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Write Your Book With a Group and Stay Accountable

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Write Your Book-The Power of We

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

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

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

We’re All In This Together

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

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

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

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

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

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

CrowdYou Will Never Be Less Busy

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

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

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

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

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

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

Who wouldn’t want a group to cheer you on week after week until you all have your books completed?

What about you? Are you ready to write your book with a group and experience the unity, accountability, and long-lasting friendships along with having a book in your hand at the end of a year? If so, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recognize the Lies We Tell Ourselves

As The Book Professor, I help people write books that change lives, save lives, and transform society. But it’s the people that I sadly meet that don’t believe they have anything to offer that’s worthy of writing about in a book that breaks my heart. When you’ve built your life on a lie, it’s hard to overcome that thinking. The lie becomes the truth and the truth becomes a lie. I believe its the lies we tell ourselves that prevent us from doing the things we were meant to do and for which we are gifted. I don’t know what lies you tell yourself, but I know the truth. You do matter. You are important. You can help other people. And once you change your thoughts, recognize the lies you’ve told yourself over the years, you too can break free from negative thoughts and finally put that boogeyman out of your head forever.

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

 

 


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

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

“So you guys worked together?” I asked  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 


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

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

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

You’ll learn from professionals

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

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

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

You’ll meet other writers

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

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

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

You’ll meet editors and agents

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

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

You’ll get feedback

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

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

You might find a new market for your work

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

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

You’ll leave inspired

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

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

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

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

You can write it off as a business expense

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

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

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


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Nonfiction Book Writing-Start Writing and Improve Your Mental Health

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Nonfiction Book Writing-The Release We All Need

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

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

MountainWrite For Peace and Release

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

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

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

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

 

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


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

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The Book Professor Advice

As a coach or public speaker, you have the opportunity to influence millions. You have the expertise and solutions that can help others. You know how to tell a story, and you have testimonials. You’re talented and what you have to say matters. But do other people know how credible you are? Do they know you’re an expert in your field? If not, you can increase your credibility and attract a following by writing your book with The Book Professor. But without a book, you’re just another self-proclaimed expert. And trust me, we don’t need any more of those!

Your reputation is on the line. The book you write is either going to enhance your reputation or detract from it. You’ve probably spent quite a bit of time and energy in your business, you deliver excellent products or services, and you want that reputation of excellence to be evident in your book. Your book should be an extension of you, an enhancement of your brand. If you’re going to establish yourself as an expert in your field, increase your credibility, attract a following, and avoid the “self-proclaimed expert label,” you don’t want to write a book. You want to write a top-quality book.

Building with multiple staircases

Work With The Book Professor And Write a Top Quality Book

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

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

  • Editing and Testing

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

  • Developmental Editing

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

  • Testing Your Message

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

  1. Final Editing

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

  1. Book Title and Design

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

  1. Proofreading

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

  1. Book Production

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

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


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Fall Leaves

Book Writing Coach Advice: Refocus and Fall Back Into Your Goals

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As a book writing coach, I’ve worked with many students to help them describe seasons in a way that makes the reader feels like they’re actually there in the story. And my favorite season to describe is Fall. Whether it’s taking a long stroll through beautiful foliage, apple picking with the kids, or curling up on the sofa with a good book, there’s something about Fall that brings me a sense of peace and returns me to a concrete work routine. Summer gets me out of my routine and pulls me away from my goals because of vacations, time off with the kids, or just bumming around in the sun; Fall magically helps me to refocus.

And do you know the best aspect about refocusing? It’s refocusing with accountability. When you refocus on your goals for the year, if you include someone with whom you can be accountable, it’s much more likely that you’ll finish 2018 having accomplished what you set out to do.

Business man walking inside of buildingRefocus Your Goals With Accountability

Last fall, I had to pause my workout sessions with Brent, my trainer, because I had minor surgery that required two weeks’ recuperation. After that, Brent and his wife had a baby, and he took off for ten days of family time. Then I was traveling, and during that trip, I contracted a nasty bronchitis that turned into pneumonia. When I was finally well again, Brent got sick and was out for two weeks because either he or his kids were sick. When we started back up, his new baby was seven weeks old, and I was out of shape. I hadn’t worked out for nine weeks.

