Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Turn your Blog Articles Into a Book

Filed under: Author Tips,Blog to Book! — Larry James @ 7:00 am
Tags:

If you are a consistent blogger on your subject, every blog post you write, have ever written or will write in the future has the potential of becoming part of a book. Put all those blog posts together and you have a book! It’s called, “Booking a Blog.”

writingIt’s easy. If you don’t have a blog, start one. Your blog content can, indeed, become a book. This blog is written on WordPress.com which, in my opinion, is one of the best and easier blog platforms. If you want to turn your blog into a book, it helps to have a book’s worth of content already on your blog. Start planning from the beginning.

Begin by making a commitment to write something for your blog at least every day. You may post once a week, but write something to be posted later every day. Be faithful to your blog. Stagnant blogs with no new content are worthless. I post something new on this blog every 8th day. Be consistent. The regularity, the discipline, the day to day obligation will make a writer out of you. I repeat: write something every day. No exceptions. That’s what I do. I often begin writing, then let what I have written rest until I come up with some new ideas. But I do write something every day.

“Think of the blog as a market research tool. You get to see what your audience likes by publishing in bite-sized pieces. If you don’t have much of an audience yet, spend some time building one before converting your blog to a book. Not only will that help you decide what to put in and what to keep out, but you’ll have a large group of readers willing and waiting to buy the book when it’s published. That gives you a leg up on many indie authors who don’t have a solid platform before publishing.” ~ Jennifer Mattern

writerEvery time you blog, save the collection of your best essays to a folder on your computer. This is a safeguard I use to be sure that I can have what I have written on my computer in case something disappears from the Internet. I can also work on editing each post offline. You can export your WordPress blog (from the Dashboard, click Tools, then Export) as an XML file that you can download to your computer.

Next, pick your genre or category in which you will write. Set up Google Alerts on your topic or on additional keywords related to your topic. This blog is specific to authors and speakers. I have 3 other blogs specific to personal relationships, weddings and business networking. It takes commitment to write a blog and to turn it into a book.

Start writing with the intention of developing your book. Develop each post as a stand-alone unit with a beginning, middle and end so readers can “pick up” your book at any point. There are lots of articles on this blog to assist you. Check out the Articles Menu or the articles on my Authors and Speakers Website.

If you think book readers wouldn’t pay for something they can read online for free, think again. A book can reach a whole new breed of readers, and even faithful readers of your blog will want to own the book version because they already like what you have to say and they won’t want to miss anything.

TODAY is a good day to get started!

Writing a book is actually easier than most people realize. Only use your best blog entries and edit, edit, edit. Best tip for you (when your ready to put the book together) is to hire an editor. Don’t trust this process to yourself. You are too familiar with your work. Blogging language and style are different than book language and style in some cases, so make certain you are gearing your posts toward the specific medium. By the way, not every blog post you write will go in your book. You may have to rework some posts to make them suitable for publishing.

“Ultimately the goal is to copy all of that content into a single document to create your manuscript based on the order of the outline you developed. Spend time reading each post and refining you work. You may also need to fill in gaps, add detail, or remove duplicate information.” ~ Stephanie Chandler

If you’re on the fence about whether or not to write a book, I encourage you to identify your project and your passion for it and share it with the world. You can use Facebook and Twitter to help promote it to your friends and their friends. Remember to use your blog to sell your book. A blogger with a measurable audience has a great advantage in the road to publishing. Nothing makes a publisher happier than hearing about the tens of thousands of unique visitors who visit an author’s blog daily, weekly or monthly.

You don’t need all the details that will convert your blog into a book because you have to have a blog first. There are plenty of articles and “how tos” on the internet to assist you when you have enough content for a book.

The movie, “Julie & Julia” featuring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams started out as a blog, then became a book and finally, a movie.

Read: How to Blog a Book: Write, Publish, and Promote Your Work One Post at a Time by Nina Amir. “How to Blog a Book” teaches you how to create a blogged book with a well-honed and uniquely angled subject and targeted blog posts. You’ll also learn how to develop a blog readership large enough to get noticed by a literary agent or a publisher. Inside you will find:

Click cover for info!

Basic information on how to make a blog including set up, how to use plug-ins, and other blogging tools necessary to write effective blog posts:

• Steps on how to begin writing a book easily from scratch using blog posts
• Advice on how to write blog posts
• Tips on gaining visibility and promoting your blog and book both online and off
• Tools for increasing blog traffic
• Information on how to monetize an existing blog into a book or other types of products
• Profiles with authors who received blog-to-book deals

BONUS Articles: 7 Ways to Mine Blog Posts into Publishable Gold
How to Turn Your Blog Into a Book
7 Tips for Turning Your Blog Into a Book
From Blog to Book Deal: How 6 Authors Did It
5 Ways to Go From Blogger to Published Book Author

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2012 – 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.

letsbefriends2

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

Advertisements

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Public Speaker’s Master Toolkit

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

Mitch Joel – President, Twist Image & author of “Six Pixels of Separation”

What are the tools that can help you give an unforgettable presentation?

