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Author Pat Honiotes

Author Pat Honiotes

Author Pat Honiotes’ (pictured left) has written an empowering book called The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out. Today we share an audio interview of how Spirit Authors helped her behind the scenes to get her book published. 

Recently, my good friend Shelagh Jones of Spiritus Spiritual Marketing Directory contacted me saying she was working with a client to self-publish and launch her self-help book, and she needed some help from me to fill in the gaps. The client was a delightful woman named Patricia J. Honiotes, M.S. and her book is entitled The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out – How to Go From Stuck to Star of Your Life.

PAT HONIOTES, M.S. is an internationally renowned personal empowerment coach, therapist, educator, and Reiki Master Teacher and healer. Formerly a special education teacher, Pat has a Masters Degrees in Counseling Psychology and is also a Board Certified Medical Hypnoanalyst. Since 1982, she has helped thousands of clients take ownership of their lives through private sessions, seminars, workshops and classes. Her down-to-earth honesty and non-judgmental outlook create a relaxed, safe environment for all who work with her. A firm believer in “walking the talk”, Pat’s book The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out is the culmination of her personal life journey combined with over three decades of work devoted to helping clients reclaim their self-worth and experience the joy and richness of life itself.

As you can see from her bio, Pat is tremendously experienced in the personal development field, but what she had never really done before was think like a marketer. The subsidiary press she was using to publish her book asked her for a ‘book blurb’ and some copy for the back cover of her book. While Pat was an expert in her subject matter, she really didn’t have a clue where to begin with these challenges. She asked Shelagh for help, who in turn contacted me (thank-you, Shelagh!). So, I wrote both the book blurb and the back cover copy. I also wrote Pat’s bio (which you see above) AND made a 1-page media kit for her.

Pat’s book, The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out, comes out this week on Friday November 8th, 2013. Shelagh has organized a Virtual Blog Tour (VBT) for Pat to help promote the launch, and because I was involved in the publishing process, she asked me if I would be a ‘stop’ on the tour. Today I am delighted to be the host on the 3rd day of Pat’s VBT. Yesterday, Pat H. visited Pat Thompson’s ‘Cultivating Balance’ blog at http://work-life-balance.blogspot.co.uk, where they explored a fascinating perspective on ‘figuring ourselves out’.

Because the purpose of Spirit Authors is to offer self-publishing and marketing advice to authors, Shelagh came up with a brilliant idea that, instead of me interviewing Pat about her book, Shelagh would do an audio interview with me about the process of creating the book blurb and back cover copy. That way, we could take you ‘behind the scenes’ of the book launch, while we also told you about Pat’s book.

Click the audio player to listen to the interview:
Shelagh Jones Interviews Lynn Serafinn about writing blurbs for your book

If you cannot see the audio player on your screen, click here to open or download the MP3.

In our 13 1/2 minute interview together, Shelagh and I touched upon these topics:

  1. What is a book blurb and who is it for?
  2. Why is a book blurb so important?
  3. Why do authors think they can do it themselves?
  4. What happens when we think TOO outside the box when writing our blurb?
  5. Why is it important for someone other than the author to write the blurb?
  6. Where do you need to start when writing a book blurb?
  7. What do readers need to see in your blurb before they buy your book?
  8. How does your book blurb differ from a sales letter?
  9. What is the single most important thing you need to ‘zero in’ on before writing your blurb?
  10. What are the 4 steps that go into a book blurb?
  11. How do you make your back cover copy from your blurb?
  12. How do you submit your book blurb so it gets distributed to Amazon, etc.?
  13. What are the technical considerations for your book blurb and back cover copy?
  14. What is the difference between a POD (print-on-demand) company and a subsidiary press (self-publishing) company?
  15. What are the different levels of help these companies will give you?
  16. Why is it worth budgeting the money to get your blurb and back cover copy written for you?

BOOK - The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out by Pat Honiotes

So that you see what we’ve been talking about, here’s the ‘back cover blurb’ I made for Pat’s book (you can see the complete wholesaler blurb when you check out the book on Amazon). This should also give you a feel for how all the elements we discussed in the interview come together when you write your back cover copy. I’ve put it in blue to make it easier to see where it begins and ends.

### BEGIN BACK COVER COPY ###

“Why Do I Feel So STUCK?”

You’ve played life by the “rules”. You’re a responsible person. You’re educated. You work hard. You have friends and family. But something isn’t quite right. Life is good, but not great. Things are stable, but not exciting. You like your job, but you don’t feel stretched or challenged. You’re making money, but you don’t feel abundant. You’re reasonably healthy, but not truly vibrant. Your relationships are OK, but deep inside, you crave more connection and intimacy with those you love.

The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out is a book for people who feel like they’ve been ‘doing’ life instead of living it. In this book, author Pat Honiotes MS has amalgamated over three decades of professional experience in medical hypnoanalysis and personal empowerment coaching to bring you a one-of-a-kind, step-by-step handbook of techniques and practices that can help you figure out where, why and how you’re stuck in life, and create a unique, personalized action plan for change.

In this book, you’ll discover:

  • How to achieve greater connection in your personal and professional relationships
  • How to attain career goals you always felt were beyond your reach
  • How to communicate in a more mature and empowered way
  • How to detect your own ‘symptoms’ before they become major issues
  • And much more

If you’re ready to get UNSTUCK now, read
The Practical Guide to Figuring Yourself Out

### END COPY ###

I hope you found this interview useful, and that you also check out Pat’s book. You can get the book at http://www.figuringyourselfout.com.

Lynn Serafinn
6 November 2013

P.S.: If you’d like to read more about writing blurbs for your book, you might find my article ‘How to Write Good Blurbs and Back Pages for Your Book‘ to be helpful.

P.P.S.: If you’d like to discuss hiring us to make a blurb, back cover copy, bio and/or media kit for YOUR book, drop us a line via the contact form on this site.


 

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 also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal 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)

 

Erica Tucci, Stroke Survivor and Author of Radiant SurvivorPictured left: author and stroke survivor Erica Tucci. Erica’s beautiful book Radiant Survivor is coming to Amazon on November 19th. To celebrate this launch, Erica and I are co-hosting an uplifting 3-day telesummit featuring world-renowned author and medical doctor Bernie Siegel MD. Find out how to attend (fr*ee) below.

One of the things I love most about my job is that I get to work with wonderful people. As I only work with authors in the self-help, mind-body-spirit and social reform genres, they tend to share some very special qualities. They have a devotion to personal and social transformation. They want to help people. They want to create a better world.

Another thing many (if not all) of them have in common is that they have experienced some sort of major transformation in their own lives – often a traumatic one that turned their lives upside down – which gave them insight and wisdom that would not have been accessible to them otherwise.

That’s what happened to Fortune 500 business manager Erica Tucci in 2011 when she collapsed to the floor on her way to work one day. Erica had a profound stroke that totally paralysed the right side of her body.

But something remarkable happened to Erica as she went through her 2-year process of rehabilitation and recovery. She discovered the trauma she had experienced was actually the BEST thing that had ever happened to her, and the wisdom and life-lessons she was learning were completely transforming her life for the better.

That revelation prompted Erica to write her powerful book, Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences. The book includes Erica’s story and the stories of 14 other survivors and caregivers, along with exercises for healing and a wealth of wisdom and life-lessons.


Radiant Survivor: How to Shine and Thrive through Recovery from Stroke, Cancer, Abuse, Addiction and Other Life-Altering Experiences
 is a book about healing. It is a wellspring of hope, inspiration and encouragement to anyone facing trauma in their life.

BOOK: Radiant Survivor by Erica Tucci

 

The book contains stories from author Erica Tucci along with 14 other everyday heroes who, against all odds, survived and thrived after tragedy shook their lives to the core. It also contains a wealth of life lessons and practical exercises that will show you how to:

  • Believe in yourself and never give up
  • Understand the limiting beliefs that hold you back
  • Be grateful and have the right attitude
  • Surrender and let go
  • Establish your support system
  • See recovery as a transformative process
  • Get “real” about the possibility of not recovering
  • Understand the impact of trauma on families, friends and caregivers

But most of all, Radiant Survivor will help you understand how your experience is part of your sacred contract with the Divine, and how trauma can help you find out what is really important in life.

I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Erica for the better part of a year now, and I’ve been continually amazed at how she really does shine and thrive, even on days when she struggles with her physical recovery. Her devotion to her work has resulted in her becoming an official Online Ambassador for the American Stroke Association. She has also received these endorsements from some names you will undoubtedly recognise:

“Erica Tucci touches on a subject I am all too well aware of. Her story is mine. She brings the reader through the realities and frustrations of suffering a life threatening illness but adds that ray of light at the end of that dark tunnel as hope is always there if you believe and find your own true strength.”

KEVIN SORBO (aka Hercules on TV series)
Actor, stroke survivor, author of True Strength

Survivors have common qualities and are an excellent resource for all of us. They become our life coaches and help us to learn from our experiences and be guided by them. Erica’s experience can help us all to learn about survivor behavior and thriving in difficult times.”

