Archive for News

Book marketer Lynn Serafinn has managed Amazon launches for dozens of #1 bestselling authors. Today she tells why doing a launch is NOT always the best choice.

I’m an independent marketing consultant for non-fiction authors. I started specialising in this area in 2009 because authors were asking me to develop ‘Amazon Bestseller Launches’ for their books, having seen the success I’d had launching my own publications. Over time, this developed into my company Spirit Authors. I no longer work alone, but have the pleasure of working with an experienced and organised team. Together, we have delivered full-service book launches to dozens of clients, the majority of whom attained #1 bestseller status. Our team have fine-tuned our launches into a system we could probably do in our sleep by now (and, yes, I do sometimes dream about launches).

A successful book launch can rapidly inject a business with a zing of energy not easily attainable by other kinds of marketing strategies. For example, one of my recent launch clients, Morgana Rae, says that the launch of her book Financial Alchemy, which became a #1 bestseller in 4 countries on Amazon, bringing her ‘3000 new mailing list subscribers, over 6,000 new Twitter followers’ and made her ‘a quick $30,000 in sales.’ When Morgana says ‘quick’ she means it; these benefits came to her over the course of 48 hours.

These kinds of statistics make bestseller book launches look like candy in the candy shop to authors. BUT (and there is always a ‘but’), it’s important to put it into context: such results can only come at the end of an intense 6 months of planning, organising and promotion. To the outsider the launch might look fast, exciting and glamorous, but behind the scenes it’s a lot of hard work and long work weeks for both the author and the marketing team. And, of course, employing an experienced team of 6 or more people to work hard for you over the course of half a year incurs a significant financial investment.

When I started Spirit Authors, I used to offer our book launch services to anyone who asked for them. Not any more. The more I do book launches, the more I have become a firm believer that they are NOT appropriate for everyone. While it is true that hitting #1 can be the ‘ultimate high’ for an author, if you and your business are not ready to take on the time, expense AND the follow up after a launch, you are unlikely to reap the benefits. I’ve seen some authors (not my clients!) feeling lost, depressed, broke, resentful and even ashamed after their book launch—even apparently ‘successful’ ones.

For that reason, it’s vital for authors to know whether or not this is the ‘right’ time for them to do a launch. To that end, I’d like to share what are, in my experience, the 5 most important criteria for deciding whether to go down the bestseller launch route, or to invest in a different approach to marketing your book.

Criterion #1: You must have the freedom and willingness to block out the TIME

Even ‘full service’ launches require a significant time investment from the author. There are things only the author can do such as show up to radio interviews, write or record virtual blog tour interviews, interact with fans and followers, engage with their audience through regular blog posts/newsletters and meet with the project manager to do the planning. Also, if the author is still in the throes of preparing their book for publication, there might also be many other creative or mechanical things they need to attend to, such as working with their editor or designers.

If you are employed in a full-time job or have many family obligations, trying to ‘squeeze’ in the time for all these things is going to be extremely challenging for you (and you risk serious burn-out).

Even if you are self-employed and you notionally have the flexibility to give time to the project, if you routinely have dozens of plates spinning in the air at a time, as so many creative people do, you might find it challenging to GIVE UP some of your business activities to the project. If you are used to having a chock-a-block daily calendar, you will only be able to manage a book launch if you are willing to let go of some of your obligations. A good consultant should be able to pick up on this habit and help you address it, but ultimately you have to create the time you need for the project; there’s no such thing as ‘finding’ time.

Criterion #2: You must have an established online PLATFORM

An Amazon bestseller book launch is an online marketing activity. Therefore, if you don’t have a good online presence, there is really little point in doing an online launch (unless you happen to have some sort of fame/celebrity in mainstream media). By ‘established’ online platform, I mean:

  • You are blogging at least once a week or can get started doing this right away
  • You are set up on all the major social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and possibly YouTube or other niche networks)
  • You are regularly using social networks to promote your business
  • You are ‘influential’ on at least one of these networks (i.e., have several thousand followers/contacts)
  • You have a current and targeted mailing list of at least 1000 subscribers
  • Your web traffic and page rank are healthy (a complex subject that I cannot go into here)
  • That all of the above is speaking to the SAME audience as the readers of your upcoming book. For example, if you’re known widely as a business coach and you’ve decided you want to write a young-adult sci-fi novel, you’re going to have to start working on a new platform!

If you cannot tick ‘yes’ to most of these criteria, you really should spend a minimum of 6 months to bring yourself up to this level before considering doing a book launch.

Criterion #3: You must have an established BRAND

Some people ask me whether or not being a first-time author is an important consideration in deciding whether or not to do a launch. In my opinion, being a first-time author is not an issue if the client has a well-established brand. For example, Financial Alchemy was Morgana Rae’s first book, but her brand had already been around for 10 years. People already knew who she was and what made her approach unique. But what’s more, SHE understood her ‘USP’—her unique selling point—the quality that made her brand different from others.

Having an established brand is possibly the biggest distinguishing factor between authors who fizzle out after the temporary euphoria of reaching #1 and those who truly benefit from attaining this status. A bestselling book makes a strong brand stronger. Conversely, if you have a weak, generalised or newly formed brand, your book is likely to reflect its lack of clarity, and a launch will do little if anything to make it clearer.

Those who do best with their launches are those who relate to their brand as something beyond themselves—as an entity in its own right, with its own character, personality and life-force. When your relationship with your business is clear and well-defined, and your book will be a clear, outward expression of that relationship. This is the perfect time for a book launch, even if some ‘gaps’ in your platform need to be filled before kicking off the launch planning.

Criterion #4: You must be a seasoned and spirited entrepreneur

Doing a bestseller book launch is an entrepreneurial venture. You MUST see it as part of your business and marketing budget, and know that the ‘return’ you receive from it may not be immediate, and may not even be financial (at least at first). A true entrepreneur knows this, and is prepared emotionally and financially for it.

Being an entrepreneur is something of the ‘middle way’:

  • You cannot be too rigid, always looking at the balance sheet, unwilling to invest what might seem to be a disproportionate amount of money in something that won’t necessarily pan out quickly, if at all. Panicking over every penny spent during your launch will shut you down. It will limit your creativity and deprive you of your joy, even if you DO hit #1. I’ve seen this happen many times.
  • Conversely, you cannot be too reckless, TOO willing to drive yourself into debt, spending more money than you are able to repay on something that won’t necessarily yield quick results, if any. When authors get swept away by the elusive ‘high’ they imagine they will feel by becoming a bestselling author, they can easily convince themselves that maxing out their (personal) credit cards is justifiable. This can ruin you unless you have an income stream to pay this debt back. Please don’t imagine your book sales will do this for you. Only a few #1 bestsellers make enough in royalties to cover the expense of a launch. And even if they do, it takes a good 6 months to receive your first royalty cheque.

The only way to enter into a book launch is to understand the risks, and use the influence you curry from your launch to help grow overall business. And that brings us to the fifth and final criterion…

Criterion #5: You must have a plan for building upon your success

A successful launch can result in a surge of business growth and increased media presence. But this can ONLY happen if you ‘spin it’ and make it happen. My very first launch client, Allison Maslan, took her #1 status and ran like crazy with it. Four years down the line, the woman has multiple multi-million-dollar companies and her own TV show. The expression ‘Ya gotta work it, baby!’ is an essential post-launch mantra.

Have a plan for what you want this launch to DO for you. When I wrote The 7 Graces of Marketing, I already knew I wanted to host a conference and build a community, training programme and certification programme upon it. I didn’t exactly know how that would look, but I knew that ultimate purpose of my bestseller book launch would be to set the wheels in motion for my bigger business vision.

Closing Thoughts

These days, if I feel an author is not ready for a bestseller launch, I tell them. But unfortunately, not all companies are as transparent. Many authors have written to me over the years, sharing their stories of how they were disappointed by the level of guidance, care and service they received by companies that were only out to make money from them. Use these 5 criteria to assess yourself before you call a marketing company about a book launch. Understand your own strengths and weaknesses; understand your brand and your business goals. But most of all: understand that a big book launch is NOT the only way to promote and sell your book, and that maybe your time for a big launch is when you publish your NEXT book.

Take the time to create space in your diary, build your platform and establish your brand. Get to know what kind of entrepreneur you are and who your audience is, and how you can ‘spin’ and develop your message into something bigger.

Then, when you’re ready for a book launch, drop us a line at http://spiritauthors.com/contact, at least 6 months before your proposed launch date. And if you’re NOT ready for a launch, contact us too. We can help you prepare for self-publishing and have a number of platform-building and branding packages that can help you get ready.

I hope you found this article to be helpful, and I wish you the very best of luck in your publishing adventures!

Lynn Serafinn
12th June 2013


NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Guest blogger Nancy Goodyear Virtual Assistant shares tips for writing articles that will make your audience sit up and take notice of what you have to say. 


As a Virtual Assistant, I help independent business owners build their social media presence. The biggest part of what I do is proofreading blog articles. I always approach proofreading as a reader, so I don’t just look for typos, but for readability. I read the article aloud to myself to see how the words flow, how they sound and, most importantly, so I can hear if the article makes sense.

In my work with clients, I have noticed that many new bloggers tend to make the same mistakes. For that reason, I’d like to share my top 7 tips for writing blog articles that are informative and easy to read.

TIP 1: Know WHO you are writing for

Although this may seem self-evident, you must always remember that you are writing for someone else—your reader! But this is often all too easy to forget when you are absorbed in getting your idea down on paper.

Before you start writing, ask yourself Who is my reader? They’re probably your customers or potential customers. They’re probably people who share similar beliefs and values to you. Or, they might be people who are simply curious and want to know more about you and what you stand for.

If you know who your reader is, it will be easier to imagine them as you write. If you find it difficult to think of them as a group, you might find it easier to imagine a single reader and write just for that person.

TIP 2: Know WHAT you are writing about

Be really clear what you want to tell your reader. What do you want them to learn from this article? If you don’t pin this down before you start writing, your article will be vague, and is likely to go off on tangents and be hard for your reader to follow.

Take the time to plan your article so you know it will do its job when it’s done. Once you know the message of the article – STICK TO THE POINT! If you find yourself straying off the point but you don’t feel you want to delete the tangent and move on, save the subject of your tangent for a future article.

Also, consider the impact you want your article to have on your reader. Do you want to make them think about something in a different way? Do you want to make them angry about some injustice in the world? Or do you want to warm their hearts and make them smile. Again, if you know the answer to these questions before you start, it will flavour your article as you write it and you will be able to assess whether you have achieved that when the article is finished.

TIP 3: Remember that your reader is NOT a mind reader

You might know your subject matter inside-out and back-to-front, but remember that your readers probably do NOT share your same insight. They don’t necessarily know you personally so they don’t know what you think or feel. They don’t share your experiences or knowledge or even your opinions about your subject. And yet, it’s really easy to make intellectual leaps without realising it, leaving your poor reader wondering whether they’ve missed something. In the worst cases, you’ll leave the reader not being able to understand the most crucial point of your article, because you assumed they ‘got’ what you meant without really explaining it.

This is when having someone else proofread your articles come in handy. An objective reader is in a much better position to see what needs further explanation and what doesn’t.

If you have an international audience, also consider the examples you give. I recently proofread an article that referred to American TV networks and TV programmes. As a Brit, I didn’t have a clue what they meant. The author of the post was American and hadn’t realised the names wouldn’t mean anything at all to a UK audience.

The same applies to acronyms and jargon that is specific to your field. Don’t assume your average reader will know what they mean. At the very least write acronyms out in full the first time you use them. And simply try to avoid using jargon. Jargon could be specific technical words or words that are in everyday use that are used in a different way in your field.

NB: if something needs explanation and the explanation doesn’t seem relevant to the article, then consider the possibility that the point is actually an unnecessary tangent and remove it.

TIP 4: Don’t make your reader WORK too hard

It is important to use sentences that flow nicely, which are neither too long nor too short.

Sentences that are too short are choppy and unsettling. There is no flow to the article and it can be hard to see how one sentence links to the next.

On the other hand, very long sentences can be incredibly confusing for your reader. If you use too many sub clauses (phrases between commas that explain what came before), or too many brackets, or too many lists (like I’m doing here) it can be really hard for your reader to follow the thread of the sentence. Sometimes when I’m proofreading, in order to understand the basic message of the sentence, I have to read it leaving out all the extra bits so I can see what the sentence is actually saying.

You might feel that all of these extra bits and pieces are necessary to make sure your reader has all the information they need in order to understand the article, but this information will be lost if it is presented in such a way that the poor reader has to concentrate hard just to piece it all together.

Making your readers work too hard will backfire on you, as they will probably give up before reaching the end of your article, and will be unlikely to return to your site another day.

TIP 5: Have the COURAGE of your convictions

As the author of a blog article, you are the teacher teaching the message of your article. As the teacher it’s up to you what you put in and what you leave out. You need to decide what is essential to this article for this audience at this time and what can be left out or saved for a follow up article.

Too often, people try to get everything into their articles and end up with long lists of examples, lots of explanatory sub-clauses, lots of tangents and too many either/or’s. You can over-explain for fear of leaving something out or offending someone or being challenged on what you’re saying. If you fall into this trap, you run the risk of seeming uncertain of your message and you will certainly dilute the power of your message by making it too hard for your reader to follow it.

The antidote to this is to practice the Grace of DIRECTNESS (from Lynn Serafinn’s book The 7 Graces of Marketing). A good exercise, if you have this tendency, is to decide what you want to say and say it by the most direct route, that is in the fewest possible words. It will probably look very bare and blunt but you can flesh it out later with adjectives and explanation where it’s needed in order to make it flow.

TIP 6: Be Mindful of the Impact of Your PRONOUNS

This is a subtle one. Perhaps you want to write an article that challenges the way your reader thinks or what they believe. There’s nothing wrong with this. But sometimes your choice of pronoun can create the impression you are accusing or attacking your readers, or making them ‘wrong ‘. For example, if you use the pronoun ‘you’ you are removing yourself from the sentence. In doing so, you can sound accusatory, i.e., ‘You are wrong, I am right ‘.

On the other hand, if you use the pronoun ‘we’ you are including yourself in the sentence. Sometimes, this can sound a bit too cosy or can even be inappropriate if you are not actually part of the group you are talking about. There’s nothing wrong with saying something like ‘We’re in this together’ if you are talking about ‘we, the human race’. But if you are, for example, a man talking specifically about women’s experiences, saying ‘we’ is inappropriate and perhaps even a bit patronising.

If you use the pronoun ‘I’ you are excluding your audience and it can sound too personal and confessional if you’re not careful. It’s useful if you are sharing a personal anecdote to illustrate a point but can be too much like a rant if you write a whole article about something like the destruction of the planet entirely from your own perspective.

TIP 7: Inspire with your PASSION

In TIP 2, I carefully avoided suggesting that you might want to inspire your reader with your article. The reason for this is that I believe if you set out to inspire you are likely to fall flat on your face. You will be tempted to use words like ‘amazing ‘, ‘life-changing ‘, ‘awesome ‘ and even  ‘inspirational ‘. You will be tempted to use loads of bold, shouty fonts, and loads of exclamation marks!!!!!!!!

The truth is, if you set out to inspire, it can sound really bossy and fake. Neither of which are particularly inspirational. When you write like this, your reader will think, Yeah, so what?! Stop telling me what to feel, stop telling me how I’m supposed to respond to this article, I’ll make my own mind up, thank you!

