Book Title Ideas: How to Choose the Perfect Title for Your Book

I get how frustrating it can be.

Writing the book might seem like the most difficult part…and then you have to actually title the darn thing!

When it comes to writing a book, coming up with reasonable book title ideas is surprisingly one of the hardest parts to complete. It’s difficult because titles are essentially short hooks that advertise your book using the fewest words possible.

It’s also what readers look for first when they discover new books, and can take less than 5 seconds to make a decision.

book title ideas

This is why it’s so crucial to craft a perfect name.

To help spur your creative process, we’ve created a few essential guidelines for you to follow as you craft the perfect book title ideas for your masterpiece.

Since there are different title considerations for fiction and non-fiction, we broke these two topics down separately into:

Let’s create your selling title!


NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

How to Choose a Book Title for Non-Fiction

As you begin crafting your book title ideas for your non-fiction book, the key is knowing that non-fiction readers are looking for solutions. Whether it’s losing weight, becoming a master in sales, or becoming better at fostering relationships, they’re simply looking for a book that will solve their problem.

To leverage this idea, here are a set of rules to consider:

#1 – Your Title Must Include a Solution to a Problem

Your title should be crystal clear on what your readers will achieve by reading your book. Experts say that a title with a clear promise or a guarantee of results will further intrigue your readers.

Here are some questions to consider when creating your title:

  • Are you teaching a desirable skill?
  • Can your personal discoveries impact someone’s life?
  • Can your book solve a very difficult problem?

Here are our favorite book titles that offer a clear solution to a problem with promising results:

  • Asperger’s Rules! How to Make Sense of School and Friendship by Blythe Grossman
  • How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger
  • The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich by Tim Ferriss
book title idea example book

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Write down the best solutions or teachings your book offers and form these into potential book title ideas.

#2 – Use a Subtitle for Clarity

A great non-fiction title employs a subtitle to clarify what the desired outcome will be from reading your book.

In this video clip, Chandler explains in 5 simple steps how to create a compelling subtitle:

Here are some questions to consider when creating your subtitle:

  • How can your subtitle further expand on achieving a desirable outcome?
  • What are the biggest pain points that your subtitle can provide a solution for?
  • How can you further address your innovative solution in the subtitle?

Here are our favorite book subtitles that spell out what their readers can expect from reading their books:

  • The Crossroads of Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna
  • Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives by Gretchen Rubin
  • Work Rules! Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead by Laszlo Bock

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Make a list of 10 attention-grabbing subtitles that promise big outcomes and other positive benefits.

#3 – Make Your Title Unforgettable

Catchy titles are memorable, boring titles are not. So make an effort to be more creative and fun with your book title! Use alliterations to make your title easier to read and remember. A memorable and light-hearted title adds additional character to your book and is also a great way to attract readers.

Here are some questions to consider when creating your memorable title:

  • Will a fun title turn a normally boring subject into something more interesting?
  • Will adding humor to your title further entice readers?
  • Will a cleverly written title stand out from other books in this genre?

Here are our favorite books that engaged us with clever titles and subtitles:

  • Me Talk Pretty One Day and Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris
  • Trust me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator by Ryan Holiday
  • Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Experiment with different types of styles and poll your audience to determine whether a comedic, shocking, or even bizarre title will be the most appealing to your target audience.

No matter which method works best on creating a compelling title for nonfiction books, a good thing to remember is to always test multiple titles with different audiences to determine which book title generates the biggest response.

Getting good feedback is the only way to know for certain which title is perfect for your book.

How to Generate Book Title Ideas for Fiction

Generally, fiction titles are allowed more creative wiggle room than their non-fiction counterparts. That being said, an effective fiction title must still pique your readers’ attention. And while it’s true that you can title your fictional book with random names, it still must catch the reader’s attention.

Here are some key guidelines to keep in mind:

#1 – Your Title Should be Appropriate to Your Genre

Your novel title should use language that resonates with both your genre and target audience. For example, a romantic book can call for dreamy language whereas an action book can warrant strong and powerful words.

This means that you must know your book’s genre and words that best fit the style of title.

Here are some questions to consider for appropriate genre titles:

  • What genre best fits this story?
  • Which are the perfect choice words for your genre?

Here are our favorite fictional titles based on genre:

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Godfather by Mario Puzo

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Based on the genre of your book, pick out a few keywords that best suit its category and evoke strong emotions in your readers.

#2 – Your Book Title Should Pique Your Reader’s Interest

A great fiction title teases and leaves your audience wanting more. You want your audience to read your title and think, “I must read what’s behind that cover!”

Create fictional titles intriguing enough to capture the imaginations of your readers, and get to them to read your story.

Here are some questions to consider on how to pique interest with your title:

  • Which key components of your story best captivates your readers?
  • What emotions do you want your readers to have once they read your title?

Here are our favorite fictional titles that drew our attention:

  • Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  • The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Choose a theme that will best draw your reader’s attention. Come up with 5 titles that will catch your reader’s attention and pique their curiosity.

#3 – Look to Your Characters for Book Title Inspiration

A great book title captures the spirit of the protagonist. Some authors simply use the hero’s name for their title. Others have combined the names of their hero along with their special qualities to inform the audience about their protagonist’s accomplishments like Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.

On the flip-side, a formidable antagonist can also be an amazing book title.

A sinister name can convey a sense of dread and expectation for what’s to come like Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Both choices are great title ideas and should be seriously considered for your fictional book.

Here are some questions to consider when including a character as a title:

  • Between the hero and villain, who impacts the story more?
  • Are there any stunning qualities from your characters that will draw a reader’s emotion?
  • Can the plot of the story be summed up as a title?

Here are our favorite fictional books that use characters for its title:

  • Harry Potter (Literary Series) by J. K. Rowling
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary by Helen Fielding
  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Book Title Ideas Action Plan:

Determine which character best conveys what the story will tell in your title. You may also include creative words or themes to further showcase the character’s unique qualities or the journey itself.

Your Next Steps

Ultimately, the title of your book depends on you, the author. By following these constructive guidelines, you will be able to generate a number of book title ideas you can use to find the perfect one that grasps the attention of readers and soon become an Amazon bestseller in no time!

#1 – Join your FREE training!

This training was created just for you. Make sure to save your spot and sign up right now so you can learn exactly what it takes to write and publish your book within 90 days…or even less!

You won’t find this guide anywhere else. Take advantage of this offer so you can spark multiple book title ideas in as little as an hour!

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

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#2 – Create a list of book title ideas

Now is the time to fire up that imagination and start brainstorming! We gave you a number of different actionable steps to help you generate book title ideas that work well.

Now is the time to make a list of every potential book title you can think of! The more, the merrier.

When this is done, you’ll want to go through and jot down any that really make you feel something in a separate list. These are the ones you’ll use for the next step.

#3 – Get feedback about the top title

It’s hard to pick a title by yourself because you’re too close to the book. What will help you find the best title is putting the options out there for your target audience to choose.

A fantastic way to do this is to join writing and publishing groups online where you can post polls.

For example, our Facebook Mastermind Community has a very large number of experienced authors who respond to polls just like these on a near-daily basis.

Locate a group you like, join, and start polling about your title!

Have you thought of the perfect name for your book? What did your process look like to get there?

How to Format a Book: 7 Money-Sucking Book Format Mistakes to Avoid

Self-publishing has changed everything.

Before, you were at the mercy of your publisher on how your book format looked, but today, you have control over this entire process.

In fact, you have the final say over everything in your finished manuscript is displayed. Therefore, knowing the proper book format you need is crucial. And with great power comes great responsibility.

If you’re not careful, you may end up with a sloppy and messy manuscript that an editor will refuse to work on until you tidy it up.

Or worse, your audience will slam your book with negative reviews because you published it riddled with errors.

An unprofessional looking book will not only distract readers, it will harm your brand and label you as an amateur, affecting the sales of future books as well as your current one.

Your completed self-published book should convey professionalism in all aspects – including with its book format.

7 Money-Sucking Book Format Mistakes

There are over a hundred things that can go wrong with your book formatting, and if we wrote about all of them you’d be reading from sun-up till sun-down. But fear not!

