going through what you’ve been through, but the difference is that they had hope and help along their journey? That hope and help is in the form of YOUR book, YOUR story, YOUR healing. Someone needs to hear what you have to say-their life could literally depend on it. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started a book coach!

 


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Every Writer Should Attend At Least One Writers’ Conference. Here’s Why.

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There are a lot of ways new authors can educate themselves about publishing and engage with the larger literary community. One is to join local writing groups. Another is to read blogs or become a Goodreads contributor.

But of all the means of jump-starting a writing career, perhaps none is more effective than attending a leading writers’ conference. In fact, even if you’re just aiming to become a better writer, you should attend a writers’ conference. Here’s why.

You’ll learn from professionals

A primary perk of attending writers’ conferences is the opportunity to learn about the craft and the industry from professionals.

You can do this by signing up for sessions, enlisting in workshops, or engaging in talks. The people who conduct the workshops and lead the sessions are often experts in the fields of writing or publishing. It’s hard to imagine a place where so many educational and inspirational resources are readily accessible.

Writers’ workshops also offer the chance to have your manuscripts critiqued — usually by industry insiders who are willing to offer personalized suggestions for improving your writing.

You’ll meet other writers

Where else can you meet hundreds of dedicated, interesting writers and publishers all at varying stages in their careers? It’s another major benefit of attending writers’ conferences. Chances are, you’ll meet someone with whom you really connect, and who knows what could come of that? You might start trading drafts or your new contact might even be able to connect you with an agent.

Writing is a solitary activity — publishing is not. That means you need to network and meet other writers and publishers who share the intensity and enthusiasm for writing as you do.

At the very least, you’ll make connections that will motivate you, but it’s also possible you’ll make valuable connections who can later review or otherwise endorse your books. You’ll also garner important nuggets of wisdom. Wherever you are on the road to success, you will meet others who have been there before and who are ready to help you.

You’ll meet editors and agents

Another thing you can count on at writers’ conferences is learning very useful information about the publishing landscape. In addition to writers, you’ll meet editors and agents who are looking for people who have a book or book idea that might make money for them — like you!

You might even have the chance to sit down with them face-to-face. This process is not only more likely to land you an agent than submitting your work to a slush pile, it’s also the best way to learn about what agents and editors are looking for, how the industry works, and which next step is best for you to take in pursuing your literary dreams.

You’ll get feedback

When attending a writers’ conference, one thing you’ll be sure to do is share your idea for your book with other writers and folks in the publishing industry. In doing this, you’ll learn a lot about the legitimacy and potential of your particular idea as well as how to improve your pitch when it really counts. The responses you receive in the moment will prove to be some of the best feedback you ever get.

And that feedback is powerful. Every time you share your book’s concept, the direction you need to take your book in — along with what changes you might need to make — will become clearer.

You might find a new market for your work

Conferences attract all kinds of writers. Some of them will likely write for markets you haven’t considered. They might even know of a publication that uses the kinds of things you write or a publisher who is looking for a book like yours.

Meeting these folks really does open doors, and a writers’ conference is one of the only places you can make so many connections.

You’ll leave inspired

Sure, you might meet another writer or publishing insider who can change your life — that really is a possibility — but there are other lessons, insights, and bits of wisdom available at these conferences that make them worth the trip.

Sessions, meet-ups, and happy hour gatherings can present unforeseen opportunities, along with lots of practical information you can put to immediate use. You might attend a seminar on how to prepare the paperwork for your nonfiction book proposal, how to format a manuscript, or how to send a query to an editor.

Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, these conferences offer the sort of nuts-and-bolts knowledge that can improve your writing and increase your efficiency in the business side of the craft.

At the very least, you’ll leave inspired. It’s invigorating to be surrounded by other writers — all that energy, hope, and determination is like a kind of electricity buzzing in the air. It’s infectious. I guarantee you’ll leave the first writers’ conference you attend hungrier than ever to actualize your writing dreams.

You can write it off as a business expense

Yes, you’ll get a tax break for attending a writers’ conference even if you haven’t started making money yet.

Look, at the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. Ask just about every author who has attended a writers’ conference, and they’ll tell you the same thing: these conferences can catapult your writing career. They offer answers and clarity, wisdom and inspiration. They might even help you make a connection that changes your life.

