Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

6 Ways to Never Run Out of Ideas

Filed under: Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 7:30 am
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Ed Cyzewski, Guest Author

The key to never running out of writing ideas has more to do with overhauling your lifestyle than changing how you write. Most writers have all of the ideas they need. Here are six practices that will help you capture and develop your writing ideas.

1. Cut Out the Noise – This is the hardest and most important suggestion to practice. I used to expend buckets of energy and emotion on national news events because I listened to the news all of the time. My mind used to especially swarm with frustration directed at politicians.

jotdownideasWhy did I dedicate so much time and energy to the news? There are more efficient ways to become an informed citizen without fretting for untold hours about the news.

In order to reliably develop ideas, I had to step back from the endless news cycle that sucked up my energy and left my thoughts spinning. Cutting out the noise means I made some changes:

• I rarely listen to the news.
• I restrict my television watching (even hockey…).
• I limit my “radio” listening primarily to podcasts.
• I take walks without headphones.
• I drive in a silent car most days.

That doesn’t mean I coast along in ignorance. I still browse news online and read lots and lots of books. The difference is that I now guard my mental space and emotional energy with the zeal of a Jesuit. If my mind isn’t occupied by the news, I’ll have more mental energy to think about writing.

2. Learn How to Rest – By cutting down on the noise in my life, I’m creating space where I can truly rest. Do you know what it feels like to completely stop? Your creative energy depends on it.

Resting doesn’t mean you need to be completely silent or isolated. Learning how to stop by opting out of the frantic pace of life will teach you to pay attention to what’s going on in your mind. Are you worried about something? Are doubts killing your creativity? You’ll never know unless you stop and give your mind the space it needs (For my Christian friends, this is where prayer comes in!).

3. Learn How to Single-Task – Take a break to garden, start a craft project, play an instrument, bake dessert, or build a simple book shelf. Learn what it feels like to be consumed in a single project.

ideasOnce you’ve tasted single-tasking, download Freedom and open one program on your computer so you can write. Better yet, take your journal and a pen to a café or to the front porch to write for two hours. The more you immerse yourself in a project, the more your creativity and ideas will flourish.

4. Jot Down Incomplete Ideas – I know you’re going to jot down good ideas, but write down every other idea that comes to mind as well. Give ideas time to grow. Sometimes they’ll wither after you jot them down, but other times they’ll grow and expand in unexpected ways.

Try this: sit down and write out every idea you can think of in an hour. You’ll have a ton of content to consider. Let that list sit for a week, and then try writing a few posts based on those ideas. If you can give yourself a day or a week before the posts go live, you’ll be able to improve them and even discover fresh ideas in the process.

5. Learn to Thin Writing Ideas – Developing writing ideas requires a balance between believing you can develop tons of great ideas IF you jot down a bunch of ideas that may or may not work. You can write great ideas, but your best ideas will only shine when you learn how to weed out the ideas that don’t have any potential.

6. Write to an Idea – You read that correctly. Sometimes you can’t just write about an idea. The only path to some of your best ideas is through a lot of writing. That means you may need to crank out 1,000 words just find that idea that will become the seed of your chapter. If you want to find a lot of ideas, you sometimes need to write a lot of content that is destined for the recycling bin.

We’re all far more creative than we’ve led ourselves to believe. The problem is our lifestyles and writing habits often prevent us from tapping into our personal idea treasure stores. The good news is that we can change our lives and draw deeply from the riches of our creative reserves.

Bonus Article: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write!
What Is A Writing Prompt?
6 Ways To Come Up With Blog Post Ideas Week After Week

EdCyzewskiCopyright 2013 by Ed Cyzewski. Ed Cyzewski is the author of Coffeehouse Theology and Hazardous: Committing to the Cost of Following Jesus, as well as the self-published works A Path to Publishing and Divided We Unite. His blog about imperfectly following Jesus is www.inamirrordimly.com, and his writing blog is www.edcyz.com.

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 22, 2013

5 Tips for Being a Great On-Air Guest

Marsha Friedman, Guest Author

Being in a business that works closely with all of the mass media, I keep tabs on the industry trends. It’s been interesting to watch some of the traditional media, notably hard-copy print, slide as on-line media roars ahead.

