Don’t Overlook the Obvious (Book Launch Update)

Just YESTERDAY I realized that my new book, Get Personal, wasn’t featured on my website. Hmmm, does that make sense? 

onmysiteI’d created a website for the book itself, but then while reading an email from Tim Grahl about author websites being the author’s name, it hit me: I have a personal site, and I’m not maximizing it. Talk about a “DOH!” moment.

So, two lessons here:

1) Don’t forget about the most obvious places to promote your book…. Like your own site.

2) Make sure your book is connected to your name. I’m happy for my book to have its own site; it’s the beginning of a series that I want to grow. But Get Personal, though complementary to, is separate from my personal brand. That said, it should have been on my personal site from the day the book launched (or before)!

With a blinding flash of mental clarity, I made sure to post an article about my book on my personal website. I’ve tied it into my brand and my focus for the site: helping people tell their stories. (To be fair, I’d created a partial draft post about the book at some point but then got distracted or busy and completely forgot about it.)

BTW – If you don’t know Tim Grahl and you have a book to promote, check him out. Yes, he offers products with a hefty-ish price tag, but he’s also super-generous with his free content. I purchased his book, Your First 1000 Copies, and am reading it now. (Watch for a review.) Continue reading

Author Q&A with Andrew Gilmore

Andrew-GilmoreI recently read Do No Work by Andrew Gilmore and loved it. Well-written and professionally presented, this self-published ebook provides an excellent example of sharing one’s message in a thoughtful, credible way. (I’m already looking forward to his next book.) Andrew says he wrote the book to “help Christians beat down stress and draw nearer to God through the study and proper application of the Sabbath commandment.” And it’s clear  through the book that he learned a great deal about the subject in the research and writing process.

Thanks, Andrew, for sharing your insights and experiences as a writer.

Q. What events, places or other writers have influenced your work?

A. Too many to list! But without Ernest Hemingway, I’m not sure if I’d be answering these questions today. After reading The Sun Also Rises for the first time, I knew I had to be a writer.

Other writers who have impacted me are Ravi Zacharias and Jon Acuff.

Q.  What books are you currently reading?

Continue reading

Are You an Impostor?

“I have written eleven books, but each time I think, ‘Uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.’” ~Maya Angelou

Can you relate to Angelou’s quote above? Maybe you haven’t written 11 books… maybe you’re still slogging through the first draft of your first manuscript and are already thinking, “Why would anybody want to read this? Everyone knows this already!” If so, welcome to the club.

amIaWriterImpostor Syndrome is defined as the inability to internalize accomplishments. “Despite external evidence of their competence, those with the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.” Wikipedia

Instead of acknowledging their part in their own achievements, high achievers and celebrities who feel like fakes (and there are lots of them) credit their success to luck, good timing, or deception.

Can you relate? Do those doubts keep you from enjoying your successes or striving for new goals?

Here’s how you can get rid (or at least reduce) those self-defeating doubts:  Continue reading

Why Do You Write?

The DHL delivery guy just rang the bell and handed me my new book.

I wanted to hug him. (I didn’t because such a display of affection would brand me as “that weird American.” Truth is, I probably already have that reputation, and in retrospect, I should have hugged him.)

It’s like when the nurse hands you your baby for the first time. Emotions flood you and questions swirl: Will I be a good parent? Do I deserve this bundle of love? What do I do now?

That’s how I felt ripping into the package. Brian tried to help, and I fended him off. I had to hold it, touch the soft matte cover, and flip through the crisp pages. Emotions flooded me: excitement, joy, pride. Questions swirled in my brain: What will I do with this? How far can I take this ride? What can I do so that my book has the impact I believe it’s capable of making? What if I drop the ball? Continue reading

Ready, Set, Book Launch!

My new book is available now on Kindle and the hard copy is with the printer. (YAY!!)Get-Personal-3dimage-small

Now the real work begins! Marketing. Ugh. I mean, yay!!

I thought it might be helpful on this site to document what I’m doing… what’s working and what isn’t.

Let me be honest, the marketing part of indie-publishing can be bit overwhelming to me. With so many experts and so much advice it’s hard to know where to start. Continue reading

Be Yourself

I want to remind you (and by that I mean “you and me both”) that you are unique.

What you bring to the world with your content, message and expertise is valuable. You don’t have to be like anyone else. You only have to be yourself.Get-Personal-3dimage

This week has been a roller coaster of excitement and self-doubt for me. Maybe you can relate… I have a new book releasing very soon. I’m thrilled with the message. I feel as if I’m supposed to share what I’ve learned and experienced. It’s important. It’s valuable. And for the first time in a while, it’s all mine… not an assignment or a ghostwriting project.

And then I open my inbox and self-doubts creep in when I see what others are doing. Continue reading

5 Quick Self-Editing Tips

Have you ever read something you wrote and wondered, “What was I thinking?? Did I really think that sounded good?”

For me, late-night sessions, tight deadlines and too much caffeine create a bad combination that leads to sloppy, meandering writing.

The truth is, bad copy happens to even the best writers at some point. The goal is to catch that less-than-stellar writing before it’s published. Continue reading

Are You Networking?

Earning a living as a writer is about two things: writing well and connecting with the right people–your readers, editors, publishers, etc. (Some people would question whether you really need to be able to write well, but that’s another matter.)k-eyes-headshot

I’ve met most of the freelancers on my go-to list through networking. Someone knew so-and-so was a writer and introduced us. Sometimes those relationships last years and add up to thousands of dollars.

Many of the writing and editing jobs I’ve taken on have also been the result of networking. Not the kind of networking where you hunt people down, but the kind where you’ve done a great job for a client and they or one of their impressed contacts refers you to someone looking for your services. Continue reading

Self-Publishing is a Marathon

Self-publishing is a marathon, not a sprint.

A former editing client recently sent me an email that I want to share with you. I worked on his book last summer, and it went to press in September 2012. Since that time, Dave Burgess, the author of Teach Like a Pirate, has experienced some impressive success as a self-published author. He offers some nice kudos for my work (Thanks, Dave!), but the truth is, writing and producing a top-quality book is only the first step in the self-publishing marathon. He has continued strong and steady in the race and is now enjoying the rewards.  Continue reading

Make a Difference with Your Words

One of my favorite books as a child was The Value of Believing in Yourself. It’s a story of Louis Pasteur, the scientist who is probably best known for inventing the pasteurization process for milk. This particular book is about his discovery of the cure for rabies.

The Value of Believing in Yourself offers quite a few life lessons including the importance of:

  • self-talk (he constantly reminded himself that he believed in his work and in himself)
  • focus (at times, the intensity of his thoughts drowned out the naysayers)
  • passion for your work (he knew his work could make a difference in others’ lives) Continue reading
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