Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

When Speaking ~ Be Brief

Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, Guest Author

Centuries ago great speakers often spoke two hours and more. But today when sound bytes on television news are the norm and serious problems are solved in an hour on a television drama, audiences are most interested in speakers that get their points across in a short period of time. In a speech delivered to a Women in Communication audience, Patricia Ward Brash said, “Television has helped create an impatient society, where audiences expect us to make our point simply and quickly.”

Today great speakers are noted for their brevity. Billy Graham, in a recent city-wide campaign in Cincinnati, spoke about 20 minutes each night. Theodore Sorensen in his book, “Kennedy,” gave guidelines by which President Kennedy prepared speeches. No speech was more than 20-30 minutes. He wasted no words and his delivery wasted no time. He rarely used words he considered hackneyed or word fillers.

A&SbeBriefAs Purdue communications professor and researcher Josh Boyd wrote, “In physics, power is defined as work divided by time. In other words, more work done in less time produces more power. In the same way, a speaker’s message is most powerful when he [or she] can deliver a lot of good material in a short amount of time.”

Here are guidelines to make brevity a key foundation in your next speech. First, keep your stories under two minutes in length. In preparing a story, continue to ask the question, “How can I say this in less time and in fewer words?” Script out your story and then seek to condense it. There is an adage in using humor: “The longer the story the funnier it had better be.” Connecting this principle to stories in general, we might say, “The longer the story, the more impact it had better have.”

To make sure your stories stay under two minutes, include only information that answers the questions, “Who?” “What?” “When?” “Where?” and “Why?” If it doesn’t answer one of these questions, leave it out. Make sure also that you have a sense of direction in the story. Each part of the story should move toward the conclusion in the mind of the listener. The listener should always feel you are going somewhere in developing your story.

Second, when possible, follow the proverb, “Less is better than more.” Never use three words when you can say it in two. Leave out clichés, filler words, and hackneyed words, such as “You know,” “OK,” and “All right.” Leave out phrases such as “Let me be honest,” or blunt, or frank. Avoid “In other words.” or “To say it another way.” Speak in short sentences, short phrases, and short words. Word choice should be instantly clear to an audience. Make it a goal to make every word have impact in your speech.

SBoyd

For more info, click the book cover!

Third, know the length of your speech by practicing it. Never be surprised by the length of your speech. Never say to an audience, “I’m running out of time, so I must hurry along.” You should know because of your preparation and practice of the speech. To go one step further, if you know the time limit on your speech is 20 minutes, stop a minute short; don’t go overtime. Audiences will appreciate your respect of their time and will think more highly of you as a speaker because of that. You should never be surprised by how long it takes you to deliver a speech

AnecdoteFourth, learn to divide parts of your speech into time segments. Let’s use a 20-minute speech as an example. The introduction should be no longer than 2 minutes. You can get the attention and preview your message easily in that length of time. Avoid opening with generalizations about the weather or the audience. Let the audience know up front that every word you speak counts.

Spend the bulk of your time in the body of the speech. This is where you make your points and give support or evidence for each point. The final two minutes should be your summary and move to action statement. Some speakers have a hard time concluding. When you say you are going to conclude, do so. As one wise person stated, “Don’t dawdle at the finish line of the speech.”

One way to keep your speech brief is to have few points in the body of your speech-no more than three. With a maximum of three points, you will have the self-discipline to condense rather than amplify. In organizing your material, accept the fact you will always have more material than you can cover and that you will only include material that relates to one of the two or three points you plan to make. Trying to cover four to six points will almost invariably make you go overtime in your speech.

A key to success in speaking is not just having something worthwhile to say, but also saying it briefly. We need to follow the speaking axiom, “Have a powerful, captivating opening and a strong, memorable close, and put the two of them as close together as possible.”

BONUS Articles: Ten Lessons on Presentation & Performance You Can Learn by Watching Taylor Swift
Speaking Secrets of Joel Osteen
Speakers: Stay on Time!

Copyright © 2015 – Stephen D. Boyd. – Reprinted with permission. Stephen D. Boyd, Ph.D., CSP, is a professor of speech communication at Northern Kentucky University in Highland Heights, Kentucky. He is also a trainer in communication who presents more than 60 seminars and workshops a year to corporations and associations. See additional articles, resources and contact info at www.SBoyd.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
Follow Larry on Pintrest at: http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Monday, April 20, 2015

Wanna Sell Your Book? Get a Book Distributor!

To quote my friend, Dan Poynter: “Bookstores no longer order directly from publishers. They prefer fewer vendors and quicker service. The best way to reach the book trade (independent bookstores, chain bookstores, wholesalers and libraries) is with a distributor.”

A&SDistributorDistributors ONLY distribute books to book stores! Distributors DO NOT “sell” books. It is up to authors to generate interest in the book to alert potential buyers that the book exists and is in the stores. Whether you sell out to a large (NY) publisher or publish yourself, the author must do the promotion.

