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Discoveries Along The Way

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Discoveries Along The Way

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When you look at your clock, have you ever wondered where it came?  I don’t mean where you bought it, but rather how did our world learn to quantify time and who discovered it? If you’re like me, you probably don’t give it much thought.  Or what about that glass of milk, wine, or beer that most of us consume on a regular basis without an afterthought.  You may have heard the term pasteurization, but have you ever thought about who created that process to make these beverages safe for us to drink in the first place?

Like you, I take these modern day conveniences for granted and expect them to be available when I need them. I am forever grateful that French scientist Louis Pasteur not only discovered his heat-treatment process that destroys pathogenic microorganisms in certain foods, but that he took the time to share it with the rest of us!  And we can’t forget Chinese monk and mathematician, I-Hsing, for creating our first clock so we can quantify time (Source). What if these scientists and countless others decided to keep their discoveries to themselves? Yikes! Talk about being selfish.

What about you? What discoveries have you made along the way that you’ve yet to share with the world? Is that fair? Would you consider yourself selfish for not sharing your discovery?

Your Discovery is the Solution Someone Else Needs

As a professional book coach and writer, I encourage people to share their passion and solutions with the world. We have so many problems in our world and the top-down approaches don’t seem to work. I believe the answers are trapped inside of people like you. My role is to connect the people who have solutions with the ones who need those answers, and I do it by coaching busy professionals to write a high-impact nonfiction book. I don’t care if your discovery is about a new business process that can save time and dollars, a memoir about overcoming pain and suffering, or if it’s about how to connect on a soul-level with your dog: if you have a passionate solution, someone else needs it. People don’t buy books, they buy solutions. Someone is looking for what’s trapped inside you.

  • Do you have an idea for a book, but don’t know how to get started?
  • Is your idea a passion that continues to grow? Could your discovery change the way we do things?
  • Is it something that’s been percolating for some time, and it’s time to release it?

If you’re not a writer, don’t worry. You don’t have to have one sentence written, and you do not have to be a professional writer to publish a powerful nonfiction book. You need to simply have an idea—and the commitment to see the process through. Someone needs your discovery. Think about that the next time you pour milk on your cereal or check the clock before heading out.  


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NEW Book Marketing Services from The Book Professor!

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You got your story out of your head and onto paper. Your book is finally finished. But how will people know that your book is available? How will they find YOUR book amongst the masses? Writing your book is the first hurdle; getting others to notice it is the next!

Well, look no further. We are excited to announce our NEW partnership with the prestigious Smith Publicity to offer Book Marketing Services for all of our clients!

Get Attention for Your Book and Impact Sales

Learn one-on-one from book industry experts—on your schedule, and tailored to your genre and level of expertise—specific and actionable techniques to drive awareness to your book and author platform. Marketing your book can be overwhelming. These services are designed to take away the fear and put in the fun.

How It Works

Social Media Consultation Service Offerings-$325 each

Our packages are completely customized to your skill level and needs. For example, if you’re a social media beginner, one of our experts will work with you to create your platform from scratch and teach you the basic rules of engagement. If you are already well-versed on a social media platform, but would like to execute better, our advanced experts will custom-craft a plan to work with you to optimize your existing site, incorporate your book into your postings (without offending followers), decipher analytics, and/or understand potential advertising options.

Before your call, you complete an author questionnaire that gives your consultant time to research and tailor ideas specific to your book, genre, and goals. You will also receive educational handouts or “homework” before the call(s) to help ensure your session(s) are as jam-packed as possible. At the end of the service, you receive handouts to help you continue developing ideas and techniques.

If you or someone you know is interested in marketing their book, reach out to us and we will help make it happen!

 

 

 

 


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writing tips

Nonfiction Writer Tool: Setting

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The time and place of the action in a literary work is called the SETTING.

In literature, the setting consists of where the story takes place, as well as the time period. It is  critical to establish a setting in your story and its scenes, so that the reader can visualize it. Remember when we talked about grounding your reader and answering the journalistic questions who, what, when, where, why, and how? The when and the where are questions of time and place – and they comprise the setting. If your readers don’t know when or where the story or scene is happening, they will be lost.

Setting is, essentially, the context in which a story occurs. You know how a picture has a foreground and a background? So does a story. The main characters and their actions form the foreground. The time and place of the events and the social environment that surround these events form the background, or the setting. People exist in a particular time and place. Where we live may contribute not only to our personality, but also to our values, attitudes, and even our problems. In short, the setting can have great impact on the people in your story and what they do. 

