Posts Tagged ‘author’s journey’

Week In Review – Aug 1 – Aug 7, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on August 8, 2010

Integration: Keys to the successful merger of companies

by Matthew Carmen, Aug 2, 2010

Companies merge to increase profits through increase efficiency. But according to CNBC, nine out of ten mergers do not fully meet the goals of their acquisition. The main task that takes place in successful integrations is proper reparation within operational areas. This includes putting together processes and procedures that will need to take place to reach the corporate goals. In this article Matthew describes how he participated in a merger at a large entertainment company and what contributed to its success.  more…

Character and Personality #5: Don’t pull that trigger!

by Gary Monti, Aug 3, 2010

Sometimes you don’t want to confront your fears and uncomfortable situations. This causes blind spots into which organizations can fall an disappear. Instead of taking short cuts and jumping to action we should explore options, analyze our assumptions and manage risk. more…

Managing a project requires actions

by Guy Ralfe, Aug 4, 2010

Just because the project has a plan does not mean we simply have to conform to it. A plan is created when certain realities are true. But as the project is implemented, things change and new realities open up. We need to constantly update our plan and make adjustments based on changes that occur through out the implementation phase. Guy sites an example from his recent experience in this article. more…

Flexible Focus #13: Finding focus in the frames

by William Reed, Aug 5, 2010

Creativity happens much better when you are in your favorite cafe than when you are in your cubicle. Even better, the Mandala Chart offers a fresh approach that helps you find focus in the frames. Once you understand the value and attraction of working with the Mandala Chart on paper, you can increase your skills and improve your results with practice. Here are 8 steps that can help you get started.  more…

Author’s Journey #33: 7 Keys to Profitable Special Events

by Roger Parker, Aug 6, 2010

Last week, Roger discussed some of the ways authors can attract profitable speaking invitations. In this week’s article he takes the idea of “speaking for profit” to the next level, which involves creating, marketing, and producing special events like conferences, seminars, and workshops. more…

Last week, I discussed some of the ways authors can attract profitable speaking invitations.

This week, I’d like to take the idea of “speaking for profit” to the next level, which involves creating, marketing, and producing special events like conferences, seminars, and workshops. These differ from speaking in two important ways:

  • Multiple presenters. Conferences and workshops, often called “bootcamps,” typically involve multiple speakers. Often, there’s a well-known keynote speaker, followed by sessions conducted by subject area experts- -often other authors- -who may be paid, but often participate because of the visibility and opportunity to demonstrate their competence to attendees who may be coaching or consulting prospects.
  • Affiliate marketers. Authors presenting conferences and workshops often depend on marketing affiliates to help promote and sell tickets to their events in exchange for either a flat fee, or a percentage of each attendee’s fees.

Major profit potential

Profits for authors presenting in-person events can be significant. Profits quickly mount up when you have 100 or 500 people paying several hundred dollars to attend a live event. Successful events also create a buying frenzy of back-of-the-room profits from books,
CD’s, DVD’s, and workbooks.

Soon after Looking Good in Print appeared, I became a lead speaker for desktop publishing conferences produced several times a year around the country by Thunderlizard Productions, a partnership of three authors. I remember staring out at hotel ballrooms filled with participants who often faithfully attended each year’s conference, as well as pre-conference and post-conference workshops.

Other sources of event profits include:

  • Booth rentals. This involves renting booth in an adjacent “open-to-the-public” exhibition space to firms interested in marketing to conference attendees.
  • Sponsorships. Often, corporations sponsor pre-conference breakfasts, sponsored lunches, and happy hour afternoon networking events.
  • DVD’s and CDs. When events are recorded, post-conference sales of audios, transcripts, and videos create excellent content for direct-marketing and back of the room sales at upcoming events.
  • Pre-registrations. Before one year’s event ends, savvy producers are usually offering significant discounts for attendees who pre-register for next year’s conference. These pre-registrations, of course, help pay for marketing next year’s event!

All is not entirely rosy, of course; promotion and space rental costs can be huge, and the potential of major losses is possible because of events far beyond your control. I also remember numerous event cancellations immediately following 9/11, and the current economic environment doesn’t encourage attendance at anything other than the most important events.

As a result of this, authors are frequently turning to “virtual events” based on computer and telephone-based teleseminars or webinars. These typically take place over several days. Whether in-person or virtual, however, the principles remain the same.

7 keys to success and profits

Even more than books, conferences and workshops are planning-intensive. Success involves careful planning and co-ordination. Planning often begins a year, or more, in advance.