You can’t tell someone to be inspired any more than you can tell them to love you. But inspiration itself IS contagious. If you really want to inspire your reader, write about something that inspires you. Let your passion and inspiration shine through your words. Show your readers how YOU are inspired by whatever it is you are writing about. In this way, they are more likely to be ‘infected’ by your inspiration.

Closing Thoughts

The best advice I can give you is this: once you’ve finished writing your article, read it aloud to yourself (or even better get someone else to read it for you). This will tell you:

  • How the words will sound to your reader
  • Whether it is easy to understand
  • Whether there are any bits that need more (or less) explanation
  • Whether you’ve gone off on a tangent
  • Whether you’ve been too wishy-washy and timid in your message
  • Whether it sounds too aggressive or argumentative
  • Whether you have succeeded in saying what you set out to say
  • Whether you have managed to create the impact you intended

I help independent business owners and authors with their blog articles every day of the week. My aim is to get their message out to the right audience through regular blogging and social media, so their businesses and sales can flourish. For this to happen, their blog content must be relevant, understandable and well-received. These 7 tips are essential ingredients to achieve this.

If you would like to explore the many benefits of strategic blogging, I invite you to contact Lynn and me at Spirit Authors to discuss our Platform Builder packages. These are 13-week programmes where we work with you to create an effective blogging strategy for YOUR audience, and support you by doing a lot of the ‘legwork’ to get your articles edited, proofed, published and distributed to your network. To speak to us about our Platform Builder packages, drop us a line via the contact form on this site and we can set up a free 30-minute consultation.

If you have found this article useful, please SHARE it and leave a comment below.

Nancy V Goodyear
5th June 2013

Nancy V Goodyear is Virtual Assistant & Life Coach who loves to help social entrepreneurs and small business owners get organised. With a BA (Hons) in Learning Disability Nursing, she has extensive professional experience working in health & social care within the non-profit sector. She is fluent in French having lived in France for some time. She is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute and the Co-Active Leadership programme. She is especially enthusiastic about creating and nurturing innovative business relationships and partnerships, both within and between companies and sectors. Her over-riding aim in all her work is to help you create space so you can focus on reconnecting to who you are and how this awareness relates to your business, what you and your business need, and your dreams, passions and desires.

 

 


NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU
Categories : News, Writing & Editing
Comments (4)

 Book coach and marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn shares her top tips for creating a book title that invites your ideal audience to check out what’s inside. 


We think of authors as masters of words. Yet dozens of authors have told me that they feel at a loss for words when it comes to nailing a great title and subtitle for their non-fiction book.

Coming up with a great title and subtitle for a non-fiction book is a real art. Personally, I love it and it’s one of my favourite activities during my clients’ sessions. It’s not uncommon to spend an entire 2-hour session helping to ‘tease’ the title and subtitle out into the open. The perfect words almost always come from something they say randomly and spontaneously. I listen very carefully, taking lots of notes, and then play around with the rhythm and sound of the words until something just ‘hits’. When I get it right, the response from the client is truly rewarding. Most say they ‘feel chills’ or say that their eyes are welling up. That’s when you know the title is a winner.

A great title is not only for your audience; it’s also for YOU, the author. I believe it’s important to get your title right as early as possible in the writing process because a great title isn’t just something for the cover of the book; it can often GIVE you the shape of the book and bring cohesion to the subject. I worked somewhat aimlessly for 6 months on what was later to become The 7 Graces of Marketing. As soon as the ‘hook’ of the ‘7 Graces’ came to me, the shape, structure and focus of the book became immediately apparent, and gave power and impact to my writing.

An effective non-fiction title has two equally important components: the title and the subtitle. Let’s look at each of them in turn.

The Title of Your Book Should be the ‘HOOK’

  • It should contain the ‘brand’, the gimmick, the USP (unique selling point) or the paradigm of the book.
  • It should be able to ‘hook’ the mind of the reader so they cannot confuse it with other book titles.
  • It should not contain words that are too vague or too common or whose meaning could just as easily refer to something completely different.

In pop music, the ‘hook’ refers to the part of the song that people can’t forget. It could be a single line, an instrumental riff or the chorus that they go away humming or hearing in their heads. Similarly, your book title has to have that ‘stickiness’ so it stays with the reader and identifies this book as unique amongst all other books.

I get frustrated when clients come to me and have already become ‘attached’ to what is actually a very weak title for their book. Weak titles are those that are so vague or common that they don’t really identify the book as a unique entity. Your title needs to be memorable to the potential reader. If they don’t remember it, they won’t be able to find it in order to buy it.

The Subtitle of Your Book Should be the ‘PROMISE’

  • It should tell the reader exactly WHAT your book is about.
  • If possible, it should tell the reader WHO the book is for.
  • It should contain KEYWORDS that will appear in searches if people are looking for a particular topic.

In choosing your subtitle, avoid clichés, over-used jargon, and fluffy language. The subtitle needs to be substantive and clear, and should contain all the information the reader needs in order to decide whether or not they want to look inside your book. Notice I said ‘look inside’ not ‘buy’. ‘Looking inside’ could include actually leafing through the book (remember, Amazon has its ‘look inside’ feature), downloading a sample chapter, reading reviews, product description or perhaps even your author biography. A great subtitle is an invitation for readers to step in and check out ‘the promise’ of what they will find inside.

Listening to the Sound and Rhythm of Your Title

Maybe it’s because I come from a musician’s background, but to me, choosing a title and subtitle is not only about getting the right words, but also getting the right sound and rhythm of the words.

The ‘sound’ of a title has to do with the words themselves. Sometimes words say exactly what you mean them to say, but they’re damnably difficult to pronounce when you put them next to each other. I wrote an article recently called ‘Left-Brain Blogging for Right-Brain Marketers’. It’s a great article (and I love the title), but I noticed when I mentioned it in an online broadcast recently, it was like a tongue-twister (try it for yourself). It’s a great title for a blog post, but it could prove awkward for a book title.

The ‘rhythm’ of a title has to do with rise and fall of the words, the number of syllables and the strong/weak accents within them. How does your subtitle ‘feel’ when you say it aloud? Does it feel too long? Too short? Is there a musical quality to it that makes it pleasant to say? Does it feel like it should have ended a few syllables earlier?

If you’re not sure why sound and rhythm are important, think about being on the radio or TV. It does no good at all if the title of your book is likely to get you or your host all tongue-tied or stumbling over extra syllables. Besides, even when we read words on a page without speaking them aloud, we tend to ‘say’ them in our heads. If a title is hard to say out loud, it will also be hard for people to remember.

Examples of Non-Fiction Titles That Work

Below are a few examples of non-fiction titles that I think work nicely. Of course, I’m partial to some of them because I thought them up! Have a look at them and examine them for the ‘hook’, the ‘promise’, the ‘sound’ and the ‘rhythm’ of each one. I’ve intentionally NOT included the covers of the books, so you don’t ‘judge the title by the cover’.

EXAMPLE 1

Here’s the title of the latest book from former director of Friends of the Earth, Tony Juniper. To me, it’s one of the best non-fiction titles of the year (and one of the best non-fiction books of the year too). Notice how both the title and subtitle are plays upon common expressions, but with a twist that would immediately invite anyone interested in ecology, environmentalism or sustainability to pick up the book for a closer look.

TITLE (HOOK):
What Has Nature Ever Done for Us?

SUBTITLE (PROMISE):
How Money Really Does Grow on Trees

If you’re enticed by this title, you can find it on Amazon.com here: http://amzn.to/ZJJdxh

EXAMPLE 2

Here’s the title of one of my own books. Note how the title gives the paradigm (which is now a brand), and how the subtitle shows the promise and explanation of what the book is about. Say it aloud; I think you’ll feel there’s a musical rhythm to the title.

TITLE (HOOK):
The 7 Graces of Marketing

SUBTITLE (PROMISE):
How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell

Find this book at http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/book

EXAMPLE 3

Here’s another one of my book titles. In this case, I’ve made up my own word for the title that is a play on the slang word ‘Tweep’ (meaning someone who uses Twitter) and the word ‘delicious’. It’s a playful, brandable word that enabled me to create a playful feel to the book cover and all the branding associated with the book. A more ‘functional’ title like ‘How to Use Twitter’ would have given it no life of its own, and would not have been a ‘hook’. The subtitle tells exactly what the book is about and who the book is for. While the subtitle is longer than I would normally recommend, part of its length was due to me wanting to get the title and subtitle to be exactly 140 characters, like a Tweet.

TITLE (HOOK):
Tweep-e-licious!

SUBTITLE (PROMISE):
158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Find this book at http://tweepelicious.com

EXAMPLE 4

Here’s a title I came up with for my client Erica Tucci, whose book is coming out in November 2013. Again, the title itself conveys the ‘USP’ and brand of the book, where ‘Radiant Survivors’ pertain not only to the storytellers within the book, but the readers. Notice how the subtitle not only contains the ‘promise’, but is loaded with appropriate keywords for this book.

TITLE (HOOK):
Radiant Survivor

SUBTITLE (PROMISE):
How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences.

By the way, as she is still in recovery herself and still living on disability benefits, Erica is running a crowd-funding campaign to help her raise funds to publish this book. I encourage you to check it out and support her if you can at http://radiantsurvivor.com.

Closing Thoughts

The title of your non-fiction book contributes greatly to its success or failure. A great title can become the foundation of a long-term brand that underpins everything you do, speak about or represent.

Never rush through the process or ‘settle’ on a title just because you cannot come up with anything better. Just as you wouldn’t dream of giving your newborn child some throw-away name, don’t be nonchalant about choosing your title.

As I said at the beginning of this article, although gifted with words, many authors I meet find it difficult to tease out a great title on their own. Often they are too immersed in the subject matter to be able to take a ‘meta view’ of what they are creating. They also jump directly into their left-brain by ‘trying’ to think of a title, rather than allowing one to reveal itself from the cosmic soup of Creation. They also may not understand the impact their title or subtitle has upon their reading audience (or they may not know enough about who that audience is).

The bottom line about book titles is this:

Your title is the MOST important ‘marketing tool’ for your book.
Get it wrong, and everything else will suffer.
Get it right, and everything else will become easy.

Gaining clarity about your USP, your brand, your ‘promise’, your audience and your key message is absolutely essential before the ‘perfect’ title will emerge. This clarity already lies within you, whether you are aware of it or not. If you find it difficult to tap into that clarity on your own, working with a good book coach can often help.

I hope you found the information in this article helpful. Please let me know by leaving a comment below.

And, of course, if you’d like to speak with me about working together to fine-tune your title, brand, audience, marketing platform or book promotion strategy, drop me a line via the contact form on this site at http://spiritauthors.com/contact and we can set up a (free) 30 minute consultation to discuss your needs.

Lynn Serafinn
30th May 2013

 


NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU
Categories : News, Writing & Editing
Comments (1)

Author and marketer Lynn Serafinn shares her 12-step template for turning your articles into great content for your readers and effective marketing tools for you. 

I work as a marketing consultant for non-fiction authors. Most of my clients come to me with the same problem—they want to build their online marketing platform so they can ‘get the word out’ to the world about their book. For this to happen, it’s vital that we create, define or refine their brand.

Your brand is not just about your book; nor is defining your brand just about getting the right name, logo and colours. Your brand is a profile of who you are. It’s about your values and your mission. It answers questions like:

  • What do you stand for?
  • What is the change you want bring to the world?
  • What value does your book or company bring to humanity and planet?

Armed with this level of self-awareness, an author can then begin the greater work of communicating their brand to the public. In a nutshell, that’s what marketing is.

One of the key methods I encourage my clients to use to communicate with their audience about their book is blogging. Blogging (especially for people who are naturally inclined to write) is one of the most expressive, creative and effective ways to reach your intended audience and allow them to get to know your brand intimately. But a surprising number of authors have no idea how to write an effective blog that a) reinforces their brand and b) ‘sells’ their book without turning into a schmoozy sales letter.

In this article, I’m gong to give you a 12-step template for writing an effective blog that can give genuine value to your readers, build greater connection between you and your audience, and serve as a marketing piece for your book without diminishing the integrity of your message.

STEP 1: Choose Your Topics Strategically

To make blogging work as a marketing strategy, you need to put yourself in your audience’s shoes. What are they looking for? What problems are they trying to solve? What do they love, hate, fear, desire? See the world through their eyes.

Then, ask yourself this: How does your book address their problems? What expertise do you have that can meet their needs? Make a list of topics and break them into sub-topics. Try to come up with at least 20 ideas. If you blog only once a week, that’s nearly 6 months’ worth of value-driven content ideas.

STEP 2: Put Your Message in the Title

I spoke about this in another article I wrote on my 7 Graces of Marketing blog called ‘Left-Brain Blogging for Right-Brain Marketers’. So many writers I meet do not understand the importance of landing the right title for your blog article (or book, for that matter). Being cute, colourful or poetic doesn’t necessarily work in blogging. If your title doesn’t say exactly what a reader will find in the article, they are unlikely to check it out. Remember, the viral nature of blogging is highly dependent upon people sharing your article on social media and bookmarking sites. Even if someone does share your post, if the title doesn’t speak to their followers and readers, they won’t be inclined to click their link to check it out.

For your blog post to be an effective marketing tool, make sure you SAY what the article is about in the title. Put keywords in the title that will show up in searches if people are trying to find specific information. Finally, try to make your title no longer than 60 characters long (including spaces). The reason for this is that many search engines will cut off after 60 characters. If you need to make the title longer than 60 characters, make sure the crux of the message and the most important keywords are before the 60 character point.

I give a lot of care and attention to creating titles for my blogs. Have a look at the title of this article as an example:

  • TITLE: How to Sell Your Book or Service by Writing Great Blog Posts
  • It is EXACTLY 60 characters
  • The overall topic/message is contained in the title
  • The title is keyword rich and the keywords are all relevant to the topic of the article
  • The title reflects a topic that is relevant to the needs and interests of my reading audience (authors and business owners looking for creative and ethical ways to marketing themselves online)

STEP 3: Choose a Good, Royalty-Free Image

Always include an image in your blog post that reflects the subject and feel of your article. I encourage authors to put this image at the top of the article on the left-hand side. Make sure it is listed as the ‘featured image’ if your blog has that function.

Search engines love rich media like images and videos, but images also make your article more attractive when shared on social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn, and encourages people to ‘pin’ your post on Pinterest.

Make sure your image is ‘royalty free’. Do NOT pinch images by doing a Google image search. This means you might have to pay for your images, but if you blog once or twice a week, the investment is no more than the cost of a cappuccino at your favourite coffee shop. Here are some good royalty free sites (some of these are my affiliate links):

123rf.comRoyalty free images. Pay as you go or subscribe. http://www.123rf.com/#teknochik.

iStockPhoto. Royalty free images. Pay as you go or subscribe. http://bit.ly/OM8rqW.

DreamsTime. Free and inexpensive royalty free images. http://bit.ly/12VLCu8

STEP 4: Start with a ‘Teaser’

I think it’s a good idea to start your article with a ‘teaser’ that summarises what you’re going to talk about in the article and WHY. This teaser should be only 1 or 2 sentences, preferably no longer than 160 characters in length (with spaces). Make sure the teaser is a complete, self-contained thought, and is not just the first line of your article.

The reason for the 160 character teaser again has to do with search engines and sharing. When an article is displayed on search engines like Google and on social media sites like Facebook, you will see the title of the article and a short description of it. Unless you have your SEO (search engine optimisation) defined in your blog post, that description will typically be the first 160 characters of your article. Rarely (if ever) will your first 160 characters say anything of meaning about the context of the rest of the article. Putting in a ‘teaser’ ensures that people will know precisely what your article is about.