Of course, I could have worked out by myself during that time, but I didn’t. I have no excuses because we have a home gym complete with a full set of weights, a workout bench, a treadmill, and a gym-quality elliptical trainer—all the tools I needed to keep up with my exercise program. But when I lost the accountability, I lost my motivation. If I hadn’t restarted my sessions with Brent, it’s quite likely that my exercise program would have ended there.

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

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

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

What about you? Are you ready to refocus your goals and get back to writing? Contact us today and we can set up with a book writing coach to keep you accountable!

 


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It’s Time To Publish Your Book Internationally

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This article originally appeared on Bookbaby.com

You’ve heard the phrase “content is king,” but it’s time to revise that to “distribution rules,” which is why you need to publish your book internationally.

More than any other book/publishing conference I attend, London Book Fair is a truly international affair, lending readers the opportunity to meet and talk with authors, agents, and publishers from all around the world.

If you’ve attended the conference in the past, you might have heard echoes of a sentiment first uttered by Microsoft’s Bill Gates that has been embraced in the publishing world: the idea that when it comes to publishing, “Content is king.”

It was in the early days of the Internet when Gates expressed this idea, and that line of thinking paid off for him. And there is a lot of truth in it: great stories are a big part of what sell books. That will always be the case. But as I prepared to represent BookBaby at 2018’s London Book Fair, knowing what I’ve learned about the new world of publishing, I offered an updated version of Gates’ guiding principle: Distribution is king.

Some have likened the concept of distribution as the “queen” to Gates’ “king” content, but I’m of the mind that these roles should be reversed.

Call it what you want — transmitter, network, bullhorn — distribution is the vital infrastructure that broadcasts authors’ messages. Without distribution, there is no discovery , no matter how brilliant the content.

Many authors still don’t lend credence to this fact. They believe that as long as they’re on Amazon, people will find their book. But that just isn’t true. For one thing, Amazon commands only a portion of US readership, let alone worldwide readership. And getting your book in the hands of readers who aren’t on Amazon and don’t live in the United States is becoming more and more paramount.

And while eBooks may have plateaued in the US, other countries around the world have embraced the technology. Tons of emerging nations, beginning with China — which now boasts the largest middle-class population in the world — are using their phones in ways that Americans don’t. They’re using it as a bank. They’re using it to conduct transactions. And, above all, they’re using it to read books.

In fact, in some countries, people can only read using their mobile devices. They don’t have bookstores and publishers don’t have the opportunity to sell print, either. Digital reading mechanisms have become the preferred medium for distribution. In some cases, they’re the only formats readers have ever been familiar with.

One of the reasons authors choose BookBaby is what I term our “books without boundaries” approach to retail store distribution. We’ve been at the forefront of printed book and eBook globalization, supporting the rise of digital publishing throughout the world.

The physical logistics of print books didn’t allow self-published authors to reach such widespread international audiences, but digital truly changes everything. It is called the World Wide Web, after all.

We’ve placed tens of thousands of books into Amazon, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo — all the major players — but eager readers can now find our authors’ books in stores such as the German eBook giant Ciando, the UK’s Gardners, and eSentral with its stores in Malaysia, Singapore, and Indonesia.

The reason why we do this is that it’s so inherently valuable to sell your book internationally. In fact, the international English-language eBook market will soon surpass the US market. Some numbers shared by the eBook Bargains UK (EBUK) newsletter illustrate this point.

Sampling EBUK, you can see there are upwards of 75 million English speakers in the Philippines, over 40 million English speakers in Germany, 30 million in Bangladesh, and tens of millions in countries like Egypt, Turkey, and Thailand. In just India, Pakistan, and Nigeria alone, the number of English speakers exceeds the entire population of the United States. A very conservative estimate puts the number of English speakers outside the US at around 750 million, and that figure doesn’t include the UK (60 million), Australia (20 million), New Zealand (4 million), and Canada (25 million). To reach all these readers, authors need to make sure their books are available in the leading stores in each country.

