Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Thursday, April 17, 2014

How to Create a Kick-Ass LinkedIn Profile!

Filed under: Author Tips — Larry James @ 6:30 am
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Melonie Dodaro, Guest Author

With the professional network now boasting more members than many developed countries, business professionals across the planet are racing to figure out how they will leverage LinkedIn marketing for themselves.

CreateLinkedInProfileStatistics have shown that LinkedIn marketing is 277% more effective than Twitter or Facebook for lead generation but there are still many people who get frustrated before reaching success.

Your LinkedIn profile is often your first online impression as it usually shows up at the top of Google results when someone Google’s your name. It is essentially your online professional presence and it’s imperative that it conveys that you truly are a professional.

This LinkedIn profile infographic details every single step you need to craft the perfect profile. If you follow each step, you will not only look good but also attract and engage your ideal clients to take action and reach out to you.

Stand Out From Your Competitors

LinkedIn is very SEO-friendly but many people don’t think about the searches that are actually done on LinkedIn every day. If your profile is properly optimized, you can take advantage of the many searches being done every day within each industry and show up above your competition.

You need to be proactive as well and not expect your profile to do everything for you. Include these five things as part of your LinkedIn marketing strategy for optimal results:

1. Personalize all connection requests
2. Engage in LinkedIn groups where your target market is
3. Forget the sales pitch and lead with value
4. Send a personalized ‘welcome’ message to all new connections
5. Take advantage of LinkedIn advanced search to find targeted prospects in your extended network

The graphic below was created from my personal LinkedIn profile and leaves no stone unturned showing you how to create the perfect LinkedIn profile when it comes to:

• Getting found by potential clients in LinkedIn & Google searches
• Impressing prospects when they find you
• Writing copy that creates action and has them reach out to you

LinkedInInfographic

MelonieDodaroCopyright © 2014 – Melonie Dodaro. This infographic is presented by Top Dog Social Media. Connect with Melonie on LinkedIn! Get her FREE LinkIn Guide at http://www.LinkedInChecklist.com.

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Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Write Reviews for Books on Amazon.com

Filed under: Author Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Anyone registered as an Amazon.com customer is entitled to write customer reviews. It doesn’t matter where an item was purchased, or if it was a gift, or if the reviewer just borrowed it for a weekend. If someone feels moved to write a review of an item, and they are a registered Amazon.com customer, they are welcome.

amazon.jpgI’ve written nearly 150 reviews for books that authors have sent me to review on Amazon.com. One of the reasons I do it is because it gives my own books a little more publicity. I’ll write a review, post it on Amazon and end the review with – Larry James, author of “How to Really Love the One You’re With.” Plus I get to read some pretty good books. I only review books that are either in the relationship or business networking genre. (Spoiler Alert: If you or someone else clicks on my book link in this article, I will receive a very small commission). ;-)

Occasionally I will receive a book that I feel I cannot review – usually because it was badly written. I will let the author know that it’s not something I feel good about reviewing. Sometimes they ask why. I will always give them my honest opinion and maybe – if asked – offer a few suggestions.

Remember, your readers can leave reviews of your book on Amazon. Amazon Widgets are rich, interactive mini-applications that bring Amazon functionality to your website. They allow easy access for your readers to write a review. More info. Take a look at a page on my website that has a direct link for visitors to write reviews for any of my 3 relationship books. Click here.

Anybody can put Amazon Widgets on their blog, social network page, or Web page as long as they can add Flash or JavaScript code to their page. Amazon Widgets are designed to be easy to create, easy to customize, and easy to install by anyone. Installation instructions and supporting code are provided for a large number of common Blog and Social Network sites.

To create an Amazon Widget and add it to your page, first select the widget you wish to install from the Amazon Widgets Gallery Page. Then use the widget configuration pages to configure your widget to have the products and look and feel that you want. When you are happy with the look of your widget, click on the “Add to my Webpage” button. You will be given support for installing the widget on a large number of Blog and Social Network sites, as well as the chance to copy the widget code for installing the widget yourself.

If you are enrolled in the Amazon Affiliate program, you can post your books on your own website and receive a small commission when someone buys your book.

