What’s the Difference Between an Independent Publishing Consultant and a Book Publicist?

What’s the Difference Between an Independent Publishing Consultant and a Book Publicist?

It’s an excellent question and an important distinction.

I recently attended a free webinar presented by Michelle Kulp, founder of BestSellingAuthorProgram.com, with whom I have an affiliation. Before I describe what I learned about book publicity, let me share what I do.

My all-inclusive packages offer (at a minimum):

  • Professional Editing (a $1,000+ value)
  • Customized, Original Book Cover Design
  • ISBN (International Book Standard Number) Assignment
  • LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number)
  • Formatting for Paperback
  • Formatting for Kindle/eBook
  • Personalized Keyword Book Description Back Cover
  • KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Setup
  • Amazon Author Page Setup
  • Retail Pricing Consultation
  • Author Keeps Ownership of Book
  • Author Keeps 100% of Royalties
  • Volume Discounts
  • Worldwide Distribution

In essence, I provide the professional services every author needs to begin with an excellent foundation — a properly edited, formatted, and published book. When I published the first edition of Water Signs in 2008, I didn’t know what I didn’t know about indie publishing. Once I understood all of the important pieces, I wanted to make the indie publishing process as simple as possible for my clients, which is why I created all-inclusive packages. If you choose to work with me, you’ll receive everything you need to produce a quality book in both paperback and eBook.

If you have a concept, but no time or inclination to write, I provide ghostwriting services.

For books with multiple authors (two or more), I work on a case-by-case basis to arrive at a fair price. Such projects require more time because I’m collaborating with multiple contributors.

In terms of compensation, I’m happy to discuss payment plans with individual clients, if requested but please note, with the cost of services built in to the packages, opting for a payment plan may delay the timeline. However, we can discuss everything over the phone or in person to arrive at an option that works well for everyone involved.

It’s a full-time job, providing these services with professionalism and efficiency, one I take seriously even as I do my best to make the process enjoyable.

But writing a book is only the beginning. Once you “publish with a strong foundation,” to use Michelle Kulp’s language, the work of publicity begins.

Book publicity is a full-time effort in itself. It requires knowledge and expertise that go far beyond the services I described above, which is why I’m excited to affiliate with Michelle.

She has created a proven system of success with her Amazon Bestseller Program. In her webinar, she explained the benefits of becoming an Amazon Bestselling Author:

  • It Makes You Stand Out from the Crowd
  • It Makes You an Instant Expert
  • It Helps You Attract More Clients and Leads
  • It Helps You Spread Your Ideas and Your Message
  • It Helps You Build a 6+ Figure Business

So the question becomes, how do you stand out with all of the books on Amazon? This is a HUGE problem right now because, as Michelle states, “saturation causes noise.”

The way you become an expert, then, is by having a #1 Bestselling Book. This will yield:

  • MORE Influence and Impact Worldwide
  • MORE Income (many ways to generate it via your book)
  • MORE Independence (time and freedom)

Sounds great, right?

But there is a catch. It is not enough to write and publish a professional book; you must have a SYSTEM in place to ensure your audience can find it. Michelle notes that some common mistakes authors make include:

  • No Email List
  • No Positioning
  • No Calls to Action
  • No Products or Services to Sell
  • No Website
  • No Long-term Plan

But even if you do have ALL or SOME of these, without an effective system, you cannot become an Amazon Bestseller. Michelle has created a proven system in 3 steps:

  1. Design Your Path to Profit
  2. Publish Your Book on Top of a Strong Foundation
  3. Promote to a Large Audience with a Hollywood-style Book Launch

I can help with #2. However, if you want to take advantage of Amazon’s “most powerful marketing system” by becoming an Amazon Bestselling Author, I highly recommend contacting Michelle Kulp at BestSellingAuthorProgram.com, where you can read her clients’ testimonials and schedule your own strategy call.

Ready to talk about your unique book project? Contact me here.

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5 Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block

5 Ways To Overcome Writer’s Block

It happens to the best of us. One day you sit down at your computer, determined to finish that next chapter, complete a project for a client, or meet a deadline for an article, when — bam! — your mind suddenly turns to mush, your creativity evaporates, and your usually seamless connection between head, heart and typing fingers takes a hiatus.

