Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Audience for Your Book

Filed under: Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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Seth Godin, Guest Author

Are you publishing for your fans? If so, do you have enough to justify the effort? Do you have a way of reaching them? Is there a better vehicle than a book for reaching your goal?

booksigningAre you publishing so your fans will have something to recommend to their friends? Is it in a form that they’ll happily recommend? What’s the half-life of this cycle–will friends recommend to friends and to friends to infinity? If not, how big an audience do you imagine reaching?

Are you publishing for strangers? How will they discover you? Or are you playing the lottery, figuring someone has to come out of nowhere with a big bestseller, it might as well be you…

Or are you publishing to make a point, to wave your book in front of a particular audience like a red flag in front of a bull?

Are you publishing to win an award or become a critic’s darling? Good luck with that.

Are you publishing for your clients, with the intent of mailing the book directly to them? This is both easy and effective, but it isn’t publishing, it’s mailing them a book.

booksigningcartoonAre you publishing this book to make a living? Good luck with that. (Less than 3% of newly published authors make enough in royalties and advances to be happy to live on).

What you write is directly related to who you are writing for, and deciding to publish has nothing at all to do with deciding to write. Publishing is a business decision, a financial risk and a marketing project. If your goal is to generate reach, to share your gifts and your point of view, you can skip all of those and just give your work away.

There are people who should publish, who I hope will publish and who will create books we can’t wait to read. And there are important books still unwritten, books that should be created and shared. Too often, though, we seek to follow a path where there isn’t a sensible business model, and all that happens is nothing.

Go, write. But think twice (or three times or six) about publishing the traditional way.

Copyright © 2011. Seth Godin. Seth Godin has written thirteen books that have been translated into more than thirty languages. Every one has been a bestseller. He writes about the post-industrial revolution, the way ideas spread, marketing, quitting, leadership and most of all, changing everything. Seth is the founder of The Domino Project. Check Seth’s Blog.

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Larry James is a Professional Speaker, Author and Coach. Larry James presents networking seminars nationally and offers Networking coaching; one-on-one or for your Networking Group! Invite Larry James to speak to your group! His latest book is, Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections! Something NEW about Networking is posted on this Networking BLOG every 4th day! Visit Larry’s Networking Website at: “Networking HQ!”

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

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

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Add Larry James as a “friend” to your Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/larry.james
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Authors & Speakers… Help Promote “Books for Treats!”

Filed under: Author Tips,Promotion — Larry James @ 6:00 am

This Halloween… Do something different for your “Tiny Tricksters!”

When they come to your door on Halloween… treat them to some “brain candy!” Feed their mind, not their cavities!

bookfortreatsBooks For Treats” is an ingenious program created by my friend, Rebecca Morgan, California (author and speaker). It encourages parents to recycle their gently used children’s books by giving them out on Halloween instead of candy.

booHow can you participate?

• Pass the link to this article to your author and speaker friends. – http://tinyurl.com/3efmubg – Share it with your Facebook friends and Tweet about it on Twitter! Help us promote this terrific idea!
• Gather gently read children’s books to give out in your neighborhood.
Download our kit to help you sort your books by grade level.
• Volunteer to help (fill out the form on the left)
• Have your company become a sponsor
• Make a donation of any amount through PayPal to info@BooksForTreats.org. We appreciate any funds, as they help us purchase used books, provide PR and ads to get the word out, and keep our web site up to date.
• Talk to your friends, co-workers and neighbors about participating in Books for Treats. Send them a link to this web site.

Whenever I give out books on Halloween I be sure that my business card is in the book to be used as a book mark. 😉 I also have a red stamp that I post at the beginning of the book that says, “Compliments of Larry James, CelebrateLove.com!” I will often drop an additional business card in their candy baskets.

