Authors & Speakers Network Blog with Larry James

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Are Writers Ever Insecure? Nah!

Filed under: Author Articles,Author Tips,Guest Author Articles — Larry James @ 11:51 pm
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Rachelle Gardner, Guest Author

I frequently field phone calls from clients who are going through a rough patch in their frame of mind. It turns out being a contracted and published author doesn’t automatically fill you with self-confidence and unending affection for your own work. Who knew?

InsecureWriterThe reality is that the publishing journey is fraught with emotional land mines—dealing with the editorial process, reading your reviews, settling on just the right idea for that next book—that can make you feel insecure and like a fraud.

I can’t write! I have everyone fooled. I am an imposter. What made me think I could call myself a writer?

This, of course, is normal. If all goes well, you will have some moments of loving your work-in-progress and you’ll appreciate your newly published books when they land on your front porch in that UPS box. You’ll even continue to enjoy the process of writing. But you’ll probably also have moments when you’re sure that everything you’ve written is garbage and you’re terrified you’re going to be found out.

And it’s a good thing too. Because it’s that very insecurity that will drive you to keep growing, keep learning, be the best you can be.

Recently I read a quote from famous yoga teacher BKS Iyengar. He said, “The moment you say ‘I have got it,’ you have lost everything you had…The moment you say ‘I am satisfied with that,’ stagnation has come. That is the end of your learning; you have closed the windows of your intellect.”

erich-fromm-quote-about-insecurity-unknownmamiIf you can relate to his statement, then you know it makes sense to look at writing and publishing as a journey, and take from it what we can while we are in the middle of it. It’s part of our larger process of growing and developing as people; it is not a question of “arriving” but more a discipline of figuring out how to keep going.

Don’t worry about yourself when you’re feeling insecure or even hateful toward your writing. Accept it as part of your journey; ask yourself what it means, how it can spur you on. What is it driving you toward?

Let yourself feel satisfied at times, then go back to the natural state of the writer: insecure, frustrated, and driven.

It’s a great life, isn’t it?

RachelleGardnerCopyright © 2014 Rachelle Gardner, Literary Agent. Rachelle Gardner is an agent with Books and Such Literary Agency, representing both fiction and non-fiction. She’s looking for mainstream commercial projects for both the Christian and general markets. In non-fiction and memoirs, she looks for authors with established platforms, strong marketing hooks and an understanding of how to use social media. Non-fiction authors must have a book proposal and three sample chapters to be considered. She’s also seeking all kinds of fiction, and authors must have a completed manuscript to be considered.

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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

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fifteen Things the Media Loves

Rick Frishman, Guest Author

1. News – News is not just about information, it’s about communicating value and benefit for their audience.

2. Brevity – State what you’re pitching and how it will help their audience in a short, concise message.

15Things3. Knowing Targets– Research the audience you want to reach and the media that reaches that audience. Then customize your pitch to the outlet you are pitching.

4. Relationships – Build a relationship rather than try to sell a particular story.

5. Preparation – Do your homework and be ready to deliver what the media needs. Have materials to send.

6. Broad Appeal – Create stories that reach a wide variety of individuals with broad themes.

7. Ties – Try to tie your story into a larger news event – if it makes sense to do so.

8. Experience – The media likes to know that other media is paying attention to you so send articles and tape.

9. Visualization – Use visual terms to create graphic images and colorful anecdotes to illustrate your point.

10. Celebrity Tie-Ins – Products linked to celebrities usually get more ink and air time. Is what you’re speaking about something you can link to a celebrity? If so, bring it up to the media.

guerrilla_publicity_book

Click for info!

11. Prompt Response – Time is of the essence, especially to reporters on deadline. Send what the reporter needs as quickly as possible.

12. Courtesy – Be polite and respectful to everyone, receptionists included. Learn how to pronounce a reporters name before you speak with them.

13. Visual Aids – Send charts, graphs, and photographs that a reporter can use to quickly illustrate your merit to an editor.

14. No Road Blocks – Smooth the way and remove all obstacles that could derail or weaken your story.

15. A Pleasant Attitude – Be pleasant, enthusiastic and professional. See yourself as a valuable resource and become someone the media enjoys associating with.