Above is a copy of a mind map I’ve created to help clients plan their event’s success. The map’s purpose is to help you co-ordinate the 7 key activities that will determine your event’s success and profits:

  1. Planning. Planning involves answering 2 key questions. The first question is, Where and when do you want to hold your event? This involves identifying and contacting conference and banquet facilities in the areas where you want to host your event. Realities like availability and pricing have to be balanced with desired requirements. The second question is, Who do you want to attend your event? As a successful author and marketer, you’re probably familiar with the concept of personas, described in Author’s Journey #2: How to Target the Right Readers for Your Book.
  2. Promotion. As soon as you have locked-down space availability, it’s important to start preparing your online and offline marketing. Once you have identified your location and target market, you can start preparing landing pages and a web site for your event, even if the pages won’t go live until later. Details can always be added, but it’ essential to give copywriters and designers enough time to prepare the foundation for a multi-faceted and multimedia promotion program.
  3. Sales. In addition to creating sales copy and attractive landing pages, you have to set up a sales system which will not only facilitate online registration and sales, but also will allow marketing affiliates to sell for you. First, you have to sell your event to marketing affiliates, getting them behind your event. Second, you have to provide your affiliates with the sales tools- -e-mail copy, pre-written blog posts, graphics- – they need to sell their markets. And, finally, you need to sell- -or convert- -visitors when they are sent to your website.
  4. Content. Next, you need to create a “table of contents” for your events by identifying and contacting other experts in your field and convince them to speak at your event. Scheduling can be time-consuming because of the necessary co-ordination. Mind maps help you visually display the status of various time slots each morning and afternoon of your event. With a map, you can easily keep track of multiple speakers and multiple conference rooms throughout your event. After deciding who speaks when, you have to work with them and make sure their presentation addresses the topics you’ve agreed upon.
  5. Visuals. Most events include a video component as well as a spoken message. Among the decisions you’ll have to make is whether or not to require all presenters use a presentation template that’s branded to your event. By encouraging presenters to use the same template pays off in terms of projecting a consistent and professional image. Again, your Workshop Planning Map can help you track the status of the various presenter’s visuals.
  6. Handouts. Attendee handouts will play an important role in the perceived value of your event. This is no place for last-minute cost cutting. To your attendees, your handouts are their primary “souvenir.” Attendees, and their attendee’s friends, co-workers, and employers, will judge the value of your event by the quality of your handouts. In addition, evaluations are an important part of your event. Handouts must include clearly-marked evaluation forms that must be collected after each presentation.
  7. Follow-up. Your event isn’t over on the last day. The success of next year’s event is paved by what you do after the event. Ideally, if your event ends on a Saturday, attendees will receive a “Thank You” gift in the mail on Monday, their next day back at work. By sending a tangible expression of your appreciation to attendees- -ideally, a “bonus” item that relates to your event- -you’ll be cementing a relationship that will last for years.

Although broken apart for clarity, above, many of the above tasks have to be simultaneously addressed. By analyzing all of the tasks involved in a successful event, and displaying them on a single mind map- -especially one that can be shared online by everyone involved in your event’s success- -you can monitor what’s been done, and what still needs to be done.

Planning & profits

Planning is a constant theme throughout a successful Author Journey, as you can see from my previous 32 posts.

But, no amount of planning can protect against every eventuality; Who could have foreseen the empty planes and empty pre-paid seminar seats following 9/11? Yet, by focusing on the above issues, and giving yourself and your team enough time to do the job right, you can leverage your book into a series of profitable events that may catapult you into an entirely different tax bracket!

Week In Review – Jul 25 – Jul 31, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on August 1, 2010

Don’t just invent. Innovate.

by Robert Driscoll, Jul 26, 2010

Invention is not the same as innovation. Starbucks, Microsoft, Red Bull and Ebay did not simply invent. They all did something that was different in the marketplace that connected with its users. Sometimes creating that next big thing is just simply doing it better than your competition or making it simpler.  Ideas are all around us.  Now innovate. more…

Character and Personality #4: Time

by Gary Monti, Jul 27, 2010

Temperaments refers to preferred ways of thinking. Knowing individual’s temperaments can help predict possible outcomes in situations. A typical company will have a mix of intuitive thinker, intuitive feeler, sensing judger and sensing perceiver. Each  of them perceives time differently and understanding that will enable your planning and execution to proceed realistically. more…

Social Media and Tribes #7: Is Twitter doomed to fail?

