Your Book, Your Brand, Your Business

Your Book, Your Brand, Your Business

Why should you write and publish a book if you’re an entrepreneur? In her 2012 article, Why Writing a Book Is Good Business, Erika Anderson outlines several compelling reasons after stating the obvious: you must begin with a good book.

Let’s start by defining our terms.  By ‘good book’ I mean one that is well-written (grammatically and syntactically correct, with complete sentences and understandable, appropriate vocabulary); contains clearly stated, useful ideas; and is engaging – meaning readers will be drawn in and interested, vs. bored and confused.

So, assuming that you’ve written such a book, how will that help you or your business?  In 2006, Mike Schultz, principal of the Wellesley Hills Group, of Framingham, Mass., decided to find out. His firm, a marketing consultancy for professional service providers, released the results of a survey of 200 business-book authors.  They called it The Business impact of Writing a Book. In an article in BusinessWeek that same year, Schulz said “The vast majority of the authors we surveyed — 96% — said they did realize a significant positive impact on their businesses from writing a book and would recommend the practice.”

He goes on to note, though, that the primary business benefits are indirect – that is, even the authors whose books sold well didn’t make much (if any) money from the sales of books.  The benefits they cited were things like “generating more leads, closing more deals, charging higher fees, and getting better speaking engagements.”

Having worked with several entrepreneurs over the years, I can attest to the above. While it is possible and likely that you’ll make money from book sales, the real value of the investment comes from increasing your credibility in the eyes of your prospects, expanding your brand and influence, and leveraging your book to attract better speaking engagements and higher fees for services.

In my line of work as a ghostwriter, editor, and independent publishing consultant on my own, with Writestream Publishing LLC, and now on my own again, clients have used their books to help them achieve their goals. For example, Major General Linda L. Singh transitioned from a successful corporate career to owner of her own mentoring/coaching business with her memoir, Moments of Choice: My Path to Leadership.

As Andersen states in her article:

I’ve certainly seen those outcomes in my own business, as have other friends and colleagues who’ve written business books.  Here’s why I think those things happen when you write a good business book:

Personal credibility: Having a book published makes people think you’re smarter and more expert.  I don’t know if you get the same effect through self-publishing, but it’s certainly been true in my experience of having books published with traditional publishers.  As soon as my first book came out, at the end of 2006, you would think by the way others responded to me that I’d suddenly gained 20 IQ points.  It was almost disorienting – I knew I was the same person, but previously closed doors magically opened, and people I knew wouldn’t have paid much attention to what I said before were suddenly listening hard.  It was (and still is) enormously helpful in establishing initial connections with potential clients and business partners.

Business credibility:  If you’re running a business and you publish a good book, your business gets a halo effect from your rise in credibility.  Being associated with a business book and its author gives an enterprise legitimacy in the eyes of the world. Being considered more legitimate simply makes it easier to get things done.  In my experience, it also gives a lift to everyone who works in the organization – it becomes a source of pride and espirit de corps.

Brand clarity: Having a book or books that lay out the key intellectual property or the core models or principles of your business really helps potential clients understand what you’re about and how you can be valuable to them. It can also help your own staff be clearer about who you are and what you’re offering.  People have often been surprised when I’ve said this – they question whether it’s really a good idea to put your ideas out in public for anyone to see (and, by implication, steal).  But our experience has been that the ideas in a book quite often whet people’s appetite for more in-depth knowledge or consulting.

This has certainly been true for me, although an unintended (welcome) consequence of writing and publishing Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal, back in 2008. At the time I had a corporate job as a Knowledge Base writer, but the book expanded my then freelance-on-the-side business of editing when Shlomo Attia walked into a book signing a mutual friend hosted for me and insisted on buying a copy, in spite of my warning that a contemporary romance might not appeal to him. Little did I know he had an ulterior motive, because some time later, he called me to inquire about my ghostwriting services. Up until then, writing a full-length book for someone else had not even occurred to me, but Shlomo felt certain I was the right person for the job. His confidence led to the publication of Steps To Salvation in 2014 and expanded my menu of services to include ghostwriting. To date, I’ve ghostwritten ten books, with two more coming out this year.

I take pride in my work, understanding the importance of capturing someone else’s voice and guiding them to produce the best possible product to engage their audience. But as Andersen remarks, there is more to the story, so to speak.

