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Executive THINK Forum — Doing Business With Millennials

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Writing a Book About Your Own Life

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It is my honor and my calling as a non-fiction book coach to help a great many people including business and community leaders transform their experience into a story that moves people to action. I am a believer that the wisdom and power to create real change is trapped in the minds and experience of leaders, community builders, and everyday people all over the world.

As a book writing and publishing consultant, my role is to connect people like these, who have solutions for the world’s problems, with the people who need those answers. I do this by coaching them to write a nonfiction book that makes an impact – a book that will give them a broader platform to share those ideas.

Write Your Story

Your story deserves to be told–and I believe it’s your responsibility to tell it. Most aspiring authors don’t know how to get started on their book and feel overwhelmed before they even begin. Below are some tips & tools, including some I’ve developed for you, which will help you share your truth.

Develop a Concept 

A book about your life, or a memoir, captures a period of time or a set of events in your life, rather than cataloging your experience from cradle to grave, as in an autobiography or biography. In order for your memoir to appeal to an audience beyond your friends and family, you must develop a solid concept that bridges the gap between your life and that of your reader.

Publisher Sharlene Martin once said, “[Your memoir] needs a solid concept for the book that invites the reader’s concerns into the experience of reading it, instead of just saying, ‘Let me tell you all about wonderful me.’” Consider the elements of your story that are universal and find ways to write them that invite your reader to imagine and consider their own life through the lens of your circumstances.

Make it Memorable

You can make your nonfiction book as memorable as its fictional counterparts by using sensory language–language that conveys how you felt, what you saw, heard, smelled, and tasted during the scenes you present. I encourage my writers to close their eyes when they write a pivotal scene to take themselves back to the place, the time, and the emotion of the moment.

Once you’ve transported yourself back to that moment, open your eyes and write your scene. When you’ve gotten it down on the page, go back and look for ways to vary your language to make it richer and more interesting. Break out your thesaurus if that helps!

Your Story is Exceptional

What are you waiting for? What better time is there to write a book about your own life than now? Someone needs your message today. When you share what you know and what you’ve learned, you become the solution. The answers are trapped inside of you; please don’t keep them to yourself. You ARE the solution and your story is exceptional!

I had the great honor of speaking at an Arête – HPA event.  Arête is a truly exceptional group of leaders who have exceptional stories to tell.  In this presentation, I talk about how to go about designing your exceptional story:

 

Contact us today to get started your book!

 


 


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How To Write A Book And Get It Published

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As  a book coach, I’m often asked the blanket question: “So how do I write a book and get it published?” Want to know the short answer? Make the decision. That’s really the first step. Once you’ve decided that you’re ready to write a book and get it published, following the guideline below will put you on the right track.

STEP ONE: WRITING AND WRITING AND WRITING

  • Initial Book Writing – The first step is to plan your book project in a BookMAP and write all the components until you have a finished manuscript. This is where you invest your time, energy, and emotion, and when you are finished you will have accomplished something few others have done! You will have a complete manuscript.
  • Editing Your Book – Every top-notch author has a first-class editor who does several things to improve upon what you have already accomplished. In the first pass, you will want a developmental editor. A developmental editor takes a look at your overall work and gives feedback on the structure and organization of the manuscript, the development of your characters, the consistency in your story line, your vocabulary, the impact of your message, your use of language and how your unique voice can be amplified. A developmental editor will point out any missing elements in your manuscript and make suggestions about how to weave them in. A developmental editor is crucial for every author, particularly if you are not a professional writer
  • Book Focus Groups – I’m a big believer in focus groups, and the best way to understand if your manuscript achieves its goal is to gather a group of six to ten people who are part of your target market, give them a copy of your manuscript, and ask for their raw feedback. This will be invaluable to you. When you receive that feedback, you make the changes you think are appropriate, then pass the manuscript to your editor for final editing.
  • Final Editing Process – This time, you need what we call line-level editing. You editor will scrub your work and make corrections in punctuation, verb tense, spelling, and sentence structure. They will correct your grammar and make suggestions about how to rewrite your sentences for clarity.
  • Proofreading – If you want a flawless manuscript, you can’t skip the step of hiring a proofreader. Understand this: You are not a capable proofreader. You already know what your story is supposed to say, and your brain will fill in any gaps with what you intended.

