32 minutes | Mar 9, 2018
179: Write a Bestselling Memoir: The True Story that Became a New York Times Bestseller with Regina Calcaterra
Regina Calcaterra is the New York Times best-selling author of Etched in Sand. It’s a true story memoir about five siblings who survived an unspeakable childhood on Long Island. Why She Wrote a Memoir Regina was inspired to write her own memoir in part because she read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls when it was published in 2005. It was the first memoir Regina had read about someone wrote about a horrible tragedy without being a victim. Etched in Sand is Jeannette’s memoir about growing up in poverty with parents who are mentally ill. It tells the story of how she and her siblings coped and grew up in that environment. Jeannette’s memoir can be difficult to read because of what happens to her and her family. It struck Regina that Jeanette’s memoir was written without pity or victimization. How She Got a Memoir Published Once Regina had the idea to write her memoir it always stayed with her. She decided to take the plunge years later, and she signed up for a workshop put on by The Gotham Writers in New York. She took three classes on how to write a memoir. Over those three classes, she wrote the first four chapters of her book Etched in Sand. During the classes, she bonded with a group of writers who decided to meet every week at whole foods in Manhattan, keep writing and critique each other’s work. Critiquing the writing of her peers and getting critiques from them was the most important part of Regina’s learning process. Regina worked on the first four chapters of her book for years. In July 2011 a friend of hers set up a breakfast for her and three other women at Michael’s, a place in New York City where a lot of people in the world of traditional publishing go to eat. One of the women at that breakfast was Lisa Sharkey, the VP of strategic development for HarperCollins. Another lady at that breakfast was a book agent. During that breakfast, they went around the table and each woman told a little bit of her life story. The book agent told Regina that she wouldn’t be able to sell her story because she didn’t have a platform. The book agent didn’t believe Regina’s story would go anywhere. Lisa Sharkey told Regina to ignore the advice of the book agent. Lisa said that Regina had an important story that needed to be told. They set up a meeting to review Regina’s materials. Regina asked Lisa if it was okay if they meet in September of that year. The weeks from July to September to research the publishing industry and make the best first impression she could. In her research, Regina discovered the book How to Write a Book Proposal: The Insider’s Step-By-Step Guide to Proposals That Get You Published by Jody Rein and Michael Larsen. She read the book and spent two months of writing the best book proposal she could. How to Sell Your Author Platform Regina crafted a book proposal based on Michael Larsen’s book. She spent a lot of time describing her platform in her book proposal. Regina was well known in the New York area, and she’s done a number of cable news shows as a commentator. She really spent a lot of time thinking about every single constituency she could put into her book proposal. To describe your author platform in detail you have to know three things: The different groups of people who might be interested in your book. The size of the different groups of people who might be interested in your book. Why different groups of people might be interested in your book. When you can clearly and concisely describe those three elements, you’ll have a good handle on your platform. Marketing Tip: Find Comparable Books Another area Regina focused on when putting together her book proposal was her comparable books. Traditional publishers want a list of comparable books that did well, and they want to know why your book is going to do as well or better. “There are so many people out there who have a good story they want to write, but it really has to do with the marketability of the book. These are publicly traded companies. They’re responsible to their shareholders. So, if they’re going to put out any money, whether it’s to give you an advance or to have their staff spend time editing this and publishing your book. They want to make sure they get a return on the investment” – Regina Calcaterra Regina sees selling a book to a traditional publisher like being a contestant on Shark Tank. You have to be able to prove the value of the product you want to put on the market. You have to be able to show traditional publishers why they should give you money. After Regina detailed out her platform in her book proposal, she included the four chapters in the book she’d already written and an outline of the rest of the book. Lisa Sharkey was impressed with Regina’s book proposal but she was unable to win over the HarperCollins publishing committee at first. Lisa invited Regina to a meeting at HarperCollins offices to meet with one of their top publicists. When Regina told the publicist her story the publicist began to cry. Armed with an ally, Lisa was able to convince the HarperCollins publishing committee to give Regina a book deal. HarperCollins offered Regina a very tiny advance on her book because she was an unknown quantity in the traditional publishing world. She briefly thought about trying to sell her book to another publisher, but in the end, she decided to stay with the people who believed in her. Lisa Sharkey wanted someone to work with Regina through the editing process. Regina ended up spending most of her advance on her editor because she felt it was an investment in her future. Regina finalized her book deal in April 2012. The book was due to the publisher by October. She worked full time as the chief deputy to the Suffolk County administrator while she was writing her memoir. She only had four chapters written when she signed her publishing deal, and she turned in one chapter a month between April 2012 and September 2012. She ended up getting an extension on turning in her book because of hurricane Sandy. When Etched in Sand was published in 2013, it became a New York Times bestseller three weeks later. It has been featured on a number of national broadcasts including CBS Sunday Morning and Inside Edition. The New York Post, People Magazine, and Newsday have all published articles about the book. High schools and colleges across the United States are using Etched in Sand as part of their curriculum because it has so many messages in it. Regina’s Life: A Story of Survival Regina is one of five siblings. Her mother was a mentally ill woman who dealt with her mental illness by self-medicating with alcohol and drugs. Regina’s mother had five children by five different fathers. None of those men stuck around after the children were born. Regina and her siblings grew up on the fringes of society. Her mother would find the children a place to live and abandon them for weeks at a time. Periodically Regina’s mother would return and register Regina and her siblings for school. That never lasted long because Regina’s mother usually had several warrants out for her arrest, and she was afraid that the police would find her through her children. Regina’s childhood education was divided between public schools and public libraries. Regina and her siblings became very close. They always tried to make where they were living a happy and positive place. They always tried to shield their younger siblings from the harsh reality of their lives and the abuse that was taking place. Regina survived her childhood and chose to do the work necessary to be successful in life. She graduated high school and college and went to law school at night. How Regina Deals with Life’s Challenges One of the benefits of Regina’s childhood is the unique perspective on pain, suffering, and hardship it has given her. She experiences setbacks and heartbreaks like the rest of us, but she never spends more than two days feeling sorry for herself. She always remembers where she came from and how far she’s come. When she was going to college in the 1980s, 2% of the children who grew up in foster care were successfully graduating college. Today 3% of children in foster care go on to graduate college. Regina has always beaten the odds. Regina is a successful lawyer with a good job. She owns a house, and she never goes hungry. Most importantly, she has 12 nieces and nephews who were raised in loving homes by her siblings who also broke the cycle of abuse. How to Break up Negative Cycles and Patterns Throughout her childhood, Regina was being told by adults that she was going to grow up to be a drug and alcohol addicted mother who was in and out of jail. Adults were convinced she was going to repeat the pattern because that’s what children in foster care usually do. Other children were always told to stay away from her because their parents knew she was homeless. The only way to break that kind of negative cycle or any other behavior pattern is to make conscious choices that lead to different results. “The most important message I wanted etched in sand to deliver is a message of perseverance, resilience, and optimism. The overall message is how we can all positively affect the life of a child in need. And that’s why the book is received so well, because people start to think about other kids in their neighborhood that maybe they weren’t paying attention to.” – Regina Calcaterra Even though Regina never had a consistent parent or adult in real life to look out for her and encourage her, she had many positive role models in her life from teachers, to librarians, to parents of friends who invited her into their home. All of those positive role models gave Regina an idea of what her life could be like. That’s why she wanted Etched in Sand to have a positive message for society. She wanted her audience to read it and understand that it is possible to be successful
26 minutes | Mar 1, 2018
178: How to Build a Team for Your Self-Published Book with Ricardo Fayet
Ricardo Fayet is a cofounder of Reedsy, an online marketplace that connects authors with everything you need to succeed, from free educational courses, to a platform to help you find the best cover artists, book designers, and publishing support. Ricardo and a friend got the idea for Reedsy in business school. They approached developing Reedsy from a reader perspective. The Birth of Reedsy Ricardo and his friend were among the first early adopters of the Kindle device. They began thinking about how the device was changing the publishing industry for publishers and authors. They asked themselves several questions: What does it change for authors and publishers? How does it change how readers read books? Will there be more ebooks produced than paper books? After asking these questions, Ricardo began learning about self-publishing. At first, self-publishing was a fascinating market space. As Ricardo looked into self-publishing more deeply, he realized that there’s a lot that goes into publishing a book beyond simply hitting publish. You have to: Edit the book. Do cover design for the book. Market the book. That’s when Ricardo and his partners decided to create a marketplace for authors who were self-publishing, as well as the people who were leaving traditional publishing companies. When self-publishing started to take off, in the period from 2010 to 2011, a lot of people who had worked for traditional publishers decided to do freelance work instead. They like the freedom and flexibility of working as a freelance provider, and they also like the access to self-published authors. “It’s really a misnomer to call it self-publishing. No one does it by themselves. You have to have cover designers, book designers to do the layout, and usually marketing support and help. So there’s a big team that any self-published author needs to create in order to make a project really successful.” – Tom Corson Knowles How to Create the Best Team to Support Your Book “The most common advice out there is to ask your peers and other authors in your genre. On the one hand, I think it’s great advice, because obviously what worked for one author might work for you. But on the other hand, it depends a lot on your genre, for both cover design and editing. Editing depends a lot on your personality and writing style.” – Ricardo Fayet The most important factor that affects cover design is your genre or category. If you ask authors in your specific genre or category for advice on cover designers, that advice will probably work for you. The most important factor that affects your relationship with your editor is your personality