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Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Science of Influence



Book selling is the most important part of your book writing journey. Therefore it is critical that we understand what makes people say yes.

I wanted to share this link http://youtu.be/cFdCzN7RYbw on this topic. Don't try another marketing campaign until you have watched this!

Happy Selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Friday, December 20, 2013

Don't Ask for Support

Never ask anyone to support you and buy your product. Support me no longer holds the weighty "guilt" factor anymore. Everyone is hurting or has some need so there are several reason why the "support me" campaign won't work.

Reason 1: People don't care about what benefits you. They only care about what benefits them. This is not pessimism,  I promise. This is marketing 101. 

Reason 2: Because people only care about what benefits them, they resent you asking them to support your benefits when they believe they have their own issues that need supporting. Thus you become a source of irritation.

Reason 3: People hate to be sold. This innate disdain immediately closes a mental door to cooperation with your campaign.

So. What do you do? Always, ALways, ALWAYS offer to your audience what your audience wants. Talk about what they want and offer them a piece of what you have that will meet their needs. If they like that chip, they'll buy the whole bag.

Happy selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Monday, December 9, 2013

Execution is 99% of Success

Execution is everything. Some people feel that you shouldn't do anything if you can't do it right. I don't subscribe to that notion. I believe 99% of success is found in completing the task. It may not be perfect, but when you perform the task you will learn as you go. When you call your first radio station and ask the receptionist, "who should I speak to about being interviewed on one of your talk radio shows," he/she will tell you, "Oh, let me patch you over to our program manager." At that moment, you have learned the contact person for all radio stations. Now you know who to seek out, email, or call.

Don't procrastinate for fear of not doing things right or perfect. Don't fill your mind with the idea that you have to be able to know the jargon and sound like an expert. Be okay with the vulnerability of asking for direction. In most cases, those who know will be happy to redirect you if you're headed in the wrong direction. That is why they are working.

Monday, December 2, 2013

4 Things Successful Authors Know

1. I must make the time. It will not make room for me.
All humans, successful and unsuccessful have one thing in common. We all get 24 hours in a day. Successful authors are not blessed with extra time to write. In fact, the more successful they become, the less time they have to devote to writing. So how do they pump out more books? They make the time. They set a writing time with which no other person or circumstance can interfere. Unsuccessful writers say, "I don't have the time."

2. Success Depends on ME!
When interviewing an aspiring author, I ask a question to gauge the potential success of the author. I ask "Do you have a marketing plan or do you want the publisher to promote the book for you?" Sadly, most people say, "I would like the publisher to sell the book. I don't have time to market a book." I know immediately that author will not succeed, no matter how much they try to prime my interest by saying "this is going to be a best-seller." I want to tell them, "NO! It's not because YOU don't want to sell it." No one can promote a book like its writer. If you won't push it, who will?

3. Nothing is free
So many authors want everything for free, and I've even had an inordinate number of authors who want to give away their books for free. Successful authors understand there is a financial commitment to success. Authors must invest in their product, in the marketing and promotion of their product, in the furtherance of their learning by attending conferences and seminars. With the basic financial obligations for success, can you really afford to give away book? If you want to give away books, just write a blog. 

4.  I must have a plan
No one sets out on a road trip with no plan on where to go and how to get there. Yet, many authors write a book with no plan to sell it. Successful author research their market, they create inroads with groups and organizations, they study their audience's spending habits, hobbies, likes and dislikes. They study conferences where like-minded writers will be. They go to seminars and events where they can sell (and learn). The unsuccessful print books with no plan.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Do You Have a Media Kit?

Practical useful information is essential to success. So today let's talk about:
Creating Your Media Kit
Your media kit is your resume to radio stations, television stations, newspapers and magazines. It is an all-in-one package of everything the media needs and wants to know about you. Your media kits should be professional from top to bottom. Don't send media kits in plain folders as they can easily be lost in the pile.
The content in your media kit should support your bid for exposure. In fact, your kit should have enough information for the reporter to write a story on you without asking you a question.
To make your Media kit shine, invest in custom designed folders that display your book cover. Your folder should have pockets for your literature and your book, and slits for your business card.  Again, this is an investment, but it will pay off in the long run.  You may also want to use a glossy paper to print your bios, cover letters, etc.
A good media kit must contain the bare minimum of:
ü    Cover letter:
ü    Professional Headshot (B/W  or Color)
ü    Copy of the book (autographed)
ü    Business Card
ü    Ad Copy or Press Release
ü    Interview Questions:
ü    News Angles

Saturday, November 16, 2013

One Yes is worth a Bucket of No's

One of the greatest fears of man is the fear of rejection.  I have clients who are professional speakers able and willing to speak to an auditorium of people, but intimidated by the notion of asking one person to buy a book. 

To overcome this fear we must embrace two new philosophies:

1. "GO FOR NO! No is the new yes.
Change your perspective on the word no. For the next 30 days condition yourself to hear no by asking any and everyone for what you want with a goal to get as many NOs as you can. This is not to reject yes. TAKE THE YES! That's icing on the cake. By going for no, you take the power and sting from it; thereby making you stronger and more resistant to it.

2. One Yes is worth a bucket of NOs. Adrian Davis,  my closest friend and confidant set out to create the Christmas with Crown Davis Charity Event. He planned to provide 20 Families with Christmas gifts and dinner who could not other wise afford it. He used the "Go for No philosophy".

Although he sent out 50 sponsorship requests, he got 10 yeses, and essentially 40 NOs. Yet, of the 10 yeses, he raised $2500 to provide Chrismas food and gifts to OVER 20 under-priviledged families. Let's do the math. Every 1 YES he got was worth 50 NOs.

1 Yes is worth a bucket of NOs

Learn more about the Christmas with CDM event at:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/christmas-with-crown-davis-tickets-8602740027?aff=efblike

Thursday, November 14, 2013

How To Make Money as an Author

If there was one thing I want to get into the minds of aspiring authors it is this: Most likely, you are not going to get rich from selling books. Your book is your platform, not your income maker. Book producing was the platform that I developed from my book. What door does your book open for you that pays more money in less time?
Platforms are built on 5 Pillars:
1. Books: People want to read your knowledge. The written word can be retained forever. Unlike verbal, where people only remember 10% of what they hear, your audience can always go back and re-read your words of instruction, inspiration, and knowledge. However, once people read your words, they then want to hear them.