From our experience, most authors make the same mistakes when with their book format.

In this article, you’re going to learn what the most common book formatting errors and how to avoid them. By avoiding these mistakes, not only will you have a professional looking manuscript, but you’ll make the process of designing your book to publish on Amazon’s Kindle or in print via CreateSpace a lot easier.

If you have a completed manuscript with botched book formatting on your hands, this article will teach you how to fix it using Microsoft Word.

(A quick note: it’s possible to do many of the fixes in Google Docs, however, Word has a more comprehensive set of features, so it’s better to use that when formatting your complete manuscript.)

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

#1 – Avoid Hard Indents in Your Book Format

A hard indent is when paragraph indentations are created by manual use of the keyboard’s Tab key.

Many of us learned how to type using the Tab key to create an indent at the start of each paragraph, so this can be a tough habit to break.

When it comes to book formatting, use of the Tab key is a no-no, because it results in an indent that’s far larger than you need.

With fiction book formatting, you want to have just a small indent at the start of each paragraph. If your book is non-fiction, generally speaking, you want to use block paragraphs rather than indents, unless your book is a memoir or historical fiction. (More on that in tip #2.)

If your book is fiction, you may be wondering how to create paragraphs without the Tab key. The fix is simple: In MS Word, set the Paragraph settings to automatically create indentations for the first line in each paragraph.

This simple auto fix will make creating your book format way easier. In Word 2016, on both Mac & Windows, to get to Paragraph settings, click the Paragraph dialog box launcher on the Home or Layout tab.   Then on the Indents and Spacing tab, go to the box under Special and click on First line. You can change the size of the indent using the box to the right.

If you’re wondering how big to make your indents, my advice is to pull your favorite book off the shelf, open it up, and take a peek. How big are the paragraph indents?

Experiment with making yours larger or smaller, printing out the page, and comparing them to the book in your hand.

But what if your 535-page tome has already been drafted, using the dreaded Tab key for each and every paragraph? No need to set fire to your laptop!

Here’s what to do to clean it up:

  • Use Find and Replace (Ctrl+H or Control+H or here’s how to find it in Word 2016 on Mac and on Windows.)
  • Enter ^t in the Find (This will help you find every “Tab” in the document.)
  • Leave the Replace field blank.
  • Hit Replace All.

Going forward, set your Paragraph settings so that you don’t have to remove hard indents again. Presto!

You now have a much prettier, easier-to-convert document through the magic of technology that will make your book format much more professional-looking.

#2 – Indentation vs. Block Paragraphs

Works of non-fiction today typically don’t use indentation, except for some notable exceptions we will discuss momentarily. Rather, a popular book format for modern non-fiction is the block paragraph.

What’s a block paragraph?

A block paragraph doesn’t have indentation on the opening line, but instead uses a horizontal line of white space beneath each paragraph. This helps to delineate the separation between paragraphs.

For instance, I used block paragraphs in my latest book Published., which looks like this:

book formatting nonfiction

The reasoning behind whether you should use indentation vs. block paragraphs is this: in works where one thought should flow smoothly into the next, such as in a novel, paragraph indentations are used with no line spacing between paragraphs.

But in books where complicated information is being consumed, having a single line space between paragraphs aids the brain in processing one piece of information before moving on to the next.

Here is an example from a fiction novel, The Savior’s Champion by full-time, self-published author Jenna Moreci of what it looks like to use indents instead of block paragraphs:

book formatting

An exception to the block paragraph for non-fiction/indents for fiction guideline: non-fiction narrativessuch as a memoir or historical fiction, should use the same indent style described above in tip #1.

In non-fiction works where some information should flow, and other sections require more brain power to comprehend, some authors decide to mix formatting types and use indentation where appropriate and block paragraphs where useful.

But in general, to avoid confusing the reader and to make your book look uniform, clean, and as if you didn’t make a book formatting error, it’s best to choose one style or the other and stick with it throughout your book.

However, if you insist on getting crazy and mixing it up, knowing how and when to use block paragraphs versus when to indent results in a more professional manuscript.

#3 – Avoid Double Spaces After Periods

Here’s the truth: Two spaces after a period is wrong. Period. (Ha!) Just as with the good old-fashioned Tab key indent, two spaces after a period may have been the norm back when you were learning to type.

This is because, with typewriters, characters were all the same width, so the two-space rule allowed for greater readability.

With modern computer fonts, the characters all fit closer together in a proportional fashion, thereby eradicating the need for that one additional space.

Most major style guides—including the Chicago Manual of Style, which is used by traditional publishers—now formally recognize the more modern single-space rule.

From an aesthetics angle, one space looks neater, which your readers’ eyes will appreciate. Before you convert your manuscript, change all double spaces to single spaces. The result will be a better formatted, stylistically correct book.

You’re going to use that super handy “Find and Replace” function again:

  • Enter two spaces in the Find (This will help you find every double space in the document.)
  • Enter a single space into the Replace field.
  • Hit Replace All.

Voila! Like magic.

#4 – Be Cautious with Hyphens

Improper hyphenation is a common error that may be harder to stay on top of because the rules of hyphenation differ depending on the grammatical situation.

So when it comes to your book format, you’ll have to do some research.

Generally, keep these three rules in mind while you write so you’ll have to do less work when it’s time for book formatting:

  • Two or more words that, together, function as an adjective are joined with a hyphen. For example, dark-pink skirt or two-way street.
  • Two words or more that form a number are joined with a hyphen. For example, twenty-one.
  • Compound words, which are two words that are joined together to make a single word, do not require a hyphen. For example, toothbrush or starfish.
  • Two or more separate words that are used as a single word or idea. For example, action-grabbing, top-notch, or larger-than-life.
book format

When in doubt, look it up! For a more detailed treatment of the hyphen, here is an important source to consider: Elements of Style.

#5 – Know When to Use Quotes vs. an Apostrophe

Few things scream “new writer” like a book formatted with punctuation errors. You want to make sure you’re using quotes and apostrophes correctly so you don’t lose credibility with your readers.

When to use quotes in your book format:

  • When you’re quoting someone, use quotes! This means either a person is speaking—like in fiction—or you are borrowing material verbatim from another source, like in non-fiction.
  • Use of quotes is rarely needed for common expressions.
  • Ironic terms can be set off in quotes.
  • Overuse of quotes can get annoying, so be judicious in their application.

When to use apostrophes:

  • Use an apostrophe for possessive form (except the word its.) For example: The cat’s toys are blue.
  • Use an apostrophe for contractions, such as it is. For example: The cat’s playing with its toys. It’s a happy cat.
  • Avoid using an apostrophe for plural forms. For example: Five cats ran past her.

Again, the rules can be complicated, such as when to use an apostrophe when dealing with an acronym, so when in doubt, look it up.

#6 – Be Careful When Using the Enter Key

There are many times in your book you’ll want to go to a new page or to create a blank page.

This is simple right? Hit enter a few times, and presto, you’ve got a new page.

Wrong.

Using paragraph breaks, or hitting enter to create a new page can create many problems when it comes to getting your manuscript ready to publish.

For instance, you or your book designer will need to change your page size or page setup according to the book size and style you’ve chosen. Using paragraph breaks will create extra space where none is needed and will change the page layouts of your book, making your book look ugly.

If you’re wondering why after you change your paper size, your chapter headings are no longer at the top of the page, but halfway down, it was because of your liberal use of paragraph breaks.

Instead, use the page break function.

This instantly creates a new page, and it remains a new page even when you’ve changed the page size, page layout, or added more content above. On Microsoft Word, this can be done by pressing Ctrl+Enter (Windows) or Cmd+Enter (Mac).

You can also find it in the ribbon in Word. Google Docs also has this feature. In Word 2016 go to Insert > Page Break In Google Docs go to Insert > Break > Page Break

#7 – Use the Styles Feature Instead of Formatting Yourself

Stop formatting your chapter titles yourself. Many writers indicate a title or subtitle by simply changing the font size and changing the font from the default font (ah, Times New Roman, how we miss you) and thinking their job is done.

This makes navigating and formatting your book a pain.