What to do when your blank computer screen stares ominously in your face while panic sets in over looming deadlines, paychecks and bills?

Here are five of my favorite ways to overcome the equality opportunity malady known as Writer’s Block:

 

1. Exercise – My favorite way to burn calories, tone muscle and release stress? Leslie Sansone’s Walk Away The Pounds DVD. See my review here. Not only will Leslie get your adrenaline pumping along with your heart (the most important muscle in the body), she’ll keep you moving with her genuine, effervescent personality, warm demeanor and radiant smile. Since she motivates others through sincere encouragement, not military-style intimidation, if you’re the kind of person who’s inspired to push your physical limits by working out with a serious-yet-nurturing coach, Leslie’s your go-to gal. My more recent favorite is Walk It Off in 30 Days, which has enabled me to reach my fitness goals. If you’re looking for something gentler, check out You Can Do Yoga.

2. Get Out In Nature – Whether you prefer the tranquil site of water, the majestic beauty of mountains, the vibrant colors of a flower garden or the breathtaking site of a towering evergreen, spending time in nature will soothe the soul and clear the creative channels. Spending at least a few minutes a day outdoors will also reconnect you to the world around you, which is especially important since writing tends to be a solitary — and sometimes lonely — activity.

 

3. Keep A Journal – A great habit to get into for many reasons, keeping a daily journal where you make note of the things you’re grateful to be, do, and have will keep your mind and spirit focused on the positive. It’s also a perfect place to “write out” all other distractions — such as the items on your To Do List, and document your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. Describe your vision for your life in vivid detail in the areas of health, wealth, relationships, travel, and personal growth. Read it aloud. Feel it coming to fruition and act as if you already have it. Doing so will inspire you to complete the tasks at hand in an easy and relaxed manner, understanding that what you do in every given moment creates the life you desire.

 

4. Pray   If you believe in God, take the time to pray each day for guidance. During Lent, I use the daily meditations from The Word Among Us. I’ve also found inspiration in the Daily Word and other types of devotional books and magazines. Even if you spend only ten minutes or so before getting out of bed in the morning and retiring at night to close your eyes, give thanks, and ask for help in fulfilling your projects to the best of your ability, it will go a long way toward keeping the flow of creativity moving.

5. Phone A Friend/Relative – Sometimes when I’m really stuck and nothing else seems to work, I get up from my desk, pick up the phone, and called a loved one. Whether it’s my mother or a good friend, I reach out to someone I know for a fact supports me unconditionally and will be willing to lend an ear. In many cases, I don’t even mention the problems I’m having with completing a particular chapter or article; I just call to hear the person’s voice, find out how their day is going, and remind myself that I’m blessed to be surrounded by so many caring people. A word of caution: put a time limit on this lovely distraction so you don’t end up spending too much time away from your project. Talk with them just enough to recharge your creative batteries, then get back to work.

How do you overcome writer’s block? Share your ideas in the comments.

Contact me if you’re seeking a copywriter, ghostwriter, or help with independent publishing.

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Free Speech in the Digital Age: Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins Share Their Experience with a Cyber Bully

Free Speech in the Digital Age: Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins Share Their Experience with a Cyber Bully

This past March on Love Liberty & Lip Gloss, host Donna Lyons addressed a critical topic in the digital age: cyber bullying. While many of us tend to think of it as a problem that affects mostly teenagers, the truth is, anyone can be a victim.

Jefferson Keith Langley and Ima Sumac Watkins know from personal experience that this is true.

First, a little background.

I “met” Jefferson in cyberspace via Donna, when she mentioned his interest in being a host on the Writestream Radio Network. As with many other solid, genuine people I’ve met online, I developed an easy friendship with him. Having known Donna for several years (even though we’ve not yet met in person), I trusted her judgement and after several conversations with Jefferson, had no doubts about the depth of his character.

Soon after, we made plans for him to broadcast The Formula: What Is It?  The show airs on the fourth Tuesday of the month, featuring entrepreneurs at various levels of experience, who reveal their unique “formula” for success.

However, as Ima stated in the interview, it’s natural in the Digital Age for people to conduct internet searches on others. I’ll admit I did that with Jefferson, mainly because I was impressed by the scope and depth of his career and wanted to know more. Intuitively, I knew I was dealing with a decent, honest person, which is why it was so disheartening to come across several slanderous posts about him.

