So many book ideas…how to pick just one?

When first time non-fiction book authors come to me, I find that just as often as not they suffer from too many ideas as opposed to no ideas, or only one. After years of  helping them wrangle through the process of selecting which of their ideas they should focus on for their first book, I came up with a way to look at multiple ideas and quantify their readiness.  It’s now  part of the first course I offer online in the Academy, Passion & Purpose.

It’s called the Book Idea Quiz, and It gives you a method for determining which idea will work best for you and the market, right now.  You answer the following six questions, assigning point values to each, and the tool works out which is the winning idea, and what you might need to do to make a so-so idea a winning one, if that’s the one you’re set on doing first.

Here are the factors I use in the Quiz…use it to get you thinking… Continue reading

6 Ways to Gloss Over Your Fear of Public Speaking

Public speaking IS totally terrifying.

Public speaking can be terrifying.

If you suffer from Glossophobia, there’s a chance you’d rather die than speak in public. The good news is, there are lots of ways to get around this common fear. There’s no need to listen to that nasty voice in your head screaming They’re all going to laugh at you! because no one actually wants to laugh at you. And overall, being a solid speaker and delivering a quality presentation is completely within your hands. One day, Grasshopper, you will be a top contender in the World Championships of Public Speaking! (Yes. That’s a thing. Some people actually love public speaking – and the key to their success is practice!)

These 6 steps will put you on the path to success. Continue reading

Crowdfunding ABCs: G is for Goal Setting

We all know that proper goal-setting is a critical part of your crowdfunding campaign success strategy. There are a ton of great posts (like this one) on how to set goals, so I’m not going to belabor those basics.

On this subject, however, there are two concepts I’d like you to ponder in a bigger sense when you’re strategizing for your campaign.

(1) One goal? S T R E T C H it out. Consider the strategy of enticing contributors to reaching beyond your original goal with multiple, or stretch goals. Essentially, a stretch goal refers to any target set beyond a campaign’s original design, as described by CrowdClan’s Michael Ibberson. In other words, he says, it is not necessary for a campaign to achieve their stretch goals in order to cash-out. Some of the biggest ever crowdfunding campaigns have employed stretch goal strategies.

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Don’t try this at home, kids!

So how does it work? Continue reading

You wrote a book! …now what?!

Every 12 seconds, a new book is published (and 80% of statistics are made up on the spot). To be slightly outdated, but more accurate, in 2012 Bowker reported that there were 3,500 books published every day in the USA alone, and this figure doesn’t even include e-books. (I don’t math, so feel free to calculate the per-second volume in your own time!) Simply put: There is a ton of competition in the book marketplace. How can a new writer stand out with all this noise?

 

Is she your audience?

Is she your audience?

1) Define your audience. And no, your audience isn’t everyone from age zero-65, male & female. Get Stats Canada up in here and define your audience avatar: age, occupation, likes, dislikes, income, reading habits, preferred reading format (blogs, e-books, zines, print books). If you haven’t nailed your audience down this specifically, then your book will be, at best, a teardrop in the ocean. Everyone does NOT want to read your book – but someone does, so figure out who that someone is and go after them with a targeted approach: your marketing plan.

2) Get all Benjamin Franklin up in here! Old men (and women!) are always saying wise things like, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Your marketing plan should include pre-publication, launch, and post-publication activities. (If you just said, “Pffft! Marketing plan?! I don’t need no stinkin’ marketing plan!”, please take a moment to envision yourself taking all the money you spent on the creation of your book, putting it in a pile, and lighting it on fire.) Continue reading