Having noted all these powerful benefits – and the positive outcomes that they can bring, let me add a note of caution.  Schulz also noted:

It may sound obvious, but the biggest finding was that authors who sold more than 10,000 copies of their books were much more satisfied with how the effort paid off than were those who sold fewer than 10,000. Those who sold 20,000 copies or higher were off the charts in their enthusiasm. So, more than anything else we measured, the number of books sold was the biggest factor contributing to the project’s success.

We also found out that people who self-published, didn’t use a literary agent or hire a PR firm, and didn’t do a lot of public speaking, sold fewer books and were much less pleased with the process.

So, if you have a book in you, writing it might benefit you and your business in a host of ways.  However, writing it is just the beginning.  Then you have to focus on selling it: the more you do that, the more you’ll see a return on your investment.

One of the benefits of attracting and networking with like-minded people is having the referral resources needed for my clients to experience their own version of success as a result of publishing a book. I’m not a book publicist, nor a PR firm; however, I do have access to professionals who offer excellent services in this regard.

Your Book, Your Brand,  Your Business.

Now more than ever, this applies to anyone seeking to take their business to unprecedented heights.

Ready to get started? Contact me to schedule your complimentary phone consultation.

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7 Recommended Reads for Holiday Gift Giving

7 Recommended Reads for Holiday Gift Giving

Do you have avid readers on your shopping list with a variety of interests?

Here are seven suggestions for holiday gift giving:

  1. Magnetic Love by Jennie Lynn

Magnetic Love is a magical guide to creating the life of your dreams. Enhanced by the author’s conversational style and courage in sharing her own spiritual journey, it is anchored in real results and timeless truths. I’ve been a student of spiritual laws and an avid reader of personal development books for years. Yet Jennie Lynn’s Magnetic Love resonated with me in new and unexpected ways. I felt as if I developed a relationship with the author because I can relate to so much of her story, from her frustration with doing everything right (or so she thought), only to receive the opposite of what she wanted, to learning how to truly and deeply love herself and appreciate her body.

In easy-to-understand language, Jennie explains the importance of recognizing and shifting paradigms (stubborn belief systems embedded in our subconscious minds) and becoming the vibration of the things and people we want to attract. Throughout, she shares practical exercises and online resources she has developed to help her readers transform their lives. Each chapter ends with a place for handwritten notes, along with prompts to help you glean your most important lessons and insights from what you have just read. As suggested by the title, the book features plenty of practical wisdom, based on spiritual laws, to help you find your Soul Mate, while making a clear distinction between romantic love and other various forms of this multi-dimensional energy — the most powerful force in the world. If you’re seeking to understand and apply the Laws of the Universe to arrive at a true understanding of who you really are, I highly recommend Magnetic Love (and Jennie Lynn) as your partner in manifesting all that you desire!

Purchase Magnetic Love here.

Listen to my interview with author Jennie Lynn below:

2. The Mentor in Me by William Todd

William’s honesty in sharing his journey in such an engaging way makes you feel as if he’s a good friend. It also brings him down to earth: in spite of his amazing success as an entrepreneur, he still struggled with his own fears, negative thoughts, and embedded paradigms. Becoming Bob Proctor’s protege is a humbling experience, yet one he embraces fully — at least in the beginning. As suggested by the subtitle, What To Do & What Not To Do, William describes his resistance to taking his mentor’s advice, “the times when, to his detriment, he failed to make the most of opportunities presented.”

The book’s chapters are organized according to the Seven Levels of Awareness – the process we all undergo as life unfolds. William explains each level, supporting its premise with real life examples of how he demonstrated a particular behavior, for good or ill. Each chapter closes with his Mentor’s MessageWhat To Do / What Not To Do (questions to consider), and Words of Wisdom.

It’s organization and ease of reading, combined with the author’s genuine tone makes The Mentor In Me a practical guide for improving every aspect of your life and becoming the person you were meant to be. No wonder why Bob Proctor calls it “a book you form a relationship with.” It’s overall 5-star rating on Amazon is well-deserved.

Watch Bob Proctor discuss the book below.

Spanish speaking readers on your list? El Mentor En Mi is now available on Amazon.com.

