Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Monday, December 31, 2012

How to Write a Book: 4 Proven Steps to Writing a Book That Sells

Filed under: Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Brian Tracy, Guest Author

A recent study by USA Today found that a huge majority of people have dreamed of writing a book. If you’re among them, I’ve got great news: you can make 2013 the year you finally do it. You don’t have to navigate the mysterious waters of the writing and publishing world alone. I’ve written and had published more than 50 best-selling books – so I know a thing or two about the process – from idea conception and writing to publication and marketing. In this article, I share my proven 4-step process for writing a book that sells.

writing-a-bookThere are more than 2,000,000 books published each year and yours can be one of them. You have the ability, right now, to write and publish a book on a subject that is important to you. Like riding a bicycle, learning how to write a book is a skill that you can master with practice and repetition. According to USA Today, 82% of adults dream of writing a book someday, either to express a heart-felt concern about a subject, or to earn a living, and even become successful. The key to writing a book is to “Just Write!” Writing is one thing that you cannot get worse at by doing it.

I did not graduate from high school, and I failed high school English. I fantasized about writing a book for many years before I decided to “Just write!” In 1981, I began giving talks and seminars to ever large groups. To speak effectively, I had to do hundreds of hours of research, and read hundreds of books over the years. To keep current, I read dozens of magazines and thousands of articles. I’d read many of them several times.

After I continuously learned how to write a book, I realized I had a powerful writing process to publish successful books: Start with a strong chapter that gives a lot of value and benefits to the reader, develop the subject throughout the books, and end with a strong chapter that summarizes and emphasizes the main points. It is a simple formula, but it works, over and over.

Today, I write four or five books each year and am published by seven different publishers in the U.S., as well as dozens of publishers in 38 languages and 58 countries. I have sold millions of books on a wide variety of subjects. In this article, I want to share with you four of my most effective techniques for writing and planning a book:

Find Your Passion

Start with a message, idea, or story that you really want to share with other people. This must be something for which you have a passion, something that you believe in. One of the best definitions of a writer is: “A person who cannot not write.” An easy way to start your flow of ideas is to ask yourself what you have a passion for. What knowledge, expertise or believe do you have that could benefit the lives of others? By asking yourself these questions before you start the actual writing process, you can trigger a great idea that can help you single out a subject.

Be an Expert

You must be an expert on your subject and know ten words for every word you write, or the reader will know that you are talking off the top of your head. For instance, if you want to write on success, you must already be successful. If you write on money, you must already be rich. If you write on relationships, you must be happily married. Think about an area, subject or topic that you have experiences in that make you an authority on a subject.

writingbookHow to Write a Book People Will Buy

Exactly who are you writing this book for and why will your book appeal to them? When you write a book proposal, you will be asked to describe the type of person who will buy the book, and the number of those people that exist in the current market. Make sure that your market is large enough. I only write books that I feel have at least one million potential book buyers.

Expand Your Knowledge

Continuously expand your knowledge on the subject you are writing about. Find a book, buy, read and learn everything you can about other authors, books or articles dealing with the same subject. This will help you tremendously during the writing process.

Make sure that your material is different and better than other people writing in your field in at least three ways. When you are doing your research, gather all the information that you will need to write your book so you can organize it into a logical structure before you begin writing.

If you want to make 2013 the year you finally finish your book, you may want to join Brian Tracy for his FREE webinar titled, How to Write a Book and Become a Published Author here: http://discover.briantracy.com/aff_c?offer_id=14&aff_id=694

BrianTracyCopyright 2012 by Brian Tracy. Brian Tracy is a self-help author of 54 books, motivational speaker, entrepreneur, business coach, and keynote speaker. Brian Tracy is Chairman and CEO of Brian Tracy International, a company specializing in the training and development of individuals and organizations.

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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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Sunday, December 23, 2012

Fear of Rejection… How Persistence Pays Off

Dr. Ivan Misner, Guest Author

Back in 1994 I authored the first edition of The World’s Best Known Marketing Secret. I was out promoting the book and trying to get bookstores to carry it. Back then, one of the ways to do that was to go to bookstores and do what I liked to call “drive-by signings” (what can I say – I’m from L.A.).