and writing style. Because every writer is different, it’s less likely that one author’s advice about a good editor will translate into a good working experience for another author. When looking for an editor, it’s best to look for an editor who specializes in your genre. On Reedsy, the editors in the marketplace specialize in certain genres. As an editor: It’s simple to specialize in a genre. Simply choose to edit the books you like to read. Once you get some clients and do good work for them, they will recommend you to other authors who write in their genre. Then you can begin to build a portfolio as an editor. As an author: When you’re looking for an editor, reach out to three or four and see how they work. Send them a small sample of your work, about 3,000 words. This allows you to get a feel for the relationship before you commit to working together on the larger project. When you’re looking for a developmental editor, you definitely want someone who specializes in editing your genre. Ricardo recommends asking for a sample feedback letter that they wrote for another author. You can’t really ask them to look at a sample of your work because they need to see the whole book in order to give you good feedback. But by asking for a sample letter, you can get an idea of how they give feedback to authors. Some editors are very blunt. Some editors like to sugarcoat their feedback. By looking at an editor’s sample feedback letter, you can get a sense of the type of feedback you’re likely to receive from that editor, and you can decide whether or not that feedback will help you write a better book. When you hire an editor, it’s all about developing the right kind of relationship. That’s why it is important to reach out to several people, get several quotes, and get an idea of what type of feedback each editor will give you. Reedsy only accepts 3% of the freelancers who apply to be listed in the marketplace. They are very selective about the professionals they choose to offer to authors. Reedsy has never seen any freelancer abuse their access to the creative work of authors. A lot of the freelancers on Reedsy come from traditional publishing. They’re not going to compromise their good working relationship on Reedsy in order to publish some author’s idea under their own name. In many cases, they aren’t even authors themselves. A lot of the best editors on Reedsy make between $10,000 and $15,000 a month. They’re not going to risk their reputation to publish an author’s work themselves. The biggest problem Reedsy has run into as a platform is editors and authors not getting along. That’s why Ricardo recommends that you get several samples from copy editors and a sample feedback letter from a developmental editor. The best way to make sure you’re going to have a good relationship with an editor is to try out numerous applicants until you find a good fit. The editor/author collaboration is a real partnership and you have to make sure your personalities match as much as possible before you agree to working on a larger project together. If you use a freelancing marketplace like Reedsy and you make sure you’re going to have a good personality match with the editor, you’re never going to be unhappy with your results. When an editor quotes you a price on Reedsy, Reedsy will add a 10% service charge to the price. That’s how they make money. So, if an editor quotes you a price of $1,000, your final bill as the client will be $1,100. Of that, $100 will go to Reedsy and the agreed-upon $1,000 will go to the editor. The Hiring Process on Reedsy You can use Reedsy to hire a variety of professionals to help with your manuscript. Hiring an Editor Let’s say you’re hiring a developmental editor through Reedsy. Reedsy is going to give you a form that asks a lot of questions. They’re going to want you to send a sample of your manuscript, as well as describe the characters in your story. They’ll also want to know when you want to publish your book and when you want the editor to get back to you. After the editor receives your submission, they’ll likely have additional questions. Typically, after an editor responds to you, a natural conversation takes place. If, after you send initial information to an editor, that conversation doesn’t take place, you should look for another professional. Communication is always key. If you start a project with a $500 budget and you find a cover designer who says they’ll design you a cover without asking questions, that’s a warning sign. You haven’t said what genre your book is, or whether your cover design is for a print book or an ebook. Those are very basic questions that any good cover designer would ask. There’s a lot of information that freelancers need before giving you a quote for the service. Most likely, you’re not going to think of all the information they need. You should expect to get questions back when you put a project on Reedsy. If you don’t get questions back, you should look for another professional who will give your project the kind of attention it deserves. Hiring a Cover Designer It’s always good when you’re working with a cover designer to send them inspiration. Find two or three covers on Amazon in the genre of your book that you really like. When you send those to the cover designer, that’s going to give them an idea of what appeals to you, and then they’ll most likely begin a conversation with you about the specifics of your cover. Experienced freelancers are going to ask the most questions up front because they know the process, and they know all of the issues that might pop up during their work. So they want to have as many answers for those potential problems as possible before they put in the time and effort to do the project. It’s important that you hire a cover designer who has experience with book cover design, especially if you don’t. If you are an experienced indie author, you can take on an inexperienced cover designer because you’ve been through it before. But if this is your first project, you want someone who knows the ins and outs of cover design. You’ll want someone who: Knows the type of images that will work for your genre cover. Knows the kind of typography that will work for your genre cover. Knows how to lay out your cover so that it looks right. Has experience with the types of problems that can occur when designing a cover. What to Do If the Project Isn’t Working Out the Way You Want When a project starts going wrong, it’s important that you manage the expectations of the freelancer. It’s also important that you be honest and upfront from the very beginning. The biggest problems on Reedsy’s platform happen because authors don’t make freelancers aware that they’re unhappy until very far along in the process. If you’re honest and upfront at the beginning, the freelancer can either adjust direction, or you can part ways without wasting any more of each other’s time. When you’re not honest about a problem at the beginning of the process, it leads to miscommunication, hurt feelings, and bad relationships throughout the entire process. This means a loss of time and money for both you and the freelancer. The longer you wait to let your freelancer kn
29 minutes | Feb 22, 2018
177: Streamline and Clarify Your Writing to Make It More Powerful with Josh Bernoff
Josh is the author of four books, including Writing Without Bullshit. He is frequently quoted in major publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He’s also given keynote speeches at major conferences on television, music, marketing, and technology all over the world. Josh spent his whole life focusing on his two talents, math and writing. He wanted to make good money, so he put most of his emphasis on his math talents. But he was always interested in writing. When he became an analyst at Forrester Research about 20 years ago, he was able to combine his two talents. Then, 10 years ago, he convinced the CEO of Forrester Research to allow him to write a book on social media, Groundswell. Following the success of that book, Josh has defined himself as an author. For the last two and a half years, he has worked with indie authors and corporations on how to communicate clearly and powerfully. Clear Writing Principles After Josh washed out of the PhD program at MIT, he learned some critical skills that helped him become a successful and powerful communicator and writer. Write in the active voice. Avoid the passive voice whenever possible. Write as directly as possible. Use bulleted lists to break up the flow of your copy so that it’s easier to digest. State your arguments clearly. Break up your text with headings and subheadings. Be brief. Josh’s Top Communication Principles “You must treat the reader’s time as more important than your own. That sounds like something everyone would agree with, but every time we write an email, a memo, or a book chapter, people tend to do what’s easiest for them instead of thinking about what’s easiest for the reader.” – Josh Bernoff The #1 thing you can do to improve your writing is to be brief. Don’t spend a lot of time warming up. Just say what you need to say as clearly as possible. Eliminate any duplication. Next, you want to frontload your writing with the things your readers need to know. Often, people will warm up before they get to their point. They write emails with the idea that people will keep reading past the first two paragraphs. That’s not how it works. When you write an email, your subject line and the first two paragraphs you write need to be about what the reader needs to know. People will often give up on reading a longer email. 3 Elements of Toxic Prose 1. The Passive Voice When you write in the passive voice it hides what’s going on from the reader. 2. Weasel Words These are intensifiers and qualifiers that don’t mean anything. Some popular examples that Josh sees appearing everywhere right now include: huge, incredible, and insane. 3. Jargon Using jargon creates writing that only you can understand and no one else can make sense of. If you avoid these toxic prose elements, write as briefly as you can, and frontload your information so people are getting what they need to know at the beginning of your writing, you will communicate far more clearly and powerfully in a world where everyone reads on a screen all the time. How Josh Edits for Clients When Josh works with a client, he helps them organize their thoughts so that they can present them more clearly and usefully. Here’s how: Do an Idea Audit The first thing Josh does is an idea audit. He’ll ask the client to tell him their idea. He’ll usually say something like, “That’s boring,” or “that’s complicated,” or “I don’t understand.” By pushing on the idea like this, you have to explain it more and think more deeply about it. It’s difficult to defend your idea and go deeper, but when you do, you finally get to something that’s big, new and powerful. Something that people will read and take notice of. Once you have the idea right, you can structure the material that comes after that. Make Sure Your Ideas Flow Logically When Josh edits a particular passage for a client, the first thing he’ll do is look at the structure of the chapter that the passage is in. He wants to make sure that he has a clear idea of the beginning, middle, and end of the thought he’s currently reading. Do the ideas flow logically and make sense to readers? Cut Weasel Words and Repeated Ideas After the flow of ideas make sense, the next step is to delete things that don’t matter. People will often take one or two paragraphs to get warmed up to their subject. You’ll often find that the first paragraph of actual content is a perfect way to start your writing. Delete weasel words. Those words don’t matter and they don’t add to the knowledge of the reader. Delete repeated sentences or ideas, too. Make your point clearly the first time and you don’t need to repeat it again and again. The Benefits of Editing The benefits of this type of editing is that it goes beyond the qualitative. You’re not just deleting words—you are making your written communication clear and easy to understand. 3 Qualities of a Good Idea 1. The idea has to be new. You can’t write what other people have written. You’ll come off as a copycat. 2. The idea has to be big. Josh would rather read something huge and sweeping about the future of politics in America than some small piece about the healthcare world. 