Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Friday, March 27, 2015

How to Get Publicity from Talk Radio

Filed under: Radio Talk Show Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

I’ve gotten back into hosting a talk radio show and giving interviews, and the experience takes me back – way back! – to how I started EMSI Public Relations in the first place.

I was, and still am, a huge talk radio listener. It’s educational, entertaining, and the most open of the mainstream media to any and all topics. Pair a great show host with an informative guest (tips on that coming up) and I’m rapt. That’s why, when I started EMSI 23 years ago, I focused on booking clients on talk radio shows.

A&SRadioPublicityOver the years, of course, we added TV, print and social media. The four media each have a different audience and attributes that sometimes make one better for a particular message than another. But, between you and me, talk radio is still my favorite.

Since I returned to doing interviews myself as a marketing tool for EMSI, I’m reminded just how much I enjoy this medium. Doing an interview over the phone from my living room or my office is easy, the conversations are fun, and I not only help people by sharing what I know, I get the word out about my business!

If you haven’t considered talk radio for marketing, you might want to. Here’s what those interviews can do for you:

1. Position you as an expert in your field.
2. Gain you (and your product/company/book) the implied endorsement of mainstream media.
3. Put your name and the name of whatever you’re selling in front of a large audience.

The best way to ensure you have a successful interview is to forget you’ve got something to sell and work your marketing efforts around the goal of being the perfect radio guest. How?

Engage the host. The host is your most important audience. People are usually fans of particular shows because they’re interested in what he or she has to say, so if you can engage the host, you will engage the audience. Talk candidly and openly about your topic in relationship to the current events surrounding it. Make sure your advice is honest as well as conversational, and try to be as natural as possible. Listeners will be able to sense whether your interview is genuine. But don’t worry about entertaining them; entertain the host.

Don’t sell. Stay on topic during the interview, and when appropriate, mention the free material on your website that could benefit listeners. If you engage the host, give a great interview and offer helpful information, you don’t have to worry about selling anything. The host will do it for you. He’ll make sure his audience knows you’re an expert, he’ll share your website’s address, he’ll mention the name of your book or he’ll talk about the value of your product. He’ll do the promotion for you.

Have a website that does more than sell your product. If you’re an author, feature a blog on your site and write fresh posts regularly with tips and insights related to your topic so that your visitors keep coming back. If you’re selling a product, create free reports or articles for your site that lay out the problem your product solves, again, in an educational tone.

Your great interview will get radio listeners interested in you. The host will appreciate your efforts and reward you by urging his loyal audience to visit your site. If you’re really good, he may even ask you back again.
Don’t forget to share your interview on social media, and to post it on your website, where it can continue to work for you by boosting your credibility to visitors.

That’s what I call the magic of radio. It’s an incredibly cost-effective and versatile marketing tool, whether you’re an author, a professional or a manufacturer of consumer products. There’s simply no better way to have a live conversation with a dedicated audience tuned in to hear what you have to say.

Don’t touch that dial!

BONUS Articles: How to Be a Great Radio Guest! ~ Part One
How to Be a Great Radio Guest! ~ Part Two
How to be the Perfect Talk Radio Guest

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’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

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.

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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Stories Spice Your Author Appearances

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

Jeff Davidson, Guest Author

Seven minutes. That’s how long studies say an audience’s attention span is for one given topic. If a speaker retains the same posture, voice, or focus, he has little hope of reaching his audience. To keep a high level of interest, many of today’s best speakers add short narratives to their presentations that reinforce a certain point or theme. Some of these stories are personal, some are funny. They all, however, serve to keep a speech dynamic and interesting.

Universal Appeal

Stories are an effective tool because they are something to which we can all relate. One of the most effective ways to grab the attention of an audience is to calmly say, “let me tell you a story.” Immediately, you’ve got them. The association they have with a story being an interesting and entertaining form of communication resonates so deeply that they might not even be aware why they are ready to listen, but the fact is, they will be.

A&SNetStoriesStory topics can range from heavily emotional tales to the frivolities of everyday life, but in all cases they can further a speaker’s point while keeping the audience entertained and engaged. There are several different ways speakers insert stories into their presentations.

Emory Austin, from Charlotte, tells stories of a personal nature that lend insight into the life lessons she has learned. Austin shows portrays to her audience a life filled with experiences to which they can relate. With her comforting, compelling voice she immerses herself completely into the narrative to keep her audience riveted.

Dan Clark, from San Francisco, uses a similar approach by taking his audience through his battle with cancer. He relies upon evoking certain emotions in the audience members to open them up to an understanding of his particular point. Like Austin, Clark uses his personal tales to grab and hold his audience’s attention.

‘Lite’ Could Be Right

Many speakers take a light approach to story telling: some speakers talk about teenagers. This is effective because it is a topic to which everyone can relate. Whether audience members are now parents or simply recall their own teenage years, everyone feels a natural affinity between these stories and their personal experiences.

Tony Alessandra, from La Jolla, often uses quick ‟slice of life” stories that last only a minute or two. These stories succeed at grabbing the audience. Alessandra uses stories that are both entertaining and illuminating, a great way of getting the audience to remember his point. Audience members can take with them a short joke or a story that will serve as a catalyst for remembering the main point of the presentation.

All of these speakers present stories in different manners. Some are funny, some are sad, and some are personal, while others might only be little quirks of life. What they have in common, though, is that they all help make an entertaining and effective speech.

A Quick Example

Here is an example of a story I’ve used about not heeding the advice of others. It takes roughly four minutes to deliver this story to a live audience:

When I was 21 years old, I took a trip to Europe, and using the Eurail Pass, visited numerous countries over the course of 66 days. When I got to Switzerland, a bit tired of planning my own itineraries day after day, I signed up to be part of a small touring van. One of our stops was the quaint town of Zermatt, which was located at the foot of the Matterhorn, one of the tallest, most striking, and majestic mountains in Europe.

One afternoon, walking down from the hotel where we were staying, I didn’t realize that the trek back, after dark, would be a bit more difficult to navigate. The hotel concierge told me it would best to return before dark, and that the trail back could be difficult to navigate. I ignored the advice and stayed in town for quite a while; there was much to see and do.

