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Are Book Coaches Expensive?

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

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

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

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

Tell Your Story and Give the Ultimate Gift This Holiday Season

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

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

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

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

What are you waiting for?

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

 


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

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

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

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

Benefits of Practicing Gratitude Daily

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

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

  1. Gratitude Opens The Door to More Relationships

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

  1. Gratitude Improves Physical and Psychological Health

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

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

  1. Gratitude Improves Self Esteem

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

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

 


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Why You Should Put Your Books On Subscription Services

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This article originally appeared on Bookbaby.com

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

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

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

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

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

Subscription services make it easier to expand your audience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Authors with books available on subscription services make more money

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

No response.

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

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

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

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

The Investment Tether

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

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

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

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

The audience roared. I grimaced.

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

I guess that’s one way to look at it!

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

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


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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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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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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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