I’ve heard some authors say that they won’t put their books on Amazon because Amazon offers used books and the author would lose money because they are not paid commissions on used book sales. I think that’s one way to look at it. However, another way would be to list your book anyway because many people who buy books don’t want a used one. The usual reasons that Darren Rowse hears people giving for not being an Amazon affiliate include:

• The commissions are too small. They start at 4% and for most products can go as high as 8% depending upon how many products you see sold.
• Because most people on Amazon buy low priced products like books, so 4% of a $10 product doesn’t add up to a worthwhile commission.
• Because people have to make a purchase from you within 24 hours otherwise your affiliate cookie stops working.

Amazon was one of the first online businesses to start a robust affiliate program. It’s called Amazon Associates and website publishers can promote just about any product that Amazon sells. In return, publishers earn a commission for each sale that ranges from four percent to 15 percent (average is about six or seven percent).

There are several advantages to Amazon’s program. First, because Amazon sells just about everything, most websites and blogs can find something on Amazon to promote. Second, Amazon is a well-recognized, trusted online ecommerce site that helps conversion rates. And third, you earn commissions on everything your visitors buy, not just the item you were promoting.

In my opinion, I would rather have my books listed on Amazon than not. Any sale is a good sale. Plus, it only takes a few minutes to post your books on your own website and it’s fairly simple to do. Authors would be wise to follow some of the links in this article and learn more about how you can promote your own books and any other books you like from other authors.

Please leave any comments about your experiences with Amazon in the “Comments” section below.

For questions about Amazon reviews, click here.

BONUS Articles: Amazon’s Top Reviewers Get Free Products in Exchange for Write-ups
The Ultimate Guide to Making Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program
How to Become an Amazon Associate

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Authors: Sign Your Kindle Books Electronically

Filed under: Author Tips,Book Signing Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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If you’ve got a Kindle book available on Amazon, you can now sign it electronically for buyers with an online service called Authorgraph.

SignKindleBookBecause you sign each book individually as you receive requests, you can write something different (if you want) for everyone who makes a request. While you might write something generic for a stranger, you can write something personal when you get a request from someone you know.

What is an Authorgraph? – It’s a personal, digital inscription for an e-book. It is sent directly from an author to a reader’s digital reading device. Authorgraphs are viewable on a wide variety of platforms. Every Authorgraph goes only to the specific reader that requested it so an author can write a custom message for each reader. In addition, readers can include a short message to the author in order to provide a bit more context for personalizing the Authorgraph.

Be sure to watch the video screencast explaining how it works at: http://www.kindlegraph.com/about. This service was orignally called Kindlegraph before the author changed the name to Authorgraph in November 2012.

Update: There are several other software programs that will allow you to sign your books electronically. Do a Google search for “Sign Your Kindle Books Electronically.”

BONUS Article: How to Make a Kindle Cover from a Hollowed Out Hardback Book

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Copyright © 2014 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

commentSubscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Monday, March 24, 2014

10 Ways Great Speakers Capture People’s Attention

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Speaker Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Sims Wyeth, Guest Author

In my mind, there are two kinds of attention: neck down, and neck up. Neck-up attention is when the listener has to make an effort to pay attention. Neck-down attention is when the listener is riveted to the speaker: she can’t help but pay attention.

Please note that, in our language of English, attention is paid because attention is a valuable currency. When listeners pay attention, they are rewarding you with arguably the most valuable currency in the world.

SimsWyeth

Click cover for info!

Here are 10 techniques that are guaranteed to earn you more attention without losing any of your professional credibility.

1. Start with the unexpected.
2. Make it about them.
3. Keep it concrete at the start.
4. Keep it moving.
5. Get to the point.
6. Arouse emotion.
7. Keep it interactive.
8. Write clear headlines.
9. Keep it short.
10. Let there be you.

Read the complete article, “10 Ways Great Speakers Capture People’s Attention,” by clicking here.

SimsWyeth2Copyright © 2014 – Sims Wyeth. Sims Wyeth is the president of Sims Wyeth & Co., an executive development firm devoted to the art and science of speaking persuasively. He is also the author of The Essentials of Persuasive Public Speaking, published by W. W. Norton.

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Sunday, March 16, 2014

10 Ways to Promote Your Book in Your Own Backyard

Filed under: Book Promotion,Promotion — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: , ,

Dana Lynn Smith, Guest Author

Online marketing is a wonderful way to reach a worldwide audience, but sometimes authors overlook book marketing opportunities in their own backyard.