After several years of speaking in public, I’ve had to develop my own system to ensure that each and every presentation goes off without a hitch. And yes, there are some great tools and tips to ensure that this happens. This blog post is not about your content. I’m going to assume that the content rocks and that you know what you’re going to talk about.

The Public Speaker’s Master Toolkit:

The Rider. If you want to ensure that you have a great event, you have to ensure that all of your audio and visual requirements are met (long before you show up at the venue). I send along with all speaking contracts a rider of my audio and visual needs:

mJoelBook

For more info, click book cover!

• Projector and screen for laptop.
• 3.5mm (1/8″) plug for audio to run out of the laptop.
• Lapel wireless microphone for voice.
• Depending on venue – confidence monitor for Keynote slides.
• Speaker does not require an Internet connection.
• Laptop must be located on the stage and near the Speaker.
• Speaker’s computer must be within 20 feet of the most distant point where the speaker will be presenting.
• All podiums must be moved to either side of the stage. Speaker does not use a podium during presentation.
• Podiums cannot remain in the middle of the stage during Speaker’s presentation.
• Speaker will be using his own wireless remote presenter and will advance his own slides.
• Speaker will be using his own, personal, laptop with the presentation pre-loaded on it.
• Speaker’s computer is an Apple MacBook Air running Keynote software.
• Speaker has both VGA and DVI dongle adapters for projector.
• Speaker will not provide a digital version of the presentation in advance.
• AC power must be within 6 feet of speaker’s computer.
• If your event is using iMag, you must have two screens (one which always displays the speaker’s slides to the audience without interruption).
• Computer stays in the speaker’s possession at all times. It will not be given the night prior for setup and it will not be surrendered on the day of the event. It stays in the speaker’s possession.
• Speaker is more than willing to work with your team on a tech/sound check, preferably thirty minutes before the speaker presents.

Why is this so complicated?

It seems like a lot and very detail oriented, but here’s the thing: they’re paying me to give a great presentation and this is what it takes – from my experience – for me to deliver that. It also takes away a lot of the stress and anxiety that comes along with speaking when you know that things are set-up in a way that you’re comfortable with. I hate being in a venue where I can’t see the slides that audience is seeing (hence the confidence monitor), I like being in control of my laptop in case I have to skip a section or want to tinker with something at the last moment, and I hate showing up to an event and the entire stage is just a podium (I like to walk, engage and connect with the audience).

In other instances, the AV team wants to control the cue remote (which is always slower than when I do it) or they have a video camera capturing the presenter on screen, and can’t move between the slides and the presenter fast enough, so you wind up not speaking to an important point, but everyone is just staring at you mug on a screen.

The computer.

• I run a MacBook Air with both Keynote and PowerPoint on it. I always have versions of my presentation on both software platforms in case one crashes.
Caffeine is a great little app that sits in the menu bar and when it’s clicked, your computer will never go to sleep, screen saver or anything (just make sure to turn it off once you’re done). Caffeine makes it “always on.”
• I love the presenter’s view in both Keynote and PowerPoint, but you have to ensure that the output resolution to the projector can handle it, so test it by lowering (or raising) your screen resolution.
Apple also allows you to have the display information from your screen as an icon in the menu bar. This makes it very easy to toggle through different resolutions. Look for it in your display preferences.
e.ggtimer is a great little tool if you take breaks in your presentation. You can set the timer and show it on the screen, so that everyone in the audience knows when to be expected back in their seats.

The hardware.

Logitech Professional Presenter R800 is the best remote presenter out there. It not only has a hundred foot range, but it has a built-in timer that counts down and gives off a silent vibration when you have five minutes left and another one when you’re done with your presentation. In case you’re wondering, I’ve tried all of the remote presenters out there… this is the one.
• Dongles. Make sure to have both VGA and DVI dongles on you. Don’t trust the venue and I’ve seen variances where new Macs don’t work with older dongles, etc… Have your own, so you never have to worry.
• USB stick. Always have your presentations backed up on a USB stick and – when possible – ensure that the AV team has a copy too and can switch to their computer should you have a crash.
• USB hub. If you’re plugging in multiple remotes and dongles, etc… it’s always good to have a thin and small USB hub (just in case).
• Rocket stick. I don’t trust hotel and conference center Internet connections (wired or wireless), and when I do need to present something online, I much prefer to be doing so with my own access point. Mobile Internet is great to have in case you are relying on their connectivity and it goes down (which it does).
• Extra power supply. Most laptops suck a lot of power and fast – especially when they’re plugged into a projector> Always bring your own power supply and plug your computer in. Do not trust the battery.