Setting is often a critical element in a story. Can you imagine The Grapes of Wrath set anywhere but in the Dust Bowl era of California? The Scarlet Letter set anywhere but Puritan New England? The Help set anywhere but the south in the 1960s? The Hunger Games set anywhere but a dystopian future? 

Setting: Developing Time and Place

Time and place = where it happened and when. These two elements are the bedrock of your story and must be developed in order to establish and maintain credibility. It wouldn’t make any sense to write about current-day cosmetic procedures in the 1800’s or sending urgent messages by telegram in the 21st century. 

Eudora Welty once said, “Every story would be another story, and unrecognizable, if it took up its characters and plot and happened somewhere else.”

Four Types of Time

There are actually four kinds of time, and each one has a distinct role. They are clock time, calendar time, seasonal time and historical time. 

Clock time can be used to provide suspense or create certain moods or feelings. Think of the pressure of a looming deadline or the girl who sits by the phone, waiting for him to call.  

Calendar time grounds us in the day, month, year, and even a particular day of the week or time of the month. Calendar time can provide an understanding of what takes place in your writing. For example, if you’re in accounting and mention April 15th , Americans will know understand the pressures of tax time.  Others associate meaning with Friday the 13th, or July 4. In the UK Boxing Day is significant and in France, Bastille Day. 

Seasonal time, of course, refers to the four seasons, but winter in Minneapolis is a different setting from winter in Key West, Florida. And since they’re in a different hemisphere, January in Sydney, Australia is nothing like January in New York. Most of us have different lifestyles in different seasons, and even if you life in a moderate climate, it is still dark by 6:00 in December and light until after 9:00 in June.  You don’t snow ski in Vail in July, nor do you water ski in January in Missouri.

Historical time probably has the most impact on setting and can establish a psychological or sociological understanding of behaviors and attitudes. “Time” in this sense refers to specific moments in history. People communicate differently depending on the time in which they live. Americans in the 1950s, overall, communicate differently than Americans in the 2000s. Not that they necessarily speak a different language, but these two groups of people have different assumptions about the world and how to communicate based on the era in which they live. Think of the politically correct language that has replaced the pre-civil rights language from years past, and you get the point. Historical time affects the religious, mental, moral, social, and emotional climate of the setting.

Place 

Now about place. Place can include the geographical location, which can range from an entire country to a single room. I used to love to introduce my university students to the classic fiction story “Metamorphosis” by Franz Kafka, which pretty much takes place in one bedroom, where Gregor, the main character literally turns into a bug. It’s one of the most riveting pieces of literature I’ve ever read, and most of it’s contained within those four walls. 

When writing about a specific location, you might include the physical aspects of the environment. What did it look like, sound like, etc. For example, a subway station has its unique sights and sounds, as does a church. 

But there’s more to it than that. We may find significance in the location where the action occurs, but there are also nonphysical characteristics, as well as physical. And the nonphysical environment can vary from geographic location to geographic location within the same time era. Think of cultural influences such as education, social standing, economic class, and religious beliefs. These certainly vary from location to location. Education is different in Harlem in 2017 than it is in Long Island. It’s different in Catholic schools versus public schools within the same city. There are distinct differences in social standing in India today because of their caste system, in the same year, in the same city. 

Writing tip: Setting

A person’s dialogue, statements, and behavior can reveal their place in society, as well as their geographic location.

 So how do you use time and space to write an effective setting? Quite simply, you use words. Setting is created by language. 

Writing your story involves more than just describing the setting. Using psychological cues from the characters, writers can embed time and place in actions and events, at the same time revealing motivation and goals. The details should be carefully chosen to reflect the character’s inner values, thoughts, and feelings. 

Regarding time:

  • In what period of time does the story or scene take place? 
  • Are there any historical events that affect the characters? 
  • How long does it take for the action to occur? 
  • What clues can you as the author give for the passage of time? 
  • Is the passage of time important to the story? 
  • Does the slow or fast passage of time help to understand the character’s actions and thoughts? 

Regarding place: 

  • Where does the action take place?
  • In what planet, country, locale?
  • What does it look like, sound like, feel like? 
  • Is there a dominant impression of the setting? 
  • Is the geographical location important? 

Setting is, essentially, the context in which a scene or story occurs, and includes the time, the place, and the social environment. It is important to establish a setting in your story, so that the reader can visualize and participate in it.

Just a little more food for thought as you write!


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Messenger of Hope: Santa Claus

At the beginning of 2017, we decided to take the reins and solve the problems that surround us. As ambassadors of hope and help, we set out to find 117 solutions to the problems that plague us. Every week we focused on two specific problems and asked our country for their help to solve them. We believe that all of our problems can be solved and that the answers are trapped inside of everyday people like you!