Note how the 160 character ‘teaser’ in this article stands up on its own, enabling readers to know exactly what they will find if they click the link:

Author, marketer Lynn Serafinn shares her 12-step template for turning your articles into great content for your readers and effective marketing tools for you.

Put your teaser in bold italics at the beginning of your article. This will set it apart from the main body of your post, and allow your audience to get a quick idea of what the article is about before reading.

The teaser is also another chance for you to use relevant keywords, making your blog post more likely to be picked up in Google searches.

BONUS TIP: If you are a WordPress user, I recommend using a plug-in called ‘All in One SEO’. Then, in addition to entering your title and keywords, you can use this teaser for the meta ‘description’ of the post.

STEP 5: Present the PROBLEM

After your teaser, start your article by presenting the ‘problem’ you are going to address in the article. Say what the problem is and why people need a solution to it. This doesn’t have to be very long or complicated; a few sentences or a short paragraph is perfectly fine.

Then, after you’ve presented the problem, tell the audience how you intend to address this problem in the rest of the article. This is important because it helps ‘filter’ your audience: those who don’t care about the topic will click away and those who are really interested will keep reading. And here’s the secret: the more ‘filtered’ your audience becomes, the more defined they become. And the more defined your audience is, the more clearly defined your brand becomes in their eyes.

STEP 6: Present the SOLUTION or ANSWER to the Problem

This section is the main body of your article. It is the place where you demonstrate your wisdom or expertise by addressing the ‘problem’ you identified.

How long does this need to be? That really depends upon what you ‘promised’ in the previous step. For example, at the top of this article I said I would give you a 12-step template, so that automatically defined how long this article would be. But I tend to write long articles and certainly your blog posts don’t need to be as long as mine. For example, I asked one of my clients to write an article explaining the meaning of two symbols from her book. Notionally, she only had to write one paragraph for each of these symbols.

TIP: Don’t go off the topic in your blog post. If you presented a problem, stick to addressing it and don’t go off on a tangent. If you find yourself wanting to talk about things that aren’t really related to the problem you presented, save those ideas for a different article.

STEP 7: SUMMARISE the Importance of What You Discussed

After you’ve presented your ‘solution’ write a paragraph that summarises how you fulfilled the promise of the article, and highlights the importance or usefulness of the subject at a wider level. What can this bring us? How does it help us? How does it add to our lives? What’s the bigger vision?

For example, my summary at the end of this article will talk about how good blogging can bring authors and business owners to ‘sell without selling’.

STEP 8: SHORT Mention of Your Book

After all that is done, give a brief mention of your book, relating it to the topic you just discussed. This should NOT be a ‘sales pitch’ but an invitation to the reader to get to know more about you and what you offer by letting them know you have more to give. Try to keep this to a single sentence (two at most).

STEP 9: ‘Call to Action’ 1: SUBSCRIBE REQUEST

In a single sentence, tell your readers what they can expect from future articles, and invite them to subscribe to your blog.

TIP: Be SURE you have an email subscription box set up via Feedburner, JetPack or other subscription service).

STEP 10: ‘Call to Action’ 2:  ENGAGEMENT

Always encourage your readers to leave comments on your site. This helps build stronger connection with them, and it also gives you feedback about how they feel about your content. Start your request by saying something like ‘I’d love to hear about your own experience’, or ‘I’d love to know what you think about this topic’, etc. Then, simply ask them to leave a comment in the comments box.

STEP 11: Make it Easy for Your Readers to Share and Follow

Be sure to have links to your social media profiles like Twitter or Facebook, and invite people to connect with you. Be sure you also have a good sharing plug-in installed so people can share your article. If you want, you can encourage them to share the article by saying something like, ‘If you liked this article, please share it with your friends.’

STEP 12: Bio and Headshot

This is a step too many bloggers overlook. It is HIGHLY important for people to know something about the author of the article they’ve just read. Without this, they cannot form an opinion about the value of your content, your book or brand. It’s wrong to assume that people know who you are just because they came to your website. It’s your responsibility to give them this information.

I recommend ending EVERY blog post with a short bio and headshot. This is because your reader will be busy asking many ‘why’ questions:

  • ‘Why’ is this person talking about this particular subject?
  • ‘Why’ should I believe in what this person has to say?
  • ‘Why’ should I come back to this site in the future?
  • ‘Why’ should I check out what else this author does (their book, their business)?

Closing Thoughts

Short-term sales might come from sales pages, but long-term customers come through TRUST. Writing effective blog posts on a regular basis is one of the best (and easiest) ways I know to build that trust. The more your audience gets to know you, your ideas and what you stand for, the more they come to trust your advice and your integrity.

The beautiful thing about blogging is that it is a way to ‘sell without selling’. When you share your wisdom, insight, experience, information or expertise on your blog, you are not only giving value to your audience, but you are also building awareness about yourself as a non-fiction author, business owner or service provider. Thus sales become an organic—rather than an aggressive—by-product of this interaction between you and your readers.

In my book The 7 Graces of Marketing, I refer to ‘The Grace of Inspiration’ as being the antidote to the ‘Deadly Sin of Persuasion’. I believe content blogging is a prime example of ‘Inspiration’—where we share our wisdom, ideas and expertise freely. Inspiration breathes life into our readers and customers, rather than hitting them over the head, as so many ‘old school’ marketers do. This shift away from Persuasion to Inspiration is part of the new paradigm I explore in that book.

Of course, to get the word out about our blogs, we need a way of broadcasting them to the world. In my book Tweep-e-licious, I offer many practical strategies for how to use Twitter to promote your blog to your ideal audience.

AND…if you’re serious about building your business through blogging you might consider our Spirit Authors Platform Builder packages (Starter Package or Growth Package). That’s a 13-week programme where we work with you to create an effective blogging strategy for YOUR audience, and support you by doing a lot of the ‘legwork’ to get your articles edited, proofed, published and distributed to your network. To speak to us about our Platform Builder packages, drop us a line via the contact form on this site and we can set up a free 30-minute consultation.

The 12-step template I showed you today is exactly the same one I use and teach my clients. I hope you’ll give it a try and that it helps to strengthen your brand, and increase your following and your sales. Please share this information with your friends if you found it useful.

And as always, I welcome your comments, feedback and thoughts for future articles below.

Lynn Serafinn

22nd May 2013

 


 

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Today, guest blogger Karen Rowe—author, editor and ghostwriter—shares 4 key differences between the top 1% of authors and those who struggle to complete their books or make a living at writing.


According to the book The Millionaire Next Door approximately 3 percent of households in the United States have a net worth in excess of $1,000,000. And that net worth is accompanied by a minimum annual income just over $135,000 per year, with an average income of $260,000. Their income alone would place them in the top 3 percent of all American households.

Similarly, authors like J.K. Rowling, Dean Koontz and Stephen King represent less than 1% of the author population, and have book sales in excess of $300 Million.

So what’s the difference between top authors and those who struggle to make a living at it…or even to get their book completed?

DIFFERENCE #1: They set clear, definable goals

The big difference is that the 3 percent group prepared written goals with specific plans for reaching those goals. Not very many people are willing to do that.  

The best way to become a successful author is to start by creating some goals for your book. Ideally you want to create a list, five or ten goals at the very least, that you wish to achieve by publishing your book.

You also want to create goals surrounding your marketing: How many bloggers do you want to reach? How many events do you want to do? Who are you going to connect with to help you promote your book, etc.

A gentle reminder: Setting a goal for the number of books you want to sell should be at the bottom of your list, right before ‘Get Rich and Famous.’ See my earlier article, ‘7 Biggest Lies Writers Tell Themselves About Their Books’ for more on this.)

You won’t get sales without exposure.  The standard in marketing is that people need seven impressions of your book, message, or product before they will consider buying. Your goals should be aligned with that focus: getting as many impressions or pieces of exposure as you can. It’s not a matter of ‘What one thing will I do to get 100 people to buy my book’, but ‘What 100 things can I do to get one person to buy my book?’ Get enough exposure and book sales will follow.

DIFFERENCE #2: They stay focused

Focus is what separates the successful author from the one who flounders and does not complete or ever publish a book.

Authors are creative and as such, we have no shortage of ideas, we love to start new projects … Squirrel! … jot down ideas on scraps of paper … and then what? Move on to another bright, shiny object. I have dozens – if not hundreds—of half-started blog posts or book ideas which I’m only just now starting to do something with. But many authors suck at systems, schedules, time management, discipline, and most of us are lousy at self-promotion.  So we get distracted, and have a hard time with follow-through and completion. If you have to work with someone to stay focused it could be the best money you spend, ever.

Which brings me to the following point…

DIFFERENCE #3: They know what they’re good at, and what they’re not 

Successful authors build a strong team to help them with what’s not working.

This has been a tough one for me. I am a starter, a big picture thinker. What I’m NOT is a detail-oriented person or a “finisher.” This is not good or bad; it’s simply what is so. This means I’m a really great at conceptualizing. I can carry the vision for my clients’ books, help them get clear about what they want and create a plan. I’m also a strong substantive, or content, editor – the part where I get to sink my teeth into the ideas, the flow, the overall message and tone for the book and offer critical feedback.

Time and experience have taught me that I need a team of people around me who are detail-oriented finishers for the rest. You know these people: they are the organizers, it comes naturally to them, and they love it. These are my proofreaders and copyeditors, my executive assistants and my director of operations.  I surrounded myself with these people because I know the success of my project creative projects depends upon having them on my team.

You need people around you who are good at what they do and who know what they’re doing because they have value and expertise that you don’t. Respect their work and respect their time. Work to their strengths—and to yours.

DIFFERENCE #4: They welcome and encourage feedback

Authors who are willing to listen and learn and get valuable input to make their work better are often more successful than authors who refuse to listen to the advice of professionals who have been in the industry forever.

Authors can frequently become emotionally attached to their work, their cover art or an idea that may be standing in the way of their own success. Surround yourself with people who aren’t afraid to tell you the truth. They might tell you something you don’t want to hear, but this will help you more than any ego-stroking in the world. The market will tell you in no uncertain terms whether or not your work is good. You might as well hear it while there is still time to improve it.

THE BOTTOM LINE: Can these tips guarantee you’ll be the next Stephen King?

Of course not! But applying these tips will get you further ahead. Set goals, stay focused, work to your strengths, work with people who can do what you’re NOT good at and ditch the ego trip so you can get good, solid feedback about your work. These are BASIC principles of working within the book business.

And remember—writing and publishing books IS a business. Creating and using a solid business model for your writing profession will put you light years ahead of 99% of the authors of the estimated 300,000 books published every year. But that’s a subject for another article.

I hope you found these tips to be useful. I welcome your feedback below.

Note from Lynn Serafinn: Karen Rowe and I will be co-presenting a webinar called ‘9 Months to Birth Your Book’ on Thursday August 8th 2013. Be sure to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog to hear more about it in the coming weeks.

ABOUT KAREN ROWE
A two-time published author, Karen is the owner of Front Rowe Seat, a training company for writers and business owners. She is an expert in non-fiction and can help you position yourself as a Leading Authority in your niche. Karen develops professionally written and designed books, done-for-you in 90 days. She has ghostwritten books for some of the most fascinating people in the world but, as a ghostwriter, she can’t tell you who any of them are! The key to a successful ghostwriter is absolute discretion. What she CAN tell you is that her clients include an actor, and a gold-medal Olympian and some of the top self-help leaders in the industry. Read more of Karen’s content-rich blog posts at http://www.KarenRowe.com/category/blog

 


NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU
Categories : News, Writing & Editing
Comments (1)

Author Glenn M Smith

Glenn M Smith, Canadian spritual teacher and author of ‘The Lotus Petal’, has passed away at age of 55. All of us at Spirit Authors remember him with love as a friend and long-term network partner.

Today I received the sad news of the passing of our dear friend Glenn M. Smith, who left this physical plane at the age of 55 on Thursday 9 May 2013.

Raised on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada, Glenn and his soul-mate Sharon lived in Huntsville, Ontario. He was also a loving father and grandfather. Yesterday on Facebook, Sharon posted this message to Glenn’s friends:

To Friends of Glenn,
My beloved passed away yesterday morning. This is what he wanted me to share: “No matter trying everything, and others saying that I would overcome this, I was obviously meant to die. I am not this physical body. My heart and soul will always be here with Sharon. She was the best thing that ever happened to me. She and I loved, explored, had fun, and lived a very good life over the last 7 years. At the end of the day, all there is, is love.”

 Thank you for all your expressions of sympathy and memories of Glenn. He was the love of my life and a truly extraordinary human being.

~ Sharon Miller

Glenn Smith was a spiritual teacher, massage therapist, hypnotherapist and author who called himself a ‘sensitive new age male’. In 2009, Glenn published his book The Lotus Petal, a novel, which told the tale of a boy who sets out on a journey of learning, self-discovery and mystic knowledge. Glenn called it a ‘spiritual parable that is meant to both entertain and educate the reader’.

Earlier in life, Glenn overcame chronic anxiety related problems through meditation. He also had a near-death experience, after which he noticed he no longer had a fear of death, and was able to connect with the spirit world. These experiences enabled Glenn to help Canadian police solve a murder investigation, and to help people overcome their own anxieties about death and dying. He also served as a bridge between people suffering with grief on earth and their loved ones who had passed over.

I had the great honour and pleasure to know Glenn since 2008, where we met on my (now defunct) Garden of the Soul Network on the Ning. In fact, he was one of the very first people I met on social media.

Later, when I started my radio show ‘The Garden of the Soul’, Glenn was one of my first guests, appearing in Episode #11 on April 1st, 2009. Glenn’s episode was entitled ‘Releasing Yourself From the Fear of Death’. Today, it feels ironic that he chose to speak on this particular topic on the show, but surely his life AND his passing provides us with a model for moving into the afterlife with grace and dignity.

You can listen Glenn’s interview in the player below:

Listen to internet radio with Lynn Serafinn on BlogTalkRadio

If you cannot see the player, you may listen online at
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lynn-serafinn/2009/04/01/Ep11-Releasing-Yourself-from-the-Fear-of-Death

Glenn was also a long-standing and active network partner on dozens of our Spirit Authors book launches, hosting stops on our Virtual Blog Tours, sending out Tweets, offering bonus gifts, and hosting our authors on his podcast. Many of our past clients surely owe part of their success as best-selling authors to Glenn’s kind and selfless support of their work. It is hard to believe he won’t be around on our team anymore.

Glenn was one of the kindest, gentlest souls on the planet and will be missed by many.

Fare the well, sweet friend. I know you will be happy and loved wherever you are.

Until we meet again,

~Lynn Serafinn
11 May 2013

If you knew Glenn, or you were a client or partner who worked with him through Spirit Authors, please use the comments to send him your Love Message below. 

 

 

 

Categories : Books and Authors, News
Comments (0)

In this 3-part series, Lynn Serafinn shares a few strategies from her book Tweep-e-licious to help authors get the most out of Twitter when promoting their books. In Part 1 she discusses the importance of giving value to your audience by tweeting ideas FROM your book and how using quotes from your best reviews can be an effective strategy. 

I’m an online marketing consultant for non-fiction authors who have a powerful message to share. As such, it’s my job to create marketing strategies that use social media to help build my clients’ reading audience and promote their books.

One of my favourite marketing tools is Twitter. However, most of my new clients tell me that they don’t understand how to use Twitter for marketing. They often feel daunted by it because there is so much information flying by them at a rapid rate. They also don’t know WHAT to Tweet, how to reach their ideal audience or how to interact with people to build relationships.