The publishing world still operates in a primarily US-centric, Amazon-centric fashion, but we at BookBaby have seen the value of redesigning that focus. As of this year, almost 50 percent of our authors’ sales came through stores other than Amazon, and we anticipate our largest area of growth in the eBook market to come from emerging nations.

A survey recently conducted by the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication reports the percent of adults in the country using their phones to read books increased in 2016. In 2015, 60 percent of adults in China used their phones to read; in 2016, that figure jumped to 66.1 percent.

Another 2017 study revealed that about 33 percent of the population preferred eBooks to print books — up from 25 percent as recorded in 2015.

At the end of the day, everyone on the planet has the potential to create eloquent, even life-changing, content. But without an audience — or, more precisely, without the right means of reaching that audience — that content will never be fully appreciated.

Which is to say, the key to availing your book to the largest possible audience is international distribution. Sorry, Mr. Gates.

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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Book Writing Classes: It’s Back To School Time For The Kids…And Parents

As a creator of book writing classes and the mother of two daughters, I can remember the bittersweet “back to school” season very well. I was secretly excited to return them to a structured routine, but I also missed having them with me. Time with my children was priceless. Both daughters are now grown with children of their own who are going back to school, and I imagine they’re feeling the same way too. There’s something about the “back to school” time that not only gets kids back to their school routine and learning, but it’s also a time for parents to think about their own “work” outside of their family. By work, I’m referring to your personal goals, dreams, and aspirations. Have you thought about your goals lately? If not, now’s the time.

Writing Your Book is Like Going to School

Writing your book is a lot like going to school. You have this major project that you work and work and work on, and you think you’ll never get finished, you’ll never get out of school. Then one day—voilà! It’s over! You have your book in hand, and you can start doing the other things you love again. The year it takes to write your book is going to pass anyway. You might as well have something to show for it. I assume that you’re a busy professional and you’re not looking for extra things to do. Life is busy enough with work, but when you layer on the more important things like faith and family, there’s no wiggle room, no gaps where you can sneak in a major project like taking a book writing class to learn how to write your book. And yet it’s something you want to do. You want to make a difference.

You Have the Time

You actually have the time to do the things you want to do—if you make those things a priority You just have to change your attitude. It would be ridiculous, of course, to think that you’re going to drop everything or possibly even quit your job take a book writing class to write your book. That wouldn’t be healthy or wise. But it’s not unreasonable to expect you to shift your schedule for the next year to make the project a priority.

You can’t create time, but you can capture pockets of it and repurpose its use. Don’t get me wrong. Your life is going to be busy, perhaps busier than you like. But if you simply get up an hour earlier each day, or commit your lunch hour to your book, or give up a TV show to write, you can absolutely accomplish this, step by step by step. Just like there’s a season for going to school, there’s a season for writing your book. But it’s only a season. You must adopt this mindset.

 

What are you waiting for? Book writing classes start the week of September 10th. The kids are back to school so now it’s time for you to get back to writing your book.  Contact us today and we can help you take the next step!


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Thoughts from a Writing Coach Online: What’s The Point of It All Anyway?

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Sometimes,  when I look at the latest headlines in the news, I can’t help but wonder what in the world is going on? A few years ago, after I became a writing coach online,  I completely stopped watching the news on television. The reason is that I’m an INFJ, the rarest of the sixteen types on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment. As you probably know, the MBTI helps people gain insights about themselves and how they react to the world. Well, one of the hallmarks of an INFJ is that we “abhor violence.” Abhor is a pretty strong word, but it hits the nail on the head with me. But my aversion to television news doesn’t mean I’m uninformed. I catch the news on the radio or find it online, where it doesn’t affect me as deeply as when I viewed it.