2.  Audio: Tele-seminars and CDs are very lucrative platform builders. People want to hear the inspiration behind your words. By hosting tele-seminars, you can engage a massive audience from the comfort of your home. Successful speakers generate more income from audio products. Whereas no one would spend $100 for a book, they will spend $100 on a 7-disc audio set. I know from whence I speak.

3. Video: After your audience reads and hears you, they'll want to see you. People want to look into the eyes of the person they have come to admire. They want to see your humaness, see your personality. Videos allow you to provide this connection. Youtube videos, Social media clips live Vine, Socialcam, Instagram, all provide a platform for you to connect with your audience and build a relationship.

4. Public Speaking: Your audience not only wants to read, hear, and see you, they want to witness you. Motivational speaker, Les Brown told how he made $400,000 for a 1 hour speech... How many books would you have to sell to reach that pay check and how long would it take you?

5. Personal Coaching: Lastly, once people have read you, heard you, seen you, and witnessed you, they want to be coached by you...Most coaches charge $135- $150 per hour to coach. I once read the book of a Professional Coach who said he was in such demand that he began charging what he thought was an astronomical price of $5,000 an hour to get people to leave him alone. To his surprise, people paid without the blink of an eye.

Your book is NOT the money maker. It's your platform to greater opportunities.

(excerpted from the Author's Success Manual copyright (c) 2013 by Timothy O. Bond)

Happy Selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Be An Authority

"What gives you the right?" This is the question people are thinking when you decide to become an AUTHORity on a subject. As I have always said, "people buy you, not the book."

I say all of this to emphasize the importance of you becoming a recognized authority of your topic. A few tips to help you start establishing your authority:

1. Blogging:
It surprises me how many people know they need to do this, know how free and easy it is, and still don't do it. Becoming a daily source of FREE information establishes your claim that you know of what you speak. I emphasize free, because if you are charging for everything, then people see that you are just looking for their money, and that you don't have a true passion for the topic.

2. Speaking:
Hosting or presenting at workshop, meet up groups and seminars is invaluable to your career. In particular, teleseminars. Most writers are timid when it comes to public speaking. Teleseminars would be a great way to engage an audience and develop your speaking persona. Also, if you don't have a platform yet, this would save you the money and time. I have written more about creating your teleseminar in "The Author's Success Manual" including the best programs to use.

3. Newsletters:
Create a monthly newsletter on your topic or platform. Along with branding yourself as an authority, this will also help you build a database of contacts which will serve you very well in building your audience.

Happy Selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Monday, November 11, 2013

How to Get Media Attention

 
There are probably a plethora of ways to get the attention of media concerning your book but I'll give four.

1. Do the work for the editor or producer and create a story:
Print media Editors and radio/tv producers want to do one thing: fill pages and time slots. So they actually don't have the time to be creative. They need to be fed the idea. So you sending a random, non-specific press release is useless. However, if you send a story idea about the increase in drug addiction in your city and how you overcame the problem, you're more likely to get that producer's attention.

2. Be prepared to email, fax, or call at the drop of a dime:
Keep a contact list of reporter and editor contacts in your phone, in your email data base, and by your fax machine. Be prepared to reach out to them regularly. When news happens that is the slightest bit related to your topic, you need to move quick and get a release to your list of editors and producers. If your book is about dogs and a story comes out about a local animal abuse arrest, you need to have your release in the hands of the media showing them that you are an expert on the topics of animals and (go back to tip #1) how you would be able to do an interview on what makes people abuse animals.

3. Be brief:
Remember, editors and producers don't have time to read a 2-page letter. You have 30 seconds (if that) to highlight how you can make their day successful. So GET TO THE POINT! Use caps and bold letters for the power points. I suggest you Google how to write a brief but effective ad copy.

4. Add pictures. Images draw attention.
Add a poignant image. If there is an animal abuse story, adding a heart-wrenching image of an abused animal like we see in those animal abuse commercials won't hurt your chances of getting attention.

Happy selling!
www.TrueVinePublishing.org

Thursday, November 7, 2013

You are Designed for Success

"Every human being is literally engineered for success by his Creator" -Maxwell Maltz, Psycho-Cybernetics. 

GET THIS IN YOUR SPIRIT!!!! 

How else can I say this??.... You are designed in such a fashion that you can do anything you set your mind to. Just like a car is designed to transport and is equipped with all of the acessories to do just that.

This is worth meditating on all night.

Once you learn how to use your equipment you will succeed at ALL things.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Libraries

Quick tip for you authors who are looking for more exposure and more potential sales. Get your book in the library distribution. With the damaged economy, more people are getting books from libraries instead of purchasing them. Getting your book in the library distribution may prove to be a great benefit.

However, there are a few things you need to know about getting your book in the library distribution:

1. Most libraries are looking for local books. So you may not have luck getting your book in libraries around the country initially. Start locally with the plan to build your reputation.

2. Because library books get heavy use, libraries are usually looking for a very sturdy, hard back, glued or sewn book. If you have paperback, I've seen covers heavily laminated to insure they hold up.

3. The best way to bring your book to a libraries attention is through reviews. A positive review in review journals, such as Library Journal, School Library Journal (for children's books), Publisher's Weekly, Booklist, or any others, will give your book an excellent chance of being bought by PCPL (and other public libraries as well). A list of contact information for
these publications is listed below.
  • Booklist
  • Kirkus Reviews
  • Library Journal
  • Publishers Weekly
  • School Library Journal

  • 4. The next best method is  to send a flyer mailed to the Collection Development Office. The Collection Development librarians generally only have a few seconds to look at a flyer, so your best bet is to emphasize the essentials.
    • WHAT the book is about. This should be brief.
    • WHY the book is appropriate for our collection. (attach a copy of your review)
    • WHO the intended audience is for the book.
    • WHO the author is. (include qualifications and be sure to mention that you are a local author or publisher.)
    • WHEN and WHERE the book was published. provide complete bibliographic data, including date of publication, price (including discount if multiple copies are purchased), ISBN (very important), edition statement, type of binding. If the book is self published. Give some indication of its physical appearance, including how it is bound.
    • HOW the library can purchase your book.