The response? We’ve been working with numerous authors this year who took the challenge to solve some our greatest problems. Problems like racial reconciliation, bridging the cultural divide, fostering effective change in education, the revitalization of senior living, and the importance of fathers — all topics that were tackled by some fearless, everyday people who decided to get their solutions out of their heads and out to the world. Every month, we featured several of these authors, and we can’t wait to feature more in 2018.

But in December, we decided to feature a special guest named Santa Claus. I know what you’re thinking, what problems has Santa Claus solved? Before you think we’ve lost our focus this month, bear with us and keep reading. You might be surprised.

Hope

People can’t survive without hope. And when you think of the overweight guy with the chubby belly who is always jolly, did you ever think of him as someone that represents hope? Of course, adults know there won’t be a guy with a red suit and silver beard soaring through the sky on Christmas Eve. (Shhh! Don’t tell my grandchildren I said that!). But when you see an image of Old Saint Nick, doesn’t the child inside of you get a little excited and even hopeful about what’s to come? Do you feel joy, love, and peace when you see a picture of Santa, especially when you see the children? I do. The child inside me still jumps for joy this time of year–especially when I look at my grandchildren’s faces when they sit on Santa’s lap. Perhaps we could all benefit from feeling a little love, joy, and peace, even if it comes from a make-believe character.

Thank you, Santa. We appreciate what you represent this time of year and the feelings you invoke in countless adults and children alike. This holiday season take some time to take it all in. Just pause and be present in the lives of those you love most–especially the little angels who bless your life. And if you don’t have small children to inspire you, go sit on Santa’s lap yourself! I promise the little child inside of you will beam with love, joy, peace, and hope.

How About You?

Santa isn’t the only one who can offer hope. When you tell your story and what you’ve been through, what you’ve discovered, what you’ve developed, or what you’ve overcome, YOU become the voice of hope and help to others. Don’t keep that to yourself! Let us help you get your message out of your head and out to the world!


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December: It’s Not Just Christmas Time

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December is always a time of reflection for me. While I usually think over the past year and how things went in each aspect of my life, I also like to think about the upcoming year and what I’d like to see happen–not just professionally, but socially, physically, spiritually, and even intellectually. For many, the Christmas celebration is top-of-mind but there are other traditions and noteworthy causes this month, too.

World AIDS Awareness Day: December 3, 2017

With everything that’s happened in the US this year, it’s easy to overlook problems that we still currently face. So much media attention has been given to our nation’s current political climate and our recent hurricanes that other crises have fallen off the radar. For example, the AIDS epidemic is still alive. Roughly 34 million people currently have HIV–the virus that leads to AIDS. More than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS since 1984. While there have been several scientific advances in HIV treatment that have allowed  people to live longer and more productive lives, there is still no cure. On December 3rd, join the world as we celebrate World Aids Awareness Day and show your support and love for those affected by this virus. For more information on how to get involved, please visit www.hiv.gov.

Hanukkah-December 12-20th, 2017

I remember as a kid in elementary school singing:
Hanukkah, Oh, Hanukkah
Let’s light the menorah
Let’s have a party
We’ll all dance the hora
Gather ’round the table, we’ll give you a treat
A dreidel to play with and latkes to eat…

While I’m not Jewish, I loved that my school celebrated Hannukah as well as Christmas. Hanukkah, or the Festival of Rededication, celebrates the rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem after its defilement by the Syrian Greeks in 164 BCE. It’s an eight-day festival, also known as the Festival of Lights. Most notable of this holiday is the lighting of the hanukkiah or menorah-an eight branched candelabrum to which one candle is added on each night of the holiday until it is full with light on the eighth night. In commemoration of the cruse of oil, it is traditional to eat foods fried in oil like latkes (potato pancakes), or sufganiyot (jelly donuts). (Source)

For all who celebrate this holiday, I wish you a Happy Hanukkah!

New Year’s Eve–December 31, 2017
Like many, I’ll be working on my goals for the New Year, but I also want to take some time to pause and reflect on the events that have transpired, not only in my own life, but in our country as a whole. It’s hard to ignore the political and racial divisiveness that has occurred over the last year. I squirm every time I turn on the news. Whatever your political beliefs are, I think it’s time for everyone to take a moment and examine their heart.