A friend of mine said there was a local neighborhood bookstore that didn’t have any copies of my book. The store was literally on my way home one day, so I stopped off there. However, I couldn’t seem to talk myself into moving from the seat of my car – I was paralyzed with fear and could not enter the store.

Ivan-MisnerThe “ask” was simple: Would they mind carrying a few copies of my book? My nerves nagged me: What if they say no? What if they say they don’t want the book but thanks anyway for asking?

It wasn’t a big bookstore, and I wasn’t sure that they would be willing to carry a book from an unknown author. I sat there too embarrassed to make any move toward the entrance. I swear I almost put the key back into the ignition, turned it on, and backed out.

I was so close. Then I thought, Okay… if I don’t go in, what’s going to happen? I decided chances were pretty good that if I didn’t go into the store, absolutely nothing would happen and they’d continue to not carry the book. If I did go in and ask, there was a possibility they’d tell me they didn’t want the book; in that case, my position would not have changed.

Then I thought, What if I go in and ask and they say yes? That question made me realize that the only choice, which would most likely lead to a positive outcome, was to go in.

Endless-persistenceDoing nothing would get me the same thing that I had now, which was nothing. So I literally sat in the car and said to myself, Suck it up and go on in. This will be over in ten minutes. Nobody is actually going to get injured. There will be no hospitalization involved. It’s not that big a deal. It’s just a possibility of a “no.”

So I went in. I brought a copy of the book and said, “I’m the author of this book. Some of the stores in your chain are carrying it. I live locally, and I just wondered if you would mind carrying a few copies, maybe three or four. If so, I would be more than glad to sign them when they come in.”

They said, “Oh great! You’re a local author! We’ll get 20. Will you come back and sign them for us?”

“Of course I would be glad to come back and sign them!”

Do Something or Do Nothing

B&NPosterSo they ordered 20 copies, and I came back in a couple of weeks to sign them all. I remember thinking back, that the experience was sort of a nexus point in terms of rejection for me. I could do something or I could not do something. Not doing anything would have put me in the same situation that I began with, which was having no books in the store.

Only taking the risk could result in success.

This is one of the reasons I tell people, “Don’t let the fear of rejection stop you from doing what you are excited about. If you are excited about your business, don’t let rejection stop you. You have to embrace this when it comes to asking somebody to do something; some will, some won’t, so what? It’s not the end of the world.”

I had to put myself in that frame of mind, believing I was facing not that big of a thing. I now do this same thing whenever I’m faced with a situation that opens up the possibility for rejection. I just tell myself that if someone doesn’t want to do what I’m asking, that’s fine. God bless them. I love them. It’s not that big a deal.

A good friend of mine, Dr. Mark Goulston, likes to say: “We have a lot less control over winning or losing at something than we do over trying or quitting something. Always try. You can eventually win. If you always quit, you can never win.”

When people give up, even in their thoughts, it is game over. I make a point to remember that I may not be the most successful man in a room, and I may not be the smartest man in a room, but I am pretty confident that I am usually one of the most persistent men in the room. That commitment to always trying has helped me succeed. I think it is one of the things that consistently helps anyone have long term success.

The whole process has to begin with the old axiom: If you think you can or if you think you can’t, you’ll be right.

BONUS Articles: Getting Into Bookstores? – 7 Tips to Help You!
Book Signing Tips From A Road Warrior
40+ Ways to Make Your Next Book Signing an EVENT!!

misnerCopyright 2012 by Ivan Misner. Called the father of modern networking, Dr. Ivan Misner is the Founder of BNI and the senior partner for the Referral Institute. He has written nine books, including his New York Times best seller, Truth or Delusion? Busting Networking’s Biggest Myths.

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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

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to Structure a Great Presentation

Every professional speaker (and wannabe speaker) should watch this TEDx talk (18:11) by Nancy Duarte on the structure of great presentations. In it she reveals the “shape” of some of the world’s most effective speeches and how using this structure can help you express your own ideas more powerfully. Watch this video when you will not be interrupted. It’s important to really pay attention.

nancyduarteCopyright © 2012 – Nancy Duarte. Skilled CEO, inspired presenter, and gifted educator, Nancy Duarte is a sought-after speaker whose own presentations live up to the expectations established in her books. Audiences leave inspired and firmly grasping new VisualStory™ tools that transform the way they communicate. Nancy is the author of Slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations. Visit Nancy’s Website.