OnAirEven more interesting, however, has been seeing how tenaciously radio – talk radio in particular – continues to hold listeners. That’s valuable information for anyone interested in promoting themselves or their business, product or book.

More than 4,000 stations carry news, talk or personality shows and their themes run the gamut, everything from health to consumer news to the paranormal. That news/talk format ranks second only to country music in popularity, so whether your message appeals to a broad audience or a niche group, you’ll likely find them on radio.

Here are a few more updates on talk radio from a report published just last month – the Pew Research Center’s State of the News Media 2013:

• 92 percent of Americans ages 12 and older own a radio or listen at least once a week.
• A third of adults listened to news radio “yesterday.”
• SiriusXM had a record 23.9 million subscribers in 2012.
• 34 percent of Americans listen to streaming AM/FM radio online or Internet-only radio.
• 69 percent of listeners say they “like” or “love” broadcast radio; 75 percent say the same for satellite radio.

That last number makes talk radio an especially powerful medium for people who have a message to spread: Listeners tune in because they’re fans – they want to hear what their favorite host has to say! So guess what? If you’re a guest, they’re listening to that host’s entire interview with you. And you automatically get a bump in credibility: If their favorite host has you on his show, he must think you’ve got something valuable to say.

talkRadioTo ensure those listeners come away agreeing, here are a few tips for being a great guest on talk radio:

Answer questions directly: It’s never a good idea to tap dance around an answer! If you don’t like the question, answer it in a way that steers the conversation back to your message. Hosts don’t have time for tap dancing, so evading questions will mean a quick end to your interview.

Mimic the host: Pay attention to his or her changing tempo and cadence and get in sync with it. Is he slowing down and getting thoughtful? Speeding up to sneak in a few more words before a commercial? Whatever he or she does, take the cue and do the same. It will sound like you and the host have a great rapport, which makes listening more entertaining.

Limit your use of numbers and statistics: If you have one special stat that really drives home your point, use it, but otherwise, avoid numbers – they’re verbal sleeping pills. As you prepare for your interview, look for more entertaining ways to describe what you illustrated with numbers in written materials.

Don’t try too hard: It’s obvious when someone is trying to impress; they over-think, talk too much, and say too little. Relax, stick to select bullet points (don’t try to share everything you know in one interview!) and let your message flow.

Compliment the host: Radio hosts tend to have healthy egos and even those who don’t will appreciate a kind word. Avoid fawning or exaggerating, which comes off as insincere and trying too hard. Rather, you might respond to a question with, “Good question!” or mention how much you enjoy the show. Frequently addressing the host by his or her first name is another subtle form of flattery – a person’s name is the most important word in the world to them. Remembering it and using it are nice ways to show recognition and respect. If you’re responding to callers, use their first names as well.

Talk radio is so much more convenient and less time-consuming than other forms of mass media, and nowadays, your interview can stick around for a good long time. Radio stations often post recordings of shows on their websites, so you can post a link to your interview from your own website and share links on social media. Better yet, get your own copy of the recording to use and share so you’ll always have it.

With every interview, you’ll build credibility and visibility. By posting it on your website, you’ll show visitors that you’re a go-to source for the media. I can’t think of a better way to set yourself apart from your competition.

BONUS Article: Radio Talk Shows
Radio Talk Show Tip
Speak in Soundbites on Radio Talk Shows!
Radio Station Checklist: “Stuff” You NEED to Know & Do BEFORE You Go on the Air!
FREE 25-page eBOOK – “How to Book Radio Shows and Be a Great Guest!”

Marsha-with-Signature Copyright 2013 by Marsha Friedman. Reprinted with permission. Marsha Friedman launched EMS Incorporated in 1990. Her firm represents corporations and experts in a wide array of fields such as business, health, food, lifestyle, politics, finance, law, sports and entertainment. She consults individuals and businesses on a daily basis and is frequently asked to speak at conferences about how to harness the power of publicity. Outside of the office, she is also the founder of a non-profit organization called the Cherish the Children Foundation. In 1996 the White House recognized her charity which sets out to raise awareness of the plight of underprivileged and foster children. Visit Marsha’s Website!

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Truth About Celebrity Endorsements

Penny C. Sansevieri, Guest Author

You are far more likely to successfully write and publish your book if you follow these tips before you write a single chapter.