An excerpt from the National Best-Seller, “GUERRILLA PUBLICITY: Hundreds of Sure-fire Tactics to Get Maximum Sales for Minimum Dollars” by Rick Frishman, Jill Lublin and Jay Conrad Levinson.

rick_photoCopyright © 2013 – Rick Frishman. – Reprinted with permission. Rick Frishman, the founder of Planned Television Arts, has been one of the leading book publicists in America for over 30 years. He has appeared on hundreds of radio shows and more than a dozen TV shows nationwide including OPRAH and Bloomberg TV. – www.rickfrishman.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

Monday, December 2, 2013

10 Ways to Promote Your Book in Your Own Backyard

Dana Lynn Smith, Guest Author

Online marketing is a wonderful way to reach a worldwide audience, but sometimes authors overlook book marketing opportunities in their own backyard. In your local area and region, you have the opportunity to stand out as a bigger fish in a smaller pond. Here are ten tips for promoting locally:

book-promotion1. Always carry books and literature with you. Keep a case of books and some flyers in the trunk of your car, and business cards in your wallet. You never know when you will run across a potential customer or marketing contact.

2. Look for opportunities across your area. Headed out for a weekend getaway or off to visit grandma? Do a little research ahead of time to identify bookstores, retailers and libraries in the area that you can call on. Or plan your own book tour, staying with friends and relatives along the way.

3. Promote yourself as a “local author” to bookstores and libraries. Many bookstores and libraries have a special section where they showcase the books of local or regional authors.

4. Look for other retailers that are a good fit. Think about what type of retailers relate to the topic of your book, and promote yourself as a local author.

5. Put “local author” stickers on the books that you sell in your area.

6. Speak at libraries. Contact libraries about doing a presentation on your book’s topic. This can be especially effective for children’s books and for nonfiction titles that have a broad appeal (such as travel, business, or fitness). Many libraries will let you sell your books at your presentation, and some have a budget for paying speakers.

7. Find other speaking opportunities. Speaking is a great way to sell books, and you may even get paid to speak once you get some experience. There are lots of organizations looking for interesting speakers for their meetings, including business and civic organizations, church groups, schools and universities, trade associations, and more.

8. Seek publicity through local and regional media. Send a book announcement press release to media in the town where you grew up and where you live now. The “local girl makes good” angle works especially well in smaller towns. Create press releases based on local tie-ins, such as a novel set in the region, and on current news events. Don’t forget your college alumni newsletter and any civic or professional associations you belong to. Nonfiction authors should consider radio and television talk shows.

9. Exhibit at book fairs and festivals. These usually work best if your book is related to the theme of the event, or if the book has appeal to a broad audience.

10. Market children’s book through schools and youth organizations. School visits are a great way to reach kids. For tips, see this article by Melissa Williams.

DanaSmithCopyright © 2011 – Dana Lynn Smith. Dana is a book marketing coach and author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides. For more book marketing tips, follow BookMarketer on Twitter and get Dana’s free Top Book Marketing Tips ebook when you visit her book marketing 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

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Narcissist Series: Who Are You Writing For?

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

I don’t know whether the majority of people say they write what they want to write for themselves, or whether that’s faux-modesty that many writers feel they need to say to justify smaller (if any) publication records. I’m not saying a writer’s worth is based on publication, but I think that there can be a problem when writers use “writing for myself” as an excuse for their state of success.

SpecificReadersHowever, I have noticed that many writers I’ve encountered through the years (from undergrad, through grad school, and especially now in the emerging stages of my professional career) stick with the same excuse, “I’m writing for myself, not other people.” I’ve noticed a trend that those writers are in the same place that they were ten years ago with little (and often no) improvement whatsoever.

So how is it possible for writers who take their craft very seriously to be stuck in this rut?

Although there probably are many possible answers for that question, I believe one of the main roots stems from narcissism. The term narcissism comes from Greek mythology (which I’ve been obsessed with since I was a kid, for good reasons – Gods with human flaws! But I digress).

For a streamlined background and crash course about the roots of narcissism, in the story of Narcissus a very attractive man was so in love with himself that he burned the affections of many people, including the goddess, Nemesis – who by chance happened to be a very spiteful goddess. She lured Narcissus to a lake where he falls in love with his reflection. Unable to leave the sight of his own face, he starves, and dies. The modern terminology for narcissism revolves around a person’s excessive egotism–egotism such as with an all too familiar sentence, “I’m writing for myself, not my audience.”

There’s only one word to sum up Narcissus’s fate: ouch.

Actually two: mega ouch.

