I respect your privacy and will not rent, share or sell your personal information.

Archives for August 2012

It Takes a Village to Self-Publish a Book to Avoid Losing Your Shirt or Your Mind

If you want to self-publish a book without losing your shirt or your mind, you need help.

Self-publishing is not a solo act.

Yes, you may write your rough draft alone in your room or closet for months with only quick breaks to refuel your stomach and sleep.

But to publish a book that stands any chance of being read, much less being profitable, you need to gather others who can help you with the less-glamorous, but essential parts of getting your book to market.

It takes a village to publish a book to avoid losing your shirt or your mind. ←Click to tweet

Who must be in your village and what is the role of each?

1. You

You must be an eager participant not just in the writing, but in the marketing of your book.

There is no “set-it-and-forget-it” in book marketing.  ←Click to tweet

No publicist, agent or company will care about your book more than you do.  Think of yourself as the contractor and the other folks in your village as subcontractors. You will select them and oversee the work they do for you.

2. Publishing coach or accountability partner

A coach or accountability partner plays an important role. You know that you could get your book written without any prodding, but if you’re like most humans you accomplish more when you have someone nudging you along.

You could build muscles and lose weight on your own too. Chances are, however, that you won’t stick to any fitness plan if you don’t have someone tracking and encouraging you on.

A publishing coach serves an even more important function when you are self-publishing.  She will help you evaluate your options in selecting the other members of your village so you aren’t scammed into overpaying for services or being lured into worthless package deals from  unscrupulous companies.

3. Editor

Did you let out a loud sigh of relief when you finished your rough draft? Perhaps you thought the hard part was over. Depending on who to you talk to, that may be true.

But I pity the fool who publishes a book without having a professional editor go through it with a fine-tooth comb.

Without a skilled editor, your book will be screaming “amateur” and will become the victim of ruthless reviews on Amazon and other online retailers. Today’s readers are not very patient with books that are riddled with errors or sound like 5th grade compositions.

Once the editor returns your manuscript you still have work to do, refining and polishing.

James Michener was not kidding when he said,
“I’m not a very good writer, but I’m an excellent rewriter.”

4. Proofreader

While the editor was digging into content, ensuring flow, structure and consistency of style, the proofreader is looking for mistakes in spelling and grammar that can mar, alter or skew your meaning.

Proofreaders know that they can’t count on spell checkers, so they use many other means.

5. Book cover designer

Since the cover is the first thing prospective buyers see, it plays an important role. The front cover captures attention, and if it garners enough curiosity the reader goes to the back cover where the details convince the reader to plunk down his credit card.

Even though ebooks typically show only a front cover, it is nonetheless important.

Consult your coach,  fellow authors and colleagues to help you find book cover designers who can work with you to create the cover that best represents your book.

6. Interior book/layout designer

Self-publishing a book can be easy, but self-publishing a “professional” book requires skill. Chances are you don’t have all the skills required. That’s why I urge you to gather the experts you need to have in your village.

Up until this stage you may have been working with your manuscript in Microsoft Word.  When getting it properly formatting, Microsoft Word is no longer your friend.

No matter how well polished your manuscript is, you can fall into a big pothole if it is not laid out properly.  While some of the Print on Demand companies may give you instructions on doing this yourself, it’s still possible to make amateur mistakes that will diminish all the work you’ve done up to this point

 7. Printer, Fulfillment and Distribution

Once your book has received the blessings of the first six folks in your village, you’re ready to share it with the world.

Your coach or anyone of the other experts can be helpful in selecting the company that will print your book. Print on demand companies often have an option for getting your book into the hands of buyers. While you may enjoy selling your book at book signings and book release parties, chances are you don’t want to tackle the task of shipping every copy purchased online from popular retailers.

8. Marketing department

Most self-published authors have little experience with marketing.

 

A word of caution:

Beware of companies selling packages that include all of these services in one. They are too often motivated more by profits than by helping you get a professional book.

