Can’t Find the Time to Write Your Book or Are You Just a Slug?

After a presentation I gave recently, an attendee wrote on the evaluation form:

I had no idea all of this existed! I am very interested in writing a book buy cannot find the time. Might it be more helpful when my last child is out of the house? Or am I just a slug?

Of course, the question made me smile, but I know that plenty of people wrestle with the same issue.

They want to write a book.

They want the visibility and authority that being a published expert in their industry affords them.

But finding the time to actually sit down and write seems nearly impossible! A book is a means to an end for them, not the “be all, end all.”

So, is there a solution to this problem?

Of course there is!

Speak Your BookAnd it’s one that actually works well with business experts who want to incorporate their book into the brand.

Oftentimes, an expert talks a million times a day about their subject matter.

They speak as a form of marketing their business and building their brand.

They know their material inside and out so that they can answer questions at the drop of a hat. (Are you liking all the cliches?)

The point is, they know their stuff.

If you’re sitting there reading this, nodding your head, thinking to yourself, She could be writing this about me! you’ll be happy to know that there is a solution to your problem.

You most certainly can write your book. You don’t have to wait until your last child moves out. You simply have to be disciplined and creative, and technology these days makes it easy to do both!

My friend, Ann McIndoo, first introduced me to this concept back in 2012, and I’ve adapted it to fit my own needs and used it frequently since for myself and my clients ever since. I use it for content as short as a blog post, and as long as a book. And you can use it to write your book too.

Here’s the secret: You can speak your book!

What does that mean?

Well, if you spend a little time planning the structure of your book, creating an outline, knowing who your target audience is, you can fill in the gaps by digitally recording its content.

Personally, I use Dragon Naturally Speaking to do that. The benefit there is, it transcribes my speech for me into the written word. (I use the Premium edition rather than the home version so that I can record using my digital recorder, and then come back at a later date and plug it into the software for transcription.)

Sometimes, people prefer to simply record themselves speaking and then have their assistant or a service like Speechpad transcribe it for them.

Either way, the idea is to dictate the book’s content and have it transcribed (real-time or after the fact). With that starting point, you can either fill in any gaps you find yourself or hire a ghostwriter to help you. Then, when the content is all written, be sure to work with an editor to polish things up.

The benefit to “speaking your book” is that you can do it whenever you have a spare moment. I’ve recorded an entire chapter while driving to pick up my kids somewhere or while exercising on my stationary bike. I’ve even recorded blog posts while washing the dishes and folding laundry!

It’s really not that hard to do. And if your business would benefit from the authority that being an author and a recognized expert would lend to it, then what are you waiting for? You’re doing a disservice to your future clients and your brand if you keep putting off writing your book.

One of the greatest benefits of writing a book is that it actually helps you clarify your message, making it easier both to present your brand to others and to fill any gaps in your knowledge or services that you might have overlooked before.

Our sister company, Emerald Lake Books, offers all of the services necessary to edit, design and publish your book when you’re ready. We even do market research as well, if you need help settling on what to write about. So, if you find yourself needing help or encouragement along the way, let us know!

How Speakers and Authors Can Use Mobile Marketing

Today’s guest post is from Sophorn Chhay, an inbound marketer specializing in attracting targeted visitors and generating sales  and qualified leads. Through Trumpia’s SMS and marketing automation solution, he helps businesses and organizations communicate effectively with their customers or members.

Trumpia is offering a free Mobile Marketing Success Kit, so don’t forget to grab your free copy.

Mobile marketing offers many channels for reaching your audience, including reminding them of events and sending them special offers for your next book. It is a great way to add some oomph to your existing marketing strategies and connect personally with your followers.

Mobile marketing for authors and speakersMobile is now the primary way that people connect with the Internet, and you can take advantage of this communication stream to deepen existing relationships with your readers and find new ones.

Here are some easy ways to increase your following with mobile marketing.

1. Create an SMS marketing subscriber list.

SMS or “texting” is one of the top activities that people use a cell phone for. Texting is the most used application on smartphones, with 97 percent of U.S. users texting at least once a day.

Use this knowledge to your advantage by offering an opt-in service for your followers.

Not sure which mobile marketing platform to use? Here’s a comprehensive list of the Top 50 Mobile Marketing Tools and Platforms for Business.

You can use this an SMS service in a variety of ways. For example:

  • Send reminders of new books or upcoming presentations.
  • Let people know when you will be in town.
  • Send out alerts for your newsletter or contests on social media.
  • Inform followers of giveaways and freebies.
  • Offer free tickets to your next speaking engagement if they share your text.

Creative ideas for SMS message marketing are being thought of daily.

You can divide your list in several ways, including by location to let readers know when you will be in their local area for a meet and greet, book signing or convention.