As I made my way back a little after dusk, the trail looked easy enough to follow, but I had another 30 minutes or so to go. As darkness began to fall, somehow, somewhere along the path, I strayed.

Suddenly, I realized that I had ventured onto some minor path, which could not be correct because it was falling in elevation. Since I had walked down to the village, I needed to walk back up to the hotel. I scrambled around in the semi-darkness for a few minutes, and then heard the sound of rushing water. It had to be one of the many brooks that trickled down from higher elevations.

I came upon a sign that I could barely make out via the moonlight, which was impeded by so many trees and branches. I moved up close to the sign and looked at it from the most favorable angle in terms of illumination. As with most signs in Switzerland, it contained the same message in four languages. The first would be in French, the second German, the third Romanish, and the fourth English. I settled on the English message, which said, “Warning: This area subject to flash flooding. Move to higher elevation immediately.” That was all I needed to know.

I scrambled through the brush and the bushes as fast as I could, getting scratched and cut, here and there, but who cared? In a matter of about 90 seconds, I had made my way to higher ground, where the sound of the rushing water was growing more and more faint.

Gosh, that seemed like a close one. Eventually, I found the larger path, made my way back to the hotel, and related the story to my van-mates. So much for venturing off without a flashlight, map, compass, or any idea of what I was doing.

story1Did You Come on the Trip with Me?

It would be easier and more effective to tell you this story in person, than to type it up and have you read it. Still, while you were reading, did you “come on the trip with me?” If so, then the story worked, for both of us!

To begin finding your stories, look no further than your own past. You can start by walking yourself through the memories of your earliest days. Review pictures, yearbooks, and school notebooks; there are stories in them all. Don’t worry about how they’ll fit in your speech or what point they could assist you in making. You will find that a good story fits into several different contexts and can be used in a variety of circumstances. The important thing is to begin to collect your stories.

Once you have amassed a library of these stories, you can begin to work on the best of them. You’ll find that you can recall them easily with only a keyword or two, so that you can carry them all with no more than an index card of cell phone screen. Then, when you’re preparing for a speech, you can pick two or three that fit easily with your topic and your audience. Your meeting participants will be appreciative.

JeffDavidson

Jeff Davidson

Copyright © 2014 – Jeff Davidson. Jeff Davidson, MBA, CMC, aka “the work life balance expert” works with busy people to increase their work-life balance, so that they can be more productive and competitive, and still have a happy home life. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, and Dial it Down, Live it Up. He is a columnist for Association News, Accounting Web, CPA Practice Digest, Insurance Business America, The Practical Lawyer, Physician’s Practice, Public Management, and Human Resources IQ. Visit www.BreathingSpace.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

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.

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Why Self-Promotion is Critical to Your Success

Debbie Allen, Guest Author

When my friend, Larry James stated, “I’m such a shameless self-promoter,” I laughed. Then I thought for a moment and I realized that I’m a shameless self-promoter, too. I had never thought of my marketing approach as being shameless before. I would have described myself more like the “Marketing Energizer Bunny.”

I just keep on marketing and marketing and doing whatever it takes to make it happen. I had never thought of this as shameful unless it’s shameful to believe in something so much that you want to tell everyone you meet. I call it good marketing!

A&SSelfPromoteGrowing up in a family of entrepreneurs, my father taught me that the first step in
marketing success is to have a strong belief in yourself and your organization. No matter how crazy other people may think your ideas are, you must believe strongly enough to never give up.

How can you be successful if you don’t believe in yourself and what you have to offer to your customers? You can’t! Therefore the first step in shamelessly successful self-promotion is to develop a strong belief system. After writing my best selling book, Confessions of Shameless Self-Promoters™, I began to survey my audiences to see how many believe in promoting themselves. It amazed me to discover that on an average 87% or more did not feel comfortable promoting themselves. If you don’t promote yourself it goes against the grain of all sales and marketing. Right?

You might not feel comfortable promoting yourself , much less doing it shamelessly. Well, let me tell you what the word shameless means in Debbie Allen’s dictionary: Promoting yourself everywhere in the service of others. Now does that sound self-serving, pushy or intrusive?

selfpromotecartoon2Much of what we believe to be true about self-promotion comes from past programming that dates back to childhood. Most of us grew up being told, “It’s not polite to talk about yourself.” Therefore, you thought that it would be rude to self-promote. Most of us have also experienced ineffective self-promotion that was ego driven and self-serving. Yet, that is simply an ineffective way to promote yourself. That type of self-promotion turns people off.

• Do you feel passionate about helping your clients get the best experience possible?
• Do you feel that your services are better than your competitors?

If you answered YES to either of these questions, you should be shouting it from the roof tops and giving more people the opportunity to do business with you. If you don’t promote yourself and your services you ROB your customers from the opportunity of doing business with someone who truly cares about their best interests.

BONUS Articles: Self Promotion – How to Make It Not All About You
The Buzz on Being a Shameless NetShaker!
Self-Promote or Disappear!

DebbieAllenCopyright © 2015 – Debbie Allen. Debbie Allen, CSP, has been a professional speaker and marketing expert for over 20 years and is one of the highest paid professionals in the industry of speaking and consulting today. Debbie Allen, CSP, has achieved the honor of CSP (Certified Speaking Professional) by the National Speakers Association and National Speakers Federation, making her one of the top professional women speakers worldwide. She is an award-winning entrepreneur with four decades of experience in building and selling million dollar companies as an expert in numerous diverse industries. Visit her Website: http://BuildYourExpertise.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

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.

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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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Sunday, February 15, 2015

22 Lessons From Stephen King on How to Be a Great Writer

Filed under: Author Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Maggie Zhand, Guest Author

Renowned author Stephen King writes stories that captivate millions of people around the world and earn him an estimated $17 million a year.

In his memoir, “On Writing,” King shares valuable insights into how to be a better writer. And he doesn’t sugarcoat it. He writes, “I can’t lie and say there are no bad writers. Sorry, but there are lots of bad writers.”

A&SStephenKingDon’t want to be one of them? Here are 22 great pieces of advice from King’s book on how to be an amazing writer:

1. Stop watching television. Instead, read as much as possible. ~ If you’re just starting out as a writer, your television should be the first thing to go. It’s “poisonous to creativity,” he says. Writers need to look into themselves and turn toward the life of the imagination.

