Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Tip to Make Your e-mail & Websites Get Noticed!

Filed under: Author Tips,Promotion,Speaker Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

Consider capitolizing the key words in your e-mail and Website addresses.

slingshotEmailThe typical, http://www.authorsandspeakersnetwork.com is too hard for your reader’s eyes. Not to mention that a whole bunch of letters strung together can sometimes spell out something that you didn’t intend to say.

Example: Richard Kelleher <MediaRelationsExpert@yahoo.com> instead of Richard Kelleher <mediarelationsexpert@yahoo.com>! See the difference? 😉 NOTE: Clicking on Richard’s e-mail addresses will take you to his “Twitter” account and his “Marketing Sociologist” Blog.

Print your Websites and e-mail address with upper and lower case letters on your cards, correspondence, email signatures, letterhead, Websites and everywhere as http://www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com. Only do this on the words BEFORE the .com, .net, .org, etc. Everything after the .com or .net, etc., is usually in lower case.

E-mailFor e-mail, instead of larryjames@authorsandspeakersnetwork.com write: LarryJames@AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com (By the way, not my real e-mail).

This little tip will make your e-mail and Website addresses create buzz, stand out and will make them easier to read and remember.

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2011 – 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

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

10 Tips for Giving a Kick-Ass Keynote

Filed under: Guest Author Articles,Speaker Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Mitch Ditkoff, Guest Author

Actors want to direct. Directors want to produce. And consultants want to be keynote speakers. And why not? The pay is good. It doesn’t take much time. And it’s a lot less heavy lifting than most consulting gigs.

Easier said that done, however. Delivering a kick ass keynote is not as easy as it looks. If you want to get into the game, begin by reviewing the following guidelines to see if you have what it takes.

lecture

Speaker behind a “lectern.” See Larry’s Note below!

1. Be in tune with your purpose: If you’re going to hold an audience’s attention for more than 10 minutes, you’ve got to begin by holding firm to your purpose… your calling… what gets you out of bed in the morning. If it’s missing, all you could ever hope to deliver is a speech — which is NOT what people want to hear.

If your purpose is clear, you’re home free and won’t need a single note card.

Mark Twain said it best: “If you speak the truth, you don’t need to remember a thing.”

2. Be passionate: Realize you are on the stage to let it rip. Completely. People are sitting in the audience because they want an experience, not just information. They want to feel something, not just hear something.

So play full out. Pull the rip cord. Jump!

3. Connect with the audience: You may know a lot of stuff. You may have a double Ph.D, but unless you know how to connect with the audience, your knowledge ain’t worth squat.

If you were a tree falling in a conference room, no one would hear it.

So tune in! Establish rapport! Connect! And that begins by respecting your audience and realizing you are there to serve.

4. Tell stories: That’s how great teachers have communicated since the beginning of time. Storytelling is the most effective way to disarm the skeptic and deliver meaning in a memorable way.

“The world is not made of atoms,” explained poet, Muriel Rukyser. “It’s made of stories.”

5. Have a sense of humor: There’s a reason why HAHA and AHA are almost spelled the same. Both are about the experience of breakthrough. And both are sparked when the known is replaced by the unknown, when continuity is replaced by discontinuity.

Hey, admit it. At the end of the day, if you can’t find the humor in business, you’re screwed. So, why wait for the end of the day. Find the humor now.

mitchditkoffBOOK6. Get visual: It’s become a corporate sport to make fun of power point, but power point can be a thrill if done right. A picture really is worth a thousand words.

If you want to spark people’s imagination, use images more than words. The root of the word imagination is image.

7. Have confidence: Do you know what the root of the word “confidence” is? It comes from the Latin “con-fide” — meaning “to have faith.” Have faith in what? Yourself.

That’s not ego. It’s the natural expression of a human being coming from the place of being called.

So, if you’re about to walk out on stage and are feeling the impostor syndrome coming on, stop and get in touch with what is calling you.

Let that guy/gal speak.

8. Trim the Fat: When Michelangelo was asked how he made the David, he said it was simple — that he merely took away “everything that wasn’t.”