– DR. BERNIE SIEGEL, MD
Medical Doctor, author of Book of Miracles and The Art of Healing

Radiant Survivor is having its big Amazon launch on Tuesday November 19th, 2013. To celebrate the arrival of this special book, Erica and I are co-hosting a special FR*EE 3-day telesummit…

11 Guest Speakers on the Radiant Survivor Telesummit

Radiant Survivor Telesummit

Radiant Survivor Telesummit
Nov 12th, 13th and 14th, 2013
3pm EST, 12noon PST, 8pm UK
with a panel of 11 international speakers
exploring what it takes to shine, thrive and grow
when trauma effects our lives

Book Your Place at
http://bit.ly/1edsUmy

Here’s the complete line-up:

  • Erica Tucci – Life coach; Reiki Master; stroke survivor; author of Radiant Survivor
  • Lynn Serafinn – marketer; domestic violence survivor; author of The 7 Graces of Marketing
  • Bernie Siegel MD – World-renowned surgeon; author of A Book of Miracles and The Art of Healing
  • Allison Maslan – Entrepreneur; near-death trauma survivor; author of Blast-Off!
  • Mal Duane – Alcoholism survivor; certified Life Recovery Coach; author of Alpha Chick
  • Sue Frederick – Author of Bridges to Heaven, I See Your Dream Job, and I See Your Soul Mate
  • Deb Scott – Author of The Sky is Green and The Grass is Blue; host of “The Best People We Know Show”
  • Delanie Stephenson – Stroke survivor; author The Calm before the Storm; Online Ambassador for the American Stroke Association
  • Suzanne Rose Lubkowski – Energy healer; intuitive life coach; her care-giver story appears in the book Radiant Survivor
  • Callie Carling – Cancer survivor; Laughter Yoga teacher; creativity coach; contributing author for Radiant Survivor
  • Barbara Techel – Speaker; author of Through Frankie’s Eyes; her care-giver story appears in the book Radiant Survivor

I do hope you’ll join us for what promises to be a truly rich, uplifting and revitalising event. As I said earlier, it’s completely free to attend.

If you can’t make the live broadcast, register anyway because you’ll be able to listen to the replay anytime until the launch on November 19th.

PLUS when you buy Radiant Survivor on the day of the launch, you’ll receive the MP3 downloads from the event, plus dozens of other bonus gifts, as a special ‘thank-you’ from Erica and her friends.

Book Your Place on the
Radiant Survivor Telesummit at
http://bit.ly/1edsUmy


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Take a 14-day free trial at:

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

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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 also received the eLit Book Awards Silver Medal in Humanitarian and Ecological Social Affairs, as well as the Bronze Medal 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)

Categories : Blog, Books and Authors, News
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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

 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

 


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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.

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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

 


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

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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
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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

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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:

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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

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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.

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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

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Back when I started Spirit Authors 2 years ago, it was my intentions to create a site that could help mind-body-spirit/self-help authors– both aspiring and extablished–to learn how to establish themselves online, so they could learn how to spread the word about all the great work they do. The 7 Graces of Marketing BOOK COVERIt was my experience that a great many artist, holistic and spiritually-minded people didn’t like to do marketing; and as a result, they stuggled to survive financially. I found it sad to see so many people give up on their dreams, so I wanted to make sure Spirit Authors provided them with lots of (free) resources that could help them.

At the exact same time I was launching Spirit Authors, I began writing a new book of my own, which originally was intended to be a book for all those sensitive souls who didn’t like marketing, but needed to do it. I thought if I could help create a new paradigm for these kinds of people, it might be useful.

But after I started diving deeply into the subject of marketing, I discovered so many revealing (and sometimes shocking) things about its history, intention and practice, and so many serious issues arising from consumer culture, that I knew this book was going to be something altogether different from what I had originally intended.

And now, after 2 years of daily writing, researching and pulling it all together, TODAY–Tuesday December 13th, 2011–is the big Amazon launch for my new book The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell. (Click the title to find buy the book and receive some great gifts).

The 7 Graces of Marketing is a bold, holistic and often spiritual examination not merely of the world of advertising, but also of our entire world view. It reveals how our relationships with Self, others, our businesses, our economy and the Earth impact our health, our economy and the delicate ecological balance of our natural world. As much for the conscious consumer as the business owner, this book shows why traditional ways of selling are ultimately doomed to fail, and how both business owners and consumers can begin to heal the world by embracing a new paradigm I call ‘The 7 Graces of Marketing.’

When you buy the book TODAY you can receive the complete set of 7 MP3s (over 10 hours of audio) from last week’s 7 Graces of Marketing Telesummit, with 24 internationally renowned speakers, such as Joe Vitale, Eric Pearl and 22 others, speaking about the ‘7 Deadly Sins’ of marketing and the ‘7 Graces’ of marketing. You’ll also receive dozens of other gifts offered by my friends and colleagues, to express our appreciation for your support.

To buy the book, and claim your MP3s from the 7 Graces Telesummit, and receive a fabulous selection of gifts from my friends and colleauges, here’s all you need to do:

  1. Sometime TODAY, go to http://the7gracesofmarketing.com/book-launch/pages/launch.html. This is the “launch” page.
  2. On that page, you will see links to buy the book on Amazon US, Canada or UK (yes, you may purchase the book from another Amazon site; we just didn’t have room for all the links)
  3. Click a link to buy the book on the Amazon of your choice. You may buy the book in either paperback or Kindle version
  4. After you have purchased the book, Amazon will give you a purchase code. The purchase code is a 17-digit number, and it looks like this: 123-1234567-1234567. Copy this number to your computer clipboard.
  5. Return to the “launch page” and enter your name, email AND your Amazon purchase code in the form.
  6. When you hit the button that says “Yes, Please!” you will be taken immediately to the “bonus” page. This page has all the links to take you to the bonus gifts.
  7. Just click the links of the gifts you would like to download.

That’s all there is to it!

I am extremely passionate about this subject (as you will have heard if you listened to last week’s telesummit), and I am dedicated to getting the dialogue started in the business sector so we can change the way we do marketing, and make a brighter, healthier, happier world for our children and children’s children. I do hope you’ll check out The 7 Graces of Marketing.

Click HERE to get the book, the MP3s and free gifts now

Please PAY NO ATTENTION if Amazon says, “Only 3 left in stock” or “Ships in 1-4 weeks”. We have test ordered the book, and it takes about a 7-10 days to ship, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to “be out of stock” because this is a “print on demand” book, which means the book will be printed and shipped to you whenever you place an order.

If you have any questions or experience any problems, please do not hesitate to contact me via the contact from on this site.

AND, I’d love to hear what you have to say about the book after you have read it, so be sure to subscribe to this blog so you can find your way back here. I’m also starting a 7 Graces of Marketing Community for everyone who has bought the book, and who would like to meet others of like mind who want to bring ethics and values back into our business and marketing. So please do stay in touch.

With gratitude and appreciation,

Lynn Serafinn

Author, coach, author promotions

http://spiritauthors.com

http://spiritauthorscoach.com

http://the7gracesofmarketing.com

Comments (0)

As a book promotion expert and book campaign manager, I receive a LOT of requests for consultations from authors who are preparing to publish their books. Some are experienced authors who have published in the past, either self-published or through a royalty publisher. Others are first-time (and usually self-published) authors. During our initial consultation, I tend to hear many of the same questions again and again. As these questions are so key to authors before they decide whether or not to do a full-blown “bestseller launch” for their book, I thought it might be a good idea to pull together my “Top 10 Most Frequently Asked Questions” I am asked by authors on almost a daily basis.

Q1: How many books will I sell during my online book launch?

First of all, let’s define “the launch” as a 24-48 hour period of time in which we will be driving traffic to buy your book. Asking how many books you will sell during that time is really like asking “How long is a piece of string?” It depends upon so many factors that we can only, at best, give a very broad figure. I have had clients who sell as few as 50 books during a launch and others who have sold around 1000. The average self-published author tends to sell between 300 and 500 books during a launch. Those with major publishers might sell twice that amount, not necessarily because the publisher helps with your promotion, but more because people recognise the “brand identity” of the publisher and are more willing to take a chance on the title. And of course, if you are not a first-time author you will probably sell more books if people know your name already. The key to selling more books is to devote a fair amount of time well before your launch to cultivate and grow your audience. That’s why I spend the first two months of work with my clients developing strategies and systems to build their platform and mailing list before anything else.

Q2: How do I become an Amazon bestseller?

If your book sales are amongst the Top 100 in any category on Amazon, you are technically a “bestseller.” You don’t have to be in the Top 100 of all books. There are dozens of categories and sub-categories on Amazon, and if you achieve a sales ranking in the Top 100 in any of these, you can say you are a bestseller. Of course, it is always nice to hit the “Top 20” or the “Top 5” or (best of all) the #1 sales rank in one or more categories.

Q3: How many books do I need to sell to be an Amazon bestseller?

Again, this is not a question I can answer definitively because being an “Amazon bestseller” is a relative title, and it depends upon: 1) how well other books in your categories are selling on your launch day and 2) how competitive your categories are. Some categories like “Religion and Spirituality” or “Business and Investing” are extremely competitive with thousands of titles up against many famous authors for the top position on the list. Other categories, such as “channelling” or “alternative medicine” are less competitive.