Extra goodies.

Podium Timer app. This is a paid app, but it allows you to set-up your own timer (with messages too) that you can either use on your iPhone so you can tell where you’re at, or you can daisy chain it to the HD version which is a more robust iPad timer.
Breathing Zone app. Whether you get nervous before speaking or not, this app is a great tool to get your breathing and heart rate into the right zone. If that doesn’t work for you, try this technique: Take A Breather.
HT Professional Recorder. This iPhone app is an amazing audio recorder. If you want to improve as a speaker, use this app to record all of your presentations, you can go back and listen to how you did.
• Download videos. Don’t rely on a solid internet connection to show online videos. Here’s a simple way to download online videos (just be sure to embed them within your presentation and give credit where credit is due). If you add the word “sing” in front of “youtube” in the URL for a video that you like, you get redirected to a site where you can download the audio of that video.

mitchjoelCopyright 2012 by Mitch Joel. Mitch Joel is President of Twist Image — an award-winning Digital Marketing and Communications agency. In 2008, Mitch was named Canada’s Most Influential Male in Social Media, one of the top 100 online marketers in the world, and was awarded the highly-prestigious Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. His first book, Six Pixels of Separation (published by Grand Central Publishing – Hachette Book Group), named after his successful Blog and Podcast is a business and marketing best-seller. You can find him here: www.twistimage.com/blog. For Mitch’s original article, click here!

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

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

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

Thursday, June 14, 2012

All About Book Advances

Rachelle Gardner, Guest Author

Let’s talk about advances today. Please keep in mind all of this information is very generalized and won’t accurately describe every situation.

First, what’s an “advance” anyway?

BookAdvanceAn advance is a “pre-payment” of the royalties the publisher expects you to earn on your book. Let’s say the publisher has agreed to pay you a royalty of 8% on the retail price of the book, and your book is going to sell for $14.00. You are going to earn $1.12 for each copy of the book sold. So if the publisher has paid you an advance of $10,000, how many copies do you have to sell to earn out your advance? Your break-even would be 8,929 copies. Your publisher has already paid you the royalty on those first 8,929 units sold. If and when your book sells more than that, your additional royalties will start accruing at the rate of $1.12 per book sold. The publisher will issue royalty statements (usually twice yearly) showing how many copies have sold, and if they owe you any royalties, a check will be included.

What is the average advance, in CBA versus ABA?

It’s impossible to give an “average” advance in either CBA (Christian Book Market) or ABA (American Booksellers Association). They’re wildly all over the map depending on so many factors. I’ve done contracts for advances ranging from $1,000 to six figures. I haven’t found ABA advances to be a whole lot higher than CBA for comparable books, but it’s true the big New York houses can generally pay more than the smaller independent Christian houses. Of course, there are plenty of smaller, independent general-market (ABA) publishers who pay smaller advances, too.

While there’s no average, agents can usually look at a proposal and make a pretty good estimate about the range the advance will end up in. We look at who the author is, what kind of book it is, where it fits into the marketplace, and how much platform the author has. It becomes clear what kind of advance the book should attract.

How are advances paid out?

Advances are usually paid out in halves, thirds, or quarters. The author gets the first portion upon signing the contract (within 30 days), the next portion after the manuscript is delivered and declared “accepted” for publication, and if there is a third portion, it’s due on publication of the book, and the fourth is due sometime after that.

openbookAnother question that’s been asked is about multiple book deals and how the advances get paid out. Here’s how it works. Let’s say you’re offered a 3-book contract with an advance of $10,000 per book, $30,000 total. The contract states you will get half of your advance upon signing, and the other half on delivery of an acceptable manuscript. So, after contract signing, you will get half of the advance for all three books. Half is $5,000, so you’ll get 5,000 x 3, which means you’ll get $15,000 upon contract signing.

Then, as you deliver each manuscript and each one is declared acceptable, you’ll receive the other half of the per-book advance. So, you’ll get three more checks for $5,000 as you turn in your manuscripts.

Is an advance negotiable, and if so, to what degree?

