Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Writing the Wrong Book

Donna Kozik, Guest Author

What Do I Mean by “Writing the Wrong Book?”

There’s nothing worse than spending tons of time, energy and money on writing your book, only to find that it’s useless as a “big business card.” How could this happen?

wrongbookUnfortunately, it can be really easy. Here are some of the situations and how to solve them.

1. Writing about a subject your market has no interest in. This is probably the biggest mistake business book authors make.

They fall in love with their subject and think the world will, too. The thing is, it’s hard to use your book as a lead generator if no one is interested in what you have to say.

The solution: think like the people you want to attract. What kind of questions are they asking you? What do they want to know about? You can start there and then expand “an inch wide and a mile deep” to show off your expertise.

2. Putting the wrong title on your cover. And I don’t mean a typo (although I’ve seen it happen!). Generic titles, just like generic marketing messages, don’t pique interest. Instead, get as specific as you can in what your book is about (easier if you follow step one) in your title.

Another effective option is to use a catchy 2, 3 or 4 word title and then use your subhead to call out to your target audience. Examples of this include Timothy Ferriss and his book: “The 4 Hour Work Week: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich.”

My favorite is friend Michael Katz: “It Sure Beats Working: 29 Quirky Stories and Practical Business Lessons for the First Time, Mid-Life Solo Professional.” He actually names his “target reader” in his title. That Michael is so clever!

3. Blame the book for lack of promotion efforts. Sometimes it’s not the book’s fault, but the author’s for lack of follow through in promotion. Remember, writing the book is one thing, but then promoting it is a whole new area needing time, energy and attention.

Think about how you’re going to market yourself and your book as much as, if not more, than what your book will contain.

Ready to throw up your hands in despair and forget the whole thing? DON’T!

I’ve heard it time and time again from the experts, and it’s something I know for myself: there is no better vehicle than a book for establishing expertise and generating leads.

Write your book but put some thought and effort on the front end to make sure you write the right book.

DonnaKozikCopyright © 2014 – Donna Kozik. – Reprinted with permission. Donna Kozik, founder of MyBigBusinessCard.com, is a book writing & publishing consultant who shows business owners how to write their book quickly and easily to create a no-fail marketing tool. Visit Donna’s Facebook Page. Download Your Free Book Planner to “Get Started Writing Your Own Book FAST.”

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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
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Saturday, October 18, 2014

No More Autograph Parties

Filed under: Author Tips — Larry James @ 8:30 am
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Dan Poynter, Guest Author

One of the joys of being a published author is being appreciated for your Work. Getting a favorable response to your book from a crowd of people is an event most authors look forward to. But many authors and author-publishers misunderstand the purpose of a book signing and they attend unprepared.

Book signings are a form of product promotion not available to producers of other goods or services. But autographings are not a party in your honor – you and your book are not even known yet. Bookstores, both chain and independent, stage events to attract potential customers into their stores. The stores supply the venue; the author supplies the audience.

NOAutographPartiesAn “autograph party” says, “Come and appreciate me (and buy a book)”; a “seminar” says, “Come on down and I will give you something free (information) that will improve your life.” Always think of the benefit to the potential customer. How can you lure them out of the house and down to the store? Your appearance is a promotional opportunity for you and it will require hard work.

Patricia Bragg (Health-Science – www.Bragg.com) publishes health and fitness books. To promote her mini-seminar at a local bookshop in Santa Barbara, she posted handbills in all the local health food stores. Then she made a postcard mailing to her customer list within a 50-mile (driving) radius. The store was packed and she was on for over four hours – until closing time. The store sold out on many of her titles and gave out rain checks.

Authors are celebrities; they are the draw. People think if you wrote a book, you know something. And, you probably do. Nonfiction books are written from the best research you can do, you direct your material toward a certain type of reader and you further explain your advice with your own experiences.