To do so, they should read as much as they can. King takes a book with him everywhere he goes, and even reads during meals. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot,” he says. Read widely, and constantly work to refine and redefine your own work as you do so.

2. Prepare for more failure and criticism than you think you can deal with. ~ King compares writing fiction to crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a bathtub, because in both, “there’s plenty of opportunity for self-doubt.” Not only will you doubt yourself, but other people will doubt you, too. “If you write (or paint or dance or sculpt or sing, I suppose), someone will try to make you feel lousy about it, that’s all,” writes King.

Oftentimes, you have to continue writing even when you don’t feel like it. “Stopping a piece of work just because it’s hard, either emotionally or imaginatively, is a bad idea,” he writes. And when you fail, King suggests that you remain positive. “Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.”

3. Don’t waste time trying to please people. ~ According to King, rudeness should be the least of your concerns. “If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered anyway,” he writes. King used to be ashamed of what he wrote, especially after receiving angry letters accusing him of being bigoted, homophobic, murderous, and even psychopathic.

By the age of 40, he realized that every decent writer has been accused of being a waste of talent. King has definitely come to terms with it. He writes, “If you disapprove, I can only shrug my shoulders. It’s what I have.” You can’t please all of your readers all the time, so King advises that you stop worrying.

4. Write primarily for yourself. ~ You should write because it brings you happiness and fulfillment. As King says, “I did it for the pure joy of the thing. And if you can do it for joy, you can do it forever.”

Writer Kurt Vonnegut provides a similar insight: “Find a subject you care about and which you in your heart feel others should care about,” he says. “It is this genuine caring, not your games with language, which will be the most compelling and seductive element in your style.”

5. Tackle the things that are hardest to write. ~ “The most important things are the hardest things to say,” writes King. “They are the things you get ashamed of because words diminish your feelings.” Most great pieces of writing are preceded with hours of thought. In King’s mind, “Writing is refined thinking.”

When tackling difficult issues, make sure you dig deeply. King says, “Stories are found things, like fossils in the ground … Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world.” Writers should be like archaeologists, excavating for as much of the story as they can find.

6. When writing, disconnect from the rest of the world. ~ Writing should be a fully intimate activity. Put your desk in the corner of the room, and eliminate all possible distractions, from phones to open windows. King advises, “Write with the door closed; rewrite with the door open.”

You should maintain total privacy between you and your work. Writing a first draft is “completely raw, the sort of thing I feel free to do with the door shut — it’s the story undressed, standing up in nothing but its socks and undershorts.”

7. Don’t be pretentious. ~ “One of the really bad things you can do to your writing is to dress up the vocabulary, looking for long words because you’re maybe a little bit ashamed of your short ones,” says King. He compares this mistake to dressing up a household pet in evening clothes — both the pet and the owner are embarrassed, because it’s completely excessive.

As iconic businessman David Ogilvy writes in a memo to his employees, “Never use jargon words like reconceptualize, demassification, attitudinally, judgmentally. They are hallmarks of a pretentious ass.” Furthermore, don’t use symbols unless necessary. “Symbolism exists to adorn and enrich, not to create an artificial sense of profundity,” writes King.

8. Avoid adverbs and long paragraphs. ~ As King emphasizes several times in his memoir, “the adverb is not your friend.” In fact, he believes that “the road to hell is paved with adverbs” and compares them to dandelions that ruin your lawn. Adverbs are worst after “he said” and “she said” — those phrases are best left unadorned.

You should also pay attention to your paragraphs, so that they flow with the turns and rhythms of your story. “Paragraphs are almost always as important for how they look as for what they say,” says King.

9. Don’t get overly caught up in grammar. ~ According to King, writing is primarily about seduction, not precision. “Language does not always have to wear a tie and lace-up shoes,” writes King. “The object of fiction isn’t grammatical correctness but to make the reader welcome and then tell a story.” You should strive to make the reader forget that he or she is reading a story at all.

10. Master the art of description. ~ “Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s,” writes King. The important part isn’t writing enough, but limiting how much you say. Visualize what you want your reader to experience, and then translate what you see in your mind into words on the page. You need to describe things “in a way that will cause your reader to prickle with recognition,” he says.

The key to good description is clarity, both in observation and in writing. Use fresh images and simple vocabulary to avoid exhausting your reader. “In many cases when a reader puts a story aside because it ‘got boring,’ the boredom arose because the writer grew enchanted with his powers of description and lost sight of his priority, which is to keep the ball rolling,” notes King.

11. Don’t give too much background information. ~ “What you need to remember is that there’s a difference between lecturing about what you know and using it to enrich the story,” writes King. “The latter is good. The former is not.” Make sure you only include details that move your story forward and that persuade your reader to continue reading.

If you need to do research, make sure it doesn’t overshadow the story. Research belongs “as far in the background and the back story as you can get it,” says King. You may be entranced by what you’re learning, but your readers are going to care a lot more about your characters and your story.

12. Tell stories about what people actually do. ~ “Bad writing is more than a matter of shit syntax and faulty observation; bad writing usually arises from a stubborn refusal to tell stories about what people actually do — to face the fact, let us say, that murderers sometimes help old ladies cross the street,” writes King. The people in your stories are what readers care about the most, so make sure you acknowledge all the dimensions your characters may have.

13. Take risks; don’t play it safe. ~
First and foremost, stop using the passive voice. It’s the biggest indicator of fear. “I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing,” King says. Writers should throw back their shoulders, stick out their chins, and put their writing in charge.

“Try any goddamn thing you like, no matter how boringly normal or outrageous. If it works, fine. If it doesn’t, toss it,” King says.

14. Realize that you don’t need drugs to be a good writer. ~ “The idea that the creative endeavor and mind-altering substances are entwined is one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time,” says King. In his eyes, substance-abusing writers are just substance-abusers. “Any claims that the drugs and alcohol are necessary to dull a finer sensibility are just the usual self-serving bullshit.”

