How to write a book to build your personal brand

The easiest way to get started writing a book to build your personal brand during 2011 is answer the following 5 simple questions.

Your answers, sale and the lists you create based on your answers, viagra will provide a road map to help you get started writing a book to drive your success and build your personal brand. Continue reading

Why self-imposed deadlines are the key to writing a book

Author thought leadership and writing success are usually described in terms of creativity, viagra dosage grammar, ampoule and inspiration; however, unhealthy for many, self-imposed deadlines are the most important writing tool of all.

Last Wednesday, for example, I interviewed Jay Berkowitz, the author of Ten Golden Rules for Internet Marketing Success. During our call, Jay described how he had spent almost a year planning his transition from the upper echelons of the corporate world to self employment.

However, nothing really “happened” until Jay obtained an opportunity to speak before the Direct Marketing Association just 6 weeks before their prestigious annual convention.

Suddenly, everything fell into place; within the next 6 weeks, Jay was able to start and finish:

  • The text and graphics for his signature publication, The Ten Golden Rules of Internet Marketing Success.
  • The text and PowerPoint visuals for his Ten Golden Rules of Internet Marketing presentation.
  • The text and graphics for his Ten Golden Rules website which launched his Internet marketing agency.

Continue reading

Making Ideas Happen: A Recipe for Success and Profitability

Even if you aren’t a cook yourself, health you know what a recipe is, tooth and what it’s used for. Webster’s defines a recipe as “a set of instructions for making something from various ingredients; a formula or procedure for doing or attaining something.”

Two and a half months after its publication, youth health Scott Belsky’s book, Making Ideas Happen is one of Amazon.com’s Top 100 (overall) books, a sales leader in several categories, and an iPad and Wall Street Journal best-seller. Download a PDF Excerpt.

Belsky provides authors with a success recipe that is both easy-to-follow and duplicate.

The following are some of the reasons for my enthusiasm for the book.

Expertly Titled & Positioned

Scott’s title exhibits many of the 16 characteristics of effective book titles described in my own #Book Title Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Choosing Compelling Article, Book, and Event Titles. These include:

  1. Promise. Effective book titles promise an obvious benefit, one the author’s target market urgently wants to enjoy.
  2. Transparency. Effective book titles communicate at a glance, without clutter or ambiguity. There’s nothing to “puzzle out” or study; the benefit is obvious, presented in everyday, easy-to-speak conversational terms.
  3. Brevity. As a glance at the book cover, above, shows, short titles based on short words permit setting the title in a large, bold, type size. This creates “billboard” book covers that attract attention from a distance in a crowded bookstore or can be read online, even when shown as a tiny thumbnail images barely an inch high.
  4. Title/subtitle partnership. One of the “classic” title techniques is to combine a short, telegraphic title with a longer subtitle that amplifies the title’s promised benefit by providing supporting details.
  5. Action verbs. Effective book titles are often build around gerunds, i.e., verbs ending in ing. Making and Overcoming imply a state of action, implying that progress is already taking place.

Planned profitability

One of myPublished & Profitable site’s central tenets is the importance of planning for profitability, i.e., identifying potential back-end profit sources and having the profit systems set-up and in-place, ready for readers when they visit the author’s website, looking for ways to implement the ideas in the book.

Authors who wait until their book is published before planning and  setting-up back-end profit systems are simply too late; they’ll never make up for the lost profit opportunities generated by their book’s publication.

As you can see from Scott Belsky’s bio, or a glance at the offerings on his Behance site, you can see that a portfolio of up-and-running products and resources, including both on-line and off-line resources, already exists.

One of the reasons I’ve been using Scott Belsky’s Making Ideas Happen as an example of nonfiction success is the way that it has been positioned as a leadership book rather than as a creativity or writing book. See previous posts.

By positioning Making Ideas Happen for categories like Business Management, Leadership, or Management Science, the author targeted a large and growing market, rather than smaller slow-growth markets.

Visionary vocabulary

This successful best-selling book (currently in the mid 300’s out of all the books Amazon.com sells) and among the top 5 sellers in several categories, including Leadership and Management Science.

Authors that follow Belsky’s lead and create a new vocabulary with their book will invariably create a more memorable brand.

New words and phrases add interest to your book and provide easy to remember memory assists for your important ideas, improving retention, creating a shortcut to your brand.