You can also divide the list by genre, if you write or speak in more than one topic area. Send reminders only to followers for that particular genre when events come up.

Additionally, run surveys of your readers to see which of your characters they like best or which book is their favorite.

2. Optimize your website for mobile users.

Now that more people access the Internet from mobile devices than desktop computers, you should optimize your website for mobile.

Optimizing your site for mobile will not turn away desktop followers. In fact, they may not know the difference. Many people go online using both their mobile and desktop device, and can follow you on both.

The best practice for making your site mobile accessible is by changing it to a mobile responsive theme. Talk to your webmaster to see how much work that will be.

Don’t know if your site is mobile responsive or not? Visit the Google Webmasters site to check. And if you don’t have a developer who can help you, feel free to contact us. We’d be glad to do what we can.

Mobile responsive themes respond to a signal from devices, displaying your site in best fashion for each device’s screen size. They also reorder elements of the site in a predetermined configuration. This process is automatic, making the site friendlier to mobile users.

3. Use social media sites that are popular on mobile.

Some social media sites have great apps designed to make them easy to use, making it easier to access information and share content with friends.

Instagram is a mobile-only social media site that is primarily a picture/video sharing site. You can use this to promote your upcoming events and let people get to know the real you. [You do have to upload your images from your mobile device to use this app.]

Pinterest has a very sophisticated mobile app that you can use for letting people know about events, sending out quotes from your books or your inspirational messages, and sending out advance notices of your book covers. It is a very active site on desktop and mobile, and book covers are the perfect size for Pinterest images.

Depending on your topic area of expertise, you can create boards sharing recipes, offering business advice or cosplaying your main characters (dressing up and acting like them).

Facebook is used on mobile for sharing images, videos and text, and can be adapted to mobile easily. Many authors create pages to announce new books, get feedback from readers, and let people know where they are traveling for conventions. You can even send videos of yourself meeting followers or speaking, or ask people to tag you when they post their photos to Facebook of your meeting.

Just a Start

These ideas are just a beginning to the many ways to publicize your work on mobile. You will be amazed at how easy it is to add mobile marketing to your marketing strategy.

 

5 Steps to Success in Social Marketing Your First Book

”This is the first time that I’ve offered someone a Featured Author interview with whom I had no prior relationship.

Victor Prince headshotHowever, when Victor Prince reached out to me last April to see if I might support his book launch in mid-July, he did everything exactly how I tell my clients to do it.

  • He provided plenty of time.
  • He explained what his book was and why it was important.
  • He shared with me what he was offering to do.
  • He told me clearly what was in it for me, as well as for my readers.
  • He made it clear that he was willing to bend over backwards to make the whole thing as easy as possible on me.

Victor had reached out to me, I believe, because I’d co-authored a book in the same niche as the one he’s releasing, leadership. His co-author, Mike Figliuolo, had even endorsed it.

And while Victor’s original vision for how we might collaborate wasn’t exactly what fit my needs, I was impressed enough with how he was conducting his book launch outreach efforts that I asked him to share some insights with my readers.

So, here’s what he had to say… [Read more…]

Remembering What It’s All About

A friend shared a video on Facebook this morning that I found particularly inspiring. Although she shared it in the context of a responsibility that speakers have, the same message applies to authors, to coaches, to artists and to those who stand in a public spotlight sharing their thoughts and ideas with the world, in whatever medium them use.

For some creatives, we get caught up in the process of creating. Passion for our art fulfills and sustains us, and that’s enough.

The problem is, that’s a very self-focused view of what we do.

For other creatives, there’s the ego-boost that comes with having our work recognized, whether through awards or rampant sales.

And once again, it’s a very self-focused view.

That’s not to say that we ignore the business aspects of what we do, because we do need to earn a living in order to keep creating. There’s no two ways about it, unless you’re independently wealthy already.

However, we also have a responsibility. And the success of our business and the reception of our message, no matter what form it takes, can only be assured when we remember who we’re doing it all for.

If I cook a meal that looks delicious, but tastes awful, what have I accomplished?

We need to always remember the experience that we’re giving our audience. They are our customer, whether they’re paying for the experience or not.

It doesn’t matter if, as a speaker, I have an audience of 2 people or 2,000. I have to give the same performance and imbue my delivery with the same energy, because those 2 people deserve my very best.

Quality counts.

I don’t care if you’re self-publishing a book, choreographing a dance piece, giving a presentation at work, performing on TV, coaching a new client, or whatever other unique skill and talent you have to share with the world.

If you don’t take that responsibility seriously, you may as well not do it at all. Or at least, don’t try to build a business around it.

If it’s about you, it’s a hobby. If it’s about the person who’s going to experience what you have to offer, you’ve got a business.