The books will sit on the shelf in book stores for one four-month season. If the author has not driven buyers to the stores, the books will come back as returns. DO NOT depend on anyone else to promote your book. That is only and always your responsibility. If you do not know how… hire someone who does, otherwise you may end up with a 1,000 books in your garage. :-(

Before you begin to write your book, study to become aware of all the details of writing a book, to having it in book stores. Hire a book coach or a public relations firm to help you.

Your distributor is your partner. Work with your distributor, support the efforts of your distributor and honor your distributor.

Visit the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Distributor & Wholesaler Directory.

BONUS Article: Distributor vs. Wholesaler Defined
How to Distribute Your Self-Published Book Offline
Piecing Together the Distribution Puzzle
Why Self-Promotion is Critical to Your Success
Building Book Buzz!

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Copyright © 2015 – 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
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Sunday, April 12, 2015

6 Reasons You Should Self-Publish

Tiana Warner, Guest Author

I was talking with a writer friend recently, and we got into a discussion on traditional publishing vs. self-publishing. She’s been querying agents like crazy. I’ve been doing self-publishing prep like crazy. She was surprised to find out I didn’t even bother trying to get an agent or traditional publishing contract.

Why would I do such a thing? Why would I not even try to get a publisher?

A&Sself-publishingI’ve done a lot of research on the matter, and while both approaches have advantages, I decided self-publishing was a better option for me. Let’s talk about why.

Follow your own timeline

The traditional publishing timeline takes a zen-like level of patience. Realistically, you’re looking at a few months of querying agents, revising your query letter, and querying some more. Once you’ve acquired an agent, she then has to find you a publisher, which takes even more time and patience. Upon acceptance, the timeline for a publishing house is often one, two, or even three years. After all this, you’re not even guaranteed to have a book deal.

Even Queen Rowling got rejected about a dozen times before finally getting published. Life’s too short for that, and what’s “hot” in the book market evolves too quickly. Self-publishing gets your book out there as soon as you want. While I wouldn’t recommend publishing your book the day after you’re done your second draft, it’s motivating to know you can see it in print a few months after completion.

Control your story and platform

When you get picked up by a publishing house, you’re signing over the rights to your book. It’s quite possible that their editor will make you change stuff you don’t want to change—including the title. When you hire your own editor, you have the freedom to decide where to draw the line. It is still your book.

Personally, I like being able to choose the cover of my book, and the price, and where it’s distributed. What if the publishing house gives me a horrendous cover or a $34.00 hardcover copy? What if they want to price my eBook at $15.00? Unfortunately this happens all the time.

Higher royalties

CreateSpace takes about 40% when you sell a paperback. Publishing houses usually take at least 85%, and your agent gets a chunk of what’s left (usually about 15%). There are other means of payment, like advances and flat rates, but in summary, you’re left with about enough to pay rent on the cardboard box you’ll have to live in.

Sure, if you sell a million copies that makes $40,000, but I’d rather sell a million copies at 60% royalty, thankyouverymuch.

The time is right

We’re in an age where self-published books have a better chance than ever of making it big. Print-On-Demand services and free eBook distribution are abound. One in three ebooks sold on Amazon are self-published. You don’t even need to be in a bookstore to be successful.

People don’t care how a book is published, as long as the book is good. If it’s going to explode, it’ll explode, whether or not it’s traditionally published.

Either way, marketing is up to you

Publishing house or not, you’re still responsible for marketing your own work. Yes, sometimes a publishing house helps out with PR and reviews, but it really varies. These days, you’ll likely need to create a marketing plan anyway if you want to impress a publisher enough for them to pick you up.

For me, the chance that a publishing house might help me promote myself is not enough to make me want to forgo the above advantages.

You believe in yourself

Ok, let me get all self-helpy for a minute. Write this on an index card: “I am a bestselling author.” Put it on your fridge. Look at it every day. If you believe wholeheartedly you can achieve something, then it absolutely will happen. I promise.

You’re an organized, driven person who has just written an entire book. You can absolutely put in the work and follow the steps required to publish it. You know there are infinite resources on self-publishing and marketing waiting for you on the web. You have every reason to be confident that you can self-publish your book, without giving up control, royalties, time, and that scene you love so much.

50 Shades was self-published. If 50 Shades can do it, then for the love of all that is holy, you can do it.

Bottom line?

Here’s the thing. No matter what the medium, you need to do research to figure out how to market your book as best as possible. The more you get exposure and reviews, the more you do giveaways and networking and interviews, the better your chances of selling a lot of copies.

Self-publishing does cost more money up front. You’ll need to pay for your own editor, for cover design, and other miscellaneous fees. But if writing truly is your passion then this shouldn’t matter. Hobbies cost money. Startup businesses cost money. Writing is a hobby and a business. Personally, I don’t mind spending money on something I love this much. It’s like an investment in myself, and in the plan that soon I’ll make it back.

To be clear, I’m not against traditional publishing. Books are sexy and I think both approaches win. In fact, maybe a “hybrid” approach is best.

What do you think? What’s your take on self-publishing vs. traditional publishing? Tell us in the comments.