What’s fascinating about the list that follows is that you can learn so much about the book from simply analyzing the new words and phrases it introduces:

  • Dreamers, Doers, and Incrementalists. These refer to the three types of creative individuals described in Making Ideas Happen. Dreamers are always generating new ideas. Doers s are obsessively focused on the logistics of implementing ideas. Incrementalists shift between dreaming and doing, but often fail to totally profit from their ideas because they often dissipate their energy by working on too many different projects. (pages 113-115)
  • Action Method. Action Method refers to the process of immediately following-up new ideas by identifying the specific tasks needed to bring an idea closer to reality.
  • Creative’s compromise. Creative individuals, i.e., designers, authors, and entrepreneurs, must be prepared to adopt new restraints and best practices that may initially be uncomfortable. (18)
  • Done walls. The practice of hanging examples of completed Action Steps from previous projects on the wall of your working area, as motivation tools to maintain team enthusiasm and morale. (91)

How Thought Leadership Authors Can Benefit from Making Ideas Happen

If you’re having trouble finishing your book, you’re not alone! Authors often need help finishing their books. As Belsky puts it: nearly all new ideas die a premature death.

He concludes: The journey to a more productive life as a creative leader starts with a candid self-assessment of who you are, your tendencies, and the greatest barriers before you.

In addition to a dash of reality and a description of how others handle the challenge of the new and the creative’s challenge, authors will be exposed to concrete steps they can take to work more efficiently. They’re also likely to be inspired by the example of writing and organization that Making Ideas Happen presents – prompting them to create their own recipe for success.

Why authors should share their commitment to write a thought leadership book

Sharing your commitment to write a thought leadership book is one of the most important first steps you should take. Sharing your commitment write a book ensures its completion and paves the way for its success. Here are 7 reasons to share your intention to write a thought leadership book:

  1. Support. Sharing your intention with employees, ambulance family, refractionist and friends enlists their support. As a result, view they will be more likely to overlook an occasional missed family or social event. If you also share your intended writing schedule with family and co-workers, they’ll also be more likely to respect your privacy and not bother you during your scheduled writing sessions.
  2. Determination. When you share your intention to write a book with others, you’re likely to be benefit from added discipline and determination. After you’ve made your intention known to others, you’ll find it harder to put off a writing session in order to sleep an hour later, or watch television.
  3. Assistance. You’re likely to be surprised by others who will offer to help you, if the occasion arises. You’re apt to receive newspaper clippings relevant to your topic, or e-mail containing links to blogs and websites. Others may offer to help you by reading and commenting on your initial drafts.
  4. Networking. Announcing your intention to write your book on your blog or website adds credibility to e-mails you send to subject area experts and others asking for advice, case studies, or requests for interviews. “Anyone” can claim to be writing a book, but your requests will be taken more seriously when you have displayed your intention online.
  5. Speaking. Your public commitment to write a book will also increase your desirability as a speaker in your area of expertise, opening the door to speaking at local events or appearing as a panelist at trade events. Your commitment to write a book will also add credibility to teleseminars and webinars you host while writing your book.
  6. Anticipation. Describing your commitment to write a book online will also enhance your search engine visibility, increasing your visibility to individuals searching for information on your topic. Your blog or website will be more visible to prospects, event organizers, and–even–publishers looking for authors with expertise in your area.
  7. Familiarity. Each time you blog or discuss the book you’re writing, or post a sample downloadable chapter, you’re creating familiarity, which builds your prospective reader’s confidence in your book. Accordingly, by the time your book emerges from the printer, you’ll have a market that’s ready to buy your book. If, on the other hand, you’ve kept your book a secret, you’ll have to overcome a skeptical market unwilling to take a chance on something new and different.

The advantages of writing a book to drive business and position yourself relative to the competition are well known. Your ability to write a book is proven each day by your continuing success working for others, or running your own business. The first step to writing a successful author thought leadership book is to publicly share your intention and commitment to writing your book. Your public commitment paves the way to success by helping you both write and promote your book, launching it to a market that’s ready to buy.

Roger C. Parker invites you to explore Published & Profitable’s Sample Contents and sign-up for his Writer’s Writer’s Tip Blog. Roger’s latest book is #Book Title Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Compelling Article, Book, and Event Titles.

7 questions to ask before writing a nonfiction book to drive your success

Writing a nonfiction book is the proven way to build your business by attracting new prospects, online pre-selling your competence, nurse opening doors to new product and service opportunities, while differentiating yourself from your competition. (Mitchell Levy’s 42 Rules for Driving Success with Books for details and examples.)