by Deepika Bajaj, Jul 28, 2010

Twitter has generated enough controversies and we have not seen the end of it. There is a constant debate if Twitter is good or bad. Just like most things in life, it’s not for everybody and not for all purposes. But it will be enormously useful if you know how to leverage it. Share, connect and reciprocate with somebody on twitter and you’ll see it’s potential. more…

Flexible Focus #12: The 8 frames of live – Business

by William Reed, Jul 29, 2010

What career you pursue and how you engage with your work is one of the determining factors in the quality of your life and your legacy. Most people are concerned with the mechanics and features of their work, salary and benefits, but there is one question that should come first – Are you engaged in your work with head, heart, and hands? This article identified 7 hidden opportunities to shift to positive engagement. more…

Author’s Journey #32: Speaking for Profit

by Roger Parker, Jul 30, 2010

Authors depend on information products, workbooks, audios and videos because there’s more money in the back-end products then they’re likely to earn from their books. However, the Internet is a crowded marketplace; there’s competition even in niche categories. Speaking engagements provide a valuable source of profit. In this article Roger explains how to maximize your profits from speaking engagements. more…

Author’s Journey #32: Speaking for Profit

by Roger Parker on July 30, 2010

Last week, I described some of the decisions involved in managing and marketing information products.

Authors depend on information products, workbooks, audios, and videos, they publish and distribute themselves because there’s more money in back-end products than they’re likely to ever earn from their books. The selling prices are typically higher, production and distribution costs are lower, and –with the exception of commissions paid to marketing affiliates–authors keep all of the profits to themselves.

However, the Internet is a crowded marketplace; there’s competition in even niche categories. And, expertly-crafted landing pages and sales letters aside, its often difficult to close sales online, especially as purchases prices increase.

Thus, the typical author’s need is to balance profits from information products with speaking profits.

Getting paid more than once

Authors who are speakers get paid over and over again. There are two reasons for this.

First, successful speakers don’t reinvent the wheel each time. They often have a limited repertoire that they customize for different speaking engagements. (I remember my excitement when Bill Cosby spoke at my son’s graduation, followed by disappointment when I saw he had repeated the same speech at several other colleges.)

Second, when you’re hired to deliver a keynote speech or presentation, you’re—basically–being paid to promote yourself.

No matter how good your online videos, when you meet your prospects face-to-face, or “press the flesh” after a speech or presentation, you’ve established a lasting bond that no online video or DVD can create.

Here are some of the other ways authors can profit over and over again from paid speaking engagements:

  • Speaking and workshop fees. A properly positioned author can earn 5-figure, and up, fees, plus travel and lodging, for one-hour keynote speeches. The better your track record and online promotion, and the more experienced your speaker bureau or sales staff, the more you can earn. One of the most successful techniques is to look for ways to up-sell prospects. If there is no price resistance, after securing agreement for a keynote speech, look for opportunities to add-on a follow-up workshop or seminar event. Better yet, in today’s tight-fisted environment, rather than negotiate your fee by reducing your prices, offer to provide some extra services, like a workshop or optional evening session, without charge. Half a loaf is always better than no loaf!
  • Back of the room sales. Traditionally, speakers have followed their speeches and presentations by selling information products from the back of the room, while the audience’s enthusiasm is at its highest. The key to these sales is your ability to subtly promote your products in the middle of your speech or presentation. Obviously, the more you’re paid for your speech, the less appropriate it is to aggressively promote your products. (But, that obviously doesn’t always keep authors on the straight and narrow.)
  • Coaching and consulting. As Harry Beckwith, author of such modern business classics as Selling the Invisible and What Clients Want told me in an interview, consulting assignments typically follow invitations to speak. Often, he’s brought into a corporation by a mid-level executive who has read his book and liked it. The original reader shares his copy with his superiors, and they are often intrigued enough to hire him. During the speech, Harry establishes eye contact and rapport with senior management, who often invite him to return to help them implement his suggestions.
  • Event premiums. During another recent interview, Bud Bilanich, the Common Sense Guy, told me that self-publishing offers numerous opportunities for speakers. “After I’m confirmed for an event, I ask my host if they have a budget for materials, or premiums, delivered during the event.” Bud then described how he prints a print-on-demand copy of his latest book for attendees, customizing the cover for the client and the event. Profits from these premium books can go right to the bottom line, as there is nothing to do except schedule the printing and book delivery to the conference center or ballroom where he will be speaking.

Annual encores. Corporate events like conferences, meetings, and corporate retreats, are often repeated each year. Once you’re invited and deliver a stellar performance, you’re likely to be invited back. Each return visit solidifies the author’s image as “one of us,” leading to more opportunities for selling information products and services.