15. Don’t try to steal someone else’s voice. ~ As King says, “You can’t aim a book like a cruise missile.” When you try to mimic another writer’s style for any reason other than practice, you’ll produce nothing but “pale imitations.” This is because you can never try to replicate the way someone feels and experiences truth, especially not through a surface-level glance at vocabulary and plot.

16. Understand that writing is a form of telepathy. ~ “All the arts depend upon telepathy to some degree, but I believe that writing is the purest distillation,” says King. An important element of writing is transference. Your job isn’t to write words on the page, but rather to transfer the ideas inside your head into the heads of your readers.

“Words are just the medium through which the transfer happens,” says King. In his advice on writing, Vonnegut also recommends that writers “use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.”

17. Take your writing seriously. ~ “You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or despair,” says King. “Come to it any way but lightly.” If you don’t want to take your writing seriously, he suggests that you close the book and do something else.

As writer Susan Sontag says, “The story must strike a nerve — in me. My heart should start pounding when I hear the first line in my head. I start trembling at the risk.”

18. Write every single day. ~ “Once I start work on a project, I don’t stop, and I don’t slow down unless I absolutely have to,” says King. “If I don’t write every day, the characters begin to stale off in my mind … I begin to lose my hold on the story’s plot and pace.”

If you fail to write consistently, the excitement for your idea may begin to fade. When the work starts to feel like work, King describes the moment as “the smooch of death.” His best advice is to just take it “one word at a time.”

19. Finish your first draft in three months. King likes to write 10 pages a day. Over a three-month span, that amounts to around 180,000 words. “The first draft of a book — even a long one — should take no more than three months, the length of a season,” he says. If you spend too long on your piece, King believes the story begins to take on an odd foreign feel.

20. When you’re finished writing, take a long step back. ~ King suggests six weeks of “recuperation time” after you’re done writing, so you can have a clear mind to spot any glaring holes in the plot or character development. He asserts that a writer’s original perception of a character could be just as faulty as the reader’s.

King compares the writing and revision process to nature. “When you write a book, you spend day after day scanning and identifying the trees,” he writes. “When you’re done, you have to step back and look at the forest.” When you do find your mistakes, he says that “you are forbidden to feel depressed about them or to beat up on yourself. Screw-ups happen to the best of us.”

21. Have the guts to cut. ~ When revising, writers often have a difficult time letting go of words they spent so much time writing. But, as King advises, “Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”

Although revision is one of the most difficult parts of writing, you need to leave out the boring parts in order to move the story along. In his advice on writing, Vonnegut suggests, “If a sentence, no matter how excellent, does not illuminate your subject in some new and useful way, scratch it out.”

22. Stay married, be healthy, and live a good life. ~ King attributes his success to two things: his physical health and his marriage. “The combination of a healthy body and a stable relationship with a self-reliant woman who takes zero shit from me or anyone else has made the continuity of my working life possible,” he writes.

It’s important to have a strong balance in your life, so writing doesn’t consume all of it. In writer and painter Henry Miller’s 11 commandments of writing, he advises, “Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.”

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/stephen-king-on-how-to-write-2014-7#ixzz3PalmrmNL

BONUS Articles: Stephen King’s Top 20 Rules for Writers
How Stephen King Teaches Writing

maggie-zhangCopyright © 2014 – Maggie Zhang. Maggie Zhang is an Editorial Intern at Business Insider. She is an English Major from Princeton University. She can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter. Reach her at mzhang@businessinsider.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

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.

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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
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
Visit Larry’s PinBoard for Authors & Speakers: https://www.Pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Using Social Media to Boost Book Signings

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

Whether your book is a nonfiction marketing tool for your brand or business, or the newest release in your writing career, staging book signings can help build your audience.

It’s an age-old practice that has changed – as with almost everything in the publishing industry – due to social media and other online tools. Not only do platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ make it easier to promote your signing, they also provide new opportunities for maximizing the return on your investment.

A&SNetbooksigningsBook signings, which can include an informative or interesting presentation or demonstration, have always held more value than meets the eye. Here are three benefits that may not have occurred to you:

• They get your book into shops that might not otherwise carry it. Bookstores are choosy; their numbers are declining (there were reportedly 10,200 nationwide in 2011) and they have many books from which to choose – more than 730,000 new titles a year, including traditionally and self-published print and e-books.

• The store may create a special display featuring your book – especially if you ask! If that happens, you just got valuable free merchandising.

• The store will likely promote your book signing, including sending announcements of the event to its customers and local publications. Anything the store does in that regard is also great marketing for you!

While it’s nice if the store promotes your book signing, you owe it to the shop and yourself to do all you can as well. The more people who come to the event, the more books you sell and the more likely the store will invite you back again. This is where social media can help.

Here are some tips for spreading the word online:

• Get into local social media groups and “communities” that are built around shared interests relevant to your book. For instance, if you were doing a book signing in the Tampa area for a marketing book, you could join LinkedIn’s Tampa Bay Marketing Professionals group. (Do not simply start announcing your event though!) Instead …

• Share a short article with useful information that links back to your website, where the event announcement is prominently displayed with details about your valuable presentation.

• Join in a conversation on any of the platforms, or start a new one, and casually mention along the way that you’ll be in that city speaking and signing books.

• For groups on any of the large social platforms, let the group’s manager or administrator know you have an event coming up that will be of interest to his/her members and ask if he’ll share that information or allow you to.

• Buy ads – for very little money! – on LinkedIn or Facebook announcing your event.

• On LinkedIn, click the “Promotions” tab near the top of the group’s page and you’ll be taken to another page where promoting to that group is welcomed.

• During your event, be sure to have someone take photos that you can share on your social media networks. Photos of you engaging with readers or enthusiastically giving a presentation not only give you more visibility, they make your event look like fun!

One last word of advice: Don’t get discouraged if throngs of fans don’t turn out – believe me, it happens to even well-known authors! Instead, remember all that you’ve accomplished simply by arranging the event.

If traffic is slow, you can make good use of your time by introducing yourself to some of the shop staff and engaging them in conversation. They just might remember the friendly author they chatted with the next time they’re asked for a book recommendation.

BONUS Articles: 40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!
How to Book a Book Signing And Other Important Stuff!
Book Signing Strategies
Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’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

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.