All of those questions (and more) are addressed in my book Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically. For those of you who may not have read it (or as a quick refresher course for those who have), I’d like to share 5 of the easiest and most fundamental strategies for using Twitter to promote your book. In today’s article, we’ll look at Twitter book marketing strategies 1 and 2.

Twitter Book Marketing Strategy 1: Tweet Ideas FROM Your Book

So many authors on Twitter shout ABOUT their book, saying things like “You can buy my book on Amazon”. A Tweet like this nearly always fails what I call the ‘Yeah…So What?’ Test. People read a Tweet like this and say to themselves (you guessed it), ‘Yeah…so what?!’

If people are saying ‘Yeah…so what?’ when they read your Tweets, it means you have failed to pique their interest or arouse their curiosity. Your Tweet is just the doorway to your book, and it’s your goal to inspire people to open the door. The best way for a non-fiction author to do this is not to Tweet about your book so much as to Tweet great ideas FROM the book. Share some lines of insight, quotes, etc. that stand up on their own. In other words, make the Tweets themselves interesting. Then, include a link either to your sales page or a blog post (I’ll talk more about blog posts in part 2).

Sharing great ideas from your book should be easy for a non-fiction author. Start by making a Tweet for each of your chapters, and then break these into sub-ideas. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself making hundreds of Tweets from a single book. Make sure the Tweets are short and only contain a single idea. That way, people will be more apt to absorb their meaning as they fly by on their Twitter stream.

Here are few examples of ‘Idea Tweets’ I have used:

#Tweepelicious Tip 58: Simplicity is King. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t

#Tweepelicious Tip 59: Always ask ‘Yeah…So What?’ before posting your Tweet. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t

Tip for authors: Don’t Tweet ABOUT your book; Tweet ideas FROM your book instead. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t #Tweepelicious

Twitter Tip 64: the best Tweets are those that arouse curiosity. http://bit.ly/RDhD0t #Tweepelicious

Note these details:

  1. You’ll notice I’m NOT taking people to an ordinary sales page for my book. If people don’t know you, they are not likely to buy your book the first time they visit your site. That’s why these Tweets take readers to landing page where they can download a free 90-minute audio class that gives them a taster of the tips and strategies they’ll learn in the book. This gives people a chance to know more about me before spending any money. It also helps grow my mailing list.
  2. For those who are motivated, they CAN also purchase the book from that page as well.
  3. I include the hashtag I’m using for the book, if there’s enough room. In this case, the hashtag is #Tweepelicious. The art of making good hashtags and using them for marketing is a subject I cover in detail in the chapter “Using Hashtags” in Tweep-e-licious.
  4. The Tweets THEMSELVES have value, even if people don’t click your link. When you write your Tweets, think about what your audience most wants to know, and put that into a Tweet. Allow them to get value from you without the ‘commitment’ of clicking your link. This builds the ‘relevance bridge’ between you and your Twitter followers. They start to see what you know, what you stand for and what you have to offer them. The stronger your relevance bridge, the more your ‘target audience’ can recognise you as someone of influence.

Twitter Book Marketing Strategy 2: Tweet Lines From Your Best Reviews

All authors know the value of a great review. However, I only recently discovered that making Tweets from some of my best reviews resulted in a lot of clicks and ReTweets. Frankly, I wouldn’t have suspected this, as I thought they would fail the ‘Yeah…So What?’ Test. But if you choose the content carefully and construct the Tweet correctly, it actually does work.

Here are a few examples of ‘Review Tweets’ I’ve used that usually get a good response:

“Don’t tuck this on your shelf of ‘just another how-to book about social media marketing’. It’s not.” http://amzn.to/10JVDw8 via @JacobNordby

“A smorgasbord of much needed information for today’s marketer.” http://amzn.to/10JXUHL via @intuneparenting #Tweepelicious

“This book helped me discover how using Twitter at its full potential can make a big impact.” http://amzn.to/10JZ3yU via @Argancel

“A technicolour ride around the Twitterverse in 158 Twips!” http://amzn.to/ZPhtwm via @KatieRoseWindow #Tweepelicious

Note these details:

  1. I include the reviewer’s Twitter ID (if I know it). This is so the reviewer will see it in their ‘mentions’, which encourages them to ReTweet it to their followers
  2. I link directly to the permalink of the review on Amazon. This way they see the review in context and they can buy the book right away if they wish.
  3. I include the hashtag I’m using for the book, if there’s enough room. In this case, the hashtag is #Tweepelicious.
  4. The Tweets are not just about the book, but they refer to subject matter of interest to the reader, i.e. marketing, social media, Twitter, etc. Make sure your Review Tweets speak to the interests of the audience, and are not just ‘bragging’ about your book.

Your Challenge for the Week

Get started using these two tips over the next week:

  1. Compose a selection of ‘Idea Tweets’ and ‘Review Tweets’.
  2. Send them out a few times a day. Vary them. Try not to send the same one out within the same week.
  3. Pay attention to which Tweets get attention. Watch your Twitter interactions to see which ones are marked as favourites, commented upon or ReTweeted.
  4. If you shorten your links with ow.ly, bit.ly or a similar service, monitor your clicks. See which ones get the most and least attention.
  5. See what’s working and what isn’t, and adjust your Tweets accordingly. Note that lack of attention doesn’t always mean the Tweet itself is ineffective. It could be that you don’t have the right kinds of followers, or you are Tweeting at the wrong time of day. Again, all these subtleties are covered in detail in Tweep-e-licious.

Next Time

In Part 2, we’ll look at the next Twitter tip, where I tell you how to use Twitter to drive traffic to grow your reading audience through blogging. Be sure to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog so you’ll receive this article, as well as all our future author-focused information articles.

AND…if you want to dive deeply into Twitter and learn all my marketing strategies, I invite you to check out the book Tweep-e-licious at http://tweepelicious.com. You can also get free access to my 90-minute Twitter audio class from that page.

Please share your comments and questions below. I love reading your feedback.

Lynn Serafinn
8 May 2013

PLEASE SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS & COMMENTS BELOW!

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog

Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook

Connect with us on Twitter.

Follow @SpiritAuthors

BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER

The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell

Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.

Brit Writers Awards Finalist

eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.

eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

 

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self

A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.

An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.

Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Lynn Serafinn’s book marketing advice for authors getting ready to launch, including tips for ensuring your book gets into the right categories on Amazon. 

Last week, I shared the first part of an interview I did with Kristen Eckstein of Ultimate Book Coach, where she asked me these 5 questions about book marketing:

  1.  When in the book publishing process should an author start promoting their book and planning their book launch?
  2. Should all authors consider doing an Amazon “bestseller” launch?
  3. What are some of the activities you help authors with in the 6 months leading up to their launch?
  4. You told me that you always recommend “kick starting” an author’s book sales before an Amazon launch. What do you mean by that? What benefits does it give the book and author?
  5. What other book launch tips can you share?

In part 1, I shared my answers to questions 1 – 3. You can read those is ‘How to Kick-Start Your Book Sales – Part 1’.

Today, I like to share my answers to the last two questions, where I also reveal my ‘secret sauce’ tip.

KRISTEN: You told me that you always recommend “kick starting” an author’s book sales before an Amazon launch. What do you mean by that? What benefits does it give the book and author?

LYNN: By “kick starting” I mean ordering 2 or 3 copies of the paperback AND Kindle version of the book in each of the Amazon websites (or at least the English language sites in US, Canada and UK). You can send them to people who live in those respective countries. To make it practical, you could send it to people you have asked to review or endorse your book.

There are three reasons for “kick starting”. The first one is to ensure your book is listed as being in stock on Amazon. The only way Amazon will purchase a quantity of your books is if they see that it’s selling. Some people use pre-sales for this, but I prefer to use the kick-start method. When authors do not do this, they may get to launch day and Amazon says the book is out of stock, which can put buyers off from buying it.

The second reason is so that your book will appear in the sales rankings. Until your book has sold at least one copy, it will show no sales ranking at all.

And the third reason has to do with placement. Most of my authors either use Lightning Source for printing and distribution, or they are published by major publishers. All of these channels use either Ingram or Baker and Taylor for distribution to retail outlets, including Amazon. When you submit your title for distribution, you have to choose the categories into which your book may be classified (they call these “BIC categories”). Unfortunately (and inexplicably), Amazon’s categories don’t quite “match” the BIC ones and your book can end up catalogued in some pretty arbitrary categories. The only reliable way to find out where your book is placed is to order a few copies of your book a few weeks before your launch date.

Hopefully, by doing this, your book will appear somewhere in the “top 100” in at least one category, even if only for an hour. This should give you an indication of where Amazon has placed the book. If the category is way off, you can write to them via Author Central, and give them suggested changes. As an example, a few weeks before my book The 7 Graces of Marketing came out, I discovered they had placed it in the “accounting” category. Wow, what a mismatch that was! Fortunately, the kick-starter strategy ensured it was all sorted out before the launch.

KRISTEN: What other book launch tips you can share?

LYNN: Oh, I’ve got plenty! Here are just a few:

  1. A launch is a business investment. Invest wisely. Having an international #1 bestselling book can open up many doors to you and your business. But don’t go into it with “rose-coloured glasses” and no plan of what you want this status to bring you.
  2. Don’t expect to put together a launch in less than 6 months. If you suddenly get the idea to call a marketing company like mine one or two months before your book comes out, thinking they can “do it fast” for you, you’re wrong.
  3. Your launch doesn’t have to coincide with your publication date. Some of my most successful launches happened 6 months AFTER a book came out. Just because your book is coming out next month does not mean you have to launch next month.
  4. Don’t try to do it on your own. Hire an experienced team to do it for you, and focus on doing the things only you can do—writing, doing interviews, creating your business products, etc.
  5. Don’t expect your Virtual Assistant to be able to run a book launch for you. I’ve seen that fail time and again. An Amazon launch is a specialist skill, and you’ll only frustrate yourself and your hired help if you ask the wrong people to do a launch for you.
  6. Don’t cut corners. Do it right. You won’t get the results you want if you try to save money by eliminating any of the essential components.
  7. Don’t feel hopeless if you’re not ‘ready’ for a big launch. If you’re not ready for a launch, there are still many things you can do to market your book and build your long-term platform. That is why Spirit Authors offers alternative packages for authors who many not be quite ready to invest in a big launch. Then, when their 2nd book comes out, they’ll be in a much better place to invest the time and money a successful launch requires.
  8. SECRET SAUCE: Your 1st book will very often increase in sales as a result of a successful launch of your 2nd book. Every time you launch a new book, it has an impact on past titles IF they are written for the same audience.

I do hope these two articles gave you some useful information.

Please share your comments and questions below!

If you are thinking about having an Amazon book launch OR you’re just getting started building your book promotion platform and would like to see how our team at Spirit Authors can help, send us a SHORT email describing your project and where you are in your marketing so far using the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

AND…if you’d like to get PRACTICAL tips on building your online marketing platform using Twitter, you can get a free 90 minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com. You also find out about my award-winning marketing book Tweep-e-licious, which was written very much with authors in mind.

Lynn Serafinn

1 May 2013

 

PLEASE SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS & COMMENTS BELOW!

Like this blog?

Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog

Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook

Connect with us on Twitter.

Follow @SpiritAuthors

BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN

The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER

The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell

Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.

Brit Writers Awards Finalist

eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.

eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

 

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self

A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.

An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.

Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Recently I was interviewed by Kristen Eckstein who runs a site called Ultimate Book Coach. She had read something I wrote in a Facebook comment about ‘kick starting’ your book sales and asked if I would do an interview with her for her readers.

I thought I’d share it here on the Spirit Authors site too, because many of you might find it useful. 

The questions Kristen asked were:

  1. When in the book publishing process should an author start promoting their book and planning their book launch?
  2. Should all authors consider doing an Amazon “bestseller” launch?
  3. What are some of the activities you help authors with in the 6 months leading up to their launch?
  4. You told me that you always recommend “kick starting” an author’s book sales before an Amazon launch. What do you mean by that? What benefits does it give the book and author?
  5. What other book launch tips can you share?

Today, in part 1 of this interview, I’ll be sharing my answers to questions 1 -3.

KRISTEN: When in the book publishing process should an author start promoting their book and planning their book launch?

LYNN: Really, an author should start promoting their book the minute they have landed the title for it! When I say “promoting” it, I don’t mean trying to sell it, but rather, building an online platform for themselves through blogging, YouTube and social media. This helps grow their network and mailing list, and starts to establish them as experts in their chosen field. If an author already has a good network, they should start to create content on the specific subject of their upcoming book and “name drop” their title at the end of articles, indicating a book is coming out soon (e.g., “This article was an adaptation of ideas from my upcoming book My Book Title coming autumn 2013.”)

KRISTEN: Should all authors consider doing an Amazon “bestseller” launch?

LYNN: I don’t think big launches are a good fit for all authors. Back when I was a new marketer, I used to take on any author who wanted a launch. But these days, I never take on a client for a full book launch unless (or until) I can see their online platform is solid. Big book launches are expensive and they require a substantial number of systems to be in place before they can be pulled off successfully. Also, if you have no platform, you are unlikely to attract very influential partners to support you. So you owe it to yourself to spend at least a full year building your online platform before you even consider approaching partners for a launch.

I have observed that the books that sell the best in bestseller launches are the ones by people whose business/brand is well established. They may be first-time authors, but people already know who they are and what their message is. Because the business is already well-established, the book tends to be more useful to the public, for the simple reason that the author knows what works and what doesn’t work for their own clients, customers or readers. These kinds of launches also tend to attract the best partners and have the most focus. Finally, the author tends to have an integrated business plan for what this book will do for them, and the expense of the launch brings a good return on their investment not just through book sales, but also through business growth.

I have also observed that first-time authors who are also brand new business owners tend to struggle. The author may be very passionate about their work, and they may be willing to pour their last dollar into a launch, but I really don’t recommend this. While they SHOULD develop a modest launch and a long-term marketing plan for their book, they absolutely should not put themselves into financial difficulty to do a bestseller launch when they do not yet have the systems in place where a) they can attract a strong network of partners and b) they already have an audience of buyers for their book AND their business products and services.

Q3: What are some of the activities you help authors with in the 6 months leading up to their launch?

If their platform is already pretty solid, I first look for the “gaps” in their online platform and fill them. Then, I work with them to create a blogging and leads generating strategy to increase their following while we do the mechanics of the actual launch. Then, over the next 6 months, we work with my team of 7 people to plan and deliver a telesummit, coordinate a Virtual Blog Tour and a radio media tour and coordinate and mobilise a team of network partners who will help promote them. We also design the graphics, make all the web pages, autoresponders and marketing copy, make a video book trailer, invite high profile guests to speak at the telesummit, create intake forms, collect and manage data, get endorsements and reviews and get systems going on Amazon, including book categories and author profile and lots of other bits and bobs. All this takes a tremendous amount of work from our team and the author. Fortunately, I’ve got a highly experienced team and can depend upon them to do the job splendidly.

Behind the scenes, a lot is going on in terms of motivating and communicating with partners and crisis control. As the project manager, it’s my job to deal with all the possible worst-case-scenarios that will arise in a CALM, efficient manner. My clients are “allowed” to freak out, but I cannot.

Then, on launch day, there are a lot of things to do around tracking sales, capturing screenshots and motivating partners. I really focus on developing a proper “team” with my network partners, so they get behind the client, and vice versa. It’s my goal to ensure everyone (not just the client) benefits from the launch.