Want to talk to someone about how you can help? Contact Rebecca Morgan, founder and Executive Director. 408-998-7977.
Send e-mail to Rebecca at: info@booksfortreats.org

Next… Treat your own children to some “Halloween Humor” at: http://www.celebratelove.com/halloweenhumor.htm

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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

Monday, October 10, 2011

Got Book? – When Will it Be Finished? Or… “When Will You Get Started?”

Filed under: Author Tips,Getting Started — Larry James @ 9:00 am
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So, you say, “There’s a book in me, but I can’t seem to find the time to put it all together!”

Excuses, excuses! The most common excuse that people use for not writing is that they can’t find time to write. Thinking about writing a book will not get it written. If you find yourself coming up with a list of reasons why it’s not possible for you to get started on that book you say you’ve been wanting to write, you probably don’t want to write it badly enough. What’s the hold up?

Fear! Most people procrastinate because of fear of failure. If you never do anything then no one can say that you did it poorly. Lack of confidence? You just can’t seem to get started? Maybe you’re too busy to be a writer. It takes discipline, dedication and determination to make a writing life happen, but it can be done.

BestSellingBook“Any book I have written is better that the book you haven’t written yet!” – Larry Winget

Perhaps you don’t know HOW to write a book. It’s not as complicated as you may think.

Here’s the secret: You write a book “one page at a time!” Small bites. It’s that simple. Not easy. Simple.

Writing a book is not that difficult. Just sit down at your computer and start writing. It all begins with the first word.

autobiography“The gap between having the desire to write a book and actually sitting down to write one is quite large, but with some effort, it can be bridged.” ~ Wendy Aron

You really don’t need to know all the intricacies of writing a book, (you can learn about that later), you just need to get started writing. Don’t be concerned about getting it published. That comes later.

First decide what you want to write about. A helpful approach is to break your manuscript down into manageable chunks, rather than putting yourself under pressure to write an entire book. I outline the titles of the chapters or topics I want to write about and – depending upon how I am feeling – I choose one of them and begin writing. If your book will have 10 chapters, create 10 files in your computer and name each one the temporary name that indicates what the chapter or topic will be about. Then, one hour each day write “something” in one of the chapters. You don’t have to start at the beginning of the book or with chapter one. Just start writing.

Don’t worry so much about “getting it right.” Perfection is an unreasonable goal. You can clean it up later. Pick a time each day and write. Don’t worry about quality – just write. That’s right! Just write.

I usually write something. . . let it rest overnight, print it and read it aloud the next day. I then make notes for changes I might make, then go back to my computer, make the changes and read it again. Next I choose another chapter or topic to begin writing something else. For me it helps to begin writing about something in the book that is not to close to the topic I just wrote.

computerIn your spare time go to a book store and look at other books that are in the same gendre as the one you will write – preferably by a better known author. Study how it’s put together. Look at the cover. Look at the back. What goes there? Open the book and look what’s on page one, page two, etc. Are there any dedications? Study the introduction. Look at the copyright page. Are there any famous people’s testimonials? Write the back cover material before you write your book. This gives your book direction and helps you focus only on what’s important to the books theme. These are the things that the writer needs to be aware of because you will need to write about them.

I recommend spending money by having someone design your book cover before you write your book. I highly recommend Jim Weems. Keep a copy of the cover in a frame on your desk to inspire you. Don’t skimp money wise on what you spend on the book cover, spine and back cover. Covers are more important than what is inside. YOU may not think so, but the cover and what’s on it is what sells the book.

Book titles are very important too. I came up with 31 possible titles to one of my relationship books, narrowed it down to 10 of my favorites and contacted some of my author and speaker friends to tell me their favorite and why. The why was important and helped me write the subtitle. Nearly all of my friends zeroed in on one title, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship.”

If you intend to write, I recommend that you carry a small notebook and a cassette recorder with you – everywhere you go. Ideas can come from the strangest places. Be prepared to make a few notes. It’s best to write about something you already know or something you would like to learn more about.