What you want to do is use MS Word’s “Styles” feature. Google Docs also has this feature. In Word 2016, you can find the Styles section under the Home tab on both Mac & Windows.

In Google Docs the styles section can be found by clicking the box between the zoom level and the font type.

When creating a new chapter, highlight the chapter heading, and then make it a header by applying the relevant style. If it’s the main heading make it “Heading 1”, if it’s a subtitle make it “Heading 2”, etc.

This has the added benefit of allowing you to easily automatically create a table of contents page, or to navigate through your 30,000-word manuscript with Word’s navigation pane, while also making your book format look professional.

You Need a Proper Book Format

Without question you want your book to stand out because of its invaluable content, stunning tone of voice, and laser targeted towards your audience.

However, don’t let your book formatting or grammatical errors get in the way of your book’s success. If you’ve written your book, and are ready to get it published, follow the guide you just read to make sure your manuscript isn’t full of errors.

For tips on how to format your book for Kindle, it’s best to follow Amazon’s comprehensive guide on the matter. It will help you design your title page on a different first page, your copyright page, trimming to the correct paper size, and the million other things you need to do to get your book ready for print.

Your Next Steps

Thirty years ago, it would have been impossible to publish a book yourself. Today you have all the tools you need to produce a flawless manuscript.

Take the time to review your book—and hire an editor and a book designer—to make sure your book formatting is perfectly professional.

If you’re ready to polish your book format and move on in the publishing process, here’s what you can do next.

#1 – Join your free training!

It’s not enough to put together a pretty book. You also have to know what to do once you’re done and how to go about making it sell! That’s where we come in.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

Spots are limited!

Click Here to Save Your Spot

#2 – Put together your launch team

Once your book is all polished to perfection and formatted correctly, you’ll want to start getting your launch team together. These are the people who will help take your book to the next level.

They’ll be the ones to leave Amazon reviews for you as well as help market your book so you can have the biggest, most successful launch possible.

Just remember to choose enthusiastic individuals who truly love your book!

#3 – Start your marketing plan

Marketing your book can be really hard without a solid plan of attack. Knowing how to build your author platform and get the word out about your book takes time and deep thinking – along with some helpful tips.

Sit down and create a calendar with all the social posts, ads you want to create, and even emails you want to send to your list. 

Once you have your plan together, incorporate your launch team to help you execute it.

Have you struggled with book formatting in the past? How did you figure it out?

Become a Motivational Speaker (Why All Authors Should)

Writers don’t just write, they communicate. They have a burning message that they have to get out there, and if they are successful, they find an audience hungry for that message. 

But as an author you’re not just limited to writing when it comes to communicating with your audience. You can also speak to your audience. When you learn how to become a motivational speaker, you will connect with your audience in ways you never could as a writer, and you’ll be able to build a much stronger brand. 

In this article we’ll set out to convince you that, if you’re serious about becoming a professional author, you should also think about building up your speaking career. Since becoming a public speaker isn’t easy, we’ve put together a few tips on how to get started so that you can begin planning your public speaker journey today.

become motivational speaker

8 Reasons Why You Should Become a Motivational Speaker

Once your book is published, your next move will determine your book’s success in the long term. We’ve already discussed how to launch your book, and some other ways you can market your book, but speaking will establish your author brand. Here are eight reasons why.

1. Becoming a Speaker Sets You Apart

The truth is, the world of self-published books is quickly becoming a saturated field. That means you need to do whatever it takes to bring attention to your book, including being assertive about marketing. Us writer types are often reserved and introverted and may not seek out public speaking opportunities. If you’re a speaker and an author, you stand out from those one-trick ponies!

While some authors prefer to stay out of the spotlight, it’s not a good marketing move. To find readers and make a name for yourself, you need to put yourself out there. Speaking engagements garner attention for your book and set you apart from the (shy!) pack who aren’t as comfortable in the limelight.

The good news is that even if you aren’t a born speaker, you can learn the skills you need to become comfortable on the stage.

2. Speaking Engagements Make You a Better Writer

Learning the art of both forms of communication — writing and speaking — will bode well for your career. Reading passages from your book is commonplace at book launches, author events and speaking engagements. The beauty of this exercise is that you get to see your words through a different lens — that of your readers. You can see the real-world, real-time impact your words have on others. Not only is this a cool feeling, it can help you tailor your next book to whatever your audience responds best to. There’s nothing like real world feedback to let you know which topics ring true with your audience and which don’t. 

3. Speaking Establishes You as an Expert

People make value judgments, and if you’re speaking in front of a specific group about your passions, then you MUST be an expert, right? While writing a book can also establish you as an expert, there’s something about standing up in front of a crowd that solidifies you in that “expert” light.

Speaking engagements in your professional area or your book’s niche will earn you professional credibility within that community. Your perceived authority and prestige will be boosted by your association with the event you choose to speak at. 

4. Speaking Fees Generate Income

Speaking fees can add up when you consistently book speaking engagements. If you do it enough, speaking can become a significant income stream for you as an author. In fact, speaking fees can even surpass the money you make from book sales.

The more speaking engagements you book, the higher the rate you can demand for your services. The more you speak, the better you’ll be at it, thereby opening the door to lucrative engagements, like keynote speaking at large events.

5. Speaking Gigs Sell More Books

If you knock it out of the park with your speech, you’ll have attendees clamoring to buy your book. “Back of the room” sales can boost your book’s success! Take your books to your events, and press the flesh in the back of the room. Sign, smile and meet your fans, and you’ll make money while feeling like a rock star in the process.

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6. Becoming a Speaker Broadens Your Network

Public speaking enables you to connect with your existing fans and create new ones. If you make a connection with your speech, and you take the time to develop a relationship by answering questions and signing books, you’re marketing yourself, your brand and your books.

By extension, this type of marketing will result in your fans talking about you to other potential fans. The word will spread that you’re a speaker who must be heard, and an author who must be read. Leverage these connections by collecting emails at your speaking engagements so you can follow up on future speaking dates and book releases.

7. Speech Writing Lets You Test New Ideas

Perhaps you have a cool new idea for a blog post or a book topic? Write up a speech and try it out during a small speaking engagement, before committing it to print. This is how big-time comedians test their material: a surprise appearance at a tiny venue. They get to see the audience’s reaction to what they’re saying up close so they can refine their messaging.

You can join Toastmasters International if you’d rather not test material on a “real” audience. Interacting with your audience and getting their read on your material can help you decide whether your ideas are publication-worthy.

8. Speaking Generates New Income Sources

CDs, DVDs, courses, and workshops: All of these options are secondary sources of income from your book and your role as a speaker. The more prolific you become as a speaker, the more marketable your additional revenue streams will become.

Even if you start off speaking for free to 10 students at the local community college, your speaking career can evolve to higher levels. If you’ve recently been published in a well-known publication, had a media appearance or hit a best-seller list, you can up your speaking engagement fee and product prices accordingly.

You may now be convinced that it’s time for you to you dust off your shoes and hit the public speaking circuit to sell more books, but the question remains, how do you become a motivational speaker? Where do you start and how can you guarantee success?

5 Steps to Becoming a Motivational Speaker

Becoming a public speaker can launch your books to the next level and add credibility to your author brand. Sometimes there’s nothing that screams “expert!” louder than seeing someone give a speech on stage to an attentive audience. 

However, if it was easy to become a speaker, then everyone would do it. We’re not going to sugar coat this: Becoming a speaker can be tough, and it can be hard to figure out where to start. But, we’ve made things a bit simpler by putting together five steps that you can follow to get started on your speaking journey.

1. Improve your speaking skills

You’re getting into the field of speaking to build credibility and heighten your audience’s perception of you as an expert. But, there is no quicker way for your audience to think you don’t know what you’re talking about than to bomb on stage. If your talk is filled with lots of “ums” and “ahs,” you get flustered when the microphone stops working, or you speak really fast, your audience will lose confidence in your message faster than they can say “refund.” 

Before you run you first have to learn how to walk, and before you can fill out a room and sell more books, you first have to learn effective public speaking skills. You need to learn the right tone of voice, perfect your body language and hone your speaking abilities. 