3. The idea has to be right. Of the three elements, this is the hardest to achieve, because you can’t be absolutely sure an idea is right if you’re tackling a new idea. It’s important to have evidence that supports your new idea so that people can follow your chain of logic. It turns out that the intersection of ideas that are big, new, and right is very hard to come by. These are the questions Josh asks himself as he’s critiquing other people’s ideas: Is it a big idea or small idea? If it’s a small idea, can I make it bigger? Is it a new idea, or is it an idea I’ve heard from countless others? Is the idea right? Is there evidence to support the idea? These elements of a good idea pull in opposite directions. The easiest way to have an idea that is right and has evidence behind it, is to write about something that’s already been discussed. It’s in the intersection of an idea that is big, new, and right where you’re creating an idea that’s interesting enough that people want to read about it. How to Come Up with an Idea “Great research or creativity consists of noticing the obvious before anyone else.” – Unknown The secret to coming up with a good idea is looking at what everyone else has looked at, and seeing what no one else has seen. The interesting thing about that is you can’t do that sitting in your room, looking at the internet. Let’s say you read something and it sparks an idea. You need to put that idea out into the world and see if anyone else has had that idea before. You need to seek out people who will disagree with you, so you can test your idea, and find evidence to deal with their objections. In the internet age, you have many channels where you can put your ideas out into the world for other people to scrutinize. “One of the great misconceptions people have is if you have a great idea, you should hide it so no one will steal it. No. The best thing you can do is get it out there, so you can test and modify it so it resonates with the largest number of people possible.” – Josh Bernoff Why Share Your Ideas? There are two major pitfalls to hiding your ideas for too long. When you finally publish your idea in the marketplace, you’ll find that many people disagree with you and that your idea is fundamentally flawed. Often, people think they need to hide their idea way too long, and someone else publishes the idea before them. For every idea, there comes a moment where people are ready to hear it. If you’re coming to a conclusion, chances are someone else is coming to the same conclusion at around the same time. You need to get your idea out there in a timely fashion, so people know it’s your idea. How to Deal with Fear Back in 1995, Josh was given an assignment by his manager at Forrester Research to write a report about how content creators were going to make money on the internet. After interviewing a number of thought leaders about the internet, Josh came to the conclusion that content was going to be supported by advertising or subscriptions. His editor challenged him to pick one of those two revenue models and write a report on it. Josh wasn’t quite sure which model was going to win out, but he chose one and wrote the report. “If you say something you’re worried about timidly and with a lot of qualifications, or if you state it boldly and clearly, the penalty for being wrong is exactly the same. So you might as well state it boldly and clearly, because if you’re wrong, you’re going to be wrong.” – Josh Bernoff The way to put fear aside is to ask yourself, “What do I believe?” Write what you believe to be true clearly and powerfully, and don’t let the fear of being wrong prevent you from using your voice. One of the interesting things that happened when Josh wrote his article in 1995 was that a lot of people disagreed with him. His first instinct was to apologize to them. Their response wasn’t what he expected. They told him they appreciated his argument and how he challenged their thinking. They told him they’d be watching to see if he ended up being right or not. “In the society we have now, people don’t do enough of actually looking at the arguments of people who disagree with them and saying, ‘Ah well, I’m going to have to keep an eye on that, even if I don’t actually agree with what the person said.’” – Josh Bernoff State Your Conclusion First This is the easiest way to improve the power and clarity
32 minutes | Feb 15, 2018
176: How to Harness the Difference between Plot and Story with Steve Alcorn
If you’ve ever been to a theme park like Disney World, chances are you’ve seen Steve Alcorn’s work. Steve is the CEO of Alcorn McBride, a company that designs products used in nearly all the world’s theme parks. He’s also the author of many books. He’s written historical fiction, romance, and young adult novels. He’s also written several nonfiction books, including, Build a Better Mouse, Theme Park Design, and How to Fix Your Novel. Steve fell into the field of theme park engineering because his wife always wanted to be a Disney Imagineer. Steve and his wife were in engineering school together, and when she graduated, she applied for exactly one job and got it. She became a Disney Imagineer and began working on the preliminary designs for Epcot Center. When it became clear that she was going to be in Florida for quite some time working on the installation of Epcot Center, Steve followed her into that industry and worked on the American Adventure at Epcot. After he was done working on American Adventure, Steve started a company that makes the types of things he wished he had when designing American Adventure. When he was working on that attraction, Steve and his team had to design everything from scratch. Alcorn and McBride makes products that theme parks can buy off the shelf to help them design and build their rides. If you’ve been to any of the Disney parks or Universal Studios, you’ve likely experienced some of Steve’s work. His products work behind the scenes to make sure the synchronized audio and video are running smoothly. Theme park design is a really fun field to be in because you get the inside scoop on attractions way before they open, and you get to help solve really sticky technical problems. Steve has always been interested in writing, and he’s always been interested in creative enterprises. That’s one of the reasons he became an engineer in a creative field. Steve is also a sculptor. In this interview, we talk about the importance of having a plan for your novel. We also talk about how to plan your novel, the three-act structure, and the scene/sequel method of building a novel. This is a great interview packed with information about how to think about planning your novel. How the Writing Academy Came to Be Steve decided to write his first novel when his daughter was little. They enjoyed reading together and he wanted to write something special for her. His first novel was based on his experiences growing up in a summer camp near Sequoia National Park. That turned into the novel A Matter of Justice. The novel ended up having a protagonist a lot like his daughter at the time. Through that process, and when researching a subsequent novel about the St. Francis dam, Steve met the screenwriter Doran William Cannon. Doran wrote for a lot of popular hits in the 1980s, including Dynasty and parts of The Godfather films. Steve and Doran really hit it off. Doran had an online class called Write Like a Pro and he suggested that Steve do a course on writing mysteries, because he wasn’t writing mysteries and didn’t have a class on it. So Steve developed a class on writing mysteries. In 2000, he teamed up with Doran to launch the online writing school Writing Academy. They have classes in novel writing, nonfiction writing, and writing your own memoir, among others. Steve has taught more than 30,000 aspiring writers how to structure their novels. In his house, he has an entire library filled with the signed novels of his students. Why Steve Decided to Teach Writing Steve has always wanted to help people. When he started his company, Alcorn and McCabe, he helped a lot of his clients use the products he created to build their theme park attractions. As the business grew, Steve assembled a large, competent engineering team around him, and they all encouraged him to go find something else to do with his time. He always loved writing, and he’s read just about every book there is on the craft. When he came across Doran’s work, it really connected with him. He became an evangelist for Doran’s teachings. They did several seminars together. At one point, Doran even said that Steve understood his techniques better than he did. The Difference between Plot and Story The first thing that writers need to understand is the distinction between plot and story. If you read a book that doesn’t feel quite right, it’s probably because the writer didn’t understand the distinction between story and plot. The plot consists of the events of the story. It’s everything that happens external to the viewpoint character. When we talk about story, we’re talking about everything that happens inside the protagonist’s head. We’re talking about the protagonist’s emotional journey. Those two things are very distinct. Even if you’re working on a screenplay or television production, you need both elements. Even though the camera is an inherently visual medium and is showing what is happening—the plot—the actor is portraying the emotional journey of the character, the story. If you’re a screenwriter, you can often use the dialogue to help you tell story. If you’re a novelist, you have it easy because you can dive right into the mind of the protagonist. You can really delve into that character’s thoughts and express their emotions. Every novel has to pay equal attention to the plot (the external events of the novel) and the story (the emotional journey of the protagonist through the novel). You should set up your novel so that it is composed of a plot event (action) followed by an internal emotional reaction that leads to another plot event. Good novels are made up of an action/reaction pattern. How to Structure a Character’s Reaction A proper reaction has three parts: The point-of-view character feels something about what just happened. Then they think about what just happened and their feelings about it. Then they make a decision about what to do next and trigger the next plot event. “A lot of novelists—and action novelists are a prime example of this—sort of leave out that story part, and so when you read these really exciting bang-up stories [with] cops and robbers, chases, dinosaurs, and so on. But you get into this sort of fatigue after a while if you never get to know the characters.” – Steve Alcorn You also want to avoid having too much story and not enough plot. This happens most often in romance novels where the reader is stuck inside the protagonist’s head with no plot events to move the story forward. “You want to have the balance between the physical and the emotional. That’s the core of successful novel writing.” – Steve Alcorn Your Protagonist Must Change “Novels are about a character changing. They’re not just arbitrary collections of random things happening.” – Steve Alcorn A story is about a protagonist who has a flaw. They have to work against their flaw and overcome it to solve a problem. If you figure out what your character’s flaw is before you start writing your novel, actually writing it becomes a much easier exercise. There are only a handful of commonly used flaws that protagonists have in novels. The most commonly used flaw for a protagonist is lack of self-confidence. If you think about most movies, they are almost invariably about the protagonist overcoming a lack of self-confidence to solve a problem that has arisen. That makes it sound like every story in the world would be the same. The truth is, it’s the plot details that make every story unique and different. The Three-Act Structure You can use the classic three-act structure to help keep your plot moving and allow you room to explore your story and your character’s flaws. The First Act In the first act, the protagonist is flawed and they don’t know it. The first turning point is when something happens that shows them what their flaw is. At the first act turning point, the audience sees the protagonist being overcome by their flaw. The Second Act The second act is the longest act of any story. It’s a big, long struggle because the protagonist hasn’t yet changed. They’re fighting against their flaw. At the end of this act, the protagonist realizes their flaw, and they realize they need to change. Now that the character realizes they need to do something differently, they can make a plan to change and solve their problem. Act Three Act Three is usually the shortest. It’s also the most action-packed because this is when the character puts into motion their plan to change and solve their problem. The three-act structure is universal to all types of stories. It’s what needs to be there for a story to be exciting and satisfying. Star Wars Episode IV, A New Hope: A Case Study Star Wars is the story of Luke Skywalker. The theme of that movie is about the Force and believing in yourself. Act One Luke Skywalker lives on Tatooine, a desert planet on the outskirts of the galaxy. Because we’re in a movie, there are things that happen that are outside Luke’s viewpoint, but the story really begins when Luke finds his home destroyed, and that propels him to the first act of the story. Luke is really in a crisis, overwhelmed by a lack of self-confidence because he doesn’t know what is happening around him. Act Two He becomes involved with Obi-Wan Kenobi and Han Solo, and all these setbacks occur as the plot evolves. This is the struggle of Act Two, and all these exciting things are happening. But Luke isn’t effective yet because he hasn’t overcome his basic flaw, lack of self-confidence. Even though he’s gone through training, he still doesn’t yet understand that he has to believe in himself and the Force. Act Three Star Wars has a very short act three. The