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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Nonfiction Book Writing-Start Writing and Improve Your Mental Health

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Nonfiction Book Writing-The Release We All Need

It’s time for our country to release the stigma of “mental illness.” When we release that stigma, then people can feel free to get help without the fear of public shame, humiliation, or backlash. Thoughts like “what will people think of me?” will dissipate and those suffering in silence from depression, anxiety, paranoia, or any other mental illness can get the help they deserve for themselves and their family. Until this stigma is released, and mental illness becomes more acceptable to talk about like any other illness (most people don’t shame and humiliate people that have cancer), then millions of people will continue to suffer silently.

In honor of World Mental Health Day on Wednesday, October 10th, take a moment to reflect, either about yourself or a loved one, and consider the options now available to get help. This year’s World Mental Health Day will focus on the issues our youth and young adults are facing and will begin the conversation around what they need in order to grow up healthy and resilient. But there are resources available for people of ALL ages to get help. It’s never too late to seek professional help. (Source)

MountainWrite For Peace and Release

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of nonfiction book writing—obviously. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I’ve been writing quite literally my entire life (beginning with a small journal as a child), all the way into my adult years. I may not have always been paid as a writer (I had a couple of jobs early in my career that took me away from my talents), but it’s something I needed to do my entire life. Let me explain.

If you’ve read my book Stop Stalling and Start Writing, you’ll know I disclose some pretty hard seasons in my life. One of the things I did to keep myself from literally drowning in my feelings was to write and get all of my “thoughts” out onto paper. The sense of relief and peace I felt then and now (yes, I still do it today), are indescribable. Whether you call it “nonfiction book writing,” “journaling” or just “writing,” the results are the same.

Don’t believe in the mental health benefits of writing? Just listen to what award-winning novelist, author, and therapist coach Diane Sherry Case has to say about the topic:

“What if there was a form of therapy – a therapist so to speak – who was always available (for free!) and always listened? That therapist is indeed at your fingertips 24/7, even when you are alone. All you need is a pen and paper or your friendly computer. Most of us know that journaling has been shown to improve both emotional and physical health. Writing can help clear the mind, enhance your mood, alleviate stress, free up energy and awaken creativity…” (Source)

 

What about you? Are you ready to “clear your mind, enhance your mood and alleviate the stress” in YOUR life? Then let’s get that book out of your head and onto paper. Contact us today and we can help you take the first step!


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Book Writing Class Tool: The First BookMap-Your Personal Story

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Book Writing Class Tools to Help Organize Your Thoughts Onto Paper

When I was a child, we took family vacations, and each of my parents had a role. Dad was the driver; Mom was the navigator. Poor Mom. Dad wasn’t a patient man, and he had little tolerance for anything but instant, on-point answers. At that time, we used the fold-up maps that gas stations sold, which were a challenge unto themselves.

Most of us don’t use physical maps anymore because we have fabulous phone apps and GPS devices that tell us where to go, turn by turn. All we have to know is our starting and ending points.

And that’s exactly what you know about your book right now. Your starting point is here, where you have nothing. Your endpoint is the purpose of your book, which is reflected in your Purpose Statement. With The Book Professor, we’ll help you create a BookMAP that will show the step-by-step route to that final destination—without all the clutter of the side roads. It’s a Method And Process (MAP) that you’ll use to save time, energy, and emotion—and it’s the shortest route to delivering your audience to the purpose of your book.

“When you’re open and honest you give the reader permission to be open and honest too.”

-Nancy Erickson

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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Man adjusting tie

Write a Top Quality Book With The Book Professor-Because We Don’t Need Anymore Self-Proclaimed Experts

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The Book Professor Advice

As a coach or public speaker, 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 without a book, you’re just another self-proclaimed expert. And trust me, we don’t need any more of those!

Your reputation is on the line. The book you write 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. If you’re going to establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, attract a following, and avoid the “self-proclaimed expert label,” you don’t want to write a book. You want to write a top-quality book.

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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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?”

  1. 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!

  1. Book Production

When it’s time to produce your book, you have some options. You can use an on-demand printer, such as Amazon CreateSpace 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, attract a following and avoid the “self-proclaimed expert label,”  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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