Credibility

Should you publish?

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When people meet me, we invariably get into a discussion regarding publishing. As many of you will probably already know, I have been writing and publishing, in various forms, for over 30 years. It’s something I enjoy and get a lot of satisfaction from. It is also something I have taught to others over the years.

But should YOU publish?

The answer depends on a number of factors, not least of which is WHAT are you going to publish – because there are several different ways to publish something. But, most people mean “publish books” when they talk about publishing. So I will stick with that concept for the rest of this post.

What are the advantages of publishing a book?

Consider these:

  • Greater exposure – a book can gain you a wider audience
  • Greater credibility – a book can give you that credibility that you need (after all, how many people do YOU know that have written and published a book?)
  • Greater income – some people make a full-time living out of writing and publishing
  • Greater networking – collaborative publishing can enhance your network of like minded people
  • Greater incentive – getting one book published can be a simple stepping stone to getting more done in a productive and progressive way.

 

But, of course, I am aware that people are afraid of publishing something for a variety of reasons – including fear, time constraints and lack of knowledge regarding the process.

Yes, there are considerations and hurdles to overcome but they are easily surmountable. the more you worry about them, the bigger the barriers appear. Trust me, the process is easily do-able. I have done it many times.

I am going to produce a course to explain it all step-by-step so that it becomes clear to all.

Don’t forget: we all have a book (or two) in us. Including YOU!

 

Kindle Experiment: Using free book giveaway days

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In a previous post I mentioned a collaborative effort that I am involved in. Briefly, a group of 10 of us are pooling our expertise and resources to develop and promote a series of self-help Kindle books. The project itself is not only fun but an excellent illustration of how to focus on one thing – after all, you are reliant on others just as they are reliant on you. The effort has many dimensions and it would not be my intention to discuss or reveal them all in this post but I wanted to take a bit of time to mention one – free Kindle giveaway days.

Our 11 books are on the Kindle platform, I consider myself a semi-expert on Kindle now but to my shame I had never published via Kindle until this latest project (I say to my shame because in all other respects I am a longstanding and prolific writer). Kindle is still relatively new and growing and people like the portability of their electronic reading devices – coupled, in no small way, by the fact that you can get 10,000 books onto a device smaller and lighter than the average paperback.

Being a Kindle publisher opens new concepts to the average author. For example, people can borrow your Kindle books just like they can borrow conventional works in a local library. People can buy and be reading a book on Kindle within seconds. And they can easily “return” and get refunds for books they don’t care for. Added to this is the Amazon functionality of user ratings, user reviews, “look insides”, free chapters etc. all of which make the book buying (and authoring) experience unique and exciting.

There is one other feature worth mentioning – “free” days. By enrolling into the free “KDP Select” scheme, an author can allow their book to be available free of charge for up to 5 days in any 90 day period. That has to be novel and ground breaking. But why would an author wish his or her book to be available free?

There are several reasons:

  • Get noticed as an author: being a new author can be dificult sometimes – credibility and exposure takes a while to gain momentum
  • Getting your book exposed: your book can be set alongside major publications on free days
  • Encouraging others to read your stuff: getting your work into the hands of readers can brand your writing content and style
  • Encouraging ratings: those reading your book can rate it on a 5 star rating scale
  • Encouraging reviews: readers can place a review on your sales page for others to read
  • Getting onto free sites: by running a free promotion you can take the opportunity of exposing yourself on blogs, forums and book sites, many of which will advertise your free offer without charge – great for gaining more exposure, credibility and reviews.

(In a future blog post, depending on energy and demand, I may share with you a collection of places ripe and ready to feature your books on).

Publishing on the Kindle platform opens up doors that were never known to exist for many authors. Taking advantage of the free promotional days can, with a little extra work, be profitable and, yes, exciting.

My book “Easy Steps to Organization” is available free on the Kindle platform on December 3rd and 4th. You can check it out HERE and see the other titles and the Warrior Guides website

 

Project Group Power – Actionable Sharing

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We use the term “teamwork” lightly these days. I can’t remember how many resumes I have read which have stated how the candidate values the concept of teamwork and works well as part of “a team”. Hell, I have even used this concept loosely myself. As I write this I am a little over 24 hours away from meeting a great group of people who are all interested in joint venture partnership. I have to present how I, myself, have worked as part of a team. I wonder if the following account would have any value?

I am currently in the middle of working with another fantastic group of people in developing and promoting a series of self-help guides which are already published on the Amazon Kindle platform. The whole concept started shortly after I joined a private forum group led by Brian Kumar in which, subsequently, a good acquaintance, Dr Mani, headed the Kindle experiment.