Kill procrastination by acting now. Sign up for a good book writing course at a community college? Read books about book writing. Join an authors club or association. Talk to other authors. Hang out with them. Hire a coach. If you live in Arizona, check out the Arizona Book Publishing Association.

Once you have several chapters written you have the right to begin calling yourself an author. Say it aloud, “I’m an author.” When you have been published, say, “I’m a published author.” Sounds good doesn’t it?

“Remember, you don’t have to be an expert at grammar or spelling or sentence structure, that is what editors are for! It is just up to you to tell your story from the heart and get started and take the time to educate yourself with the many resources available to make the task easy and enjoyable!” ~ Julie Salisbury

The only way to write a book is to sit down and start writing. Dedicate a specific, regular time to write every day. I usually write late at night when there are no interruptions. The key is to write every day. That is what separates writers from those who wannabe writers. Writers write. Those who talk about writing aren’t.

stop-talkingThere is always enough time for writing a book. Always, and that means right now. The only way to start writing is to start writing, not next year, not next week, not after you retire, but right now.

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that there are more than 110 articles for authors and speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com. Check out the index to this blog for many more articles.

BONUS Articles: Creating Your Chapter Outline
Ten Tips To Get Started Writing Your Book
So You’re Writing a Book, Eh?

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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

Sunday, October 2, 2011

36 Writing Tips from Successful Authors

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

Sometimes people who request author coaching ask me for help or suggestions about how to write, or how to get published. I get a multitude of questions. Perhaps in the following tips you will find some inspiration that will help.

If you are truly serious about being an author, my own tip would be to have the discipline to write something – anything – everyday! Make it a daily routine and do it with passion! Tip #29 echos this idea!

hintstipsYou can begin to improve any type of writing you do with these solid tips from successful writers themselves. It’s a collection of tips that every writer should print and read often to help keep you on track.

General Writing Tips

1. Ernest Hemingway. Use short sentences and short first paragraphs. These rules were two of four given to Hemingway in his early days as a reporter–and words he lived by.

2. Mark Twain. Substitute “damn” every time you want to use the word “very.” Twain’s thought was that your editor would delete the “damn,” and leave the writing as it should be. The short version: eliminate using the word “very.”

3. Oscar Wilde. Be unpredictable. Wilde suggested that “consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.”

4. Anton Chekhov. Show, don’t tell. This advice comes out of most every writing class taught. Chekhov said it most clearly when he said, “Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.”

5. EB White. Just write. The author of Charlotte’s Web, one of the most beloved of children’s books, said that “I admire anybody who has the guts to write anything at all.”

6. Samuel Johnson. Keep your writing interesting. “The two most engaging powers of an author are to make new things familiar and familiar things new.”

7. Ray Bradbury. Learn to take criticism well and discount empty praise, or as Bradbury put it, “to accept rejection and reject acceptance.”

8. Toni Morrison. Remember that writing is always about communication. “Everything I’ve ever done, in the writing world, has been to expand articulation, rather than to close it.”

9. George Orwell. Orwell offered twelve solid tips on creating strong writing, including an active voice rather than a passive one and eliminating longer words when shorter ones will work just as well.

10. F. Scott Fitzgerald. “Cut out all those exclamation marks. An exclamation mark is like laughing at your own joke.”

11. Anais Nin. “The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.”

12. Truman Capote. Editing is as important as the writing. “I believe more in the scissors than I do in the pencil.”

13. Maurice Sendak. Keep revising. “I never spent less than two years on the text of one of my picture books, even though each of them is approximately 380 words long. Only when the text is finished … do I begin the pictures.”

Tips for Beginning Writers

If you are thinking about a career in writing or are just starting to write seriously, then use these tips for great suggestions.

14. Stephen King. “Read a lot and write a lot.” Reading and understanding different styles is integral to finding your own style.

15. Margaret Mahy. Be persistent. This popular New Zealand author suggests that being persistent will pay off when facing adversity while writing or trying to get your writing published.

