What does writing a book tell clients, prospects, and potential employers about you?

Writing a book remains the best way to drive business and build your personal brand, buy establishing you as an expert in your field. But why?

Here are a 7 major conclusions about you that your clients, contagion co-workers, customers, prospects, and potential employers are likely to draw from your book:

  1. You know your topic. A published book is proof of what you know about your topic–the challenges, tools, trends, and needs of others in your field. Your book is also proof that you not only know information, but know how to apply and deliver it.
  2. You know how to analyze, select, and organize. A published book proves your ability to separate the important from the unimportant. No book can contain everything; in today’s world of shorter, more focused, books, your expertise is reflected not only by the ideas and information you share in your book, but also by what you leave out and how you logically you organized the information you included.
  3. You have empathy. A successful book proves that you are an empathic individual, who can view information and situations from someone else’s point of view.  Successful authors write and publish books that readers want, rather than writing books that simply showcase information. Your ability to understand and serve your reader’s information needs is compelling proof of your ability to influence, motivate, persuade, and sell.
  4. You are creative. A published book reflects an author’s creative ability to present familiar information in new ways, often by rearranging familiar tools and technologies, or making it easier to take advantage of existing resources. Often, the height of creativity involves eliminating clutter and presenting from a different perspective or a simpler perspective.
  5. You are committed to self-improvement. A published book shows that you are a proactive, forward-thinking, individual, not content with with the status quo. Instead, you have the iniative and self-motivation to master new skills.
  6. Confident. Clients, prospects, and potential employers respond to confidence. Confidence radiates strength and ability. A published book proves that you have enough faith in your ideas to invest time and money in your own success.
  7. You are disciplined. Books don’t write themselves (although you can get help, if needed).  A published book proves not only that you’re an “idea person,” but that you are committed to doing whatever is necessary to act upon your ideas and make them happen.You’re a hard worker, and you don’t leave jobs unfinished.

Write, or not write?

The future is going to arrive, whether you write a book or don’t write a book. The calendar is going to turn–May is going to turn to June, and 2010 is going to turn to 2011.

How you choose to spend your time will determine how others will view you down the road.

Writing a book has the power to change the way others perceive you. A published book differentiates you from your peers, and others with the same knowledge and skills. Perception equals reality.

You can always tell others that you are an expert in your field. However, published books do the talking for you, getting you noticed and pre-selling your qualifications 24/7.

There are only so many people you can speak to in your immediate circle, but there are hundreds of thousands you can communicate with when you have a book to use as an online search engine magnet and proof of your abilities. For more information, including case studies, about the benefits of writing a book, see Mitchell Levy’s 42 Rules for Driving Success with Books. Profit from the experiences of others!

Branding Secrets You can Learn from American Idol

As American Idol gears up for its finale with an estimated 28 million viewers, cialis 40mg now is a great time to think about this TV show not as a singing competition, bronchitis but a branding competition – really!

Just as in business, discount the goal of branding is for prospects to remember you in order to do business you. Or, in this case, the goal is for viewers to remember you in order to vote for you.

If we look back at Season 10, we’ll note that the show is comprised of judges and contestants who have morphed into hot personal brands by using these proven branding techniques.

  • Unique Vocabulary – Thanks to Randy Jackson for introducing us to the “dog pound” and “dog” as a term of endearment. And, an honorable mention to Top 10 Guy Alex Lambert for putting front and center the reality of how today’s teens speak with “like”, “umm”, and “you know” littered throughout. Your job? Determine how to speak a language all your own.
  • Attitude – Paula Abdul showed the world not only her loopiness, but her ability to find good in everybody. Of course, Mr. Simon Cowell demonstrated his brutal honesty by earnestly telling contestants that they need to find a new career opportunity. If we strut like Mo’Nique or Jamie Foxx, we too can have our attitude became a critical component of our brand.
  • Dress –  New judge Ellen DeGeneres fervently sticks with her trademarked pants and vests look while Simon has yet to be able to afford anyone other shirt except, apparently, a Fruit of the Loom T-shirt.  Of course, the winner of dressing to stand out must go to season9  performer known simply as “Bikini Babe!”  What are you doing to dress appropriately for your brand?
  • Nicknames – Nicknames are always a sign of endearment and 4th runner up, Michael Lynche earned his moniker of “Big Mike” with his 6’1 and 300 lb frame. Crystal Bowersox also quickly morphed into Mama Bowersox too. If your own name is popular (Megan), generic (John Anderson), or taken by someone else (Loni Anderson), feel free to use a nickname.
  • One Name Brand – I had never met a Siobhan or even how to pronounce it until Ms. Magnus made her debut this year. Clearly, she has the opportunity to join the ranks of Cher, Beyoncé, and Shakira by becoming a one-name show! Do you?
  • Solid Analogy – Crystal Bowersox became the “Janis Joplin for 2010” with her spot-on, yet modern interpretation of the legendary singer. Referencing the familiar (Janis) to the unfamiliar (Crystal) helps to introduce and recall a new brand. I consider myself the Suze Orman of branding; what’s your reference?

