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Cons of Traditional Publishing

August 16, 2021- As we continue our theme this month of what publishers want, we’re touching on the cons of traditional publishing. Last week we spoke about the pros of traditional publishing, so let’s explore the alternative.

  1. You have no control. The publisher is in total control of your manuscript and your book. They choose the parts they want to cut or extend, hire the cover designer and ensure that the book looks the way it needs to whether you like the cover art or not. Publishers turn the manuscript into something saleable because publishing is a business and your book is a product.
  2. Expectations are high. The industry is changing and has been for a while. Publishers now rely on authors to pull their weight. Not only do they expect authors to engage with their readers at book signings and events, they ask them to be active on social media and have an author platform in place before the book is published.  Authors are also expected to promote their books on various platforms. There are minimum sales targets for reprints, and if the book doesn’t reach that minimum, it will not get another print run.
  3. No guarantees. Authors might not get a reprint of their current book or another publishing deal, even if published in the past. Things change all the time, and new authors and ideas come into play. There are no guarantees in publishing or life.

The point is to treat each book as if it were your first; put the work in, be active in the promotion and sale of your book, and keep writing!

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Publishers and Positivity

August 4, 2021– Yesterday we talked about the importance of authors having a clean social media profile because they are an extension of and representative of the publisher and the House. Today, we’ll focus on the importance of positivity and why it matters to publishers.

During normal pre-pandemic times, I met every author that I was interested in publishing, face to face at a coffee shop or for lunch. Now, I meet them via Zoom, Facetime, or at the very least, over the phone. Why? Because I like to know who I’m working with and if we’re a good fit for them as their publisher and if we’re a good fit for them as an author. I like to know if we mesh, if we share any of the same values, and to get a glimpse into their personality.

To be honest, not a lot of publishers do this and 99 percent of them never meet the author! Because we’re a small House, I think it’s especially important to personally meet every individual on my team because we work so closely together and there’s a ton of communication between all of us. I especially love it when authors are energetic, enthusiastic, and upbeat! Here’s why positivity matters to publishers:

  1. Happier-We want our authors to be happy as they interact with the public and readers; we love authors who have a positive mindset because they’re naturally charismatic and wonderful to be around. Happy authors inspire new and upcoming writers/authors, and for publishers, that is our mission.
  2. Healthier-Authors who are optimistic are healthier in terms of their outlook on the world, taking on responsibilities, and having a strong work ethic. We know that book signing tour schedules can be gruelling and can take a toll mentally and physically, so positivity is very important in that regard as well. Everyone knows that happiness is contagious.
  3. Wealthier-Happy authors make more sales and that means more money for them! As publishers, we pay a royalty to the author on every book; the more sales, the higher the royalty. Happy authors are wealthier not only in their pocketbooks but also in the opportunities they get and the relationships they forge.

Positivity is important and publishers can’t wait to work with authors who are cheerful, lively, and pleasant. It makes our jobs better, our team brighter, and our readers smile.

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Marketing Yourself as a Public Speaker

July 29, 2021-Tomorrow we officially wrap up our month-long theme of Public Speaking for Authors! Let’s dive into our subject today which is tips for marketing your author self as a public speaker. Here are 3 things to help:

1) Video-If you’re trying to get public speaking gigs to talk about your new book for example, you can send out an email linking the prospect to a video sample of you speaking or to your YouTube channel that has relevant content such as you giving a presentation, lecture, talk, author interview etc.

2) Podcast-Your podcast is an extension of your ability to speak clearly, enthusiastically, and professionally while showcasing your knowledge and expertise. Linking to your podcast for those interested in hiring you gives them a sample of your skills.

3) Facebook/Instagram live-Authors often use Facebook and Instagram live to chat about different things in a conversational tone while interacting with their audience. Use this to your advantage and link your social media samples for your prospect to see. It’s also a great way to show them that you’re relaxed, can think on the fly, and that you can answer questions from your viewers with ease and confidence.

Public speaking for authors can open new doors and opportunities for you to share your work and your skills!

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Speech Writing (Part 2) The Mechanics

July 14, 2021-Yesterday we talked about best practices when preparing for your speaking engagement and the overall attitude you should have when publicly speaking. Today we’re focusing on the mechanics of speech writing. Let’s get started!