One complimentary nod from a famous face can launch even the most obscure product. Most advertising agencies pay a high price to have a celebrity take a swig of their soft drink or wear a pair of their running shoes. The good news is, if you can get an endorsement for your book it probably won’t cost you a thing, except time, patience, persistence, and oh, did I mention patience? It’s a long road that you should start down as soon as you have a reasonably final manuscript, but however long it is, it can prove very profitable.

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Larry James & Dr. John Gray

The first thing you have to remember when you’re trying to get a celebrity to endorse your book is that they’d be doing you a huge favor. Contact them in the way they wish to be contacted (mail, e-mail or fax); follow their guidelines (or their agents’ guidelines) to the letter.

The Wish List – Who your chosen celebrities are will likely depend on your book. First of all, you’re going to want to contact those celebs who have a vested interest in your topic – that will help to greatly increase your chances of getting a response. They needed be the hottest big names. You might target a radio personality, a local standout, or an author.

When you’re putting together your list of desired endorsements, make it long to begin with – 20 or so names. One by one, some of these celebs might fall off. “No interest” or “On location” are the two biggest reasons I encounter.

If your target is an actor, you’ll want to start by contacting The Screen Actor’s Guild to get current agent/publicist information. You can do this by calling: 323-549-6737 if the celeb you’re looking for is LA based. If not, head on over to www.sag.org for the current contact information for the Guild’s New York office.

A third option might be to log onto www.WhoRepresents.com (sign-in required) which is a site that will give you the contact information of pretty much any celebrity in the United States. If you’re trying to reach an author, your best bet will be to search for the author’s own Web site, determine who the publisher and/or agent is and call them. Or try sending your request to The Author’s Guild (staff@authorsregistry.org).

The Package – Once you’ve gotten contact information for everyone on your list, get your package ready to send before you start calling. Some people will want to see a synopsis, outline or press release. Whatever they ask for, make sure it’s ready to send off to them right away. The last thing you need is a delay in getting information out.

Once you’ve done that, your next step will be to call the contacts you have and pitch them your request. Be ready to “sell” your book and request for endorsement to anyone who answers the phone because there’s a good chance you’ll have to go through several gatekeepers before getting to the actual agent. A good idea would be to write down what you want to say. But don’t read from the paper, it will sound too scripted if you do.

Instead, list a few points you want to make sure and address while you’ve got them on the phone. If you get them interested, offer to send them an outline of the book, or the entire package if they’re willing to look at it. Some will tell you no right on the spot, but before you hang up make sure and qualify the “no.” Do they mean “not right now” or “never ever in this lifetime.” Good to know if you’re thinking of revisiting this person somewhere in the future.

If you are asked to forward a synopsis of the book first, give them a few days to look at this information and then contact them again. At that time, you’ll be either asked to send a packet or told there is no further interest. If you’re asked to send your packet, make sure it has a professional and appreciative cover letter on top. Remember, they don’t have to do this. The letter should note that you will forward a copy of the final book once it’s printed. The other contents of your endorsement package should be nearly the same as the contents of a review kit – press release, book information, synopsis, and a copy of your book-but you’ll also want to include a list of “sample endorsements.”

lovebookDr. John Gray’s endorsement on the cover of Larry’s book: Bursts of truth, flashes of insight and words of wisdom for those on the path to wholesome and healthy love relationships. “How to Really Love the One You’re With!” is a thought-provoking, refreshing adventure in love and self-discovery. A must-read for all! ~ Dr. John Gray, Ph.D., Author, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus

Your sample endorsements sheet should consist of three or four “glowing statements” the celeb can select from as well as a few blank lines in case they want to write an endorsement in their own words. You’ll also want to leave some space for them to sign and date this form (very important!). To make it as easy as possible for potential endorsers, I offer several options for returning this sheet to me. First, I include a SASE with the package, I also make sure my fax number is clearly marked on the endorsement sheet so they can sign it and fax it back. When I’m in a rush to get an endorsement, I’ll often include a prepaid FedEx envelope.