15 minutes | Feb 8, 2018
175: Lessons from a 10-Year-Old Published Author with Emma Sumner
Emma Sumner is the author of The Fairies of Waterfall Island. She published the book in 2016 at the age of only eight years old. Today she’s 10 years old and just finishing up her second book, which is a prequel to the first. She was inspired to write her first book when she saw her dad publishing his second book on Amazon. Her dad told her that if she could write 150 words in her story that day, he would help her publish the book when it was complete. She began immediately outlining the book in a new notebook she’d recently gotten. When she showed the notebook to her father that night, Emma had 172 words in it, and he began helping her from there. In this podcast, we talked about what inspired Emma to write a book, Autism Speaks, and the importance of starting your novel. Emma has a unique story and a message the whole world needs to hear. How Emma Decided to Write a Book about Fairies Emma likes books about fairies. She’s a particular fan of Rainbow Magic and The Never Girls. She also likes mysteries; she enjoyed The Magic Treehouse. There was never any question in her mind what type of book she’d write. Emma’s Writing Process Emma is definitely a plotter, not a pantser. After Emma finished her outline, she began writing the rough draft. She would have a writing session every Saturday at Panera and post an update on Facebook about what she was doing. After Emma was done with her rough draft, she and her father hired an editor to go over the manuscript. The editor helped a lot because she found mistakes that Emma and her father missed. Emma revised the rough draft based on her editor’s suggestions, and then published the book. What Emma Learned from Working with an Editor There are a lot of lessons you can learn by working with skilled professionals who are able to give you a different perspective on your work. Emma learned that you can make your book better by focusing on the details. Before the editor helped Emma revise her work, there weren’t a lot of details about the world. She says it was really fun working out how fairy magic works. That kind of nuance adds depth to your fictional world and makes it easier for readers to fall in love with your story. How Emma Markets Her Book Emma’s aunt has been tremendously helpful in marketing her book. She helped Emma get several television interviews because of the unique story about how the book was created. Notably, Emma has been on Good Morning Sacramento and Fox 40. She’s also done interviews for magazines and newspapers. Emma recently started using Amazon ads to market her books. She targets books similar to hers on Amazon; her book is displayed every time someone looks at those product pages. Emma also made sure that her book was available in as many formats as possible. You can buy a Kindle version, a print version, or the audiobook version. What It’s Like to Be on Local TV Once you agree to do a television interview, you and the producer decide on a day and time. Then you go to the TV station and do the interview. Emma has had to miss school a couple of times for TV interviews. The experience was well worth the missed class time. Emma’s Spelling Bee Success Emma has traveled all the way to the National Spelling Bee two years in a row, when she was in the third and fourth grades. She’s also talented in math and science. She competed in the district math bowl in the first grade. Readings in Classrooms Teachers read Emma’s book in classrooms. She attends some of these readings and talks about the process of writing her book. There’s a lot of ways to get your book known if you simply look at opportunities within your own community. The Message of Emma’s Book “Part of the reason I wrote my book is that I wanted to teach kids of all ages that anything is possible. If I wrote my book at age 7, you can do it at any age, if you really want to.” – Emma Sumner The moral of the story is persistence is the key to success. You can’t just give up if things aren’t working for you the first time you try something. You have to make sure you work the process, and just keep going until you’ve accomplished what you set out to. The process of writing the book mirrored the story itself. There were times while Emma was writing her story that she couldn’t think of anything to write. But the message Emma wanted to put out in the world inspired her to continue writing until the book was done. “The best way to get over writer’s block is just write anything that comes into your mind.” – Emma Sumner The Importance of a Good Support Team Emma had a lot of people helping her during the book production process. Her dad was a constant source of inspiration and support. Her editor really helped bring her book to another level, and her aunt connected her to people who helped Emma promote her book. When Emma started her Facebook page to talk about and promote the book, almost 300 people signed up before the book was published. That was a huge surprise to her. Emma didn’t think anyone would sign up for her Facebook page. To have that support during the production phase of the process was amazing. Her entire family was incredibly supportive. They became true evangelists for the book. They helped and inspired her throughout the production process, and they really helped spread the word about her book when it was published. How Emma Used a Launch Team to Catapult Her Book to Success Emma gathered her launch team using Facebook. She had a signup form linked to her Facebook page. Close to 300 people signed up to be part of her launch team. Having a launch team that large really helped word of mouth spread about the book quickly when it was live on Amazon. The Self-Publishing School Emma learned a lot from The Self-Publishing School. Her father is a teacher there. The most important thing she learned at The Self-Publishing School was the importance of the details in your story. Autism Speaks Emma thought it would be cool if she was able to raise some money for charity. So for the first three months that her book was live on Amazon, 100% of her royalties went to Autism Speaks. Emma chose Autism Speaks because of the personal connection she has with the disease. Before she moved to her current house, she was friends with a neighbor on the autism spectrum. So, when she was deciding what charity to donate to, Autism Speaks was the natural choice. Autism Speaks is a charity that helps people with autism deal with their condition. They offer speech therapy, as well as a number of other therapies and services to help autistic people deal with the world. Emma Inspires Others Emma’s success with The Fairies of Waterfall Island: The Search for the Missing Crystal has inspired her friends to write their own books. Emma’s best friend Annabelle is in the middle of writing her own book. Annabelle loves Diary of a Wimpy Kid, so her book is written in that style. Emma’s cousin is working on a comic book with his friends. Emma’s Second Book Emma’s second book is a prequel to The Fairies of Waterfall Island: The Search for the Missing Crystal. In The Fairies of Waterfall Island, Julia is the wisest fairy in all the land. The prequel explores Julia’s character and tells the story of how she got her powers. Final Words of Advice “If you want to write a book, start writing. The hardest part of writing a book is starting.” – Emma Sumner Once you start writing your book, it becomes a lot easier. Writing can be fun if you let it be. You don’t get anywhere by questioning yourself. Links and Resources Mentioned in this Interview The Fairies of Waterfall Island: The Search for the Missing Crystal by Emma Sumner http://emmalovesbooks.com/ – Emma’s website Emma Sumner’s Amazon author page https://self-publishingschool.com/ – Emma learned a lot about self-publishing from this program. Her father is a teacher there. https://www.autismspeaks.org/ – Autism Speaks is a charity organization dedicated to promoting solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support; increasing understanding and acceptance of people with autism spectrum disorder; and advancing research into causes and better interventions for autism spectrum disorder and related conditions. The post 175: Lessons from a 10-Year-Old Published Author with Emma Sumner appeared first on TCK Publishing.
29 minutes | Feb 1, 2018
174: How To Use BookBaby To Grow Your Print and Digital Book Sales with Steven Spatz
Steven Spatz is a writer, marketer, and president of BookBaby, a distributor of ebooks and print books. He started his writing career at age 13 and worked for several major newspapers after graduating from university. Steven got a job as a sportswriter when he was 13. His journalistic heroes were Walter Cronkite and Howard Cosell. He did that for a little while and then went back to the family business, where he learned direct marketing. Steven’s family had a food catalog they grew to be one of the largest in the United States. Through that experience, he really learned about direct marketing, and bringing the right products and services to the right people at the right time. That’s what Steven has done with most of his career. He’s worked for Mattel and Hasbro Collectibles. About 15 years ago, Steven became interested in the music business. His parent company, CDBaby, still manufactures custom-made CDs and DVDs. Yes, there’s still a market for that! They also work in digital music. BookBaby started seven years ago. BookBaby’s mission is to help authors get their work out into the marketplace. The BookBaby motto is “We make the little guy look big.” Steven is using his talent for writing and his knowledge of direct marketing to help indie authors be successful in the marketplace. In this interview, we talked about the factors every indie author needs to consider, how BookBaby can help you achieve your goals, how the marketplace has changed in the last eight years, and the benefits of using BookBaby to help launch you onto the world stage. Starting Up BookBaby BookBaby grew out of CDBaby, which still sends a lot of music to iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify. Through these existing partnership, Steven had a great opportunity: when Apple created the iPad, they were looking for companies that could make ebooks. They knew CDBaby already created music files for them, so Apple asked if they could make ebooks. The people at CDBaby had to quickly learn how to make ebook files that would work on the iPad. Since then, the business has exploded. They added ebook distribution to Amazon, and now they’re in 59 other digital retail stores around the world. BookBaby quickly realized that if authors were going to succeed, they would need to give their readers the book in the format the reader wanted. That’s why they started offering print distribution. They began by partnering with a printer they knew. Two years ago, they started printing some books in house as a test, and now they print all their books in house. At this point, BookBaby is a one-stop shop for everything an indie author needs. They provide: Editing Ebook production Cover design Book formatting Print distribution Electronic distribution “Our goal has been to help authors not have to make many decisions. Authors need to spend time writing, and then hand over all the details about their books to experts. You used to have to go to many different places to get all of the services authors really need; now you can just come to BookBaby.” – Steven Spatz Five Things You Need to Consider as an Indie Author BookBaby offers a simple five-step guide to self-publishing. There are five decisions you need to make before you publish your book. 1. You have to decide the book is finished. You have to decide that you’re happy with your finished product, and that the book is the best you can make it right now. Understand that even though your book is as good as you can make it, it’s not going to be perfect. No book is perfect. You have to decide when it’s time to let go. Steven still talks to authors every month who have been working on their books for years. It’s important to do the best job you can with your book, and then get it out there. 