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013

    Everyone Has a Book Inside

    Statistically 83% of Americans feel as though they have a book within them. I have come to realize that 100% of people on the face of the planet have a book within them. Why? Because a book is nothing more than a person's perspective, imaginary projection, or instruction.

    You may feel as though you have nothing to write about, but I submit to you that there are things about which you are extremely passionate; whether it be crime, fishing, cars, or even cheese. I submit that you have a level of expertise that only you can explain in your own unique way.

    If you're wondering about what you could write, think about that issue that raises your blood pressure or causes you to get as excited as a child in a candy store. In other words, focus on your passion. You are sitting on a diamond field waiting to be mined.

    Happy writing!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Monday, November 4, 2013

    Confidence

    There is one characteristic you are going to have to develop if you're going to succeed in any endeavor, but particularly as an author: confidence.
    Being an author puts you in a vulnerable position. You are delivering your hearts convictions, your most grand ideas and creativity to a world of skeptics. You have to be confident in the unique gifts and insights that you have been given, knowing that there is someone out there who needs and appreciates your message.

    To develop your confidence I suggest:

    1. Study more: Speaking for myself, I lack confidence when I don't feel like I know all I should know. I noticed a large leap in my confidence concerning publishing as I began to study the industry and read more and more books that reinforced the information I was telling my clients. So study all you can about your topic. The more you know, the more confident you will be.

    2. Hang around like minded people: Yesterday, I hosted the 3rd meet up group and one attendee seemed very nervous. We later talked and he explained he thought everyone would tell him his idea was foolish. I encouraged him to keep coming back because the group would be a nurturing ground and the more he got good feed back from likeminded people, the more confident he would become. People who see what you see, push you to move with confidence.

    3. Talk to yourself: I say this literally. Look in the mirror and tell yourself how great your book is, who your book is going to help, why your book is helpful. Tell yourself that you are the best person to tell your message. Do it frequently, with passion and excitement. Just try it. I guarantee you'll see a big difference in your confidence

    Happy selling
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013

    Follow Your Instincts with Urgency!

    Well, I hate to say it, but I messed up! But, my failure can be your success.
     
    Not too long ago I had a great idea to start a radio campaign giving helpful tips on the publishing process and then offering my coaching and consulting services. It was a great idea.... but did I follow thru? No.
     
    Yesterday while driving, I heard a commercial on the very radio station I was thinking about using. The young lady offered 3 ways to get a book published and then offered her coaching and consulting services. Aggghhh!!
     
    Lesson: Your success will come from moving quickly on your ideas and moving with an urgency. We should act as though your idea is worth $1 million that you only have 24 hours to access. Ideas are tangible vibrations in search of executors. If you don't act, it will continue searching for someone who will.
     
    Follow our instincts with urgency!
     
    Happy selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Monday, October 28, 2013

    Don't Hide Your Writing!

    Are you waiting to finish your book before you release your words to the public? If you're like 90% of the people I meet, you're probably saying, "I need to copyright it first. " If so, take my word, no one is going to make a fortune from an excerpted passage. But if you're still bothered, just type Copyright (c) 2013 by (your name) at the bottom of everything you write on the web. It will hold up in a court of law.

    Moving on, so now that you have peace let's remember why you write in the first place. It's is to change the world. You may not have that idea but the fact is words change ideas, ideas change actions,  actions change cultures, and cultures change the world.

    Don't hide your words for the big pay day. The big pay day will come as a result of your liberality.

    Happy selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Thursday, October 24, 2013

    4 Tips for a Fulfilling Writing Session

    Many people are intimidated by the writing process. The mystique of the author sitting in front of a computer equipped with a dictionary and thesaurus makes the aspiring writer feel as though he or she is not prepared.

    However, the writing experience can and should be as fun as talking to a friend. Utilize these four tips to simplify your experience and make it more fulfilling:

    1. Permit yourself the time: We all have a plate full of responsibilities, and if you're working on a book as a side project, you may feel guilty while writing instead of working on your other responsibilities. Permit yourself a specific amount of time that is dedicated to writing only. No other thoughts are allowed in this time. If you have a packed schedule, make the sacrifice of waking up earlier than normal. When you allot your writing time, you can write guilt free.

    2. Brainstorm: I like brainstorming over outlining because outlining confines me to staying in a specific order, whereas brainstorming allows me to work on all of my chosen topics and worry about order later. I just take a sheet of paper and write out every idea I want to address. I write on each topic every day or week. I break down each topic into three or more points and create a chapter.

    3. Let your personality shine: Don't try to be deep when writing your book. Be yourself. Write as if you're talking to your friend about your topic. If you're writing fiction, allow your character's personality to shine bright. If you're writing a scholarly book..... then... be deep. You probably like being deep anyway, which is "your personality".  :-)

    4. Purge: While you're writing, don't worry about grammar, structure, punctuation, or story order. Your only goal is to purge your mind and fill that paper up while emptying your mind. When you're done, you can get an editing team to refine the work.

    Happy writing!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Tuesday, October 22, 2013

    Let Your Passion Lead You

    I heard a great quote: "You don't get out of life what you want, you get out of life what you are!" Your success as an author lies in your truest conviction and passion about which you're writing. If you're writing a non-fiction about dogs, you will not be successful if your interest in dogs is passive. You must be totally invested in your topic. If you're a fiction writer, you must be passionate about entertaining others through literature. Become one with your topic so that you move from "wanting" to write a book on your topic to "becoming" an authority on your topic. Happy selling! www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Friday, October 18, 2013

    Success Through Social Media

    I had a great but sad conversation with a Social Media consultant last night about what social media offers and what it demands. So I figured I'd close this week out with things you should know about social media.

    1. Weave Your Brand into a Social Environment
    Media Social Media is more about the "Social" than the "Media". Understand this: people don't want to be sold to on social media. Social media is the new play ground, barber shop, bingo night, and Bridge Club. Social media is where people go to unwind, to play games, to catch up with friends, to get the latest scoop. So your hard core press for sales will receive 1 "like" while your random thought about last night's episode of Grey's Anatomy receives 30 "Likes". So you must weave your message in. #BeStrategicallyRandom.