You can do this by joining your local Toastmasters club for practice and by watching lots of motivational speeches by successful speakers. Find a speaker’s style that you like and see how you can adapt your own speaking style to match.

2. Network Like You Mean It

To get better at speaking, and potentially build a speaking business around your book, you’re going to have to meet other speakers. Only they have the know-how of the industry in your local market and know the names of agents and venues that can land you speaking gigs. 

Meeting inspirational speakers will not only improve your speaking skills, it will in turn inspire you on your speaking journey. Any self-employed project can be disheartening, and you’ll need all the inspiration you can get, so network like it’s your job. 

Ask your friends and family if they know anyone with public speaking experience. Find and join your local Speakers Bureau and the National Speakers Association

Networking will also introduce you to something else that can fast track your success.

3. Get a Mentor

Often as writers we avoid any formal or informal training. We choose to be self-taught instead of seeking training or mentorship. This can be fine, as some of the best writers in the world were self-taught. However, many other crafts require you get a helping hand before you succeed.

Can you picture Rocky Balboa without Micky? Harry Potter without Dumbledore? Or Thoreau without Emerson? It’s not possible. There’s no way any of these characters or writers could have undergone their personal development journey without a mentor, and you’ll need the same in your speaking journey. 

Speaking is still a “who’s who” type of industry. There isn’t a formal marketplace for speaking gigs and speakers. Mentors can help you get a leg up and introduce you to speaking gigs if they think you have potential. 

4. Invest in Yourself Up Front

Before college we have to go to high school, before high school we go to junior high, and before junior high we go to elementary school. You can’t go straight from elementary to college. Sure, there are some geniuses who get to skip all of that, but those happen once or twice in a generation. The rest of us mere mortals have to go through each stage. 

Public speaking is the same. If you stick at it, continue to improve, build your network and your reputation, there will come a day where your inbox will be filled with lucrative speaking opportunities. However, before you get there, you need to invest in yourself. And that involves giving lots of free speeches. 

Take up any speaking gig you can find. Whether it be at local events that match your book’s topic or speaking to college students who are studying something related to your work, land any free speaking gig you can. 

Most great speakers succeeded because they were in it for the long term and weren’t ashamed to take free or low-paying gigs in the beginning. They knew they were investing in their future. Adopt this mindset and instead of thinking of free speaking gigs as a burden, you might start to become excited to do them.

But don’t speak for free for too long. The next step is crucial.

5. Have a Marketing Plan

Think about your cliché pirate story. There’s swashbuckling pirates, the one-eyed baddie, the seven seas and what else? Treasure, of course!

And how do they find the treasure? With a treasure map! Even though they brave the fierce seas, battle sea monsters and put down crew mutinies, the protagonist in a pirate story is confident they’ll find the treasure eventually because they’re following a treasure map.

You have to do the same with a marketing plan. In case you didn’t notice from everything else we’ve mentioned in this article, speaking is competitive. In order to see success, you’ll not only have to differentiate yourself from other good speakers, you’ll need to have a focused and consistent effort to get the word out there to potential clients.

A marketing plan will help you with all of this. Often newbie speakers use a “hope and pray” approach to marketing, or follow their latest creative marketing idea, and this is why they fail. You cannot fall for this trap. Having a solid marketing plan will keep you focused, give you room for continual improvement and help you discard what isn’t working. 

Time to Start

Being a writer is great, but if you want to become a successful and professional author, then speaking might be a great next step in making sure your book makes it into the hands of your intended audience. By sharing your message via the spoken word, you gain credibility and build your brand in ways that books alone can’t do. Gaining success as a speaker may not be as easy as writing a book, but the rewards are well worth it to your brand. 

Writing a Book? 7 Killer Research Tips

“Pencils down.”

The phrase that strikes fear into the hearts of students.

What if you didn’t write enough? What if all the answers are wrong? Too bad; you’re stuck with your final essay. There’s no going back.

There’s something about the finality of closing the door on any knowledge work that’s tough. We don’t want to miss anything—whether it’s a witty quote or that perfect case study. The same with writing books—ending your research and starting your draft is daunting.

writing book research

It’s possible to go on researching forever, really. Countless book ideas remain unwritten and unpublished because the writer is just looking for that perfect piece of research. But with that attitude, you’ll never publish your book!

We’re not asking you to abandon the research process. Virtually all non-fiction work and most fiction works require at least some research to complete a final draft, but it does require moderation.

This post is split into two parts. First, we’ll show you how to carry out a comprehensive research process in as little time as possible, then we’ll show you how to fine-tune your research once you begin drafting your book.

The Research Process

Many writers fail to publish or even begin drafting their books because they’re stuck in the research process. Here we’ll show you three critical steps you can take to make your research as thorough as possible, and to avoid the trap that many writers fall into–researching their books forever.

#1 – Plan Your Research

Research is a necessary part of writing, and with some genres (e.g. historical fiction), it’s impossible to start without research. However, before you pick a single book or open a new tab in the name of research, there is something you have to do: Plan your research.

In academia, there’s an entire subject called research design, which teaches researchers how to choose their research methods, scope out their timeline and outline their research process. Professional researchers have to plan out their research before they carry out any research. Not only does this tick the check boxes for funding, but it also helps them stay on track and ensure their research project is valid.

Notice what they don’t do. 

A researcher doesn’t just blindly pick up a book and follow where their gut tells them (though this does make up part of the process) or start experimenting and follow what’s interesting. First, they plan, set a specific end date, and then execute.

Instead of approaching your book research in an ad-hoc manner, putting in research time when you feel it’s warranted, we advise that you design your research process.

We’re not asking you to leave no room for spontaneity, often the best ideas come from the most unlikely of sources, but there should still be some structure to your research so, you don’t waste any of your precious time.

Remember many writers have still not begun their manuscript years after they started working on their book because they’re “still researching.”

You want to avoid this trap.

This means you should set a clear end date for your research process, where you promise you’ll start drafting no matter how little, how much, or what kind of data you’ve gathered. It also means that before you start, you think about where you’ll gather your research from, and how much you’ll gather.

As interesting as a side tangent can be, you don’t want to wander too far. Keep your research focused on the subject matter. If something seems interesting, note it down for the future. Maybe it could be your next book.

#2 – Outsource Your Research When Possible

Often, writing feels like a solitary endeavor, after all, it is just you and yourself staring at a screen, tapping away at a keyboard for hours on end. But just because it feels like a lonely mission, doesn’t mean it has to be one. Especially in research.

No matter your subject, there’s an almost certain chance that someone else has done the heavy lifting for you.

Someone who has immersed themselves in the field, found the dead ends, the wrong turns and the secret passageways. So why not tap into their knowledge?

When thinking of where to begin your research, tap into the human capital available before books or the internet. Are there any professors at your local college you can ask? Any editors in your domain that you can first reach out to? A great place to find names are the references used in journal articles or the authors of literature reviews and book reviews.

By asking them for help you can save yourself miles of wasted research, get an expert’s perspective on the topic (differentiating yourself from many other self-published books), and save yourself time.

Often, as long as they don’t have a demanding schedule, they’ll be happy to respond to an email or two.

Don’t forget to remember them in your acknowledgements!

#3 – Ignore Your Inner Perfectionist

There’s a chance that if you’ve always wanted to write a book, you’ve got a perfectionist streak. And when it comes to book research, you’ll want to keep it under control.

You want to be a laser beam in your research. Focus on the best books for the keywords you’ve identified and don’t get sidetracked. Practical research is the key–find facts and data that will make your book more interesting, not analysis that you find interesting.

It might not necessarily be the same thing.

This also comes in when you’re writing your book. Ignore the temptation to include all the research found in your book. Often 20% of your research efforts will form 80% of your book.

If you found some piece of research you’re just dying to get out there, maybe package and release it as a bonus eBook for the thorough minded amongst your audience (and build your email list,) or have it in the appendix of your kindle edition.

7 Killer Tips on Researching Your Book 

Now that you know the critical steps to carry out your book research, it’s time to look at ways to improve it. Some of these will save you time during the research process, others will help you to finish your manuscript as fast as possible, and yet give you that sense of completeness and thoroughness once it’s done.