3. Cadain’s Watch by Daniella Bova

In Cadáin’s Watch, her final installment in the Storms of Transformation Series, author Daniella Bova delivers a powerful rejoinder to the forces of control and oppression. Having read the first two books and followed her characters through their harrowing ordeals as little by little, their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are stripped away, I was thrilled to see them fight back against a soulless bureaucracy — with a little assistance from the warrior angel Cadáin, whose presence adds a welcome supernatural element to the story. Bova also introduces a new major character in the form of Michael Wallace, whose reunion and subsequent telepathic relationship with his son enhances the plot. Even the character of Michelle has grown up considerably in Cadáin’s Watch, at last demonstrating courage and resolve, rather than dissolving into tears over every outrage. As per the author’s style, I enjoyed reading the story from the perspectives of multiple characters and appreciated the fact that for some of the story’s evil-doers, actions do indeed have fatal consequences. Her descriptions of a godless, dystopian society that exists within the remnants of what was once the greatest country on earth — including horrific gulags, forced sterilizations of women over a certain age, and diabolical experiments on children, gave me chills. It also filled me with gratitude that real life seems to be imitating art as Americans, much like Jason, Michelle, Brad, Michael and others in Cadáin’s Watch, have finally said, “enough.” In the case of Bova’s book, that final stand takes place in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina, where her descriptions of the natural scenery offer a welcome contrast to the tension infused throughout the novel. And while the future remains uncertain, the author leaves us with hope that all individuals with the will and desire to live free, as deemed by their Creator, will find a way as long as they look to him for guidance. Congratulations to Daniella Bova on another outstanding accomplishment!

Buy the book here. Watch the book trailer below.

4. Remembering Eternity by Richard Maddox

In Remembering Eternity, gifted author Richard Maddox takes the reader on a sensory journey of self-discovery and enlightenment while evoking nostalgia for the innocence of youth. His enchanting prose and relatable characters draw you in as you follow main character Skylar through his various life transitions and search for deeper meaning. Juxtaposing time zones, the authors switches back and forth from the older, wiser Sklyar navigating his way from the pinnacle of success (as defined by western society) to his spartan new life as a divorced dad – to the young boy who delights in the simple pleasures of his Midwestern childhood until the layers of the illusion of a happy home peel away to reveal the underlying heartbreak and dysfunction. Yet Skylar remains a thoughtful observer and participant in life, savoring the “small things” like the beauty of a sunset over the Pacific Ocean and discovering truths from the spiritual Masters. Beautifully written, Remembering Eternity is a mesmerizing tale with a higher purpose: to impart metaphysical knowledge and an understanding of who we really are. I’m looking forward to reading Richard’s next book!

Listen to my interview with Richard below. Purchase the book here.

5. Amy Lynn: Into the Fire by Jack July

In the fourth installment of his Amy Lynn Series, Jack July continues his tradition of excellent storytelling. Into the Fire balances international intrigue, man’s inhumanity to man, and the relentless pursuit of justice with heart-pounding action, moral dilemmas, and palpable human emotion. As with his previous books, the pages of Amy Lynn: Into the Fire are infused with rich characterizations and love of God, family, community and country. The pacing, which juxtaposes multiple subplots and time-frames (expertly tied together in the end), along with cliff-hangers within the chapters, compels you to keep reading. I especially enjoyed the exploration of PTSD and the fine line between justice and revenge, as portrayed by Amy’s sessions with Dr. Earle in a country retreat in the mountains of West Virginia. My favorite character, Uncle Jack, takes a prominent role in Into the Fire, with the author drawing upon the character’s harrowing past, which is a formidable influence on his present actions in the aftermath of a chilling event that hits too close to home. Whether you’ve read the entire series or have just discovered the works of Jack July, you’ll love Amy Lynn: Into the Fire. If it’s your first exposure to Black Oak Alabama and its residents, you’ll be inspired to read the previous books. If, like me, you’ve been following the adventures of Amy Lynn and the Braxton family from the beginning, you’ll look forward to the next installment. Congratulations on another fine effort Jack!

Purchase the book here.

6. Gypsy Energy Secrets by Milana Perepyolkina

Healer, psychic, and spiritual guide, Milana Perepyolkina became a writer in order to share the ancient wisdom and magic of her Romani ancestry that she uses every day to make a difference in the lives of others. Having suffered throughout her life from countless physical and emotional ailments, Milana found that reconnecting with the energetic world allowed her to completely heal, transcend her troubles, and live a happy and more fulfilled life. In sharing that wisdom, Milana saw the powerful impact that the simplest techniques could make in transforming the lives of others. She wrote Gypsy Energy Secrets with the hope that her valuable knowledge could be spread to all those whom she could not personally reach. Milana continues to embrace a lifestyle of consciousness, spirituality, and happiness, and seizes any opportunity to share her wisdom with others through personal consultations and readings. She presents a comprehensive approach to heightened well-being, focusing on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual elements. It is the mindful attention to each element that turns any day, no matter how bad, into a good day.

Listen to my interview with Milana below. Purchase the book on Amazon.