Book writing is a journey. Often we do not know where the process will take us. We learn everything there is to know about our subject and, in effect, we are gaining an advanced degree in our area of interest: we do the research and then we do the paper. So, authors are pretty special, often interesting and do know quite a bit about their subject area.

When my parents taught me not to write in books, they did not know they were raising an author who would autograph them. They turned my last book tour into a guilt trip.

The store might publicize your appearance with a sign in the window for a few days and may place a notice in their event schedule. Attracting the rest of the crowd is up to you.

These mini-seminars may lead to longer ones for other groups at other locations – for money. Go for the exposure and go prepared. Your book deserves it.

Dan Poynter

Copyright © 2014 – Dan Poynter. “Publishing Poynters” is by far one of the very best resources for up-to-date information about the book publishing business and it’s FREE. My good friend, Dan Poynter, is the “Guru of Book Publishing.” You can subscribe to and receive “Publishing Poynters” by e-mail twice monthly by clicking here. You will also find an abundance of book publishing information on Dan’s incredible website: http://www.ParaPub.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
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

Friday, October 10, 2014

What it Takes for a Book to Become a Bestseller

Jerry D. Simmons, Guest Author

The term “bestseller” is synonymous with a book being selected for a position on a list, in a recognized print medium, anywhere in the country. The designation of a book being a “national bestseller” is synonymous with a book being selected for a position on a list of the best selling books in a particular print medium that has national distribution. The selection of a book for a best-selling list does not mean that title has sold a certain number of copies; it only means that the book was selected for a position on that print medium’s list of the best selling books in that market.

When you see the word “bestseller” printed somewhere on the cover, or more commonly the words “national bestseller,” it gives the prospective reader the feeling that the book has sold a lot of copies. Which means it must have been read by a lot of people. The flap or jacket copy makes the story sound interesting and the publisher is comparing this book to (any mega-best-selling title). All misleading and part of the company’s marketing effort used as a way of selling you that book.

BestsellerIf that were your book and you had written a novel, for example, that was being compared to the latest #1 national bestseller, you would be ecstatic! Place the shoe on the other foot, you are now the consumer, you buy a hardcover for a bit less than $30, you get home and soon discover it reads nothing like the particular book it was compared to. You are probably upset, especially if the book was not a good read and certainly not worth the price you paid.

Since publishers are keenly aware that they are not considered a brand in the minds of the consumer, that their author is the brand, they assume that readers will not retaliate against them, if at all, but against the author of the over priced, non-comparable book that was purchased for slightly less than $30. So whom can you trust? All publishers are guilty of the same over-aggressive marketing, aimed at readers who buy books. The truth is, few if any of the books labeled as “bestsellers” are truly best selling books.

Why is almost every new book published labeled a bestseller? It goes back to the fact that the industry today is focused on selling as many copies as possible to as many unsuspecting readers as they can. They stretch the truth as far as reasonably possible without violating standards. If a book is selected as one of the best selling titles by the local newspaper in Anywhere, USA and is placed on a printed list that appears in the paper, then it can be called a “bestseller.”

The “national bestseller” is a bit more of a stretch, but, for example, if a newspaper selects a title anywhere on a list of best selling books and is placed on a printed list that appears in that paper, and the newspaper just happens to have distribution or even less, subscribers in far reaches of the country, then the title can be called a “national bestseller.” There was a time many years ago when the term was used only with books on the New York Times or USA Today list, but that line was erased long ago and that’s why today there are so many books that are bestsellers.

The obvious conclusion here is that almost any book can be called a bestseller. If the author’s local hometown newspaper hears from the only bookstore in town that the new book is selling “pretty good,” and the paper puts that in print, even though it is not positioned on what could be described as a bestseller list, then the publisher can call the book a “bestseller.” If challenged, all the publisher has to do is produce a copy of the newspaper where the title is listed. Of course who’s going to make such a challenge? Certainly not another publisher since they are all guilty of the same tactics.