    2. Show Your Personality
    The Social Media is a tough crowd. They want originality and they want personality. Hoot suiting random news clippings, scriptures, or quotes is quickly recognized and unappreciated. If you want to garner a following, you have to show people who you are. #ShowYourUnderbelly

    3. Stop Asking for Money
    Social Media is not a place to make sales. It's a place to make friends who then support friends... (Pause and think about that). Social media is all about maintaining a steady presence. You're not going to post your $20 book and get immediate sales to people who you've not built relationship. #StopBegging

    4. No One Can Represent You For You
    If you are your brand, then you need to do your own Social Media, or at the least, dictate what you want said and done. Hiring someone to talk to your audience for you is about as effective as a teacher hiring a bum on the street to teach her class. If you get an inspirational thought or make a profound statement during a speech, your hireling can't relay that passion. #Represent #ShowUp!

    So if you're not getting the response you want from social media, you may want to consider these few thoughts. Are you the insurance salesman at the playground bombarding your people with sales pitches they don't want to hear; or are you engaging conversations and weaving your message into a social environment? Are you showing your personality, or do you look like a computer program on twitter, spitting out scheduled quotes every hour on the hour? Are you coming across like a beggar asking everyone to buy your new product, or are you building an army of supporters? Lastly, are you representing yourself?

    Thursday, October 17, 2013

    Recommit Daily

    My mentor Uchendi "The Millionaire Ex Convict" Nwani (www.exconvict.org) sends out a daily blog to his mastermind group with tips of success. I got a chance to catch up on my reading and read his blog entitled "5 Things Successful People Do". I found a profound tip. It was so profound in fact, I stopped reading and began meditating immediately on the ideal.

    "Successful people Recommit daily". Wow!

    We all know we need to commit to something. But this takes it to another level. We don't just need to commit. We need to recommit, daily. Think about that great excitement you get when you get a fresh idea. Recollect the moment you decided that you would go all in to achieve this goal.

    Within this concept of recommitting daily, we find an approach of waking up everyday and charging yourself up with that same excitement, that same determination as if it is the first time you had the idea. What tends to happen is that we get overwhelmed by the amount of time, energy, rejections, roadblocks we have encountered.

    But in recommitting everyday, we basically forget about all the work you put forth yesterday. That work was not in vain, as it laid the foundation for the work you will perform today. It has pushed you that much closer, thus the rejections of yesterday freed up time you won't have to spend calling today.

    Don't focus on what happened yesterday. Let yesterday's work be the stepping stone for todays work and recommit to your project as though every day is the first day!

    Happy selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Monday, October 14, 2013

    P.U.S.H.

    Believe it or not, I don't have anything specific to discuss today. I didn't get any questions that needed to be addressed, no surges of inspiration, but one thing I do have is vision and passion to provide helpful tips to aspiring writers Monday-Friday of every week to the best of my ability.

    You have a passion too. Your desire to write a book is fuelled by a passion either to inform, inspire, challenge, or entertain.But dont confuse passion with inspiration. Sometimes your inspiration gets low. When your inspiration is low, it is then that you must tap into your passion and PUSH.. Press until something happens.

    Some people wait until they have inspiration to write. However, inspiration is more like a well than a water fall. You have to dig deep to access it's wealth. Sometimes, if you dig deep enough, you'll get a flowing water fall. Sometimes you'll get just enough to get you through the day. Your only goal is to get through the day. Let tomorrow take care of itself.

    Press for 250 words, press for 500 words. Press Until Something Happens.

    Happy writing! www.
    TrueVinePublishing.org

    Friday, October 11, 2013

    3 Roadblocks to Your Success!

    Ok... What's stopping you from starting or finishing your book?

    I believe every person should write a book. Not everyone will write a book, but you must want to because you're reading this blog. So what's holding you back?

    There are 3 roadblocks you may be facing that I want you to overcome:

    1. Laziness: No one wants to think of themselves as lazy, but the fact is many people just don't want to work for their book. They don't want to study the art of writing, they don't want to join writing groups, or spend their time reading books related to their topic; studying their market. They say, I just don't have the time, yet they watch two hours of television everyday. If you're going to succeed, overcome the idea that your book will come easy. As Donald Trump said, "Nothing comes easy, But who wants nothing?"

    2. Fear of failure: Some people are so afraid to fail that they never start. Well I'll give you one thing: you'll never fail anything you fail to start. However, you'll never succeed either. Realize that failure is an illusionary term created to give the lazy an excuse to quit. What if there was no such ideal as failure? If there was no concept of "failure" how much longer would you work on your goal? I'd venture to say you'd keep working until you succeeded. Instead, we stop, throw up the failure flag which gives us permission to stop.  Don't fear failure. It doesn't exist.

    3. Force of Habit: Some of us just have a habitual pattern that we need to switch up. I wake up at 4:00a.m. now because I have come to realize that greater levels of success DEMAND greater levels of commitment. So I wake up earlier than I ever have in my life because I realize my habits were not pushing me further. If you don't have time to write because your schedule is already tight enough, then maybe you should change your habits. Wake up an hour or two hours earlier or go to sleep an hour or two later. Carry a book with you and read it whenever you have free time, like at red lights. Change your habits. "We first make our habits, then our habits make us" -John Dryden 

    Happy selling, and we'll chat next week!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Thursday, October 10, 2013

    Envision It!

    What does your success look like?

    Are you sitting at a table with a line wrapping around the store out into the parking lot? Are you the host of your own talk show as a result of your platform?

    Whatever you want to see take the following steps:

    1. Write it down
    2. Write down the steps it will take to reach the goal
    3. Envision yourself having it.

    The brain is so powerful that when you give it a vision, your subconscious is always looking for ways to bring that vision to fruition. But if it never sees the vision, it won't know what to look for. Spend at least 5 minutes a day seeing yourself in the realm of success you desire. Create the emotions of contentment, excitement, and happiness.

    Trust the process!