Take a look for yourself. Here are some headlines you might have seen:

A Man With Down Syndrome Holding a Toy Gun Was Shot Dead By Police

Key Findings On The Rise Of Income Inequality Within America’s Racial And Ethnic Groups

Activists: Child Poverty On The Rise

Post-Weinstein, These Are The Powerful Men Facing Sexual Harassment Allegations

Pediatrician Charged With Sexually Abusing Dozens of Children, Including a 2-Week Old Infant

When you read headlines like the above, it’s easy to feel down and wonder “what’s the point of it all anyway?” and think “no one seems to care about anybody but themselves.”

The writer isn’t made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century.

—E. L. Doctorow

People Are Still Changing the World

In spite of what you might read or watch in the news, people are still providing solutions and changing the world. In my world, that’s done one reader at a time. Think about what you’ve learned and how you can be a force that changes lives, saves lives, or transforms society. Don’t waste your pain and struggles. Hire a writing coach online and share your experiences with the world, put them to work, and let the mess become the messengerthe messenger of hope and help.

It might not seem like there are people that care about changing the world, but there are. Don’t believe me? Check out these headlines of people that are changing the world RIGHT NOW:

Struggling Farmers Turn Excess Milk Into Cheese And Yogurt For The Hungry

Homeless Man Becomes a Hero After Saving Woman Who Jumped From Bridge

Man Saves Ancient Books From Dumpster Only To Look Inside Months Later And Find Amazing Inscription

Fewer People Going Back to Jail, As Return Rates Drop By Double Digits Across The U.S. -Here’s Why

Girl Scout Wrote Letters To Companies, Urging Them To Ditch Plastic-And They Did

What about you? What will YOUR headline be? If you or someone you know is ready to change the world and provide hope and help to someone else, please contact us today and we can set you up with a writing coach online!


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The Book Professor Mission: Tell Your Story-Solve a Problem

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May I share my philosophy as owner of The Book Professor with you? There are so many problems in our world, so many confounding issues, that we don’t even know how to name them anymore, much less solve them. But we do know what doesn’t work. Top-down solutions from government and other institutions don’t solve these problems. In fact, in many cases, they make them worse and spawn further problems, don’t they?

Don’t despair. I firmly believe that our problems – every one of them – can be solved.The answers are trapped inside of people like you, and when you simply share your experiences and what you’ve learned, what you know, what you’ve discovered, or what you’ve developed, you can actually change lives, save lives, and transform society.  

Two Things People Cannot Live Without: Hope and Help

People need real hope, not some platitude that says, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” You can offer real hope when you tell your story and show others what you’ve been through and how you came out on the other side, how you endured your trials and survived them – changed, but also whole.

People also need real help, not empty counsel that says, “this, too, shall pass.” If anything, that makes you feel even more isolated and less understood. Real help is when you show others the steps you took to get from where you were to where you are now. It gives them something concrete to model, so they can walk through their own situation.

People like YOU who have the answers, and other people, in some cases, are literally dying as they wait for your answers. At The Book Professor, we’re just the hallway that can connect you.

Be The Solution

The time is now. What do you know, what have you learned, what have you overcome, or what have you developed that will help others? We help people write high-impact nonfiction books that will change lives, save lives, or transform society. We’re already eight months into 2018, and 2019 is just around the corner. Imagine if we had 219 solutions in 2019 to some of the worlds biggest problems!

 

What about you? Will you be one of the 219 solution finders?  If you or someone you know is ready to tell your story and solve a problem, please contact us today and we can help you take the next step?

 


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Your Book Needs Editing, Design, and Marketing (even if CreateSpace no longer offers these author services)

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When my first self-published manuscript returned from an editor’s desk carved in violent red ink, I learned one huge lesson: a book simply won’t be publishable without professional author services like editing and design.

Several years ago, I wrote a book that I planned to self-publish. My company, BookBaby, didn’t have its own in-house editing service yet, so I decided to use an outside firm. The first step was to send them my manuscript. After mailing it over, I remember thinking, “Hey, I’m a journalist. I know my way around a comma. There shouldn’t be too much revision necessary.”