Jefferson Keith Langley.

As the owner of an internet-based business that collaborates with a variety of clients and personalities, I’m aware that anyone at any time could take to their keyboard with the intention to slander my character and harm my company’s reputation. For that reason, I save all email correspondence and document all communication with every client. I won’t pretend I don’t make mistakes; I’m human, after all. But I do my best to explain the self-publishing process, maintain a schedule, and deliver a quality product. When necessary, I own up to my errors and correct them asap.

But Jefferson and Ima’s harrowing story is definitely a wake-up call, whether or not you own a business. It’s too easy for an individual to destroy good people and companies just by taking to their computer keyboards and publishing outright lies. Because the burden of proof falls on the victim and not the cyber bully, it’s nearly impossible to remove the offensive posts — and sadly, most people are quick to believe the worst.

In Jefferson and Ima’s case, this meant a significant loss of income and clients as their business dried up. Worse, the damage to their reputations made it difficult to even find a “pay the bills” job to support their basic needs. To their credit, they persisted. I highly recommend listening to the interview by clicking below.

When I came discovered the negative internet posts about Jefferson, I recognized them as a desperate attempt to discredit a good man and his business partner. Yes, I thought about calling him up to discuss it. Then I figured he’d already dealt with enough garbage and let it go.

What was the point of dredging it up with him when I’d already concluded that this was the work of a deranged individual?

As I got to know Jefferson better over a period of several months, my faith in him was vindicated. Because I produced his monthly show, we maintained regular contact via phone conversations and text messages. I’ve also seen the multiple glowing testimonials on Facebook from happy clients who have experienced amazing results in their businesses, thanks to his expert coaching.

I support his efforts to change the laws to adjust to the Digital Age. I’m a huge proponent of free speech, but free speech should not condone personal and professional destruction by dishonest, amoral people who leverage the easy opportunity the internet provides for “revenge.” In Jefferson’s case, the perpetrator — a woman — became obsessed with him in a classic case of “fatal attraction” (though thankfully, he’s alive and well today…unlike the wife of a CEO he knows who was the target of a smear campaign, a story he shares in the interview with Donna).

Again, I highly recommend listening to Jefferson and Ima’s on-air account of their experience with a cyber bully who nearly destroyed them — personally and professionally. It’s a cautionary tale for everyone, especially business-owners who work closely with clients. Thankfully, they managed to turn things around and have gone on to achieve greater success. As a result of what they have endured, they are also determined to draft legislation and petition Congress to address this crucial issue.

I’m grateful to Jefferson and Ima for their courage, honesty, and willingness to take a stand for integrity. Circumstances reveal character, and in their case, their horrific experience at the hands of a sick individual has proven that they each possess a strong, solid, and inspiring one.

A final word of advice: question EVERYTHING you read online, do your homework, and, if necessary, confront the person with the information you find on the internet. Give them a chance to defend themselves. Don’t just blindly trust “anonymous” sources who may have nothing more than an ax to grind, simply because they can get away with it.

In the Digital Age, the Golden Rule applies more than ever.

Discover more about Jefferson and the services he provides at ABETHIA.com and Artitechtronix.com.

Follow Ima Sumac Watkins on Instagram and about.me.

Need help with copy writing, independent publishing, or ghostwriting? Contact me here.

 

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The Writestream with Ima Sumac Watkins: Creating Our Joy During the Holidays

The Writestream with Ima Sumac Watkins: Creating Our Joy During the Holidays

The holidays are upon us!

Does this make you happy or create more stress in your life?

Tune in to The Writestream with Daria Anne on Wednesday, November 22 at 11 AM Eastern when Ima Sumac Watkins returns to talk about creating our own joy. Our families can be our biggest teachers and the holidays can pose our greatest challenges. Ima will talk about healing the expectations we have of our families and ourselves during this time of celebration.

She’ll also share how to create our own holiday rituals, heal past hurts, take responsibility for our own joy, and experience truly Happy Holidays.

To stream the episode, click on this link. Or listen by phone at (347) 945-7246. Press “1” if you would like to ask Ima a question on the air.

For more on Ima and her professional services, visit aboutme.com/iwatkins.

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