#1 – “Backload” Research

There’s a secret to mastering the craft of research when writing your book that might strike you as controversial:

Write first, fact-find second. 

You may think that’s odd, but first hear us out. Consider this scenario: You’re working on your draft and you hit a spot where you feel stuck. You don’t know the answer to a question that arises in your manuscript, so you switch over to Google and start poking around for the answer.

Soon you find yourself wandering around the internet as if you came into a room to find something, but you can’t for the life of you remember what it was.

And here is where you find yourself at the end of your writing time–watching cat videos– and you don’t even like cats.

The problem with researching while you’re writing is that you squash your momentum. Your draft will take longer to finish and it will be harder to write if you need to jump out of your writing mindset to switch over to research.

The solution: Don’t research at all once you’ve started writing until your rough draft is finished.

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#2 – “TK” is Your Friend

Here’s an editorial trick: When you hit an impasse in your draft and you’re tempted to look something up, whether that’s a quote, a proper name, or details about a location, mark that TBD spot with the letters “TK.” TK annotates a spot in your draft to return to when it’s time to research. Then keep writing!

Why the letters “TK”? There are no words in the English language that have the letters “TK” next to each other, making it easy for you to use the Control+F command to find your TBD spot later on.

By setting aside your research for later, you can keep moving on your draft and fill in the small details later. This prevents you from taking up all your time with research and avoiding writing. 

#3 – Turn off the Internet

Turn off the Internet while you’re writingMadness, you say? Well, why do you need the Internet? You’re going to do your research when you’re done writing, so the Internet is just distracting you. Write now. Google later.

Some pro writers say they like to take their laptop to a locale with no Wi-Fi so there’s zero temptation. Try an Internet desert for a day or two and see if it improves your writing pace. 

#4 – Keep it Organized

When you find a key piece of research, file it so you can track it down later. Whether you do this with a virtual folder on your laptop, an actual folder in your desk, or with a tool like Evernote or Scrivener, the idea is the same.

You need to compile all your resources together in one place so you can find it later.

Organization now will make adding research to your manuscript later easier and quicker. When your draft is done, you can put your hands on your resources right away.

#5 – Red Text Marks the Spot

If you’re humming along in your draft and hit the crossroads of a quote or stat, switch your text color to red to highlight that you need to come back. Red text marks the spot that needs later attention and you can keep drafting.

Of course, if you used the “TK” tip above you don’t need this step, because then you can just use Control+F to find where you placed “TK” in your draft.

However, the red text will give you a visual STOP so you know this is an area that needs more research just by looking at it. Call it extra insurance so you don’t miss anything.

#6 – Hired Guns

There’s no shame in outsourcing the manual work of research. For the most cost-effective resource, consider a college intern. When looking for interns, make sure they have a background in your field. If your book is about demographic trends then look for qualitative researchers, perhaps someone with a major in the social sciences.

If, however, you need to do some number crunching then look for some more quantitative oriented interns.

Or, if you need to hire a pro, look to Upwork to find a good researcher—be sure to check ratings and consider giving applicants a short test to make sure they’re up for the task.

#7 – Add it All In

Batching your work is a trick of the productive. By segmenting what you need to get done, you maintain focus without the need to switch from unrelated task to unrelated task. When your first draft is finished, return to the designated areas that required research, which you marked with “TK” or red text. Fill in these gaps and add in all your research at once.

Get Started Now – If You’re Ready

Remind yourself that your goal right now is not the most perfectly researched book, it’s a finished one. You’re not going to be selling your research on Amazon, you’re going to be selling your story.

Writing a book is a mind game. Don’t let the lure of research (or cat videos!) distract you from finishing your draft. Plan and set an end date for your research process, and then put all your energy into research. When that’s done, begin writing your first draft no matter what, and hold off on any research until you’ve got a finished rough draft. Use our tips to manage your research efficiently and get to work on writing.

Don’t let research be the death of your book.

13 Reasons Why You Should Write a Book This Year

Deciding to write a book is analogous to the decision to become a parent. You can weigh the pros and cons and read all the expert books on parenting.

You’ll try to decide whether you’re emotionally, financially, and physically ready to take the plunge. But until you become a parent, you’ll never know how amazing, enriching, and challenging your life could be.

Once you become a parent, you know that your life will never be the same.

reasons to write a book

These same concepts apply to becoming an author. Until you’ve ushered new creative life into the world you have no idea the incredible, myriad of ways writing a book can better your life – and even your business.

You’ll ask yourself why you waited so long to make it happen. We’re here to tell you that you should write a book, and you should do it this year. If not now, then when?

Here are 12 reasons why this is the year you’ll write your book.

NOTE: We cover everything in this blog post and much more about the writing, marketing, and publishing process in our VIP Self-Publishing Program. Learn more about it here

#1 – You are a writer (you just need to write)

Listen, everyone can be a writer. Each one of us has a story to share. In fact, most of us have more than one story to share.

he simple truth is that in order to be a writer, you just need to write. And to become an author, you just need to publish what you write.

At Self-Publishing School, we’re here to tell you that both of these worthy goals are within your reach. You just need to start—today.

#2 – You’ll discover who you are.

By it’s very nature, writing is an introspective, thoughtful activity. The process of writing a book will force you to turn your thoughts inward. Through writing, you’ll gain perspective about what really matters to you.

Writing a book will also teach you about the unique value of your own willpower.

The simple act of committing to a writing project, and seeing it through, will measure the depths of your discipline. Writing a book can be a powerful way to get in touch with your thoughts, values, and motivations.

Plus, writing is cheaper than therapy!

#3 – You’ll have created a professional-quality, ready-to-sell book.

It used to be that only writers with a publishing deal or those who paid for vanity publication ever got to see their books in print. Those days have changed.

Thanks to the rise of self-publishing, any person with a story to tell can become a published author and sell their book. Self-publishing is now affordable, easy to implement, and requires only basic computer skills.

If you can type your book on your keyboard, you can figure out how to self-publish. As your own publisher, you call the shots. You’re the CEO of your own destiny.

Even better, you get to retain more of the royalties if you self-publish. What’s not to like?

Even better, you get to retain more of the royalties if you self-publish. What’s not to like?

#4 – You’ll pocket a healthy chunk of change.

The brilliant ideas you have kicking around in your head aren’t earning you any money. Only once you commit those ideas to paper and hit publish will you earn income from your thoughts.

Your book can earn you a stream of passive income simply by existing.

And then there’s the future—audiobooks, courses based on your book, and speaking gigs! And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. You can make money off your self-published book—but you need to write it first.

#5 – You’ll let Amazon do the heavy lifting.

Amazon self-publishing is easier than ever. Amazon makes it intuitive and straightforward for authors to upload and sell their books.

They’ve also made it easy for readers to find and buy your book. It’s a win-win.

That’s not to say that you can set up an Amazon page and let it flap in the breeze untended. In order to sell your book, you’ll need to do some marketing and PR.

The good news is that Amazon gives you the tools and resources you need to succeed.

#6 – You’ll embrace the mantra, “nobody lives forever.”

Nobody’s getting out of this life alive. Our time here is finite. It’s our choice how we want to spend our time. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, don’t wait for a life crisis to force your hand.

The time is now.

You have a chance to share your words, thoughts, and passions with the world. Don’t let that chance slip through your fingers.

#7 – You’ll reignite a passion.

Each one of us has a passion for something—whether that’s rock-climbing, organic cooking, or comedic storytelling.

What’s your passion? You already know the answer to that question.

Here’s our next question: When’s the last time you stoked that passion? If that answer is, “you can’t remember” or, “it’s been years,” then you’ve got some work to do.

You owe it to yourself to explore your passion and write a book. We promise that when you’re writing about something you love, it won’t feel like work.

#8 – You’ll be a pro author.

Only 1% of the world’s population ever publishes a book.

That’s a heady statistic. By writing a book, you set yourself apart from the masses. Even if your book is fiction or a memoir, the fact that you’re now an author lends an air of authority to your professional endeavors.

You can now add “author” to your CV, LinkedIn, and professional website. In short: No matter what you write a book about, becoming a published author boosts your professional authority.

You’ll have accomplished something few other people have. Our preemptive greeting: Welcome to the Author Club!