However, you have to write the right book! Here are 7 questions to ask yourself before you begin to write your nonfiction book attract new clients and prospects:

  1. Who should I write my book for? Before writing a book, take the time to identify your best prospects and clients…the types of individuals and firms you want to attract because they’re challenging, profitable, and fun to deal with. Few books, by themselves, sell enough copies to provide an author’s sole source of income. Today, books are written to generate post-publication business by attracting qualified prospects who want to benefit from the author’s proven expertise through sales of back-end products and services.
  2. What are their problems and concerns? Publishing success is not about how much authors know they know about their topic, but how much they know about the information their intended readers need to know! Successful, career-building, nonfiction books are actionable; they help readers solve problems or achieve goals. Success is all about helping readers experience positive change! Instead of taking an inventory of what you know, take an inventory of what your prospects and readers need to know.
  3. What existing books are already available? Before you you start to write your book, you must research existing books and learn as much about them as possible. Writing success involves bringing new information to the table (or the bookshelf). No publisher wants to publish a book that covers familiar ground. Likewise, no readers want to spend money on a “me, too!” book.
  4. How are their authors profiting? In addition to studying existing books in your field, you need to research the businesses of the authors who wrote the book. Authors who are actively publishing books in your field are usually frequent speakers who also offering coaching, consulting, or training services. Visit their websites and examine the topics they speak and present on, as well as the client case studies they describe. Examining their blog and website may provide several new ideas for topics for your book.
  5. How motivated is the market? Look for markets that are active and characterized by books with consistent, healthy sales.  More important, look for markets that are experiencing change and are urgently looking for solutions. Hint: if you are writing for businesses, look for situations where failure to solve problems or achieve goals is costing firms a lot of money, either in wasted opportunities or reduced profitability. If you are writing for consumers, look for health, employment, or personal development issues causing pain and stress.
  6. How can I set my book apart? The more time you invest exploring your market and your competition, the easier it will be to identify and organize a book that brings a new approach to your topic. Look for something fresh: look for a way to bring new information, new examples, new style, or a new process (or system) to help readers solve their problems or achieve their goals. Question current assumptions and look for new approaches.
  7. How can I finish my book as quickly and efficiently as possible? Efficiency and speed are important, but often overlooked, considerations. The sooner your book is completed, the sooner it can begin opening new doors of opportunity for you. This does not mean not presenting a complete solution or sacrificing clarity, responsibility, or quality. Experienced book coaches and editors will be able to suggest ways you can enlist the help of others to get your book into your prospective clients’ or customers’ hands as quickly as possible without losing control of your book.

In many ways, writing a book is like playing chess; planning and strategy play a bigger role than action. Writing a book for a market that can’t afford, or doesn’t want, your products and services is as bad a mistake as writing a book that duplicates existing information.

Likewise, a book that comes out after a wave of demand has begun to lose power is another prescription for failure.

By all means, write a nonfiction book to drive business by positioning you as the go-to expert in your field. But, before you begin to write, ask the above questions to make sure your writing the right book!

Roger C. Parker invites you to explore Published & Profitable’s Sample Contents and sign-up for his Writer’s Writer’s Tip Blog. Roger’s latest book is #Book Title Tweet: 140 Bite-Sized Ideas for Compelling Article, Book, and Event Titles.

How to get started writing a thought leadership book

The easiest way to get started a thought leadership book that will drive business and career success is to ask a deceptively simple question:

What does my most profitable customer segment need to know to solve their problems and achieve their goals?

Asking what your most profitable customers and prospect needs to know achieves several important goals:

  • Puts the focus on what’s really important. Success is not about “your” experiences or the knowledge you have accumulated. Success is all about your readers! What they want to read is more important than what you want to write. It ensures the success of your book among the market segment that’s most valuable to you.
  • Simplifies topic choices and writing. By identifying the change your reader’s desire, patient i.e., cost the problem they want to solve or the goal they want to achieve, makes it easier to identify the 42, (or whatever), topics your readers need to know and addressing them as clearly and concisely as you can.
  • Shorter books mean more books. By replacing “creative writing” with reader-driven topic choice and clear, concise expression, offers many additional benefits. For example, you’ll be better able to write your book in short, frequent working sessions, each one focused on a specific topic. This will help you get your book into your prospect’s hands faster (so it can begin driving business sooner). Once your first book is published, you can begin thinking about a follow-up title (which will make you twice the expert in your market’s eyes!)

Each published book with your name on the cover and a listing on Amazon.com, reinforces your position as the “go to expert” in your field!