I was dead wrong. Several weeks later, my manuscript was returned with pages carved in violent red ink. My book was hardly recognizable. Every sentence appeared to need revising.

The experience taught me one huge lesson: the importance of focused, professional editing. A book simply won’t be publishable without it.

The same is true of professional marketing and design services that ensure your book can compete in the marketplace. Independent authors lack the resources provided by big publishing houses; investing in these services helps level the playing field.

That’s why Amazon’s announcement that it is discontinuing its author services — the division of CreateSpace that offers independent authors editing, marketing, and design — is a significant development. These are important, necessary investments for independent authors to make. Amazon or no Amazon, skimping on these services won’t just limit your book’s potential, it could render your book irrelevant.

Editing

Professional editing is the most important investment you can make for your book. A poorly-edited book will turn off potential readers almost immediately. If your book is riddled with grammatical mistakes, structural problems, or spelling errors, it won’t have a shot at competing with books that have been professionally edited. In fact, self-publishing an unedited book can damage your reputation.

A few years ago, we worked with a preacher from Texas who served as the president of two Bible colleges near Dallas. He rushed to publish a book he wanted to include in his curriculum for the upcoming school year. He didn’t have it edited, and he printed 500 copies.

Once he had the book in his hands, he sent copies to his family and friends. Soon after, he began to get texts saying, “Page 6, there’s a typo.” “Page 14, there’s a typo.” In time, he wished he’d never published the book at all. Luckily, there was a happy ending. He sent the book out for editing, and BookBaby reprinted all of his books.

There simply is no substitute for professional editing. At BookBaby, the first question we ask when someone brings a manuscript to us is: “Have you had it edited?” If an author tells us they don’t have much money budgeted for their book and can’t afford editing, we advise them to print fewer copies and invest the rest of their budget in professional editing. That’s how necessary it is.

Your words are the most important part of your book. Treat them as such.

Marketing

Another investment independent authors should consider is in marketing strategies and resources. The better equipped you are with tools and strategies to market your book, the more successful that book will be.

One mistake independent authors often make is assuming their book will sell itself. This isn’t the case. All authors need to put in some marketing work. You need to identify your niche and you need to strategize how to establish relationships with your audience. Without putting in that work — which might include investing in services or consultants to help you — how can you expect your book to sell?

It’s not enough to make this investment just once, either. Publishing your book is not a singular event, it’s the start of a long adventure. Before you publish your first book (or even before you begin writing), you should create a Twitter account, an author website, and an email list. Once you’ve established these things, you won’t be using them just once. You’ll be building, polishing, and tweaking your use of them continuously. Using these tools is a skill that needs to be sharpened and honed.

This is why we encourage independent authors to learn how to market themselves and their books. There is not one blanket strategy or solution that works for everyone; yours will have to be built to meet the demands of your individual market space. Authors backed by traditional publishing houses are doing this stuff. You need to do the same.

Design

In 1964, when United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart described his threshold test for what constitutes “obscenity,” he famously said: “I shall not today attempt to define [obscene] material … But I know it when I see it.”

The same threshold can be applied to book formatting: You can just tell when it’s been professionally done. And for independent authors attempting to compete with the big players in the publishing space, meeting that threshold is absolutely necessary.

Book design is an art form, and it encompasses more than just cover design.

At BookBaby, our designers turn what would normally just be text on a page into a pleasing reading experience. We do this work purposefully, considering what type of colors, textures, typography, and placement is appropriate for each book based on the genre and story.

Books designed without this level of artistry or care are going to prove less attractive to readers. Because the ultimate truth is, yes, people do judge books by their covers. This is perhaps even truer for readers looking for books on Amazon. On Amazon, authors have milliseconds to attract the attention of potential readers. If you don’t have your act together on the front of your book, you’ll miss out on a lot of readers.

At the end of the day, your book is a reflection of you and all the time and effort you put into making it. It is your legacy, and you don’t want your legacy polluted by something you’re less than proud of. Treating the editing, marketing, and design aspects of the publication process as seriously as you did the writing is the best way to ensure you are proud of your final product.


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