Q4: How can I choose the category I will be in on Amazon?

If you were to ask this question of some of the top publishers (I have), the common answer you will receive is this: “You can’t.”However, I have found this not to be 100% true. Let me explain.

First of all, when you submit a book for publication through Lightning Source (for example), you choose 2 “BIC” (Book Industry Communication) categories, which are standard categories that are used by all publishers and distributors. Now the problem lies in how retailers interpret these categories. Think of the last time you went to look for a book in the shops. Sometimes it might be in the “self help” category, while other times it might be in the “spirituality” section, etc.

Amazon “interprets” your BIC categories according to their “virtual” bookshelf. To make things even MORE confusing, Amazon UK, Canada and US might not interpret your book at all in the same way. Even major publishers have told me they have no real control over this. Some authors find their books placed in very strange categories. BUT here’s the big secret I have found: I your book is not ranking in the right category, you CAN get Amazon to change it via Author Central in the US and the UK. Just write to them and ask them to recategorise your book. My book The 7 Graces of Marketing was placed in the “accounting” category at first (NOT!!). When I wrote to Author Central, they very quickly and painlessly put the book into the cateogries I requested: business ethics and marketing/sales.

If you are unsure of what categories to choose, your best bet to get your book in the RIGHT category is to do some market research to find out which categories other titles appear that you feel are the closest in content or message to your own book. Don’t go for a “top level” category like “Business and Finance” or “Health and Wellness””. Go for a sub, or even sub-sub category. Get it as precise as possible. That will not only help you increase your likelihood of reaching the top of the ranks (as it will be less competitvie) bit it will also increase the likelihood of people who are looking for your book will find it, because Amazon’s system will group it together with similar books.

Then, make triple sure you get placed correctly, do two more things: 1) make sure your title, subtitle, back cover copy and description use keywords that help point the folks at Amazon in the right direction AND 2) start putting some TAGS on your book page that help people find your book.

PLEASE NOTE: All of the above is mainly with respect to PRINT books. For Kindle, you can actually SPECIFY two categories via Kindle Direct. These bypass the BIC settings altogether, as Kindle is an Amazon proprietory format.

Q5: Why don’t I see my book listed in a category on my Amazon listing?

You won’t see your book listed in a category unless it is in the Top 100 of that category. Until that time, all you will see is its overall sales rank, which changes every hour. Amazon US and Canada tend change just past the top of the hour, while Amazon UK tends to change at 40 minutes past the hour.

Q6: How can I find out in which categories Amazon will place my book?

It’s not always 100% reliable, but the best way to “guess” which categories you will appear is to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the screen until you see the words, “Look for Similar Items by Category.” There you will see several suggested categories that are likely to be where your book will be placed when ranked. If these categories look range or irrelevant, refer to Q4 above.

Q7: How can I track my rankings?

So far, Amazon does not have any legacy tracking system for rankings, which means you basically have to watch the rankings yourself like a hawk during the launch, as they change every hour. Typically, my clients and I stay up for the full 24 hour period in shifts, in constant communication on Skype, to watch the rankings. The only way I have found so far to “log” your success is to take screen shots. I use the program “Jing Pro” for this. There is a free version, but the Pro version is very reasonable, and has many worthwhile features. You can download it at http://www.techsmith.com/jing/. DO take screenshots of EVERY stage of your rankings. They make great images to add to your promotions when you are sharing the success of your book with readers, media and event managers. To track your rankings for OVERALL book sales, see Q8 below.

Q8: How can I track my actual sales?

Tracking sales is another matter altogether. Of course, the most reliable method is when you receive your royalty report and payment from your publisher or printer. However, these can some to you months after your launch. There are two ways I have discovered that can give you ball-park figure of your sales during a launch. Once is to use your Amazon Associates link on your purchase page, in which case you will see the sales appear within a few days in your Associates account. Another is to use an online tracker such as Novel Rank at http://novelrank.com, which can show sales on a daily and monthly basis. They also show, in numbers and in graph format, your overall sales rankings (not category rankings) over a given period. Bear in mind, to get the best from this service, you need to start tracking your book on their site several weeks in advance of your launch.

Another option is to sign up for Amazon Advantage, although as far as I can tell, you can only sign up for this if you will be directly supplying Amazon with inventory. If a company such as Lightning Source will be printing your books on demand or you will be using a subsidiary publisher, you will need to speak to them about whether or not you can use Amazon Advantage, as they will be fulfilling the sales and sending you the payments and sales reports (of course they will also have some sort of reporting system for your sales as well, which will tell you your overall sales, not just to Amazon).

Kindle sales are updated once a week in Kindle Direct.

Q9: How much money will I make on book sales during my launch?

This depends completely upon:

  1. How many books you sell
  2. The retail price of your book
  3. The cost of printing your book
  4. What your royalty arrangement is with your publisher (if you have one)
  5. Whether or not you use your Associates account for sales.

Let’s say you have a 250 page book that sells for $15 and you sell 500 books on your launch day. That is a gross intake of $7500. Amazon pays you according to whatever wholesale “discount” you have agreed to sell your books to them. Let’s say you have agreed to sell your book to them for a 55% discount off the retail price (a fairly common figure, although this can vary). That means they will pay your publisher 45% of gross, which is $3375. If you are the publisher, you will receive that money from Amazon.

From that amount, you need to deduct your printing costs. The cost of printing a 250 page book through a company like Lightning Source is around $4.15 ($0.90 per unit and then $0.013 per page), which means 500 books would cost $2075. Deduct that from what Amazon will pay you, and that leaves a net profit of around $1300.

If you are going 100% self-published, you will make the whole $1300. But if you are receiving a percentage of net from your publisher, you would take the percentage from this amount. Many subsidiary presses take 50% of net, which means you would make $650on 500 books. If you are working with a royalty publisher who pays you a given percentage of retail or net, you will have to calculate it accordingly.

If you use your Amazon Associates link during your launch, you can earn between 4% and 7% of your retail sales as a commission. In other words, if Amazon were to sell 500 books at $15 (although they will tend to sell it at a lower price), you would make an extra $0.60 – $1.05 per unit. You ALSO make a commission if your buyers happen to buy other products at the same time. It all adds up, so it’s worth making sure your links are in place during a launch.

Please note that these figures are accurate as of this edit (July 26th, 2011).

UPDATE DEC 2011: I’ll be writng another article in the New Year about chosing the right royalty structure for your publication and different ways to use eBooks/Kindle to drive traffic to your print book. Be sure to subscribe to this blog to stay on top of new info articles.

Q10: What’s the real benefit of doing an Amazon bestseller launch?

I’ll be honest with you: it costs a heck of a lot more to run a bestseller launch than you will receive in immediate monetary returns. I think you have probably already deduced that doing an Amazon bestseller launch is NOT going to make you lots of money selling books. So it does beg the question why people bother to do them at all, and why people like me are continually booked months in advance to do these launches.

So here are some of the real advantages of doing an Amazon launch:

  1. It builds your online platform significantly, which ultimately leads to more business for you
  2. It establishes long-term relationships with dozens of networking partners
  3. It raises your credibility as a professional, which has an impact upon your income
  4. It establishes you as a leading expert in your field, making you a sought-after media guest and keynote speaker
  5. It just plain feels great to say you’re a bestselling (especially a #1 selling) author

Deciding to do a bestseller campaign should not be an impulsive decision, nor should it be entered with rose-coloured glasses. My most successful clients are those who entered our work relationship with this level of understanding. They did not have unrealistic expectations, and they took the “kudos” of their bestseller status to build stronger and more viable businesses that could only have come about as a result of their Amazon bestseller campaign. I think most of these would tell you their decision to do a launch made a positive difference in their business.

I hope this article is useful to any of you who are currently preparing to publish a book in the coming year. Please do leave comments below and feel free to contact me via the contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact if you have any questions about this content, or you wish to discuss an upcoming launch.

And, as always, don’t forget to subscribe to the Spirit Authors blog for regular tips for authors, both established and aspiring.


Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self, as well as the upcoming book The 7 Graces of Marketing: how to heal humanity and the planet by changing the way we sell. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several #1-selling book campaigns. She is the founder/creator of Spirit Authors, a virtual learning environment and community that offers training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. As part of her work with spiritual and self-help authors, she also regularly hosts large-scale online virtual events (usually free of charge) with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Subscribe to her Spirit Authors blog at http://spiritauthors.com/category/news/ so you can receive more useful tips and news about upcoming online events. While you are there, do check out the excellent and affordable online courses for authors available.

If you are an author seeking 1-to-1 support or campaign managment for your upcoming book launch, you are also invited to request a free consultation by filling in a contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact. Please note that full service campaigns require a 6 to 8 month lead-in time, so be sure to contact Lynn well in advance of publishing your book.

Book promotion expert Lynn Serafinn from Spirit Authors shares her tips on what every first-time author should know about royalties, retail price and printing costs before they self-publish a book.