For newcomers to publishing, gathering your village will seem like a daunting task. You can count on your coach and groups of self-publishers and independent publishers to steer you toward the ethical and affordable experts. Local, national, and online groups are dedicated to helping you succeed with your book writing, publishing and marketing goals. A few of them are

=================

If you’re ready to gather your village or learn more about starting your book, I’ll be happy to be your traveling companion. Here are your coaching options.

 

 

 

Capture Attention for Your Book, Business or Service When You Blend with the Trends

It’s no mistake that retailers begin pushing back-to-school merchandise months before traditional school openings. They know the importance of capturing attention when customers focused on events, trends and observances that are important to them.

Pair your business with monthly observances to attract customer attention and  uncover hidden riches in your business.    ←Click to Tweet

Every month of the year is full of monthly, weekly and one-day observances.

When you can find a way to share your knowledge, expertise and skills to help your readers, website visitors, workshop attendees, and customers, you enrich your value and uncover profits you may otherwise have missed.

Use trend tie-ins to create prime content for compelling press releasesClick to Tweet

Coaches, bloggers, and entrepreneurs,  show your expertise and skills with tie-ins to monthly trends. This also captures attention with free publicity,  Consider writing articles, tips, booklets, ebooks or audio guides based on some of the following August through December observances.

Back to School Month

  • Feng Shui consultant– how best to arrange college dorm rooms
  • Parenting consultant– how parents can to prepare their youngsters for school success
  • Image consultant–fashion advice on styles on which parents and teenagers can agree
  • Interior designer–tips on decorating in limited space of a dorm room

Family Meals Month

  • Plant-based nutritionist–how to transition your family to a whole foods diet

College Savings Month

  • Personal finance coach–ways to begin or continue college savings progams

Self-Improvement Month

  • Life coach–how to set and accomplish personal growth goals

Mold Awareness Month

  • Contractor–ways to prevent, spot and rectify mold in your house or office

Library Card Sign-up Month

  • Author–little-known benefits of using your local library

What are some ways you can use the following observances to capture customer attention in your niche?


August Observances

American Adventures Month
American Indian Heritage Month
Back to School Month
Black Business Month
Cataract Awareness Month
Children’s Eye Health & Safety Month
Children’s Vision & Learning Month
Get Ready for Kindergarten Month
Family Meals Month
Golf Month
Motorsports Awareness Month
National Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Awareness Month
National Immunization Awareness Month
National Spinal Muscular Atrophy Awareness Month
National Runaway Prevention Month
National Truancy Prevention Month
National Water Quality Month
Neurosurgery Outreach Month
Pedestrian Safety Month
Psoriasis Awareness Month

September Observances

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Month
Baby Safety Month
Backpack Safety America Month
Childhood Cancer Awareness Month
College Savings Month
Gynecology Cancer Awareness Month
Library Card Sign-up Month
(World) Leukemia and Lymphoma Awareness Month
National Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month
Mold Awareness Month
National Chicken Month
National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month
National Childhood Injury Prevention Month
National DNA, Geonomics & Stem Cell Education Month
National Coupon Month
National Head Lice Prevention Month
National Organic Harvest Month
National Osteopathic Medicine Month
National Prime Beef Month
National Sickle Cell Month
National Preparedness Month
National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
National Skin Care Awareness Month
Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month
Self Improvement Month
Shameless Promotion Month
Sports and Home Eye Health & Safety Month
National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15)

 

October Observances

National AIDS Awareness Month
National Animal Safety and Protection Month
National Audiology Awareness Month
National Bake and Decorate Month
National Book Month Link
National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
National Caramel Month  Link
National Chili Month
National Chiropractic Month
National Crime Prevention Month
National Cyber Security Awareness Month
National Dental Hygiene Month
National Depression Education & Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Domestic Violence Awareness Month
National Down Syndrome Month
National Ergonomics Month
National Family Sexuality Education Month – Let’s Talk!
National “Gain The Inside Advantage” Month
National Go On A Field Trip Month
National Kitchen & Bath Month
National Liver Awareness Month
National Medical Librarian Month
National Orthodontic Health Month
National Physical Therapy Month
National Popcorn Poppin’ Month
National Protect Your Hearing Month
National Reading Group Month
National Roller Skating Month
National Stamp Collecting Month
National Work and Family Month
National Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Awareness Month
Organize Your Medical Information Month
Pear and Pineapple Month
Photographer Appreciation Month
Pizza Month
Polish American Heritage Month
Positive Attitude Month