*** END OF PART 1 ***

Please be sure to subscribe to this blog so you can receive Part 2 of “How to Kick Start Your Book Sales”, where I (finally) talk about what I MEAN by “kick-starting” your sales, along with how and why to do it. I also give 8 additional bonus tips that can help you stay sane during your book launch.

If you are thinking about having an Amazon book launch OR you’re just getting started building your book promotion platform and would like to see how our team at Spirit Authors can help, send us a SHORT email describing your project and where you are in your marketing so far using the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

AND…if you’d like to get PRACTICAL tips on building your online marketing platform using Twitter, you can get a free 90 minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com. You also find out about my award-winning marketing book Tweep-e-licious, which was written very much with authors in mind.

Lynn Serafinn
24 April 2013

PLEASE SHARE YOUR QUESTIONS & COMMENTS BELOW!

Like this blog?
Then please subscribe using the form at the upper right side of this page, so you can receive our articles on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook

Connect with us on Twitter.

Follow @SpiritAuthors

BOOKS BY LYNN SERAFINN
The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVER

The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell
Find out how traditional marketing negatively impacts our health, economy, communities and natural environment, and how to turn it around with a new paradigm called the 7 Graces of Marketing.

Brit Writers Awards Finalist
eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian & Ecological Social Issues

 

Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically

Learn how to create meaningful content and build powerful collaborations through Twitter and other social media ETHICALLY.

eLit Book Awards Bronze Medal in Business and Sales

Get instant access to a free 90-minute Twitter marketing class at http://tweepelicious.com

 

The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self

A metaphoric and poetic journey about finding your voice, receiving the blessings of life, overcoming trauma and becoming whole.

An Amazon spirituality bestseller 2009. Kindle version coming later in 2013.

Read excerpts and buy the book at http://give-receive-become-be.com/

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She is listed in the Top 20 of the Top Marketing Authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. She was also a eLit Book Awards Silver Medalist in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs and a Bronze Medalist in Business and Sales.

Lynn’s eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Her innovative marketing campaigns have produced a long list of bestselling non-fiction authors through her company Spirit Authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project CIC, a not-for-profit social enterprise created to train, support, mentor and inspire independent business owners to market their business ethically, serve society and planet, and restore all that is best about humanity.

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Erica’s fast-paced life as a Fortune 500 corporate manager suddenly came to a halt when she collapsed from a stroke. But little did she know, her journey to recovery would lead her to a profound personal transformation.


As most of you know, most of my marketing clients are non-fiction authors. I’m pretty choosey about my clients, as I only want to work with authors who write books that bring real value to people and planet.

One such client is an inspiring woman named Erica Tucci. Today I’d like to share her story with you.

Erica is a stroke survivor. She was struck down suddenly on her way to work nearly 2 years ago. Her stroke left her unable to walk for many months and she couldn’t even lift a finger on her paralysed side. She spent nearly two years in recovery at the Spero Rehab in Katy, Texas.

Prior to her stroke, Erica was a real go-getter. She was a corporate manager of a Fortune 500 company. She was also a Reiki master, massage therapist, life coach, and author of three books. She told me she would push herself to work often 80 hours a week. She moved fast, spoke fast and never took time to stop.

But then, life stopped her in her tracks when she collapsed onto the floor, unable to move.

Throughout her two-year rehabilitation, Erica took her situation as a message from the Universe that it was time to reassess the way she had been living her life. She realized that her stroke, while a traumatic, frightening and painful life-altering experience, was also a gift. It gave her the time and space to change: her thinking, her outlook, her priorities and her lifestyle.

The result of Erica’s inner and outer transformation is remarkable. Even though still in recovery and living on disability benefits, she calls herself a ‘Radiant Survivor’. She uses this term because she feels she has not only survived the devastation of the stroke, but she has become a better person. She has tapped into inner resources she never knew she had:

  • not just strength but softness
  • not just courage but vulnerability
  • not just determination but the ability to trust and surrender

Now Erica has written a book called Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences. It is a collection of inspiring stories from Erica and 14 other ‘radiant survivors’, along with many practical exercises she hopes will inspire anyone facing their own life-altering experience. Her hope is that this book will help thousands of people around the world who may be facing a serious life trauma.

The book will be coming out on November 19th, 2013.

There’s a reason why I’m telling you Erica’s story so many months in advance.

To edit, publish and launch any book costs money. Because she is still living on disability benefits with very limited funds, Erica is running a crowd-funding campaign to raise the money she needs for this project, so she can bring this book to those in need.

I’m reaching out to ask you to help Erica with her fundraiser. Between now and Friday June 15th, we are on a mission to help Erica raise $15,000 to cover the costs of editing, cover design, printing, marketing, distribution, etc. All the professionals being hired (including my own team of 7) are offering their services at discounted rates because they believe in the good this book can do for others in recovery.

To help us with the Radiant Survivor project, go to
www.radiantsurvivor.com

Everyone who makes a donation will receive a nice thank you gift for their contribution. Some of the ‘perks’ on offer include a signed copy of the book, a framed copy of the Radiant Survivor poem, and many other gifts. You could even get a donation of books made in your name to an organization of your choice, or have Erica come speak at a local event.

ALSO, if she exceeds the target amount of $15,000, Erica will donate the surplus to the Spero Rehab in Katy, Texas, where Erica spent nearly two years in recovery (that’s Erica in the picture at right, taken a couple of months ago). It’s her way of ‘paying it forward’ for all they have done for her and others.

I hope you’ll help Erica and the 14 other contributing authors bring this book to the public. Whether you give $15 or $1000, your contribution will make a big difference to someone you may never meet, but who is in real need of hope.

To watch Erica’s video message and to find out more about the book, the ‘perks’ and the Radiant Survivor project, go to www.radiantsurvivor.com

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog via the form at the top of this page for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook

Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

 

Twitter:

@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Today we’re delighted to invite guest blogger Karen Rowe to Spirit Authors. Karen is a ghostwriter and editor who works with non-fiction authors. Today she “tells it like it is” about the many ways authors deceive themselves. 


It takes an average of about 400 hours to write a book. That’s a lot of time and effort. I’ve had many authors approach me who have poured blood, sweat and tears into a manuscript without the first clue how to get their book edited and published properly and out to the masses. Others have published their book without one ounce of marketing. And it has flopped. When I asked them about this, I find that they’ve been making assumptions based on myths they believe about the publishing industry.

Here are a few of the biggest mistakes writers make before they publish, and the lies they tell themselves:

LIE #1: “I can write about whatever I want.”
I’m always interested to hear what people are writing about. I’m often surprised to discover, though, that a lot of authors haven’t done any research or taken the time to familiarize themselves with what’s selling in their industry. You need to know who else is writing about your topic. Have you bought or read their books? What’s hot in your market, what’s selling and what isn’t? Reading other people’s work is important because you really want to know what’s being said about your topic, and how it’s being addressed. Not only that, these people will become an important part of your network.

LIE #2: “If I write a great book, it will sell itself.”
I’ve had many clients who are unknowingly under the impression that if they write a really fabulous book, people will somehow intuitively and magically just “know” and their book will become a bestseller. Hey, you wrote the book and that should be enough, right? Quality isn’t a guarantee of success. Two things make a successful book: strong, solid content and a great platform. You need to be your own biggest advocate, and you are going to be the greatest asset to getting the word out about your work. And if you’re terrible at it, then hire a professional to do it for you. 

LIE #3: “I’m going to get famous.”
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but chances are you’re not going to get famous. What a lot of people don’t realize with best-selling authors such as Charmaine Hammond  — whose book is getting turned into a movie — and others, who have started with nothing and become success stories, is that fame is always preceded by hard work, and a lot of it.  It’s wonderful to have a goal of ‘making it big’, but it’s not always realistic. Most authors who have attained great success didn’t just show up at the fame-party ready to sign autographs. They spent months working tirelessly to get the word out about their book and building a strong and solid platform, both before the book was released and for many months after. Could fame happen? Anything is possible. But first focus on the work.

LIE #4: “I’m going to get rich.”
I’m always saying to keep the end in mind when writing, but trust me when I tell you that money is not the end game. You can’t guarantee book sales. Ever. You can build a strong campaign, and enroll many launch partners. What you can’t do is predict how many copies of a book will sell. Create other goals or other milestones. Yes, we all want to sell books and with a strong platform, you can, and as my previous point, this is always preceded by a lot of hard work.

LIE #5: “I can market my book after I’m done writing it.”
I often have clients approach me when they have completed their book and ask, ‘now what?’ They’re in trouble. Why? Because there were 300,000 books published in 2012, and the time to start marketing your book was about 3 months ago. If you want to break through you’ll need a minimum of 6 months to get a solid campaign up and running. And the time when traditional publishers did that for you is gone. Publishers are now looking to sign authors who make it easy for them. They want great reads from authors who already have a following and are willing to promote their own work.

LIE #6: “I don’t need a marketing plan.”
Since publishers are looking for authors who understand the game, you should have an idea of what you’re going to do to market your book. It doesn’t have to be formal, but some kind of guideline that gives a structure to your plans, your goals, and your marketing efforts is essential.

LIE #7: “My mom can edit my book.”
Oh, please don’t do this. Writing a book is the fun part; editing is where the real work takes place. You need to hire a professional. Authors often overlook this extremely important step. It’s easy to find someone to edit a book, right? My mom/sister/cousin’s dog is good at English. Wrong. Editing is a pretty specialized skill set; someone who can find “typos” isn’t a good editor. You want someone to help you raise the bar on your work and create a final product that is something you can really be proud of. An editor will give you critical feedback (especially if you’ve hired a content editor, which I highly recommend), and often improve your work beyond what you might have been able to do on your own.

It’s good to remember that publishing isn’t just about finding the right place to print and publish your book. It’s about a lot more than that: publishing is a business; if you treat it as a business model you will always succeed.

 

ABOUT KAREN ROWE
A two-time published author, Karen is the owner of Front Rowe Seat, a training company for writers and business owners. She is an expert in non-fiction and can help you position yourself as a Leading Authority in your niche. Karen develops professionally written and designed books, done-for-you in 90 days. She has ghostwritten books for some of the most fascinating people in the world but, as a ghostwriter, she can’t tell you who any of them are! The key to a successful ghostwriter is absolute discretion. What she CAN tell you is that her clients include an actor, and a gold-medal Olympian and some of the top self-help leaders in the industry. Read more of Karen’s content-rich blog posts at http://www.KarenRowe.com/category/blog

 

Later this week, we’ll return with Part 2 of our Tutorial on “How to Make a Video Book Trailer for $77 or Less”

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog via the form at the top of this page for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn explains why authors need a video book trailer on YouTube, and shows 10 steps to make one that can get on page 1 of Google. 


These days, it’s pretty much a given that every author needs a video book trailer on YouTube. What’s funny, though, is that just about every client who comes to me for a book launch—even those with major publishers—have no book trailer.

Back in 2008 I made my first book trailer for my book The Garden of the Soul. It wasn’t really a proper trailer, but a “video poem” with me reciting one of my poems from the book against music and images. Being very respectful of copyright issues, I got the music with permission from some former music tech students of mine, and I got the images from a photographer friend I had met on a Ning network I had set up. Here’s how it looked when it was finished:

Video Poem – Song of the Rose

The video was nice (and got nice responses from viewers) but it’s technically pretty basic. Still, it was impressive enough for my clients to start asking me to help them make their own book trailers. Since then, I’ve made quite a few of them, and I’ve fine-tuned the process down to a system now, which makes it easier for me to make them.

Given the popularity and strategic importance of videos today, I thought you might find it useful if I wrote an article series that could serve as a tutorial on how to make your own book trailer. The series will have 6 parts (or maybe 7…I’m still working on it!), spread of the next few weeks.

What We will Cover

In this article series, we’ll be looking at:

  • The many reasons WHY you need a video trailer
  • A step-by-step tutorial of the 10 steps for putting one together
  • Marketing strategies to make your video trailer work for you

Some of the information I’ll be covering will be a bit technical to some of you, while others will “get it” very quickly. I’ll try to explain technical things as simply and as clearly I can, and will include screen shots as we go along.

As you read through this series, I invite you to look at the videos I have in my book trailer playlist on YouTube. Hopefully these will give you ideas for your own videos. For the purpose of providing an example we can examine in detail, I’m going to focus on how I made my most recent trailer for my book Tweep-e-licious:

Tweep-e-licious Video Trailer

My strengths and limitations

Before we begin, I feel it’s important to tell you that I’m NOT a videographer. I don’t know how to use any of the slick video editing software on the market like Adobe Premier, Final Cut Pro, Camtasia Suite or whatever else is popular these days. I use dirt-cheap resources for my videos.

In a way, that’s a good thing because I’m assuming the majority of you reading this are also not videographers, and you probably don’t have any fancy video editing software either. I’m also assuming you don’t want to spend a bunch of money on equipment OR on hiring a professional to do this for you…which is why I’m aiming to keep your budget down to $77 or less.

What I DO have is a background in audio production. I’ve been working with multimedia technologies in one form or another for almost 30 years, both in the music industry and the educational world. I also know a thing or two about how SEO works with YouTube videos.

This tutorial will NOT teach you how to make a slick, glossy video production, but it WILL help you create a nice, attractive, fit-for-purpose book trailer that could show up on page 1 of Google searches for your selected keywords.

PART 1: Why You NEED a Video Book Trailer

I’m a big believer in the power of video for two reasons:

REASON 1:

Multimedia platforms (images plus sound plus voice) have long been known to capture people’s attention and communicate ideas better than single-media methods, such as the written word or audio alone. When I did my Masters in Adult Education and eLearning, we learned that creating rich, multimedia content is one of the fundamental elements in effective online leaning materials. Marketers know this too, which is why television and video are such powerful marketing media tools. Multimedia definitely is the most effective communication medium, and the Internet is the easiest and most accessible medium through which to broadcast.

REASON 2:

It’s WAY easier to get your YouTube video than your website onto the first page of Google. This is because YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google, and has a page rank of 9 (out of 10). It is the 3rd most popular site on the Internet, outranked only by Google and Facebook. This means YouTube will ALWAYS appear ahead of other sites returning searches on the same keywords. If people do a search and see your video on page 1 of Google, they are likely to click on the link to view it on YouTube.

Of course, for this to happen, you need to have the right title, description and keywords so Google brings your video up in the search. And once people are on your YouTube page, they need to WATCH your video. And finally, once they watch your video, they need to go to your blog or website. For that final piece to happen, you need to have a well-made, engaging video that answers the answers people were asking when they did their Google search in the first place.

Mastering this process is not an exact science or a guaranteed method, but if your content is of good quality and relevant to your audience and you promote your video effectively, your video could be a great traffic generator for your site.

PART 2: The 10 Steps for Making Your Own Book Trailer Video

Below are the 10 steps you’ll need to take to make prepare, create and publish your video book trailer:

  1. Write video script
  2. Record voiceover
  3. Locate Music
  4. Edit voiceover, mix down and export audio
  5. Search for images
  6. Construct video
  7. Export video
  8. Upload to YouTube
  9. Write SEO friendly YouTube info
  10. Embed on your website

In the next article, we’ll look at steps 1 and 2. I’ll be showing you a script template I use with my clients to construct a video script, and give you tips on how to “perform” and record your voiceover. Even if you’ve never used audio editing software before, my tips will help you make a fine recording that is video-worthy.

Please subscribe to this blog to receive the rest of the tutorial as it comes out.

Please leave a comment below to let me know whether or not this article series will be useful to you.

And of course, if you’d rather have someone do your book trailer video for you, just drop me a line via the contact form on this site.