In your local area and region, you have the opportunity to stand out as a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Below are ten tips for promoting locally. If you have a publisher, remember to coordinate these activities with your publisher or publicist in advance.

bookBUZZ1. Always carry books and literature with you. Keep a case of books, some flyers and bookmarks in the trunk of your car, and business cards in your wallet. You never know when you will run across a potential customer or marketing contact.

2. Look for opportunities across your area. Headed out for a weekend getaway or off to visit grandma? Do a little research ahead of time to identify bookstores, retailers and libraries in the area that you can call on. Or plan your own book tour, staying with friends and relatives along the way.

3. Promote yourself as a local author to bookstores and libraries. Many bookstores and libraries have a special section where they showcase the books of local or regional authors.

4. Look for other retailers that are a good fit. Think about what type of retailers relate to the topic of your book, and promote yourself as a local author.

5. Put “local author” stickers on the books that you sell in your area.

6. Speak at libraries. Contact libraries about doing a presentation on your book’s topic. This can be especially effective for children’s books and for nonfiction titles that have a broad appeal (such as travel, business, or fitness). Many libraries will let you sell your books at your presentation, and some have a budget for paying speakers.

7. Find other speaking opportunities. Speaking is a great way to sell books, and you may even get paid to speak once you get some experience. There are lots of organizations looking for interesting speakers for their meetings, including business and civic organizations, church groups, schools and universities, trade associations, and more.

8. Seek publicity through local and regional media. Send a book announcement press release to media in the town where you grew up and where you live now. The “local girl makes good” angle works especially well in smaller towns. Create press releases based on local tie-ins, such as a novel set in the region, and on current news events. Don’t forget your college alumni newsletter and any civic or professional associations you belong to. Nonfiction authors should consider radio and television talk shows.

9. Exhibit at book fairs and festivals. These usually work best if your book is related to the theme of the event, or if the book has appeal to a broad audience.

10. Market children’s book through schools and youth organizations. School visits are a great way to reach kids. For tips, see this article by Melissa Williams.

DanaSmithCopyright © 2014 – Dana Lynn Smith. Dana is a book marketing coach and author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides. For more book marketing tips, follow BookMarketer on Twitter and get Dana’s free Top Book Marketing Tips ebook when you visit her book marketing BLOG.

Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

NOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Saturday, March 8, 2014

15 Quick and Dirty Writing Tips

Filed under: Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 8:30 am
Tags: ,

Melissa Donovan, Guest Author

The first time someone told me “show, don’t tell,” I had no idea what they were talking about. Show what? Isn’t writing, by its very nature, telling?

writingtipsI was a young writer and didn’t yet understand the many elements that go into good writing. But I kept hearing that advice over and over: show don’t tell.

Then, one day, it clicked. I got it. To tell was to write a synopsis. To show was to write a scene, to take readers through the events with action, dialogue, and detail. Show, don’t tell. Of course. It was so obvious.

Now, every time I read that advice, I have to smile.

Learning often happens through repetition. Oftentimes, the first time we hear something, we forget it almost immediately. Through review and repetition, we eventually memorize new information.

There are an infinite number of writing techniques and skills that the most advanced writers have mastered. We can’t expect to get our writing right the first time around and we can’t expect to master all those techniques and skills as soon as we become privy to them.

You can’t have too many writing tips and you can’t brush up on your techniques and skills too often. In that spirit, I bring you 15 quick and dirty writing tips. These are just the headlines, designed to jog your memory and remind you of all the writerly things we should be doing at any given time.

justwriteQuick and Dirty Writing Tips

This list includes a mix of some of my favorite writing tips and some of the tips I think are most essential.