We guarantee you’ll like the rarified air up here.

#9 – You’ll tackle a new challenge.

Life has so many obligations—taxes, school pick-up, miles on the treadmill—it can be easy to fall into a daily rut. Writing a book is leaving your comfort zone.

Trying something unfamiliar can be scary—we get it. But, that’s precisely why it’s exciting.

The only way you grow as a person is by forcing yourself to leave your comfort zone. Time to jump off the cliff—write a book and become an author this year.

You’ll be amazed at how much you’ll gain by pushing the limits of your own self-imposed boundaries.

#10 – You’ll become smarter.

Writing a book requires research. No matter what topic you’re writing about, you’re going to have to research new concepts and topics.

By opening the door to new ideas, you’ll educate yourself on a broad array of ideas. You’ll be invigorated by how much you learn while you’re writing, and emerge much brighter for having done so.

And when you’re done, you can assert yourself as an expert in your field. Your book can then open the door for speaking engagements, conference presentations, and other professional networking opportunities.

#11 – You’ll stop making excuses and just do it.

We know, we know, you’ve been mulling over the idea of writing a book for months (years?) now. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this article.

How long are you going to give yourself permission to keep quashing your dreams?

It’s time to commit and just do it.

#12 – Because you can!

And you will! No more excuses. You can’t afford to put off writing a book any longer. All that counts is that you get your first word on paper, and then a word after that.

Before you know it, you’ll have a completed first draft. Think about how amazing you’ll feel? Don’t put it off another day. Write your book today. This is the year for you to finally become an author.

Are you FINALLY ready to take action?

The only difference between an author and anyone else is the fact that they wrote the book. They started.

And you can start TODAY.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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How long have you been thinking about writing a book? What’s the one thing holding you back?

SPS 044: Using A Free + Shipping Book Funnel with Anik Singal

Anik Singal the founder and CEO of Lurn is here today to talk about his book Circle of Profit. He is one of today’s most successful digital publishing marketers. He specializes in product launches, building backends, and having funnels that lead to conversions. He also teaches people how to create their own line passion-based businesses.

Today we talk about how he wrote his first book and how his writing process has evolved over time. He shares great tips like writing an outline, using dictation, and just starting. He talks about some of the fear and hesitation he had, and how he overcame that. He also shares his funnel technique where he gave his book away for free, while still making a profit. Anik talks about how to create a book and book launch that serves your unique purpose.

You can find Anik here:

Lurn

Anik Singal on Facebook

Anik Singal on LinkedIn

 

Show Notes

[01:12] Anik has written a lot of training and free reports. He also wanted to say that he wrote a book. He knows it comes with a level of credibility.

[02:16] He was actually scared to write a book.

[02:58] He decided not to be fear driven. Then he started focusing on the book writing process. He also realized that his book needed the deeper purpose.

[03:39] He realized he can use his book as a lead generation tool and have a funnel behind it. A book serves as the best first thing or tripwire offer.

[04:37] He decided to write the book in an environment that he was comfortable with. He needed momentum with his first book.

[05:08] He decided to call his book a really long free report.

[05:47] He took five days off and decided to write a book. He decided to just write and leave it to the editor to make it perfect.

[06:37] They self published with a Kindle version and they create space hardcover. They have sold close to 50,000 books.

[07:10] He’s writing two other books now. He has the process down with outlines and bullet points. He records his voice. Then has it transcribed. Then sends it to an editor or he edits it.

[08:03] He is focusing internally on book marketing and publishing.

[09:23] The biggest lessons learned were that writing on blank paper is a lot harder than using bullet points and dictating. This gets him going even if the final finished product is much different.

[10:49] If you nail a great title, a book will sell itself. Books have great credibility and are tied to knowledge. They also created an affiliate program that tied into one of their information products. This was incentive for affiliates to promote the book.

[13:53] Anik likes to use his own network to distribute his content. With his own network, he can own the data and the email addresses behind the sells.

[15:03] He can also offer training. This facilitates him financially and helps his a customer gain more knowledge.

[15:51] When someone buys a book Anik does have upsells. The average book buyer is transacting about $26 before leaving his cart. He’s actually able to make a profit by giving the book away for free and having an upsell and basically getting paid to acquire leads.

[19:08] The strongest word ever invented in the history of marketing is free.

[20:52] Books make you into an expert and give you authority and a following. People even quote you.

[21:54] His $25 funnel has a $47 bump and a $197 upsell and a $97 down sell.

[23:59]10 days into the book they start a second funnel. Phase 1 of this funnel is about email marketing. Then phase 2 is about information products. This is a second funnel that matches the flow of the book.

[27:48] Dropping the price doesn’t make your conversions increase. The more plain the video was the better the conversion.

[30:30] Sometimes to see an increase in conversions, you can actually raise the price.

[31:23] Facebook ads are something you need to learn how to scale.

[33:35] He can spend about $15 in ads marketing his book.

[34:57] The publishing company will help Anik’s internal goals when it comes to scale. To be a publisher you have to publish at least five different authors.

[36:21] Being a publisher fits in with Anik’s business model. Today is the best day to be an author.

[37:17] He would also consider traditionally publishing books

[38:42] Anik shares how we got endorsements from Robert Kiyosaki and Les Brown.

[40:19] He was shaking when he met Robert Kiyosaki it was really a great honor.

[41:08] He promotes his book wherever he goes and always carries a copy with him. This is his message to the world and he asks for endorsements whenever he can.

[41:48] Stop thinking and start doing. When you are passionate about something it will come out.

[43:57] Also it helps to write an outline.

Links and Resources:

self-publishingschool.com

Spsfreetraining.com

Circle of Profit

Recorder Plus

Rev

Robert Kiyosaki

Les Brown

Lurn

Anik Singal on Facebook

Anik Singal on LinkedIn

SPS 043: The Getting Things Done Approach to Writing Your First Book with David Allen

David Allen is the author of Getting Things Done the book that many refer to as the productivity bible. David has 35 years experience as a management consultant and executive coach, but he is best known as the personal productivity guru behind the Getting Things Done Method. He is also known as the GTD Guy.

David believes in having a relaxed balance of perspective and control, by getting things off of your mind, so you are free of stress and can achieve a “mind like water”. The GTD work-life balance system has helped countless individuals and organizations bring order to chaos. David is considered the leading authority in organization and personal productivity. Today, we discuss the GTD approach to book writing and the power of getting things done.

You can find David here:
Getting Things Done
@gtdguy on Twitter
Books by David Allen
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
David Allen on LinkedIn
David Allen on Instagram
David Allen on Facebook
Ready for Anything
Making It All Work

Show Notes
[01:10] It took David 25 years to figure out that what he had figured out was unique.
[02:09] David decided to write the manual on what he had figured out.
[02:33] He spent a day with an advisory group. To talk about writing a book or manual.
[03:31] In 1997, he decided to get his life out of his head and write Getting Things Done.
[04:02] He had no idea the movement that his book would spark.
[04:48] He had high anticipation, but no expectation. There was still a lot of time management and organization information already out there.
[06:12] Making his vision available for the rest of the world.
[06:38] First, David did research about how to write a book. How writing the business plan for the book was agonizing and productive.
[08:56] How a publisher suggested that a broad book would offer more value. He also suggested that David get an agent. He still has the same agent today.
[10:08] David had been capturing ideas with mind mapping software. Then he wrote a business plan. Then a crude outline of the book and content which included his earlier notes organized.
[12:12] It took a year to make it a real project. The next year was writing the first draft that didn’t work.
[12:58] David discovered that books and seminars are different. He also wrote reviews for his book first and raised the bar too high for what he needed to create.
[13:55] He threw away his first draft and started again. He wanted people to see the methodology sooner. Then he wrote the book in three parts: methodology, implementation, how cool the outcome could be. This took another year.
[15:06] The fourth year was spent creating the title, book cover, etc.
[15:55] One of the most impactful things David did was let a line editor clean up his work. He rewrote his book with their edits to learn to think about simplifying what he was saying.
[17:15] Editing was the art. This changed his writing from then on. He now tries to simplify and say things in the shortest way.
[18:02] How a book is a very intimate thing. You need to reach readers with an idea of nurturing and support and making things easy and fun.
[18:46] Talking with a reader as if you have your hand on their shoulder.
[19:26] Writing requires bandwidth and freedom of time. David needed at least four hours with nothing else to do to get into the flow of writing.
[20:22] Structuring time to write depends on your life, but everyone needs to block out time when they can think best. You need freedom of consciousness to write.
[22:06] Writing takes dedicated time. It can’t be done between the lines.
[22:25] Get everything meaningful out of your head and clarify actions. You can only feel good about what you are not doing when you know what you are to doing.
[23:27] Have a place to capture any idea that might be relevant. From mind mapping to Word docs. Don’t lose your raw data.
[24:21] Have a process for a trusted capture system to get to a rough draft. The rough draft gets things going.
[24:48] Build quality time take your raw data and blueprint and follow the path.
[25:15] Redrafting edits can teach you a lot. Using as few words as possible.
[28:31] How it was fun working with a ghost writer on David’s second book Ready for Anything.
[29:35] How most business books are ghost written they aren’t usually written by the guru.
[31:25] Finding a format with categories or common themes and how they tie together.
[32:56] You can’t write a book without blocking quality time. Create a marketplace with the idea for your book and have one place for your ideas. Ask yourself why you want to do it.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Getting Things Done
@gtdguy on Twitter
Books by David Allen
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity
David Allen on LinkedIn
David Allen on Instagram
David Allen on Facebook
Ready for Anything
Making It All Work