Selling your speaking services

The starting point for premium speaking profits, of course, is write a good book; one that breaks new ground, tells an engaging story, and- -most important- -positions you as a thought leader with both information and inspiration.

This involves many of the topics previously covered in this series, such as:

  • Choosing a title that not only sells your book but creates a brand. A book is a one-time sale; a brand tells your story in a memorable way and differentiates you from the competition. A book can go out of date, but a brand can be updated for decades. So, choose your titles wisely! An earlier post in this series shared how to test your book’s proposed title and subtitle.
  • Book content must do more than just share information. Information is great, but information rarely inspires. Your tactical information has to resonate with broader concerns and goals. You want to inspire belief that positive change is possible, and- -through your writing and speaking style- -arouse enthusiasm for taking action.
  • Leveraging your book in the media. No matter how many books you sell, you’ll never sell a copy to everyone who can benefit from it. Accordingly, you need to target the markets and specific reader demographics you want to read your book, then attract the attention of the appropriate media. Best possible scenarios?  The month your book appears, an article appears in a leading business or technology magazine, reviews appear in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, and you’re interviewed on MSNBC or National Public Radio’s or Marketplace. Obviously, the likelihood of this happening depends on the caliber of the marketing and public resources you hire to promote your book.
  • Speakers bureaus. In addition to public relations and press resources, you will probably want to familiarize yourself with speaker’s bureaus and the protocols associated with them. Their websites often explain the criteria they look for in potential clients. More important, with a little research, you can find out the fees speaker’s bureaus are charging for authors who have written books similar to yours

One sheets and website ideas

Although you may not be ready for a speaker’s bureau, it’s never too early to prepare a one sheet describing your speaking background and the topics you speak on. An earlier post in this series, described the essentials of a successful author one sheet and included links to several of the best one sheets I’ve discovered. Here’s another blog post about author one sheets and online promotion.

Whenever possible, try to have your speeches recorded, and always ask for a copy of the recording. Even if you can’t distribute the recording, a recording of your speech will help you evaluate your performance.

Even better, when negotiating a paid speaking engagement, try to obtain rights to post excerpts from the recording on your website and blog. Even a single moment can be enough to create a compelling visual that communicates your ability to mesmerize and animate your audience.

Invitation

Share your questions about marketing your speaking services as comments, below.

Week In Review – Jul 18 – Jul 24, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on July 25, 2010

Your readiness for managing your supplier after the negotiation

by Brian Superczynski, Jul 19, 2010

Organizational needs are routinely satisfied by external vendors. Letting the vendors manage the relationship will be like the tail wagging the dog. It will lead to serious issues not limited to mushrooming cost. Vendor management includes the negotiation process before the contact is signed, having an organizational structure to manage vendors and having an mature process to monitor the lifecycle of your agreements. more…

Character and Personality #3: Orientation and Energy

by Gary Monti, Jul 20, 2010

Two major components that go into determining one’s temperament are Orientation and Energy. Orientation refers to how we prefer to interface with the outside world. The two approaches are Judging (don’t confuse with Judgmental) and Perceiving. Two possibilities for gaining energy are Extroverts and Introverts. A person can have a combination of these traits and of course these are not the only once – there is a whole slew of these. Understanding these traits will help you manage people and teams better. more…

Social Media and Tribes # 6: Changing the world is addictive

by Deepika Bajaj, Jul 21, 2010

A tribe is constituted of people who care about a specific topic or interest or looking to bring a specific change. Tribes are needed to change the world and social media has created tremendous opportunity to create and lead tribes. Read this article to understand how to gain advantage using social media and not get simply distraught by its demands. more…

Flexible Focus #11: The Principle of comprehensiveness

by William Reed, Jul 22, 2010

In this article you will find an optical illusion. As you increase your field of vision, you will be able to see more white dots. The message here is, you need the ability to see the big picture, the details and the relationships all at the same time. Mandala Chart can help us regain our bearings by seeing our business comprehensively. This will enable us see the opportunities that are never obvious, because the exist in the spaces between. more…

Author’s Journey #31: Managing and Marketing information products

by Roger Parker, Jul 23, 2010

Information products are an author’s best friend; they offer far more profit potential than authors can earn from book sales alone. Last week, Roger’s post explored the 3 main issues involved in creating profitable information products: copyright, format, and topic. This week’s post takes a look at creating a process to produce, market, and schedule information products. more….