To clarify before I’m crucified, I’m not saying nor suggesting that one should write with the sole purpose of gaining audience approval, but observing that the mentality behind writing for one’s self can be and often is problematic. Those writers with too much self often don’t deal well with criticism, if they can cope with it at all.

Although sometimes the most passionate about their work, they’re by far the toughest to teach. Often, they feel misunderstood (“No, you missed the point of what I was trying to say!”) rather than consider the option that maybe their writing is lacking a key factor that helps clarify the author’s point.

Many times, those writers take critique as a cruel form of bullying, something incredibly personal (“They’re being mean to me!”) It’s completely understandable that writers can become so attached to their writing that their feelings can get hurt when it feels like their work is being torn to shreds. Sometimes, it’s over-sensitivity.

Sometimes, people really do tear writing apart negatively (I’ve noticed a common trend that often the harshest critics are the ones with the least amount of writing knowledge). The point is, the way one deals with critique is critical to a writer’s future successes and ability and willingness to improve. Because, really, who wants to be plagued with being the narcissist?

I think one always needs to keep a sense of her/himself in mind to figure out how to improve and how to stay humble. Writing for one’s self is important in the sense that a writer shouldn’t write specifically for someone else, but if writing for one’s self is used as an excuse to not accept critique and improve, then there’s a problem.

MiaSiegertCopyright © 2013 – Mia Siegert. Mia Siegert graduated with an MFA from Goddard College and holds a BA in English from Montclair State University. She won honorable mention in the 2009 MSU English Department Awards in Fiction. Siegert primarily writes literary fiction and contemporary young adult, with some dabbling in commercial fiction and drama. She teaches fiction and memoir to adults and students. To learn more about Siegert’s work, check out her website at www.miasiegert.com or like/follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

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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, May 27, 2011

Write-On!

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

For some, writing a book can be a overwhelming project. You do the research, you make notes and do all the things you think you need to do to get started. Don’t let it make you crazy or scare you from writing at all.

Ready to take the big leap? Write-On!

book+in+UcartoonOkay! Here’s the first tip: Don’t quit your day job! Writing a book is only part of the equation. If you self-publish you will need to hire an editor, make arrangements with a book printer and if you want to to make your book available nationally and perhaps internationally, you will need to find a distributor or a wholesaler.

Confusion reigns when we get down to defining the different activities of book wholesalers and book distributors. It is important to accurately distinguish the two types of activities because they are extremely different in both emphasis and kind.

The book wholesaler should be seen as a service provider to bookstores. They do not create demand; rather they efficiently respond to demand whatever the cause and whatever the title. They envision their task as serving the interests of bookstores and similar outlets.

A wholesaler’s main objective is getting product “A” to store “B” in the shortest time and at the lowest possible cost. Look at them as a kind of UPS or Fed Ex of the book business.

On the other hand, book distributors represent the interests and activities of book publishers. Instead of hiring your own sales and marketing personnel and running your own shipping, storage and returns processing warehouse, you would outsource all of these activities to a book distributor who focuses on these activites on your behalf.

Unless, you are generating over $5,000,000 in book sales, you should seriously consider the book distribution option. It may actually cost less and at the same time provide marketplace clout because the distributor represents many publishers to the marketplace.

Question: How do you eat an elephant?
Answer: One bite at a time.

Question: How do you write a book?
Answer: One sentence at a time.

It’s really that easy. Many first-time authors stress over how long it will take, whether they have enough material to fill a book and more.

Just start writing! You have to begin sometime. Why not today!

Get organized. Do your research. By the way, doing research does not mean copying some other author’s stuff. That’s called plagiarism, that is to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own. Read more about plagiarism.

Do a brief outline of what you want to write about. My first book had 10 key points or in other words, 10 chapters. I made a list of what I wanted each chapter to be about and started writing. It is not necessary to write a book from beginning to end. In my case, I opened 10 files in my computer, titled them and began to write a little at a time in each chapter. Set aside a little time to write everyday.

My first writing mentor, Peggy Moss Fielding (1927-2014, Tulsa, OK) once told me that if I wanted to be a writer I needed to write at least one hour everyday. I didn’t believe her at first, but once I got the hang of it, I got hooked. Today I often spend more than one hour writing each day. She totally inspired me to begin writing my first book. (Thanks, Peggy! You created a writing monster!) Since then I have written 5 books, more than 650 articles, have four blogs (something new goes up every 4th day on each of them) and I have 5 Websites. I also am a guest blogger on 11 other blogs.