Recently, in one of my LinkedIn Groups, a new author asked, “Does anybody have experience with self-publishing companies and the way they pay royalty fees?” I thought the answer to this question was something many new authors would like to know, so I thought I would share my response with my Spirit Authors readers. Below is a copy of the post I made on December 15th, 2010.

Hi there LinkedIn,

Here’s a breakdown of how most self-publishing royalties work:

By self-publishing companies, I assume you mean “publishers” such as iUniverse (probably the most known, but really only one of many) who set up your book to be distributed via print-on-demand (POD). The company I used for my first book is a small company called Authors Online – http://authorsonline.co.uk. I chose them because they are a small friends-and-family run company who take good care of their clients.

The POD press most often used is a company called Lightning Source. There are 2 major Lightning Source plants (when I last checked), one in Kentucky and one over here in England in Milton Keynes.

These kinds of companies don’t generally get your books into shops, but rather focus on Amazon, B&N, etc. The self-publishing publisher sets up your ISBN and arranges for your book to appear on all these online retailers. But be SURE you read the fine print. I had a scenario not very long ago when one of my clients went with Create Space (Amazon’s own print-on-demand publishing company) and they did NOT place the book on all 6 (now 7) Amazon sites throughout the world, cutting down SIGNIFICANTLY on my client’s sales. So be sure you ask if the company GUARANTEES you will be on all Amazon sites… but (if your book is in English), most especially Amazon US, Canada and UK.

Ok, so here are 7 facts about self-publishing and typical royalty structures:

1) Amazon buys your book for 45% of the retail price. That means, if you book retails for $10, Amazon pays your publisher $4.50 (not you… unless you actually START a publishing company and are selling the books directly to Amazon).

2) From that $4.50, your publisher subtracts their printing costs. Not sure of what they are in the US, but here in the UK, the costs are typically 1p (let’s say 2 cents) per page, plus 70p (let’s say $1.25) for the cover. So a 100 page book would cost $3.25 to print (don’t quote me on the exact figures; these were current as of 18 months ago in the UK. DO ask your publisher these questions).

3) If the book costs $3.25 to print, and you have received $4.50 from Amazon, it means your NET is $1.25.

4) Most self-publishers do a 50/50 split of the net, or in that ball park. That would mean your royalty per book sold is a whopping $0.67. Most payouts are quarterly, starting 4-6 months after publication.

5) Of course, you could also set the retail price higher to ensure you get a higher royalty. The best thing to do is to go online and check out similar books in the same niche, and check out their page count, and see how much their retail price is. Bear in mind, that Amazon will normally sell you book for LESS than retail, but you will still receive 45% of retail unless you tell them you are willing to take less in order to drive up sales (not recommended for first-time author, frankly!).

6) If you go FULLY self-published (i.e., set up your own ISBN, deal with Lightning Press, etc), then your royalty is 45% of retail. Subtract your printing costs from that, and that is your net profit per book. That is what I am doing with my next book.

7) Last option: getting the books printed in bulk (most do this overseas) can drive the cost per book WAY down, but you have a massive front-loaded investment at high risk because the minimum run is usually 1000 books or more to get a good price. PLUS you have the set-up costs, as it is not the same as digital POD. Any time I have seen new authors do this, they end up with a house full of hundreds of unsold books, and feel very discouraged. I don’t recommend it unless you have a solid promotional platform and good distribution set up. ALSO, bear in mind that if you go this route, book distributors tend to take the books on consignment and they don’t pay anything if the books don’t sell. And who do you think is responsible for the marketing? You guessed it – you. Furthermore, they might take 300 books from you when they first come out, but they can RETURN every book that hasn’t sold (or worse–been returned to the retail shops!) after a certain period of time.

BTW, I help self-published mind-body-spirit authors via my site Spirit Authors at http://spiritauthors.com. I’m re-opening Module 3 on self-publishing in February 2011. The course for writing your book (Module 1) and building your online platform (Module 2) are already available. You can take a 7-day test drive of those courses for only $1.

I also do full-service Amazon book launches at http://spiritauthorscoach.com. Drop me a line if you would like to chat.

Warm wishes,

Lynn Serafinn


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self.

Her upcoming book, The 7 Graces of Marketing, is coming in June 2011.

She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several top-10 book campaigns, including FOUR #1-sellers, in 2010 alone. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. Contact Lynn about YOUR book project at at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.

Be sure to subscribe to this blog for regular book writing and promotion tips (just fill in form at right of your screen).

Sign up for Lynn’s bi-monthly newsletter Creative Spirit (fill in form below) packed with inspirational articles, self-promotion tips, broadcast guide to her radio show, and news about upcoming spiritual author book releases.

Throughout the year, Lynn also hosts large-scale telesummits with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Your subscription to Creative Spirit will ensure you’ll be the first to know how to attend these free events.


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Today I have the great pleasure of being the host on Day 6 of the Virtual Blog Tour for A New Dawn Awaits by author E.Dee Conrad.

A New Dawn Awaits is a compassionate and inspiring channelled collection of short inspirational reflections, bringing together wisdom of the ages, showing us how to access knowledge that has been part of our consciousness, but has been dormant, for eons. E.Dee’s intention in writing this book is to help readers reach inwards into their divine essence and outwards to the energy that connects us as one humanity.

Yesterday, E.Dee visited Shelagh Jones’ Wheel of Life blog at http://ht.ly/2C1hN. For today’s stop on the tour, as so many of my readers are authors in the mind-body-spirit genre, I thought it would be interesting to interview E.Dee on the topic of what it is like to channel a book, as I think it can be both a tantalising and daunting idea for writers. I asked E.Dee four questions on the topic.

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Lynn: Can you tell us a little about your emotional journey of being “called” to write a channelled book?

E.Dee: I was 16 when I first realized I would write a book – but a “technical” one, not fiction, which somehow made it more possible in my mind. This realization lasted about 15 seconds and didn’t reappear for another 27 years! When it resurfaced, I was scared because it really pushed me out of my narrow comfort zone, but I was also excited because it felt like a project that would allow me to contribute to humanity on a scale I never thought possible.

Lynn: What advice can you give to writers who are curious to explore channelling but don’t know how to get started?

E.Dee: We all have the ability to channel and most of us do it on a regular basis – we just don’t realize it. It is easiest to “hear” what the universe or our higher selves are saying when our mind’s are clear and calm. The best way to calm your mind is to meditate. Personally, I prefer chanting meditations because they engage my brain and I find the sound vibrations to be very soothing and healing.

Lynn: How has writing a book of this nature changed your life?

I have become much more aware of my spiritual side and more focused on its development. Having read my book, I have tried to live by its suggestions, with a particular focus on becoming aware of my thoughts and thinking of others as I would like them think of me. This has shifted my life and brought more peace, harmony, joy and love into my life.

Lynn: Now that you have “transcribed” A New Dawn Awaits, do you have any desires to write a book you haven’t channelled?

No, I have absolutely no desire to write a book by traditional methods. When I channel a writing – be it a blog, article, or book – there is an amazing energy that flows through me. This energy is full of compassion and lightness and forms words. The reader also experiences this amazing energy because it is somehow embedded in and flows from the work. 

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I hope you enjoyed this interview with E.Dee Conrad and that you’ll check out her book A New Dawn Awaits, which is coming to Amazon on Tuesday September 21, 2010. You can receive a collection of over 30 beautiful personal development gifts when you buy her book on the day of her launch, including one from me: a mini eCourse of my workshop “Making Friends with the Monsters Under Your Bed”.

In addition, E.Dee is hosting a very special FREE telesummit entitled “The Shift. The Message. The Transformation” on September 14th, 15th and 16th with nine of today’s most vibrant authors and speakers on the topic of the consciousness, transformation and the global “shift” occurring on our planet today. If you’d like to attend, all you have to do is request a “launch reminder” about the book, and you’ll receive all the information to attend. If you cannot make the live event, you can download the audio at your convenience.

To find out how to buy E.Dee’s book and receive these gifts,
including the FREE pass to the 3-day online telesummit, go to
http://spiritauthors.com/pages/edee/new-dawn-awaits-by-edee-conrad.html

AND you can read all about the telesummit and the guests at
http://virtualspiritualevents.com

For more insight into what tomorrow might bring in this era of the “great shift”, be sure to follow E.Dee tomorrow when the next stop on her Virtual Blog Tour is Tomar Levine’s blog at http://ht.ly/2uLKI

As usual, please do feel free to share your comments and thoughts below. I love reading your feedback.

Categories : Blog, Books and Authors, News
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word writer on old fashioned typewriterLynn Serafinn shares thoughts on shifting from a being die-hard indie artist to approaching a major publisher.

Some of you who know me and my work might be surprised to find out that it was only a few months ago when I wrote my first full book proposal. It’s true I was a ghost-writer for another author and my work has been (anonymously) published in several books by a prominent New Age publisher. But I never needed to write proposals for those books. And it’s also true I’ve written loads of business and project proposals in my time– especially when I was the head of a college department– so I know what it takes to write a proposal to “land” a contract. But I had never written an actual book proposal for my own writing until this contest.