Week In Review – Jul 4 – Jul 10, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on July 11, 2010

4 Effective cost saving techniques in a down economy

by Brian Beedle, Jul 5, 2010

In these uncertain economic times, it is imperative for businesses to cut costs to maintain profitability. Prudence in what is cut will help us be positioned to return to “normal” business cycle. With that in mind, Brian has short listed 4 simple cost saving areas that every IT organization should consider. more…

Character and Personality #1: Emotionality

by Gary Monti, Jul 6, 2010

WOW… another great  article from Gary! Strong leaders are not without emotions. But they are able to validate their emotions with their principles at play. This helps them deliver an honest expression of emotions with a statement of underlying principles (agenda). This supports communications, while emotionality tears the community apart. more…

Social Media and Tribes #5: Social by Intention

by Deepika Bajaj, Jul 7, 2010

Participating and being active on online social media does not have to be detrimental to your career. If you can watch what you say, you can create a reputation you desire. Social media is a tool to build relationships and take them offline to build stronger relationships. more…

Flexible Focus #9: The magic of mindset

by William Reed, Jul 8, 2010

Having a point of view enables us to be very clear on where we stand. But it also give us the tendency to believe our point of view is the only correct one. Inflexibility over view points can put people on the warpath. Flexible focus gives us a strategic advantage, opens your eyes and lets you frame and reframe. more…

Author’s Journey #29: Research Tips – How do other authors profit?

by Roger Parker, July 9, 2010

Very often, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Researching and following what other authors do to profit can be valuable. more…

Week In Review – Jun 20 – Jun 26, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on June 27, 2010

3 Steps to making the Outsourcing choice

by Matthew Carmen, Jun 21, 2010

It is now rare to find a company, of any size, that hasn’t outsourced some portion of their IT functions.  This could be as small as an application or as large as the company’s entire IT department.  If you’re considering outsourcing within your own organization, Matthew’s article will help you think through the next steps in detail.  more…

Leadership and Mythology #7: Zeus, Greed and Change

by Gary Monti, Jun 22, 2010

Being greedy can lead to disastrous results. Nurturing your network and cultivating abundance is critical for sustained success and peace of mind. Greed and its consequences show up in Greek mythology. The lessons are quite relevant today especially in a complex, chaotic business world. more…

Social Media and Tribes #3: Mob mentality

by Deepika Bajaj, Jun 23, 2010

Contrary to popular conventions about the Web opening minds, people are more likely to read information or participate in social groups that reinforce what they already believe. A tribe can show dramatic increase in the undesirable action compared with doing nothing at all, because it demonstrated that lots of others engaged in the behavior. But if your message to your tribe is right, you can make positive change happen.  more…

Flexible Focus #7: Inside the lines

by William Reed, Jun 24, 2010

Thinking outside the box is a synonym for creativity. Although this metaphor has captured the popular imagination, the real challenge is to engage in applied creative thinking that solves real problems. Just like tennis is a game that is played entirely within the box, the most exciting and productive creative work is often produced and performed inside the box. In this article William explains how to use the Mandala chart to expand your thinking and stay within the lines.  more…

Author’s Journey #27: Building relationships with your readers

by Roger Parker, Jun 25, 2010

It is increasingly obvious that the whole point of writing a book is not to sell books, but to build long-term and profitable reader relationships. Consider your book the core of your long-term self (or business) marketing plan. In this scenario, your book becomes the hub of a relationship-building strategy that begins long before your book appears and continues for years afterward. more…

During the past few years, it has been increasingly obvious that the whole point of writing a book is not to sell books, but to build long-term and profitable reader relationships.

Yes, there are authors who support themselves with six figure advances and huge royalties, but there are also those who buy one lottery ticket and win millions of dollars.

In either case, you can’t count on favorable outcomes. The odds are too much against you.

A much better strategy, with a much higher probability of success, is to consider your book the core of your long-term self (or business) marketing plan. In this scenario, your book becomes the hub of a relationship-building strategy that begins long before your book appears and continues for years afterward.

Building “hooks” in your book

Long-term success requires inserting “hooks” into your book intended to drive readers to your website. This important marketing and profit task deserves your attention as soon as possible. There are two reasons why:

  1. While you’re planning your book, you need to select the type of relationship-building bonus content you’re going to offer readers and how you’re going to promote the bonus in your book.
  2. While writing your book, you need to be setting up, or delegating and supervising, the set-up of the online support structure needed to distribute your book’s bonus contents, i.e., autoresponders, landing pages, etc.

The above are too important, and too complex, to be left to the last minute.

Using your book to drive website traffic

Let’s start with the basic premise; readers who buy your book are your best source of coaching, consulting, and speaking profits.