Stop “talking” about writing a book and just do it! Get inspired! Let your imagination run wild. Write-on! . . .and on. . . and on! If you need help, call a coach!

Click here for a really neat Website that will help you get started. Make sure you visit all of their links to learn about the origins of writing, methods you can use to help you organize your writing, the many different forms of writings and more.

BONUS Articles: How to Distribute Your Self-Published Book Offline
Piecing Together the Distribution Puzzle

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Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

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

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

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

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Importance of Editing Your Book BEFORE Publication

Filed under: Author Articles,Book Editing — Larry James @ 7:00 am

When text has been rewritten and “reread” many times, the human brain “fills in the blanks” and sees what it expects to see. For this reason, the fresh eyes of an editor can be a real benefit for every book. When you edit your own work, typos will still slip through. Proofreading your book is one of the most important steps in self-publishing.

Text that is perfectly clear to the author may be less so to someone who is reading it for the first time. By revising over and over and proofreading over and over, you may find mistakes you didn’t notice before. Check and double-check. After proofreading, put your work down for a day and check it again later. Things you missed one day you will notice the next. You will always read your own words in the way that you thought you wrote them, but another person may well read them differently.

proofreading2When you do your own editing, read your book out aloud. This is a procedure that is followed by a large number of professional book editors and proofreaders, because they want to hear what the sentence sounds like, rather than what it looks like on paper. Not only are you using your hearing faculty, but you are also using your sight to identify potential mistakes in the manuscript. The process of editing can be rather time-consuming and challenging. AND you should never neglect it.

Next. . . Hiring an experienced editor, rather than a friend or relative who happens to be an English teacher, is money well spent. Friends have a tendency to be less critical than is helpful.

It is very wise that a budget for editing must be included in your overall marketing plan. No one gets it right on the first time. Editing is necessary because clear and incisive communication is the key to successful publishing and advertising, polishing the writing and improving presentation. When fresh eyes looks at your book, it may help catch some grammatical errors you have thus far missed. It is much harder to detect mistakes in your own writing than in someone else’s.

There’s much more to editing a book than fixing the grammar.

A good editor will polish your words without changing your style, and help your book to be the very best it can be, one that will stand up to the tough scrutiny of distributors, booksellers, and librarians. Professional editors are trained to put their own personal feelings aside and focus on enhancing your work.

Sloppy sentences, surface errors, misused punctuation, wordiness, and faulty use of tenses – all these can undermine the effectiveness of your writing. Errors distract the reader considerably, diminishing the effectiveness of your writing.

Here are a few things that editors look for:

• Typographical Errors
• Grammatical Mistakes
• Run-On Sentences
• Punctuation & Quotation Marks
• Subject-Verb Disagreements
• Sentence Fragments and Lengths
• Spelling
• Apostrophes
• Comma Usage and Splices
• Capitalization
• Tenses
• Structure and Theme
• Organization
• Audience Appropriateness

While spell checkers and grammar checkers can be handy tools, don’t rely on them as your only means of proofreading. They do not catch everything. You should also look at the usage of apostrophes and contractions while proofreading. There is a big difference between “its” and “it’s.” Lots of people make mistakes between “they’re,” “their” and “there.”

“Editing is one of the absolute factors that will influence your book sales. The degree to which you personally edit your thoughts and writing, combined with the degree to which you invest in professional editing will ultimately play a large role in developing reader comfort. A great edit will not ensure your book sells, but it will definitely eliminate one of the largest potential detractors that might prevent book sales.” ~ Sherrie Wilkolaski

The process of editing and proofreading ensures that your finished written document is free from grammatical and spelling errors, and is the final step that must be taken before any document is to be considered complete. Your work must be polished and fine tuned so that it shines and strikes a chord with readers. It is wise for authors and publishers alike to solicit the help of professional editors and proofreaders before publishing your book.

The object of your book is to hold the reader’s attention; this will happen when the reader isn’t jumping over errors and pausing at mistakes as they try to comprehend what you are saying. An editor found 110 corrections that needed to be made in one of my books “after” it was published and thousands of copies were sold after my appearance on ABC TV’s “The View” after I was interviewed by Barbara Walters. Lesson learned!

You should always view all the proofs after editing, and can make further additions or alterations before a final proof is accepted. Even after you have hired an editor and they have given you their critique, you should then re-check everything yourself.