~ Lynn Serafinn

7 March 2013 


AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog via the form at the top of this page for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. Through her company Spirit Authors, her marketing campaigns have  produced a long list of bestselling self-help and mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Is there a right and wrong time to hire a marketing consultant? Author and ethical marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn believes so. Today Lynn shares 10 criteria that can help you avoid making a disastrous business decision. 


Recently I’ve been getting a lot of requests for consultations from potential clients, and I have to admit I’ve turned away more clients than I’ve taken on. You might find it surprising to hear that I’m the one doing the turning away considering people are hiring me. After all, aren’t they the ones doing the hiring? Isn’t the client the one who makes the decision of whether or not to hire me?

Well, back when I first started my business…when I was clueless and desperate…that might have been the case. I wanted clients—any clients—so I could pay my bills. But over time, I learned that this open policy worked neither for me nor my client.

These days I have certain criteria that determine whether or not I am willing to take on a client. I’ve found them to be extremely useful in helping me avoid months of frustration on ineffective collaborations. In looking at them, I thought these criteria would be just as useful to anyone who might be considering hiring a marketing consultant, PR or business coach. So I decided I’d share them with you today.

WRONG TIME #1: When you’re just starting out
Since the start of the so-called recession in 2008, more and more of us are entering the world of self-employment. The trouble is, many people who are just starting out may be good at what they do, but have no idea what is involved in planning and running a business. The tendency is to want to run out and hire help in the form of a business coach and/or marketing consultant. In my experience, this is the WRONG time to do this. If your brand and niche are ill-defined, you are apt to choose the wrong consultant, who will lead you in a direction that may not be where you actually want to go. Furthermore, you’ll spend a heck of a lot of money on them that should be spent on other essential start up expenses.

WRONG TIME #2: When you’re clueless
Most new authors are a bit clueless as to what is needed for their business or project. While I don’t mind authors coming to me with little idea about what is involved in a book launch (which is my specialty), I do mind them coming to me clueless about the value of what I offer them. If I have to spend all my time validating my strategies to a client during our sessions together, it holds both of us back.

Clueless people have “UNconscious incompetence”, meaning they don’t know anything but they have no idea what it is that they don’t know. Before you even ask for a consultation from a consultant, take some responsibility and do a little homework. Do some research; attend some webinars; read some books. Become what I call a “conscious incompetent”: someone who KNOWS what it is that they don’t know. Then, you’ll not only be able to choose the right consultant, but you’ll be able to understand what they’re talking about. But most of all, you’ll be able to ask the right questions during your initial meeting.

WRONG TIME #3: When you don’t know what you want
Never enter a client-consultant relationship if you don’t know what you want from it. If you don’t know what you want, you’ll never know if you’ve gained it. The first thing I ask clients when they call me for a consultation is what they WANT from the service they’re asking about. You’d be amazed how many authors who call about a book launch have no idea why they want one, except that it sounds glamorous. Glamour is not measurable. I want to give my clients measurable results. It’s up to you, the client, to know what you want to gain before you enter into that relationship.

WRONG TIME #4: When you have no game plan
It’s equally vital to have a bigger picture in mind before you call a consultant. Where do you see your business going AFTER you end your contract with the consultant? If you’re hiring a marketing consultant for a particular project or product launch, how will this help the business? Where will you take customers after the launch? My MOST successful clients are those who took our work together and created a bigger game plan from it. My least successful clients are those who jumped into a book or product launch and then stopped short, without a clue of their next business step. I try to help my clients with this as much as I can as we work together, but ultimately it is up to them to see this through.

WRONG TIME #5: When you’re desperate
I hate, hate, hate it when a client comes to me and says, “My business was doing great until this year. Now I’m in trouble. I’m hiring you to help me get out of this situation in the next 3 months or I’ll go out of business.” I’ve received such calls on more than one occasion. Some were from long-established companies that had global reputations. I can’t speak for other consultants, but I feel stressed if someone wants me to be their “saviour” or last resort to bring them out of a crisis. There are so many factors that can take a company to breaking point, and pumping up the marketing may NOT be the best solution. Besides, marketing is a long-term process. It’s about relationship building and brand identity. Furthermore, if your company’s really in crisis, you’re going to be panicking (and cursing your consultant) if your marketing campaign doesn’t work. You’d do better to sit down and do some market research with your audience to see what’s going wrong.

WRONG TIME #6: When you’re broke or living on credit
For many of the same reasons as #5, it’s the wrong time to hire a consultant if you’re having serious money problems. And if you’re thinking it’s OK to max out your credit cards to pay your consultant but your current income is barely enabling you to pay off the minimum monthly payments—well, that’s just plain dangerous. While your consultant SHOULD be able to help you increase your revenue in the long-term that does not mean the return on investment will happen before your bills are due. Do not even think of hiring a consultant unless you have some positive cash-flow in your life.

WRONG TIME #7: When you’re not ready to put in the effort
My most successful clients are those who “did their homework” in between sessions. My least successful clients are those who sent their assistants in to do all the work, and they didn’t even dip in to discuss and design strategies with me. A consultant is NOT another “hire”. They are there to help you build strategies for your business, brand or project. If you are not willing to put in the effort, you will not reap the rewards.

WRONG TIME #8: When you lack entrepreneurial spirit
If you’ve only just recently come out of employment and you still have a “regular salary” mentality, you are unlikely to be very comfortable with the financial ups and downs of entrepreneurship. A true entrepreneur understands the value of good, sensible business expenses, whereas a novice just sees everything as costing money. If you lack entrepreneurial spirit, and you do not enjoy the roller coaster ride, you will bring a fearful, restrictive energy into the client-consultant relationship, and hamper the results you get.

WRONG TIME #9: When the consultant doesn’t work within your niche
Make sure your consultant understands your audience AND has connections within your niche. So, it should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that YOU need to understand your audience and that you are already established in your niche before you hire a consultant. Some clients come to me to help them crystallise their niche and branding, and that’s OK as long as we are clear that is the task at hand. But if you launch into a marketing project together and there is a mismatch or misunderstanding about what your brand or niche is, you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and money (not to mention finding it a frustrating and stressful experience).

WRONG TIME #10: When no one else works for your company
If you are a small or sole-proprietor business consider hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) or other support staff before you hire a consultant. Most of these kinds of hires are outsourced. Create systems with them that make your business into an actual business. Then, if and when you do hire a marketing consultant, you’ll have a better idea of your strengths and weaknesses, and you’ll also have a team of people to help implement the work the consultant recommends.

I consider myself to be an ethical marketer. If someone comes to me and I believe it is the “wrong time” to call me, I tell them. I don’t want any old client—I want the RIGHT clients. Some of these probably carry more weight than others, but if a client ticks more than one of these boxes, they are probably not ready to work with me yet.

And you, the client, should also want the right consultant. I hope these “10 wrong times” were useful to you as you shop for one…at the right time. When you do get it right, the relationship between client and consultant can be a dynamic, creative and fulfilling one for both parties.

If you think you’re ready take that step and work actively and strategically with a marketing consultant, drop me a line via the contact form on this site and we can have a chat. If you’re NOT ready, I recommend you check out my books:

Thanks for reading. I’d love to hear your comments and experiences below.

~ Lynn Serafinn

27 February 2013 


If you’re an author needing help with marketing your book, give Lynn Serafinn at Spirit Authors a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way.

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Authors may be gifted when it comes to writing books, but lacking when it comes to knowing how to write copy for their website or other promotional materials. Guest author Debra Jason shares her K-I-S-S ideas for writing effective marketing copy.


Want to know how to write compelling copy that’s easy for your prospects and customers to read? KISS them!

While some people equate this acronym with “Keep it simple stupid,” I prefer to use “KEEP IT SIMPLE SWEETHEART!”

Clarity is extremely important in writing marketing content – be it a brochure, blog, direct mail piece or Web site. You want to create a conversation between you and your audience, but how to you do that when you’re not face-to-face?

The difference between conversation and writing is that during a conversation we give the other person time to understand what we’ve said. We pause between sentences, repeat ourselves and space our ideas apart.

The secret of writing is to leave space – create these pauses. In The Art of Plain Talk by Rudolf Flesch, he outlined these 7 helpful steps:

1. Start out with short, simple sentences.
Start your copy with a sentence of 8 words or less. This is the average sentence length in the English language, and it is considered very easy to understand. Here’s a breakdown of how longer sentences are interpreted by your readers:

  • 11 words – easy
  • 14 words – fairly easy
  • 17 words – standard (AVERAGE READER)
  • 21 words – fairly difficult
  • 25 words – difficult
  • 29+ words – very difficult

As Herschell Gordon Lewis said in The Art of Writing Copy, “Clarity has to come first, no matter what you’re writing or to whom.”

2. Two short sentences are easier to read than one long one.
Always try to break long sentences into shorter ones. Sometimes you might even use one-word sentences.

3. The rules of grammar do not always apply in marketing copy.
Lewis also advises, “Copywriters are communicators, not grammarians. What matters isn’t your knowledge of which tense is which; it’s your knowledge of how to transform the lead of drab fact into the gold of lustrous attraction.”

4. Use bullet points.
I often advise my clients to use bullet points. Rather than make your audience plough through a lengthy paragraph, break it up into easy-to-read bullet points. Make the content inviting to the readers eyes!

5. Be personal. Use “you.”
Your reader is a current customer or prospect. So talk to that reader. Avoid mentioning “the client” or “the customer.” Let your prospect know you’re talking directly to him or her, one-on-one. Use the word “you.”

Your readers come first. Write to people not at them. Incorporate a friendly, conversational tone as if your reader were sitting right across the table from you.

In his book, Direct Mail Copy That Sells!, Herschell Gordon Lewis explained, “When you write a letter that says, ‘Only you. . .’, you’ve told the recipient that to you he isn’t a unit, an anonymous number in a computer, a faceless organism with a zip code. . . You also project an attitude of friendliness.”

6. Whenever possible, talk about people, not ideas.
Tests show that we enjoy, and are better readers when, reading about other people more than about anything else. Sentences can be written so that the logical subject is a person. Use personal pronouns (theirs, yours, you) or human interest words (woman, man, child, boy).

7. Use active verb forms that have life in them.
Words like dance, sing, add, run, etc. make your sentences ‘move.’ To see the difference in impact, here are some examples from author Patricia Williams’ Creating and Producing the Perfect Newsletter:

Passive: The lobby was the site of a rally led by Tiger boosters Tuesday.
Active: Tiger boosters led a rally in the lobby Tuesday.
Passive: The basement was flooded with water.
Active: Water flooded the basement.

8. Punctuation makes reading easier.
Punctuation puts in visual pauses and stresses important points. Use commas, hyphens, dashes and ellipses to achieve this effect.

9. Give your readers something useful.
Ad man David Ogilvy said, “Give the reader helpful advice, or service. It hooks about 75% more readers than copy which deals entirely with the product.”

So, are you KISS-ing your readers?

If you liked this article, please SHARE it!
AND please share your thoughts and comments below.

~ Debra Jason

http://www.writedirection.com

http://facebook.com/writedirection

 DEBRA JASON is the former President of the Rocky Mountain Direct Marketing Association (RMDMA), and a seasoned copywriter with more than 25 years of experience. Owner of The Write Direction, she offers copywriting services for Web and direct marketing communications, delivering captivating content that converts your prospects into loyal customers. Debra is also a recipient of the RMDMA’s Creative Person of the Year Award.

Note from Lynn Serafinn: Many thanks to Debra for sharing these useful tips. I especially like tip #9. I hate receiving newsletter and email shots that are just sales letters. I believe the best “marketing” is when we don’t market, but provide our readers with great content…like this.J

 


If you’re an author needing help with marketing your book, give Lynn Serafinn at Spirit Authors a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way.

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.

NOW You Can Get The Spirit Authors Blog
Delivered Directly to Your Kindle!

 

Now you can have access to the latest tips in writing, publishing and book marketing everywhere you go. Get our Spirit Authors articles delivered 1-2 times a week directly to your Kindle for only 99 cents a month (77pUK). Instead of reading someone else’s book on your way to work, get information on how to make your OWN book a success.

Take a 14-day free trial at:
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/ZlW7HT
Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/131495j

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.

 


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU
Categories : News, Writing & Editing
Comments (4)

Crowd funding can often seem to be the solution to financing a book project. But statistics show 90% of all crowd funding campaigns fail. When is the right and wrong time for an author to embark on a crowd funding venture?


Years ago, in the golden days of Hollywood, the story of actress Lana Turner was an urban legend. As the story goes, she got her big break in the film industry by “getting discovered” at age 16, when she was sipping a soda at a drug store. Stories like this, while undoubtedly antiquated in today’s world, have long been the mythology of artists. When I was in the music industry, there was scarcely a musician who didn’t dream of “getting signed” by a big label. We only need to look at shows like The X-Factor to see that the dream of “getting discovered” and being skyrocketed to instant fame is still very much a driving force in the artistic community.

Many authors today continue to have a similar myth playing at the back of their minds. They still dream of landing that big publishing deal, with that big juicy advance. But times have changed. Technology has changed the landscape. Just as the era of home studios and digital downloads “democratised” the music industry, enabling virtually anyone to make an album, the era of digital publishing and print-on-demand has enabled anyone to publish a book. Because of this glut of artists on the market, traditional publishers have more competition. Therefore they’re getting pickier. They don’t want to take risks. If they’re going to shell out their money on an author, it has to be a sure thing. These days, publishers expect authors to be good at marketing and promoting their own books. Let’s face it: while publishing deals do still exist, the “glory days” where the author is developed by a publisher are mostly a thing of the past.

But here’s the Catch-22 situation: authors are “artists”. And artists are notorious for being “starving artists”, meaning they’re not always the best money earners. So how can an author get started in the industry without a little help?

One thing many artists have considered is crowd funding, which has evolved with the dawn of Web 2.0. Crowd funding is where you reach out to the public (over the Internet) for funds for your project. It’s rapidly becoming a serious part of business growth for artists (especially filmmakers, recording artists and authors) as well as social enterprises and non-profits. In other words, it has appeal mainly for what I would call “right brain ventures” as opposed to hard-core businesses.

Some authors have used it to great success. Seth Godin’s 2012 crowd funding campaign for his book The Icarus Deception is probably the most famous example. He aimed to raise $40,000 in an “all or nothing” campaign on Kickstarter. He ended up raising $287,342 instead—more than 7 times his target. This is stuff that urban legends are made of.

BUT (and here’s the big but), statistics show that that 90% of all crowd funding campaigns FAIL. I’ve watched several of these failed campaigns happen before my eyes. And if you listen to what Seth Godin has to say in his video on his Kickstarter page, you can get an idea of why this happens:

“Maybe this hybrid method, maybe this open door where drip, drip, drip over the years you build a tribe. And then you go to the tribe and do what Kickstarter is great at, which is not building the tribe but leveraging the tribe. And then, and only then can you say, ‘OK, here’s this object. Let’s go…'”

And therein lies the key: Crowd funding campaigns are NOT for the beginner.

I know, you might think there’s a great irony in the fact that the new author needs help with funding more than those who are already established. But think about it from the funder’s perspective: If you are a complete unknown, how is your book going to sell? Would you give away your money to a book project for an author that has not yet developed a loyal audience?

While you don’t have to be famous like Seth Godin to run a crowd funding campaign, you DO need to be well connected. I have two current clients who will be running crowd funding campaigns to finance their book projects in 2013. One (whom I won’t announce yet) is a first-time author, but I’m sure she will succeed. Why? Because she’s been building a massive tribe for the past 5 years and the topic of her book is spot-on target for their interests. She’s also a well-known expert on the topic of the book, and a notably successful businesswoman.