If someone invests $20, or more, in a copy of your book, they’re raising their hand and indicating that they’re interested in what you have to say. Their purchase is proof they have problems they want to solve, or goals they want to achieve.

More important, by spending their hard-earned money on your book, they’re indicating that they think you’re the one to help them; you’re the obvious expert they trust, and they want to know more!

Your job at this point is to provide opportunities to learn more about you and the services you provide, information that shouldn’t appear too prominently in your book! No one wants to pay $20 to be advertised to- -save the infomercials for late-night television!

Registration and bonus content

Your big challenge, as you plan and write your book, is to come up with a way to subtly drive readers to your website.

Once readers of your book are at your website, you can introduce them to your marketing funnel; you can offer them access to bonus content in exchange for signing-up for your e-mail newsletter. In addition, once they’re at your website, you can describe additional ways you can help them solve their problems and achieve their goals.

As described in my Streetwise Guide to Relationship Marketing on the Internet, there are several categories of bonus content you can share with readers of your book:

  1. Assessments. Assessments are worksheets or interactive forms that help readers self-assess their understanding of your book, or evaluate the areas of their business where change is needed, such as my Making the most of Microsoft Word assessment.
  2. Checklists. Checklists, are similar to assessments in that they can either be downloadable and printed or filled-out online. Checklists help readers monitor their progress as they complete tasks described in your book.
  3. Deeper content. Ideas that are only introduced can be converted into detailed case studies and, often, step-by-step procedurals that will help your readers put your ideas to work.
  4. Excess content. Often, working with your editor, you’ll discover that there is no room for some of your best ideas. Instead of discarding them, use them as downloadable bonus content to thank your readers for buying your book.
  5. Pass-along content. One of the best ways to promote your book to new prospective book buyers (and clients) is to provide readers with information that they can pass along to their friends and co-workers.
  6. Specialized content. As an alternative to going deeper, i.e., great detail, you can adapt the ideas in your book for different vertical markets, such as different occupations or industries. You can also adapt your book’s content into beginner’s guides or offer advice for more advanced readers.
  7. Updated content. New ideas and examples are certain to appear the day after approval of the final proof of your book. Although you can, and should, use your blog to share new content, often you can use it as reader rewards.
  8. Worksheets. The best worksheets are those that help readers overcome inertia and avoid procrastination by immediately starting to implement the lessons described in your book. My sample Book Proposal Planner is an example of an online worksheet.

You can distribute the above bonus content ideas in a variety of formats; Adobe Acrobat PDF’s, password-protected pages, streaming audio or video, or- -if appropriate- -as mailed reports or CDs and DVDs.

How do you limit bonus content to legitimate readers?

Many authors only share their book’s bonus content with readers who register their name and e-mail addresses. Others limit distribution to readers who enter a password that appears in a specific location of their book, i.e., The second word at the top of Page 138.

These limiting strategies can be self-defeating and project an inappropriate image. The goal of writing a book is to build lasting and profitable relationships with readers, not test their persistence.

One of the techniques I used with my Relationship Marketing book, above, was to offer downloadable PDF’s of each of the worksheets in my book, and include the URL for the worksheets on the pages of the book referring, or displaying, each worksheet.

Getting a head start

As you can see, authors who only begin to think about marketing their book after it’s been published are at a significant disadvantage compared to those who address reader relationship building while planning and writing their book. Don’t make the mistake of failing to have a plan for converting readers into clients by driving them to your website as they read your book

In this segment of my Author Journey series series, I’d like to encourage you to speak your way to book publishing success by speaking about your book at every opportunity.

Speaking is one of the best ways you can promote your book while planning and writing it. It creates a special bond with your audience, paving the way for book sales and lasting relationships.

Speaking builds anticipation for your book’s publication. Whether your audience is a local chamber of commerce or a networking group, or a convention, speaking provides you with immediate feedback about your book’s title and contents.

Each speech also provides you with a deadline to prepare or refine your message and an opportunity to build anticipation for your book by promoting your speech.

As often is the case, of course, you may benefit more from the speech than those in the audience. Each time you speak, for example, you become more comfortable as a speaker and your delivery is likely to improve. Each time you speak, you’ll probably identify rough spots- -awkward words and phrases- -that you can replace with shorter, easier to say words and phrases.

And, don’t forget what you’ll learn from the audience’s questions! One relevant, unexpected question can provide you with a fresh perspective or open up new avenues for you to explore in your book, or your next book.

What should you talk about?