Bonus Articles:Editing Tip for Writers
What is the Difference Between Copy Editing and Proofreading?” by James Hamilton

Book Recomendation:The Elements of Style” by William Strunk & E. B. White

Thank you to Michele DeFilipp for her contribution to this article.

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Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It Takes “Discipline” to Be a Writer… and More!

My writing teacher and biggest influencer in my writing career, Peggy Moss Fielding (1927-2014, Tulsa, OK), once told me, “If you can’t set aside at least one hour each day to write, you will never be a writer.”

A&S-DisciplineMy first thought was… “One hour a day?! No way! I don’t have time to do the things I need to do every day as it is. How about if I start with 15 minutes?”

“Writing is sitting down – EVERY DAY – slicing open a vein, then bleeding your Truth all over the page.” ~ Scott Ginsberg

The hardest thing for most writers to do is to write. However, once they have written something, there is a great sense of accomplishment.

Discipline often conjures up images of deprivation, seriousness, or (gasp) rules. It not only takes discipline, it takes dedication. Discipline usually means making ourselves do some duty, grit our teeth, force ourselves to do what we don’t want to do. If you want to be a writer you MUST write. When writing, discipline must be seen as a positive, never a negative.

“You settle into the discipline of writing just as you settle into your favorite chair. Discipline feels good and makes you a good writer.” ~ Harriet Hodgson

Currently I have 4 blogs (including this one – see the list at the end of this article) and I write something new on each one of them almost every day. Each blog is published on Facebook and Tweeted every 4th day. Don’t even think about starting a blog unless you can commit to writing something new at least once each week. If you don’t your blog will die on the vine. It must have interesting and fresh “content” to attract readers who will subscribe to your blog and come back to see what’s new. Be sure to add the URL to your blog on your business card, your e-mail signature and everything that leaves your office. If “you” don’t tell people about it – who will?

writedaily3Daily. You must write something everyday. Choose the time when you feel that you are the most creative and promise yourself to spend at least one hour writing. My best time is late in the evening. No phone calls. No interruptions. You need some undisturbed time for concentration. Right now it is 12:14 a.m. You may prefer to write in long or short sessions. Write a short paragraph or an entire page. What works best for you? Be sure to take occasional breaks to keep the creative juices flowing.

“Start off slow. Either begin with every other day, twice a week, whatever is not overwhelming for you. Or limit your writing to a half an hour every day or two pages or whatever’s attainable. Many people burn out before they solidify a routine.” ~ J. A. Howard

Begin my making notes about what you want to write about. Scribble. Random notes are okay. Write your notes in a computer file. Refer to them when you run out of ideas. Some of my best ideas have been in my “Future Ideas” file. Many times what I may have written months before is just what I need to complete an idea that I have had trouble finishing. Often these ideas will inspire a creative streak when it seems that I cannot type fast enough to express the thoughts that I want to write about.

Sometimes a lightning bolt of inspiration strikes. I may be driving my car to an appointment, thinking and BANG! A new idea or a twist on an old idea comes to mind. The small recorder in my dashboard comes in handy at moments like this. I have been known to awaken from a dream, get up and go to my computer to jot a few noteworthy ideas. Experience has taught me that I most likely will never remember the idea when I wake up in the morning. I also have a pen with a small light at it’s tip that can help me make notes in the dark on a notepad beside my bed.

Don’t get too wordy. Say what you need to say, let it rest, come back 24 hours later, read it again, and edit or rewrite if necessary.

Learn to Tweet. I resisted Twitter for months thinking it was for kids. People “tweet” about everything from their latest closed sale to the color of the bird on their windowsill. I could care less about reading that Sam had a ham sandwich with Sally. That has all changed. Twitter has helped me be a better writer. The common thread between these vastly different messages is their length – Twitter restricts your messages to 140 characters. I decided to write a “relationship” Tweet once each day. Sometimes I will have an idea for a Tweet but it will be too long. Restricting an entire message to just 140 characters builds discipline – you can’t ramble and repeat yourself over and over. Discipline helps me edit to 140 characters so it makes sense. I can now see that 365 Tweets could very easily become another relationship book – one relationship “Tweet” for everyday in the year – 140 characters at a time. Imagination is a wonderful thing! 😉

writedaily2Don’t worry about sentence structure, punctuation, etc., that comes later. Just write. Be spontaneous. If you want to be a good writer you will need to hire someone to proofread your writing. Spellcheck is terrific, but it doesn’t discover all the nuances that a professional will find.