Once these steps are complete, you are ready to turn your manuscript into a book.

STEP TWO: THE BOOK DESIGN

Before you design your book, you need to know what you want to produce, and you have a lot of choices to make. Do you want a hardcover book? Or a softcover? Both come in a myriad of sizes, and you need to decide which size best fits your format. Will you issue an eBook, and if so, you need to prepare separate digital files for Kindle, Nook, and iPad.  

One of the most important elements is your book cover design. Your title and your book cover art will work together to invite the reader to purchase the book. They also work together to communicate the essence of your book, while creating a key question in the potential reader’s mind: What is this book about?

Remember that books are often shelved with only the spine visible, and you will want yours to stand out. What will the spine of your book look like? Try adding a dash of color to draw attention.

When turning your attention to the interior design, consider these questions: What fonts are you going to use? What will your copyright page look like? Your table of contents? You must use industry standards for chapter starts and page numbering. And be sure you’ve calculated the appropriate thumb holds – that’s the margin space where a reader places their thumbs to hold the book. Readers should not have to shift their thumbs while reading the book because this causes a degree of stress that interferes with their reading experience and causes fatigue.

Just for fun, take a look at some book interiors, and notice how they differ in style to match the book content. You need a professional designer for both the book cover an interior.

STEP THREE: BOOK PRODUCTION

Of course, you’ll need to get your book produced, and you have several options. Do you want to use an on-demand printer that will print the books as they are ordered?  There’s a higher cost per book for this option, but you won’t have to put your money into the inventory up front. However, if you want to pay the lowest possible amount per book, you will opt to print a large quantity of books and warehouse them until they are sold. The warehouse can be your basement, and many authors like this option because they can maximize their profits with this approach.

STEP FOUR: BOOK DISTRIBUTION

So now you’ve got the book in hand. How are you going to distribute it?

There are numerous ways to distribute your book and, of course, your eBooks will be distributed online.

If you print a number of books, you can elect to ship them out yourself as they are purchased, but bear in mind that this option requires you to have shipping supplies and a fair amount of time to send things out. Some people make arrangements with warehouse distributors or sheltered workshops to send out their books, and others elect to work through book distributors who receive orders and ship them out to bookstores, online retailers, and libraries. All your distributions methods require payment, so find out what the distributor requires before signing any contracts.

STEP FIVE: BOOK MARKETING

Books don’t sell themselves, so you need to plan your marketing strategy. Will you engage the services of a publicist? Or will you do what many authors do and use the social media tools that are so readily available? Will you hold events, like book readings? Use email marketing to get the word out? Or go the traditional advertising route?

Be specific when defining your primary market. Picture the person who buys your book. Is it a woman between the ages of 30 and 50 who is unhappy with the signs of aging? It isn’t every woman between 30 and 50, it’s a subset of that group. Who are they?

What are your secondary markets? Secondary markets are those people/organizations/institutions who will also purchase your book, like educators (if you’re writing about children) or mental health practitioners if you are writing about coming out of a depression. You’re going to use this information when you start reaching out to customers, so think it through.  

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF WRITING & PUBLISHING YOUR BOOK

So what’s the most important part of this process? The most important part is always what you are working on right now. Focus on today. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Just do the best possible job on what’s in front of you. There will be plenty of time to focus on what’s ahead.

If you need help to write your book, consider one of my nonfiction book coaching programs:

 

 


author-coaching-book-coach-online-writing-class-get-my-book-outAbout Nonfiction Book Writing & Publishing Expert Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson is better known as “The Book Professor,” a writing and publishing consultant who specializes in helping aspiring nonfiction authors bring their book ideas to market. Nancy works as a book coach assisting authors that write self-help books, biographies, business books, and other nonfiction books through online courses and book coaching. Contact Nancy with questions or to have her speak at your upcoming event by clicking here.


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Are Book Coaches Expensive?