The same holds for you, oh aspiring-keynote-presenter-at-some-future high-profile-conference (or, at the very least, pep-talk-giver to your kid’s Junior High School soccer team).

Keep it simple. Or, as Patti LaBarre, the delightful MC at last year’s World Innovation Forum put it, “Minimize your jargon footprint.”

9. Celebrate what works: If you want to raise healthy kids, reinforce their positive behaviors — don’t obsess on the negative. The same holds true for conference keynotes.

If you want to raise a healthy audience, give them examples of what’s working out there in the marketplace. Feature the “bright spots,” as Chip Heath likes to say. Share victories, best practices, and lessons learned. Save the bitching and moaning for your therapist.

10. Walk the Talk: Good presenters are genuinely moved. Being genuinely moved, it’s natural for them come out from behind the podium and actually move around the stage — as in, walking the talk.

Don’t hide behind the lecturn. Screw your notes. If you have to depend on notes to give your presentation, guess what? You’re not being present.

People aren’t sitting in the audience to watch you read from your notes. They’re sitting there to watch you blast off and inspire them to get out from behind their podium and accomplish the extraordinary.

Larry’s Note: The following two words are often misspoken by meeting planners and speakers. Lectern – Desk for a standing reader (or speaker). Something you stand behind when you speak. Podium – A raised platform (as for a speaker). Something you stand on when you speak. Often called a riser. The lectern is often on the podium.

Mitch Ditkoff

Copyright © 2011 – Mitch Ditkoff. Reprinted with permission. Mitch Ditkoff is the co-founder and President of Idea Champions, a highly acclaimed management consulting and training company. He specializes in helping forward thinking organizations go beyond business as usual, and establish dynamic, sustainable cultures of innovation. Visit Mitch’s Website. Mitch is the author of Awake at the Wheel: Getting Your Great Idea Rolling (in an uphill world), Banking on Innovation, Free the Genie, Thirst Quench Thirst, and the very popular Heart of Innovation business BLOG.

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

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

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, March 8, 2011

Drafting Your Back Cover Sales Copy

Filed under: Book Cover Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

Dan Poynter, Guest Author

The outside of your book should sell the inside. Everyone judges a book by its cover – and what you can do about it.

People do not read the book before making a buying decision. Consumers do not read it in the store. Sales reps only carry book covers and jackets to show store buyers while wholesalers and distributors say “just send us the cover copy.” All buying decisions are made on the illustration/design and the sales copy on the outside of the book. Yes, packaging is everything.

Each year, U.S. industry spends more than $50 billion on package design. Now, that is not $50 billion for the packages, not for the contents. That money is for the design of the packages. Packages prompt buyers to reach for the product whether it is pantyhose, corn flakes or hair spray.

Stores have tens of thousands of books being displayed spine-out. With all this congestion, it is hard to get attention. Initially, all a potential buyer sees is the book’s spine. If the browser takes it down, he or she will gaze at the cover about four seconds and the flip it over to read the back cover. On average, he or she will spend just seven seconds here, so the trick is to keep them reading longer. Your copy has to be punchy and benefit-laden; it has to speak to the potential buyer.

For free instructions on how to write the sales copy and lay out your covers, download my Book Cover Worksheet, Doc­u­ment 116, and fill in the blanks.

Your book cover designer will lay out the package and incorporate the illustration, put it all on disk and send it to your printer, but you must draft the sales copy. This book cover worksheet will take you step-by-step through the sales copy draft process. Use your computer so you will be able to move the copy around once entered.

Drafting ad copy is hard work. Ad copy writers, people who write ads for a living, need to stimulate their imagination. Most of them study the field constantly. When they see an element of an ad they like in a magazine or on line, they will pull it out, circle the good part and put it in a “swipe file.” When they are commissioned to write an ad, they will go through the swipe file looking for ideas. You can use the same stimulating procedure but there is an easier, more direct way to do it.

Look for four or five other books at Amazon that are very close to your book. Think to yourself, if someone were to buy that book, would they be a good candidate to buy your book? Print out the multiple pages. Highlight the buzz words and good book descriptions. Now, spread out the page and draft your sales copy. All the good, descriptive sales copy is in front of you. The highlighting will stimulate your copywriting imagination and make the drafting easy.