November Observances

Adoption Awareness Month (National)
Alzheimer’s Disease Month (National, US)
Apple Month (US National)
Child Safety and Protection Month
Christmas Seals Month
Diabetes Month (National, US)
Drum Month (International)
Epilepsy Month (National, US)
Hospice Month (National, US)
Native-American Heritage Month (American Indian Heritage Month)

December Observances

  • Bingo’s Birthday Month
  • Colorectal Cancer Education and Awareness Month
  • Exotic Fruits Month
  • International AIDS Awareness Month
  • National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month
  • National Egg Nog Month
  • National Fruit Cake Month
  • National Stress-Free Family Holiday Month
  • National Tie Month
  • National Write a Business Plan Month
  • Operation Santa Paws
  • Quince and Watermelon Month
  • Root Vegetables Month
  • Safe Toys and Gifts Month
  • Spiritual Literacy Month
  • Take a New Year’s Resolution to Stop Smoking (TANYRSS)
  • Tie One On For Safety Campaign – Runs November 21 through January 1
  • Tomato Month
  • Tropical Fruits Month
  • Universal Human Rights Month
  • Winter Squash Month
  • World AIDS Month
  • Worldwide Food Service Safety Month

=============

It’s always the right time to get your book written.  ←Click to tweet

If you’re ready to make this the Year of Your Book, I’m ready to be your companion. Start with the 4-week e-course, Rockin’ My Book. Each week you receive a lessons and suggested activities in your email.

7 Lessons Writers Can Learn from the Olympics

Watching the Olympic athletes perform on the world stage is awe-inspiring. While your success in writing doesn’t usually rest on a single, laser-focused performance, you do face many challenges.

Here are seven lessons you can learn from the Olympics.

1. Surround yourself with great support

When you see a gymnast, swimmer or other athlete accomplish gold medal performances, they may appear to be alone, but we know they are not. We see their coaches, trainers,families and friends on the sidelines who have been with them through many years of training, expense and travel.

Likewise, when you set out to write your book, it begins as a lonely endeavor.  Getting your research and rough draft completed is usually done alone.

But behind the scenes, successful writers enjoy the support of a family that gives them space to work, an editor, graphics, a publisher and an agent or coach.

To neglect gathering your success team around you makes your writing harder and publishing your finished book near impossible.

2. Visualize yourself achieving your goal

In Golf My Way, Jack Nicklaus wrote: “I never hit a shot, not even in practice, without
having a very sharp, in focus picture of it in my head. It’s like a color movie.”

Research has proven that being able to visualize what you want to achieve increases
the likelihood that you will reach your goal.

Practice visualizing yourself holding your finished book in your hands,
autographing your book at a signing or  receiving applause from a satisfied audience.

3. Be willing to sacrifice for your goals.

Gabby Douglas, one of the women’s gymnastics Olympic team members, left her  home
in Virginia home when she was fourteen to train in Iowa. It was a major sacrifice for her and her family.

Some families of Olympians have gone into debt, and many athletes suffer injuries
brought on by extreme training.  For sure, their normal lives are put on hold.

Some writers give up watching television, forego family events and even pay for office
or hotel space where they can work undisturbed everyday. You will benefit from
cutting out non-writing activities that don’t advance your goals.

4. Take care of your body.

Winning athletes are vigilant about what they put in their bodies because
they know it’s the fuel that ensures peak performances.

As writers what we eat is also critical since it determines our alertness, creativity
and stamina. Because writing is such a sedentary experience we must pay close
attention to what we put in our mouths to avoid sabotaging our success.

One way to ensure that we work in cooperation with our bodies is to

  • only eat when we’re hungry
  • keep healthy snacks nearby
  • drink plenty water
  • get adequate sleep

5. Face your fear

Athletes and writers alike will face fear, uncertainty and bouts with self-doubt.
When both have practiced their skill, the fear is reduced.

Slumps in performance and writer’s block can bring on negative thinking that can diminish and ruin success.