You don’t need to profess a particular faith to have a basic moral compass: it’s knowing the difference between right and wrong. Isn’t that what we try to teach our children? But how hard is it to teach something when your own heart doesn’t feel that way–especially when we look at people of other races, faiths, and sexual orientation? When you see someone who’s different from you, what do you think or assume about them? Do you fear them? What is your assumption based on? What if you could get to know that individual person before holding onto damaging preconceived notions about their entire race / faith / sexual orientation that kills the opportunity for a true relationship? I’m not judging anyone because I know my heart isn’t perfect. But there is hope:

 

 

Isn’t that refreshing? Let’s all add “learning to love” to our goals for 2018. I promise, you won’t be disappointed with the results.

 

 


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Writing Tip: Comparison

One of the easiest ways to help your readers feel your passion and understand your message is to paint a word picture, and comparison is just the tool to do that. Enjoy this writing tip!

What’s the Purpose of Comparison?

Comparison serves a couple of purposes. It adds complexity to your writing and makes the reader think. It catches their attention and causes them to pay closer attention to the subject matter. 

Comparison is also a tool for explaining complex ideas. When we link an unfamiliar idea to common and familiar objects, it simplifies the meaning and makes for good communication. When you use comparison, you help the reader link the concept to their own life and experience, which keeps them invested in your message. 

There are three types of comparison: the simile, the metaphor, and the analogy. 

Simile

A simile is a figure of speech that directly compares two things. It uses a connective word such as like, as, than, or a verb such as resembles.

Writing a book is like running a marathon.

Similes are so common that you may have ceased to recognize them, but you certainly understand the meaning: 

  • as blind as a bat
  • as busy as a bee
  • as dry as a bone
  • as good as gold
  • as hard as nails
  • as wise as an owl

Should you use these kinds of similes in your own writing? No, no , NO! These phrases are cliches. They  are expressions that were once new and fresh, but have been used so often that they’re irritating. When you use a cliché you prove yourself to be a lazy writer, so invest your time to write fresh and innovative similes. 

Here’s an example of an interesting simile from George Orwell’s narrative essay “A Hanging.”

They crowded very close about him, with their hands always on him in a careful, caressing grip, as though all the while feeling him to make sure he was there. It was like men handling a fish which is still alive and may jump back into the water.

Metaphor

A metaphor is different from a simile. It compares two unlike things by saying that the one thing is the other thing.

Nonfiction is a long, bumpy road.

Where a simile says something is like something else, a metaphor says that something is something else. 

A metaphor compares two dissimilar things and finds a point in common. It sounds like you are stating a fact, but you have to think it through for it to make sense. 

What do these metaphors communicate? 

  • My sister’s boyfriend is a zero.
  • The sky’s the limit.
  • Fear is a beast that feeds on attention.
  • Strength and dignity are her clothing.

For example, if you say, “You are the wind beneath my wings,” you’re not saying that a person is actually wind. Instead, you are referring to the support you receive from that person.

Analogy

An analogy explains an unfamiliar idea or a thing by comparing it to something that is familiar. 

Your story is as explosive as dynamite and will blast your readers into action.

An analogy also shows how two different things are similar, but rather than a figure of speech, it’s more of a logical argument. Metaphors and similes are tools that can be used to draw an analogy. Therefore, analogy is more extensive and elaborate than either a simile or a metaphor. 

You may remember working with analogies on your SAT or ACT test, or on IQ or Mensa tests. book coach, book writing coach

SHARD : POTTERY :: (____) : WOOD

  A. acorn
  B. smoke
  C. chair
  D. splinter 

This analogy compares a shard of pottery to a splinter of wood, but you probably won’t use anything like that in your writing. But you may use an analogy like this:

“The structure of an atom is like a solar system. The nucleus is the sun and electrons are the planets that revolve around their sun.”

This example compares the structure of an atom to the solar system, which helps us understand atomic structure. Notice that this analogy used both a simile and a metaphor. 

If you’re writing about a complex concept – a technical concept perhaps – an  analogy may bring clarity to the subject matter, and your analogy may include a simile and/or a metaphor. This is getting down into the technicalities of terminology, and I don’t want you to get hung up on the word analogy. But if the  subject matter warrants this type of comparison, by all means use it!

Use This Writing Tip!

When you use comparison in your writing, whether it be through an analogy, a simile, or a metaphor, you engage the reader’s imagination and make your writing interesting and compelling. Remember to respect your readers. They are your partners and are intelligent, thinking people. Don’t take the simplistic approach and spell everything out for them as if they’re kindergartners. Allow them to partner with you and invest their own brain power to interpret your message. 