Your speeches should revolve around your book, approached from different perspectives. Options include:

  • Testing the content waters. Previewing the topic, and approach, you’re taking in your book and testing the ideas developed in different chapters. You could prepare one “generic” speech introducing your book, plus a couple of other speeches focused on individual chapters.
  • The writing experience. Many of the people in the audience may be envious of your position at the podium in front of the room; they’re likely to never write a book themselves. You can tap into their vicarious identification with you by sharing your perspective on what it’s like to want to write and actually act on the impulse.
  • Reflections on your book. If your book has already appeared, your speeches, or a portion of them, can discuss what reviewers and readers have said about your book, sparking dialog and questions, plus providing a compelling reason for attendees to buy their own copy of your book so they can comment and join the dialog.
  • Updated information. After your book has appeared, your speeches can provide you with an opportunity to describe new information, interpretation, and trends, that have occurred after your book’s publication.

To help you prepare your speeches, for a limited time, I’ve added a copy of my Author Speech Planning Worksheet to the other resources on my Active Garage Resource Page for you to download and print.

Use the worksheet to plan your speech around your audience’s goals and needs, and keep your speeches as simple as possible. The shorter your speech, the more time there will be for audience comments and questions.

Making the most of your speeches

Here are some of the ways you can leverage your speeches into book sales and marketing funnel profits:

  • Introduction. Always prepare you own introduction; don’t depend on someone else to know what to say when they’re introducing you. An inappropriate or inaccurate introduction can launch your speech on an awkward, confidence-destroying note. Prepare your own brief, 2 or 3 paragraph introduction, and e-mail it to the event organizer ahead of time. BUT, in addition, bring along a printed copy of your introduction.
  • Networking. One of the best ways you can leverage speeches into a book sales is to circulate before your speech, introducing yourself to members of the audience. A little mingling goes a long way, helping you find out what the audience members you meet are looking for in your speech. In addition, pre-speech mingling builds comfort and familiarity that will pay big dividends when- -during your speech- -you look someone in the eye, they’re likely to smile or nod encouragingly.
  • Handouts. Always prepare and distribute handouts; you never know who will be in the audience. Your handouts can be as simple as an outline of your speech, FAQ-type questions and answers about your topic, or a brief backgrounder about you and your writing project. Your handouts can also be thumbnails of presentation visuals, if you’re using them, or relevant resources, like reprints of articles, blog posts, or a list of appropriate websites. Always conclude with a one-sheet describing your book with URL links to your blog or your book’s description on Amazon.com.
  • Landing page. Consider preparing a special landing page for each major speech, or topic that you frequently address. A landing page is a special page of your blog or website that doesn’t appear in your site’s navigation. Create a special, easy to say and spell, custom TinyUrl link to the landing page, i.e., http://tinyurl.com/DoverChamber. Use the landing page to access bonus content not available elsewhere on your site. In addition, build your list by inviting attendees to receive sample chapters of your book as you’re writing it.
  • Pre-publication offers and advance sales. Create a promotion, perhaps in concert with your marketing partners, offering special incentives to those who order your book at Amazon.com before it is published.
  • Press and media. When appropriate, post a draft of your speech in your site’s press, or media, center, along with your photograph and a photograph of your book’s front cover. Make it as easy as possible for your hosts to promote your speech and leverage your words after the speech.

Video

Whenever possible, arrange to have your speech recorded in both audio and video. (Always check with your hosts, of course, to make sure this is appropriate.)

Even if you don’t use the recording on your website, you’ll benefit from seeing and hearing yourself from the audience’s point of view.

But- -more important- -remember that videos don’t have to be long to be effective. A 20 or 30-second highlight from your speech is all that’s needed to add excitement to your website and generate more speaking invitations by presenting you as an experienced speaker.

Are you using speaking to sell more books?

Although few claim to enjoy, or look forward, to opportunities to speak, the reality is that speaking is one of the best ways to ensure the success of your book; speaking helps you plan and write a better book while building anticipation for your book’s publication. Speak about your book at every opportunity, and leverage each speaking opportunity to the maximum. How often do you speak about your book? What are some of the lessons you’ve learned? What’s keeping you from speaking more often? Share your experiences as comments, below!

Now is the time for you to begin using video to market and sell your books and build your personal brand. Video is easier than ever. In fact, the cost of getting started has dropped to zero.

That’s right: free!

I’d like to show you can start building your online video presence today, even if you haven’t had any previous video experience!

What do you need to get started?