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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
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Friday, January 30, 2015

Tips for Making the Most of Your Print Interview

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

Getting media exposure means putting yourself out there. It might be chatting live on the air with a radio talk show host, taping an appearance for TV, or being interviewed by a print journalist.

Some people enjoy print because they have more time to ponder their answers. But it makes others (me included!) nervous. I worry about how the reporter will interpret my responses, and how they’ll be sliced, diced and repackaged for an article.

PrintInterviewThere are things you can do, though, to ensure your print interview goes well; that the reporter understands you, and you get your message across. Here are 5 tips:

Do NOT try to pitch, sell or promote your book, product or business:

Yes, it may be the reason you’re granting interviews, but if you want to sell something, you should buy an ad. The journalists are looking for you, as someone with a particular expertise, to provide content for their readers. That may be adding another voice to a story with multiple viewpoints. Or it may even be sharing your story – how you reinvented yourself after being laid off, or how you managed to write a novel while raising 13 kids. Either way, the goal of the journalist is to write an article that’s useful, informative and/or entertaining. Your goal is to get media exposure: your name and the source of your expertise in front of thousands, perhaps millions, of eyes.

Try to speak clearly and at a moderate pace:

Whether the reporter is taking notes with a pen or a computer, it will be difficult for him or her to keep up if you get excited and start talking very quickly. Not only might he miss some of the brilliant things you have to say, he may (gulp!) make an error that becomes a misquote in the story. Speak at a conversational speed, and if you really want to be a big help, offer to spell any less-than-obvious names you toss out. A good reporter will double-check the spelling, but you’ll save her time by giving her a starting point.

You don’t have to answer immediately, and you don’t have to answer every question:

Most of us would be hard put to respond off the top of our heads to, “What was the most pivotal moment of your life?” If you can’t, don’t. Ask the reporter to give you some time to think about it. By the same token, if you don’t feel qualified to answer a question, it’s far better to be honest about that than to take a stab at a response that makes you sound, um, unqualified. Remember, you’re in control. No one will think less of you if you politely decline a question for which you have no answer!

Take your own notes before the interview:

You likely have a good idea of what the reporter is writing about – and if you don’t it’s perfectly acceptable to ask what the gist of the story is. That gives you time to prepare relevant comments. If they’re looking for tips, list a few on paper in case you draw a blank. That will also help you plan ahead so you can speak concisely and get to the point quickly. Personal anecdotes always add color and interest to a story. Think about whether you’ve got a good short one (short is appreciated!) that will illustrate your point.

Be prepared to email a high-resolution photo of yourself:

Print publications cannot use the low-resolution photos that look so sharp online; the files are too small to reproduce at any decent size on paper. Most require an image that’s 300 dpi (dots per inch). Keep one of yourself at the ready to send via email, if the reporter asks, as soon as the interview is over. Not having it – or not knowing what a high-resolution photo is – could mean a missed opportunity to get your name, book title and face in front of a big audience.

Sound easy? You’re right, it is. So relax and enjoy your interview.

Before you know it, a Google search of your name will produce dozens of publications quoting you and mentioning your product, business or book. That may lead to even more requests, all of which build your profile and your audience.

Stop the presses!

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’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

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.

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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
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to be the Perfect Talk Radio Guest

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

I was, and still am, a huge talk radio listener. It’s educational, entertaining, and open to any and all topics – more so than any of the other traditional media. Pair a great show host with an informative guest (tips on that coming up) and I’m rapt. That’s why, when I started EMSI 25 years ago, I focused on booking clients on talk radio shows.

Over the years, we added TV, print and social media. The four media each have a different audience and characteristics that sometimes make one better for a particular message than another. But, between you and me, talk radio is still my favorite.

A&STalkRadioSince I’m often a guest on radio shows myself – I practice what I preach when it comes to publicity for my company! – I’m reminded just how much I enjoy this medium. Doing an interview over the phone from my living room or my office is easy, the conversations are fun, and I not only help people by sharing what I know, I get the word out about my business!

If you haven’t considered talk radio for marketing, you might want to. Here’s what those interviews can do for you:

• Position you as an expert in your field.
• Gain you (and your product/company/book) the implied endorsement of mainstream media.
• Put your name and the name of whatever you’re selling in front of a large audience.

The best way to ensure you have a successful interview is to forget you’ve got something to sell and work your marketing efforts around the goal of being the perfect radio guest. How?

Engage the host. He or she is your most important audience. People are usually fans of particular shows because they’re interested in what the hosts have to say — if you can engage them, you will engage the audience. Talk candidly and openly about your topic in relationship to the current events surrounding it. Be upbeat, honest, conversational, and as natural as possible. Listeners will be able to sense whether your interview is genuine. But don’t worry about entertaining them; entertain the host.

Don’t sell. Stay on topic during the interview, and when appropriate, mention the free material on your website that could benefit listeners. If you engage the host, give a great interview and offer helpful information, you don’t have to worry about selling anything. The host will do it for you. He’ll make sure his audience knows you’re an expert, he’ll share your website’s address, he’ll mention the name of your book or he’ll talk about the value of your product. He’ll do the promotion for you.

Have a website that does more than sell your product. Feature a blog on your site with content that’s regularly refreshed. Offer tips and insights related to your topic so that your visitors keep coming back. Create free reports or articles for your site that lay out the problem your product solves, again, in an informative tone.

Your great interview will get radio listeners interested in you. The host will appreciate your efforts and reward you by urging his loyal audience to visit your site. If you’re really good, he may even ask you back again.

Don’t forget to share your interview on social media, and to post it on your website, where it can continue to work for you by boosting your credibility to visitors.

That’s what I call the magic of radio. It’s an incredibly cost-effective and versatile marketing tool, whether you’re an author, a professional or a manufacturer of consumer products. There’s simply no better way to have a live conversation with a dedicated audience tuned in to hear what you have to say.

BONUS Articles: Why Talk Radio May Be Your Best Bet for Publicity
How to Be a Great Radio Guest! ~ Part One
Preparing for Your First Interview as a Published Author

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2015 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’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

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.