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If you are predisposed to view money as something you don’t have, you’ll probably see the price tag for a book coach and run the other way. It’s not worth it, you might think.  I can’t afford it, you might say. You will see the cost to write and publish your book as a risk you can’t afford to take. What you are actually saying is I’m not worth it, and you will disqualify yourself without exploring the options.

Writing a Book is a Financial Investment in Your Future

When you make the decision to write a book you must change your mindset. If your focus is just on the dollar amount upfront and not as an overall investment in your financial future, you might miss taking the next right step to financial security.

Meet Joe Fingerhut, Author of Permission To Play How Teens Can Build a Life that is Fun, Fulfilling, and Promising

“I don’t have the money.”

If you’re like Joe, a man who has spent his life figuring out how to get what he wants, you’ll say the same thing he did, “I don’t have all the money — yet.”

Joe saw that writing a book was an investment in his business, that it would be an extension of himself that could help him get more speaking engagements. The expense wasn’t something that would deplete him, it would expand him.

Over the next year, Joe followed my process to a tee, and built the components of his book line by line, chapter by chapter. When he finished his manuscript, it was my pleasure to be his editor and publisher. Of course, he didn’t have the money for that part of the project at the beginning, but by the time he finished writing, it was all there.

About six months after Permission to Play: How Teens Can Build a Life that is Fun, Fulfilling, and Promising hit the market, I ran into Joe at a conference and we sat next to each other.

“How’s the book doing?” I asked him. “What’s it done for your business?”

“Oh my gosh, Nancy,” he said. “It’s unbelievable. Because of the book, I’ve been able to raise my speaking fees. The first time I raised my price I was really scared. But no one even blinked! So I raised them again and I’m still fully booked.”

Being a published author gives you credibility and shows that you are an expert or authority on a particular topic. As an author, you have already proven that you can communicate your message, so event organizers are more likely to take you seriously as a possible candidate for a public speaking gig. New York Times Best Selling Authors can earn anywhere from $25,000 to $50,000 for a single speaking engagement (Source) but you don’t have to be on the Best Sellers list to book an event. The standard starting rate for non-fiction authors is between $2,500 and $5,000, plus the cost of travel and accommodations. (Source) By publishing your own non-fiction book, you become eligible for a pretty good pay rate right out of the gate and immediately present yourself as an authority on that book’s topic. Not only can you give talks based off the title and general subject matter of your book; you can also break your book down by chapter and address its issues in more detail. You put a lot of hard work into crafting your book, and that work can continue to pay off if you can repurpose your content into speaking events.

I Can Help

I have spent more than 25 years developing my process for helping authors share what’s inside of them. I’ve found that everyone has different roadblocks in the writing process-and that each of us must take his or her own path in the creation of their book.

I have developed three tools for writers who are seeking help writing their book, all available online. All of my expertise gained in working as a writing and publishing coach has been distilled into these tools to teach you how to write a book online.

With my three options listed below– Self- Study online writing classes, Executive Group Coaching, and 1 on 1 Coaching Writing and Publishing help – you can choose the pace and the price that feels right for you.

A published book is an invaluable asset when it comes to proving your credibility, and will most certainly improve your reputation and notoriety-an investment in your future! All you have to do is make the decision to write. Let’s get started!


author-coaching-book-coach-online-writing-class-get-my-book-outAbout Nonfiction Book Writing & Publishing Expert Nancy Erickson

Nancy Erickson is better known as “The Book Professor,” a writing and publishing consultant who specializes in helping aspiring nonfiction authors bring their book ideas to market. Nancy works as a book coach assisting authors that write self-help books, biographies, business books, and other nonfiction books through online courses and book coaching. Contact Nancy with questions or to have her speak at your upcoming event by clicking here.

 


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Your Book Needs a Pre-Sale Period To Be Successful

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This article originally appeared on bookbaby.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

BookBaby handles the pre-sale workload for you

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some ideas to help build buzz around your release

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

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

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


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How To Write a Book Online

Life is busy, and when you want to write a book, the task might seem daunting at first. But fortunately, due to advances in technology, you don’t have to leave your home to write your book. In fact, within one year, you can write a high impact nonfiction book without ever leaving your home—all online. When you work with a book coach and write a book online,  you can access instructional videos, lessons, and handouts at any time, day or night. Your study time is whenever you want it to be. Our Group Writing & Publishing Program includes homework assignments that will ensure that you are making progress on your book, as well as one-on-one coaching sessions. If you’re looking for a method to complete your entire book online, you’ve come to the right place.