A. Front cover

Select a working title and subtitle. Keep the title short and make the subtitle descriptive.
List the most important person in your field (association or industry) for the foreword (and please note the spelling of Foreword.) You will try to get them to pen the foreword later.

B. Spine

Stack the title on the spine so it will read more easily on the shelf. Use a bold, san-serif, vertically-legged typeface such as Arial Black, bolded.

C. Back cover

1. Category. Visit a bookstore and check the shelf where your book will be displayed. Note the categories on the books and the shelves. Listing the category on the back cover of your book will insure your book will be easy to find — because the bookshop personnel will place it on the right shelf.

2. Now you need an arresting headline addressed to potential buyers. You want them to relate to the book and find themselves in it. Do not repeat the title here; do not bore the potential buyer. You have already “said it” on the front. Use an alternate approach. For example, The Self-Publishing Manual’s back-cover headline is Why Not Publish Yourself?

3. Description. Concisely (two to four sentences) state what the book is about. What will the reader gain by reading this book?

4. Bulleted promises or benefits. Promise to make readers better at what they do. Be specific. Focus on who your audience is and what they want. Think: about who are you talking to and what are they going to get from the book.

You will discover:

• (benefit)
• (benefit)
• (benefit)
• (benefit)

5. Testimonials and endorsements. Dream up three different endorsements from people you would like to quote. If “This book changed my diplomatic strategy. – Colin Powell,” would look good, try it. Use names or titles recognizable in your field — sources that might impress potential buyers. This is just a draft; dress it up. You will secure some of these quotations later.

6. Show the author is the ultimate authority on the subject. Just two or three sentences will do.

7. End with a sales closer in bold type. Ask the book browser to buy the book. Use something like “This book has enabled thousands to . . . and it will show you the way too.”

8. Price. The book industry likes a price on the book. The price is a turn-off to potential buyers so place it at the end of the sales copy. Never locate the price at the top of the back cover. If this is a hardcover book, place the price at the top of the front flap.

9. Bar code with International Standard Book Number (ISBN). The bar code on a book identifies the ISBN, which in turn identifies the publisher, title, author and edition (hardcover, etc.). Make room for, but do not worry about, the bar code and ISBN just now.

For more details on the ISBN and bar code, see Document 112 (FREE).

Your title, subtitle, back-cover headline and benefits may be swapped. Once you have them written down, you may wish to move some of them around. Perhaps one of your benefits would be a better subtitle.

Most back cover copy is weak and uninspiring. The title is repeated and then is followed by several quotations and a bar code and that’s it! Haphazard copy is the sign of lazy (and maybe inexperienced) copywriter. This lack of effective competition on the shelf gives us the upper hand.

Book cover illustrations and design have improved tremendously over the past 30 years. Author/publishers used to spend all their efforts on the text and the cover became an after-thought.

DanPoynterbookSome publishers remember it was Robert Howard who brought bright, insightful, relevant, remarkable covers to the industry. There are many great cover designers today and it was Robert Howard who started it all. A good cover artist will read through your book and create a cover that will reflect the message of the text. The cover and text should match.

Years ago, we said, “Write your ad before you write your book.” This was to help you focus on who you were writing to and what you were going to give them. Then we realized the most important ad you will ever write is your back cover copy. Now we say: “Write your cover copy before you write your book.”

Packages sell products and covers sell books. Give your books the opportunity in the marketplace they deserve. Package your text to quickly tell the idle browser what is inside.

Larry’s Note: If you are going to self-publish your book, my friend, Dan Poynter, will be one of the greatest resources you can have. Dan is known as the “Guru of Self-Publishing!”

Dan Poynter

Copyright © 2011 – Dan Poynter. Reprinted with permission. Dan Poynter is the author of 126 books, including Dan Poynter’s Self-Publishing Manual: How to Write, Print and Sell Your Own Book. He’s been a publisher since 1969. For more publishing and book marketing tips, follow @DanPoynter on Twitter, and visit his website, blog, and YouTube page.

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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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