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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
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

“Top Tips” for TV and Radio Publicity

Stafford “Doc” Williamson, Guest Author

So, you want to get on radio, or television shows to publicize your latest book, video, song, or hot new “rope-on-a-string” invention. Okay, I’ve learned a few things over the years, and having had a little success recently in hitting some top national shows with a very modest publicity budget (money well spent on ads in Steve Harrison’s the Radio and Television Interview Report publicity magazine), let me share with you a few tips and insights. You may have to adapt them to your particular product, personality or situation, but I trust that you will find some of this useful.

Broadcasters have, for the past half century and more, relied upon statistics to set their advertising rates. Unlike the internet, where your server can literally count every “hit” (request) from every visitor, there is no direct way to measure every viewer/listener to a radio or television show, so they have resorted to that “black art” called statistics.

RadioTVPublicityThree times a year in North America a few select companies that specialize in this, survey the public about their viewing and listening habits. These are called the “ratings periods”, sometimes known as “heart attack season” in the entertainment industry, as well as “musical chairs” since so many jobs end up depending on the outcome of the ratings.

These rating periods generally correspond to the traditional landmarks in the television broadcasting “season” and are November, February and May. A period of lesser importance because of the shifting and staggering of start times of new programs in the fall is the September Sweeps.

Too many shows with many millions of dollars, potentially even billions of dollars, at stake were prematurely falling victim to transitory factors like what big news stories might be happening on any given Tuesday or Thursday before loyal viewing patterns were established, so the networks and their program suppliers reduced their do or die decisions based on early audience statistics that used to be crucial to programming decisions following the September measurements. The “important” ones are still November, February and May.

The characteristics of these sweeps are slightly different. The term “sweeps” is short for “sweepstakes”, which should give you some idea of how random the outcomes appear to at least some observers. November and February Sweeps tend to get peppered with special programming.

Thanksgiving Day parades, Sports playoffs (and Superbowl), and spectacular or epic movies and mini-series. May, in contrast, tends to be “season finale season” as annual program cycles come to an end, and try to offer cliffhanger plots or some other devices to pique interest in the shows that one will have to eagerly await until the series returns in the fall.

All of which may seem like it has very little to do with getting publicity at those times. Actually this is an important clue as to how to go about seeking publicity at those times, or even, why to avoid competing head-to-head with others who might be willing to do battle with the heavyweights, when you are not quite ready for that level of competition.

Advising you to “retreat” may not seem like very constructive advice, but this may be a case of better to live to fight another day. I am reminded of some friends of my parents whose daughter was a figure skater. These proud parents thought she had national competitive potential. If they have persuaded rich Uncle Morris to stake millions of dollars on putting her on national television in a live, televised special while Uncle Morris advertised his car dealerships in 7 cities, it almost certainly would have bankrupted Uncle Morris and been the last time this girl put on her skates. She really wasn’t ready for prime time. The sad result would have been that she would have missed all those years she has since enjoyed teaching and coaching other young figure skaters.

So my first piece of advice is, don’t expect to get on during Sweeps periods, and if you do, be sure you are ready to deliver the goods for a great show for the producers and hosts who have put their faith in you. They really don’t care if you’ve invented “the pocket fisherman” that will sell 7 million worldwide if all you can do is pull it out of your pocket, cast a line across the studio and say, “Isn’t that great?”

But if you can come on the show with a hand-painted, porcelain doll face with handmade Victorian period costume and explain how every piece of lace was crocheted, the bloomers were authentic to the period and show your genuine passion for the trials and tribulations of miniaturizing lingerie in the styles that inspired Victoria’s Secret, you might give them just the kind of show that would liven up Seattle’s afternoon on another dull, drizzling February day.

That too is another important point about all public appearances in the media. They don’t care if you don’t sell a single pair of handmade dolly bloomers for a 25 cent profit. They want a show that they can sell! One that is entertaining to their audience. They don’t care about you or your product or service.

Those traits make them very tough customers to sell. They need a reason to have you on. So here are a few clues to what producers are looking for during ratings periods.

tv3-3The perpetual winners in the wars for viewer attention during ratings periods are: puppies, babies, babies with puppies, death and the supernatural, Nazis, money, and sex. In that order. If you want to get the attention of the producers during sweeps periods you had better have something ripped from TOMORROW’s headlines, or one of the forgoing topics as the “hook” into your story, your segment, your pitch.

Okay, admittedly there are limits to how outrageously you can pile it on. “Nazi puppies and their hidden Swiss bank accounts,” just might stretch your credibility beyond redemption.

I remember sitting with some (Canadian) “emmy nominated” (they actually have another name in Canada, but roughly equivalent) producers on awards night. They held great hopes because they felt that they had done some of the best work of their lives in a documentary on death and dying. The competing film on Nazis won. Then to add to their pain, the documentary on sex won in a different category.

So, for example, say your field is separation anxiety for college students and their families. A couple of ways to bring in these perpetually dominant sweeps week themes might be either to pitch pets (puppies as the top of the hierarchy of pets, of course) for college kids to adjust to loneliness after moving out of first year dormitory life, or parents starting fostering babies and the dangers for all concerned if they are really just trying to compensate for that “empty nest” hole in their hearts because junior is off at college.

Note too, that these themes have a negative slant. That doesn’t mean your point of view or position has to be negative, but the “hook” value often works best when it plays upon some sense of concern, fear or foreboding. By all means tell people about how to avoid the pitfalls of your topic, but don’t be afraid of a negative catch phrase of soundbyte.

The old adage that “no news is good news” is also interpreted by the news and information peddlers in today’s media as “good news is no news.” Be careful not to be seen as “no news” if you can avoid that perception.

So, what are the best strategies for dealing with this most volatile of audience periods, the February, May and November sweeps? First, avoid them until you have had some practice in dealing with the media. You don’t want to “fail” when it is most important to the shows. Second, if you are ready, give them plenty of notice in advance.

Make initial contact the month before sweeps begin with the basic idea. Third, follow up. Make an effort to contact those outlets that didn’t respond to your initial pitch early in the ratings period to see if you can help them with last minute openings later in the period. Make sure they know you are available on short notice if they need someone.