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 7, 2012

Top 5 Reasons Nonfiction Authors Should Also Be Speakers

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

Joel Friedlander, Guest Author

If you write nonfiction, you might be surprised at the many benefits of doing live speaking engagements.

I’m specifically talking about authors of nonfiction that is instructive, educational or information-based. This isn’t as true for authors of literary nonfiction or memoirs, although I wouldn’t rule it out.

NancyDailey2But often, we write these books not just for the potential financial reward, but for lots of other reasons as well, like:

• Enhancing your authority within your field
• Gaining access to potential clients or sponsors
• Creating a “calling card” for consulting or other services
• Spreading the word on a topic that you’re passionate about
• In every one of these cases, live speaking events can have a powerful impact on your work and your income.

If you haven’t considered “taking your show on the road” and speaking to groups, maybe you should give it some thought.

So here are 5 reasons that this might be the best thing you can do for your publishing program. See what you think.

5 Big Benefits of Speaking for Nonfiction Authors

1. You can meet people you won’t meet online ~ Let’s face it: although you may spend a lot of time reading blogs, attending webinars and networking in social media, there are still large parts of the population you won’t meet online.

Sure, everyone has email, and most people will log into their Facebook account once in a while, but many folks are still not that comfortable with online learning or socializing.

For instance, if you write about a craft or hobby, there are probably a lot of people who don’t spend hours online looking for information on that topic.

But at speaking engagements, workshops, presentations and events you can meet people who are more comfortable in the real world, and that’s a big benefit. One way to leverage this exposure is to make sure you have a way to collect email or mail addresses at the event so you don’t lose contact with the people you’ve just spoken to. I often use “response forms” for this reason. More on those in a minute.

2. You get to try out ideas that aren’t ready for publication yet ~ At a live event you can present new material you’re working on, a new way of doing things that might be revolutionary within your field.

Being able to interact with people about your ideas in a one hour talk might be really valuable, instead of waiting the months it could take to get a book out on the subject.

And this is another place those “response forms” come into play. You can ask attendees for their opinion of your new material, or if there are things that would make your presentation better. This gives people a direct way to interact with you.

moneyfrombooksales3. Your authority and prestige will be raised by association with the group you are speaking to ~ If you are invited by a prestigious trade organization or government body, it will help raise your own profile within your community.

After all, if they want you to talk to their members, you must have something valuable to say, right? All of us make these mostly unconscious calculations all the time.

4. You get to show more communities how your work can benefit them ~ One of the most beneficial parts of giving talks actually takes place long before you walk up to the podium in front of the audience.

It’s likely you’ll be given a topic or asked to contribute to the theme of the event. This forces you to think about how your information fits into that topic or theme.

This is a great way to extend the reach of your ideas and to adapt them to more communities of interest within your field, something that might well lead to another book on the topic.

5. You can repurpose the work you do to prepare for your speaking engagements ~ If you have a way to sell products, either online or off, realize that the presentation you are preparing might make a great product for all the people who could not attend the live event.

After all, workshops, seminars and trade events draw only a small fraction of the total number of people interested in your area of expertise.

Keeping this in mind while you’re preparing your presentation can pay big dividends. Visual presentations can be turned into video products like webinars and mini-courses. Audio presentations can be made into teleseminars and educational recordings that others will pay for to enhance their own learning.

Taking all these great outcomes into account, you can see how live speaking engagements can help your career as a nonfiction author in many ways.

Of course, the “x-factor” is what you don’t expect: meeting someone in your audience who might order hundreds or thousands of books from you; getting asked to write for the top magazine in your field on the topic of your talk; establishing a peer-to-peer relationship with a top influencer in your field.

If you go, you never know what might happen. So don’t be just an author, reach out for opportunities to turn your expertise into speaking engagements to grow your author platform.

JoelFriedlanderCopyright 2012 by Joel Friedlander. Joel Friedlander is a self-published author and book designer who blogs about book design, self-publishing and the indie publishing life at TheBookDesigner.com. He’s also the proprietor of Marin Bookworks, where he helps publishers and authors who decide to publish get to market on time and on budget with books that are both properly constructed and beautiful to read. Follow Joel on Twitter and subscribe to his 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

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