The mistake that a lot of would be writers make is that they stop writing when they don’t feel inspired and wait for the passion to come back. That is a mistake. You can always write something. Even it it means beginning to write something new to get you back on track. Don’t believe in “writer’s block.” Writing is never difficult if you have something good to say. Sketch out a few new ideas and begin again. You can always write something!

My first attempt at writing my first book, took 13 1/2 months. My second book was easier and quicker and my 3 book was written in 2 1/2 months. Since then I’ve written 2 more.

“Go toward with what attracts, excites or inspires you. Ask yourself what’s worth the effort and the sacrifices that come with commitment to any big goal. Worthwhile goals demand effort, risk, and sacrifice. You have to persist through fear and doubt; you have to draw on inner resources and become more than you were before. You find out what you’re made of.” ~ Dan Millman

If your goal is to write a book, set a sub-goal to write 3 to 5 pages a day. If you are writing a 200 page book and write 3 pages a day, it will only take you about 65 to 70 days to complete it if you stay on schedule.

“The key of course to being a highly effective blogger is discipline, and discipline required structure. Structure of course leads to habit, and habit is a natural tool that can make anyone more effective if its focused in the right direction.” ~ Duncan Riley

It only takes 20 to 30 days to develop a new habit. Practice, practice, practice by writing something everyday and you will develop a new, productive habit of writing in about a month. Good writing habits are easy to make and hard to break, especially if you enjoy writing. Having been writing most of my life, but seriously since 1995, I feel compelled to write. It’s a good feeling. I have developed a passion for writing.

I cannot imagine writing a book on a legal pad. Or a typewriter. Computers have made writing easy. When I wrote “Ten Commitments of Networking: Creative Ways to Maximize Your Personal Connections,” I created 10 files in my computer, named each file and as I came up with ideas I would alternate writing between each of the ten files until I could not think of anything else to write. You don’t have to write a book from page one to the end. I write non-fiction and it’s more fun to skip around from chapter to chapter or as in my later books, from topic to topic.

For me, I usually am listening to some quiet jazz as I write. Jazz inspires me. My hero, Miles Davis once said, “”When you hit a wrong note, it’s the next note that makes it good or bad.” When a jazz musician plays jazz, although he may not consciously know what the next note will be, he trusts his intuition enough to fearlessly play it. It’s the same with writing. Often the next word will inspire me to go back and rewrite the entire sentence to make it better. Some soft classical music in the background may inspire you.

If you want to be a writer there are no obstacles that cannot be overcome with time. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot write. Everyone can write if they really want to. Read lots of articles about writing. Follow other writer’s blogs. Google – “Writer Blogs!”

BONUS TIP: Always click “save” after you have written something on your computer. You cannot click the save button too much. I had to rewrite the entire first chapter of my very first book all over again because I forgot to save what I had written and my computer froze. (Of course, it was better the second time around!)

Maybe you’re struggling to write because you don’t feel good enough. Take a writing course at a community college. That’s what I did and where I met my teacher, Peggy Moss Fielding. She was teaching a class at Tulsa Junior College. That class literally change the direction of my life! (Thanks, Peggy! I miss you!)

“I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.” ~ Rabindranath Tagor

I dare you to write something everyday – without fail. – Larry James

To write a blog, article or book, you must first begin writing. Begin today!

By the way… I STILL don’t have time to write. I make time to write!

Read: “How to Write a Book, One Page at a Time” by Larry Winget and Jazz Up Your Relationship!

Note: I started writing this article at 12:14 a.m. It is now 2:45 a.m. And all is well. 😉

BONUS Article: Scribble, Scribble… Write, Write!

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Authors & Speakers Network Blog

Copyright © 2010 – 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

the-archives2Click for Archives! ~ 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

commentNOTE: 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
Follow Larry’s Pinterest page for authors and speakers at: https://www.pinterest.com/larryjames2012/authors-speakers-blog/

Friday, November 12, 2010

More “Back-of-the-Room Sales!

Filed under: Author Articles,Product Sales — Larry James @ 10:26 am

An extension of the speaker’s ability to reinforce their message is through the written word and audio/video learning systems. If I meet any resistance from a meeting planner about offering my books at the back of the room, I offer (in writing) a guarantee. Here is one key paragraph from the signed form I send:

“You have my personal promise that if I spend more than two minutes mentioning the books and audio learning systems that I have available, I will decline acceptance of the balance of my speaking fee from your organization! You have my word on it!”