How Our Program Works

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

 


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What is a Book Writing Coach and Why Every Business Professional Needs One

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With every New Year comes new goals, hopes, and dreams. You promise yourself that this year will be better than last. As a business leader, you’ve paid your dues. Your independent, self-sufficient, and you’ve gotten the necessary degrees to become an expert in your chosen field. You’re making the right connections to advance your career, yet frustratingly enough, it seems as if your superiors still think you need a bit more experience for that ONE promotion you’ve been waiting for.

We understand. You’re qualified, yes, but they don’t realize just how qualified you are. If you’re ready to stand out amongst your peers, convince senior leadership that you’re the expert you know you are, keep reading.

Showcase Your Talent

So what is a book writing coach and why on earth would you need one as a business executive? As a business professional with years of experience, you know deep down that you’re a true leader. Writing a book helps to establish yourself as an expert with those who don’t know your talent. And, yes, you, have a story to tell.

Here’s the thing: people who write nonfiction books aren’t writers. They’re what I call “livers.” You’ve lived through something; you’ve been through something, you’ve learned something, discovered something, or developed something, and you’re busy living your life. You’re not a writer because you’re a doer. As a business executive, you’re out accomplishing things. You don’t need to learn the publishing industry or take any writing classes to write your book. You simply need to get your message out of your head and out into the world, and you need a comprehensive book writing coach to help you do that.

Step-By-Step Guidance

You might be thinking, “I’m not a writer, I can’t do this,” but that’s not true. You may not be a writer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become an author. You can do anything you want to do if you get the proper help. A book writing coach can help take the idea for your book and crystallize your message, plan the contents, write the manuscript, edit it to perfection—and finally—publish and distribute your book. You need someone to take you the entire distance so that all you have to do is follow. A great book writing coach can turn a “liver” into a writer.

Listen to what our writer David. J.P. Fisher, author, business leader and entrepreneur had to say after he wrote his first book with us: Networking in the 21st Century: Why Your Network Sucks and What to Do About It:

“Writing the first book was definitely a big hurdle, but I found that it was like running a marathon. Once you do one, you look back and want to do it again. I’ve published three shorter books in the ten months after publishing my first book, and there are more on the way. It’s definitely helped build my professional credibility and stature as an expert in my field.”

What do you have to lose? When will there ever be a better moment than now? It’s time to build your personal brand and establish yourself as an expert with those who don’t know your talent and get the promotion you deserve! All you have to do is take the first step and get started. You have a message, and I have a process. Why don’t we work together?

 


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Should You Redefine Your Business Model?

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

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

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

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

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

For more information please visit www.bookmarketingworks.com


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


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

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

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

He hosted what I call a “Power Breakfast”

Here’s how you can do the same thing…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About Jim McCraigh

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

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


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

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

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

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

Tell Your Story and Give the Ultimate Gift This Holiday Season

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

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

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

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

What are you waiting for?

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

 


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

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

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

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

Benefits of Practicing Gratitude Daily

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

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

  1. Gratitude Opens The Door to More Relationships

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

  1. Gratitude Improves Physical and Psychological Health

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

I can personally attest to both of these. If left to fester, toxic emotions cause toxic health problems. Gratitude, if practiced consistently, slowly erodes the rust that toxic emotions cause to your soul and makes you feel physically better. As a book coach with The Book Professor,  I work with writers that incorporate this practice into their life, especially when and when writing their book because of all the emotions it can bring up.

  1. Gratitude Improves Self Esteem

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

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

 


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Why You Should Put Your Books On Subscription Services

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This article originally appeared on Bookbaby.com

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

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

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

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

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

Subscription services make it easier to expand your audience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Authors with books available on subscription services make more money

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

No response.

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

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

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

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

The Investment Tether

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

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

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

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

The audience roared. I grimaced.

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

I guess that’s one way to look at it!

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

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


Learn How to Write a Book