To write an engaging, informative, and interesting speech, here are 5 tips to help you:

  1. Clear, relevant message. What do you want your audience to take home from your speech? What action do you want them to take? What do you want to teach them? What should they remember? The clearer you are about these points, the more relevant and targeted your message is, the more valuable your talk is to your audience.
  2. Outline. Just like writing a book, a speech is no different. You must begin with an outline to keep you organized and allow you to make your point effectively. Your speech should have an introduction, a middle, and an ending that includes a call to action such as purchasing your book, or signing up for your newsletter, or booking their spot at your next workshop.
  3. Storytelling. People remember stories when relaying and recalling information. Stories make a big, memorable impact when told properly and when details are remarkable, shocking, inspiring, or heartwarming. Make sure that the story in your speech is repeatable and sharable. Ask yourself if it’s buzzworthy! If not, leave it out.
  4. No PowerPoint. Powerpoint is dead. So are cue cards. Yep, it’s time that you memorized your speech, and when you get good enough at it and have practiced and given the speech several times, you won’t need to use anything as a crutch or distraction. The fact is, the more data, PowerPoint slides, and notes you use, the more amateurish you look to your audience. You look like less of an expert. Plus, slides and data are usually boring, and you want your speech to stand out and make a memorable impact.
  5. Keep it Simple. Don’t use eight words when four will do (please write this on my gravestone) and leave the complicated language out. When delivering your lecture, the more superfluous you are, the more disinclined your audience will be to acquiesce to your request of paying attention to your speech. See what I mean? Don’t use a word salad to make yourself seem intelligent; the only thing that does is make your audience disengage.

Here’s the formula: 

Interesting fact for your audience (did you know?) to immediately grab their attention—-jump into a story—-get to your main points—-wrap everything up with a bow—-call to action—answer audience questions—call to action again.

Write your speech and practice, practice, practice!

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Benefits of Public Speaking

July 12, 2021-I hope you’re enjoying our theme this month of public speaking for authors and that you’re learning a lot!

Today we’ll talk about 3 benefits of public speaking for authors, let’s dive in:

1) Career advancement-You never know who will be in your audience! Maybe there’s a new client, a new reader, or someone that can book you for a speaking engagement at their company. The possibilities are endless and overnight your career can advance if you put on an engaging, exciting, and interactive chat. Plus, public speaking is a great way to build credibility as an author and be seen as an expert in your field.

2) Boost Confidence-By doing the things that scare us the most (public speaking for 90% of people), our confidence grows. Public speaking is just the thing that can take authors out of their comfort zones and help them grow and flourish in their writing careers. We turn our weaknesses into strengths by pushing the limits of what we find uncomfortable and doing it despite the discomfort.

3) Better Writing-Preparing a speech or developing a presentation is no easy feat even though we are professional writers. We need to have a message, but we also need to tailor that message to meet the needs of our audience so that they get a ton of value from what we’re saying. By sitting down and working out the details of our speech, we become better writers who are more concise, fluid, and organized in our thoughts and what we need to accomplish.

You can open yourself up to a whole world of opportunity, by publicly speaking as an author, that can quite literally take you and your books around the globe. Tomorrow, we’ll talk about how to write a speech and best practices. Stay tuned!

 

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Things are EXACTLY as they appear to be

June 24, 2021-In about a week we’ll be all wrapped up with our theme this month which is Author Mindset! I hope you’ve enjoyed the content this far and that you’ll continue to join us for more tips, resources, and information.

Today we’re talking about something that is very important for author mindset and that is…our outward appearance. Now, I know you may be thinking that perhaps I’m being shallow or that it’s what’s on the inside that counts (that’s 90% of it!) but what you project and portray on the outside is just as important to your success!

The truth is, as humans we make snap, subconscious judgements whether we mean to or not. Let’s say that you walked into a Publishing company for an interview and the interviewer looked like they just rolled out of bed; wrinkled clothing, chipped nails, unbrushed hair, and they looked as if they haven’t slept in five nights-what would you think? Be honest with yourself. You’d probably think, this person doesn’t look like they have it together, so what does this say about the company as a whole? It looks like they can’t be bothered and that they don’t respect themselves.