Why? Because most of my life, I’ve been something of a “die hard indie”. It comes from my background as an independent musician/label owner in the 1990s. Since the 80s, our band had tried to get our recordings heard by major labels, but learned quickly that it was virtually impossible to get a big label to listen to an unsolicited demo. So, we started our own label, and gradually built up a following by getting our titles into major independent distributors in the US and the UK. We reached a level of success when our release entitled the Imagine EP hit #1 on several club charts in 1994.

It was then we had a brief encounter with a major record label-one of the top 3 in the world. The A&R (the person who signs artists to the label) had been given our record as a “buzz” title from the owner of an underground record shop in Boston, and he called us from New York saying he wanted to come down and meet us in Arizona (where we lived at the time), as he was interested in signing us. Had they done so, it would have meant we would have had worldwide distribution, MTV videos and have been sent on tour with some of the biggest names in electronic dance in the world at that time. It was every musician’s dream come true.

Or so we thought.

When we actually met the A&R face-to-face, it became very obvious he had clear intentions of changing our image and sound into something we were not, and we simply didn’t want to become. Our band was an electronic trance group, but he proposed a long list of “improvements” for us, including bringing in big rock drummers and sexy young female vocalists. Being in our late 30s, the A&R more or less said we were “too old” for MTV and we would have to do something to make us “saleable.”

But the truth was, in spite of the A&R thinking we were “too old”, we were actually “too young” as artists to move into the arena of working with a major label. We weren’t used to working to deadlines and were accustomed to having the luxury of taking as long as we wanted to complete projects. We were still finding our “voice” and creating our sound, and bringing in professional producers who would impose their own “spin” on our embryonic sound threatened to stop our creative growth altogether. And from a marketing standpoint, although we had managed to get a #1 club hit, we were still just getting started on building our following and didn’t really know our target audience fully, or how to reach them at a global level. Because we had a very small platform, if the A&R changed our image as he intended, we were likely to lose the audience we already had, and not appeal to the audience to which he would be targeting.

We started to realise we simply weren’t ready for this leap. Believe it or not, I used to wake up at night with panic attacks at the thought of it! After all those years of thinking this was what I wanted, I realised something wasn’t right about it. As a result, our connection to the label just sort of dissolved after a couple of months, and our label continued on with our own independent enterprises.

My experience in the music industry certainly coloured my decision to go self-published when I was getting ready to release my book The Garden of the Soul in 2009. I figured big publishers are probably like big record labels in that you needed to know the right time to approach them. And now that I have been self-published for the past year, and have since created successful marketing campaigns for many other authors, both published and self-published, I do think my reasoning was correct.

In my experience, there are 7 main factors to consider in your decision to approach a publisher:

  1. Discipline. Could you make a commitment to meet writing deadlines if given them? Have you transcended the trap of ONLY being able to write when you are “inspired” or can you sit down and get into the groove when you need to?
  2. Stylistic maturity. Is your writing style “mature” (well past the embryonic stage)? Could others easily talk about your style and your message as compared to other books? Is your style powerful and developed enough that editors would not want to change it significantly?
  3. Emotionally prepared. Are you ready to “show up” as a public image? Are you ready to be seen, and critiqued? Are you ready to speak transparently on a global level? Are you ready to release your vision, unattached to whether people like it or not?
  4. Identity. Do you know who you are as a writer and as a person? Do you have a clear idea of your ‘public image’, i.e, who you are to your readers, fans and audience? Can you stand calmly within the wisdom of your own identity when dealing with a publisher?
  5. Platform. Do you have a well-established platform (i.e., a large fan base of people who know your name and your writing)? This is undoubtedly one of the major factors publishers will consider when you approach them, and something that will make it much less likely for them to try to “reshape” your image.
  6. Marketing. Do you know how to reach your audience? Do you understand principles of marketing? Can you explain how you would market your book to publisher in a way that would make them say, “Hey, this one has some great ideas”?
  7. Time Commitment. Are you ready and able to commit LOTS of time to promoting your book? Is your life free or flexible with regards to family or other work commitments? Could you travel frequently without disrupting the rest of your life?

Speaking for myself, I couldn’t give a 100% “yes” answer to any of these things when I first met the A&R back in 1994. In 2009, when I went to publish The Garden of the Soul, I’d say I had these covered about 75%. But, in my opinion, 75% wasn’t enough for me to approach a publisher at that time. Before I approached a publisher, I wanted to be able to give my full 100%. THEN the time would be right… at least for me.

When I wrote my proposal this year, I felt it to be truly a transformative process. I realised when I was writing it that I had finally reached my “100% Ready” place. I knew who I was. I felt I could write at the drop of a hat. I had a platform. I understood marketing. And most of all, I had already written my book and I completely believed in it.

Being a self-published writer was ABSOLUTELY the best thing for me when I had chosen to do so. The experience helped me develop as a person, as a writer and as a businesswoman. But now I have firmly established my platform, and really know who I am as a writer, I feel confident about making the shift to working with a publisher over the coming year… and at the same time, I also have the confidence that I am able to flourish as a proud indie author, and enjoy the ride on my own as well.

I hope you found these reflections and pointers to be of value in your own journey as an author. Please do leave a comment below to share your own thoughts and experiences.


About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and
bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers
that unearth the Self.
She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced several #1-selling book campaigns. She is the founder/creator of Spirit Authors, a virtual learning environment and community that offers training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. As part of her work with spiritual and self-help authors, she also regularly hosts large-scale online virtual events (usually free of charge) with world-class speakers on a range of mind-body-spirit topics. Subscribe to her Spirit Authors blog at http://spiritauthors.com/category/news/ so you can receive more useful tips and news about upcoming online events. While you are there, do check out the excellent and affordable online courses for authors available. If you are an author seeking 1-to-1 support or campaign managment for your upcoming book launch, you are also invited to request a free consultation by filling in a contact form at http://spiritauthors.com/contact.


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Caron Goode, author of Kids Who See Ghosts

If you are a regular reader of this blog, you know that in addition to providing articles on writing and promoting your book, I also like to highlight mind-body-spirit authors of note who have new books I think would be inspirational and/or helpful to my readers. Today, I have to pleasure of sharing an interview I did with award-winning author (and member of the Virtual Faculty here on Spirit Authors) Dr Caron Goode about her new book ‘Kids Who See Ghosts’, which is coming to Amazon on Tuesday June 8, 2010. To find out how to buy the book ‘Kids Who See Ghosts’and receive free personal development gifts on June 8, 2010, go to: http://www.kidswhoseeghosts.com

This interview is Day 4 of a 2-week Virtual Blog Tour for this unique new title. Check out yesterday’s stop at the ‘Intuitive Parenting’ blog at http://intuitiveparenting.wordpress.com/

Lynn: Hi Caron. My audience are all ‘Spirit Authors’. What’s your personal definition (or definitions) of the word ‘spirit’?

Caron: I feel spirit is the loving intelligent energy within and without.  In the book Kids Who See Ghosts, we use the term ‘spirit walker’ to refer to those ‘persons’ who walk in spirit, as physical walkers refer to those of us still in body.

In the field of spirituality, metaphysics, paranormal, and higher consciousness, people whom I interviewed for the book commented to me that that the term ‘ghosts’ was distasteful to them. Yet the public knows the term through the media that pumps the word into our psyches. So spirit, spirit walker, ghosts all refer to those souls or person in the spirit world.

Lynn: What are the reasons why you wrote Kids Who See Ghosts?

Caron: After I posted a blog article about the television debut of Psychic Kids on the A & E channel in the United States, the web site was flooded with tens of thousands of requests for help and information from parents whose kids were seeing ghosts. Some parents wanted to know how to protect their child, how to handle their kids’ fears, whether or not to seek medical assistance. Others felt their children demonstrated intuitive gifts.. Still others needed information as to appropriate age ranges for having imaginary friends or how to handle teens who still had some “ghostly” acquaintances.

Over time, the questions were the same, and each situation was unique, requiring time to respond and gather information. The next logical step was the book.

The timing was perfect to interview parents, psychologists, skeptics, shamans, and psychics and find out what the temperature was on the topic; and boy, it ranged from icy to sizzling hot.

The most important reason for writing the book was because I couldn’t fathom that a child would be unable to sleep in their bedroom because something so frightened the core of their being. And, if they were afraid of their world as a child, would they still be fearful as an adult.

BOOK: Kids Who See GhostsLynn: Is this book just about “ghosts”? What other answers will people find in your book?

Caron: Kids Who See Ghosts is a guide to help parents empower their children by moving them through theirs fears and to have success in befriending, helping, conquering, or loving their ghosts.

The true answers as to why children see ghosts, how they experience their world of spirit walkers, and how a shift in brain-wave frequency or perception can open or close that door. What would happen if kids learned to shift their moods and control those images?

Lynn: How does your book Kids Who See Ghosts speak to our innermost spiritual selves?

Caron: What is inside your deepest spiritual self?  We know that the human eyes see light, and only a sliver of the entire light spectrum at best. Each human brain, as a transmitter and receiver of energy, determines the images. So why do some eyes see demons and scary figures of death while others’ eyes see angels or light?