    Happy Selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Wednesday, October 9, 2013

    Commitment

    There is one distinguishing component to the 5% of authors who create a lasting brand and the 95% who write books that go no further than the computer they typed it on: Commitment.

    It is imperative that you commit to becoming the most knowledgeable and even the most excited person in the world on your topic.

    I have had so many aspiring writers who want to write a book about their "life story." "I have an amazing story" they say. However, there's more to a book than just a set of events. If you've been in an abusive relationship, you're not the only one. Your story about a slap in the face is no different than another person's slap. What distinguishes you is your commitment to the study of the phenomena, your commitment to teaching the world about this problem, your commitment to creating other products that expose the problem.

    Maybe you write fiction or poetry. It makes no difference. As an author, my good friend Eric Wilson commits like no other person I've seen to his study and research. There's no question as to why he has become a New York Times Bestseller. When you read his novels, you not only get a compelling story, but you learn actual history and geography. As well, he is committed 100% to helping others learn the business through his website's advice page:  www.wilsonwriter.com, and committed to his craft in good times and bad. He is truly an inspiration.

    Poets, are you committed to your purpose of writing poetry? Is your goal to inspire? Motivate? challenge? Whatever the case may be, it demands more than just catching a good line and creating a poem. You have to see yourself as a siren of the ages, and realize that your poetry will shape the opinions and even the culture of future generations!

    Beyond commitment to your subject, you must commit to the challenge of seeing your dream through, come hell and high water. Don't give up. If people don't think your dream is crazy, then you're not dreaming big enough.

    Be committed to your work.

    Happy selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Tuesday, October 8, 2013

    5 Common Mistakes of Aspiring Authors

    Sunday, I met with my writers Meet Up group and discuss five common mistakes aspiring writers make. So I figured I'd share this with my blog family too.

    1. Not embracing an entrepreneurial mind:
    
    Me speaking at the Middle TN Christian Writers Meet Up Group
    When you sell your first book someone is going to be watching and waiting for you to come speak. That person is Uncle Sam. That's right, the moment you sell a product for profit, you are engaging in a business transaction, and as such, Uncle Sam sees you as a business. If you're going to step into an arena as serious as this, you'd better put on your business hat. Treat your publishing venture like the business it is.

    2. Not Studying the industry or market:
    You don't have to be an expert on the publishing business but know the basics. At the least, learn the realities of the business. We all have a dream and a romanticized ideal of what achieving that dream would be like. But 100% of the time, you'll find there's more to your dream than the romance.

    3. Not having a marketing plan:
    How can you achieve anything without a plan? Yet, so many aspiring writers only have one idea: to write a book. Why is it that such famous people like Donald Trump, Colon Powell, and even Bill Clinton have books on the clearance rack for 50% off of the clearance price of $5.00. Because they had no plan for sustained selling. Yet, authors like Dave Ramsey and Robert Keyosaki maintain years of best-selling status. Because they are working their plan.

    4. Not having a budget:
    No business is created for free. If you're going to write a book, you're going to have to spend money. You need to take the time to research (back to mistake #2) and find out what a fair market rate is.

    5. Giving up:
    Selling books is not like selling hamburgers. Not everyone wants your book or needs your book. However, there is a market that you will have to work hard to reach. If you embrace an entrepreneurial mindset, get an understanding of your market and the industry, create a plan, get the money to finance that plan, and don't give up, you will see your dream become a reality.

    Happy Selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    If you're in the Middle Tennessee area, come join our meet up group!
    http://www.meetup.com/MiddleTN-Christian-Writers-Meet-Up/

    Friday, October 4, 2013

    The Guarantee to Succeess

    People say you should never guarantee anything. However, I'm going to give you the answer to being successful as an author. I "guarantee" that if you utilize this advice, you will see the success you desire. Even though you don't know all you need to know or have the people and resources you'll need, following my advice will lead you to everything you need to reach your goal.

    The answer is................... Don't quit!

    As long as you don't quit and keep pursuing (DOING SOMETHING, TAKING DAILY STEPS TOWARD YOUR GOAL), you will be successful.

    Happy selling, and we'll chat next week!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Wednesday, October 2, 2013

    5 Tips about Pricing Your Book

    Book pricing can be tricky. Charge too low, and your book looks cheap or worse, you cheat yourself out of a profit. Price too high and lose credibility and sales. So how do you choose the best price.

    Tip #1: Take into account your total costs to produce. Budget your project and then divide that number by the quantity of books you'll print and you'll get your price per book. For example, if your total costs to produce is $3,500 and you print 500 books, then you'll need to charge a minimum of $7.50.  However, if you only print 100 books, you can expect to take a loss because few people are going to pay $35 for your novel.

    Tip # 2: Do NOT print a price on your book. Once that price is on the book, it's final. If you have to lower the price it will look as though your book was not worth the price. If you find out people will pay more than the printed price, you're stuck. No one will happily pay more than the printed price.

    Tip # 3: The minimum price for most hardbound book should be $12

    Tip # 4: Best eBook Pricing is between $0.99 and $5.99 for world-wide appeal. Those you know will probably pay more to support you, but remember your eBook is available GLOBALLY. The rest of the world does not know you, and your $9.99 eBook has too much competition for them to even consider buying your book.

    Tip # 5: Don't just think money when considering your price. Be strategic. Study your topic and find out what other authors are charging for the same product.

    Happy Selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Tuesday, October 1, 2013

    The Components of S.U.C.C.E.S.S



    S: Specificity- Be as clear and specific about your publishing goals as you can. Specify your who, what, when, where, and how.

    U: Understanding- Get an understanding of the business. You don't have to be an expert but learn the basics.

    C: Creativity- The old days of a 30-second radio or television commercial are gone. You have to be creative in how you market your book if you're going to be successful.

    C: Consistency- If you do the work, you will see results, but you must be consistent. See my previous blog "The Rule of 5".

    E: Energy- You must be energized about your project. Not just for your potential customer but for yourself. If you don't get excited about your goals, no one else will.

    S: Steadfast- The publishing business is not an easy business. It takes trial and error, a lot of seemingly pointless networking, overcoming rejection and plain old apathy. You must be steadfast in your goal to succeed.