My two minutes begin when, after my presentation, the meeting planner (the timer) asks me to return to the lectern to “tell a little bit about Larry’s books.” I make this offering carefully, tastefully and briefly. It’s a very fine-tuned, 1-1/2 minute product presentation with book props. So far, I’ve never had to turn down my fee.

There is an understanding that during my presentation I may mention or refer to one of my books if it supports the point I am making (absolutely no long, drawn-out commercial) however the guarantee is for after the meeting planner calls me back to the lectern.

Note: The following two words are often misspoken by meeting planners and speakers.

Lectern – Desk for a standing reader (or speaker). Something you stand behind when you speak.

Podium – A raised platform (as for a speaker). Something you stand on when you speak. Often called a riser.

The lectern is often on the podium.

“Larry, your back-of-the-room policy is perfect. What makes it especially work is that you have tactfully and gracefully involved the client. Further, if a speaker does their job properly and with purpose, then audience members usually want their products – so the way you’ve chosen how to handle this is great!” ~ Nancy Vogl, Speaker, Author, Songwriter

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Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

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

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

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

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Introductions: Their Care & Feeding!

Filed under: Author Articles,Introductions — Larry James @ 7:00 am

As a professional speaker, it is wise to exercise responsibility and assume ownership of your own introduction. A bad introduction, can ruin a good meeting!! An un-prepped introducer often will under-state or over-state the facts about the speaker to the audience, confusing fact until it’s fiction, and sometimes accurately articulating the irrelevant until the audience loses interest. A disinterested audience is a speaker’s nightmare. So is a bad introduction.

Nearly thirteen years ago, I had an introduction that went something like this: “This afternoon we have a special speaker who will talk about. . .” (he paused and looked at me, hoping I would offer the topic, and continued) “Ah. . . I think his topic will be of interest to you. Here’s Larry. . . ah. . . Jones!” My name is Larry JAMES. How embarrassing for HIM.

IntroductionsWhen this happened I promised myself that I would do everything I could to keep the introducer from making a complete fool of himself and instead help him prep the audience with an introduction that would establish my credibility to speak on the topic and help the audience to know they were going to hear the real “me.” I also determined to provide the introducer with some guidelines to demonstrate the important part they were playing in the event.

I always write my own introduction. I send a copy to the person who hired me to speak and also bring an extra copy with me (just in case). In addition, when I send the introduction to the meeting planner, I staple a copy of the following as a cover sheet to stress the importance of the introduction.

To some of you, this may appear to be an extreme, however, I have yet to have a meeting planner object and most of my introductions have been presented in a more professional way.

Be sure to provide your introduction in a large font (about 14 point). It’s much easier to read.

• Bonus IdeaRita Emmett, Professional Speaker, says, “When you give the meeting planner a copy of your introduction on the day of the presentation, print your introduction on colored paper (so it stands out from the other papers they are schlepping around) and use 14 or 16 point type to make it just a bit easier to read.”

• Bonus Idea – Include a brief statement in the introduction that politely asks everyone to please turn their cell phones and pagers off before the speaker begins so everyone will be able to enjoy the program.

Here is what I attach to the introduction:

Introductions: Their Care and Feeding!

For best results at your meeting. . .

Give the attached introduction and this flyer to the introducer; someone who is willing to commit to follow the following guidelines. If they can’t make the commitment, give it to someone who will.

Why bring this up? Because. . . you must always take a good introduction seriously!

A bad introduction, can ruin a good meeting! A good introduction creates the attitude of listening the audience will have for the speaker. It sets the stage. It establishes a partnership with the introducer and the speaker and helps the speaker connect with the audience.

For a partnership to work, it takes cooperation, both from the speaker and the introducer. A good introduction for the speaker will inspire the speaker to live up to the expectations talked about in a good introduction. A bad introduction will most always affect the speaker, even a professional speaker, as well as the audience.

The introducer does not have to be great, just better than usual. For anyone to be better than usual, you must always do more than you’ve done in the past. It takes concentration on the task at hand. It takes a commitment to do a good job!

nointroductionAd-libbing does not work! Most of the time it will make the introducer look bad. An ad-libbed introduction, often comes across as “thrown together.” Never “wing-it.” People who “wing-it” in life do not come across as professionals. It makes them look and sound as if they were unprepared.

