Posts Tagged ‘www.publishedandprofitable.com’

12 Ideas and Tips for Finishing Your Book on Time!

by Roger Parker on December 12, 2011

Here’s a list of proven daily writing ideas, habits, and tips for finishing your book on time & with minimum fuss.

Writing a book doesn’t have to take over your life! Your book doesn’t have to prevent you from participating in the activities that are important to you. Nor, do you have to suffer the stress, embarrassment, and costs of missed deadlines.

The following ideas & tips based on my experiences, the experiences of my clients, and the experiences of the 500+ successfully published authors I’ve interviewed during the past 10 years.

1.    Visualize your success

Remind yourself why you’re writing a book. Visualize yourself signing books at your local Barnes & Noble. Think how pleased you’ll be speaking at your local Chamber of Commerce, watching your friends—and your competitors–taking notes. View your growing online presence and the growth of your e-mail mailing list.

The more you visualize your success, the easier it will be to keep yourself motivated.

2.    Avoid “binge writing”

Commit to consistent progress based on short, frequent, writing sessions. Avoid the temptation for heroic gestures, like staying up all night or sacrificing weekend or vacation time with your family.

You’ll get more done in 30-45 minutes each weekday day than you would by sacrificing your Saturdays or Sundays.

3.    Make “appointments” to write

Schedule your daily writing sessions in advance. Don’t expect to write your book in the time “left over” from your daily tasks and family obligations. Identify your most productive times of the day. Commit specific starting and stopping times for your daily writing sessions. Develop your own writing habits and rituals.

4.    Prepare to write before you start

Review your writing goals as early in the day as possible. Before you leave home, or as soon after arriving at your office as possible, look over what you wrote the previous day, and review the next topics you want to address. Looking back and looking forward engages your mind, so your brain will be processing ideas while you’re driving or performing routine tasks.

5.    Isolate yourself from interruption

Engage the support of your co-workers and family. Share your writing goals and progress with the people around you. Let them know how important your daily writing goals are, and the benefits that all will share.

Close the door to your office and use your telephone answering machine to shield you from all but the most important interruptions. Avoid incoming emails until after your writing session.

6.    Focus on quality, not quantity

Express your ideas as clearly and concisely as possible. Two pages of unique content are better than ten pages that restate the obvious. Prospective book buyers will be more impressed by the relevance and helpfulness of your ideas than the weight of your book.

7.    Realistic expectations

Avoid unrealistic comparisons with published authors. Don’t compare your first drafts with a published book. You’re not in competition with them. In addition, it’s very easy to forget that published books have usually been extensively edited and rewritten. Plus, you don’t know how long they took to write their “classics.”

8.    Set a time limit for each writing session

Avoid burnout. After 45 minutes to an hour, most authors find their productivity tapers off. Leave something for you to write tomorrow!

In addition, use a timer to alert you when the end of your session is approaching. This saves time to tie up loose ends before returning to your other tasks and concerns.

9.    Avoid premature editing

Resist the temptation to self-edit yourself during your writing sessions. Your goal is to get the first draft written as efficiently as possible. There will be time, later, to review your work from a fresh perspective, making any necessary changes. Often, authors unconsciously use perfectionism as a delaying tactic to avoid

10. Avoid unnecessary risks

Always make a back-up copy of your work at the end of each writing session. In addition to backing-up your working file, print-out your latest work on 3-hole paper and add it to the 3-ring binder where you’re storing your manuscript.

11. Share your ideas with your followers

Immediately explore ways to convert latest into marketing opportunities. After backing-up your work, make a list of topics for articles, blog posts, speeches, or tip sheets based on what you’ve just written. Take action by adding these ideas to your marketing editorial calendar creating drafts of future blog posts.

12. Review your progress at the end of each day

Review what you’ve just written and your writing goals for the next day before you go to sleep. Reviewing what you’ve written will reinforce a feeling of progress. More important, reviewing your next day’s writing goals will re-engage your mind. While you’re sleeping, your brain will be searching for connections and organizing ideas. When you start to work, your brain will be primed for action.

Bonus. Don’t be a loaner

Remain open to new ideas and resources. Get help when you need it. Olympic athletes and Fortune 500 CEO’s regularly employ coaches to help them improve their focus and performance. Why should authors be any different?

What are your writing habits?

How do you keep on schedule, so you can finish writing your book on time? If I’ve overlooked an idea or tip that’s an important part of your favorite daily writing habit or ritual, please share it, below, as a comment. And, let me know how these ideas and tips work for you. We can all learn from each other’s experiences.

rcp-heming-picRoger C. Parker helps others write books that build brands. He’s written over 30 books, offers do-it-yourself resources at Published & Profitable, and shares writing tips each weekday. His latest book is Title Tweet! 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles
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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.

rcp-heming-picRoger C. Parker helps others write books that build brands. He’s written over 30 books, offers do-it-yourself resources at Published & Profitable, and shares writing tips each weekday. His latest book is Title Tweet! 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles
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Week In Review – Jun 27 – Jul 3, 2010

by Magesh Tarala on July 4, 2010

What can Cloud do for you?

by Marc Watley, Jun 28, 2010

The recent AT&T/iPad security debacle provided some sensational headlines. But that does not mean you should stay away from cloud computing. If you follow Marc’s recommendations in this post, you can adopt Cloud solutions to remain competitive and do so in a secure and highly available fashion. more…

Leadership and Mythology #8: Myth, Self-Discovery and Business

by Gary Monti, Jun 29, 2010

Tired of doing things you regret? Wonder why the behaviors continue even though they sabotage your position? Vacillate from submission to aggression when making business deals? Want to stop all this and just stay on your unique path? Wonder where the Hell that path is? Read this article to understand the three level of truth and how they tie to your Myth. more…