2. You have to have your book edited. BookBaby runs an ad in industry magazines that says, “The only page that doesn’t need editing is blank.” It’s true. Even the best authors need a good editor. You put yourself at a real disadvantage if you don’t have a professional editor. (Hint: a pro editor does not mean your English teacher, or your mother-in-law who thinks she knows a few things about commas and semicolons.) 3. You have to decide what kind of physical product you’re going to introduce to your readers. Yes, books are a product—and that means you have to decide what formats and products matter to you and your readers. Are you going to produce an ebook? Are you going to produce only an ebook? Do you need help formatting the book? Are you going to format the ebook yourself or do you want help doing that? Are you going to produce printed books as well? What size and color will your book be? What is the trim size of the book going to be? 4. You have to decide what kind of distribution you need. Your book needs to get into readers’ hands—and that involves some knowledge of where they shop, and what benefits you can gain from being in different marketplaces. Are you happy just putting your book on Amazon? Do you want a Print on Demand book? Do you want to distribute to other countries? Amazon isn’t dominant everywhere. Amazon is big in the United States and England. In Europe, they’re the second or third biggest distributor. In Asia, Amazon is almost nonexistent as a competitor. Thinking outside the Amazon ecosystem is important for indie authors, especially if they want to reach their maximum audience. 5. You need to decide how to market your book. Marketing is an activity a lot of authors don’t like to do. But it’s one activity that no one else is going to do for you. There are millions of books available on Amazon and other online retailers. You have to decide how you’re going to make your book stand out in the marketplace. Book Marketing Help There are several services you can pay for that may help your book break through the noise. But there are no guarantees when it comes to advertising. There are also services you can pay for where you learn how to do the marketing process yourself. You should use every marketing strategy as best you can. Use social media to get the word out about your book. Get as many Amazon reviews as you can. Use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques to maximize your Amazon ranking. If you follow that script in order, that’s a good starting point for any indie author. How BookBaby Handles Distribution Getting your book into readers’ hands requires a different approach for different channels and formats. For eBooks If you just want to be on Amazon, it’s relatively easy to upload the book yourself and go to CreateSpace for your print book. That’s what Steven recommends for those folks who only want Amazon exposure. If you want to reach fans all over the world, you can go to BookBaby and they will help you format your book so that it works on every single e-reading device in the world. They create both epub files and Mobi files. It’s entirely possible for you to create your own epub and Mobi files, but sometimes you just want a professional hand to make sure that everything looks and works the way it’s supposed to. After the conversion process is complete, BookBaby asks you where you want to be distributed. If you go for full worldwide distribution, BookBaby will distribute your book through several channels, including: Amazon Apple iBooks Google Play Hoopla – a new player in the ebook industry which has exploded in the last few months Versa – a company that puts your book in a lot of European and Asian stores If you go with BookBaby, your book can be purchased in 60 stores all around the world. What really sets BookBaby worldwide distribution apart is that your book is distributed through all of the local bookselling powerhouses in their respective countries. You’re not just limited to Amazon outlets in foreign countries. Plus, when BookBaby adds a new store, they ask you if you’d like to be distributed there. If you opt in to being distributed to that store, expanding your distribution is effortless on your part. BookBaby collects their money through fees charged up front. That means you keep 100% of the royalties you earn by being distributed worldwide. For example, on average, Amazon pays authors about 90 days after their book is sold. If you go through BookBaby, you’ll get your royalty check about one week after they receive it from the online bookstore. For Print Books Distributing print books is where BookBaby gives indie authors some real advantages: Your book is guaranteed to be in stock 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. BookBaby can do that because they’re the printer. Over the Christmas holiday, quite a few Print on Demand books on Amazon were out of stock. BookBaby experienced that problem to a much lesser degree, but they were able to solve the problem faster because they own the printing machines. When you distribute your print book through BookBaby, it’s available to all brick and mortar bookstores through their normal distribution channels. BookBaby offers a direct-to-reader website for print distribution that doesn’t cost the author anything to set up. BookBaby pays a 50% commission for every print book you sell through your BookBaby website. On top of that, you get paid much faster than with other online retailers. If somebody buys a book from your BookBaby storefront on Wednesday, you’ll get paid the following Monday, because it’s baked into BookBaby’s payment engine. How Print-on-Demand Works at BookBaby The nice thing about print-on-demand (POD) at BookBaby is you don’t have to have an inventory of books available. BookBaby charges an up-front POD fee to have your file available on their press. They’ll print a few test copies to make sure everything looks right. After that, it’s all done automatically as orders co
25 minutes | Jan 25, 2018
173: How Author Networking and Co-Promotion Can Help Sell Books with Ethan Jones
Ethan Jones is the bestselling author of more than 20 books, including the best-selling Justin Hall Spy Thriller Series. Ethan always wanted to be a writer. He started writing novels seriously in 2008, but ever since he was a kid, Ethan would watch TV shows and movies and imagine future adventures for the heroes he loved. He doesn’t have a favorite spy movie, although Salt, The Bourne Identity, and the James Bond films rank fairly high with him. In 2008, he began carving out extra time to schedule to write his own stories. He always loved TV shows and movies that had to do with spies, so he figured that writing spy thrillers would be right up his alley. It turns out his audience agrees with him. In this episode, we talked about Ethan’s author journey, his writing process, and the importance of treating your writing like a business. We also talked about Ethan’s marketing strategies, his daily routine, and some mistakes Ethan made early in his career you can learn from. This was a fast-paced interview jam-packed with information. Ethan’s Turning Point Ethan decided to write his first novel after he read a spy novel that wasn’t very good. He thought for sure that he could write something at least as good as the book he’d just finished reading. That was the beginning of his writing adventure. It took Ethan one year to write his first book. The first book is always the hardest to finish. He wanted to write something a little different than the standard spy story. So the story takes place in Canada and his hero is a member of the Canadian special forces. Usually in spy fiction, the hero is a member of some sort of US government agency, whether that be the CIA or FBI or another alphabet soup agency. How Ethan Developed His Writing Process Ethan developed his writing process by writing books. He wrote his first book completely by the seat of his pants. There were one or two places where he wrote himself into a corner, and he had to spend a few days figuring out how the story was going to work out. These days, Ethan has an idea of where the story is going to end. He doesn’t have a detailed outline, but he has some idea of what the major plot points are and roughly where they occur. He’s not so tied to his outline that he won’t let the story change as he writes it. He allows his characters the flexibility to discover the story as they’re living through it. Having an ending firmly in mind has been helpful for Ethan when writing his books, even if the ending might change as he produces the manuscript. Why Pantsing Works for Ethan Ethan tried to plot a couple of his novels in detail. He found it was difficult for him to force the story on to the path he wanted it to take. It broke his creative flow. Ethan is much more productive with a loose idea of where the story is going and the flexibility to allow his characters to react naturally. Most of his stories are about spying and spycraft. So his characters have a lot of trust issues, and it’s very easy for him to manipulate the mood of a character to make them more suspicious, then gently nudge the story where he wants it to go. Writing mostly by the seat of his pants just works best for Ethan. How Ethan Comes up with His Story Ideas To develop his stories, Ethan does a lot of research. He pays attention to international news, and specifically news about the region where he’s going to set his next book. Recently, Ethan decided to write a book where ISIS featured prominently. He watched a lot of documentaries by journalists about the group. For Ethan, research is essential in coming up with his ideas and making sure his book seems like something that might actually happen. Write in a Genre You’re Passionate about Some time ago, Ethan tried his hand at romantic suspense. There was less research involved, but his heart wasn’t really in it. Those books took much longer to write because he wasn’t as passionate about the genre. “Writing good spy thrillers does involve a lot of research, but when you’re doing something you really enjoy, it doesn’t sound like work.” – Ethan Jones Ethan’s Publishing Journey Ethan wrote Arctic Wargame: A Justin Hall Spy Thriller back in 2008. At first, he tried to get a traditional publishing deal. Self-publishing wasn’t as popular back then as it is now, and a traditional publishing deal seemed like the way to go. In Canada, the book market is smaller, so you don’t necessarily need an agent to have your book traditionally published. Ethan tried submitting his book to agents and publishers. Some of the people he submitted to requested a partial manuscript, and he got good feedback from them, but he couldn’t secure a book deal. In 2011, a friend suggested that he self-publish his manuscript. Before diving in, he took some time figuring out how self-publishing works. He was able to publish the first book in the Justin Hall Spy Series in 2012, shortly after finishing the manuscript for the second book in the series. He published the second and third books in 2014 and hasn’t slowed down since. Back in 2012, you didn’t need to do a lot to promote a self-published book. Just the fact that was in the marketplace at a price lower than traditionally published books was enough for you to make a few hundred dollars a month, as long as the story was decent. The market was less crowded in 2012, and it was a lot easier to make money as a new author in the marketplace. Today, it takes more work—and more books. Ethan has three series out right now, and he plans to add another series in March 2018. Lessons Ethan Has Learned about Writing and Publishing in the Last 10 Years Things change in the self-publishing marketplace quickly. Things are often different just month to month! It’s important to adapt to changes as they occur. Don’t expect things to stay the same. Ethan suggests that all indie authors should consider wide distribution. There’s value in not having all your eggs in one basket, or all your books in one distribution system. Having your books available at different bookstores creates multiple income streams. That way, if one website’s sales slow down for you, the other booksellers might be able to pick up the slack. Ethan tried Kindle Unlimited as recently as early 2017, and his books didn’t stick in Amazon’s ecosystem. He’s had much better luck going wide. He’s done particularly well with his books in Kobo. Kobo also gives you opportunities to promote your work. Think about physical products. Sony televisions are available in a number of different stores and chains. They aren’t exclusive to Wal-Mart or any other chain of stores. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but always focus on collecting data that gives you information going forward. Ethan’s Strategy for Launching a New Book Ethan didn’t do any active promoting of his books until early 2017. His promotional strategy for his early books was to: Tell his mailing list that a new book was available. Be active on social media. Write Facebook posts and tweet about the fact that a new book is available. Write a blog post on his website announcing that a new book was available. Ethan’s Paid Promotion Strategy, Starting Early 2017 Ethan has been experimenting with Amazon marketing ads since early 2017. He’s also been experimenting with boosting his Facebook posts. Ethan’s Free Promotion Strategy Starting Early 2017 On the free side of things, Ethan has been building his network of authors in his genre and cross-promoting with them. The authors Ethan has teamed up with tell their mailing lists when he has a new book out. He returns the favor when they have a new book out, or when they have a deal going on. “Cross-promoting with authors in your genre is the best marketing you can do, because that audience is already hot for books like yours. Also, you’re not an unknown person to them, because you’re coming with a recommendation from the author that is writing to them.” – Ethan Jones Depending on how involved the author recommending you wants to get, they can say they read the book and enjoyed it and their subscribers might enjoy it as well, or they can simply say that you have a new book out and it looks good. It’s very important to be honest and aboveboard with your email list at all times. You shouldn’t lie to your readers to drive up book sales. You might get some short-term benefit, but it will cause you headaches in the long run. Cross-promoting with other authors is kind of like dating. Working with some authors might get you a lot of book sales. Working with other authors might not get you many sales at all. You’ll never know which partnerships will work best for you until you dive in and give it a try. It’s best to network with authors who write in your genre, because they have readers on their list who will probably like the books you’re writing. Ethan’s Daily Routine Ethan has a full-time job and has to carve out writing time wherever he can. He takes the bus to work every day, and that commute takes about an hour. He writes every morning as he commutes to work. There are times when he wishes the bus would take longer because he has to stop at a point where things are going really well for him. Sometimes Ethan wakes up earlier in the morning to do his writing. He has to get on the bus at 7 a.m., so he’ll get up at 4 or 5 a.m. to start his writing day. “I used to think writing was only to be done when you could have four or five uninterrupted hours on a Saturday. But realistically, that’s difficult to do when you have a family and other obligations. So even if I can spend 15 minutes and write it’s possible to get 100 words down in that period of time. So even if you only spend 15
29 minutes | Jan 18, 2018
172: How To Create and Build Your Personal Brand with Dorie Clark
Dorie Clark is an adjunct professor at the Duke University School of Business. She’s the author of Entrepreneurial You, Reinventing You, and Stand Out (named the #1 leadership book of 2015 by Inc. magazine). She’s a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, and she regularly consults and speaks for clients such as Microsoft, Google, and The World Bank. Dorie’s first job out of graduate school was as a political reporter. When she was laid off from that job, she began the process of reinventing herself. She tried a lot of different things, not all of which worked out. She worked in two unsuccessful political campaigns and then turned her talents to running a nonprofit. After two years of doing that, Dorie realized that running a nonprofit is exactly like running your own business. So…Dorie decided to start running her own business. For the past 11 years, she’s run her own marketing and consulting company. She’s done all kinds of activities to help build her brand and the brands of her clients, including: Writing books Giving speeches Doing executive coaching Launching online courses In this interview, we talked about what a personal brand is and how to build yours. We took a deep dive into social networking, how to do it, and why it’s essential to building your personal brand. Why Dorie Decided to Start Her Own Business Dorie was the head of a small nonprofit for two years. She decided to start her own business because running the nonprofit and being responsible for the livelihood of three other employees was super stressful. Also, she didn’t get paid very much. Working for herself and being responsible only for her own income and needs seemed like a move toward a more stable, less stressful life. Dorie’s time as the head of that nonprofit was an incredibly valuable learning experience. Running the nonprofit taught her what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur. To be a successful entrepreneur, you have to be a jack of all trades, because you’re responsible for everything that happens in your business. “You have complete independence. Yeah, you might have to solve problems yourself, but you don’t have to answer to anyone, you don’t have to answer to a boss, nobody’s telling you what to do. Everything is more fulfilling because you are making the choice to do it.” – Dorie Clark Why Dorie Decided to Write Her First Book Dorie made a New Year’s resolution in 2009 to publish a book that year. She’d always wanted to write a book. She thought it would be cool, and she also thought it would raise her company’s profile and demonstrate thought leadership in her field. All of that turned out to be true. What Dorie didn’t count on is how difficult it would be to actually publish her first book. In the first six months of 2009, Dorie wrote three book proposals. They were all turned down because she didn’t have a big enough author platform. So she went back to the drawing board and figured out how to build that essential author platform. She was able to do it primarily through blogging. Dorie signed her first book deal with Harvard Review Press in 2011 and her first book came out in 2013. Why Dorie Chose Blogging to Build Her Author Platform Blogging was a natural choice for Dorie because of her experience as a print journalist. Also, audio and video were much more expensive and complicated to jump into back in 2009. Audio and video are much more accessible to new people now than they were back then. How to Become a Recognized Expert in Your Field Becoming a recognized expert involves three key components. 1. Creating Quality Content Content creation is the linchpin of becoming a recognized expert. You can’t be known for your ideas unless you share your ideas publicly. You have to share your ideas, and you have to share your ideas a lot to break through the noise today. The biggest mistake Dorie sees in the marketplace today is people not creating enough content. So many bloggers think that posting one blog post a month is enough. The truth is, Dorie spent three years posting 50 to 100 blog posts a year before she saw any measurable uptick in inquiries about her work. “You have to do a lot more than you might otherwise suspect you have to do, that’s the truth. The good news is most people won’t last that long. Most people will not keep it up, and if you do, you are far more likely to succeed, because the field has thinned.” – Dorie Clark 2. Social Proof Social proof is your credibility. What is it about you that is going to get people to take you seriously? How can you demonstrate that you know what you’re talking about and that your suggestions will work? 3. Your Network Your network is who you surround yourself with. The world judges you by your associations. Your network can also be the early ambassadors for your ideas. How to Create Multiple Revenue Streams without Spreading Yourself Too Thin Dorie has several income streams that feed into her business. She developed them over the last seven years. Her income streams are: Consulting—this is how her business started Executive coaching Writing books Business school teaching Giving keynote speeches Affiliate income from online marketing Online courses Dorie has developed Live events That may seem like a lot of spinning plates, and it is. But they aren’t burdensome, because Dorie developed each income stream independently and systematized it before moving on to another income stream. Dorie recommends that you focus on building one income stream per year. Once you have that income stream systematized and automated, you can build another income stream without sacrificing the first. As you build new income streams, they should relate in some way to the other income streams that you have previously built. If you build income streams that target wildly different audiences, you could very easily be pulled in too many different directions. In contrast, if you build income streams that support each other, each income stream you build will make the others stronger. As you build new income streams, opportunities will appear that you never expected. Dorie didn’t plan to organize live events. She started to organize do so after her customers asked if they could be part of live events. What Is a Personal Brand? “Basically, ‘personal brand’ is a modern colloquialism for your reputation. That is something that has existed from the beginning of time.” – Dorie Clark If your reputation isn’t what you want it to be, it’s probably worth your time to think about how to change it. If you’re not reaching people in the right way, if you want to be understood in the world, then you have to understand what your reputation is, and make sure it’s congruent with how you see yourself. Reframing the question of your “personal brand” that way allows you to see that authenticity is a vital part of your personal brand. In fact, if your personal brand is inauthentic, audiences and customers will realize that, and they will steer clear of you. One of the problems that entrepreneurs face when they first start out in business is that we feel like we have to project this image that we have it all figured out. One of the first iterations of Dorie’s website had a background image of skyscrapers, as if that represented her power in the marketplace. The truth is, that type of stuff is silly. People really respect you if you have something interesting to say and you say it in your own unique voice. That’s what makes you stand out in this crowded world. “The ultimate source of strength is not pretending to be anything other than what you are. Some people are going to be like, ‘whatever.’ Some people aren’t going to like your message. But for those who resonate with your message, it is such a breath of fresh air to have somebody say it the way they’ve never heard it before. There’s a huge amount of power in that.” – Dorie Clark How to Build Your Personal Brand to Increase Your Influence and Get More Clients One thing you can do to build your brand is to make a concerted effort to write for “name brand” publications like Forbes. There are two benefits of writing for well-known media outlets like this: You get exposed to new audiences who have never heard of you. You build your reputation and personal brand because you’re associated with respected publications. Creating content that allows you to associate with blue-chip brands that people have already heard of creates a social proof that’s valuable, as you’re beginning to establish your personal brand in the marketplace. How to Start Writing for Blue-Chip Brands If you’re starting from scratch, what you want to do is develop a portfolio of “writing clips” that show you can write an article like your target publication. One of the best places to showcase your writing ability/style is on your personal blog. You can also publish your article on LinkedIn or Medium where there is no barrier to entry. From there, you want to start writing for more and more prestigious brands to raise your own reputation. You can figure out the best publications to read in your industry by simply having conversations with people and asking them what they read. Ask them where they get their information from. Target those publications. More Ways to Get Social Proof Social proof is all about making the public aware of connections that enhance your credibility and stature. Think about who you’re connected to that would make people think better of you. Think about your: Clients Former or current employer (Many former Google employees have become bestsellers, for example.) Educational affiliations. Did you go to an Ivy League school? Or a well-respected school in your fi