15 of us showed interest and were accepted into the project and 10 of us continue to thrive and survive. Our mission was to produce a series of self-help guides under a branded umbrella (the Warrior Guides series). We each chose an area of interest and expertise and set to work writing on Kindle books – a learning curve for many of us even at that stage.

We recognised not only the huge power in numbers together with the beauty in teamwork but also the value that we each give to various parts the project. One of us leads by example, one of us has skills in design. One member knows the intricacies of website programming and one has the credibility and vision to glue the whole process together. I, for my part, deliver the ability to focus and work towards deadlines in lieu of intelligence or technological wizardry.

The result? 11 self-help guides written by individuals as part of a series and uploaded, ready for sale, on the Amazon Kindle platform. Add to this a perfectly designed and executed website collating the efforts of us all together with a high-class professionally produced video on YouTube and I hope you can get a glimpse of the relative enormity of what we were trying to achieve.

The teamwork doesn’t end there. Oh no. Doctor Mani has already developed, written and distributed an agreed marketing plan to us all whereupon we will each take responsibilities and roles in different areas to help the marketing concept of the series as a whole. Article marketing, link developing, social media exposure and a whole host of other interactions will, in time we hope, promote the branding of our series and lead to a healthy and satisfying income.

We have the belief, as yet unproven, that the skills and efforts of us all will multiply the value of the project. Whether we succeed or not is dependent upon a number of factors other than teamwork itself. But I believe we have developed a blueprint of action that is repeatable and transferable to other projects.

Could each individual achieve the same name without the power of the team? I expect so, but experience has shown me in the past that the work required by the individual far surpasses the momentum generated by the team. Furthermore, by working together we developed a common aim and vision which allowed us to focus on our individual responsibilities whilst at the same time trying, where possible, to avoid letting other members of the team down.

The project itself is one of reasonable magnitude. Could any individual develop each and every part themselves? Could the sole worker maintain an overall bird’s-eye view? Could a single person maintain the focus needed to succeed at each stage? I’m certain that the answer is “no” to each of these questions but even so the effort needed for the lone worker is too much.I have come to learn that things always take longer than expected. With individual members of the team working to their strengths we have speed, accuracy and dependability on our side.

Using just speed as an example, how long do you think it would take you to accomplish the following: writing 11 books, formatting the books, designing 11 covers, loading each onto the Amazon Kindle platform,developing a marketing plan, developing a prominent video, listing the books on various Kindle websites, developing an advertising program,arranging for individual reviews of the 11 books, developing a central web hub, collating and evaluating results?

So, thinking back to my initial question regarding the presentation I am to give at my forthcoming joint venture workshop, would my Warrior Guides project serve as useful proof to the power and value of teamwork? I will let you be the judge of that but the answer for me is a resounding “yes”. Has the project itself proved value? Financially, we are still in the early stages of marketing and promotion. But I have already met nine other wonderful people that have proven themselves to have definite skills in a wide range of areas and who have the ability to collaborate in a positive way on a complex project.

You can check out our amazing video here:

and you can find out more about the project by visiting the Warrior Guides website. My own book in this series is Easy Steps to Organization

Social Media and Business – 23

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It is always wise and valuable to be aware of what is being said about you even if you do not interact. It gives you an opportunity to be forewarned about possible problems and difficulties. It gives you the opportunity to monitor the situation and make changes to your business that can help in the future.

Awareness gives you a head start over your competitors and makes you more in tune about what is going to come up within your social media conversations.

It should never be forgotten that word of mouth is a very powerful force. From the very time of our childhood, often despite evidence to the contrary, we have believed and trusted in what people have said.

We trust people before we distrust them. This is especially so when there is no profit or gain to be had. A person says something is good or bad, perhaps relating to a product or service, and we immediately take that as gospel truth.

Our own experiences will, of course, modify our opinion but that, in itself, is not justification for dismissing, out of hand, the views of others.

The trust factor is important for your business as well. Are you claiming something about your product or service that is simply not true? Are you providing information that is misleading or biased?

Sooner or later your consumer, and their global network of friends, will find you out so it is best not to act like this right from the outset. Saying you are the “best” at something or that your offer is the “highest quality” is not likely to be greeted with trust.

However, saying that you goofed up or made a mistake will give you much more credibility and trust in the marketplace. You are, after all, considering the needs and wants of your consumers.

Many businesses are losing out on advertising by utilising outmoded and expensive modalities when they could be using social media platforms instead. TV and radio, newspapers and magazines are very passive advertising platforms whereas social media is interactive and accessible by all.

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