In this example, the local bookstore may have only received four or five copies and could have sold as few as two or three, or none for that matter. The fact is that the book was listed or described in a recognized print medium as selling “pretty good.” Translation: the book is a bestseller. Of course you can’t just start your own newsletter and suddenly call your book a bestseller. It has to be an objective source, but the size of the source is not in question. The hometown newspaper may only have a distribution of a few hundred, as long as it is recognizable and objective.

As for the major national bestseller lists, that is a completely different story, to an extent. The major chain bookstores and discount retailers all have exact numbers of copies of books sold and paid for through their cash registers. They can provide any publisher with information on how many copies that publisher’s titles sold the previous week by title, format, price, in what region of the country, and in which individual store location. However, these numbers are not always shared with the most recognizable national bestseller lists.

The USA Today has become a leading national newspaper and they describe their bestseller list as a compilation of sales from a variety of sources. They are secretive about their sources, but you can imagine it’s practically the same as their competitor, which happens to reside in the heart of the publishing world. This newspaper will seldom follow any other national lists in position or duration of titles on their list.

The one list that everyone in the industry follows closely is, of course, The New York Times. Here is where the publishers have learned how to influence as many of the best-selling decisions as possible. The Times also uses a variety of sources to make decisions on what books should be listed on their weekly bestseller list. These sources are chosen from independent booksellers, chain bookstores in selected cities, and as they call them, “other credible booksellers,” to make selections.

Having been directly involved with some of the largest retailers in the country for over twenty years, I can tell you that the Times, as late as the Fall of 2002, rarely used the single largest retailer in this country as a source for their weekly bestseller lists. Every publisher in New York City knows which sources or bookstores the Times uses and which carry the biggest weight in helping the Times make bestseller decisions.

Armed with this information, which is rotated periodically, every marketing department makes absolutely certain that every source is amply supplied with the latest and best of everything about the titles for which they strongly lobby. If you are one of the sources, you would assume the publisher is sending the same material to every single bookseller, but of course they would be wrong. Publishers pay particularly close attention to the source the Times uses for their bestseller list.

So every week the reporters for the book review call the sources and ask for a list of titles that have been selling the most copies. Would it surprise you to know that some of these sources do not use computers? Well, don’t be shocked, but there are book retailers around the country who still count inventory by hand and thus they do not have actual unit sales to share. Let me be clear, as late as the Fall of 2002 this was the case. Things may have changed, but it’s doubtful.

The reporters then combine the lists, sit down around a big table in their conference room and make decisions based on the all the information from their sources. Whether they actually try to make tabulations based on actual unit sales is still unclear, but their lists are definitely distinctive and are often questioned for their validity compared to the lists of actual unit sales the publishers accumulate on a weekly basis.

There is no threshold of a certain number of copies a book must sell to be a bestseller, there never has been and I doubt there ever will be. Until all booksellers are able to supply similar information on actual unit sales, there is no reason for the Times to change the way they make selections. Besides, there are publishers who will always be opposed to an actual unit sales mechanism for selecting bestsellers. Such a selection process would take away their ability to use any and all influence to impact the selections of the Times.

Hopefully this description of how bestsellers are determined has not disappointed you. This is the business, and when your book is published, you now have the ammunition to make certain it too becomes a bestseller.

JerrySimmonsCopyright © 2014 – Jerry D. Simmons. Jerry D. Simmons spent more than twenty years as an executive with The Time Warner Book Group in New York. He is the author of “INSIDE The Business of Publishing: What Writers Need to Know” and the creator of www.WritersReaders.com, where information essential to writers and their careers is available, FREE.

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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
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Speaking Secrets of Joel Osteen

Carmine Gallo, Guest Author

The following is an excerpt from an interview with Pastor Joel Osteen by Carmine Gallo. Joel Osteen is Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, TX. To read the entire interview, click here.