Contrast that with someone who makes an effort toward looking their best! No one is perfect and we all have our flaws, but first impressions matter. How you present yourself to the world is a direct indication of how you feel about your self on the inside. I know that for me personally I always feel better, think better, act better, and I’m more confident when I look my best.

As an author you will be thrust into the public eye, whether you like it or not; book signings, school visits, public speaking, and events put you in front of people, there are no two ways about it. Your appearance is part of the whole package.

Here are three ways that you can look and feel your best that will get you into the right author mindset to take on the world!

1. Put on your best outfit. This is the clothing choice that makes you feel confident, able, and unstoppable.

2. Accessorize. Whether it’s a favourite watch, stunning scarf, or a fabulous piece of statement jewelry, accessories can elevate any outfit. Plus, if it’s an heirloom piece, you’ll employ the energy of the person who gave it to you!

3. Details. Wrinkled clothes, chipped or dirty nails, and clothing covered in animal hair or lint do nothing to help your confidence. People notice small details like fallen hems and missing buttons, so be sure to give a once or twice over to your reflection in the mirror.

When I was a kid someone very close to me gave me the advice, “Don’t walk into a bank looking like you need a loan, walk into it looking like you own the place.” This advice has stuck with me for life! This means that you should have the mentality, mindset, and energy that elevates you not only in your eyes, but in other people’s as well.

Everything starts internally and as authors need to put our best foot forward. When we respect ourselves, look respectful, and are confident in our appearance and abilities, other people have no choice but to believe it too.

YOU are your author brand, what message do you want to convey?

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No One is Coming to Save You

June 23, 2021-Author mindset is our the this month and today we’ll be focusing on accountability. Gulp, I know this can be a touchy subject, but I wouldn’t be doing anyone any favours if I skipped this topic.

There is ONE thing that separates successful people from unsuccessful people and that is ACCOUNTABILITY. Accountability means that you take 100% responsibility for your writing life and the results you’re getting.

How many times have you heard, “It’s not my fault that I couldn’t find the submission guidelines,” or “I didn’t know that there were author shows going on,” or “I can’t be responsible for low sales, the market is saturated.” I’m here to tell you-YES IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY. If it’s not yours than whose is it? The neighbour’s? The publisher’s? The milkman’s? Stop trying to blame other people for the crappy results you’ve been getting!

Something magical happens when we take 100% accountability as authors; we grow and our results change for the better! If we’re brave enough to say, “The buck stops with me,” or “I’m the one in the driver’s seat,” we can transform our mind, life, and career.

It’s easy to blame others for our lack of success and failures, but the truth is that deep down we know it’s no ones fault but our own. As soon as we take responsibility for our writing lives, things begin to change! There’s a freedom in being honest with ourselves and knowing that we are in charge of our results.

A strong author mindset focuses on how to grow, improve, and get results while acknowledging where we went wrong and planning to do better. Nothing will change in your life if you’re not accountable for your actions, decisions, and outcomes.

Ask yourself if you’ve been 100% accountable for your success and failures thus far, or if you’ve been hiding behind the excuse that someone else is in charge of your life, dreams, and writing goals. It’s time to step up your game and take responsibility for the good and the bad. That’s the only way to change.

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Business not Busyness

June 22, 2021-Author mindset is our theme this month and today we’re talking about “busyness”. We all know that being busy does not always translate to being productive; in fact, being busy is often just a front for procrastinating on the big tasks.

When I ask fellow authors about how things are going, more often than not they’ll say something along the lines of, “I’m so busy it’s not even funny,” or “It’s insanity as usual!” I know what those statements are code for because at one time, I was saying the exact same thing.

The truth is the only reason why we feel like we’re barely keeping our heads above water or that we’re drowning in our work is because we’re focusing on too many small tasks that do not bring us the type of results that we’re looking for! Authors are creative people who are prone to experiencing overwhelm and I find that when this happens, we turn away from the big projects and hard work to focus on meaningless day to day things that can quite simply and effectively be delegated.

LEVERAGE is your best friend as an author. But what does leverage mean? It means that you’re using your resources in such a manner to free up your time so that you can focus on what’s most important!