1. Read as much as you can (and make sure you read good stuff).
2. Write every day – practice makes perfect.
3. Acquire some resources: dictionary, thesaurus, style guide, grammar handbook, and books on writing.
4. Join or start a writers’ group and get feedback on your work.
5. Lower your expectations and allow yourself to write badly. It’s better to write crap than to write nothing at all.
6. Feeling uninspired? Writer’s block is no excuse; find some writing prompts and exercises. Use them.
7. Do you want to write a novel? Launch a blog? Submit your poetry? Set goals and then get busy reaching them.
8. Be yourself. You have your own voice; let people hear it. Don’t compare everything you write to more successful writers. They started somewhere too.
9. Tell your inner editor to take a vacation. Let yourself write freely and creatively. You can always edit and revise later.
10. Get organized. All those notes, journals, and all that research! Binders, notebooks, and computer files. Put things in order so you can find what you need when you need it.
11. Pay attention to your language: word choice and sentence structure is the difference between an award-winning novel and a book that sits on a shelf collecting dust (poetry exercises are great for this).
12. Know your audience. Write for them using language they understand.
13. Be creative and take risks. You’ll never know unless you try.
14. Revise, edit, proofread, and polish everything you write before anyone else sees it!
15. Show, don’t tell (you knew that was coming).

melissadonovanCopyright © 2014 – Melissa Donovan. Melissa Donovan, is a self-employed website designer and copywriter. You can learn more about the online marketing services she offers by visiting scribizzy.com. She began writing poetry and song lyrics at age 13. She has worked as a technical writer, business writer, copywriter, and professional blogger. Visit her Writer’s Blog.

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Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Speaking Pause. . . Why We Won’t Stop Talking!

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Speaker Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: , ,

Rich Hopkins, Guest Author

I love the pause… and the pause loves me.

The pause is one of the few friends a speaker can actually take on stage with them, as they face the expectations of their audience. But it is a friend often scorned and forgotten by many as they blow through their presentations like Jimmie Johnson blows through the NASCAR circuit.

pause3Speaking shouldn’t be a race, whether it be a race to fit everything in, or a race to sit down and be safely silent again. Instead, its your opportunity to express yourself, to influence, and inspire to action. If people can’t keep up with you, the chances of anything good coming out of your talk diminishes.

6 Reason We Talk Too Fast

1. We’re subconsciously afraid that we will be interrupted, as if we were talking around the water cooler. If we don’t stop talking, we won’t lose the floor, be forced to answer questions, or, in a sales situation, hear “NO” before we’re ready to handle it.

2. We’re afraid to forget. We think that as long as we know what we’re going to say next, we may as well go for it, so not to allow our mind to go blank.

3. As mentioned above, we have so much to say, we don’t think we have enough time to say it. Check out this post on editing to diagnose and treat this particular issue.

4. We aren’t emotionally connected to what we’re saying. We may be reciting a report or going through a scripted talk we’ve given dozens of times in the past, and our lack of excitement results in non-stop, often monotonal diatribe that leaves the audiences as bored as we are.

5. That’s what we’ve seen. We’ve grown up listening to commercial messages, slick salespeople, even teachers and preachers who pummel us with words at such a high rate of speed we’re more tired than inspired by the time they sit down. If that’s all you know, then that’s what you’ll do. (This concept also explains poor customer service and bad drivers.)

pause6. We just want it to be over, as fast as possible.

What are some of the benefits of using a pause? Are there other causes you can think of for speaking at top speed without time to take a breath? It’s time to examine why we must stop, and find the crucial Silent Seconds in our presentations:

(pause)

1. Connection – pauses allow the audience to see the speaker as a human being, instead of a flapping mouth, perhaps with flapping arms to boot. (pause)They give your audience a chance to catch a glimpse of you in silence, see the look in your eyes, and understand the expressions on your face. Be aware that all of these must aspects of your presentation must be in line with your message. When you pause, take a hurried drink, and sift through a pile of notes, you are no longer in tune with your words, which creates a disconnect.

(pause)

2. Understanding - if you’re discussing new or complicated concepts (communication techniques for husbands, for example), use the pause to let your audience catch up. (pause)Watch your crowd and look for confirming or confused looks. You may need to repeat or clarify, or allow questions to be asked. If you don’t pause to be sure your audience understands, the point of the talk becomes moot.

RichHopkins

Click cover for info!

(pause)

3. Impact - when you’ve made your most important statements, a pause is a flag that helps the audience identify that fact. (pause)Particularly a pause followed by repeating the statement, followed by another pause. Slowing down the pace to make sure the audience is clear that THIS is what they need to take home with them is worth the effort, and separates the moment from your faster-paced stories and transitions.

(pause)

4. Effective Storytelling - nothing steps on laughter, runs over a dramatic twist, or plain neuters a story like the lack of Silent Seconds. Pausing gives your audience the chance lean forward in their seats and mentally beg for more. Take advantage!