GUIDELINES:

1. Remember to bring the introduction with you to the meeting!

2. Practice, drill and rehearse. It is good to practice reading it in front of a mirror. Read it over until you feel comfortable with it!

3. Stop at the periods and pause at the commas! Also pause when laughter occurs, if it occurs!

4. Read the introduction word for word. Please, no ad-libbing!

5. Read it with enthusiasm. Make it sound like you are glad the speaker is there. Don’t overdo it, you don’t have to be as good as the speaker!

6. After you’ve read the introduction, turn to the speaker, shake his or her hand and take your seat! Thank you for your consideration! These “Introduction Guidelines” are provided as a courtesy of your speaker. Let’s have a GREAT meeting! Thanks, again!

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. Larry James is a professional speaker and the author of three relationship books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” His newest book is “Ten Commitments of Networking.” Larry James also offers “Author & Speaker” coaching. Contact: AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com, P.O. Box 12695, Scottsdale, AZ 85267-2695. CelebrateLove@cox.net – More than 110 articles especially for Authors & Speakers at: www.AuthorsandSpeakersNetwork.com

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Investigate Foreign Rights for Your Books

Filed under: Author Articles,Foreign Rights — Larry James @ 7:00 am
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One significant revenue stream that is often overlooked, is foreign rights. Foreign publishers are desperately seeking licensing rights to good non-fiction books in their countries and look to American authors and publishers in search of those quality books.

What are Foreign Rights?

Foreign rights are a type of subsidiary rights – or subrights – attached to your book. Like other subrights (movies, book clubs, paperback reprints, electronic, audio, etc.), foreign rights can be sold and controlled separately from your book’s primary rights.

russianlifeskillsForeign rights are also called translation rights, a practice which can create confusion because, depending on the selling territory they’re attached to, foreign rights may well be in English. (Note: Foreign rights to my book, “Ten Commitments of Networking” is selling in India and Malaysia in English.)

Foreign rights is a win/win situation for American authors and publishers to develop a major revenue stream with no money down.

(Photo of book cover on the left is the Russian version of my book, “The First Book of Life Skills,” (English version is no longer available in bookstores. Signed copies of the English version are available from Larry James). The only way I could tell that is was my book is my photo is on the back cover.) 😉

Read, “The Importance of Foreign Rights” by Bob Erdman.” Learn how to create a foreign rights revenue stream with no money down by contacting veteran publishing and foreign rights Guru Bob Erdmann. Bob gets 5 stars from Larry James.

Bob Erdmann, founder and president of Columbine Communications and Publications, a foreign rights publishing consultancy, started off his program with a definition: Foreign rights is licensing a foreign publisher to reprint a book in English or translate that book into another language, and for that you’re paid a royalty arrangement, very similar to an author/publisher arrangement.

translations1Not every book is a candidate for foreign publication. However, lots of nonfiction titles are pretty much timeless books, especially if they are self-help, business, personal development, success or parenting books. By having your book translated into other languages, more people will benefit from your message, you will gain a new profit center and the sale counts as an “endorsement.” Publishers in other countries translate your book, design it, typeset it, have it printed and then plug it into their existing distribution system.

Bob has sucessfully sold the foreign rights to two of my books which put them in 10 other countries – India, Poland, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Indonesia, Russia, Philippines & Vietnam. Send your request to: bob@bob-erdmann.com or call 209-586-1566. Visit Bob’s Website at: http://www.ColumbineCommunications.com/.

It is well worth the while of any publisher to take advantage of the extra income that can be provided by foreign rights deals. While the advance you get isn’t much, it gives you world wide exposure for your work. For a fee, Bob gives your book exposure through face-to-face contact at the Frankfurt International Book Fair (Germany) – the world’s largest book fair.

Read:The Importance of Foreign Rights” by Bob Erdman.
Build a Foreign Rights Revenue Stream – Part I” by Bob Erdman.
Build a Foreign Rights Revenue Stream – Part II” by Bob Erdman.
Do You Know Your Foreign Rights?” by Deanna Carlyle
The Check’s in the Airmail: Foreign Publication Rights” by Aaron Hierholzer

NOTE: Although I do not accept money to refer good people, I would appreciate it if you would mention my name (Larry James) so Bob knows where the referral came from. Also, I do not recommend that you attempt to seek out foreign right opportunities yourself. It is time consuming and doing it yourself may not be worth it. Talk to Bob Erdman or someone who has the expertise of the world book market. It will save you lots of time and money.

Copyright © 2010 – 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

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