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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