Writing a thought leadership book can be a lot easier than the “time trap” many think writing a book has to be. Writing can be difficult and time-consuming if you try to impress your market by sharing everything you know. But, if you start by asking “What do my most desired prospects and clients need to know?“, you’ll find it easier to identify and write a book that establishes you as the thought leader in you field. Let me know if you have a comment, or question, via e-mail or as a comment, below.

8 habits needed to write your way to success

Although the rewards of writing a book have been extensively documented in books like Mitchell Levy’s 42 Rules of Driving Business with Books, purchase the underlying habits needed for writing success and author thought leadership are not as widely known.

The big idea

The starting point is very simple, and beautifully described in books like Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and Les Hewitt’s Power of Focus and a slim book by Robert Maxwell entitled Make Today Count.  Both books stress the same idea:

Your daily habits determine your future

How you approach each day in general, and how you approach writing in particular, determines your future–and the future of those who depend on you.

Everyone has the same 24 hours each day to live, work, play, and sleep. However, somehow, some people write books and advance to the front of the room, while others dream, read books, and remain in the back of the room.

Habits of writing success

During the past decade, I’ve interviewed hundreds of authors (plus their editors and publicists) who have changed their lives and written their way to success, building lucrative, high-visibility author thought leadership in their fields.

I’ve studied their habits, as well as the habits of writing coaches who got their training in the world of media, where deadlines are non-negotiable. What I’ve listened to and read has convinced me that a few crucial habits spell the difference writing success or continued writing stress and frustration.

The 8 habits of writing success

Here’s a distillation of what I’ve found. Successful, branded authors share these traits:

  1. Daily progress. Successful authors don’t participate in writing marathons; they commit to writing a little every day. They commit to consistent progress. You can make significant progress in 30 minutes a day, even more if you spend a little extra time reviewing what you’ve written and what you want to write tomorrow right before you go to bed.
  2. Delegation. There is usually a team behind a successful author; sometimes co-authors, sometimes ghost writers, sometimes book coaches and development editors, and sometimes a variety of contributors. Success does not have to involve martyrdom!
  3. Planning. Few nonfiction authors depend on their creativity and inspiration to get their books written. Instead, they begin with outlines or mind map that identify the topics they’re going to write about in each chapter. When they sit down to write, they know what they’re going to write about. As a result, they never start with an empty screen.
  4. Purpose. Successful nonfiction authors recognize that their books aren’t purchased for entertainment or style. Instead, books are purchased for reader change;  the goal is to help readers solve problems or achieve goals. By focusing on what their readers want, rather than showcasing their knowledge, authors write books that attract the readers they’re interested in serving later on.
  5. Efficiency. Successful authors are efficient authors; they choose the right tools and take maximum advantage of them. When working with Microsoft Word, they use keyboard shortcuts to save time and eliminate the need to remove their right hand from the keyboard and reaching for the mouse. They write short, concise books with focused, actionable content. Most important, they harvest and recycle previously-written ideas and content, such as blog posts, newsletters, reports, and speeches. They use templates whenever possible to speed content creation and formatting.
  6. Standards. Successful authors refuse to be intimidated by the authors held up as role-models by their their high school and college teachers. Writing is typically taught from a “classic” point of view, rather than a pragmatic, information organization and sharing point of view. Successful authors write for efficient information transfer, striving for brevity and clarity. In doing so, they forgive themselves for the C’s and D’s they might have received.
  7. Rituals. Most important, successful authors establish rituals, which can be considered “habits on steroids.” Whenever possible, they write at the same time and in the same place. They print-out and back-up their work at the end of each writing session. They track their blog posts and teleseminar topics, identifying which topics generate the most response.
  8. Confidence. Most of all, successful authors are confident in the expertise they want to share and the people who are around them to help them succeed. Successful authors recognize that lousy first drafts often result in excellent final drafts. They are confident in the process of writing, reviewing, and rewriting.

In short, successful authors reject the idea of write their way to success, one word at a time. They reject the view that writing as a talent-driven special skill, and–instead–are willing to do what it takes to cultivate their own skills. (Many of the authors I’ve interviewed don’t consider themselves especially proficient or talented writers.) The basis of writing success are found in simple daily habits that anyone can put to work.

Roger C. Parker invites you to explore Published & Profitable‘s Sample Contents and sign-up for his Writer’s Writer’s Tip Blog. You’re also invited to e-mail your writing questions and concerns.