The other client is a woman named Erica Tucci. Let me tell you about Erica and why I think her project will also be a success.

In 2011, Erica suffered a profound stroke that stopped her life dead in its tracks. Now as she recovers, she’s writing a book called Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences. She’s nearly done with the first draft. In the book she shares not only her own journey, but stories from several others who have faced their own tragedies and have survived and thrived in spite of the odds. She also offers practical healing advice on how those devastated by illness can find an awakening to an entirely new life. And finally, Erica is also committing a percentage of the proceeds to a stroke rehabilitation centre that she attributes to saving her life. Altogether, the project promises to help and inspire many people.

Still in recovery and not fully able to work or earn money, Erica is planning a crowd funding campaign to subsidize the launch of the book. In truth, it’s really her only option to cover all the expenses entailed in getting her book out: hiring an editor/proofreader, book cover design, interior layout, eBook formatting, printing and, of course, the costs of marketing and launching the book (which our Spirit Authors team is doing for her).

Erica got a lot of ideas about what to do (and what not to do) in “Tip 138” of my book Tweep-e-licious, where I talk about using Twitter to propel a crowd funding campaign. In the book, I discuss in detail the top 5 mistakes most people make (not just authors) when they try to run a crowd funding campaign. Here’s a video of Erica talking about what she picked up from that tip:

If you’re reading this in your Inbox and cannot see the video, you can view it on YouTube HERE.

Erica hasn’t officially launched her crowd funding campaign yet, because she’s taking time to do her due diligence, much as Seth Godin infers above. She’s taking time to build her tribe and create her marketing materials—not for the book, but for the crowd funding campaign itself. I think this preparation, along with the compelling nature of the project itself, will lead to her success in this campaign. If you want to watch Erica’s progress, or help her with this campaign, I whole-heartedly encourage you to connect with her via Twitter at @EricaTucciMuse or on her Facebook page Radiant Survivor

Twitter can be a great component in building your tribe and, when the time is right, running a crowd funding campaign. Tweep-e-licious: 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Marketing Their Business Ethically can help you with both. I hope you’ll check it out at http://tweep-e-licious.com. When you buy the book, you’ll get a link to a free Twitter resource pack with a 90-minute Twitter audio class and links to over 100 useful Twitter resources to help get you on your way.

I also invite you to subscribe to my Tweep-e-licious playlist on YouTube, to see what other Twitter marketing tips readers have shared (drop me a line if you’d like to make a video too!): http://bit.ly/TweepVideos

~ Lynn Serafinn
13 February 2013

If you liked this article, please SHARE it!
AND please share your thoughts and comments below.

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


If you’re writing a book and want to grow YOUR tribe, give me a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way.

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

What holds so many creative individuals back from going public? Author, coach and book marketer Lynn Serafinn reveals the top 5 fears every writer faces when leaping out of the safety zone of anonymity and into the public eye.


I’ve worked professionally with creatives for more than four decades, as a teacher, mentor, coach and consultant. I started as a music teacher when I was only 15 years old and by the time I left the teaching profession in 2007, I was overseeing over 700 music and performing arts students, as well as working as an examiner at several colleges throughout the UK for one of the largest educational awarding bodies in Britain. When I made the switch to working almost exclusively with authors, I found there were many similarities between them and performing artists, especially in the way they worked. No matter what craft they practice, creative individuals love to be unfettered; they thrive upon the adrenaline rush of new ideas. However, this can often be an addiction that can stop them short of bringing a project to completion. Many of them say this is because they “get bored” if a project takes too long. But I think this so-called “boredom” is often (if not usually) based upon various fears they commonly face.

Taking on the prospect of publishing one’s work can sometimes feel like we’re leaping out of the safety of the “small pond” into the unknown, and can be just as fearful as it may seem exciting. Because so many creative individuals suffer a continual (and often unconscious) battle against their fears, I thought it would be a good idea to name the top 5 most common fears I’ve encountered when working with them:

  1. Fear of Commitment
  2. Fear of Quitting
  3. Fear of Incompetence
  4. Fear of Judgement
  5. Fear of Marketing

Fear of Commitment
Many creatives have a million brilliant ideas, but refuse to commit to a specific project and bring it to completion. Creatives are “global thinkers”, and thus many worry that if they commit to one project, it will dampen their spontaneity and stop the flow of creative ideas. This is typical of the creative mind, and unless you know this about yourself, you are likely to give into commit-o-phobia. Succumbing to it can be a recipe for lifelong feelings of failure. I have seen it happen again and again. If you have a fear of commitment, please understand that you will NEVER free up space in your creative mind for MORE projects until you finish a project and get it out of the way. Have a little more faith in your ability to create. You will ALWAYS have more ideas. Trust your creative spirit.

“You will NEVER free up space in your creative mind for MORE projects until you finish a project and get it out of the way.”

Fear of Quitting
Many creatives already have a long track record of not seeing their projects to completion. Being aware of this can cause them to lose faith in themselves, and their greatest fear is that they will spend a lot of time and money on a project only to let themselves down by quitting before it’s done. They may also fear their quitting will cause them to lose the trust of other people permanently. It may seem blatantly obvious, but the only way to overcome this fear is to finish even one small project. Even a small victory will change your beliefs about yourself. Sometimes, hiring a writing coach can be helpful provided you commit yourself to being held accountable by your coach. Get it into your head that your ability to complete your project is entirely in YOUR hands (and mind).

Fear of Incompetence
Let’s say you’ve moved through the other two fears, and now it’s obvious your book WILL be published (including self-published). You’re not necessarily out of the woods because other fears inevitably start to kick in. If the book is a non-fiction book and you have taken a stance on a particular subject, you might be afraid you won’t be able to answer difficult questions in media interviews. You might even be unsure as to whether or not you can stand by your topic fully. If these kinds of fears are controlling you, then it’s time for two things. First, sit down and restate all the reasons why this book “wants” to be written. Why does the world need this book now? What is its purpose beyond your own desire to write it? Get a really strong connection to the “life purpose” of the book. Write this purpose down and pin it over your desk. After you’ve done that, it’s time to sit down and read your book through the eyes of someone who doesn’t know you, and see how well you are communicating your ideas. You might want someone else (not your mother or best friend!) to give you objective feedback. If something is “missing” in what you are saying, ask yourself questions like, “Where am I holding back? What am I leaving out? What am I avoiding in the book?” Then, ask yourself if you could benefit from some 3rd party research resources to back up your ideas. Rework your text until you know it is expressing exactly what you mean. The best way to build competence is to get it clear in YOUR mind first, and then learn how to express it clearly to others. And remember, “competence” doesn’t have to mean “complex”. Think of SIMPLE ways to express your (complex) ideas, and people will more readily understand you.

Fear of Judgement
Fear of Judgement—whether from family and friends or from the general public—is probably the biggest fear every author faces as they get ready to publish. I don’t want to minimise this fear (as it can be crippling if it’s “got” you in its grips) but I do want to make it simple: 1) all fear is in the mind and; 2) fear is a mind-killer (as Frank Herbert said in Dune). Please note: when you write a book, people WILL judge you. It’s going to happen no matter what you do. Some will judge your favourably and others not so favourably. If you don’t allow yourself to enter the arena and be “judged”, not only will your book never get published, but YOU will never grow as an author, or as a human being. And here’s the secret I’ve learned: with every book you write you will encounter new fears of judgement that you may not have known you had. Every time you jump into those fears and allow yourself to be judged, you grow and become more resilient. The only way to deal with fear of judgement is to “feel the fear and do it anyway” (as the late Susan Jeffers said). Move through your fear of judgment by stepping into your own “graciousness” and by learning to love what makes you radically different from everyone else. Once you are willing to be this radically different person, rather than someone who “fits” a particular mould, being judged becomes a fun, amusing and even necessary part of life rather than a terrifying ordeal.

“Fear of Judgement—whether from family and friends or from the general public—is probably the biggest fear every author faces as they get ready to publish.

Fear of Marketing
Now let’s say you’ve moved through all the other fears and your book is going to come out sometime in the near future. You have grappled with the other fears to some degree or another, and have finally accepted that if you want to get their book “out there” you will need to work on a marketing plan for it. But, in my experience, the mere thought of marketing can be the source of some major fears amongst creative individuals. The two most common fears they have about marketing are: 1) That they don’t have a clue where to start and 2) That they’ll look like a sleazy salesperson if they try to market their book.

Not knowing where to start is a common fear, but reading articles on blogs like Spirit Authors is a good way to get started. And please don’t wait until your book is written to start building your marketing platform. If you have no online platform established (social network, mailing list, etc), you should get started building it at least 6 months (hopefully a full year) before your book comes out.

To get you started on your platform building (or to help you grow a platform you’ve already started), I suggest you check out my most recent book Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Business Ethically. While the book focuses on Twitter, it goes beyond it, and is a handbook of online marketing strategies that employ a systematic integration between social media, blogging, videos, etc. When you buy the book or Kindle, you can also download a 90-minute Twitter marketing audio class and a 14-page resource pack with links to over 100 Twitter resources. You can find out more about the book and the additional resources at http://tweepelicious.com

If you are one of these creatives or holistic business owners who believes that marketing will make you look “sleazy”, please know that there IS a way to market yourself creatively, in a way that does not betray your values. If anyone is telling you differently, they are probably following what I would call the “old paradigm” of marketing that depends upon fear, scarcity and other persuasive strategies. And as we have been discussing throughout this article, fear can shut down the pathways to creativity and connection. Trust your gut and know that you can create your own paradigm for marketing. To that end, I recommend you check out my book The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell¸ as it was originally inspired by people just like you.

Final Thought
The consummate author is not someone who has managed to get rid of fear altogether, but rather someone who has learned how to enjoy the fear, knowing that the ability to face bigger and bigger fears is the true measuring stick for our artistic craft and professional success.

I hope this article has struck a chord in some of you who may have been spinning your wheels in a writing project without being able to pinpoint the reasons. I believe that when we recognise which fears may be holding us back from success—and we know that millions of other creatives battle with exactly the same fears every time they approach a new project—we can begin to shift the stuckness and move into productivity. And the more productive we become, the more confident we become to face the inevitable fears that will pop up as we approach the next project, and the next after that.

~ Lynn Serafinn
5 February 2013

If you liked this article, please SHARE it!
AND please share your thoughts and comments below.

Join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook
Connect with us on Twitter.


If you’re getting ready to publish and are ready to feel the fear of jumping out of the fishbowl,  give me a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way.

AND FINALLY, DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


LYNN SERAFINN, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing — How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell and Tweep-e-licious! 158 Twitter Tips & Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs & Changemakers Who Want to Market their Business Ethically. She was recently named one of the Top 100 marketing authors on Twitter by Social Media Magazine and was selected as a finalist for the prestigious Brit Writers Awards. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

What was the real force behind Newton's creative ideas?

What was the real force behind Newton’s creative ideas?
Image from 123RF.com

What is the Creative Process?  Are some people naturally gifted or is creativity accessible to all? Author, coach and marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn of Spirit Authors shares her own understanding, from a metaphysical, scientific and practical perspective.


The great physicist and alchemist Sir Isaac Newton coined what he called the “First Law of Motion”, also known as the “Law of Inertia”. This law states that an object at rest tends to stay at rest, and an object in uniform motion tends to stay in uniform motion unless acted upon by an external force. This “law” is not merely some scientific “rule” but a dynamic principal we can see at play both in the macro- and micro- levels of Reality.

The external “force” of which Newton speaks doesn’t have anything to do with being “forceful” or aggressive. “Force” simply refers to something that has the ability to change or transform something else. Think of it as what they mean in Star Wars when they say “May the Force be with you.” The “Force” is your inner alchemical power that transforms a conscious thought into a tangible manifestation.

On the grand scale, by whatever name you wish to call it, “Force” sets Divine Creation in motion to create the universes, life and all manifestations of the physical and non-physical worlds. On a more personal level, our “Force” is what drives movement, change and creativity throughout our own lives. But the “Force” is not the same as “Will”, but rather something much more intricate and beautiful. In the specific case of writers, all the creative imagination in the world cannot manifest without the “Force”. The key difference between Newton’s law and our situation as creative individuals is that we are not “objects”, but conscious entities. And because we are conscious, if we imagine the energy needed to break our inertia will come from an external force, we might find ourselves waiting a very long time for the “magic bullet” to send us inspiration. We don’t need a magic bullet. We need the “Force”.

In short…

The Force = the Creative Process

 

The Creative Process doesn’t “belong” to us, but rather is the fundamental energy of the Divine Creation. If you ever said, “I’m not creative,” you were wrong. You are part of Creation; therefore the very food of life for you is creativity. It is impossible for you not to contain the seeds of creativity within you. However, if you do not activate that potential creativity through the 3-fold force of the creative process, you may not ever convert that potential energy into something tangible.

What is the Creative Process? My own personal definition of the Creative Process is “the act of bringing into manifestation that which already lies in the Collective Creation”. In other words, all that we seem to create already existed in the great “Cosmic Soup”, and we simply tapped into it and somehow — through words, pictures, music or other media — and made it understandable to others. This is how I have experienced it. I’ve heard other creative artists say much the same.

The Creative Process is comprised of three components:

1. Consciousness (mind)
2. Will (heart or soul)
3. Energy (body)

Body, mind and soul. ALL three are needed to activate the Creative Process. If you don’t tap into all three, you will find it very challenging to sustain movement in your writing project. This is equally so for any creative project, from starting a family to starting a new business.

Let’s look at each of these components in turn and consider how they contribute to your Creative Process. In this article, we’ll look at the first component: consciousness or mind.

Consciousness (Mind)
Consciousness or mind is the place where your ideas are conceived. It is the place where you receive the inspiration from the Universal Creative Principle that exists in all places and at every moment. Think of it like the receiver of a big satellite dish getting signals from outer space. The dish is connected to a data processor where the signals can be organised, and then stored into a hard-drive for future use.

Consciousness or mind is NOT the place where creativity manifests; it is the place where information is received from the Cosmic Soup. As such, we need to be an open channel, ready to receive that information.  Whenever you get an idea “in a flash” or you “see” or “hear” a story, vision, teaching or whatever, that is the moment you are connected to, and receiving from, the Creative Consciousness. People who say they “channel” their work are familiar with this connection. You don’t have to describe your work as being “channelled” if you don’t like this word, but the truth is ALL true creativity comes from finding that connection to the Greater Creative Consciousness and allowing it to fill your mind with ideas, teaching, stories, visions, words, pictures, shapes or whatever it happens to send you.

Some creative artists describe the phenomenon of “writer’s block” as the inability to come up with any ideas. In my opinion, “writer’s block” is simply what we experience when we impose our ego, insecurities, self-judgments and other obstacles, and allow them to get in the way of our natural connection to Greater Creative Consciousness, thus restricting the transmission of ideas from It. When we start to second-guess ourselves and tell ourselves that we are not capable, or that we are in some way inferior to the calling, what we are actually doing is refusing to trust the Greater Creative Consciousness. We refuse to believe it will sustain us, inform us and enlighten us. We refuse to believe it will love us enough to fill in the gaps we might see within ourselves.

Always remember this: The Greater Creative Consciousness does NOT judge you the way you judge yourself. It is 100% impartial to any of your self-perceived flaws or drawbacks. It is sending you creative messages at every moment; if you are not receiving them, it is because you are filtering them out. The reasons why you are filtering them are complex, but in my opinion this filtering is at the core of why human beings suffer. I believe, we can end our own suffering and your karmic cycle in an instant simply by opening our consciousness to receive—without judgement or filters—all that the Greater Creative Consciousness has to give us at any given moment. In fact, once you turn this channel on, you might even need to develop strategies for switching it OFF when you need to focus on the practical side of creation.