    S: Single-mindedness: If you have a plan B when it comes to your publishing goals, then you will probably turn to it. Don't do it. You must have a singleness of purpose to succeed at this business. That doesn't mean you have to quit your job. If you only have 1 hour a day to work at your goal, work that hour 365 days a year.

    Happy Selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Friday, September 27, 2013

    TGIF: Specialties

    Thank God its Friday! Do you have a special promotion for Friday? Well even if not for Fridays, special offers are fun and they keep your audience tuned in to what you may be doing on a regular basis.
     
    The goal is to keep people's attention on you. Even a crazy person who is consistently crazy will draw the attention of spectators when its time to act out. So act out!
     
    Offer a daily, weekly or monthly challenge or give away. Celebrate your birthday with a gift for your audience or find a book of holidays like Chase's Calendar of Events which gives world wide holidays. Just put some thought into the gift.
     
    Happy selling and we'll chat next week!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Thursday, September 26, 2013

    Sell Your Book, THEN Get Published


    I believe that authors need to sell their books before they get published. That means that you should be marketing, promoting, discussing, pitching, and preaching your book long before it comes out. In other words, in the publishing game, the end game is first consideration. Before your book is published, you should have established a blog discussing the topic of your book. You should be speaking at group meetings, non-profit organizations, meet-up groups about the topic of your concern.
    You should be writing columns for newspapers and magazines, and you should be consulting with experts on your topic. The average author fails by believing the publishing of a book will make them an authority. Quite to the contrary, a successful author should establish himself or herself as an authority before the book. The crowd should be requesting your book as a result of your presold content. When you sell your book first, and then get published, the door is wide open for your success.

    Happy selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    (This blog excerpted from The Author's Success Manual)

    Wednesday, September 25, 2013

    Meeting your Manuscript Timeline


    This will be short and sweet; I promise.

    Sometimes, we complicate our dreams. They are so wonderful, they can't be easy, right? It must be more complicated than it seems. So to those of you wanting to write a book but feeling like you don't have the time, I want to show you how easy it is to meet any timeline you set.

    Simply choose 30 minutes to 1 hour per day or even per week to write no less than 500 words. Try choosing a time and a place that is most productive. If you're a morning person, wake up and sit down in front of  your computer. If you're a night hawk like me, wait until 10:00 p.m. to start writing. Wait until the kids have gone to sleep, wait until the phone calls stop, wait until all of your favorite television shows have ended. Or, maybe you write best under pressure. Give yourself a weekly deadline to write a specific quantity of words; 1500 words within 5 days for example. Make a game of it. Do whatever you have to do to create a daily habit of writing.

    The point is to write consistently.

    Do NOT: Edit your work
    Do NOT: worry about structure
    Do NOT: worry about punctuation
    Do NOT: worry about trying to lay the book out in the actual book size.

    Your only job is to write until your heart is content or your alarm rings.
    Just to let you know how simple it truly is. I wrote this in 5 minutes, and you are reading 264 words! How many words could you write in 30 minutes to 1 hour?

    Happy WRITING!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Monday, September 23, 2013

    How Much Are You Worth?

     

    Whenever I speak to individuals seeking to go full-time as a writer, I ask them one specific question: "How much is your time worth?" This is an important question because it sets the standard of what you do every day. However, most people don't know what their time is worth and therefore can't decide how much money they can logically make. Projecting your income also keeps you on track concerning your sales goals and managing your commitment of time and energy.
    Assuming you want to make $5,000 within the first 3 months, you can set your sales goals. If you're selling your book for $15, you'll need to sell 334 books in three months, which equates to 111 books per month, 28 books per week, 4 books per day.
    Also take into consideration what your time is worth. If you want to make $50,000 per year from your book endeavor, then your time is worth $23.58 per hour (based on an 8 hour work day/ 5 day work week). Thus, your every endeavor should render you a minimum of $23.58 per hour. If you host a book signing, your net should profit you a minimum of $23.58 per hour. You should make a minimum of $47.16 for a 2 hour signing.  If you're asked how much you would charge to speak to a group for 2 hours, base it on a bare minimum of $23.58.
    There it is in a nutshell. The math is easy.
    Need advice on how to make those 4 sales per day, or any other advice? Feel free to write me @ timothybpublishes@gmail.com
    Happy selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Friday, September 20, 2013

    The Most Effective Bookselling Method

     
    There is only one form of bookselling that has the highest success rate. You may think social media is the wave of the future concerning book sales. Not so. You may think virtual book signings is the way to go. Not so. When it comes down to it, the old, tried and true method to sell more books than not is direct sales -- even for eBooks!

    Many people will support your smiling face quicker than your flashing website. To the advantage of the average salesman or saleswoman, one of the toughest words for many people to say is "No". Now of course you don't want to take people for granted, but it doesn't hurt your chances of making sales to play on a person discomfort to say no.

    Now how does that work. The best example I can think of is a book signing I attended with my client Councilman-at-Large Jerry L. Maynard at the Southern Festival of Books (How to Lead when No One Follows) . A passerby walked up looking at other books. Councilman Maynard told the person who wasn't even from Nashville about his book and then told the person to look in the book. The person politely declined. Councilman Maynard proceeded, "It's a great book, go ahead and take a look at a few pages." The person conceded to look in the book. The person went to put the book down, but Councilman Maynard went on, "go ahead and get the book. I'm telling you, you'll get a lot from it."

    You guessed, the person purchased the book. I doubt the person had any interest in the book, but people don't like the discomfort of saying no. Maynard didn't bully the person. He just gave a few extra nudges to keep the person engaged.

    The high tech, fancy-smancy marketing tricks are great, don't get me wrong. Social media, radio, television, blogs are all great, but to the core they are passive. You can only HOPE your message will inspire immediate action, but you have no influence on that person's response. You've got to get in peoples faces and give those extra nudges of encouragement sell those books.


    Happy Selling and Happy Friday! We'll chat next week.
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org



    Wednesday, September 18, 2013

    Should you Self Publish or Seek Traditional Publishing?

    So the average author approaches publishing wanting a major publisher to accept their work. Why not, right? They have written a work that they believe is the next American classic and a major publisher buying the work is affirmation that their work is worthy; I get it.
     