Ask them what they “need”, and try to refine or re-work your pitch to suit their needs, the next time. Do not switch the pitch in mid-call. You will just sound desperate. Stay confident that the uniqueness of you and your expertise or product will shine through eventually, and don’t be discouraged if at first you don’t make a massive breakthrough.

Even if you appear once on Good Morning America, or Coast-to-Coast; you may not become an instant celebrity with untold wealth rolling in. But it you persist, with confidence that your eventual outcome will be worthwhile, you can succeed. You can have the success you are looking for. Just don’t forget to enjoy the journey as much as the destination, because most of life is the journey and any destination is just a stopping-off place along the way.

BONUS Articles: 8 Tips for Being a Great TV Talk Show Guest
How to Be a Great Radio Guest! ~ Part One
FREE eBOOK Download: “How to Book Radio Shows & Be a Great Guest!”

DocWilliamsonCopyright © 2014 Stafford “Doc” Williamson. Reprinted with permission. Stafford “Doc” Williamson is an author and consultant. His writing ranges from self-illustrated children’s books to theories about sub-atomic structure, and comedy. He first appeared on national television at the age of 7, and has been employed in almost countless jobs in the entertainment and many other industries for nearly 50 years. Recent appearances on regional and national media have garnered strong interest as he promotes his books. www.Facebook.com/stafford.doc.williamson

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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

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.

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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
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com
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Monday, December 29, 2014

Ten Lessons on Presentation & Performance You Can Learn by Watching Taylor Swift

Jeff Davidson, Guest Author

I almost titled this article, “Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Performance I Learned by Watching Taylor Swift,” except that I had learned most of what I needed to know long before she came along. Still, you can’t help but marvel at the young lady’s ascension. She is one of the biggest pop stars in the world, heading toward a level of super-stardom that is almost incalculable. Her tours sell out the largest concert venues around the world and, in some cases, soccer and football stadiums.

A&SNet-TaylorSwiftI am not a fan in particular, although I do admire several of her songs, including “Forever and Always,” “Sweeter Than Fiction,” “Safe and Sound,” “Style,” “Blank Space,” and “Welcome to New York.” What captures my interest is her unflagging determination to offer a superior performance every time.

When Taylor Swift was 14 and 15, apparently she and her parents made the rounds to many TV and recording studios in Hollywood and Nashville asking if she could offer a live demo. Most producers said no and summarily dismissed her. The takeaway is that at an early age she had already intended to be a star performer. Today, she’s simply living out her dream.

Forever and Always

I saw her for the first time on “Saturday Night Live,” about six years ago. I only caught her performance midway but was mesmerized. Here was a tall, slender, teenage girl, not with the world’s greatest vocals, wailing away on a song called “Forever and Always.” She had such conviction in her singing that I, and apparently millions of others, was captivated. Who was this young lady? How did “SNL” find about her so early? Where did she come from? What was the driving force behind her music?

In the years since, all these questions were abundantly answered as Taylor Swift rose in the world of country music and then straddled the line between country and pop music, finally settling on pop.

In observing her professionalism, one can’t help but marvel that she has mastered virtually all the techniques of effective performance. Among dozens of things she does exceedingly well, here are some worth contemplating for speakers:

Ten Tips for the Ages

1. Taylor Swift’s stage presence is extraordinary. She most definitely owns the stage. Wherever she is appearing, for whatever size audience, under whatever conditions, you feel as if she is totally comfortable.

2. Her energy level is extraordinarily high and focused. You could say this about many singers, but if you watch any Taylor Swift performance you’ll quickly notice that she uses all 5’10″ of her height and all 122 pounds of her weight in her performance.

3. Her movements are coordinated and appropriate to the song, the audience and the venue. Objectively, she does nothing out of the ordinary, but she prances and moves about on stage in a way that keeps the audience riveted. Obviously, she has worked out all of this well in advance, and the preparation pays off.

4. Her connection to the audience is amazing. Through gestures, eye contact and a variety of other stagecraft techniques, you get the sense that she is totally there, in every performance. Some singers and performers allow you to watch. Some induce you to watch. Taylor Swift performs in way that all you want to do is watch.

5. Unbeknownst to many, she is a virtuoso pianist and plays other instruments as well. This capability helps, even during songs when she is not playing any instrument. When she does employ her guitar she is totally comfortable with it.

6. She is a student of performance. Recently asked to be a coach on the hit television show “The Voice,” she astounded the four regulars coaches – Adam Levine, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell Williams and Blake Shelton – by instantly assessing their team members’ practice sessions and, in a matter of seconds, offering insightful suggestions that immediately improved their performances.

If you haven’t seen “The Voice” episodes when Taylor Swift was coaching, go online to the many segments available on YouTube. Although she’s only 25 years old (born in December, 1989), she has stated that she makes mental notes of every performance she’s seen, whether at the American Music Awards, the Country Music Awards or the Grammys. She didn’t go to college, but she certainly is an excellent student and her unparalleled performance wisdom belies her tender age.

7. She is constantly evolving. Whether or not you like her music, if you take the word of top critics and music aficionados, it’s undeniable that each album has gotten better. She recently made the choice to forsake country music and focus on pop music, whereas she had been straddling the line for years. Her latest album, “1989,” the year of her birth, has won critical acclaim from the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Time magazine, among legions of other publications.

8. As far as one can tell, she is down-to-earth. During an interview on the “Jimmy Kimmel Show,” she stated that album reviews do matter and any artist who says they don’t is not being honest. How she maintains an air of humility and that common-person touch probably can be attributed to her parents. At some point, however, you have to concede that the young lady has what it takes in terms of looks, personality and sufficient talent to make herself a star.

9. As her fans – Swifties – know, and many critics have lamented, her songs are highly personal, representing her relations with men, with friends and her life’s events. Because she is self-disclosing, many fans gave her an immediate pass. Today, it is understood that Taylor Swift writes songs from her personal experiences that have meaning for her and, happily, also have meaning for her listeners.

10. Taylor Swift lives in the now and has a focus on the future. Her decision to abandon country for pop was done with the realization that she’ll be in the business for the long haul and that the popular music route will enable her to grow and expand in novel ways. In past decades, many performers who have attempted to leave one music genre for another have not always fared so well, among them, Bob Dylan, Jewel and LeAnn Rimes. Taylor Swift made the switch young enough to recover from any potential setback but with the success of “1989,” apparently has already leapfrogged over that hurdle.