SPS 041: Using Books to Drive Product Launches with Danny Iny

There needs to be a driving force behind product launches. Danny Iny has found that using books is the perfect driver. Danny is the founder of Mirasee, the host of the Business Reimagined Podcast, and bestselling author of multiple books including Engagement from Scratch!, The Audience Revolution, and Teach and Grow Rich. He is also the creator of the Audience Business Masterclass and Course Builder’s Laboratory which has graduated over 5000 value driven entrepreneurs.

Danny is on top of his game, and a great friend of mine. He doesn’t lose sight of the importance of impact and making a difference in people’s lives. Today, we talk about mistakes Danny made with his very first book. The tactics he used to write and market his official first book, and the importance of creating value for everyone you are involved with from readers to customers and collaborators.

You can find Danny here:
Mirasee
@DannyIny on Twitter
Books by Danny Iny
Danny Iny on LinkedIn
Engagement from Scratch!
The Audience Revolution
Teach and Grow Rich
Audience Business Masterclass
Course Builder’s Laboratory
Business Reimagined Podcast

Show Notes
[01:37] Danny’s actual first book was a book about writing published in 2006. It’ a self-published book and Danny knew nothing about marketing. The lesson learned from this book was that he needed to learn about marketing.
[03:13] In 2011, he published Engagement from Scratch! this was a compilation book about building engagement with your audience.
[04:00] This book was about building an audience when you don’t have one. This book put Danny on the map and grew his initial audience.
[05:36] His co-authors were people who had an audience and reach that he worked hard to build a relationship with. These people are rock stars now and it helped Danny build his reach.
[06:40] Danny was guest posting everywhere. His pitch invited people to contribute a chapter.
[10:32] When asking present what is in it for them and be honest about it.
[11:27] His strategy was to glean knowledge and get extra promotion from his guest authors for the book. He also sent each co-author two or three copies.
[13:03] Measuring up against expectations of people who help you out.
[14:40] The large amount of people who get a book deal and then don’t deliver.
[15:17] With self-published books, you can control everything.
[16:32] How giving away free books actually boosted sales and helped Danny’s career.
[18:13] Having a book support team of people with an audience.
[20:01] If people download a book from your website, you can reach out to them. Danny told his list he was available for podcast interviews.
[23:59] Using the book itself as part of the prelaunch process.
[25:04] People look at things differently when they are learning as opposed to being sold to.
[25:54] The importance of delivering real value and information in a way that people are receptive to it.
[26:41] How a real book can be powerful. Educate the market and help readers accomplish something meaningful.
[28:04] More people will optin in for a download rather than a video. The pages of your book determine how much people will read.
[31:49] Properly resourced projects tend to do well.
[32:52] The book should be great, but your offer is the core of what you are doing.
[34:43] Structure of a launch. First video helps people to see an opportunity that wasn’t there before. Second video helping them to see that it is possible for them. Overcome objections. Third video show what life can be like after the journey.
[36:52] 1 star reviews can be frustrating, just accept it and move on.
[38:35] Books as a long term play. It leads into a launch or an evergreen offer. A book is part of your body and work. The more you create the more visible it is. Create great stuff and write a great book.
[40:25] When cool things happen it is not a surprise. Writing something great will attract a higher caliber or better fit of students or customers.
[42:29] Think about why you want to write and publish a book. Don’t have things that are just steps in the ladder.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Mitch Joel
Guy Kawasaki
Seth Godin
Copyblogger
Self-Publishing Summit
Disrupted
Mirasee
@DannyIny on Twitter
Books by Danny Iny
Danny Iny on LinkedIn
Engagement from Scratch!
The Audience Revolution
Teach and Grow Rich
Audience Business Masterclass
Course Builder’s Laboratory
Business Reimagined Podcast

SPS 040: What I’ve Learned from Writing 10+ Books with Joanna Penn

Fiction writing is fun and creative, but it has it’s own unique set of challenges. Things like character, plot, dialogue and more can trip up new fiction writers. Today, we have NY Times and USA Today bestselling thriller author J.F. Penn here to explain the nuances between writing fiction and nonfiction.

Joanna Penn is a creative entrepreneur, podcaster, professional speaker, and travel junkie who has broken the code with writing fiction and nonfiction and is an expert in the publishing and self publishing industry. She shares the importance of choosing a genre, finding good editors, setting deadlines, research tips, her favorite tools, her favorite books and all kinds of knowledge that will help first time and more experienced authors.

You can find Joanna here:
The Creative Penn
J.F.Penn on Pinterest
J.F.Penn Books
Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn

Show Notes:
[01:56] Differences between writing fiction and nonfiction. There are skills that you need for fiction that you never needed before.
[02:19] Point of view. When writing fiction you can choose a first or third person point of view.
[02:50] Dialogue. This is a skill unto itself.
[03:05] Story structure. If you have read thousands of books it may be embedded, but this is where the craft comes in. There a quite a few things you need to learn to make a reader feel satisfied.
[03:31] You can get some of this through osmosis by reading the genre in which you are going to write, but these skills also need to be honed.
[03:47] Joanna’s first fiction book process. She also blogged about it. She discovered genre and that she loved super natural thrillers. You need an idea to sustain you through the tough times.
[05:05] Her first novel took 14 months. You need to be so excited about your idea. Joanna has been journaling since she was 15. The seed for her idea was from 10 years before. Put everything in your head, so that it can come out in a story.
[06:11] The first book was based on her travels and put into a framework of a story.
[06:47] Sustainable idea? Believing that you are creative enough There is a creativity muscle. Any skill that you use, you can learn more. Look into things you are curious about.
[08:12] Build an audience over time by writing a series.
[08:45] Research and get ideas. Joanna travels a lot. Read other books. Put it all in your head, so that it can come out again. Follow your curiosity.
[10:09] People who like similar things to you will be interested in your fiction.
[10:55] Use Scrivener for your first draft. Often in fiction you don’t write in order. You can write in scenes.
[11:54] Put everything into Scrivener and flush everything out or just start writing. Use timed writing.
[13:22] First drafts for fiction writers are really bad. When you discover you need to learn something learn it by taking a class on dialogue.
[13:51] Hire a ton of editors. Your first book will be the most expensive because you have the most to learn.
Structural edit – story structure etc. Line edits and proof readers. This teaches you how to write.
[15:23] Find an editor that likes your genre. It’s unlikely to find a perfect match on the first try. As you change, your editor will change.
[16:14] Your editor needs to understand your genre. You want one that will fix you and make you better without changing your voice. It takes about 5 books to find your voice.
[17:10] As we become better writers it is ok to rewrite. Your voice comes out when you write what you really think.
[18:00] Joanna uses beta readers for expert suggestions to critique and their expertise and make the book more accurate.
[19:17] Writers groups aren’t really the best place for a critique. Pay an editor.
[20:52] Network with groups of authors online that are in your genre.
[21:48] Joanna goes through every edit manually because she is always wanting to learn.
[22:37] How it feels to get the edits. It can be brutal. Don’t look at it immediately. Give yourself time to read it. Then wait before making changes. Then go back and try to see with different eyes.
[24:03] Series are easier because you already have the characters and a design. HEA happily ever after. Once you understand your genre think about what you need.
[25:21] Destroyer of Worlds based on a statue in India. Brainstorming and Hindu mythology and Oppenheimer then start researching and reading books. Create questions and notes. Maybe spend a month on this part. Create characters, setting, and then start putting scenes in Scrivener. Have a plot because something needs to happen.
[28:06] Joanna has a Pinterest board for each book. Learning and going down rabbit holes can help flush out the book.
[28:43] How much research is enough? Joanna keeps her research in Scrivener. Set a deadline to get it done.
[29:42] Look at your schedule and work out how much time a day that you can spend writing. You can research more as you write.
[31:10] How fiction uses a different part of your brain. Stuff can just come out. It’s stuff you put in your brain at some point. Filling the creative well.
[31:57] Joanna now dictates her books. She also listens to rain and thunderstorms when she writes.
[32:57] You need structure in order to let your creativity out.
[33:25] Joanna writes between 2000 and 4000 words a day. In the morning at her desk or outside as she dictates.
[33:59] Fiction writing is tiring. If you use your willpower early. Fiction writing requires making decisions for your characters which makes it tiring. Writing a novel is hard work.
[35:45] After the first five novels, you get more relaxed and trust yourself more. What comes into your head tends to be the right structure.
[39:03] Carrying over subplots keep notes or have a series.
[40:10] Use brevity to reintroduce characters.
[40:35] Write in areas that you are interested in. How AI will help with book discovery.
[42:14] Deconstructing a novel to learn how to write. Using this as an outline to model.
[43:37] Finding story and plot in the real world. 95% truth and 5% fiction.