Exploring the realities of writing a book in 2010

Will 2010 be the year you decide to write a book to build your brand and establish yourself as the “go to” expert in your field? Now is the time to begin planning for your debut as a published author.

The benefits of writing a book in 2010

The benefits of writing a book continue to far outweigh the work that’s involved writing a book.

One of the very best books that address the benefits of writing a book is Mitchell Levy’s 42 Rules for Driving Success with Books. As the numerous case “real world” author case studies describe, orthopedist writing a book continues to be the most predictable way you can take control of your future, building awareness for your business, pre-selling your competence, and opening doors of opportunity that might otherwise never be open to you.

A writing strategy based on a published book in 2010 provides a focus–or a hub–for all of your firm’s marketing and social marketing. At the same time, in the same way that teachers learn by teaching, writers learn by writing, as books like William Zinsser’s classic Writing to Learn: How to Write and Think Clearly About Any Topic describe.

The realities of writing a book in 2010

Book publishing is going through an era of exciting change and technological advance. The good news is that, in 2010, there are more options and opportunities for authors than ever before. Several trends are immediately obvious:

  • New ways to get published. Book publishing is advancing beyond the “inventory model” which was based on large, up-front, investments in printing, distribution, and warehousing. Today, many authors and publishers are working together to leverage the economic advantages of smaller,  more frequent print runs which lowers the barriers to non-celebrity authors writing for specific market segments.
  • New respect for shorter, more focused books. Another change benefiting authors is the trend away from “omnibus” volumes that provide a textbook-like approach to a topic. Instead, readers are increasingly responding to shorter, highly-focused, relevant books that address specific reader problems. The 42-Rules series is an excellent example of this, as well as the growing THINKtweet! series which communicates inspiring perspectives in bite-sized, 140-character, chunks.

E-books, too, offer opportunities for authors to expand their reach among broader, more price-sensitive and convenience-oriented readers. Thanks to PDF’s and readers like Amazon’s Kindle, readers can get instant access to professionally-formatted and highly-readable information.

Although technology is changing the way books are written and distributed, the fundamentals remain the same.

Writing for reader change

One of the fundamentals of writing books to drive success is the importance of focusing on reader change. Unlike fiction books, which are purchased for escape, pleasure, and style, readers purchase nonfiction books for pragmatic reasons–to experience change.

  • Problem solving. Often the change involves solving problems, like declining profit margins, employee turnover, or out-of-control expenses. Problems keep business owners awake at night; the next day, they search for books to help them solve the problem.
  • Achieving goals. Business owners also turn to nonfiction books to achieve goals, like mastering social media marketing, preparing press releases, or learning how to maximize online marketing tools like FaceBook, YouTube, or LinkedIn.

Your book will succeed to the extent it addresses the changes and goals your readers desire. The need for focused actionable, relevant, and timely information has never been higher, and there never have been so many ways to address your reader’s needs and leverage your book to higher profits.

A word of caution, however…

In 2010, however, it’s not enough to just “write a book.” Today, more than ever, writing is just one of the 4 essential steps that define a successful publishing experience.

In the past, authors could just write a good book, and still enjoy success. Today, the current economy and rising reader expectations require more from an author. Success requires a balanced, 4-step approach:

  1. Planning. Today’s most successful authors recognize it’s “not about themselves” and the book they passionately want to write. Instead, it’s all about the readers, and the change that readers desire. That’s why success today begins with carefully identifying your book’s intended readers, the changes they desire, and the specific information they need to succeed.
  2. Writing. In today’s time-challenged environment, there’s more emphasis on brevity and conciseness than before. Readers want to go to the heart of the matter, and do a minimum of reading in order to extra a maximum of information. Authors who continue to write comprehensive (and expensive) “textbooks,” when readers want “sound byte” actionable solutions, are risking their future.
  3. Promotion. Promotion has always been an author responsibility, but never so much as today. Regardless of who publishes your book, it’s essential that you market your book as efficiently as possible. Luckily, although the stakes are higher, there are more low-cost, promotional opportunities available for authors than ever before.
  4. Profit. In the past, it was relatively easy for authors to support themselves on the basis of publisher’s advances and royalties from book sales. I know, because I did it! Today, it’s a different ball game. Today’s successful authors recognize the importance of identifying where the rewards of a book are going to come from before they begin writing.

To learn more

Visit Published & Profitable to learn more about today’s writing environment where you can dozens of pages of sample content and explore the hundreds of available resources. You’re also invited to download my free Write Your Way to Success 4-step handbook.