7. Lost Found & Rewired: Mind Tools to Shift You from Stressed and Frazzled to Calm and Vital by Cynthia Dougherty, Ph.D

The mind is a terrible thing to waste. The world has changed at lightning speed over the last two decades. As a result, most of us are living our lives in a frantic blur of incessant emails, social media engagement, text messages as well as an over-abundance of multi-tasking – which leaves our minds in a state of low concentration, high stress and fragmented attention. Our minds are wasting away in this damaging environment which has become a normal way of life for the majority of people. Lost, Found & Rewired will give you the tools you need to shut off that distracting mind chatter, rewire your brains so you can get back to feeling calm, happy, purposeful, connected and joyful. When you understand how your brain has evolved, then you will be able to learn how to re-wire it and reap the endless benefits.

Written by a neuro-psychologist, but taught in language that everyone can understand.

Listen to my interview with Cynthia below. Purchase the  book on Amazon

Happy Shopping and Reading!

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Understanding the Indie Publishing Process

Understanding the Indie Publishing Process

Over the past decade, I’ve learned some valuable lessons from every project and client, which enabled me to improve my communication and processes.

One of the most important lessons learned?

Give every client an outline of the indie publishing process that includes clear directives, deadlines, and responsibilities. With indie publishing, the author and the publisher must work in collaboration, each holding up their end of the agreement in order to achieve the desired publication date of a high-quality book.

Six Steps to Indie Publishing

  1. Select a Publishing Package– Whatever your goal, I offer a package that meets your needs.
  2. Choose Your Publication Date – I require approval on the FINAL edits a minimum of two months prior.
  3. Commit to Your Project – My collaborative editing process requires a time commitment from both of us.
  4. Approve Final Edits – After a few rounds of editing, you, the author, must approve the final edits before the manuscript moves into formatting. Please read the post formatting versus editing for more.
  5. Approve Formatting – Once you approve the final edits, your manuscript moves into the formatting stage. What is formatting? It pertains the interior style of the book including fonts, headers, chapter templates, and justification. When your manuscript makes it to the formatting part of the process, you can no longer add or remove paragraphs, rewrite sentences, delete content or add new content. When is the time to do that? At any point within Step 4. By the time you approve final edits, you’ve reviewed your document repeatedly. Take as long as you need before signing off because we will not make any further editing changes after it moves into formatting.
  6. Approve Proof Copy – Before your book goes live online, you must approve either a digital version or a paperback proof. If you’re a new author, I recommend the latter.

As your independent publishing consultant, I am just as vested as you in the outcome. Producing good books with original, compelling covers and stylish, readable formatting is my top priority. Making you look good is my goal. That’s why every package I offer includes professional editing and formatting.

Kindle/eBook Formatting

This is such a vital topic, I’m placing under its own heading. I cannot stress this enough, but different formatting rules apply to Kindle/eBooks. We cannot use the same PDF we uploaded for the paperback version for the Kindle version. It simply does not work.

Therefore, once you approve your edits, your manuscript moves into formatting first for paperback, then for Kindle. We release the paperback first, with the teaser that the Kindle version is coming soon (usually within two weeks). Kindle formatting may take longer, depending upon the number of photos, charts, headers, special fonts, and other characteristics of the paperback.

Congratulations, Your Book Published on Your Desired Date – Now What?

You move into the fun marketing phase. If your particular package includes online interviews, social media set-up and training, and a book signing kit I’ll set those up for you. But no matter which package you select, I encourage you to have fun engaging with your audience in cyberspace and in person.

Publication Date

To reiterate the above, the time to make changes to your book is while it is in the editing phase. When you approve final edits, the manuscript goes into the capable hands of a professional formatter whose job is to focus on the appearance of the content, not the content itself. Once you approve the formatting, we hit the “approve” button on the date that matches your desired publication date.

Why?

The date we click the approve button is the publication date. It cannot be changed. If you want your pub date to be March 14, 2017, we must approve it anytime after midnight on that date. From that point, it will go live on Amazon within 24 hours.

Post-Publication Rules

Once your book is for sale on Amazon (and everywhere books are sold online), it’s time to market and promote. It is not the time to pull the book down to make yet another editorial adjustment.

Can it be done? Yes. Do I advise it? Absolutely not. Refer back to Step 4.

Sure, a year or two after your book is out, you may want to update it. I did that myself with Water Signs — years after it was published, because I wanted to make improvements to the cover design and dialogue.

Ready to tell your story? Contact me for your complimentary 30-minute consultation.

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