(pause)

When you write your speeches, watch for your Silent Seconds – those times a pause will enhance the connection, understanding and impact of your words. (pause)You’ll find them naturally in your punctuation – when your sentence ends with a period, thats a clue.

(pause)

As I regularly recommend, record yourself, and listen for places your pauses should be, and where they should possibly be longer. (pause)You may fear pausing too long, but typically, the pause in our head is twice as long as the pause the audience observes. (pause) Exercise – try to deliberately pause for 5 seconds. It’ll drive you crazy, as it’ll seem more like 10 as you stand in silence.

(pause)

There are dangers to using pauses as well, but we’ll tackle those later on. For now, take a look at how Silent Seconds will impact your speaking, and impact your audience. Now get out there and remember to Speak (pause) and Deliver!

Copyright © 2014 – Rich Hopkins. Rich offers one-to-one coaching to help you jumpstart your speaking abilities. Whether you are speaking to corporate executives or Cub Scouts, board members or family members, Rich will help you craft your message and delivery to maximize audience interaction and response. Visit Rich’s Website.

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Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

letsbefriends2

Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

A Cure for Writer’s Block

Filed under: Author Tips,Writers Block — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Linda Stamper Boyne, Guest Author

The human brain is an amazing thing. It has an incredible capacity to figure things out if we just get out of its way.

Example: I’ve had writer’s block. It’s been months since I’ve submitted a column for this publication.

writers-blockI’d sit down to write and, nothing. I’d try writing about some random topic to see if I could get the ball rolling, but the ball stayed motionless. I was a big, black, empty blob. Vast emptiness. N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

“I can’t think of anything to write about. Why can’t I write?” The more I tried, the more frustrated I became. It was a viscious cycle of mental constipation.

So finally I just stopped trying. And it made me sad, to not be doing something I love, something that brings me joy. I missed being able to write.

If running was my thing and I was injured, I could go to physical therapy to get back in shape and out on the trail again. But for writing, I’d need to see a mental therapist, and that’s a whole other Pandora’s box we don’t need to open here.

So I waited.

As May’s snow turned into June’s rain, I did not write. In between July’s thunderstorms and glorious moments of sunshine, I awaited the freedom of inspiration.

Last week, the boys and I flew to Central Oregon to vacation with my family at Sunriver Resort, a mecca of recreation. The resort has 35 miles of bike paths, the Deschutes River winding through, the Cascade Mountains a stone’s throw away, golf courses, tennis courts, swimming pools, stables and shopping. Anything we wish to do, we can do it there. And we did.

I threw myself into playing and family time. Family has a way of refocusing your self-image. I know with some family dynamics, that’s not a good thing, but in my case, it’s for the better.

In the hardcore, athletic community in which I live, I see my self on the very light end of the activity scale. I’m not an adrenaline junky. I’m not outdoorsy. I don’t live to bike or ski or fish. My friends call me their fancy friend.

My mom and sister were surprised by this self-description. To them, I am athletic and adventurous. I think it has to do with context, but I began to see myself through their lens. It re-adjusted my focus and, in some way, set me free. It allowed me to do things I wouldn’t at home.

So, while mountain biking along the Deschutes River south of Bend with the boys, inspiration finally came.

It was more trail riding than mountain biking in Vail Valley terms. The dirt trail rolled gently along the bank of the river with only a few rocks and roots as obstacle. Even on the hills, I never had to shift out of the center ring.

imaginaryFriendsRiding through one section where a lava flow made its way to the river a few years back, there were quite a few rocks poking up in the trail. From somewhere, I heard a voice say, “Focus on where you want to go, not on the obstacles.”

Who was that wise voice inside my head? My dad? The Dalai Lama? Mia from Vail Mountain Bike Camps? I don’t know.

I didn’t hit another rock during that whole section and then it came to me: “Wait a minute! I have been staring at the writer’s block instead of seeing the path around it.”

I wasn’t recognizing the interesting article, the fleeting thought or the funny conversation that usually grows into a column because all I could see was the giant block.

“Hold on! This applies to life as well!”

I’ve been focused on the obstacles in my day-to-day life, the problems, the issues, instead of looking down the path where I want to go. It’s all so clear now!