“The Greater Creative Consciousness does NOT judge you the way you judge yourself… It is sending you creative messages at every moment; if you are not receiving them, it is because you are filtering them out.”

I hope you found this look at the role of consciousness in the Creative Process to be useful. In Part 2 of this article series, we’ll be looking at the next component of the Creative Process: “Will” (heart or soul).

I’d love to hear your own thoughts, beliefs and experiences with the Creative Process.
Please do share in the comments box below.

Please also join us on the Spirit Authors Page on Facebook and connect with us on Twitter.


If you’d love to have some help to get your creative process flowing again so you can move forward in your writing or marketing journey, give me a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way.

AND DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing: How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is the founder of Spirit Authors, a site dedicated to providing information on publishing and book promotioin for and about mind-body-spirit authors, both established and aspiring. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

 

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU

Categories : News, Writing & Editing
Comments (2)

Lets' Go! If you want to write a book but just can’t seem to get going, maybe you still need the most important ingredient. Author, coach Lynn Serafinn of Spirit Authors explains (updated version from article orginally published Dec 31, 2009).


Many people dream of writing a book, but far fewer  actually take the steps needed to get started. In my experience, this is largely due to many self-imposed reasons we make up that get in the way.

If you have had a life-long dream of writing a book, and for some reason you never seem to get started, perhaps you have been telling yourself you needed something “more” before you could even think of beginning such a project. You might have told yourself you needed…

  • More training or better language skills
  • More technical understanding of the publishing process
  • More time
  • More self discipline.
  • More connections in the publishing industry
  • More talent
  • More ideas
  • More originality
  • More confidence
  • More… well, you fill in the blanks.

After years of professional experience as a musician, writer, teacher and a coach who works with creative people, there is one thing I have learned: as soon as we humans start to impose such “I-can’t-do-this-until-I-have-more-of-something-or-other” conditions upon our dreams, we completely shut down our natural, creative process. While this is true for all people, it is especially true for the soft, sensitive and highly reflective types of people who write in the mind-body-spirit genre.

Forget for a minute about all the things you might have told yourself in the past. There is really only ONE thing you need in order to write a book, especially a mind-body-spirit book: You need to be able to identify why your book must be written. Only when you have truly identified the greater purpose for your book will you be able to get behind it 100%. A clear purpose will serve you far greater than any other “practical” element you have might imagined you needed. During the publication process of my first book, I myself encountered several roadblocks where I worried I might lose hope, but, time after time, the greater purpose of my book brought me back into balance, got me reconnected, and kept me going to bring it to the level of success I wanted.

“Only when you have truly identified the greater purpose
for your book will you be able to get behind it 100%.”

This is why the very first thing I suggest to aspiring authors who want to write a book is to “identify why your book MUST be written”.

Notice I use the word “must”. I believe, in the greater scheme of the Universe, your book “must” be written. It’s essential you also believe this, and that you know the reason why this is so. I don’t take an intellectual approach to guide you through this discovery, but a true coaching process to help you uncover all the hidden layers of resistance that may be blocking you from fully connecting to the heart and soul of your book project. Even if you are already writing a book, or have written books in the past, this lesson gives you practical tools to explore and discover the essence of the “life purpose” of your book, so you can not only get started, but stick with it even when the going gets rough.

If you’re already writing a book but seem to lose focus, or you really want to write a book but can’t seem to get going, take some time out to reflect upon the greater purpose of your book. To me, this is the most essential ingredient for bringing a book from concept to publication.

If you could use some fresh ideas to help you gain the focus you need, and you’d love to have someone making the journey with you and you progress (as well as help you start early promotion for your book), give me a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way.

Please DO leave your comments below. I LOVE hearing from you!

AND DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing: How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is the founder of Spirit Authors, a site dedicated to providing information on publishing and book promotioin for and about mind-body-spirit authors, both established and aspiring. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

http://bit.ly/Pf5mAU
Categories : News, Writing & Editing
Comments (12)
7 KeysCampaign manager Lynn Serafinn shares a simple formula to give power to your words (this is an updated version of an aritlce orginally published on April 5, 2010).

If you are planning an Amazon campaign for your book launch, you will need the help of a great network of personal and professional friends to help you. But something you might not have thought about is the fact that you will need to provide some “ezine copy” for them to use to help promote your book. That’s right: YOU will have to provide the article or articles your “joint venture partners” (JVPs) will send out to their lists.

The reason for this is two-fold. First of all, your JVPs are probably pretty busy, and if you ask them to write an article for you, it is less likely they will have it ready in time to meet your timetable. Secondly, YOU are the person who knows best what you want to say about your book. Those are the two most important reasons why you should write the “copy” (article) for your JVPs’ newsletters when they offer to promote you. And you’ll need to write several over the course of the campaign, in order to speak to the different audiences your partners represent.

I know this might sound a little daunting to some of you, especially those of you who don’t like the idea of “selling” (which covers just about 99.9% of the mind-body-spirit authors I know), so I thought I would give you a little formula to get you started, so you could see it is not so much about selling at all, as it is about connecting and inspiring the reader.

When you write your copy, make sure it meets the following criteria:
  1. It is between 400-700 words.
  2. It is written casually in the 3rd person as if the JVP is writing about you.
  3. It arouses curiosity in the title and opening line.
  4. It inspires the reader by sharing something meaningful about you and your book.
  5. It has a specific place where the JVP can (and should) personalise it.
  6. It’s NOT a sales letter but…
  7. It has a short, clear call to action at the end (i.e., it tells people when, where and why to get your book).
Ways to Keep it Real
  1. Remember  that the primary purpose of your copy is to arouse curiosity, and not to “sell” your book (yes, I thought you’d be happy to know that!).
  2. The other thing to remember is to write it in the third person about you, as if your JVPs were writing the article. There is tremendous power in your partners’ saying, “I found this book to be inspiring.”
  3. Make sure you have places in the article where partners can personalise it to make it more their own. And if “keeping it real” means that you need to send a copy of your book to your partners (at least a pdf version of it), BE GENEROUS and do so. It will help them say (nice) things about you in a much more authentic way.
  4. Don’t make your ezine copy just about the book. Make it also about YOU. Audiences like to know the person behind the book. Talk about how the book came to be. Bring the reader on a personal journey. Let them into your world. If you only talk about the book, a vital human connection will be missing.
  5. Your ‘call to action’ should be consistent with the character of the article. In other words, do NOT make it schmoozy and salesy. Make your call to action short and INVITING rather than hitting people over the head with ‘you’ve gotta get this book because it will change your life’ kind of attitude. Let it emerge naturally from the body of the article instead of jumping out like an attack!
See an example of this in action

If you want to see an example of this in action, have a look at the article I wrote called “How to Have a Life Well Lived”. I was the campaign manager for Patrick Ryan’s book campaign, so I made this copy (and several others) for the JVPs on his Amazon campaign. If you analyse it carefully, you will see 7 key elements I mention above. It must have worked, because his book went to #1 in spirituality in Canada and #2 in the US on the day of his launch in April 2010. :-)

Are YOU Planning a Book Launch?

If you are seeking a manager for your mind-body-spirit campaign, give me a shout via the CONTACT FORM on this site and we can set up a FREE 30 minutes Skype chat to see if I can help in any way. Please note I only accept a limited amount of clients per year and require a 6-month lead in time for a full-service launch.

Please DO leave your comments below. I LOVE hearing from you!

AND DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing: How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is the of Spirit Authors, a site dedicated to providing information on publishing and book promotioin for and about mind-body-spirit authors, both established and aspiring. Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise.

Twitter:
@LynnSerafinn @SpiritAuthors @7GracesMarketng @GardenOfTheSoul

Facebook:

LynnSerafinn SpiritAuthors 7GracesOfMarketing 7 Graces Global Garden (group)

Your book is magic! Bestselling author and book marketing consultant Lynn Serafinn shares her top reasons why an outline can help you get your book written.

If you are in the middle of a book project and you keep getting stuck, or it seems to take on a life of its own and go ‘all over the place’, it’s probably because you have no outline OR you did at one time and you have since abandoned it. Because I have seen that so many new authors writing their first book do not make an outline before beginning their project, I thought I’d share with you the TOP 10 reasons (plus 1) why defining a structure and creating an outline for your book is so important:

  1. It makes writing easier. When you go to sit down to work, you know exactly what parts of your book need to get done. And remember, just because you have an ordered outline, you are NOT committed to writing it in order. You can start anywhere.
  2. It makes reading easier. Books that have a structure are easier for readers to comprehend.
  3. It makes your message memorable. Readers can remember your message when there is a structure attached to it. It makes abstract concepts more memorable, and enables readers to feel they have gained something they can take away from the book, after they have finished it.
  4. It helps ensure you are thorough. If you have an outline, you won’t accidentally omit something vital to your message or storyline.
  5. It helps limit continuity errors. While thoroughness refers to ensuring that all important thoughts and details are included in your text, continuity refers to ensuring your thoughts and events following a logical sequence. An outline can help you see the continuity of your book before writing it.
  6. It helps ensure your book has symmetry. Symmetry means that all the assembled parts of your book have a “shape” when pieced all together.
  7. It helps ensure your book has balance. A good outline can help you see if some parts of your book are less substantial than others. A well-balanced book is organised in such a way that the ideas are balanced both in quantity and in quality against each other.
  8. It helps keep you focussed. When you have an outline (and stick to it) you won’t be as tempted to go off on a tangent. This doesn’t mean you will NEVER deviate or come up with great new ideas. But if the outline is there, you can see how these new ideas fit into your original intention.
  9. It helps to motivate you. When you have an outline, you see yourself making progress and ticking off the “boxes”, so to speak. This helps keep you motivated as you move closer and closer to your goal of finishing your book.
  10. It helps you develop a regular writing practice. If you have an outline to depend upon, you are far more likely to sit down at your desk (or wherever you happen to write) and START WRITING rather than waiting for the “muse” to shoot arrows at you.

And here’s the +1 bonus reason…

It keeps your READERS engaged. When you are writing a book, you are like a tour guide taking your readers on a journey from point A to point B. If you don’t know where your readers are starting from, you won’t be able to ‘meet them’ and get them on board at the beginning of the book. And if you don’t know where you’re taking them, a lot of them will hop of the bus (i.e., put down your book) before they get to the destination…if you manage to take them there at all.

Case in point: did you notice how I used structure to create cohesion in this article? FIRST decided I would find 10 top reasons, and then wrote down the reasons. Then, I started writing. Because I organised my ideas through a structure, the article seemed to write itself. And for you as a reader, isn’t it a lot easier to remember them than if I simply talked about the topic without a structure?

‘When you are writing a book, you are like a tour guide taking your readers on a journey from point A to point B.’

When I first started writing my book The 7 Graces of Marketing in 2010, I didn’t have a structure. I wrote a lot, but I ‘waffled’ a heck of a lot too. I kept moving things around and couldn’t see where I was going. I found myself saying the same thing over and over without realising it, and there was no real over-arching point or direction for what I was writing. Then, one day, about an hour before I was going to deliver a talk on ‘spiritual marketing’ to a group of business owners at the One World Festival here in the UK, I felt really stuck in knowing how to communicate the ideas I felt intuitive, but couldn’t quite put my fingers on.  I ‘called out to the heavens’ in sheer frustration asking (out loud), ‘What IS it? What IS it?’ I needed to know the ‘hook’, the outline, the structure of what I was trying to say because without this ‘map’ even I was lost! Amazingly, the 7 Graces (and 7 Deadly Sins) of marketing almost magically appeared in an instant. After that, the book took me another year to write, but I knew my direction every step of the way.

Don’t ‘fear’ the parameters of your outline or turn it into ‘gospel’. Just because you decide upon a structure doesn’t mean it can’t (or shouldn’t) bend flexibly as you go along. In fact, if you don’t allow your book to flow where it wants to go within the essence of your structure, you will not be honouring your creative spontaneity, and you might limit the impact of your book. You might first come up with a single outline structure, and they you find more structures within that structure as you write.

For example, when I sat down to write my new Twitter book Tweep-e-Licious (coming out Oct 2012) I challenged myself to write 100 Twitter ‘tips’, which I did. Then, when I looked at them, I saw they could be broken into 14 categories, which helped me organise them even more. Then, as I started writing, I found I needed to merge some tips, split some tips into two or three separate tips, and add others I hadn’t thought of when I first started. Eventually, I ended up with 160 tips. Then, I also found the book ‘wanted’ to draw upon the 7 Graces to bring more relevance to the book. Then, the book ‘wanted’ to go beyond practical tips and get into strategies and issues around ethics. The end result was something that was VERY different from my original concept of a ‘quick little eBook on Twitter’. But what I got from it was a substantial, meaningful book with which I’m much happier and I think will bring more value to readers. And the amazing thing is that I wrote this book in less than two months, compared to the two years I took to write my previous books. It all started by creating a structure early in the process, and then allowing the structure to bend and flow. It kept me extremely motivated, and I wrote just about every day because I was genuinely excited about how I felt when writing.

And THAT is probably the best reason of all to have
an outline, structure or ‘hook’ to your book.
It makes you love writing.

If you’ve got a book, or a project in you, or a BRAND in you, having a structure to ‘hang it on’ can really clarify your direction and purpose. But many times creative individuals find it difficult to define the ‘hook’ needed to take a book, business or speaking platform forward. While most people know me as a marketing consulting, helping to clarify structures and brands is another way I help authors, speakers, business owners and social entrepreneurs. If you’ve been struggling to find your structure or your unique ‘hook’, please drop me a line via the CONTACT FORM on this site, and we can set up a free 30 minute consultation.

So what do YOU think? Are outlines necessary? Are they liberating, doorways to creativity or just plain restrictive strangle-holds? Please share your own book and outline writing journeys with our Spirit Authors readers by leaving a comment below.

AND DON’T FORGET to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for more tips on writing, publishing, book promotion and new mind-body-spirit book releases.


Lynn Serafinn, MAED, CPCC is a certified, award-winning coach, teacher, marketer, social media expert, radio host, speaker and author of the number one bestseller The 7 Graces of Marketing: How to Heal Humanity and the Planet by Changing the Way We Sell. Her eclectic approach to marketing incorporates her vast professional experience in the music industry and the educational sector along with more than two decades of study and practice of the spirituality of India. In her work as a promotional manager she has produced a long list of bestselling mind-body-spirit authors. She is the founder of Spirit Authors, a site dedicated to providing information on publishing and book promotioin for and about mind-body-spirit authors, both established and aspiring.

Lynn is also the Founder of the 7 Graces Project, a budding social enterprise whose aim is to help grow a new generation of passionate entrepreneurs who want to serve both people and planet through innovative, ethical, independent enterprise. Join their community on Facebook at http://facebook.com/groups/7GracesGlobalGarden.

Watch for Lynn’s new book Tweep-e-Licious: 160 Twitter Tips and Strategies for Writers, Social Entrepreneurs and Changemakers Who Want to Market Their Businesses Ethically (coming October 2012).

Categories : News, Writing & Editing
Comments (4)

Recommended:

HootSuite - Social Media Dashboard As Featured On EzineArticles
Blastation Interactive Goal Setting and Life Coaching Software to Organize and Activate Your Best Life Ever - START YOUR FREE TRIAL TODAY!
Free 30-day trial

Catch my radio show Wednesdays