    However, let's review your options.
     
    Traditional Publisher: If you're lucky you'll get an advance on your royalties of $5,000 or less. The publisher will not promote the work aggressively, so you will have to burn the candle on both ends to sell the books in order to recoup the publisher because otherwise, you'll have to pay the $5, 000 advance back.
     
    So question: If you had to work 50 hours a week selling books, wouldn't you want to keep all of the money instead of receiving a 3-5% royalty check 6-12 months later?
     
    Self-publishing: The majority of great American writers were self published. I strongly advocate self publishing, not because my company produces books for self-publishing authors  but because I understand the true power in the process.
     
    1. When you become an author, you become a business. Who starts a business and immediately sells it off for little to nothing? Build your business--your sales record and major publishers will knock down your door with 6-figure offers.
     
    2. More control: Control your message, your brand, your price, your marketing, and retain control of your income.
     
    3. Make more money: If a traditional publisher charges $29.99 for your book and you get 3% royalties, that means you'll make $0.89 per book. If you self publish and sell that same book for $29.99 you'll keep $29.99. Let's imagine you paid $5 per book  on production, then you netted $24.99 per book. I'm sure you can live with that.
     
    Happy selling!

    Monday, September 16, 2013

    Execution is EVERYTHING!


    Execution is everything. Some people feel that you shouldn't do anything if you can't do it right. I don't subscribe to that notion. I believe 99% of success is found in completing the task. It may not be perfect, but when you perform the task you will learn as you go.
    When you call your first radio station and ask the receptionist, "who should I speak to about being interviewed on one of your talk radio shows," he/she will tell you, "Oh, let me patch you over to our program manager." At that moment, you have learned the contact person for all radio stations. Now you know who to seek out, email, or call.
    Don't procrastinate for fear of not doing things right or perfect. Don't overwhelm your mind with the idea that you have to be able to know the jargon and sound like an expert. Be okay with the vulnerability of asking for direction. In most cases, those who know will be happy to redirect you if you're headed in the wrong direction. That is why they are working.

    10 Tips to executing a successful plan of Action:
    Tip # 1: Be specific about your plans and once developed don't entertain plan B.
    Tip # 2: Set realistic goals while still pushing your boundaries and comfort zones.
    Tip # 3: Write down your goals and Tape them to a door, wall, or mirror that you will see every day.
    Tip# 4: Verbally repeat your goals daily as a prayer or affirmation.
    Tip # 5: Surround yourself with individuals who are likeminded and with resources that lead to your goal.
    Tip # 6: Spend at least 30 minutes per day quietly molding your goals in your mind.
    Tip #7: Don't procrastinate on any sound idea.
    Tip #8: Take at least 1 step per day toward the attainment of your goal, no matter how small.
    Tip #9: Don't waste time.
    Tip # 10: Never give up.

    Happy Selling!
    Add Timothy O. Bond to your circle and get a FREE copy of the abbreviated eBook The Author's Success Manual!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    6 Steps Before You Write Your Book

    If you're a beginner at book writing, this blog is for you. Don't write another word until you:

    1. Study the industry: I'm not asking you to become a scholar on publishing, but at least learn the basics, the pricing, the best and worst publishers, and in particular, the publishers who publish your genre.

    2. Learn your Market and be an authority in it: Who are the players in your market? Who are the consumers in your market? What do your consumers need? Find out!

    3. Create your plan: no one can stop a man with a plan because no one has a plan to stop him. Plan how you are going to sell your book, where you will go for the entire year.

    4. Build your team: No man is an island to himself. Your team should consist of a coach, your publisher, an assistant, financial consultant, and legal aid

    5. Create your budget: I can always tell which authors will not succeed when they have no financial commitment to their project, and even worse are looking for ways to get everything for free. No company grows without financial investment.

    6 Realize you are fully responsible for your success: This is YOUR baby. You are responsible for its growth. No one will push your book like you.

    Happy selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Friday, September 13, 2013

    How To Sell Books Before They Exist!

    Ok, I love telling this tip! So many people want to write a book but don't know how they will finance it. Let me tell you how I made $3,000 selling books that didn't exist.

    In 2008, I had a master plan to publish my second book Fall In Love with the Struggle and to have a grand book release party. I didn't have a dime to my name for this extra project, but I paid 100% debt free for the production of the book and the release party before I had printed one book. I did it and you can too by:
    1. Announcing a book release party of your up and coming book.
      • I set a 3-month period to succeed.
    2. Set a party budget.
      • Remember that you're not Stephen King. Don't try to have a $10,000 party. Because you are also financing the production of your book with your sales, you need to keep in mind that you'll be splitting your proceeds. Also, in a 3 month period, you'll probably sell between 200-300 copies.
    3. Procure a venue for your release party.
      • If you have an artsy coffee house in your area that would appreciate a full house, you'll probably get your location for free. An expensive venue is not an indication of a good book.
    4. Design and print tickets to your book release party.
      • People love to party and people love to support friends and family. So, if you ask people to pre-order your book and offer them a party, they will respond. However, they will need a proof of purchase. Although you may not have a book, people will happily purchase a ticket that promises they will receive your book, even if that party is 90 days away.
    5. Sell your tickets.
      • By offering entrance to a party with book, you can easily charge $20- $30 for tickets. Purchase offers pre-ordered copy of the book, entrance into the party which will include entertainment and food.
      • Create a list of at least 150 people who will purchase a ticket and pursue them aggressively. I used Facebook, cold calling, Callingpost.com to send mass calls, and face-to-face direct sales to garner $3,000 before the event. I sold nearly $1,000 at the door.  
    If you sell 200 tickets, you can make up to $6,000; more than enough to finance the production of your book, the costs of the party, and leave with profit.

    Viola! You've financed your book with no money of your own.

    Happy Selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    The Worst Thing to Happen to an Author

    As I lay in bed this thought came to mind and seeing that it's midnight, it's right on time for my Thursday blog:

    The Worst thing that could happen to an author is not a bad book review or bad press. The worst thing that could happen to an author is not even to have a book with errors, typos, or misspelled words.

    The worst thing that can happen to an author is....TO BE IGNORED OR FOGOTTEN!