I couldn’t wait to get back to my computer at the end of the ride. I was suddenly flooded with ideas. I was finally free, my mind no longer locked up, or more accurately, blocked up.

Can you imagine if I started biking all the time? I might be able to find the solution for world peace so beauty queens of all nations could sleep peacefully once more.

BONUS Article: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write!
Authors: Maintain a “Thought Starter” File
Like Skipping Stones Across the Water…
The 10 Types of Writers’ Block (and How to Overcome Them)

Copyright © 2014 – Linda Stamper Boyne is a free-lance writer and lives in Vail, Colorado.

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Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Top 10 Mistakes that New Freelance Writers Make and How to Avoid Them

Alexandra Romanov, Guest Author

There are a number of things that virtually every new freelance writer does that are plain and simple mistakes. I’m here to make your life much easier, by showing you how to avoid the most common mistakes. Why? So you can approach your writing career with confidence, and achieve the success you deserve.

Not working regular hours

freelancerDon’t roll your eyes, I’m not going to tell you that you need to be sitting in front of your computer from 9 to 5, Monday through Friday for 50 weeks a year. What I AM going to tell you is that you need to set regular hours and stick with them.

During whatever hours you set you need to be working on projects or looking for new projects. Period. Sitting at your computer playing Angry Birds does not count. If you don’t have the self-discipline to do this then you need to keep your day job and write as an income supplement.

Working regular hours disciplines your mind and body to work when work is necessary. It also does something else: It makes you QUIT working as well.

Fixing this is actually simple, decide on your working hours and set an alarm on your cell phone. You start and end when the alarm goes off. You don’t have to be militaristic about this; it’s okay to finish the last paragraph or last part of the project you are working on that day.

Working harder than the client expects

This is often a difficult one especially for new writers. You want to do a good job so that the client is happy and gets what they expect. The problem is that if they are paying you $100 and you are putting in $500 worth of work, you lose. It can take a while to get into the groove of meeting client expectations without going so far overboard that you lose money.

Fixing this can be tough for the new writer because you are still learning client expectations. Try and remember that rewrites and edits are part of the game and put in only as much work as the project is actually worth. Don’t do 10 hours of research for a $25 article!

Not paying attention to their hourly rate

Never, ever work for an hourly rate. I hope I have made that absolutely clear. Work by the word or by the project. That said you should always know exactly how much you are making per hour.

$100 for a 500-word article sounds great. But if you have to spend 20 hours researching it and another hour writing it then you are now actually making less than $5 a hour. It doesn’t take long to see a huge problem in your income. You are constantly working and not making any money. In fact, if you work a 42-hour workweek like that you would make $200.

Fixing this is simple. When a client asks you to write something, figure out how much research time is going to be involved before quoting your price. Unless it’s a subject I can write cold, I default to quoting a project rate. If I can write the subject cold I am open to a per word rate.

This will take a little getting used to as a freelance writer so don’t feel bad if you have been guilty of making this mistake in the past. Every freelance writer I know has done this.

Allowing interruptions

This is a big problem for most freelance writers. It’s been such a big problem for me that I could write a book on the subject; or spend the next 30 years in therapy over it. At one point I found out that I was the emergency number for 10 kids at school because their parents worked and I was at home, my husband walking in and talking to me about some mundane thing like laundry and my personal favorite, friend calling to chat during working hours.

Here are a few rules I’ve devised over the years that helped solve this problem:

1. I do have a job, I just work from home. My boss is a tyrant!

2. Unless you are a client, calling or bothering me during business hours is unacceptable and you will be billed for the amount of my time you used (my brother still owes me money on that!)

3. I always have Caller ID activated

4. Treat your freelance writing career the same as you would if you were working from a company office.

To be completely honest here, I gave the information about my working hours to my friends and the interruptions stopped immediately. My husband and brother…not so much.

If you want to make a success of freelance writing then you have to focus on work during working hours. That means eliminating as many interruptions and distractions as possible. If you were working a traditional job then these distractions wouldn’t be allowed and no one would expect you tolerate them. Your boss certainly wouldn’t allow them to go on if your productivity suffered.

dog-on-computer-300x300Avoiding Social Media

Why so many writers avoid social media is beyond me. I suppose it’s because many writers were raised that self-promotion is a bad thing. We were raised by a generation that believed it was in poor taste to “toot your own horn” well those rules have changed slightly with the invention of the Internet. It’s no longer seen as crass to promote yourself as long as it’s part of a legitimate business. In the case of being a freelance writer, learning to navigate social media can be the difference between obscurity and financial success.