Remember that when it comes to branding, every interaction counts: from your voice message to your email to your blog entries to personal encounters. Ensure that they project the same image and you too can be on the road to winning votes and business from your customers!

Branding speaker and expert Liz Goodgold is a fiery redhead with over 25 years of experience in marketing and branding. She is the author of RED FIRE BRANDING: Create a Hot Personal Brand and Have Customers for Life and DUH! Marketing. For more hot branding ideas, sign up for her FREE newsletter, The Brand Finale.

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.

Reflections: What Makes an Expert Different?

Individuals and subject area experts interested in establishing thought leadership through a published book might enjoy checking out Conor Neills’ recent blog post, abortion What Makes an Expert Different? This is one of the most concise and useful discussions of the elements of expert status I’ve ever seen.

Conor Neills is professor at IESE Business School in Barcelona. Conor an entrepreneur who’s founded 4 companies. He’s currently writing a book on making the best of your journey through life. His Rhetorical Journey blog is a compass for those who want to become confident and effective speakers.

Lists as a teaching tool

One of the many lessons What Makes an Expert Different? teaches is the importance of simplifying complex topics down to their essence so they can be better understood. Conor makes excellent use of lists and selective emphasis (created by setting keywords in bold) to provide a new context and a perspective for further exploration. Short blog posts, like short books in general, i.e., 42 Rules for Driving Success with Books, are often far superior to encyclopedic treatments that readers may not have time to read.

Not only Conor Neills’ What Makes an Expert Different? valuable in its own right, but it also contains links to additional sources of information on becoming an expert.

Your opinion counts

What do you think of Conor Neills’  What Makes an Expert Different? Which of the characteristics that he describes do you think is the most important/least important? Are their other characteristics of “expertness” that you think should be included in the list? Share your ideas and opinions as comments, below.

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.

Author platforms – first stop on the road to publishing success

Ultimately, global burden of disease an author platform is more important than your ability to write a book, here do your job, malady or satisfy your clients!

Quality is no longer enough to guarantee success. Today, competence is assumed. More important, there is competition everywhere, as close as the nearest online search engine.

To control your destiny, you need a practical way to build lasting relationships with current clients while attracting an on-going stream of new prospects to your business.

A platform is a process, a unique message, and a way to consistently communicate with your market. There are several types of platforms: articles, blogs, columns, books, interviews, newsletters, podcasts, social media, speaking, teleseminars, websites, and online videos.

Published books offer the advantage of tangibility, they have a physical presence in the hand and in the bookshelves of your prospects.

The crucial issue is not which type of platform you use, but whether or not you have a unique & relevant message and that you consistently promote it.

Content relevancy and consistency play major roles in the success of author platforms

Why author platform are so important

Platforms offer authors numerous advantages:

  • A position in your market that differentiates you from your competition.
  • A “stage” to present from, a way of packaging your expertise in an easily recognizable format.
  • Tools to educate your market. A platform helps you distribute helpful, relevant information that communicates your point of view and creates a halo benefiting every one of your products and services.
  • Freedom. You, and you alone, choose the topics to address.
  • Challenge and self-improvement. Platforms force you to refine your ideas and improve your ability to express them.
  • Visibility and contacts. A platform expands your network of those who know and respect you, building your referral network.

Platform prerequisites

Successful platforms share these essential characteristics:

  • Control. You need to choose topics and be able to distribute your message without outside dependency or interference.
  • Consistency. Platforms must be constant updated with new material. Each time you update your platform, you improve your search engine visibility and the chances that prospects will encounter you when they’re ready to buy.
  • Efficiency. To maintain consistency, your platform must be easy and inexpensive to set up and maintain. For this reason, websites that authors and entrepreneurs cannot update themselves without contacting a designer or programmer are often ineffective as platforms.

Steps to success

There are three steps to creating an effective platform:

  1. Choose your message, an approach or process that becomes synonymous with you.
  2. Create a way to distribute and “package” it in a distinct way that sets it apart from your competition. Design, graphics,  audio, and video are all tools that you can use to differentiate your message.
  3. Support it with an online presence you can update by yourself. Blogs are excellent choices, because you can update them yourself without spending money or waiting for others to act and there’s no “learning curve” or expensive software to purchase.

Step 1. Message

The starting point is identify a core message that leverages off of your value proposition, (i.e., how you can help your market). Your goal is to become personally associated with the solution to a widespread problem your target market suffers from.

Ideally, your message will reflect not just your competence, but will identify the market you serve and the benefits you offer. It should also reflect your values, style, and enthusiasm.

Your core message provides the starting point for identifying the topics and developing the information you communicate in a non-invasive and consistent way.

2. Distribution

An effective platform cares a core, or nucleus, which you can later recycle and expand.