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Book Reviews: The Ultimate Word Of Mouth Promotion

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This article originally appeared on BookBaby.com

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

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

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

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

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

How to get reviews

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

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

How to find and work with reviewers

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

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

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

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

 

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

About BookBaby

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

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

Learn more at www.BookBaby.com.

 

 


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

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

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

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

Benefits of Practicing Gratitude Daily

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

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

  1. Gratitude Opens The Door To More Relationships

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

  1. Gratitude Improves Physical and Psychological Health

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

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

  1. Gratitude Improves Self Esteem

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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write a business book

What Type of People Do We Work With? Entrepreneurs

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

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

How to Write a Business Book

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

Entrepreneurs write a business book for a number of reasons:

write a business book

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

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

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

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


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Writer’s Tip: Point of View

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Point of View refers to the perspective from which a story is being told. It answers the question: Who is telling the story?

This is important because who is telling the story has a lot to do with what gets told. Let’s take take a look at the three different points of view and how you might use them in your writing.  They are first person, second person, and third person.

First Person Point of View

This is similar to a toddler’s vocabulary – I, me, mine, me, me, me, me ME!

When you tell a story using the pronouns I or we, you’re using first person point of view. Some think that this is the most intimate perspective and is the friendliest towards the reader. When a story is told in first person, the reader can feel like you’re their friend and that you’re confiding in them.

That’s what we aspire to, isn’t it?

 We certainly strive for intimacy with the reader, but using first person point-of-view can give rise to a couple of problems:

1.  You talk about yourself so much that you sound like a narcissist

2.  You fall prey to telling the reader everything instead of showing them

For example: “ I did this and then I did that, and then I went here, and then I bought that, and now it’s mine, and this was my problem… blah, blah, blah. Whopoint of view wants to hear that?

 Well I don’t and neither do your readers. Your readers want to hear your story, but if you take that approach, you’ll lose them for sure. Your job is to deliver your audience to the purpose of your book, and if they get sick of you halfway through, you’ll never accomplish that. 

 It’s actually simple to fix that. You don’t tell the reader what happened or what you did, you show them! Write your story in scenes where the reader sees what you saw, hears what you heard, smells what you smelled, and then feels what you felt. The reader experiences your emotion and becomes bonded to you through that shared experience.

Second Person Point of View

This POV uses the pronouns you, your, and yours.

The second person point of view addresses the reader and makes direct comments to them. This point of view is rare, but when it’s used, the reader snaps to attention because the writer is speaking directly to them.

Here’s an example: “If you are planning a low-budget wedding, then use paper products at the reception.”

OR

 “If you’re like me and are tired of struggling to make ends meet, then sell everything you haven’t used in the past year and pocket the cash.”

Before you get all excited about speaking directly to your readers and capturing their attention, let me offer a word of caution. Whenever you tell someone what to do, it can sound rather preachy, like you know it all and the reader knows nothing. No one likes to be told what to do, and not many appreciate the “you should” approach.

It’s far easier to influence the reader by showing them what you did. When you tell them what to do, it can cause them to resist you and your message. Respect your readers. Every time they turn the page, they make a choice to either continue with you or to drop off the path. Lead them along the path, and they will follow. Force them and they may jump ship.

Third Person Point of View

The third person point-of-view is a he said/she said narrative, and the associated pronouns are he, she, and they. The story is still being told from the perspective of an outsider looking at the action. This point-of-view is for when the story isn’t about you.

If you’re writing a biography about Abraham Lincoln, you might write something like this:

 “When he was twelve years old, Lincoln was growing into what would eventually become his long, lanky frame.”

In third person, You would use the pronoun “he.” If you wrote the same passage in first person, it wouldn’t make any sense. In first person, it would say “When I was twelve years old, I was growing into what would eventually become my long, lanky frame.”  That wouldn’t make sense if you were writing a biography about Lincoln.

If you’re writing your own story, it doesn’t make any sense to write it in third person. But if you’re telling a story about someone else, then third person is appropriate.

Pick and Stick

The trick is to pick a point of view and stick with it, which is challenging for many new writers. If you’re writing in first person, stick with first person, if you’re writing in second person, stick with second person, etc.

If you shift the point of view, it confuses the reader and dilutes your message, which is a common mistake that new writers make. Learn this technique and you’ll keep your readers engaged!

 

 

 

 

 

 


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October: Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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By Tasha Hudson,
Operations Manager at The Book Professor

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

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

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

Ways To Get Involved for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Women – Perform a Self-Breast Exam

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

breast cancer awareness

 Participate in a Local Breast Cancer Awareness Walk

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

Donate Your Time or Money

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

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

 


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