Start by setting up LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts. Make sure that you have the accounts set up to sync, that is tell each other when you have posted to one of the accounts. In this way you can make a single post on Facebook and have it also show up on Twitter and LinkedIn. Be sure to engage your readers on these accounts as well. If you write for blogs or other online media that has a comments section, respond to comments posted by readers. The more you respond and interact with the various social media platforms the more comfortable you will become with them and the faster your business will grow.

Not creating and maintaining a website

This is a huge mistake that many beginning freelance writers make. The cause behind it seems to be that if no one knows you then you don’t need a website. The problem with that is that most potential clients expect you to have one and will go looking for it. When you don’t have one you look unprofessional and the potential clients move on to the next freelance writer on the list.

This is a super easy fix. You get a website with your own domain name or that of your freelance writing business. You create a professional looking site and keep it updated. It’s simple to set up, easy to maintain and will show potential clients who you are and why they should hire you.

Working for horrible clients

This is seriously one of the stupidest things anyone who works as a freelancer ever does. It’s devastating to your emotional and physical health and it will make you burn out faster than anything. Fire these people immediately.

I’m a big fan of Timothy Ferriss and his book The 4-hour Workweek. In it he points out the 80-20 rule. This is an interesting economic theory that long ago proved that 80% of the people cause most of the problems while 20% create most of your profits. It is rare if not unheard of that these are the same people. You need to figure out which 20% are the most profitable and attempt to replicate those clients while eliminating the 80% who are difficult.

In addition, stand up for yourself. If you have an insulting and abusive client, call them on it in a polite and professional manner. Let them know that you will no longer tolerate the abuse and that if they can’t behave in a professional manner then they need to find someone else.

Never accept abuse from anyone. There is no amount of money worth your mental health and that is what these people are taking from you.

Not setting up an accounting system

You need this for tax purposes on the whole. Eventually the government is going to want their share of your income. I strongly recommend hiring an accountant. Beyond that a simple accounting system that tracks your income v/s your expenses is usually enough. Keep every receipt for your business.

Beyond the tax issue, without an accounting system in place you have no idea where you and your business are in the grand scheme of things. You need to be able to plan both short and long term and without an idea of where your money is coming from and where it’s going the process is much harder.

In the US, consider taking a small business accounting class at a community college. These courses are often offered through adult continuing education for a small fee. Normally a class like this will meet one evening a week for 6-8 weeks. You don’t get a certificate or degree and the classes are not for credit. What you get is the information you need to have a better handle on the financial side of your business.

Not setting business goals

You don’t have to set up a full business plan but you should have yearly, quarterly and even monthly goals. They can be goals pertaining to earnings, publications or numbers of new clients. It’s always good to jot these down and assess yourself every now and then. Consider it a performance review of yourself. Without goals you will find yourself working without purpose, as in just earning money for the sake of earning money. Hard as it is to believe, that is perhaps the worst reason to work. If you want to grow your business, you need to set realistic goals and work towards meeting them.

Becoming a Workaholic

This is the single most devastating thing that a new writer can do to their freelance writing career. Nothing will speed you on your way to burnout faster and nothing will destroy the foundation of your business faster than overwork. It’s also totally pointless.

You cannot work 20 hours a day for a long period of time without burning out, not in this business. The primary function of sleep is to refresh and recharge the brain. Without enough sleep your writing will suffer.

Building a freelance writing career takes time but it’s not like I can tell you to spend 200 hours on it and presto you will be a success as soon as you the 200th hour. The time it takes can’t be rushed because you are only half of the equation. Take your time and build at a steady rate. The foundation of your business will be stronger. Spend your time building a client list of great clients and weeding out the bad ones. Spend time marketing your business and using social media to get your brand in front of an audience. These are the things that build successful freelance careers. Then when your normal working day is finished, stop and enjoy life. Leave work at work. If you are always working, at least in your head, you will exhaust yourself and bore friends and family to tears.