    Don't allow yourself to fade into oblivion by going silent or not doing everything you can to make your book known. If you've lost momentum, start giving some books away; start blogging, start tweeting, start a meet up group, send out postcards, read an excerpt of your book on Youtube.. DO SOMETHING!!

    Don't be ignored.

    Happy Selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    4 Myths of Becoming an Author


    MYTH #1: My book is sooo good, it's going to be a best-seller!
    TRUTH: The best book in the world will sit unnoticed for all eternity unless the AUTHOR gets out and makes a name for it through tireless effort. Best-sellers have nothing to do with content, rather, it has all to do with marketing. If the book is not properly marketed which takes MONEY, TIME, TRAVEL, ENERGY, STUDY, AND MORE MONEY, it will not be a best seller.
     
    MYTH #2: My publishing company will make my book a success!
    TRUTH: Publishing companies no longer invest bundles of money in authors. It is the author's responsibility to promote the book. The days of publishing companies producing a book and paying to send authors on national book signing tours are long gone. Now, publishers require a marketing plan from the author and wants the author to have a platform with thousands of followers. The publisher wants to know how YOU plan to sell your book.
     
    MYTH #3: My books will sell if they are in a book store!
    TRUTH: The fact is bookstores do not promote books. Your marketing space in a bookstore is a quarter inch. Take a look at the background of this blog. Which book spine sticks out the most to you? Neither, they're all a mesh of colors. That's the marketing strength the bookstore will offer your book. Remember this: Dave Ramsey sold the first 300,000 copies of his book out of his trunk. His books sell millions, but while he was building his name, he was the only seller of his books. Retain full control of your inventory as long as you can efficiently supply the demand for that book.
     
    MYTH #4: I don't have to be a public speaker to have a best-selling book.
    TRUTH: If you don't want to be a public speaker, then don't consider writing books for financial gain. Feel free to write books for your family and close friends. But even then, they will ask you about why you wrote your book. You must be ready to inspire, instruct, or entertain people through public speaking.

    Happy Selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Monday, September 9, 2013

    Think Outside the Bookstore

    9.5 out of every 10 authors want to know how they can get their books into the national distribution of chain bookstores like Barnes and Nobel and Borders. Although this is a great ambition, it is proven to be the least effective means of succesful bookselling.

    Overlooking the fact that the average independent author does not have the inventory to advance a national distribution, the market advantage is obliterated. Of the millions of books being sold by these chains, what advantage will an unknown author have to highlight his/her book spine from the bookshelf?

    Instead, a better approach to the bookstore option is seeking out specialty stores that cater to your audience. If you've written a romantic novel with a sports setting, why not solicit sporting good stores to carry your book. Or a how-to book on cooking, solicit local bakeries or deli. Reject conventional book-selling norms. Think outside the bookstore.

    Happy Selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Friday, September 6, 2013

    What's In It For Me?

    Remember WIFM? : WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME? Readers don't care about your childhood ambition to write a book. Readers don't care about your life story, and readers don't care if you're giving all of your book proceeds to charity. Readers care about 1 thing: "What's in it for me?".

    When someone asks you what your book is about, they are really asking, "What's in your book that will benefit me?" So when discussing your book, reject the urge to give a 30 second book report. Reject the urge to tell people your life story. Instead, open the potential readers eyes to how your book fixes their problems or brings value to their lives. Even if you're a fiction writer, your book provides entertainment. ...

    Oh yeah, you have 30 seconds to keep their attention. Work on your elevator speech. 


    Happy selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    The Rule of 5

    Some people believe there is a secret combination to publishing success. In this short and sweet blog I want to assure you that success is not a mystical dimension, but simply a measurable destination that all people can reach.

    If success was 100 feet away, how long would it take you to reach it? Well, that depends on how many steps you want to take. If you decide to walk 1 foot per day,  it will take you 100 days. The more steps you take the quicker you'll reach success.

    Using the Rule of 5, you choose your steps toward progress.  Do a minimum of five maketing activities five days a week. It's that simple:

    Send 5 review copies
    Send 5 press releases to 5 radio stations, 5 television stations,  5 newspapers, 5 magazines, 5 blogers
    Call 5 potential speaking opportunities
    Research 5 conferences
    Work social media for 5 hours
    Find 5 strangers to tell about your book..

    If you do the work,  the results will come.

    Happy selling!
    www.TrueVinePublishing.org

    Wednesday, September 4, 2013

    Six Keys to Marketable Books

    Six Keys to Marketable Books

    Choose wisely your approach to writing your book and make sure your book does the following or can in some way do the following:
    1. Has a topic that is relevant to the majority of people: Your book can't focus on issues or topics that people of today are not dealing with. Your passion for old fashion typewriters will NOT make a good book because no one uses typewriters anymore. When considering your book topic, research how the topic is impacting the world around you. 
    2. Solves a problem: People have problems that they want solved, point blank. The more resourceful your book is, the more marketable it will be. As I stated before, remember the "what's in it for me?" factor.
    3. Ties to a major National event or activity: A book connected to a major local, national, or world event or activity is guaranteed to have readers. Strike while the iron is hot. Your book may be only remotely connected to a National event, but that's not a problem. You can still connect the dots and utilize that connection to your advantage.
    4. Ties in with news stories both local and national: Find every connection you can with your topic and what's going on in the world. As events happen, let everyone know that your book addresses that topic. It may only be one paragraph in the book, but that one paragraph opens the door to promote your book to a broader audience seeking more insight into that issue. 
    5. Raises controversial questions and makes bold statements: Why are radio personalities like Rush Limbaugh so popular? It is because they make statements that people find to be shocking and offensive. Like it or not, controversy gets more attention than peacefulness, and in the world of selling books, attention is everything.
    6. Ties in with celebrities and/or high profile individuals: The mere mention of a celebrity draws immediate attention from that celebrities fan base. Those individuals who want to know every bit of information about that celebrity will gravitate to your product to discover its relation.
     
    This blog is an abbreviated excerpt from The Author's Success Manual.
     
    If you have any questions you'd like addressed, feel free to add me to your group and send me an email.
    Happy selling!