Kids Who See Ghosts gives people pause to question the ghost phenomenon, and ask what it portends for our endless curiosity about the extraordinary. Is it a distraction from our spiritual essence, only the doorway for the curious, a trend destined to open the human mind to deeper intuition or involution?

Lynn: From an author’s perspective, what is unique about how you wrote the book?

Caron: Unique for me was not taking a cognitive approach, thinking about the content, the proposal, worrying about the topic being too far out for my field, expertise, and professional reputation. For the two books, Raising Intuitive Children and Kids Who See Ghosts, I felt a strong intuitive pull that the time was now. I sat down immediately to write the Kids Who See Ghosts book proposal, sent it to the agent, and the publisher loved the idea. I followed my intuition as a purposeful guide for how to write, manage and complete this book.

Lynn: What can aspiring authors learn about how you wrote it?

Caron: This was a new experience to interview twenty people, from professionals who work with kids, to parents, and skeptics and psychics, and weave a sellable story of such diverse themes. The themes that eventually emerged was listen to children, do not judge ghost experiences, do not the put down or judge the kids who have them. The caretaking of the children was a theme of all those interviewed, even the skeptic. My motto became, “You don’t have to believe in ghosts, just believe in and respect your children.


I hope you enjoyed this article with author Caron Goode. If you want to hop on the Virtual Blog Tour with us, follow Caron tomorrow on the Kids Who See Ghosts Virtual Blog Tour Day 5 at author Glenn M Smith’s ‘Sensitive Self Help’ blog at http://sensitivesselfhelp.com

AND… be sure to sign up for the book launch reminder so you can buy Kids Who See Ghosts and receive free personal development gifts on June 8, 2010. To register, go to: http://www.kidswhoseeghosts.com (if you are reading this article after that date, you may buy the book directly from that page).


About author Caron Goode

Caron Goode is an award-winning author, health psychologist and medical intuitive. She helps parents and families through her writing, coaching and teaching, and by training parent coaches. She is also the Founder of Academy for Coaching Parents International. Caron is also a member of the Spirit Authors Virtual Faculty and frequently attends our bi-monthly ‘members only’ calls and our member forum. Taking Spirit Authors for a test drive is a great way to get to know Caron and our other Virtual Faculty members.

About Lynn Serafinn, Creator of Spirit Authors

Lynn Serafinn is a transformation coach, book promotion coach, radio host and bestselling author of the book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self. She also works as a campaign manager for mind-body-spirit authors and has produced two #1-selling book campaigns, and another #2-selling campaign, in just the past 4 months. She created Spirit Authors to offer training, coaching, business-building and inspiration for mind-body-spirit authors, whether established or aspiring. She’s also in Round 2 of the Next Top Spiritual Author contest! To check out Lynn’s video entry, brand new book proposal and read 80 pages from her book The Garden of the Soul, go to http://www.NextTopAuthor.com/?aid=2016. A free gift awaits you when you cast your vote.

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Categories : Books and Authors, News
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In a previous post, I told you about the Next Top Spirit Author Contest in which I am a contestant. The contest is open to unpublished or self-published authors. Authors did not need to have completed (or even started) their book to enter. I entered my book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self, which I self-published just a little over a year ago. My hope is to take it to a much wider audience, and also to get some backing for the follow-up I am currently writing, A Practical Guide to the Garden of the Soul, which contains 80 practical lessons for cultivating the four principles in The Garden of the Soul.

Today (Monday May 3rd) marks the final day of Round 1. Since the contest opened to the public vote on March 29th, tens of thousands of people have voted for their favourites amongst more than 3000 entries. Now the field is going to be narrowed down to 250 who will advance to Round 2, based primarily upon their public vote, as well as a small challenge the authors were given to do.

Round 2 will be a bit different because the 250 Round 2 authors will then construct a book proposal for their book, which will go under the scrutiny of Hampton Roads publishers, who are offering the Grand Prize in the contest– a pretty nifty publishing contract. A portion of the points in Round 2 will once again come from the public vote.

So by Tuesday, thousands of authors and authors-to-be, including myself, will find out whether or not we will advance to the next phase of this competition. I can feel the energy getting really “buzzy” amongst the authors these past few days.

Although this is only Round 1, the contest has already been quite a journey. For many, the very act of creating an audio or video “pitch” was a major achievement. For others, it was the challenge of stepping out of their comfort zone to ask people to vote for them. Speaking for myself, if nothing else happens as a result of having entered this competition, I am grateful for two things: 1) being put under a deadline to make a new book trailer (I am SO pleased with how it turned out and it is getting a lot of hits on YouTube) and 2) meeting dozens of great new authors who are now connected with me on Facebook and Twitter. Both of these are great gifts in their own right.

In some ways, Round 1 has been a bit like being in the auditions for the X-Factor (our UK equivalent of “American Idol”). Behind the scenes, we have a “share” page on the contest site that is sort of our equivalent of “The X-Factor House”, where everyone hangs out together and learns the idiosyncrasies of the others. It’s really interesting to watch and interact with all the fascinating personalities there. And just like The X-Factor, while there is a lot of love and connection amongst the contestants, there is also the underlying knowledge that this is, after all, a competition, and people will be voted off, bit by bit. It could happen to any one of us. That’s the nature of any competition, and it is vital for all of us to know how to “be with” the competitive process, without allowing it to affect our sense of Self and inner determination.

When I was a young musician, I took every defeat in competitive scenarios as a blow against my self-worth. Because I grew to fear judgment and rejection, I became afraid to take risks for many years, and thus I limited my creative growth and personal empowerment for a very long time.

But these days I approach such challenges quite differently. I apply my whole self to the task, and allow myself to take the risk of being “rejected”. These days, I feel the most important thing in life is to have the self-knowledge that I did not hold myself back from applying myself fully, and that I did the absolute best I could at that particular moment.

While taking this approach to a competition (and life in general) does not ensure we will “win” a specific reward, I do believe when we are fully ready to step into both the risks and responsibilities involved in the act of succeeding, we will win the award, the title, the prize, the praise, the gift– or the learning– we are meant to receive. If you do not hold yourself back from the Universe, it will hold nothing back from you.

As far as I am concerned, the fact that everyone in the contest has stepped up to the plate and “pitched” their vision to the world makes them all winners, already on the pathway to their own dreams.

I wish all the spiritual authors in the contest the very best of luck.

If you have voted for me already, I’d like to thank you warmly for your support. And if you haven’t had a chance to yet, it would be great if you took a few minutes to do this before the end of the day today (Monday). Here’s how:

  1. Go to http://www.nexttopauthor.com/profile.cfm?aid=2016 and watch my video entry.
  2. Register to vote; they will send you a confirmation email before you actually can vote.
  3. Check your email for the confirmation email, and click on the confirmation link
  4. Go back to http://www.nexttopauthor.com/profile.cfm?aid=2016 and vote for me (you can also vote for other authors by doing a search).

As my thank you gift to everyone who votes for me, you can pick up 4 audiobook excerpts from the book. That’s over 1 hour of fr*ee audio. You’ll see the link to the gift right after you have voted.

If you are on the social networks, it would be great if you clicked the big Twitter or Facebook buttons on my page and shared them with your friends.

Thanks everyone!
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Categories : News
Comments (1)
Vrinda Pendred

Vrinda Pendred

If you follow my weekly radio show on Blog Talk Radio, you know I open every episode by saying it explores “personal empowerment, life purpose, balance of mind, body and spirit, and how to tap into the inner hero that lies within every human being.” While I believe all of my guests are “heroes” in their own right, never have I been more filled with emotion to introduce the hero of the show I hosted this past Wednesday, April 28.

Why? Because the guest was my own daughter, Vrinda Pendred, author and founding Director/Editor of Conditional Publications, a new independent publisher dedicated solely to publishing the works of authors with neurological conditions. Their first book ‘Check Mates’ comes out on May 11, 2010, and it is nothing short of groundbreaking. What makes Check Mates so special is that it is a collection of short fiction and poetry either about or inspired by the struggle with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, all written by people with OCD. Whether solidly real, allegorical, or completely fictionalised, all the compelling work contained in this collection portrays the true story of this greatly misunderstood condition.

It is also the first ever book of fiction written entirely by OCD authors—including Vrinda herself.

This interview is stop number 6 on Vrinda’s 14-day Virtual Blog Tour to promote the launch of Check Mates. Yesterday Vrinda stopped by the blog of Yvonne Perry from Writers in the Sky. If you happened to miss that stop, just click here.

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Listen to the interview:

OR if you cannot view the player, CLICK HERE to download the MP3:

In our interview together on April 28, Vrinda started out by describing the struggles she faced as a child growing up with neurological disorders.

She was first diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome at age 7, but doctors did little to educate her, her parents or her teachers about the disorder. She describes the frustration of not being able to explain what compelled her to think and do the things she did, and how this impacted her childhood experiences and emotions. For years, she pretty much kept the reality of having Tourette’s hidden from her friends, but she finally had a breakthrough when the topic of Tourette’s came up in a discussion in a science class at school when she was 13 years old. She described how learning more about her condition was a “stunning” revelation, and how it released her from the feeling she needed to hide her condition from the world.