Links and Resources:
self-publishingschool.com
Spsfreetraining.com
Joanna’s Blog About Her First Novel
Scrivener
The Story Grid
Bird by Bird
First Blood
Save the Cat Moment
The Creative Penn
J.F.Penn on Pinterest
J.F.Penn Books
Joanna on Twitter @thecreativepenn
SPS 016: My Exact Process for Writing 16 Books with Joanna Penn

How to Be an Author: 5 Personality Characteristics You Want to Nurture

Becoming a new author requires a unique fortitude and strength of character.

Writing a book forces you to plan, write, and edit between 50,000 to 100,000 words!

It also requires working with an editor, a publisher (or self-publishing), a design team, and developing a book launch strategy to get readers to see your upcoming bestseller on Amazon. This amount of work can feel overwhelming and can easily crush your confidence.

But what makes new authors become bestsellers like Stephen King comes down to one factor: hard work.

Writing takes tremendous effort, but more importantly, requires a strong mindset. Having coached and taught so many successful writers ourselves, we’ve studied and compiled all of their strongest personal qualities that you can adopt and apply to your life to become an author.

how to be an author

This guide covers how to:

  1. Exercise Patience
  2. Apply Consistency
  3. Practice Optimism
  4. Value Criticism
  5. Be Empathetic

Let’s reveal how these qualities can shape you to become a published author.

1. Exercise Patience

Writing a book is not an overnight process. It takes a lot of time! Part of learning how to be a professional writer means that you have to cultivate not only discipline and focus, but patience.

The good news is that patience is something that can be developed with practice. Suzannah Windsor Freeman, author of The Busy Mom’s Guide to Writing, discovered that “infinite patience” was the key to her success.

Freeman also famously said, “If your dream were to be a concert pianist, you wouldn’t expect to sit down and just play. You’d take lessons for many years, practice every day, and sacrifice a great deal in order to achieve that dream. So, why do we expect ourselves to be able to write well without the same level of commitment and patience?” Her words advocate that the more time you spend practicing your craft with patience, the better writer you will become.

Action Plan: Cultivate patience by practicing your craft everyday. Whether it’s creative writing or creating short stories, experiment with any form of writing to improve your skills and develop great ideas.

2. Apply Consistency

To become a professional writer, you must treat writing like a serious job. This means that you must commit to a consistent schedule and adhere to a writing process in order to develop good habits and not waste time.

Consider the following strategies to make yourself more consistent as you start the writing process:

  • Emulate the “Calendar Strategy.” With a calendar, mark an X for each day you write and make it a goal to not break the chain.
  • Find your creative space. Find and create your own space where you’re most comfortable and creative. Whether it’s your office, a coffee shop, or even your kitchen, use it as your place to write everyday.
  • Create a writing schedule. Writing at the same time everyday will develop a consistent writing habit. Consistent writing actually creates a muscle memory, triggering your brain to turn on creativity when you sit down to write.

For more writing strategies, check out our guide on 7 Strategies to Start Writing Your Book Today.

Action Plan: Experiment with these methods to optimize your writing process. Following a consistent plan will easily double your output and complete your book in no time.

3. Practice Optimism

Psychologists say that practicing optimism can help you be more productive and live a happier life. It can also help you overcome inevitable pitfalls like writer’s block. The best part is, you can train yourself to think more positively and take on even the worst events that can negatively impact your life.

Here are a few ways to practice optimism:

  • Anticipate a positive outcome. Our realities reflect what we think, making our perception of reality the mirror of our thoughts. So having a positive attitude will always increase your optimism, even at your worst.
  • Share your optimism with others. Optimism is a contagious attitude powerful enough to shift the momentum of any negative situation to a positive one. So share your  positivity with others and build that unshakable force to complete your goal.
  • Remove all negativity. Negativity will bring you down, and surrounding yourself with it will encourage more pessimistic thoughts and self-doubt. Avoid it at all cost.

Action Plan: In your writing process, come up with both negative and positive outcomes for any given situation. For each negative situation, try to look for positive outcomes and work towards turning it into a favorable result.

4. Value Criticism

No matter how amazing your book is, there’s always someone who will harshly criticize your work. Instead of viewing it as a humiliating remark, learn to apply the feedback to your writing.

Developing a thick skin is one the hardest things to do, and like many of the other characteristics, takes time to build.

When writing your book, you can build resilience to criticism by practicing the following:

  • Anticipate harsh edits and rearrangements across your entire book.
  • Prepare to cut out your favorite paragraphs or sentences.
  • Count on reading plenty of negative reviews on Amazon, social media or by the press.

Action Plan: Try to find positive feedback from every negative criticism or review on your book. Make it a goal to develop enough flexibility so that one day it will no longer bother you.

5. Be Empathetic

Know that by sharing your story, you’re helping someone else. Your unique experience will empathize with readers and they will draw strength from the words you wrote in your book.

Here are two successful authors whose work has touched many readers:

  • Professor Randy Pausch, author of The Last Lecture, was faced with a terminal illness at a young age. Rather than wallow and fade away, he used his last days to create his masterpiece. His book wasn’t about death, but rather short stories that advocated the importance of overcoming hurdles and capturing every moment you have to live for. His generosity to share his life resonated with readers as a tale of courage and inspiration to anyone facing similar adversities.
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, wrote her memoir while going through a devastating divorce that left her full of anxiety and panic. She stressed the importance of discovering the best version of herself by leaving behind her previous life to set out to explore the different aspects of nature within food, travel, and love. Her painful story of loss and regrowth profoundly connected to readers so much that it eventually became a movie.

Action Plan: Make the effort to write down the biggest obstacles you’ve encountered and explain how you have dealt with them. You will be surprised to see how meaningful your story is to your readers.

Adopting these characteristics can mean the difference between seeing your name on the best-seller list and never publishing your first book. Applying these practices not only help you become a published author, but also a better person.

Join Chandler Bolt at his FREE Webinar Training as he reveals the exact tactics and strategies he used to write and publish 6 bestselling books in a row – and how he used them to build a 7-figure business in less than 2 years!

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