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SEE your success before it happens

Depending on which website or biography you read, Albert Einstein imagined e=mc2himself running alongside a beam of light – or riding it. Either way, he arrived at E=MC2 – one of the most famous scientific theorems ever devised – by visualizing himself doing something extraordinary. And as a result, he arrived at a crucial conclusion that no one, to that point, had reached.

Now I’m no Einstein – nor do I really mean to compare myself to him – but I thought about the German physicist yesterday while looking up at the clouds through the window in my bathroom. The clouds were heavy – a few hours ahead of a later summer storm in Phoenix – and low enough that I could seriously study them with my naked eye. Which led me to wondering what they would look like, up close and personal. And what it would feel like to reach out and touch one? If I could build a ladder tall enough, or propel myself high enough in a helicopter without doors, that I could touch the cloud, would it have weight or substance?

touch a cloud

OK, all you weather geeks out there who already know the answer, I was an English major and mostly steered around all those science courses. I’d guess the cloud would not have weight or substantial tangibility, but wondered for a few moments what it might be like to try. The most important thing was I could see myself doing it – climbing that seemingly endless ladder or sweeping open the hatch on my hovercraft and then reaching my hand out to wave it through the mist.

I’ve been fortunate for most of my life to be able to see the things I want to create long before I sit down to create them. So much so that I’ve always believed that as long as I could imagine it – visualize it, if you will – it was as good as done. What kinds of things? Anything from a craft project to a client to a vacation.

Not everyone is a natural visualizer – but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn how.

What is your next goal for your book? Finish writing it? Get it laid out and ready for the printer? Start scheduling readings and book signings? Sell 5,000 copies of you next run?

Regardless of the goal, can you SEE it happening? Can you see the reporter calling you to follow up on the news release you sent her last week? Can you see yourself on the phone for an interview with a popular book blogger or podcaster? Can you see yourself hosting a book signing at a swanky hotel or popular bookstore in a major city? Can you see yourself selling hundreds of copies of your book from the back of the room following a keynote address you give to a roomful of frenzied fans?

If these goals sound like things you’d like to achieve for your books, but you just can’t see them happening yet, perhaps you need to do some visualization practice.

Here are a few tips:

Be the doer, not the watcher. Imagine your scenario first person, as if you are standing in front visualization practiceof the room reading or signing books, not watching yourself do it.

Imagine every detail. Don’t leave anything out. Do you drive to your reading, take a taxi, or have someone pick you up? What are you wearing? Are your books already there or do you have them in a wheeled suitcase?

Engage all of your senses. Create the full experience. What do you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch as your scenario is playing out?

Put it in writing. Committing your visualization in longhand (not at the computer) will help anchor it in your mind, and help your brain start figuring out ways to make it happen.

Keep practicing. I once taught a creativity seminar to engineers at American Express. I was new to public speaking and ridiculously nervous. What can I offer that these great minds don’t already know? Well, I found out what they didn’t know – they had no idea how to visualize. I asked them to imagine a red ball, and then change the color of the ball to blue. Then change it from a ball to a cube. Seemed like a pretty basic exercise to me, but it was really difficult for many of them, especially the men. If you can’t see something as big as yourself hosting a grand book event, start small. See yourself typing an email to inquire about the event. See yourself receiving a phone call to confirm it. Whatever you do, keep practicing!

Even if your goal seems lofty and you can’t imagine how it could come to pass, visualize. See it done. Remember, the Universe conspires to support you – as long as it knows what you want to achieve.

Here’s to SEEING your success!

Laura

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________COVER

Want to learn lots more about launching a successful media campaign to help you build your author platform? Book your complimentary 20-minute consultation (phone or Skype). Or get my comprehensive book, The Author’s Media Tool Kit today!

602.518.5376 or phxazlaura on Skype

__________________

Lucky rabbits on the first of the month?

I was a freshman in high school when my English teacher, Linda Pilon, introduced me to the RABBIT, RABBIT, RABBIT superstition. It’s a variant on a common British superstition that says that a person should say or repeat the word “rabbit,” “rabbits,” “white rabbits,”rabbit rabbit rabbit d or some combination thereof, aloud upon waking on the first day of the month in order to ensure good luck for the month. According to Mrs. Pilon, it was a single utterance: “Rabbit.”

After hearing that, I asked around. Had anyone I knew ever heard of this superstition? Remember, this was waaaayyyy pre-Internet, it wasn’t in our 1981 edition of the World Book Encyclopedia, and I guess it didn’t occur to me that the library might have the answer.

It took me more than a dozen years to find another person who had even heard of this superstition. My friend Myles Standish, sports copy editor at the Arizona Daily Star, Boston native, and direct descendent of THE Myles Standish, told me, “Of course – but it’s not ‘Rabbit.’ It’s ‘Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit.’” A few years later, I happened upon the Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit clothing line, which includes a version of the superstition right there on its tag. Another dozen or so years after that, I met another son of Massachusetts who also knew of the hare-y belief.

These days at the first of the month, my husband, sister, and I rush to out-rabbit each other – that is find a clever image and text it to the others before they’ve even opened their eyes for the day.

Yesterday’s rabbit adventures got me to wondering about author superstitions. Many athletes have them, so why shouldn’t writers? Things like wearing the same shirt to every reading, writing only facing north, turning on the laptop only after having had a cup of chamomile in one’s favorite mug, always writing the first draft in longhand, or knowing that the magic will flow now that you’ve heard a cricket chirp under your desk.

My mom used to tell me that if your palm itched, it meant you were going to receive money. I’ve Itchy-Palms-vs-Moneynever noticed itchy hands to be good prognostication devices, but maybe I haven’t been paying enough attention. Other than that and the rabbits, I don’t think I’m much of a superstition gal. That said, I’ve got nothing against them. If you think having your cat sit on your lap while wearing one green sock and one pink sock will help you write your best-seller, I say go for it! Anything to keep you writing.

And if you have a superstition you’d like to share, we’d love you to read about it in the Comments section below.

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________COVER

Want to learn lots more about launching a successful media campaign to help you build your author platform? Book your complimentary 20-minute consultation (phone or Skype). Or get my comprehensive book, The Author’s Media Tool Kit today!

602.518.5376 or phxazlaura on Skype

__________________

Is YOUR book newsworthy?

Continuing our PR theme…

Virtually every author thinks his or her book is fantastic. The reality is that most aren’t – especially (and unfortunately) most self-published books. Authors have great intentions, but they often lack skill and fail to recruit others to fill their gaps. Things like poor spelling, ridiculous grammar mistakes, meandering storylines, absent editing, and amateur cover designs are a handful of the most egregious sins that first-time self-publishing authors commit.

Person read newspaper

That’s not the worst part, though. The worst part is that they so often let their egos get in the way, refusing to even ask for input or advice until they’ve spent boatloads of money and effort, only to find they’ve created a mediocre book. I am a publishing consultant by trade, but I make it a practice not to offer advice unless asked. Many a self-published author has proudly given or shown me a book that I would never recommend, let alone purchase.

This may challenge you a bit, but I’m not willing to sugar-coat things just to make you feel better. That won’t do you any good. Here’s the straight scoop: newsworthy books are good books — usually REALLY good books. Newsworthy books give people — the media, in particular — reasons to talk about them. Newsworthy books won’t sell themselves, but they will lend themselves to word-of-mouth and interviews and retweets.

Here are some questions that may help you discover whether you’ve written a newsworthy book:

NONFICTION BOOKS

  • Is your book the first to point out a trend or raise an issue?
  • Do you have a unique approach for a well-covered subject?
  • Does your book raise thought-provoking questions on an important topic?
  • Does your book offer a behind-the-scenes look at a specific industry, celebrity, organization, or company that would interest the general public?
  • Is your book controversial, extreme, avant-garde, politically incorrect, and/or scandalous?
  • Does your book offer step-by-step instructions to solve a vexing problem?
  • Does your book inspire its readers to make sweeping life changes?
  • Does your book offer commentary on
    and/or a tie-in to an­other popular book/ movie/ TV show?

FICTION BOOKS

  • Is yours just another dog story, or is it about a family of ferrets?
  • Are the main characters rich and powerful, or people everyone can relate to, like a school teacher and a truck driver?
  • Do your characters follow traditional gender roles, or is the school teacher male and the truck driver female?
  • Is your book set in present-day America, or is it set in 1950s Havana, Cuba?
  • Do you write about real places, companies, universities, and religions — or go the safe route and fictionalize everything?
  • Is your book overburdened with lots of explanations, or do you use active verbs and descriptive nouns?
  • Are your characters ones bloggers or journalists will relate to?
  • Does your book inspire its readers to make sweeping life changes?
  • Does your book offer commentary on and/or a tie-in to another popular book/movie/TV show?

If you’re starting to realize that your book is less newsworthy than it could be, maybe it’s time for a rewrite.

Here’s to making your book newsworthy!

Laura (AKA Marcie Brock)

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We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________COVER

Want to learn lots more about launching a successful media campaign to help you build your author platform? Book your complimentary 20-minute consultation (phone or Skype). Or get my comprehensive book, The Author’s Media Tool Kit today!

602.518.5376 or phxazlaura on Skype

__________________

SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: Stories are good lies…

Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration: “Stories may well be lies, but they are good lies that say true things, and which can sometimes pay the rent.”

Stories are good lies

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

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Mistakes to avoid when starting a PR campaign

We’ve been spending some time these last couple weeks discussing PR and how to make it work for you.

PR involves telling the STORY of your book and creating RELATIONSHIPS with those who will share it

12 tips for a successful PR campaign

Many first-time authors make marketing blunders that cost them sales. While publicity and marketing are different sides of the same coin — getting out the word about your book — the mistakes and successes with each often overlap. If you are a new author about to ignite your first PR campaign, here are a few mistakes to avoid:

  • Waiting too long to start planning your PR campaignoops
  • Embarking on a PR campaign without a plan
  • Lacking the necessary confidence in yourself or your books
  • Having a fear of or aversion to self-promotion
  • Letting your discomfort dissuade you from approaching the media
  • Thinking you can do it all yourself
  • Believing PR isn’t that important
  • Assuming your publisher — if you have one — will do all the heavy PR lifting
  • Thinking too small
  • Failing to budget
  • Assuming it won’t take much work to drum up media interest in your books
  • Thinking that the reasons readers buy a particular book are the same things that make it newsworthy
  • Making one tiny unsuccessful stab at PR and quitting because “It just doesn’t work.”

Here’s to implementing YOUR successful PR campaign!

Laura (AKA Marcie Brock)

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________COVER

Want to learn lots more about launching a successful media campaign to help you build your author platform? Book your complimentary 20-minute consultation (phone or Skype). Or get my comprehensive book, The Author’s Media Tool Kit today!

602.518.5376 or phxazlaura on Skype

__________________

Author Blog Challenge 2015 – Starting Sept. 13 – Register Now!

In May 2013, I took over a small Phoenix-area Meetup group, called EPublishing and Online Book Promotion, from a prior organizer who had held about six meetings at a local coffee shop. Taking over as a Meetup organizer is much different than actually hosting Meetups, so the poor group languished, untouched and unmet, for about seven months. When I was finally ready to start holding meetings, I changed the name to Phoenix Publishing & Book Promotion and I added some pizzazz to our Meetup page.

500

When I got around to holding meetings in January 2014, attendance was paltry at first – with just four people (including me!) at the meeting. That was then. Over the last two years, we’ve held nearly 60 Meetups, meeting twice a month for seminars on specific topics related to publishing and/or book promotion. We also hold a networking-only meeting once every other month, where members just come and share ideas and ask and answer questions about their writing and publishing experiences. And as a result, our membership has grown and grown – and we’re about to hit 500 members!

To celebrate our success, we’ve got a couple of events coming up. One is a party on Sept. 19 at the Phoenix City Grille. If you’re in the Phoenix area and want to join us, just make sure to RSVP.

FB Banner sm

The other big thing we’re doing is sponsoring another Author Blog Challenge. Since we’re celebrating 500 Meetup members, we’ll use a factor of 500, meaning this challenge will run for 5 weeks (35 days). If you’ve been thinking about starting a blog, this is the perfect time to launch one. If you’ve got a blog that’s been left unattended for some time, this is a great opportunity to give it a word transfusion. If you’d just like to meet other great authors from around the globe – yes, we welcome authors of any genre and skill level, published or just thinking about it, ebook or printed book, well known and with less exposure, from any location – this is the best chance to make such acquaintances.

nanowrimo for blogging

We started the Author Blog Challenge back in 2012. That first Challenge drew 90+ authors from 14 countries. I’d love to supersede both those numbers this time! So if you’re an author or aspiring author who fancies him/herself a blogger, get yourself registered today! The Challenge will get underway on Sunday, September 13th. If you know other authors who would find our challenge interesting/useful, please share the info and invite them to sign up, too.

The goal is to post on your blog for 35 days in a row. I’m not going to kid you – participation in this Challenge will require some dedication on your part. Those who manage to post all 35 days will be entered to win a $50 gift certificate to the bookstore of their choice. However, even if you miss the 35-day mark, you will still benefit via: great exposure for your blog (and book), getting in some additional writing practice, and meeting other awesome fellow writers. All told, it’s a win-win-win.

Everyone who registers will receive a complimentary copy of my special report, “138 Tips to Help You Blog Like a Pro.”

You can write on the subjects of your choice, or follow our DAILY PROMPTS – all of which will be topics related to writing, publishing, and/or book marketing.

Just to give our participants even more incentive to write, we’ll be offering a Giveaway of the Day. We’re accepting donations from participants (there’s a space on the registration form to describe your donation). It could be an ebook, short story, poem, special report, piece of art – anything you can give away digitally. Each day’s participants will be entered into a drawing to win that day’s prize.

One writer I know asked if posting every day wouldn’t aggravate her subscribers. I thought that was an interesting question. While I can’t say for sure, I doubt it. For one thing, it’s temporary. Secondly, TELL your subscribers you’re participating in the Author Blog Challenge so they understand why you’re suddenly posting a lot more often than usual. Third, your subscribers subscribe because they like what you write! Every time I’ve participated in a blog challenge, I’ve added double-digits, in terms of subscribers.

Here’s the thing: participating in the Author Blog Challenge will benefit you. Really. It will:

  1. Improve your traffic
  2. Increase your subscribers
  3. Make you a part of a supportive community
  4. Give you the opportunity to make great new friends and connections

I hope you’ll join us!

Laura (AKA Marcie Brock)

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________COVER

Want to learn lots more about launching a successful media campaign to help you build your author platform? Get my comprehensive book, The Author’s Media Tool Kit today!

__________________

SUNDAY INSPIRATIONS: Write what should not be forgotten

Sunday Inspirations. Send us your favorite quote, image, poem, idea … anything that has been helpful or inspirational to your writing process. If we love it, we may use it as is, or take the inspiration and modify it in some way. Give us a link to your website or blog and we’ll be sure to give you credit! Email inspiration@writemarketdesign.com or post your suggestion in the comment section below!

Here’s today’s inspiration: “Write what should not be forgotten.”

Vintage desctop background

Laura

__________________

We welcome and encourage your thoughtful, courteous comments below.

__________________Anatomy of a Book Launch

If you’re getting ready to launch your book and would like help to put together a successful event, download my free special report: Anatomy of a Book Launch. Then CALL me at 602.518.5376 to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation. It’s never too early to begin planning!

__________________

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