With a positive author mindset, you know that time and results are important to your ongoing success, so why not help yourself turn down the burner on stress? Here are three ways that you can use leverage to get excellent results in your writing life:

1. Delegate. The best bosses know how to delegate. This means that we match the right person to the job that is most likely to benefit from their skill set. For example, if you’re a self-published author you could delegate your sales numbers, taxes, accounts receivable and payable to an accountant. This is one high stress item off your plate that frees up mental and physical space so that you can do things that are more pressing.

2. Outsource. As an author are you wasting your time editing your own work? Maybe you have a great idea for a book but you don’t have time to write it? Do you need help with your schedule? Hire an editor or ghostwriter or virtual assistant to help out! Outsource anything you can so that you can focus on creating more opportunities for your writing life and expanding your network.

3. Use resources available. A lot of authors work from home and this carries a whole other host of responsibilities. We see the laundry piling up, the dishes in the sink, and the empty fridge. These unfinished, need-to-do tasks play havoc with our heads and we find ourselves washing dishes instead of writing. There are plenty of resources available to take some pressure off your plate (and clean them!). Use things like grocery delivery service, or a housekeeper to come in and clean once a week, or a student that’s looking for volunteer hours or back to school cash to mow the lawn. There are plenty of resources out there that can help you free up time to focus on your writing life.

You may think that all of this sounds expensive; there are initial costs involved, but leverage is used to free up your time so that you can do things that bring you more money and time. YOU ARE WORTH IT! Authors struggle with this undeserving mindset because they feel like they don’t deserve to hire any help or that they can’t afford it. Look at your budget as an author and find out where your money can be best spent! Make an investment in yourself and your future by focusing on the big picture, big moves, and big results.

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YET.

June 17, 2021-As we continue our theme of author mindset this month, let’s look at the power of yet in this epic YouTube video! https://youtu.be/hiiEeMN7vbQ with Carol Dweck. This will translate to your writing life as an author by reminding yourself through every challenge-not yet!

https://youtu.be/hiiEeMN7vbQ

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90% of Authors Fear THIS

June 11, 2021-Author Mindset us our theme this month and I certainly hope you’re getting lots of valuable information and putting it into action! I’m going to tell you something that most authors dread…they hate it so much and it scares them to death.

Today we’re talking about the Fear of Selling! This is a HUGE barrier for most authors and takes a toll on their positive outlook and mindset indeed.

When authors think of selling their books they equate the practice with that of a used car salesman; it gives them an icky feeling and most of them don’t realize how much harm this is doing to their book sales, confidence levels, and growth as an author. Plus, used car salesmen trick people, sell them things they don’t need, and are deceptive. Authors are none of those things.

People buy YOU first and then they buy your book. This is the first rule of selling.

So how can authors be more confident when talking about themselves and their work and selling their books? Here are three tips:

1) Focus on your target. Authors struggle with selling and the reason is this: THEY ARE SELLING TO THE WRONG PEOPLE. Instead of focusing on their target customer (specific demo and psychographics and those most likely to buy), they think they should talk to everyone. Not only is this exhausting, but it’s highly ineffective. Don’t offer people your book who aren’t interested or don’t have a need for it! Simple. For example, if you’re selling a children’s picture book at a book signing, you’re not going to approach a teenager and ask them to look at your stuff. They have no need or want for it. This is why it’s ESSENTIAL to define your target so that you don’t waste your time and theirs.

2) Let them decide. It’s not your job to make judgements about your customer and whether they will or won’t buy your books. Your job is to make a connection with the person, educate them about your work, and offer them the opportunity to take your book home.

3) Remember this. Authors have said to me, “I don’t want to bother people with my book, I don’t want to be a pest.” And to them I say, “It’s a shame you have a book you don’t believe in and even worse, that you don’t believe in yourself. There’s a person out there who needs your book and it’s unfair that you’re not willing to share it with them.” This is the reason why you became an author-to tell your story and inspire others to do the same!

Don’t be among 90% of authors who have a fear mindset about selling. Remember that you are enough. If you’re struggling, we can help. Check out our course here: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/course-get-your-book-noticed-and-increase-your-sales/