Carmine: “Now take me backstage at Yankee Stadium this summer where 50,000 people turned out to hear you speak. As you’re walking up the steps to the field, what’s your internal dialogue?”

joel_osteenJoel: “It was night and day from my first sermon. I now have 15 years of experience. A year or two after I started preaching I began to hit my stride. I started to say, ‘Okay, maybe I was meant to do this.’ When I walk on stage today I feel humbled and rewarded that so many people came out. I tell myself that I’ll give it my best and hopefully move some people in a positive direction.”

Carmine: “Most people would have a severe panic attack in the moments before speaking to a sold-out stadium. But today your thought process is different. It’s an attitude of ‘I can’t wait to share this message.’”

Joel: “Exactly. You have to talk to yourself the right way and believe you are the person for the job. When you’re prepared in your material and in your mindset, that’s important. I walk up to the stage telling myself, ‘Everyone here wants to hear me. Nobody made them come.’ I’m talking to myself the right way. You cannot get on stage with self-defeating thoughts like ‘I’m boring, nobody wants to listen to me, I’m going to forget my script. ’ That’s preparing yourself to fail.”

Carmine: “This reinforces one of the chapters in your new book, You Can You Will, where you reveal the eight ‘undeniable qualities of a winner.’ You say that having a positive mindset is one of those undeniable qualities.”

Joel: “That’s exactly right. Some people are just raised negative. They don’t think they’re being negative, but they go through life almost expecting not to do well. They’ll show up for a job interview not expecting to get it. I think you have to turn it around. When you get up in front of people, believe that they want to hear you. Act like they like you.”

Carmine: “You include a lot of stories in each sermon and each sermon seems polished and effortless. I know ‘effortless’ takes work. Please tell me how you choose your stories and how many times you practice?”

Joel: “I like to bring in stories of practical, everyday people and examples that the audience can relate to. I think it can get boring to have too much information without a lot of examples and stories. I have a list of stories and I write down what people tell me. I choose the story that fits the message. Getting back to my pastor side, Jesus used examples, and parables, and stories because they are more impactful.”

Carmine: “Now tell me about how you practice and how your rehearsal gives you confidence to be in the moment.”

Joel: “I spend Thursday and Friday writing and going over my 28-minute message. I write it out word for word. I’ll take three hours on Friday and three hours on Saturday and review it page by page. I deliver it Saturday night and twice on Sunday. The one people see on television is my third delivery.

Carmine: “Ah, so by the last sermon, which is the one people see on TV and YouTube, you’ve had hours and hours of refining the stories, the pacing, the delivery. Most people don’t practice once!”

Joel: “When I first started I just made some notes and thought, I’ll just get up there and do it. I learned that, for me at least, if I haven’t rehearsed the sermon, it doesn’t come out the way I think it should.”

Carmine: “Finally, Joel, what’s the secret to inspiring people to make radical changes in their life?”

Joel: “Be real. Be personable. Make it simple so people don’t walk away asking, ‘What’s the point?’”

Joel’s last observation speaks to the heart of inspiration. It’s very hard to inspire others if you’re not true to who you are. Even Osteen tried to mimic someone else—his dad’s preaching style. Osteen only came into his own when he freed himself from what others thought he should be and stayed true to who he was meant to be. “My calling was to plant a seed of hope,” he said. I believe all of us have ideas that are meant to be shared; stories that are meant to be told.

Too many people keep their ideas locked up because they have a fear of public speaking or a fear of being harshly judged for their ideas. The fear of speaking – the fear of speaking up – is one of the most common fears most of us share. The good news is you can overcome it and, as Joel Osteen has proven, do it in a big, big way.

CarmineGalloCopyright © 2014 – Carmine Gallo. Carmine Gallo is the communication coach for the world’s most admired brands, a popular keynote speaker, and author of several bestselling books including the Wall Street Journal hits The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs and his latest Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets Of The World’s Top Minds. This article originally appeared on Forbes.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
Visit Larry James on LinkedIn

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