Help yourself by recognizing that fear is normal. Preparing for the inevitable moments of fear is essential.

Preparing well before you begin your work helps reduce fear, as does building your skills.

Like athletes you can use techniques such as meditation, prayer, yoga, affirmations and afformations. Most important is to surround yourself with people, reading and groups who encourage and uplift you.

Actively practicing positive thinking doesn’t make fear completely disappear, but it holds it at bay and brings it under control.

6. When you fall down, get back up

Perhaps one of the most important lessons we can learn from the Olympics is the importance of rebounding when you miss the mark.

Every successful athlete has fallen down, started late, missed the net or otherwise flubbed a performance.

It’s unlikely to find a writer who has not been rejected too. A few of the celebrated ones

  • Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen, authors of Chicken Soup for the Soul, reportedly were rejected 140 times with the comments that “anthologies don’t sell” and “too positive”
  • J.K. Rowling was rejected 12 times before a small British publisher accepted her on the insistence of his daughter
  • Stephen King’s Carrie was rejected 30 times before it was finally accepted by a publisher.

The Japanese proverb says it best: “Fall down seven times, get up eight.”

7. Celebrate when you reach your goal.

When a medalist accepts the gold, silver or bronze, it’s an important time. Acknowledging your accomplishments as a writer is important too.   Celebrating is part of the achievement. How you celebrate is up to you.

Going for the gold in writing your book does not require crushing the competition, but reaching your goal is helped by following these seven lessons.

 


Writing a book is key to establishing credibility and increasing visibility for entrepreneurs today.  While entrepreneurs typically have ample material for creating a book, they don’t always have adequate knowledge and skills to navigate through publishing and thus often seek the help of a book coach.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Join me and my guest, Deborah Bailey, author, book coach and radio host, when she discusses what you should know before hiring a book coach, how entrepreneurs can use books to promote their businesses and how to decide whether you should self publish or have your book published by a traditional publisher.

How to Create Your Own Day to Promote Your Book, Business or Cause

Major holidays and celebrations usually mean a day off from work. We often spend the time having fun with family and friends, relaxing at home or hitting the road to enjoy nature.

Did you know that there is a day of celebration every day of the year?

Until the early 80’s in the USA only the President and Congress had the right to declare a day a holiday. But it was decided that Congress was spending too much time in approving and denying holidays, so the practice was abandoned. Now anyone can declare and publicize a holiday, recognition or awareness day. You are free to publicize and celebrate it.

Create your own day

How about creating your own celebration day. There is even an official day set aside for you to do just that. Chase’s Calendar of Events has listed March 26th as Make Up Your Own Holiday day.

Chase’s Calendar of Events is the authoritative guide to special occurrences, holidays, anniversaries, celebrity birthdates, religious observances, sporting events, and more from around the world. It was created in 1957 by two brothers, William D. Chase and Harrison V. Chase, to provide a comprehensive reference to calendar dates and observances. If you want your celebration listed in their directory, submit the required information. Get the details here

Another respected listing of celebration days is Celebrate by John Kremer at Celebrate Today

You don’t have to get permission or wait to be listed in either of these directories before creating your day.

Promote your day

Creating your day is just the start, however. You must get others involved, promote your day, and create buzz. You can garner publicity by creatively and assertively tie-ing the day into your book, business or service like these companies did:

  • When Jacqueline Whitmore, speaker, created National Cell Phone Courtesy Month she got recognition in USA Today when she sent out a press release.
  • In  2007 Tropical Smoothie Cafe started National Flip Flop Day and thanked the first 500 customers wearing flip flops with a free smoothie. Part of the proceeds go to help Camp Sunshine, a camp for kids with life-threatening illnesses.

These are just a few of the ideas that Joan Stewart, the Publicity Hound, shares in her Special Report, #45, How to Generate National Publicity from Your Own Holiday (or Day, Week, or Month of the Year (I’m an affiliate, so if you buy this report I’ll make enough to buy a grande latte) It is loaded with pages and pages of creative ways to market your business.

Go ahead and get busy creating your own observance. But be sure to tell us in the comments what you created.