Social Media and Tribes #4: Tribal leadership

by Deepika Bajaj, on Jun 30, 2010

The word “tribe” has become part of the popular lexicon. If you have wondered what constitutes a tribe and how they function, this article is for you. People who end up as tribal leaders are the ones who leave the tribe better than they found them. more…

Flexible Focus #8: Memory is a slippery slope

by William Reed, Jul 1, 2010

Just like there is a learning curve, there is a forgetting curve. Without periodic review we forget what we learn and in a month’s time we retain only 20% of what we learned a month before. In this article William give describes how to use the Mandala Chart to improve retention. more…

Author’s Journey #28: Creating a marketing plan for your book

by Roger Parker, Jul 2, 2010

During the past 10 weeks, Roger’s post have covered different approaches to marketing your book, including list-building incentivesone sheets, and obtaining pre-publication quotes. This week’s article ties the previous 10 installments together and closes Part 3, Planning, by discussing the importance of creating a book marketing plan as early as possible. more…

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One sheets are single page, 8 ½ by 11-inch, marketing documents used by authors to promote their books and build their profits by attracting speaking invitations and promoting their coaching and consulting services.

One sheets can be as simple, or elaborate, as desired. You can create them using either one, or both sides, of a sheet of paper. One sheets are typically formatted and distributed as Adobe Acrobat PDF files. They can be downloaded from your website, or sent as e-mail attachments. One sheets can also be printed, or commercially duplicated, as needed for face-to-face meetings or special events.

How authors use one sheets

Here are some of the ways you can put one sheets to work:

  • Sell more books. Authors typically prepare separate one sheets for each of their book titles. Each book is typically described within the broader context of the author’s qualifications and previous publishing experience.
  • Attract more invitations to speak. One-sheets make it easy for authors to showcase their qualifications and experiences to conference planners and event organizers. You can create a generic speaker one sheet that describes the different topics you speak on, or you can prepare a different one-sheet for each specific keynote or presentation topic. See sample speaker one sheets.
  • Products and services. One sheets make a lot more sense than the typical pre-printed 2 or 3-fold brochures used for promoting events, like teleseminars, and coaching and consulting services. Because of their low cost, one sheets can be targeted for specific markets. Authors frequently use them for marketing information products like e-books, e-courses, conferences, and software templates.

Print them as you need them

In many ways, one sheets are replacing traditional 2-fold and 3-fold printed brochures. Internet distribution means there are no minimums that need to be printed, and there are no distribution delays or mailing costs.

Even better, you can quickly and easily update and target your one sheets for new products or specific prospects or market segments.

One sheet power at work

As you can see from the example of Steve Savage’s speaker one sheet, one sheets formatted as PDFs combine space for a detailed message with a lot of visual impact.

It’s important to remember that, unlike web pages, one sheets formatted and shared as Adobe Acrobat PDF file’s preserve their design and formatting when downloaded and printed on conventional desktop printers.

The ability to print and share one sheets distributed as PDFs is extremely important. For example, when an event planner wants to hire a speaker, they typically will share the author’s one sheets when seeking their boss’s and co-worker’s approval. .

Characteristics of successful one sheets

Here are some content ideas to bear in mind when creating one sheets:

  • Headline. Each one sheet should begin with an engaging headline that appeals to the prospect’s need to solve a problem or achieve a goal. The headline should summarize the problem the author’s product or service addresses, or how attendees will benefit from the product or service.
  • Benefits. Each one sheet should tell a complete story. It should provide all of the information that a book buyer, event organizer, or prospective client needs to know. Categories of information include contents, the author’s qualifications, background, and contact information.
  • Proof. One sheets should prove the author’s ability by including reader or reviewer comments, typical clients, and testimonials from previous attendees, buyers, or event planners.

One sheets can benefit from direct response copywriting techniques. The headline should engage the prospect’s interest and sell the importance of the first sentence. The first sentence should sell the importance of  the next sentence, and so on through the one sheet. The goal is to lead the prospect to the inexcusable conclusion that the speaker, product, or service represents a quality, “safe” investment.

One sheet organization and design

Design will play a major role in the effectiveness of your one sheets. Like the previous example, Steve Savage’s consulting one sheet contains a lot of text, yet it is easy to read and presents a professional, upscale image. Contributing to the success of Steve’s one sheets are design techniques like:

  • Organization. Colored backgrounds organize information into logical sections.
  • Photography. The varying size and placement of the photographs adds visual impact and communicates Steve’s energetic way of engaging audiences.
  • Chunking. Information is broken up into bite-sized pieces. Lists are used to add visual interest and communicate at a glance.
  • Subheads. New topics are introduced by subheads set in a contrasting typeface, type size, and color.
  • Consistency. A few key colors are used with restraint. The same colors are used on each of Steve’s one sheets, projecting a consistent “family look.”

Templates and one sheets

Authors should base their one sheets on templates, permitting them to “design once, produce often.”

Instead of trying to create their own one sheets from scratch, (which can lead to amateurish results), or hiring graphic designers to produce each one sheet, (which can be expensive), authors should consider hiring a professional designers to create a one sheet template they can easily modify for specific projects.

Suggestion

Start your one sheet marketing by creating a single one sheet that promotes your book and the speaking and presenting topics you offer based on your book. Later, you can prepare additional individual one sheets for specific speaking topics, products, and coaching or consulting services.

Note: for one week only, you can download my One Sheet Planning Worksheet from my special Active Garage resource page.

rcp-heming-picRoger C. Parker helps others write books that build brands. He’s written over 30 books, offers do-it-yourself resources at Published & Profitable, and shares writing tips each weekday. His latest book is Title Tweet! 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Article, Book, and Event Titles
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