You probably already have what you need to get started. You need:

  • A Twitter username and password. The solution I’m recommending, Screenr.com, is based on your Twitter.com username and password. Screenr will automatically notify twitter each time you publish a video. After that, you can manually ReTweet your video on your blog and website. You can also embed the HTML code for the video.
  • Microphone. You’ll also need a microphone, or headset, connected to your computer. Headsets are better because they free your hands to advance the visuals. If you already use Skype, you’re all set.
  • Presentation software. I recommend using a presentation program like PowerPoint as the foundation of your initial videos. PowerPoint makes it easy to plan, illustrate, deliver your videos, pacing the delivery of your message.

You can, of course, use MindManager mind maps, or a desktop publishing to illustrate your points as you describe them.

What is Screenr?

Screenr.com is a web-based recorder integrated with a hosting platform and close ties with Twitter.com.

Screenr eliminates the need to:

  • Buy, download, and install new software
  • Learn new software
  • Choose a hosting platform
  • Upload files after recording
  • Manually create links to each video

Screenr is part of the Articulate Group, an established e-learning firm. Articulate publishes leading e-learning software. You may already be familiar with their Rapid E-learning Blog and their Articulate Word-of-mouth Blog.

What can you do with it?

As I see it, the most important tasks Screenr helps authors do for free is:

  • Build anticipation for your book as you write it, walking readers through your book’s table of contents as you discuss your goals
  • Preview the front and back covers of your book as soon as they are finalized, showing different options and discussing why you made the decisions you did.
  • Prepare for your book launch by sharing the details of your book launch with your marketing partners
  • Walk readers through each chapter, describing the goals of each chapter as well as previewing the illustrations and reader engagement tools, like exercises and questions, to help readers put your ideas to work

The number of ways you can use Screenr to promote your book is only limited by your imagination. You can also use Screenr to share audio and video testimonials from experts and readers. You can share new information as it becomes available. And, you can drive readers to your website and build your e-mail list by showing the bonus materials you offer to readers who register.

How do you use Screenr?

Start by visiting screenr.com and watching their 1-minute video. Then, register using your Twitter.com username and password. Screenr will verify and remember your Twitter information.

To begin your first recording, press the Record Your Screen Cast Now button. This takes you to the Screenr record screen, where you’ll be prompted to resize your screen to highlight just the portion of the screen you want to record. In my case, I set the recording screen to the size of my PowerPoint presentation, as shown in the picture.

When you’re ready, press the red Record button. When you’re finished, press the green Done button.

Screenr then takes you to the Publish Your Screencast page, where you can:

  • Preview your screencast
  • Describe your screencast in 117 characters, or less
  • Tweet! your screencast and add it to the screencasts displayed on Screenr
  • Delete your screencast, so you can start all over

What’s the most important thing to remember?

If you’re new to video, the biggest surprise you’re likely to experience is how quickly 3 or 4 minutes go by! Because time flies when creating a short- -i.e., 5-minute, or less- -video, you have to limit the number of ideas and points in your videos and you must limit the number of words used to address each point.

To master the power of conciseness, I encourage you to follow a 3-step process:

  • Step 1. Use PowerPoint to create a structure. Begin each video by creating a short PowerPoint presentations, like the one shown here, to storyboard, or organize, your ideas and provide a pacing tool for narrating each slide.
  • Step 2. Prepare a “script” for each presentation. Use your favorite word processing program to select the words to accompany each of the PowerPoint slides. The script is not for you to read word-for word during your video, but simply to drill the main ideas into your brain and guide your discussion of each point.
  • Step 3. Record, preview, delete, and re-record. Don’t expect to get it right the first time. You’ll probably require multiple takes to get it right, but, that’s OK. (That’s what Screenr’s delete button is for!) Do it again and again, each time eliminating a few ideas or unnecessary words, or replacing long words with short words. Pay attention to the elapsed time indicator as you record, if you find yourself spending too much time on a slide, do some editing!

Like so many of the other skills needed during your Author’s Journey, video success is a matter of doing it over and over again until it’s right. As you work, your comfort with this new medium will quickly advance.

My first video, for example, took me about five hours to prepare. My second video, however, took less than 3 hours! Most important, the more I work with Screenr, the less time I need. I need less and less time because I’m becoming better able to judge the number of words needed to accompany each slide.

Have you been putting off video until you “have the time?”

If you have, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to build your personal brand and sell more books. Screenr is not the only option, of course, and- -at some point- -you may select a more powerful video platform. But, right now, it offers you an easy way to get started creating an online video platform and building anticipation for your book without spending any money. Share your experiences with Screenr, or any other online video solution. Share your experiences and lessons-learned with other Active Garage readers as comments, below.

Visit my Active Garage Resource Center, where you can download the script I created for my second video, plus additional worksheets for previous Author Journey topics