For many, the starting point is a blog. Each blog post offers enough space for you to introduce and address just about any topic, educating your market and proving your competence, while attracting search engine visibility.

Each post creates a “first draft” you can later expand into:

  • Articles for syndication, interviews, books, e-books.
  • Presentations, speeches, teleconferences, podcasts, training.
  • Website content and incentives to attract more search engine traffic, reward your best clients, and build your opt-in e-mail newsletter circulation list.
  • Books and e-books. Books represent the highest example of platforms. Even if you don’t consider yourself  an “author” now, you will soon have compiled enough material to write a book if you prepare each blog post with an eye to using it as a chapter, or topic in a chapter, of a future book.

3. Website

You must be able to update your online presence yourself. You can’t afford to wait for—and pay for—someone else to do the work.

Your blog has to be continually updated with your latest messages. Visitors should never encounter the same post on two consecutive visits!

Getting started

The starting point is to analyze your core competencies, your market, and your competition.

This will help you identify your message, which will help you determine the best ways to communicate, and expand, it as consistently and efficiently as possible.

Learn more by visiting the Published & Profitable Daily Writer’s Writer’s Tip Blog or you can e-mail me and askfor my Platform Creating Tip Sheet that tells more about how you can you can create a platform to educate prospects and take control of your future.

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.

How to Save Time Planning Your 42 Rules Book

From the start, there I’ve been enthusiastic about the time savings and sheer practicality of Laura Lowell’s 42 Rules approach to writing a book that brands you and your firm as experts in your field.

The 42 Rules concept, health reflected in titles like Laura Lowell’s 42 Rules of Marketing and Mitchell Levy’s 42 Rules of Driving Success with Books, viagra sale reduce what is normally a large, complex task (i.e., writing a book) into a series of short and easily-accomplished tasks.

I’d like to share with you an approach I’ve used to plan books for myself as well as help my Published & Profitable members and coaching clients jumpstart their publishing success. This approach will help you as you prepare your book’s table of contents as well as guide you as you write each chapter.

The power of the 42 Rules concept

The power of the 42 Rules concept comes from the way it eliminates the uncertainty most authors face at the start of a writing project.

Traditionally, authors begin books with a blank screen. This is great, except for the stress created by being able to include anything you want in your book.

  • The lack of limits presented by a blank screen doesn’t provide you with an easy starting point for your book.
  • Likewise, the lack of structure doesn’t help you choose how many chapters to include, nor does it help you decide how much information to include in each chapter.

At the end of your first planning session, your screen is apt to be as blank as it was when you started!

A better alternative–start with desired reader change

As an alternative to the “freedom and anarchy” of a blank screen, I suggest you “think small” and focus on reader change, the problems your readers want to solve and the goals they want to achieve.

Once you identify your reader’s desired change, you’ll find it easy to come up with the sections and chapters of your book:

  • Sections. Divide your book into sections corresponding to the major steps you recommend your readers take to solve their problems or achieve their goals. In many cases, the sections can be as simple as Getting Started, Moving Forward, and Evaluating Your Progress.
  • Chapters. After breaking your reader’s problem solving and goal attainment into a few major steps, populate each of the sections with short, step-by-step chapters that each focus on a specific task that must be accomplished.

You’ll probably be impressed with how quickly your sections and chapters will now fall into place. This is because you’ve replaced abstract thinking with concrete thinking.

Instead of writing a formless and boundary-less, textbook-like, “encyclopaedia of information” that simply showcases your knowledge, you’re writing a book that your readers desire and focusing your efforts on the specific tasks they need to solve their problems or accomplish their goals.

Benefits of the “reader change” approach

Both you and your readers benefit from the focus created by the 42 Rules format. This approach simplifies both planning and writing your book:

  • Planning is easier and takes less time because focusing on reader change makes it easier for you to identify the information that readers need to know in order to accomplish their specific goals. Once you identify the desired reader change, planning becomes a matter of selection and sequence.
  • Writing also becomes easier because, the “42 short chapters” format encourages you to focus each chapter on a specific idea or task and to write as concisely as you can. You’ll probably find you can complete each chapter during a single short, 45-minute or 1-hour, working session.

Writing in the 42 chapter format creates its own momentum; each time you finish one of the 42 chapters, you get a “rush of accomplishment” that encourages you to look forward to your next writing session.

There’s a joy to adding a check mark next to each chapter’s title as you complete it; as more and more checks appear on your section and chapter plan, the more you’re motivated to continue writing.

Readers benefit from the 42 short chapters because your book will be easier to read. The sections will provide context for the information in each chapter, and each chapter will focus on a specific actionable idea or technique. Readers will be able to master complex topics while sitting in an airport waiting room or waiting for the light to change.

Learn more about writing for reader change

Visit my Published & Profitable Daily Tips Blog to learn more more about writing for reader change and using printable mind map templates as planning tools for your next book to reduce the time it takes to plan, write, promote, and profit from a book that builds your personal brand.