29 minutes | Jan 11, 2018
171: How to Find Your 1,000 True Fans and Make a Living as an Artist with Jeff Goins
Jeff Goins is the bestselling author of five books, including Real Artists Don’t Starve. His blog, goinswriter.com, is one of the most-read blogs for writers and creative folks. Jeff has always been a creative person who likes to make things. As a kid, he drew his own Garfield fan comics with a friend. Jeff’s dad taught him how to play guitar when he got older. He was in a number of bands that played really bad songs. It was in high school that Jeff started to write stories for fun. He also acted in plays during his high school career. Jeff gained more experience with writing as a writing tutor. After he graduated college, he toured with the band for a year. The most fun Jeff had during that year was writing weekly blog posts about the touring experience. After a year, he quit the band and moved to Nashville, where he was hired as a copywriter by a nonprofit. He eventually became their director of marketing, and learned quite a bit about traditional and online marketing. That’s when Jeff had the idea to use the brand-building strategies he learned at the nonprofit to build his own personal brand as a writer. Today, goinswriter.com is Jeff’s ninth blog. The first eight blogs he wrote for failed. goinswriter.com succeeded because Jeff took the right steps and didn’t quit. Jeff’s successful blog allowed him and his wife to quit their day jobs and do this full-time. Jeff’s Author Journey: Defining Moments and Small Steps Forward Jeff’s success has been made up of both huge defining moments and small, consistent steps forward. When Jeff was 27 years old, his boss enrolled him in a coaching program for professional development. Early on in those meetings, someone asked him what his dream was. Jeff had seen many of his friends quit their day jobs to pursue their dream—only to be back at a day job within six months. He didn’t think he had a dream. So he replied, “I don’t have a dream—I have a job, I have a family. I don’t need a dream.” Jeff’s coaching buddy replied, “That’s funny. I get the sense that your dream is to be a writer.” That resonated with Jeff and he said, “Yeah. I guess that is my dream, to be a writer someday. But that will never happen.” Jeff’s coaching buddy pointed out, “Jeff, you don’t have to wait to be a writer. You just have to write.” Jeff published a 500-word blog post the next day. Every day for a year, he published a blog post between 500 and 1,000 words long. Throughout that year, when he met new people and they asked him what he did, he told them, “I’m a writer.” This wasn’t a case of “faking it until he made it.” Jeff believed he was a writer. Then he took small consistent actions until he became a professional writer. “People won’t take you seriously until you do.” – Jeff Goins Jeff developed a system for creating daily blog content that allowed him to write and edit a post before publishing it to his blog. Want to learn from his experience? There’s a link to his three-bucket content system in the links section of the show notes. How to Deal with Fear “Fear is what happens to us when we hesitate to do the things we know we need to do. Fear is what happens when we wait. ” – Jeff Goins When you act quickly, there’s no time for fear to creep in. Children have very little fear. Fear is something we learn as a result of watching the consequences of certain actions. We think, “Oh, if I do this I will get hurt.” Because Jeff was producing daily content for his blog, he didn’t have much time to feel fear. He knew his content wasn’t necessarily that good. But this was his writing practice. He was just practicing in public. Jeff knew that if he wrote on his blog long enough, some people might notice. But that wasn’t the point. The point was to practice his art to improve his skill. There’s something interesting that happens when you put yourself into a daily practice: It doesn’t allow you a lot of time to feel afraid. Most people feel fear and stop what they’re doing. When Jeff studied other successful people, he came to realize successful people also feel fear. The difference is successful people feel fear and yet still do what they’re afraid of. “I began to see fear as a friendly reminder that I’m moving in the right direction.” – Jeff Goins From Blogger to Author Six months after Jeff started regularly blogging, he was approached by a traditional publisher who asked him if he was planning to write a book. He signed a deal for a small book contract. That gave Jeff the confidence to keep going. He also began to notice that readers of his blog were asking questions he couldn’t answer in a long blog post. “I don’t think you write a nonfiction book because you want to. I think you write a nonfiction book because it’s the most succinct way of saying what you have to say.” – Jeff Goins A lot of people have a blog post go viral and think they should write a book. Jeff doesn’t agree. He thinks you should only write a book if you need the length of a book to express your idea. If you’ve expressed all you need to express in a blog post, then move on to the next thing. The Message of Real Artists Don’t Starve Jeff writes books because: He’s serious about something. He has an experience with something. He has something unique to say about the topic. Real Artists Don’t Starve puts forth the bold argument that if you’re starving as an artist, that is your choice. Starving is not a necessary byproduct of being an artist. Jeff has met a lot of people doing great work and making a decent living who aren’t national celebrities. These people are thriving artists and creative entrepreneurs. They are making a living from their art and loving it. Jeff lives in Nashville, and he kept meeting people who said that making a living as an artist is impossible. He wrote the book Real Artists Don’t Starve to introduce these two groups of people to each other. “It is possible to do creative work, and make a full-time living off of that work, and now is the best time to do that. If you have a dream, a passion, a gift you want to share with the world, you have no excuse not to make a living from that, if that’s what you want to do.” – Jeff Goins How to Be a Thriving Artist The first thing you have to do to become a thriving artist is educate yourself. There are many ways for artists to get paid for their work today. There are many artists who are making a living by selling their art. The next thing you have to do is realize this isn’t a path to becoming Taylor Swift. This is simply a path that helps you earn an income from your creative work. Use the internet to find the people who need your art. You have to find your 1,000 true fans, as Kevin Kelly would say. That’s not a lot of people in the grand scheme of things, but it is enough people to build a platform that will support you financially as long as you nurture it. If you can find 1,000 people who resonate with your message and need your art, you can make a living from that kind of exposure. We need to disabuse ourselves of the notion that you have to be famous, or that you need a big break in order to be a thriving, successful artist. You can find the people who need your work and connect with them directly to exchange value with them. How to Find Your True Fans Jeff has a few tips on how to find those 1,000 true fans. Mindset You have to think like a thriving artist. You have to see the value in your work so that you can market it effectively. You have to take your work seriously before anyone else will. You have to cultivate that mindset. You have to begin to think in terms of what’s actually possible. You have to dream a little bit. Michelangelo was the richest artist of his time. At the end of his life, he had the equivalent of $50 million to his name. Before Michelangelo, artists were working-class citizens. After Michelangelo broke the glass ceiling of what was possible for an artist, artists of the Renaissance became aristocrats or upper-crust people. Michelangelo was told his entire life that his ancestors were noble. His family believed it, and when he became an artist, he proceeded from the assumption that he was of noble birth. He got the wealthiest patrons to commission his work. He charged 10 times what contemporary artists were charging for the same type of work. In short, he did everything differently and got a different result than artists who came before him. The interesting thing about Michelangelo’s story is that he wasn’t actually descended from a noble line. He just believed that he was and proceeded from that assumption. His belief led him to act differently than his peers, which led to his amassing great wealth. If you believe you’re going to starve and struggle, that will come true for you. Conversely, if you believe the world needs your work and you just need to find a way to make that happen, eventually you will find a way to succeed. Market How do you get your work into the right people’s hands so they help you find more fans and spread your message? The best way to do that is to find a modern-day patron. Find an influencer who has an audience that can help spread your message faster than you can by yourself. Patrons didn’t just give money to artist in the Renaissance—they lent their influence to their artists. They became evangelists of their artist’s work. When Lorenzo de Medici became Michelangelo’s patron, he commissioned many statues. But more importantly, Lorenzo invited Michelangelo into his house and introduced him to the connections that would support him for the rest of his life. Michel
27 minutes | Jan 4, 2018
170: How to Build a Relationship with Your Audience through Video Marketing with Mimika Cooney
Mimika Cooney is an international award-winning photographer and the author of Photographing Newborns. She was nominated by the Huffington Post as one of the 50 women entrepreneurs to follow in 2017. Mimika is a multi-passionate creative. Born and raised in South Africa, Mimika and her husband left in 2000 and emigrated to England. In 2006, they immigrated to the US. She is currently based in Charlotte, North Carolina. She’s had a very interesting journey both creatively and in the realm of business and marketing. Photography was originally a hobby for Mimika. She’s had an entrepreneurial mindset since she was a child, and she always looks for ways to make money with anything she does. She loves the creative outlet of photography. Mimika started her photography business in England, and continued it when she moved to the United States. She decided to write her books about newborn photography to answer all the questions she was getting while speaking at photography conferences; writing was a natural progression for her because she’s been writing in journals since she was a child. Mimika is passionate about teaching people how she learned from her own mistakes in business. She credits that skill more than any other as the reason for her level of success today. Changes to the Writing World Mimika is taking an entirely different approach to writing her third book than she did with her first two. “I made the mistake of thinking after I wrote my first book, my job was done. It wasn’t.” – Mimika Cooney In today’s world, publishers expect you to do all the marketing for your own books. Writing is only the beginning of your author journey. What Has Changed in Online Marketing over the Last 20 Years Marketing has become so saturated, the number of offerings in the marketplace is overwhelming. There are a lot more platforms and apps available for business people to directly connect with customers. There are many more places to promote yourself. That’s a double-edged sword, because the internet and social media have led to information overload for almost everyone. Video marketing has become prevalent, when just two years ago very few people were doing it. Successful marketing tactics change about every six months. You can’t rely on one platform for all your marketing. The internet landscape changes so quickly, you have to focus on evergreen tactics that will bring customers into your