Wanting to understand her condition, Vrinda requested to go back to the doctor to find out more. It was then that a new neurologist finally diagnosed Vrinda with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Vrinda, now 27 years old and extremely knowledgeable about both Tourette’s and OCD, said she finds it “shocking” she was not diagnosed with OCD by the paediatric neurologist when she was 7 years old, as “half the stuff you brought me to the doctor for [at age 7] was actually OCD, and not Tourette’s at all.”

Vrinda explained that OCD, Tourette’s, autism, bipolar disorder and other neurological conditions are genetic in nature, but the way they manifest in a person are “completely founded in your own emotional experiences in life.” Vrinda and I discussed how her diagnosis opened up my own understanding about my own frustrations as a child because my father (Vrinda’s grandfather) had OCD, although it was never diagnosed when he was alive. Vrinda gave some pretty humorous examples of her grandfather’s OCD behaviour in a way that only a fellow OCD person could recognise.

I asked Vrinda about the freedom she has found from learning about her diagnosis. She described how most of her life she had suffered from the terrors of intrusive thoughts, and when she found a name for what she was experiencing, and realised that other people experienced the same thing, she stopped feeling “crazy” and alone. She said, “Once it had a name, it seemed so much smaller. As soon as I could box it and put a name on it I said, ‘Ok, this is the OCD—and I am more than it.”

Vrinda discussed how Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has successfully helped her with many of her obsessions, by enabled her to learn how to allow her anxieties to pass without acting upon them. She said, however, that “intrusive thoughts” were frequently much more difficult to overcome and she is still challenged by many of them.

Vrinda discussed how important it was for parents to “educate” teachers about how OCD impacts the child’s behaviour and performance at school. She gave an example of how helpful it was when one compassionate teacher allowed her to take an exam in his private office so she would not be challenged by her OCD by being in a distracting environment.

Check Mates Book CoverVrinda went on to talk about her book Check Mates. She explained that the title “Check Mates” refers to the tendency for people with OCD to “check” things, and also because it is a collection of stories by people who have now become good friends (“mates”). The 20 authors of this book all met each other on a social network called “OCD Tribe” (http://ocdtribe.com). Vrinda said it was “indescribable” and “life-changing” to find a “tribe” of people who all shared the same condition.

She explained that what makes Check Mates unique amongst other books is that it is not a “self-help” book, but rather a book of fiction by OCD authors. She said she felt fiction was “more powerful” than an autobiography in this case, as readers who do not have OCD would be able to see something of themselves within the stories as well.

She explained how the stories in the book shed light on the wide range of the types of obsessions people with OCD have, such as fear of death, post-partum OCD, pre-occupation with religion, compulsive cleaning, self-harming, hoarding, counting rituals, checking, etc. “We wanted to show that OCD is a very complex thing. When you see it on television, they only ever focus on one or two problems that seem really extreme. They certainly don’t ever talk about the thoughts, or ‘pure obsessional OCD’ (obsessive ruminations), which in my view is the most debilitating problem.”

If you or a family member has OCD, or any neurological condition, you definitely will want to check out Check Mates when it comes out on Tuesday May 11.

You can do this by heading over to: http://conditionalpublications.com/pages/check-mates-launch.html

When you are there, be sure to sign up for a “launch reminder” so you can receive over 30 free personal development gifts when you buy the book on the day of its launch. Amongst the gifts are a free short story on Tourette Syndrome from Vrinda, and a free mini-course from me called “Making Friends with the Monsters Under Your Bed.”  Just click HERE to read more about the book and the 30 free gifts (if you are reading this article after that date, you may buy the book directly from that page).

I should also mention that a portion of the proceeds from the sale of every single book goes to OCD charities, so when you buy it, YOU are also making a difference.

Being Vrinda’s mom makes me understand what they mean by the term “pride and joy.”
[mlb /]

______

Be sure to follow Vrinda to her next Virtual Blog Tour stop on Sunday May 2nd, hosted by Geoff Laughton at http://geofflaughton.com/gltc/blog/.

AND… don’t forget to sign up for the book launch reminder so you can buy ‘Check Mates’ and over 30 free personal development gifts on May 11, 2010. Just go to http://conditionalpublications.com/pages/check-mates-launch.html

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rising starPatrick Ryan’s New Book Number-1 in Spirituality

Recently I’ve been telling you about a new book called Awakened Wisdom: A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance by my friend and colleague Patrick Ryan. Well the book had its official Amazon launch yesterday, and I simply had to write to you to tell you that within the first few hours, Awakened Wisdom became a bestseller in spirituality in both the US and Canada.

Most impressively, the book reached an amazing rank of 29th in overall books, out of many millions, and took the Number-1 slot in Canadian spirituality sales (click to see a screen shot), and the #3 slot in self-help, sharing the very same page on Amazon with top-selling spirituality titles such as Don Miguel Ruiz’s Four Agreements, Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love. At one point, Patrick and Eckhart were dancing back and forth in the top 5 spots on the Canadian list, which is interesting because so many people have compared these two writers even before the book was released.

In the US, where the competition is even steeper, the book reached the Number-2 rank in Kindle spiritual self-help titles, and the paperback was the 18th most popular spiritual title yesterday. I have high hopes that today, that figure will soar up later today, as news of the success of the book starts to spread.

Not too shabby for a first day, don’t you think?

Patrick RyanBorn in the Canadian prairies, and surviving a near-death experience in his youth, Patrick Ryan has been a life-long spiritual seeker. He spent some time as a Buddhist monk in Burma, and has studied the world over with healers, shamans and other indigenous wise people. The culmination of his multifaceted experiences, from the home-spun to the esoteric, is to be found within his unique, and inimitably down-to-earth, system of spiritual development he calls “Awakened Wisdom”, which he has taught in workshops throughout the world for several years. The essence of those teachings, along with practical exercises for cultivating them in your life, may now be found within the pages of his newly bestselling book.

I should also mention that I consider Patrick to be one of my personal mentors. I studied with him for nearly a year on the Co-Active Leadership programme, and I also took his internationally acclaimed Awakened Wisdom course. I can say without any reservation that my life would not be where it is today had our paths not crossed. I was my great delight and pleasure to be able to give something back to him by acting as his campaign manager for this thrilling Amazon book launch.

BOOK: Awakened WisdomThe Awakened Wisdom launch continues today and tomorrow, and in celebration of its official release, Patrick Ryan and a group of his colleauges, including authors, coaches, entrepreneurs and spiritual teachers are giving away over 40 exceptional personal development and spiritual growth gifts when you purchase a copy the book during the launch.

One of these gifts is an unprecedented 2-session “Awakened Wisdom Virtual Experience”, in which author Patrick Ryan will take participants on a journey through the “8 States of an Awakened Life” via webcast in May. This is a rare opportunity to learn directly from a world-renowned spiritual teacher—and now top-selling spirituality author.

I myself am offering four never-before-offered audio meditations from my Garden of the Soul Workshop, on the Four Principles of Give, Receive, Become and Be.

To pick up your copy of the Awakened Wisdom, get all those free gifts, and sign up for this very special event, which is open ONLY to those who purchase the book this week, go to:

http://www.awakenedwisdom.com/Public/Amazon/BookLaunch/index.cfm

Make sure you do this as soon as possible, as the launch ends this Friday, April 23 (extended from April 22). And if you are reading this AFTER that date, you can still find out how to buy the book by clicking the link above.

Thanks for your support in helping this rising new star in the spiritul author universe shine so brightly! I wish ALL of you Spirit Authors reading this a future where YOU are shining even more brightly.

Categories : Books and Authors, News
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Patrick Ryan

Patrick Ryan

Today is stop number 3 on the Virtual Blog Tour for Patrick Ryan’s book Awakened Wisdom – A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance, which is coming to Amazon on Tuesday April 20. Yesterday, Patrick stopped at Schall Adam’s Girlfriend Mentors Site. For more awakened wisdom, be sure you check out Schall’s interview at http://www.mygirlfriendmentors.com/blog


“As students, we see our teachers come and go. After we leave, rarely do we get the chance to come back to tell them how they have impacted our lives. It is difficult to explain how the act of telling a teacher he changed your life can make you feel complete. What greater privilege can there be than to be able to tell someone, ‘You are the person who awakened my soul from its slumber; you were the vessel whence I found my voice.’”

This is a passage from my book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self wherein I describe the feeling I had when I was reunited with a particularly influential teacher from my past after 33 years. It is a wonderful thing to be able to glorify and give back something to our teachers and mentors, no matter how old we are. That is why, with great delight, I wish to share with you the highlights of a recent interview I conducted with one of my personal mentors, Patrick Ryan.

Patrick Ryan is an executive coach, leadership trainer, spiritual teacher and author. He was one of two leaders (the other is the wonderful Mary Butler) who trained, held and watched me evolve when I was on the 10-month Co-Active Leadership programme in 2007-2008 in Spain. Patrick and Mary’s expert training transformed my life in the most profound way and I can say without reservation that I seriously doubt I would be doing what I am doing today had I not crossed paths with them. After the course was over, I also had the great pleasure of talking Patrick’s workshop Awakened Wisdom when he delivered it in London (a rare treat). It was on that 3-day course that I stood up in front of a room of people and declared boldly that I was finally stepping into the (somewhat scary) call to become an internationally known author and spiritual teacher, no longer hiding from my own Essence. And the rest, as they say, is history… and the future is still unfolding, minute by minute.