Copyright © 2014 – Alexandra Romanov. Alexandra started writing for Freedom With Writing in January, 2013. She is a freelance writer based in St. Louis Missouri. She’s been freelance writing for web publications since the early 90′s, and has written for a wide variety of websites, including Wired, Yahoo Finance, and USA Today. Visit her Website.

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Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

3 Ways to Promote Yourself As A Writer (Even When You Don’t Want To)

Emily Harstone, Guest Author

“Writing is something you do alone. Its a profession for introverts who want to tell you a story but don’t want to make eye contact while doing it.” ~ John Green

As an introvert, a writer, and a very reluctant self-promoter, this quote has always struck me as being particularly profound. Not just because of what it says, but because of who said it. John Green is a bestselling Young Adult novelist as well as a video blogger watched by millions of people every week. He is also very clearly an introvert. Having met him once at a reading before he was as famous as he is now, I was struck by how uncomfortable he looked interacting with everyone, yet even that discomfort came across as charming.

shyAuthor3He had found a way through YouTube to connect with people. He created a fanbase with his brother, and they used it to promote books and various other projects that had a positive impact on the world. In short John Green did not have to stop being an introvert to promote his books, and he never had to become heavy handed about it either.

As a writer, one has to find unusual ways to promote oneself without feeling like you have to force it down someone’s throat. Some authors are naturally self-promotional and they understand and know how to promote themselves in a positive way. I am in awe of authors like this, but I definitely do not have their talent. Below are three ways that a reluctant self-promoter (like myself) can support their work.

1. Start A Blog (or a Vlog, or a Tumblr) ~ Most writers have blogs so this might be obvious, but what I am suggesting is not to start a blog directly about yourself or your writing, but about something else. Perhaps your blog can be devoted to favorite quotations, or the best literary journals, or even pictures that remind you of books; it could be anything.

Tumblr, a micro blogging site, is particularly full of blogs with a very specific focus. There is even a blog there devoted to women poets wearing sweatpants. You can also start a video blog about things you care about, book reviews for example, or short biographies of your favorite authors. Readers are more likely to stumble across your work through search engines and links, and you will probably reach a lot of readers who don’t know you in person.

selfpromotecartoon2. Use Your Facebook Page ~ Now a lot of people these days suggest starting an authors facebook page to promote your literary work. I definitely think that you should do that, but you can also use your personal page to your advantage. On my personal page I never talk about anything too personal: most of what I write about and post are pictures of my dog, the rural area where we live, and good books I have read. But because I have over 400 friends, many of whom I am barely in touch with, I get a lot of responses to what I post.

So I try to shuffle in talk about writing, links to my poems published in literary journals, and things like that fairly often. Often those links get shared by other people, and so my readership broadens. My work has also been solicited by editors who are friends, or friends on facebook. It really helps my career to be on there.

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3. Have A Beautiful Business Card ~ I bump into people who want to read my work all the time. Sometimes it will come up in a coffee shop, or at the gym, or, well, volunteering. However, even though I have a website that is easy to Google, I know most people won’t take that step without a reminder.

That is why I have a businesses card. It doesn’t mention my other profession as a professor, it just has my name, my website, my email address, and the word poet. My business card has all that information, and on the other side is a beautiful picture of a willow tree. Everyone comments on the picture. It is important to have some sort of visual image, because that encourages the individual that receives the card to save the card; it isn’t just another scrap of paper. I made my cards at moo.com, but I am sure there are many other good options.

BONUS Articles: 46 Top Websites to Promote Your Book for FREE
The Buzz on Being a Shameless NetShaker! ~ Part One

Copyright © 2014 – Emily Harstone. Emily Harstone is a frequent contributor to www.AuthorsPublish.com.

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Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

Subscribe to Larry’s FREE monthly “LoveNotes for Lovers” eZINE. Contact: CelebrateLove.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. – CelebrateLove.com and CelebrateIntimateWeddings.com

commentNOTE: All articles and “LoveNotes” listed in this BLOG – written by Larry James – are available for reprint in magazines, periodicals, newsletters, newspapers, eZINEs, on the Internet or on your own Website. Click here for details.

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
Follow Larry’s “once daily” Relationship Tweet at: http://www.Twitter.com/larryjames
Follow Larry’s “Relationships” BLOG at: http://CelebrateLove.wordpress.com
Follow Larry’s “Networking” BLOG at: http://NetworkingHQ.wordpress.com
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