business. When you’re an author, you are a business person. You have to pay attention to that reality, and spend the time, money, and effort needed to build your brand. One benefit of a market oversaturated with marketing channels is that it lowers the price of marketing yourself. When Mimika started her online TV show MimikaTV, it used to cost her $350 an episode to produce. Now she is able to produce it free using the YouTube platform. “It’s the easiest it’s ever been to start a business venture or project, but it’s also the most competitive.” – Mimika Cooney Succeeding in business today is all about figuring out what marketing channels work for your audience and how you can put the pieces together to make your business successful. Video Marketing Is Evergreen “Video is the best way, other than meeting you in person, to get to know you. Reading your body language, hearing what you sound like, getting an idea what you sound like—it’s almost like meeting you in person.” – Mimika Cooney You can write blog posts and you can post on social media, but nothing translates better than a video to captivate your audience and get them to understand who you are and what you’re trying to do. Video is the easiest way for people to get to know, like, and trust you. How a Beginner Should Get Started in Video As writers, it can be hard to transition from writing behind a computer screen to going on camera. But it’s important you get over yourself. One thing you can do to get used to being recorded on video is to record yourself on your cell phone. Just get used to the actions necessary to go through the recording process. Put your phone in selfie mode, turn it around, and start talking to it like you’re talking to a friend. At the end of the day, all you have to do is take baby steps. You don’t have to jump in with both feet, guns blazing. The great thing about video is you can record and delete it if you really hate it. Learning to publish and distribute videos is very much like learning how to write. The first few times are going to be difficult. As you get more used to the mechanics of what you’re doing, things will come easier and you’ll have more fun doing video. When it comes to video marketing, starting is the biggest hurdle. After you’ve started, you want to keep your video marketing efforts consistent. Use Facebook to Launch Your Video Marketing Efforts The first thing beginner video marketers should do is a Facebook Live feed. Using Facebook Live is simple and easy to do, and it’s free. The biggest benefit of doing a Facebook live is that you’re pressured to actually complete a video. You’re doing it live, so it’s impossible to fail because of analysis paralysis. Get on Facebook Live and ask a question. Start a conversation. Give your audience something to interact with beyond passively watching you. Traditional publishers want new authors to have a platform to sell their books. Start building your platform before you publish your books by doing Facebook Live videos. If you’re going to be an author, you should have your own professional Facebook page. Facebook frowns on doing business promotion on your personal Facebook page. Once you have your business page set up, start posting your videos on that professional Facebook page. You can also make use of YouTube and build an audience between Facebook and YouTube. If you want to pay for traffic to your videos on Facebook, now is the time to jump in. You only have to pay pennies per view. Start Small with Video The key to getting started with video is just to do one thing at a time. Start small, learn from your failures, and build on your successes. Practicing video marketing is very much like writing drafts of your book. You know the final draft of your book is going to probably be very different from the first draft of the book. The major difference between publishing your book and practicing video marketing is that we are so conditioned to only put out what we think is perfection. The truth is, nothing is perfect. Anything you want to do, you have to be willing to do poorly at first. Doing something poorly is the only way you learn how to get better at a skill. The key to getting better at anything is consistent practice. If you do a video every day for 30 days, you’ll be much better at the end of 30 days than you are at the beginning, just by going through the steps of recording a video. How To Develop Content for Your Video Marketing Developing content for your video marketing efforts should be approached like any other content marketing endeavor. All you need to do is figure out the answer to these three questions, and you’ll have a content idea for your audience that will be helpful to them and engage them. 3 Key Content Marketing Questions Who is my audience? What can I share with them to add value to their lives? What do I want to talk about? What are some takeaway tips you can tell people about your book? You can always quote yourself and create a graphic to post on social media. That can start a conversation. If you are truly unsure of what types of content to share, try posting a Facebook poll asking your audience what they’re working on, or what they want to hear about. You can also join the Facebook groups of your target readers and conduct surveys within those groups. It’s best to become a part of the communities you join before you start conducting surveys within the group. If you listen to the conversations of your target readers, you can get content for your book and help them solve problems they’re having at the same time. Video Marketing Tools If you have the latest iPhone, the cameras on them are tremendous. Even a year ago, the cameras on iPhones weren’t nearly as good as they are today. Selfie sticks with tripods are inexpensive and really help boost the quality of your video by keeping your camera stable when you’re recording. Logitech 720p Webcam C510 – this is the webcam that Mimika uses when she’s video chatting. You can use your computer’s built-in webcam if you have a good one. Video quality is important. You should really look for an HD-quality camera that will give you video that doesn’t pixelate as you record it. Buying a quality external digital webcam allows you to have more control over the settings of your device so that you look your best. You want to pay particular attention to your video and lighting quality when you record your videos. Three Things to Consider When Planning a Video 1. Audio Quality If your audio quality isn’t good, people won’t watch your video because they can’t understand what you’re saying. 2. Video Quality The higher quality your video, the more things you can do with it. You want to have the highest quality video possible in your price range. The newest iPhones have excellent cameras in them. 3. Video Stability You don’t want your video to be constantly moving around or jumping—it looks very amateurish and can even make viewers a little motion sick! Getting a tripod for yourself a selfie stick is an inexpensive way to dramatically improve the quality of your video for your viewers. You really don’t need much software these days to produce a great video. Everything is mobile friendly. If you want to do a Facebook Live feed, all you have to do is push record when
22 minutes | Dec 28, 2017
169: How to Write Children’s Books and Work with an Illustrator with AJ Cosmo
AJ Cosmo is the bestselling author of The Monster that Ate My Socks and more than 20 other fun children’s picture books. His stories are crafted to help parents teach children lessons in a fun and engaging way. Six years ago, AJ was at his day job searching for ways to make money online. One […] The post 169: How to Write Children’s Books and Work with an Illustrator with AJ Cosmo appeared first on TCK Publishing.
24 minutes | Dec 21, 2017
168: How to Build Your Audience Using Twitter with Jesper Schmidt
Jesper Schmidt is a fantasy novelist and the author of Twitter for Authors. He’s here to talk about his journey as an author, and how he used Twitter to gather an audience of raving fan readers from all over the world. Jesper always thought in the back of his mind that when he retired, he’d […] The post 168: How to Build Your Audience Using Twitter with Jesper Schmidt appeared first on TCK Publishing.
23 minutes | Dec 14, 2017
167: How to Build Your Platform as a New Author with James Blatch
James Blatch is a former BBC defense reporter. He reported on the UK military from Kuwait, the Arctic Circle, and during the Kosovo conflict in 1999, among many other crazy war zones and places. Today he is the director of The Self-Publishing Formula Course. He’s an online course provider for independent authors. He also cohosts […] The post 167: How to Build Your Platform as a New Author with James Blatch appeared first on TCK Publishing.
25 minutes | Dec 7, 2017
166: Understanding the LitRPG Genre and What Readers Want with Jamie Davis
Jamie Davis is the author of more than a dozen novels including Accidental Thief. He’s also a registered nurse, a nationally recognized medical educator, and host of The Nursing Show. How Jamie Became a Fiction Writer Jamie got started as a novelist on a dare. He’s been a nurse and a medical educator for quite […] The post 166: Understanding the LitRPG Genre and What Readers Want with Jamie Davis appeared first on TCK Publishing.
26 minutes | Nov 30, 2017
165: How Traditional Publishing and Agents Work with Evan Marshall
Evan Marshall is a literary agent and owner of the Evan Marshall Agency. He’s also a multi-published novelist and a nonfiction author, and the creator of The Marshall Plan novel writing software. Evan was born in Massachusetts. His first job was with the Big Five publisher Houghton Mifflin in Boston. Then he moved to New […] The post 165: How Traditional Publishing and Agents Work with Evan Marshall appeared first on TCK Publishing.
21 minutes | Nov 23, 2017
164: Facebook Ads for Email List Building with Rachel Starr Thomson
Rachel Starr Thomson is a bestselling author with more than 50 published books, including The Seventh World Trilogy. She is also a freelance editor, publishing consultant, and founder of Independent Publishing Solutions. From a very young age, Rachel spent her time sitting in nature and making up stories in her head. Rachel was homeschooled. Her […] The post 164: Facebook Ads for Email List Building with Rachel Starr Thomson appeared first on TCK Publishing.
25 minutes | Nov 16, 2017
163: How Book Promotion Sites Work and Data-Driven Online Marketing Strategies with Ricci Wolman
Ricci Wolman is the founder and CEO of Written Word Media. You may not have heard of Written Word Media before, but I’m sure you’ve heard of some of their brands, including Free Booksy, Bargain Booksy, and Red Feather Romance, all of which are very popular book promotion websites. Ricci has more than 10 years […] The post 163: How Book Promotion Sites Work and Data-Driven Online Marketing Strategies with Ricci Wolman appeared first on TCK Publishing.
28 minutes | Nov 9, 2017
162: How to Create, Promote, and Grow an Online Course with Tyler Basu
Tyler Basu is the content marketing genius at Thinkific, one of the fastest-growing online course platforms. In episode 48, we talked with Tyler Basu about how to create a lifestyle business and live your dream life. He had just launched Lifestyle Business Blueprint. Since then, Tyler has gotten on board with Thinkific as their content […] The post 162: How to Create, Promote, and Grow an Online Course with Tyler Basu appeared first on TCK Publishing.
27 minutes | Nov 2, 2017
161: How to Generate More Leads and Accelerate Your Business with Book Sales with Rob Archangel
In episode 7, we talked to Rob Archangel about audiobook publishing. In the last three years, Rob has built one of the most successful self-publishing services companies out there. I brought Rob back to talk about what he’s doing now and the lessons he’s learned over the last few years. Selling Books Directly from Your […] The post 161: How to Generate More Leads and Accelerate Your Business with Book Sales with Rob Archangel appeared first on TCK Publishing.
31 minutes | Oct 26, 2017
160: The Real Digital Nomad Lifestyle: Pros and Cons of Traveling the World with Brian David Crane
Brian David Crane is a serial entrepreneur. He sold his first company at age 24. He has helped launch six different million-dollar brands, including Archives.com, which was bought for $100 million three years after launch. Brian has been a digital nomad since 2014 and he’s here to talk about the downsides of the digital nomad […] The post 160: The Real Digital Nomad Lifestyle: Pros and Cons of Traveling the World with Brian David Crane appeared first on TCK Publishing.