Awakened Wisdom BookSo of course, when Patrick asked me to be the manager for the launch of his book Awakened Wisdom – A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance, which was the long awaited book version of the teaching he had been transmitting through his workshop for many years, it was a no-brainer. What an opportunity to be able to give something back to one of the people who shaped my life so profoundly. In a nutshell, I simply want other people to enjoy and bask in the simple wisdom of his teachings. I also want Patrick to enjoy what he deserves by seeing his book reach thousands—perhaps millions—of people.

As part of the promotion for his book release, I had the great pleasure to interview Patrick on my radio show Lynn Serafinn’s Garden of the Soul on March 24th. It was a wonderful interview, and I thought as part of the Virtual Blog Tour, it would be perfect to share the highlights from that interview with you. You can hear or download the complete interview in the player below:

If the player does not appear correctly on your screen, you can grab it online at: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/lynn-serafinn/2010/03/24/ep-58-living-an-awakened-life

Here are some of the highlights of that interview:

Wisdom Gained From a Near-Death Experience

When Patrick was in his late teens, he “died”, his body being kept alive only from CPR. During that time, he “met the Divine,” which he describes as “that wisdom that is of this Universe and that this Universe is of”. He said this meeting, “Woke me up in a most profound way to the mystery and the ultimate nature of this world we are living in.”

He said, “That experience allowed me to see that there is a profound Wisdom holding this Universe. It enabled me to trust that that Wisdom ‘just is’, but at the same time it provided me no answers. So, I still had to go and figure it out. And that really is the journey all of us are on: ‘figuring it out’. And I think the thing we’re figuring out, at the core of it, is ‘who is the one that is walking the walk of this life?’ And, at the end of the path, when you keep dropping the veils, and move further and further into the Essence of that answer, you find there is no distinction between you and your neighbours, no distinction between you and the animals and the forest, or even the organisation you work for, and that we are just this one entity, this one Being that reflects back and forth who we are to each other.”

Reflections on Hearing and Answering Our “Call”

Patrick was leading a life on an entrepreneur, but was always interested in what makes people behave the way they do. He said he woke up one day curious about what else was “out there.” He felt “called”.

“But like with any call,” he says, “you usually cannot see the path ahead with much clarity. So it requires you to take a leap and just enter onto that path.”

I asked him, “What are some clues that people are hearing ‘a call’ in their life?”

He said, “For me, and also for a lot of people I was spoken with, some of the common factors include a ‘stirring within’, a sense of dissatisfaction with life as it is today, and a desire to touch into a deeper meaning or purpose. There’s a wanting to get more fulfilment or more congruency between our moving through every day and the higher levels of values we know exist, even if we don’t understand what they are.”

“I had always dreamed about going on a walkabout,” he continued. “That dream had never left me. And that’s something people should pay attention to. What’s the recurring, nagging, dream that won’t leave you alone? First it knocks gently, and then it shakes you harder, and at some point, if it’s important enough, it’s probably going to create something in your life much more dramatic until you ‘get it’.”

Experience as a Monk in Burma

Patrick told his story of how he became a monk in a monastery in Burma in the mid 90s, even though he had no such prior intention, nor did the monastery have a policy of taking on western disciples (he goes into this story in greater detail in his first book The Eagle’s Call).

He gave us a little taste about the essence of the teachings he received during his time as a monk, as well as a student of many shamans and other masters around the world. He said, “At the end of the day, I’m a very practical guy, and as much is it is easy to become seduced by the mysticism and big words around spirituality, it’s very important to me to be able to ground it to my daily life in such a way that makes sense. That’s why I created the ‘Eight States of an Awakened Life’ that my book Awakened Wisdom is based upon.”

Distorted Self, Divine Essence and the Observer

Patrick went on to explain the three-part aspects of our nature: the “Observer”, the “Distorted self” and our “Divine Essence”. He said it’s important to know “who’s in your shoes” at any particular moment in life.

He describes the “Distorted self” and the voice in us that “wants to take us out of the game” and “hold us in a zone of safety and comfort” and “whispers messages to us like ‘you’re not ready for that yet, if you do that people won’t like you, etc.” He said that it is interesting how the body will so often respond to this by getting ill on the very day you are meant to do something you fear, etc. He said, the more the “Distorted self” takes over the decision making in our lives, the more isolated we become and the more ‘self’ there is in us.

“On the other side, we have that part of us that is infinitely wise, that moves with the wisdom of what we acquired in this life, and also that goes beyond what can be explained by what we received in this life. This is the one in us that does not get caught in fear—the one that is about creating beauty in the world, about bringing life-giving energy into the world and transmitting it outward. It’s the one that can go into an organisation and sit in a meeting and speak the truth about what’s really going on, in a way that makes everyone go ‘Wow, you just nailed it. That’s exactly what we needed to hear.’ That aspect of us, I call the ‘Divine Essence’ because the more connect you get to this aspect, the less ‘self” there is in it.”

He said that our “Observer” is that other part of ourselves that is able to report the facts in life clearly and without judgment. Both Divine Essence and Distorted self are receiving the report from the Observer and “we get to choose who we’re going to put in charge.”

The Eight States of an Awakened Life

In the last part of our interview, Patrick named and described his “Eight States of an Awakened Life”.

1. A Good State of Intention
2. A Good State of Words
3. A Good State of Being
4. A Good State of Purpose
5. A Good State of Effort
6. A Good State of Practice
7. A Good State of Doing
8. A Good State of Understanding

He then offered a few REALLY simple and very profound practical example of how to apply the principles. If you wish to hear more, please listen to the audio.

Book coming to Amazon Tuesday April 20, 2010

I also strongly encourage you to buy Patrick’s book Awakened Wisdom – A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance. Dozens of leaders in the mind-body-spirit field have joined together to support Patrick in celebration of the coming of this book, and are offering over 40 free gifts to everyone who purchases it on the day of its Amazon launch on Tuesday April 20th.

I myself am offering four audio meditations from my transformation workshop The Garden of the Soul, to cultivate the four spiritual principles of Giving, Receiving, Becoming and Being. To be sure you receive this gift, along with all the others, just go to http://www.awakenedwisdom.com/Public/Amazon/BookLaunch/index.cfm and sign up for launch reminder so you remember to buy the book on April 20th.


I hope you enjoyed this interview with Patrick Ryan, which was stop number 3 on the Virtual Blog Tour for Patrick Ryan’s book Awakened Wisdom – A Guide to Reclaiming Your Brilliance.

Tomorrow, Thursday April 8, Patrick stops at Caron Goode’s “Intuitive Parenting” site. It should be really interesting. Check it out at http://intuitiveparenting.wordpress.com

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Vote for Lynn Serafinn for Next Top Spiritual AuthorPlease check out the video I made as my “pitch” for the “Next Top Spiritual Author” contest. I have entered my book The Garden of the Soul: lessons from four flowers that unearth the Self, which as many of you know, is currently self-published.

The grand prize is a book contract from Hampton Roads Publishing, one of the top Body-Mind-Spirit publishers in the world, along with a promotional package worth over $50,000.

There are 3 rounds of voting. The first round starts MONDAY March 29, 2010, and ends April 25, 2010. I could REALLY use your vote to help me advance to Round 2.

Here’s the video podcast I made for my contest entry. I poured my heart and soul into it!

And here’s the same video as it appears on YouTube. I’m putting both versions because sometimes people have trouble viewing certain video formats. If you cannot see EITHER of these videos on your screen (or you wish to see it in a LARGER window), view it on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V8P92UVYwCQ.

If you think The Garden of the Soul deserves to go to a wider audience, please help me by:

1) Watching this video to help you decide whether you think I deserve to win the title Next Top Spiritual Author AND THEN
2) Voting for me at http://tinyurl.com/TopAuthorLynn between March 29 – May 3 (the page will not be live before the 29th).

And there is NO pressure to choose only one author to win this contest! There are hundreds of great authors for you to consider, and you can vote for as many authors as you like (but you can only vote ONCE for each author per round).

I you can help me advance to Round 2 of this exciting competition, I will be EXTREMELY grateful!

My motivation is fuelled by your encouragement and comments. I’d love to hear what you have to say about the video, my book and whatever else, in the comments box below.

Thank you everyone!

Warm wishes,
Lynn Serafinn

P.S.: If YOU are a spiritual author, EVEN IF you are just in the very beginning of wanting to START your book project, YOU should enter this wonderful contest. Unpublished and self-published authors are invited AND they give you lots of help to develop your “pitch” if you don’t know how to do it yourself. Check out the Next Top Spiritual Contest and ENTER NOW at http://www.nexttopauthor.com/index.cfm. It’s going to be a fabulous journey, and I hope will take advantage of it.

[mlb /]

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