BONUS Article: In A World Of Stuntvertising, Taylor Swift Schools Brands

JeffDavidson

Jeff Davidson

Copyright © 2014 – Jeff Davidson. Jeff Davidson, MBA, CMC, aka “the work life balance expert” works with busy people to increase their work-life balance, so that they can be more productive and competitive, and still have a happy home life. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, and Dial it Down, Live it Up. He is a columnist for Association News, Accounting Web, CPA Practice Digest, Insurance Business America, The Practical Lawyer, Physician’s Practice, Public Management, and Human Resources IQ. Visit www.BreathingSpace.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

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.

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Sunday, December 21, 2014

How to Book a Book Signing And Other Important Stuff!

Filed under: Author Tips,Book Signing Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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If I am driving by a store where I’ve never had a book signing, I drop in. First I ask someone to check their computer to see if they are stocking my book. (They don’t know I am the author yet). If so, I ask where to find it and bring it back and tell them I am the author and ask if they would like for me to sign the books. They usually say yes and become very helpful knowing I am the author.

If they do not stock my books, I tell them that books by Larry James are great books and tell them that I should know… I am Larry James – as I hand them my card. This usually gets a smile. I then ask for the name of the CRC (Community Relations Coordinator or person in charge of buy books & booking signings) and request that they ask the CRC if they have two minutes to come out and meet Larry James, an author.

BOOKaBookSigningIf the CRC is not available, I ask when is the best time to call? They will often offer the CRC’s schedule. If not, I ask for it. Although it is better to present yourself and your books in person, calling for an appointment works too. However when they hear you ask for two minutes, if the CRC is there, they will almost always come out to meet an author.

Honor your word. Be sure to keep your conversation to two minutes. If they show an interest and the time goes past two minutes, I usually smile and say, “My two minutes are up. We are on your time now and I’m happy to continue the conversation or I can schedule an appointment to come back later.” I’ve never had a CRC ask me to come back later.

I begin the conversation by introducing myself and showing them my three relationship books. Asking to do a book signing comes after they have heard my audio bio or introduction to my books.

If they are not currently carrying my books, I give them a flyer that tells where they can order; Ingram, Baker & or my publisher, Robert Reed Publishing.

If they currently have books in their store, I show the CRC that I have signed the books, request that they keep a good supply on hand, and let them know that I am a local author and appear on numerous radio talk shows, present relationship seminars locally and nationwide and am a shameless self-promoter, with finesse, of course. I also mention that Barbara Walters interviewed me about my book, “How to Really Love the One You’re With” on ABC TVs “the View.” That usually gets their attention. I tell the CRC some of the unusual things I do when I do a signing (Read 40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!) and ask them how soon they would like to schedule a book signing and/or seminar with me.

Notice, I didn’t say, “Would you like to schedule a book signing with me?” I said, “How soon…”

It is important for the CRC to know your experience and to experience some of the excitement you have about appearing in their store. Bring any collateral material that demonstrates your ability to promote your book; book marks, flyers, large posters of your book covers, extra book covers, awards, special newspaper coverage, endorsements from celebrities (or others), etc.

If they are hesitant to invite you to do a signing or a seminar and you are a member of a local authors group, offer to be the coordinator to have several of your author friends participate with you to make it a group signing and a special event.

I let the CRC know that I will do my best to schedule a local talk show (Read Radio Station Checklist & How to Be a Great Radio Guest) to help promote the event. I never promise that this will happen, but I do promise I will do my best to make it happen.

I also ask them if they would share their media list with me so I can send a news release to the media. Often they will tell me that “they” do that. I respond by saying, “So do I. And I duplicate your efforts because it’s better to have two book signing notices appear on the editors desk than one.”

My experience has been that an editor will often print more of what the author says about the book and the signing than the store. The news release from the store is a confirmation that the signing is actually scheduled. I will often send one of the store’s news releases with my own.

If they don’t have a media list, that is a red flag. Some book store CRCs do not do much to advertise your signings. I ask them exactly how they intend to help me promote the event; posters, special book table featuring my books for at least a week before the event, new releases to the media, etc.

If the store begins to set up the autograph table after I arrive, has no poster or special book table for pre-publicity, that is a sure sign the store is not fully engaged in helping to promote the book signing or the author.

If they are not willing to fully participate in the promotion of the event, generally speaking, I will most likely back off from doing the book signing and let them know – in a kind and loving way – why I am no longer interested. I usually slip in the words “partners” and “working together” somewhere in the conversation.

Once a book signing is scheduled, I maintain “frequent contact” with the CRC to make sure everything is still on track; books ordered and received, book table and poster prepared, media informed, etc.

I showed up for a signing in San Diego and was surprised to learn that the “former” CRC had only send in a news release – I had a copy of the newspaper that mentioned the book signing – but soon discovered that the new CRC knew nothing about the book signing. No books had been ordered, but since I was doing a relationship seminar the next day and had already been on a radio talk show that morning where I mentioned the signing at the store, the CRC felt so bad about this that she allowed me to bring in books from my car, sell them and keep all the money for myself. Talk about incentive! I sold 37 books in two hours that afternoon.

It is important to understand that the purpose of book signings is not necessarily to sell books, but to make the book store customers and CRC AWARE of your books.

Another important point to understand is that books DO NOT sell themselves! People SELL books! It’s equally important to spend some of your time at your signing to smooze with the people who take the money from the customers who buy your books. Get to know the staff at the book store. THEY can help you continue to sell your books LONG AFTER you have gone!

Book signings are an opportunity to build relationships with the book sellers. I consider book signings as an opportunity to SELL the book sellers on recommending MY books when someone asks for a good relationship book!

BONUS Articles: Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!
Book Signing Strategies
Book Signing Tips From A Road Warrior
How to Book Radio Shows & Be a Great Guest! – FREE eBOOK Download
40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!
How to Schedule Book Signing Events

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

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.

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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
Follow Larry’s “Weddings” BLOG at: http://CelebrateIntimateWeddings.wordpress.com

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