Most advances are negotiable, but that always depends on how much leverage we have. Are there other publishers interested? How excited about the book is the publisher? Is this book a perfect fit for the publisher? Is the book risky or more of a sure-thing? These and other factors determine how negotiable the advance is. On the lower end of the spectrum, particularly for first-time authors, a publisher may offer a small advance that’s basically “take it or leave it.” But as the value of the book goes up, and more publishers are interested, it generally becomes more negotiable.

How does the agent get paid?

The agent’s fee is usually 15% of the advance and royalties. In CBA, the standard practice is for the publisher to disburse two checks, one directly to author (85%) and the other to the agent. General market publishers normally send one check to the agent, who then turns around and sends the author their 85%.

Copyright 2012 by Rachelle Gardner. Rachelle Gardner is a Literary Agent with Books and Such Literary Agency based in California, founded by Janet Kobobel Grant. She works at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Visit her Blog.

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

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

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Is Your Book Selling to its Best Potential? – Amazon Optimization Musts!

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

K.C. Neal, Guest Author

Scan the pages on Amazon.com, and it’s obvious: the website is designed to move product. From books to blenders to beekeeping supplies (really!), every product page is loaded with features and links to help you buy. It’s part of what makes shopping on Amazon fun! And if you’re selling on Amazon, specifically if you’re selling books, it’s essential to have all of your product pieces in place and looking their best.

3 Basic Product Page Elements

One of the most important pieces of your product presentation is the packaging – the cover. This topic could be a whole post (or even a series!), but really it comes down to this: don’t cut corners with the cover. Hire an experienced professional designer. Make sure the cover accurately conveys the book’s genre (this can be tricky). Don’t rely on feedback from friends and family to determine whether a cover is good. And if you later realize it’s not right for the product, be open to changing the cover. Books get new covers all the time, and a better cover truly can give a book new life in terms of sales. One of my author friends changed a cover, and the book went from an Amazon rank in the 80,000s to the top 100. These results are not typical, but still, it’s something to think about!

Another essential element is a great product description. I admit I find this one of the most challenging parts of writing a book, but especially when you’re starting out and relatively unknown, a great cover combined with a compelling blurb can make all the difference in turning a browser into a buyer. One of my author friends alerted me to this post, which I found very helpful for writing book blurbs. Don’t forget to have your product description edited and proofed, just as you do with your book.

Another very important feature on your book’s page is the reviews section. What do you think when you see a product that has only one or two reviews… or worse, zero? Everyone is different, of course, but a glaring absence of reviews usually prompts me to move on to a different page. Reviews help with buyer confidence, and book bloggers are an awesome resource for getting reviews. I have a few tips for working with bloggers on my blog, another topic I love to talk about.

What You Can Do on Amazon

shelfariSo far, I’ve mentioned product page elements that are important for selling a book on any website, not just Amazon. Here are a couple of Amazon-specific things you can do.

Another way to add more details and value to your product page is through Shelfari. You can get into Shelfari using your Amazon login (it’s an Amazon subsidiary), or you can create a new login. Once you’re in, you can add, update, and edit all kinds of details in your book’s Shelfari listing, some of which will show up on the book’s product page. I’m just getting into Shelfari myself, and it’s a really cool community.

In addition to product page elements, Amazon offers some special features and programs for self- and indie publishers. Lately there’s been a lot of talk about the KDP Select program, which allows self-published authors and small publishers to run free e-book promotions (yet another topic for a separate post!). As with any new tool, platform, program, or feature, people talk about the pros and cons. Discussion is great, but I’ve also seen a lot of misinformation passed around in author forums and groups.

At times, these forums can be breeding grounds for bad info and dare I say it… unnecessary paranoia. It’s vital to keep up-to-date with the changes in publishing. Author forums can be great resources for that, but don’t forget it’s JUST as important to make sure the info you’re getting is accurate. Never stop educating yourself, and ALWAYS consider the source of the information. Avoid getting caught up in the swirl of conjecture and speculation, and you’ll avoid a lot of stress and potentially costly mistakes.

BONUS Article: Amazon Introduces ‘KDP Select’ for Kindle Direct Publishing Authors and Publishers
Amazon Book sales, Amazon Reviews, and Amazon Optimization

KCNeal Copyright 2012 by K.C. Neal. K.C. Neal is the author of the YA paranormal PYXIS series (StoneHouse Ink). She also co-founded StoneHouse University, an educational resource for authors and publishers that offers affordable online courses on a variety of topics that are most relevant in publishing today. You can contact K.C. Neal at her blog, Twitter, Facebook, and StoneHouse University.

A&SNetLOGO150

Authors & Speakers Network Blog

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

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

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

letsbefriends2

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

%d bloggers like this: