Book Publishing … Is This Your Year?

Are you like 80 percent of the population? Is there a book in you? Something that will establish your expertise, your credibility? Have you being gathering amazing stories during your years in nursing? In Management? As an executive? Have you thought about publishing “something” that would get your foot in the door as the “go to” person? What about a reposition within the industry or a transitional leap? Have you just finished a Masters or Doctorate that your thesis or dissertation just might be the genesis for a book?

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Starting a book is a major event. Ditto for creating a book. Continuing the journey deserves a tap dance or two. Launching it is a firework celebration.

As The Book Shepherd to many, the author of 30 books myself, my goal is always for the author to create a book that she or he doesn’t regret. The cover, the insides, the content, the editing, the time spent creating it, the ____.

One of the most important things that an author—new or old—must keep at the forefront is the voice—is it his or hers? Or, has it been so morphed by others in the process that it has gotten lost … not to be found. This is the year that your voice is heard above the noise—the noise of millions of other books that are out there.

  • Let this be your year that you are not lost; that you are found in the present and the future.
  • Let this be the year that you will seek and find the answers to every question you have … and ones that you didn’t know were circling, just waiting for you to ask.
  • Let this be the year that you invest in both your work and yourself to get it grounded and launched.
  • Let this be the year that your Author and Book Platforms rock and roll!
  • Let this be the year that you build on your crowd—or as Seth Godin says: the tribe.
  • Let this be the year that your crowd—your readers—find you.
  • Let this be the year that you, and your book, are truly findable across the Internet.
  • Let this be the year that no one looks at you with a glaze in their eyes as you share that you are publishing your book with your own imprint.
  • Let this be the year that you say, “I can do that. I can be a bestseller.”

It’s an exciting time to be an author; it’s an awesome time to be a publisher. The typical author, especially the author that views his path aligned with a traditional publisher, wants the details to be taken care by others—to in some ways, be taken care of. The independent author/publisher knows that “if it is going to happen,” he needs to be intricately involved in the process. He must continue his education; keep updated on marketing strategies and tools; and stay connected with others in the authoring/publishing community.

That’s because you want to educate yourself, you want to find out what’s happening in indie publishing, you want to learn about book construction, or you want to find out the cool new ways people are marketing their books. No longer does an author write a book, get it published and wait. Wait for success or wait for the end, meaning sales have dwindled to zilch and the ride is other. Today’s savvy author knows that his book can have a never-ending life—with marketing smarts, vision, passion, commitment and the tribe.

Welcome to my world … the world of publishing that I embraced in 2000 when a client said, “We would like to buy 1,000 copies of your book that you will be speaking about in the spring … and do you think you could arrange a discount with the publisher.” Of course I said, “Yes,” knowing that I had just taken the rights back from the traditional publisher and to the best of my knowledge, only 60 copies existed. I jumped in; started to learn the insider’s world of publishing; the dollars and sense of publishing; and how to find people to create the book that I committed to deliver on my promise. I was an already an author of 18 published books; now I was to become a publisher. Heady stuff.

What I’m thankful for is that I did come from the traditional publishing side. My visual model. My books were edited and professionally designed on the interior and exterior. When I created my own imprint, it never dawned on me to do it half-assed … I expected that my first book would be of quality—that’s what I grew up with as a beginning author in 1981. The vanity press/publishing model? Never an option—not even in my sights.

The growth of quality independent publishing is phenomenal and will only continue to escalate; the “e” world has become a pearl for many authors who would have never had a chance; and the separation of the vanities and publishing predators from true independents is comparable to buying a cheap 50 cent toy that breaks when it is picked up versus one that is designed to last.

Indeed, here’s to you and the book that is within you … just waiting to come out.

PSmy latest book, Author YOU: Creating and Building the Author and Book Platforms, is perfect for anyone who is interested in authoring and publishing. Get it on Amazon today, then email me at Judith@Briles.com … I’ll send you the inside link to download $2600 in special gifts designed for the author-to-be.

 

JudithBriles_oval-2 Judith Briles is a sought after conference speaker and is known as The Book Shepherd (www.TheBookShepherd.com), a book publishing coach and the Founder Chief Visionary Officer of Author U (niversity (www.AuthorU.org), a membership organization created for the author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 30 books including Author YOU: Creating and Building Your Author and Book Platforms has just been published. Besides publishing, Judith is a recognized health care expert in dealing with toxic behavior in the workplace (Stabotage! How to Deal with the Pit Bulls, Skunks, Snakes, Scorpions & Slugs in the Health Care Workplace and  Zapping Conflict in the Health Care Workplace).

Join Judith live on Thursdays at 6 p.m. EST for Your Guide to Book Publishing on www.RockStarRadioNetwork.com. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.

How Should I Publish? New York or On My Own? What Should I Do?

Should you publish to enhance your credibility, reputation … or just launch into a new stage of your career … or a new career.

                       

Not a week goes by that these questions don’t surface via email or a phone call:

  • Should I try to sell my book to New York?
  • Should I self-publish?
  • What’s the difference between the two?
  • What should I do?

Fair enough … all valid questions … all important. Without writing a full chapter for one of my books, let’s address these.

New York, New York
Before you decide that New York is your route, you need to ask yourself why you want to publish via New York. Do you know how many books are typically sold via New York? Do you know how much money you will net in royalties? Do you feel that you may be tainted if you don’t publish with a New York publisher? Could it be your ego speaking?

Truth be told, many, many authors feel that New York has greater credibility. Maybe—maybe it doesn’t matter. The better questions you need to address include: Who is your market? How are you going to reach out to them? Are your buyers going to go to book stores to find you? What is your game plan? Better yet, do you have one?

More times than not, authors come away a tad sour from their New York experience—they thought it would be so much more—that the publisher would pitch and market the book everywhere; sell gazillions of copies; get them a blizzard of media; they would make oodles of money; it would be so much fun; and all would live happily ever after.

New York will produce, print and publish your book approximately 18 months after you sign the contract. It promises to do all that via the contract you sign. New York also brings distribution channels—that doesn’t guarantee you are going to be in a book store. And that’s just about it.  Authors must understand that in the great majority of cases, they—not a publicist supplied by the publisher—are going to become the PR and marketing pros. Publishing with New York means that you aren’t fronting the production fees for your book—which could easily run into the thousands of dollars—but that’s where the book stops.

The average author with New York sells around 500 books these days—it’s why, if they take a book, the advances are quite small. Oh, the big names of New York Times bestseller status do get advance dollars—but they are in the minority. Most authors, especially first-times are looking at the dregs. And that 500 copies sold only produces a few thousand dollars.

 

 

Or Not …

Why would you consider taking another route … the route where you do it yourself? Start with:

Timing. If the traditional New York publisher’s round-trip for publishing a book is 18 months, the self and independent routes are far more attractive. Once an edited manuscript goes to layout, timing is a few weeks and printing another four (offset is four-five weeks, digital less than two weeks, POD a few days), an author is looking at printed books arriving in less than two months. Much more attractive, especially if there is an event that the author can be selling books at—meaning full, or close to, full retail price.

Quality. It’s morphed—New York has cut corners—from paper quality to even the amount of glue used for perfect bound books. Authors, using the vast networks available to them via the independent publishing route can discover a variety of pros to assist them. Yes, you pay upfront … but shop, negotiate where you can, make sure you check references and get samples of work before you sign anything.

Control. If wanting the final say of what the cover design is; if approving what the interior looks like; and if specifying time lines are important to you—than being in control is something that plays in your court. When you self and independent publish, think of yourself as the general contractor. Yes, it takes work … lots of it … but the pay-off and satisfaction can be significant.

Money. If you put together your Platforms and Marketing Plans—are committed and see the publishing process as a business, the money can be significantly greater publishing it yourself versus with New York. When you sell any books directly to a buyer, you get the money … also directly. If you want to make a living via authoring, learning how to publish yourself—either in the “self publishing” or “independent publishing” route—can be lucrative.

What Should You Do?
Don’t think of New York as an either/or option. You can do both, and it may make sense to just that. In fact, one strategy is to publish on your own, do well with the objective of getting an editors attention in New York, who in turn makes an offer. Not an uncommon thing for a successful self or indie publisher/author to receive.

Start your learning curve today. Get involved with legitimate publishing groups. Join them, attend their meetings. Meet and schmooze with other authors—what worked, what didn’t? Who did they work with that they would work with again and who would they avoid? Look at their books? If they are eBook authors only, same questions.  Most important, understand whatever option you choose, this thing called publishing is a business. There are expenses/outgo … and the ultimate goal is to have income/revenues.

For me, I started with New York in 1979 and 18 of my 30 books have been with them. It’s been a long journey. I learned a lot. But it wasn’t until I started publishing on my own in 2000 that I began to really know publishing … and know it well, I do. Would I publish with New York again? Maybe. Maybe not. Right now, I like the Control, Quality, Timing and Money options.

  Judith Briles

 is the Author and Publishing Expert, The Book Shepherd (www.TheBookShepherd.com) and the Founder of Author U (niversity (www.AuthorU.org), a membership organization created for the author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. Judith is the author of 30 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Her next book, Author YOU: Creating and Developing the Author and Book Platforms will be available fall 2012. Catch her radio show, Your Guide to Book Publishing on Thursdays at 6 pm, EST. http://rockstarradionetwork.com/shows/yourguidetobookpublishing

Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook. Join the Author U LinkedIn group and add your voice. If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.

 

Book Publishing: Eat, Prey & Kind of Love …

Eat, Prey & Kind of Love …

First of all, I have to tell you . . . I did not like Elizabeth Gilbert’s book, Eat, Pray, Love. Oh, there’s no question that the author is talented. It’s well written—about a married women who doesn’t want to be married. She’s got to do a re-direct on her life to find herself, so she’s taking a year off and schmoozing, speaking Italian and eating in Italy, praying in India, and loving in Indonesia.

Did I mention she does love her husband, David—the one she doesn’t want to be married to? What scares the hooey out of her is having a baby—something that, in the early days of their relationship, they agreed they would do when the big 30 hit. Fast forward to now; it’s approaching and our author is a blabbering mess.

Here’s what I didn’t like about the book and the author: she did not communicate to hubby that babies weren’t her forte and that it wasn’t going to work for her. Then the two could have come to closure instead of her dumping him for a new language, some pasta, and eventually meeting a guy who wasn’t interested in increasing the population.

What’s this got to do with authoring and publishing besides the book itself? Everything. Let’s start with clear, effective communicating, which is what many of the iUniverses, AuthorHouses and those who package publishing projects don’t do. My favorite thing about AuthorHouse is the coining of the word “authorcentric”—it’s a very cool word and one that I embrace. I wish AuthorHouse did. Then there’s iUniverse, which claims to be the champion of “supported self-publishing.” What’s supported self-publishing? Per iUniverse (via its website):

Self-publishing your book with the support of iUniverse is a professional, affordable, and fast way to get your book into print. Compared to publishing on your own, it costs you control of some aspects of the publishing process, but only in exchange for less hassle and expense. iUniverse professionals with book-publishing expertise will educate and guide you through the entire process for an affordable price. Supported self-publishing also enables you to test your marketing abilities and learn about the publicity process without emptying your bank account or making it your full-time career. And, because you control the rights to your book, you can get started with supported self-publishing but move to a traditional publisher—or choose to self-publish on your own—after you have experience and a track record.

Let’s look at the folks at AuthorHouse via its website:

AuthorHouse has grown into the largest self-publishing company in the world – responsible for helping more than 40,000 authors publish more than 60,000 books. AuthorHouse allows you to maintain creative and financial control of your book while receiving all the personalized attention and support you need – from publishing to promotion and everything between. AND AuthorHouse has  print-on-demand service that combines high-quality production with speed to market. Plus, formatting options and distribution capabilities can help set your book up for selling success.

Each boasts about its marketing services (very expensive), low cost entry into publishing for the author, generous payments (really?), distribution capability, etc., etc. AuthorHouse and iUniverse are just two of the many, many who proclaim themselves as “self-publishers” but who are, in reality, Vanity Presses. Period—nothing more, nothing less. They are huge and have a literal boiler-room approach, just like a hounding credit collection agency would—dial and re-dial … “If you don’t respond by today at two, our special offer will no longer be available … blah, blah, blah.” They eat, prey (on writers), and probably just love themselves. Communicate clearly? … nope. It’s grey everywhere.

They all use a POD model—which I’m the first to admit has a spot where it’s the right method for a quick print or end of life. But for the serious author/publisher, the one who intends on making money with a pBook format, this is a pass.

Self-publishers who are truly serious about their books and being successful need to step, no run, away from the term self-publishing. It no longer fits. The correct term is small press or independent publisher. Use it. Embrace it. Wear it with pride.

 

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd (www.TheBookShepherd.com) and the Founder of Author U (niversity (www.AuthorU.org), a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. She’s the author of 28 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.

 

 

Book Publishing: It’s Not a Fad … It’s a Trend-Skipping NY

 

Book Publishing: It’s Not a Fad … It’s a Trend

A distinct trend has surfaced with book shepherding clients I’ve worked with this past year. These successful, traditionally published authors are choosing to bypass New York. Yes, if they offered their ideas, their manuscripts to the traditional publishing community via their agents, the odds were extremely high that they would receive a hefty offer to publish the new book. Yet, these authors chose not to. Why?

For years, I’ve been talking about the four primary reasons I left traditional publishing: control, quality, timing, and money. Their reasons matched mine. What publishers do in support of authors has declined to a minor fraction of just 10 years ago; in fact, most have turned into quasi printing houses that include cover design and minor editing only. Marketing has been pushed to the author with the expectation that if an advance had been paid, it would be used to promote the book. Publishing corners have been cut from the quality of paper and covers to the amount of glue in the spines. And authors have awakened to the fact that publishers are leaving a lot of money out of their pockets.

Just as kids grow up, express their independence, and get their drivers licenses, authors now want the keys to the publishing car. And it’s long overdue.

That’s where Author U comes in. You have the keys—with your hands on the wheel, you can go anywhere. The “anywhere” will be based on your platform, your vision, and your commitment. Along the way, Author U will introduce you to pit stops that will fuel your journey. You just have to keep refueling in the process. That’s where the Author U community comes into play along with the variety of programs that are available—some in person, others via computer.

Throughout the summer, the Tech Tool Box, Monday Evening Salons, and Webinars R Us have been active—book creation and book marketing don’t take vacations. Participating in them gives our members the up-front and personal attention by the presenters to dig down, learn the concept or tool, and implement them. Webinars have plenty of seats; Salons and Tech Tool Boxes are limited, with each being sold out. Make sure you check the dates and topics for each within The Resource newsletter and on the Author U website and sign up early.

The rest of the Author U year has been planned. Dinner and a Program will return on September 15th with presenter Jon Tandler focusing on all things legal in the publishing world—come with your list of questions. October 22nd will be a Saturday BootCamp that reveals a variety of “how-tos” in creating an Internet Book Launch, identifying the right partners, and the creating of gifts and prizes and special websites to funnel it all through. On November 17th, Steve Stone will deliver a Multi-Media Internet program with wonderful goodies to add to your website.

Author U starts a new tradition and will be going to the Holiday Mart sponsored by Denver’s Junior League in October. Participating members will have the opportunity to sell their books to thousands of pre-Holiday shoppers that are attracted to the event every year.

There’s lots on the Author U Highway … choose which pit stops will supply the fuel that you and your book needs.

 

Got Book? … Take Advantage of Seasonal Selling Now

Book Publishing … Take Advantage of Seasonal Selling Now

If your book is ideal for a gift (and it’s a rare one that is not), seasonal celebrations are ideal to reach out to your followers … why not your book as the gift? This month, of course December is hot. But so will January … for the “how-to” crowd, this is the high GOYA month—Get Off Your Ass—and get started (or re-started).

Game plan your “kick-start” now by:

1          Creating an email offer your “special” with a direct link to where you want them to purchase your book. Title, describe, and cover should all be included. Give them a heads-up with an estimate of how many days for arrival. If you are the sender, make sure you offer to personalize each book.

2          Contact all on your email lists; your Twitter followers; your Facebook friends; LinkedIn connections; and Google+ Circles and Huddles. Remind them who the ideal recipient is and that your book is a wonderful last-minute gift.

3          Don’t be shy … ask your friends and “followers” of the above to contact their local libraries and request your book Ask your friends and family to recommend your book as a gift item to others or buy your book to give to others.

4          Without being a pest, promote via your social media contacts with “hook” lines to entice the reader.

5          Ask your friends and social media contacts to re-treat from Twitter; ask them to recommend your book to their personal networks.

6          Remind them that Kindle, Nooks and iPads will all be hot gifts this year. Your book would be idea to give as a “gift”—Amazon.com, Apple.com/iPad, BN.com—all have ways to buy books for gifts via their sites.  (Yes—make sure that you have them available on all these platforms—if you are using Smash Words only, make sure that you include the link to Smash Words—otherwise, the average person won’t know to go there to purchase an eBook.

7          Think about creating a “deal”—a buy one, get one free … or if you have additional titles—create a “bundle”—any three for: … Use your imagination.

8          Offer a coupon for “something” if they email a confirmation number that they bought your book or fax it to you. It could be a credit of money toward another purchase if they buy from your site. Or think about sending them a “bonus” gift. Maybe a special report you’ve created that ties into your book’s topic or expertise. Or possibly do a cross promote—offer a “gift” from someone else … and they in turn can do the same with your info.

9          Create a Gift Basket of Books—gather up a few other authors (books that are in a different genre than yours)—include covers, brief descriptions, links to buy—and everyone cross promotes to their lists. These can be morphed with different events—Mother’s Day; Thanksgiving; New Year Beginnings; Birthdays, etc., etc. Have fun—be creative.

10        Always be on the alert with media events—if something is popping locally or nationally in the news—and it ties to your books title, theme or expertise—parlay it to your advantage.

Ten tips to move your book. None of this is difficult—just a little organization; getting your info and contacts together; and start your promo engines.

PS—my book, Show Me About Book Publishing is perfect for anyone who is interested in publishing. Available pBook and eBook formats on all platforms.

http://www.amazon.com/Show-Me-About-Book-Publishing/dp/1600378552/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323470521&sr=8-1

Judith Briles is known as The Book Shepherd (www.TheBookShepherd.com) and the Founder of Author U (niversity (www.AuthorU.org), a membership organization created for the serious author who wants to be seriously successful. She’s been writing about and conducting workshops on publishing since the 80s. She’s the author of 28 books including Show Me About Book Publishing, co-written with John Kremer and Rick Frishman and a speaker at publishing conferences. Follow @AuthorU and @MyBookShepherd on Twitter and do a “Like” at AuthorU and TheBookShepherd on Facebook.  If you want to create a book that has no regrets, contact her at Judith@Briles.com.

 

Gimmicks, Gadgets & the Buzz Factor

Gimmicks, Gadgets & the Buzz Factor

At a recent three-day convention, I was slated to present the opening keynote for the next day and a workshop on communication the third day. It has always been my practice when time permitted, to come in a day early so I could hear other speakers, feel the energy of the group and if there is another main speaker, to make sure that I hear him or her.

It allows me to observe audience reaction to the speaker and the topic as well as the opportunity to link what I say with some theme within the speaker’s talk. Sure enough, I did alter part of my presentation—her theme was all about change. My keynote would be around the title of one of my books, Stabotage! How to Deal with Pit Bulls, Skunks, Snakes, Scorpions & Slugs in the Health Care Workplace. Within that talk, I always reference change—it’s one of the factors that seeds conflict.

The speaker had looked good. Loved her colors and the way she interacted with others before she began her program. And then all the gimmicks came out. Special lighting, video, hiding gadgets within the audience, audience participation and moving around—lots of bells and whistles.  Now, I love gadgets and gimmicks … I just don’t want to be OD’d with them. What was cute in the beginning became downright tiresome, almost boring. As I watched and listened, I felt that her talk had been given so many times and that the choreography of it and her body movements were so canned that she could be having an out of body experience and still do her talk. I came away with, “I’ve heard this a zillion times feeling.” Hmmmm.

The next day, I was up early and so were 400 attendees. They were energetic and enthusiastic. Some were life-long friends within the nursing profession and multi-meeting attendees; others were new to the conference. I loved their buzz and watching them with their greetings and interactions with each other. What I did notice, though, was there was no buzz about the previous day’s speaker. Nothing, almost as if she hadn’t been there.

Because of what she covered, I knew that I would only have to “kiss it” within mine, deleting a good 10 minutes and allowing me to add tidbits to a key point that I would like to spend more time. In doing this, I would reference her presentation the day before and move to the point that I could expand. What I did do, was add in something that wasn’t even covered or hinted in her talk about change and did it with a couple of slides that I put together after I heard her.

The buzz after my talk lingered until the conference ended. Attendees would come and speak to me at my book table and share that they had just been talking with their friend and they loved it when I said ______fill in the blank. The Buzz Factor … it’s important.

Because the group was running late from their lunch, which preceded my keynote, I had to cut up 20 minutes of my presentation. As a speaker, you must be flexible and adapt to just about anything, including chopping your own talk if necessary. Which I did … still, the audience listened, adsorbed and came away with relevant info for their workplaces.

To create the Buzz Factor, you can leave your audiences laughing, crying or thinking … but you can’t just leave them. I didn’t—my goal as a speaker has to always have entertainment, lots of humor but lots of meat that can be chewed on, processed, regurgitated—all loaded with ideas and concepts that can be implemented. Gadgets and Gimmicks can be fun … but they are like Chinese food—great during the meal, but after processing and gone too quickly.

Moving from Wannabe Author to the Real Thing

Moving from Wannabe Author to the Real Thing

It never fails … at every conference I speak at, multiple attendees will say, “I can’t believe you’ve written all these books … I wish I could write a book.” And I always respond, “Why not … you can.”

Is there a book in you? Most people think there is. And most don’t get them out. You could have the makings of a fantastic novel, a creative young adult series, and exquisitely illustrated young children’s stories. Sci-fi could be your genre, a cookbook, how-to or business book may be lurking in your creative closet.

You just may be able to take your career to a whole new level with the creation of a book. Adding to your professional credentials, if done right, could position you as the expert in a specific field. A book could talk you to a whole new level, a different type of professional business card.

Many wannabe authors practice the art of one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, three to get ready, three to get ready … and they never go. They keep reaching for one more thing; one more piece of information; another interview; another who knows what. Sometimes, it’s just another excuse. Their book never gets written, much less published. Their quest for the perfect book has become the enemy of creating a good book, even a great book.

The First Step
Choose a spot … any spot that is yours and yours alone. Authors need their space and time. Space will contain all the ingredients you need to support you. Think computer, phone— if necessary, pens, pencils, paper, files with reference items that you’ve collected, notes you’ve saved or made to support your topic, other reference books, a favorite snack (I confess—I’ve written an entire book with M&Ms being the reward each time I finished a chapter), beverage of choice, toys, etc. Your space. Claim it and let others know that when you are in your space, it’s a “Do Not Disturb” sanctuary.

Find time. Some authors have to work specific hours; others are more loosey-goosey. I’m a binge writer—if someone told me that I had to write/work from the hours of 8 to noon every day—my response would be, “Fat chance.” I’m one of those intensives—when I start, it’s like a train … keep going until it gets to the next station—rarely do I start a chapter without finishing it in a first draft format—bathroom breaks are allowed and fresh tea, but that’s just about it.

The Second Step
Just do it … even if what you get down looks like gibberish. It’s a start. You can’t move forward to publication until you’ve got some words. So dump them out. The more you organize them, the better it is when it comes to the first dump. The general topic, sub-topics, stories/facts/stats to support the topic all go into magic piles.

Where you choose to “dump” is your choice. Some still write all by hand … if you having been procrastinating or dragging your feet—best to bypass this method and either pick up a speaking program like Dragon’s Naturally Speaking where you can literally put on a headset with a mic and start talking. Your works get transcribed to your computer, and then you clean up spellings and missed words after your dictation is done. Easy, very easy. Or, if you can pound it out on the computer, each document is a major theme/chapter and you start pulling it together in bits and chunks.

It won’t be perfect … it’s a START.

The Third Step
Get help … this is where a book shepherd or coach can come into play. You will need an editor. All authors need editors who edit (this is not your friend or sister, although they can be readers) … all authors no exceptions.

Plug time … I’ve just created a new book—Show Me About Book Publishing that will be available in 2011. It was supposed to be done four years ago, but due to an accident I had, many things got put on the back burner. Finally, I’ve been able to put it together in 2010, bringing in two co-authors to complete the journey with me. From it, an entire new program is available for conferences.

Do you have a book in you? Most likely, yes. Could a book help your professional career? Again, most likely, yes.  More info—get Show Me About Book Publishing—released in 2011

Fessing Up

Funny, it was Late Night TV’s David Letterman who’s demonstrated what do do when one screws up. Caught with his pants down, he opened up to millions on his TV show last year that his behavior had been inappropriate with a former staff member (forget that she wrote in her journal that her goal was to seduce him); that he had hurt his loved ones; and he appologized all over the place.

His confession, revelation and apology was fair game for every talk show and blasted across the media. Unfortunately,  it’s too bad leadership in almost every venue didn’t hear it … or if it did, didn’t get it.

When things get screwed up, someone is at the helm. Always. Screwups don’t begin the day by the wiff of a wind blowing.  Someone starts it.  And sometimes, the someone has a bevy of folks who add to soup. When it’s recognized as a problem, savvy leadership puts the thumb in the dyke for a quick assessment and addresses it. Pronto.

That type of savvy leadership is a non-commodity today.  In the government; in business; in the community;  even within many family units. Las month, I attended a trade association of an organization that used to have an excellent reputation, an organization that I was proud to have been in a leadership position at one time.

Limping leadership, or downright lack of leadership, had become the norm. Between the poor selection of programs and so-so presentations to the utter lack of respect to the bread and butter of most conferences–the exhibitors–I was shocked to see, and feel, what unrolled.  Cast off to a room attendees didn’t see, not having a single time segment dedicated to visiting them and treated with over-all benign neglect, they were pissed. The result–few will return to a future conference. The organization had evolved within a year from the place to exhibit at to the place to avoid.

You can only wonder … what were they smoking? If it had been a peacock, the organization would be without feathers today.

Summing Up Money Fears … So, What Are Your Fears?

 

Summing Up … So, What Are Your Fears?

Everyone has at least one.  It’s time to confront your deepest financial fear and get them in the open.  Whether it’s the fear of the soup kitchen or of making a mistake that is financially catastrophic, you can become inhibited from taking action. 

Identify them.  Write them down.  Just the mere fact that they are on paper opens the door for you to commit and confront them head-on. Ask yourself,

  • Are my fears realistic in today’s environment?
  • Are they relevant to what I currently do?
  • Do they hinder me from moving on?
  • Are they life threatening (to my spouse, partner, kids or job,

          friends, me)?

There will always be some type of fear.  Cartoon character Pogo said it best, “I have seen the enemy and the enemy is us.”  By bringing up your awareness level, identifying which fears influence your money decisions, you will achieve the first level of having money smarts.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll continue to post the top fear factors for today … to overcome your fear, and get back on track, get your copy of Money Smarts for Turbulent Times by Judith Briles–available in paper and ebook format.

Women, Sabotage & Bullying … Oh My!

 

Women, Sabotage & Bullying … Oh My!

Workplace … We have a problem … still.

Women aren’t soloists when it comes to sabotage and bullying behaviors. Men do it. Women do it. But, and it is a “but,” men do it differently. 

For co-workers, the fear of potential harm from a saboteur or bullier to them personally or professionally creates an environment that is highly stressful and toxic.  That means they are less productive, morale takes a dive, and common goals within the organization suffer. 

When times are good, employees start looking for a new job—the toxicity isn’t worth it—no matter how much they get paid.   Employers lose money because work doesn’t get done. Over-time, temp help, lost time because of grumbling amongst the staff or the energy that is put out to avoid the saboteur at all costs. When the economy is not so hot, it actually breeds the saboteur–bullying increases. People are less likely to jump ship, which creates fertile ground for the bullier in the workplace.

It’s impossible to be fully productive when you’ve got a back or front-stabber lurking in your midst.

When times aren’t so good, like in today’s economy, people don’t entertain an exit strategy.  And the bully/saboteur knows it. Bad times can be the perfect elixir for the nasty people in your workplace to step up to the plate.

Whether you are a manager or an employee, ignorance isn’t bliss.  You’ve got to deal with sabotage and undermining activities in your workplace.  If you don’t, you can lose big—your reputation, your position, and your bottom line.  Money. Lots of it.

Sabotage is the act of undermining or destroying personal or professional integrity; it creates mayhem in personal or professional lives;
and it damages
personal and professional credibility.  Sabotage can be done intentionally or unintentionally and it can be delivered overtly or covertly. 

 Women don’t own the art of sabotage, men do it too. Quite well.

Women, though, are different in their targets and methodology.  They are more inclined to be covert and deceptive as they unravel it.  A factor that has been consistent with every study that I’ve conducted, as well as those of others, is that women discriminate—their preference for undermining and bullying their own gender is the method of choice.  In contrast, men don’t discriminate—either gender is target material.

Men are more inclined to be overt when they create conflict, sabotage or a bullying act, even letting you know the day and time it will happen.  It’s the difference between backstabbing and front-stabbing.  In one case, you’re unsure who caused the action; in the other, the perpetrator is blatant and bold. If they could garner a badge for their deeds, they would wear them.

Because of the distinct differences in sabotaging behaviors of men and women, it’s wise to know how to identify a saboteur in your workplace midst.  Ask a few questions—

• Does anyone encourage gossip?  Saboteurs are superb messengers and can hardly wait to pass on discrediting information.

• Does information pass you by?  Are you out of the loop?  Saboteurs isolate their targets from regular communication links.

• Is anyone’s job in jeopardy?  Change is in the air. When change occurs, anxiety and fear becomes its companion.  Either creates a breeding ground for sabotage.

• Does anyone routinely take the credit of others or discount them (or yours)?  Saboteurs don’t bravo anyone else’s contribution to a project or idea.  The only thing that really counts is that they get credit, who cares if they did the work or not.

The work place is a breeding ground for saboteurs and bulliers. Men and women at all levels must learn to recognize the action, who creates them and learn how to confront them.  If the bullier/saboteur isn’t, it’s tantamount to giving approval to continue with the offending and abusive behavior.

Not everyone lands in the national press when set up.  But feelings of personal betrayal are no less devastating.  When a woman shafts another woman, there is a sense of violation—how could you do this … to me … to “women”?

Managers routinely ignore this problem, more out of fear for charges of sexism than anything else.  The question becomes, “Why do they fear this?” It’s because when businesses hold programs about sexual harassment, since they don’t consider themselves as harassers. This is because it’s assumed that the male is the harasser.

Women are more likely to sabotage other women, rather than harass men.  It’s a form of gender harassment.  Why should women be treated any different?  Harassment—whether caused by men or women—is a problem.

American businesses lose billions of dollars each year in lost productivity because of its unwillingness to deal with this issue.  Verbal and physical abuse, sabotage and bullying should be in no workplace. Ever.

Money Fears … # 8 The Fear of Not Trusting Yourself

# 8 The Fear of Not Trusting Yourself

Gender differences surface in the trust department with money and investing.  Men are less inclined to stick with an advisor whose advice has gone sour and they don’t abdicate financial decisions to someone else as easily as women do.  Advisors can help . . . but don’t discount your own experiences and intuitiveness.

Over the next several weeks, I’ll continue to post the top fear factors for today … to overcome your fear, and get back on track, get your copy of Money Smarts for Turbulent Times by Judith Briles–available in paper and ebook format.

Money Fears … # 7 … The Fear of Investing

# 7 … The Fear of Investing

When it comes to investing, there are no guarantees.  The value of the initial money you invested can increase, decrease or remain stagnant in value.

Investing takes time and patience. Don’t focus on what your investment is worth this week or even this month.  Concentrate on the long haul—what are you saving for five or ten years from now?  And when it comes to investing, invest in what you know and understand.  Health care offers a huge range of possibilities. 

Over the next several weeks, I’ll continue to post the top fear factors for today … to overcome your fear, and get back on track, get your copy of Money Smarts for Turbulent Times by Judith Briles–available in paper and ebook format.

Money Fears # 6 … The Fear of Borrowing Money

# 6 … The Fear of Borrowing Money

Wouldn’t it be great to pay cash for everything, including your home? Few can.  Sometimes, it makes sense to borrow money.  But, over-borrowing and too much credit is quite common. 

A credit card is used over 600 times every second of the day; over 36,000 times a minute; over 2 million times an hour; and over 52 million times a day.  The average household owing in excess of $9,200 in credit card debt.  What’s yours?

If you are contemplating, or already have, borrowing money for a large item— a home or an education loan—increases your pay back amount by 10%.  Why?  Simply this—you will reduce the time your loan payoff paid by approximately one-third.  That means you save big dollars and limit the time you “owe” someone. 

In determining whether you should borrow or not, ask yourself if you need the item or do you want it.  If you want it and can’t (or aren’t sure) you can pay off the amount over the designated time, don’t buy it. 

Over the next several weeks, I’ll continue to post the top fear factors for today … to overcome your fear, and get back on track, get your copy of Money Smarts for Turbulent Times by Judith Briles–available in paper and ebook format.