Copyright © 2014 – Tiana Warner. Tiana Warner is a YA fantasy author from British Columbia, Canada. Check out her upcoming novel, Ice Massacre. Tiana enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and collecting tea cups. She would love to connect with you on Twitter—find her @tianawarner.

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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.

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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
Follow Larry on Pintrest at: http://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Give Yourself Permission to Write Badly, and Just Begin!

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

A&SWritePoorlyWhen I wrote my first article, I immediately became bogged down with making sure everything was perfect. That didn’t work very well for me. My first writing coach, Peggy Moss Fielding (1927-2014, Tulsa, OK) once told me that if I wanted to be a writer I needed to write at least one hour everyday. I almost stopped before I began. My first thought was, “I really don’t have time!”

I was wrong. You “always” have time to do the things you really want to do.

Often you will sit in front of a blank page. To get over the biggest writer’s hurdle – the blank page – just start writing. Almost all good writing begins with terrible first efforts. You need to start somewhere. Start by getting something – anything – down on paper. Writing for most isn’t easy. It takes mental energy – and often emotional energy, too.

After much trial and error, I found that I needed to set aside a time when I was most creative. For me, that’s late in the evening. I’m definitely not a morning person, so that did not work for me.

This requires concentration and privacy. Don’t let anything else distract you. Find a quiet place. Turn off the TV, disconnect from the Internet, tune out the rest of the world, sit down, and begin to write something every single day. Be disciplined.

For me, I usually am listening to some quiet jazz as I write. Jazz inspires me. My hero, Miles Davis once said, “”When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that makes it good or bad.” When a jazz musician plays jazz, although he may not consciously know what the next note will be, he trusts his intuition enough to fearlessly play it. It’s the same with writing. Often the next word will inspire me to go back and rewrite the entire sentence to make it better. Some soft classical music in the background may inspire you.

first-drafts-poster-2“In private correspondence the great mystery writer Raymond Chandler once confessed that even if he didn’t write anything, he made sure he sat down at his desk every single day and concentrated – quietly strengthening his willpower.” Haruki Murakami

When I say, start by getting something – anything – down on paper, if you are unsure of what you will be writing about, write down the first thing that comes to mind. Writing doesn’t just communicate ideas; it generates them. At least, now you have started.

Belle Beth Cooper suggests that you use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. I agree. I begin with an idea and write as much as I can in the most simple language I can – not being concerned about making corrections as I write. Just write. After I have several pages, I will go back over them and see if any other thoughts about the subject surface.

Often I will Google my topic to see what others may have said. Careful here! Never copy word-for-word what other writers may have written. A few sentences used as a quote with a proper acknowledgement and a link to their article is okay. If your mind like an idea, express it in your own words.

“Allow yourself to write poorly, to write a weak, uninteresting story or a boring, grammatically incorrect poem. You’ll never succeed if you don’t allow yourself a few failures along the way. Make it your business to understand grammar and language. Do you know a noun from a verb, a predicate from a preposition? Do you understand tense and verb agreement?” ~ Melissa Donovan

One of the benefits of writing is that you have a chance to edit your work before the reader gets to read it. Let go of your inner editor. Editing is best saved as one of the last things you do. Sometimes, if I’m not sure the article is complete, I may lay it aside and let it rest for a day or two. Once I pick it up I can begin reading with a fresh mind and nearly all the mistakes will catch my eye. It’s wise to proofread everything you write at least three times before posting your work on your blog or for publication.

If you are writing a book, it’s important to hire an editor. They are well worth the money and will make sure that everything is 100% accurate.

Be sure you have a dictionary and a thesaurus available whenever you are writing. In my final edit, I will look for different words that I can use to make it more interesting. Using the same old words can be boring to the reader.

I dare you to write something everyday – without fail. – Larry James

You may want to join a writers’ group so you can gain support and encouragement from other writers. It’s comforting to know that you may not be the only one who is experiencing difficulties.

I carry a notebook wherever I go. I often will get ideas from magazines I read. I’ll make a few notes even if it doesn’t seem relevant at the time. Maybe later it will be. I’ve been known to write down one brief idea and sit there and nearly complete an article. When I get back to my office, I enter everything I wrote into my computer.

Hilary Mantel once said, “If you get stuck, get away from your desk. Take a walk, take a bath, go to sleep, make a pie, draw, listen to music, meditate, exercise; whatever you do, don’t just stick there scowling at the problem.”

Wanna be a professional writer? Just write!

Today I often spend more than one hour writing each day. Peggy Moss Fielding totally inspired me to begin writing my first book. (Thanks, Peggy! You created a writing monster!) Since then I have written 5 books, more than 2,700 articles, have four blogs (something new goes up every 4th day on each of them) and I have 4 Websites.

BONUS Articles: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write!
6 of the Best Pieces of Advice from Successful Writers
The Importance of Editing Your Book BEFORE Publication
So… What About “Word Choice?”

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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.

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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
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Friday, March 27, 2015

How to Get Publicity from Talk Radio

Filed under: Radio Talk Show Tips — Larry James @ 7:30 am
Tags: ,

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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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
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

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
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/

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
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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

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