Care to see the video that got me all fired up today? 🙂

Jamie Fox and Steve Harvey

Animoto’s 2015 Video Marketing Cheat Sheet [Infographic]

According to a recent study by Animoto, more than 7 billion videos watched each and every day on Facebook and YouTube.

You can read the press release about the Animoto Online and Social Video Marketing Study to learn more.

However, one thing is clear…

If video content isn’t part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing out! And Animoto is a great way to get started…

Consider this:

  • 4 times as many consumers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.
  • Customers are nearly 50% more likely to read email newsletters that include links to video.
  • 4 in 5 consumers say a video showing how a product or service works (or what it’s about) is important.

Remember, your book is your product. Your name is your brand. You are your company.

So, how are you going to use video to promote your topic? Share in the comments below!

”2015

An Interview with Larry Williams, Originator of the B-Sides Methodology

Larry Williams, author of Develop Your B-SidesThis month’s Featured Author is Larry Williams, a respected veteran journalist and professional speaker who shares a passion for offering cutting-edge ideas in business and personal growth that challenge conventional thinking. I especially enjoy how Larry blends his love of the music industry with his passion for helping people uncover the untapped talent they have within them.

Although Larry and I have never met in person (not even on Skype yet!), I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Larry a bit on Facebook. We met through the National Speakers Association Facebook group, and connected as friends there as well. So, when Larry started sharing about the release of his third book, Develop Your B-Sides, I definitely wanted to hear more.

Here’s what Larry had to say… [Read more…]

The Best Uses for a Book Trailer Video

I recently came across a discussion on LinkedIn where , an author and marketing associate, posted the following question:

I would very much like to hear from authors on how they use the video trailer of a book to take it to its readers. Do share.

The issue here isn’t what to do with a book trailer, it’s what to do with videos in general. Most video creators don’t pay attention to how video actually works. So, they spend the time, effort and possibly money to have a video made, but then don’t use it properly.

LightbulbHere are just a few thoughts for you on how you can get the most out of any video that you create.

Create Your YouTube Channel

First of all, make sure you have your own YouTube channel. I’m assuming if you have videos created, you’ve got one.

In the channel settings, make sure that you populate the About information, including a good profile image and cover art to make the channel engaging. That includes making sure that there are links to your website as well as to your book listing. [Read more…]

An Interview with Eva Marie Everson, Multiple Award-Winning Author and Speaker

Welcome to the New Year! I hope that 2015 is off to a great start for you. We’re starting off this year’s Featured Author interviews with the first author who I don’t actually know in person, but her work has affected me profoundly.

Eva Marie Everson - Author and SpeakerYou see our guest today is Eva Marie Everson. She is a multiple award-winning author and speaker, as well as owner of Pen in Hand, where she coaches new authors in their writing pursuits. She is also the founder of Word Weavers International, and it’s through that organization that she has had an impact on my writing and work.

Word Weavers is a writers’ group that was founded in March 1997 to provide a forum for Christian writers to critique each other’s work in a face-to-face format in order to learn about and improve our craft. [Read more…]

How to Market Your Book Yourself the Right Way

Today’s guest post is from Jennifer Landry, a dedicated web journalist living in Malibu, California. Jennifer specializes in writing articles about business, marketing and the social media landscape. You can follow her on Twitter at @jkalandry.

Start Marketing First

Jennifer Landry headshot

Jennifer Landry

This may sound counter-intuitive, but hang with me for a minute, and this will make sense. Start connecting with your potential readers long before you plan on asking them to purchase a book from you. Building your network, or as Seth Godin terms it, “your tribe” takes time.

There is only one sure way to build a tribe: consistently deliver value of some kind over and over so that people know they can trust you to deliver value over and over.

For writers, this means writing things that do one or both of two things–entertain and inform. Typically non-fiction writers work more on the “inform” end of the spectrum and fiction writers operate more on the “entertain” end. But there is no rule that says you can’t do both. The fact is, one of the reasons writing is so hard is that there aren’t really but a few rules, and they are more like general guidelines. Unfortunately, the same goes for marketing. [Read more…]

An Interview with S. Chris Edmonds, Multi-Talented Executive Consultant

Chris Edmonds - The Culture EngineI had the pleasure of getting to know this month’s Featured Author through social media these past few years although we still haven’t met in person or even spoken on the phone. (We’ll have to remedy that, Chris!)

We met through mutual contacts and interest in the Lead Change Group, which is the organization that published one of the books I co-authored, The Character-Based Leader.

S. Chris Edmonds is the founder and CEO of the Purposeful Culture Group, which he launched after a 15-year career leading and managing teams. Since 1995, he has also served as a senior consultant with the Ken Blanchard Companies. [Read more…]