Once that package is sent, then it’s time to wait and wait and wait and sometimes re-send them a package if someone can’t seem to locate it when you follow up. Also, be prepared to take an endorsement over the phone if necessary. Sometimes you get lucky and are able to reach your celeb live. When they tell you they loved the book, your next question to them should be “May I quote you?” and if they agree, type up their quote and send it to them for approval.

Never, ever use anything without someone approving and signing it or you could get yourself into a lot of trouble. Regardless of the effort, or the length of time it takes to obtain this endorsement, remember that getting even one famous face to acknowledge your work is often enough to prompt an apprehensive buyer to give your book a second look, and that can make all the difference.

Examples from Larry James: When writing a book, one of the first things I do is send out requests for endorsements from high-profile authors. Here are a few examples.

BONUS Articles: Hot Tips for Getting Book Endorsements
How To Get Testimonials

Copyright © 2013 – Penny C. Sansevieri. – Reprinted with permission. Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books, including Book to Bestseller which has been called the “road map to publishing success.” To learn more about Penny’s books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at http://www.amarketingexpert.com.

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

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

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

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

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Don’t Pay for Radio Interviews!

Joan Stewart, Guest Author

It used to be that all you had to do was pitch a great idea with a clever hook, and you’d be booked as a guest on a half-hour radio show.

These days, however, hang onto your wallet. A new breed of radio host is insisting that guests fork over a few hundred dollars-sometimes more-for the “privilege” of being on their show. Some guests, desperate for exposure for a new book or project, willingly pay the money. Then they’re disappointed when they get little feedback from listeners, or the show leads to no product sales.

There’s nothing wrong with the concept of paying money for air time. But there’s a name for it. It’s called advertising. Joe Sabah, author of the book “How to Get on Radio Talk Shows All Across America Without Leaving Home,” says that if you want a legitimate interview, no money should change hands.

“With more than 740 radio shows all over the country willing to book guests for free, there’s absolutely no reason why anybody should have to pay,” Sabah said.

A different twist on the same theme involves a radio station approaching someone and offering them their own weekly show on a particular topic, then telling them they must charge guests to appear. That means that if a host comes across someone who they think would be a great guest, they can’t book them if the guest can’t afford to pay.

Why, suddenly, are some radio interviews no longer free?

The radio industry has been going through sweeping changes in the last several years, with many stations being bought or sold for hefty amounts, and that means they’re trying to entice people like you into paying the freight.

Joann McCall has an interesting perspective on the problem. As president of McCall Public Relations in Portand, Oregon, she specializes in generating publicity for authors. She also has been a radio host, interviewer and newscaster for 18 years and hosts a radio show with her partner, Debb Janes, called “Janes McCall & Co.,” on KKSN radio in Portland.

McCall says the practice of charging guests has become acceptable – even though it isn’t right.

“Having someone approach you to pay for an interview is like buying a radio infomercial,” she said.

McCall was once approached by an unsuspecting “programmer” who said he worked for a network of stations and offered to give her client a radio show for $5,000 a month. As soon as advertisers were attracted to the show and paid for commercial time, there would be no charge.

“I told him he had to be kidding,” she said. “As soon as the programmer figured out I knew the business, he backed way down.”

Turns out his “network” consisted of only two stations.

McCall advises that guests don’t pay. Instead, when you hear a sales pitch, simply reply, “Pay for an interview? I don’t need to. Thanks anyway.”

If you choose to do it, McCall advises, make sure you know what kind of results you are likely to get. Have the “programmer” (i.e. sales person) give you names and phone numbers of others who have bought air time. Then call those people and ask them about their experiences on the show. Ask how much money they made in product sales, how many phone calls they got from listeners if it was a call-in show, and whether they would do it again for the same amount of money.

McCall cautions that aggressive, pay-for-interview “hosts” will probably be on the upswing because there are more low-powered FM stations on the horizon.

“Don’t be bullied by these people,” she said.

BONUS Articles: Radio Station Checklist
How to Be a Great Radio Guest!

Copyright © 2013 – Joan Stewart, Speaker/Trainer/Consultant – Reprinted with permission. Joan Stewart shows you how to use the media to establish your credibility, enhance your reputation, sell more products and services, promote a favorite cause or issue and position yourself as an employer of choice. – Subscribe to: “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week,” a free e-zine delivered every Tuesday. www.PublicityHound.com.

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

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

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

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

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