16. John Grisham. Keep your day job. Grisham suggests finding your career outside of writing. Experience life, suffering, and love to be able to write effectively.

17. John Steinbeck. “I’ve always tried out material on my dogs first.” Make sure that above all, you are happy with your work…and see if the dogs stay awake.

18. Flannery O’Connor. Sometimes you need to stir the emotions to be heard. “I am not afraid that the book will be controversial, I’m afraid it will not be controversial.”

19. Isaac Asimov. Use humor effectively.” Jokes of the proper kind, properly told, can do more to enlighten questions of politics, philosophy, and literature than any number of dull arguments.”

20. Lillian Hellman. Trust your instincts. “If I had to give young writers advice, I would say don’t listen to writers talking about writing or themselves.”

21. Doris Lessing. “I don’t know much about creative writing programs. But they’re not telling the truth if they don’t teach, one, that writing is hard work, and, two, that you have to give up a great deal of life, your personal life, to be a writer.”

22. Jessamyn West. “Talent is helpful in writing, but guts are absolutely necessary.”

23. William Faulkner. “A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others.”

24. Margaret Atwood. Don’t be afraid of failure. “A ratio of failures is built into the process of writing. The wastebasket has evolved for a reason.”

25. Richard Bach. Never stop trying. “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

26. Isabel Allende. Follow your passion, despite the obstacles. “I couldn’t write a novel sitting in a car but I could write short stories. The advantage to this is because with a short story you write fragments. In a couple of weeks you have a story and then you do some more. If you really want to do something you do it in the most awkward circumstances, of course.”

27. Carl Zimmer. Do as much research as possible away from the Internet — with living people, in real places.

28. David Shenk. Make it great, no matter how long it takes. There’s no such thing as too many drafts. There’s no such thing as too much time spent. As you well know, a great book can last forever. A great book can change a person’s life. A mediocre book is just commerce.

29. Cory Doctorow. Write every day. Anything you do every day gets easier. If you’re insanely busy, make the amount that you write every day small (100 words? 250 words?) but do it every day. Write even when the mood isn’t right.

30. Seth Mnookin. Assume your book is going to completely tank commercially. That’ll help you remember that you’re not writing this for the purpose of writing a best-seller (at least I assume you’re not), but because it’s something that you care passionately about and excites you intellectually and because you hope to be able to share your thoughts and observations and conclusions with a group of people you respect and want to discourse with. Everything else is gravy. At the end of the day, what’s important is producing something you believe in…not producing something that’ll catch people’s eyes at B&N.

31. Maryn McKenna. Be good to your spouse/partner and protect time for them. They’re in this with you, but unlike you, they didn’t choose it.

32. Natalie Goldberg. “I hear people say they’re going to write. I ask, when? They give me vague statements. Indefinite plans get dubious results. When we’re concrete about our writing time, it alleviates that thin constant feeling of anxiety that writers have – we’re barbecuing hot dogs, riding a bike, sailing out in the bay, shopping for shoes, even helping a sick friend, but somewhere nervously at the periphery of our perception we know we belong somewhere else – at our desk!”

ljatwork

Larry James at work!

33. Walt Whitman. The secret of it all, is to write in the gush, the throb, the flood, of the moment – to put things down without deliberation – without worrying about their style – without waiting for a fit time or place. I always worked that way. I took the first scrap of paper, the first doorstep, the first desk, and wrote – wrote, wrote…By writing at the instant the very heartbeat of life is caught.

34. Joan Didion. My writing is a process of rewriting, of going back and changing and filling in. In the rewriting process you discover what’s going on, and you go back and bring it up to that point. Sometimes you’ll just push through, indicate a scene or a character, leave a space, then go back later and fill it in.

35. Toni Morrison. If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

36. Larry James. Take your eye off the big picture of the completed book. You write a book “one page at a time.” Now begin!

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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

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