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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Can Today’s Author Do It All?


Any one can be good at anything. Many can be good at something. Few are good at just one thing. Everyone can’t be good at everything. Remember this the next time you demand yourself to do something that you simply can’t do --or could do but don’t enjoy, or could do but have no time for. As an author, you may need to demand more of yourself than you think you can handle, but you also need to acknowledge the areas that simply befuddle, annoy, or belabor you. So what should you do?

Let’s first explore what most authors must do:

·         Develop an idea for a book and map it out.

·         Conduct research related to the book.

·         Write the book.

·         Rewrite sections of the book.

·         Edit the manuscript for content, style, and accuracy.

·         Edit for grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

·         Find a literary agent (or find a self-publishing source).

·         Work with the agent to find a publisher (or find a distributor).

·         Collaborate with the publisher (or collaborate with those producing your book).

·         Write a blog.

·         Launch a podcast.

·         Make YouTube videos.

·         Look into digital ads (Google, Facebook, Amazon).

·         Line up testimonials.

·         Post regularly on numerous social media platforms.

·         Engage followers and network to get more followers on social media.

·         Seek out speaking opportunities.

·         Prepare speeches and deliver them.

·         Actively market your book to generate sales.

·         Actively promote your brand and book to get media exposure.

Now, I did not list everything, nor did I provide the detailed steps involved in each item, but you get the point. Authors are overwhelmed by the process, and most cannot go at it alone. Here’s a 5-step process to achieve success:

Step One

List all that you have to – and want to – do. Map a timeline for all of it.

Step Two

Determine who can help now for free – or a fee. Research who can do what and for how much.

Step Three

Be realistic about what you have the skills, network, knowledge, time and desire to do – and outsource the rest.

Step Four

Acknowledge something will not get done. No time, no money, no interest. It is okay. Some authors ignore social media or podcasting or speaking or some aspect of all that is needed to be successful. Just accept it and move on.

Step Five

Remember to enjoy what you are doing and to never lose focus as to why you wrote the book. Stay motivated.

Analogous to being an author is being a homeowner or a parent. Think about it.

As a parent, you either do what is needed or outsource it, ignore it, or hope for favors from friends and family. It takes a village to raise a child. The same is true for authors raising a writing career.

As a homeowner, you either make repairs and build things, or outsource it, curry favors with friends and family, or ignore something that needs to be done and dismiss things that you desire but are not affordable, within your skill set, or something you have time for.

Authors, you are the homeowner and the parent. Lead your book to success by planning honestly and realistically. Be open to getting help – and prepared to do some heavy lifting too.

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      Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Why Writers Need A Day Of Judgement

 


Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews around the world is upon us September 27-28. It means Day of Atonement, a day when Jews are supposed to assess their lives, reflect on their deeds of this past year, and to commit to do more good, to do better, and to turn away from the sins that plague all humans. Perhaps there should be such a day for authors, one in which they reconsider the path they have followed, to put their work under a microscope, and to commit to being better writers.

For Jews, they show, symbolically, an attempt to change and a sacrifice by spending about 25 hours in a state of contemplation, prayer, and sacrifice – no food, no television, no work, no sex, no recreational drugs, no anything.

For writers, they should spend a day not reading nor writing, nor editing nor researching. No social media, no news media, no books. No trips to a bookstore, library, or museum. No brainstorming sessions to map out the next book. Just a day for reflection, self-analysis, and commitment to making the changes necessary to being a better writer.

To be a better writer has a few components. One is to in fact be a better writer. This means you find a way, through your vocabulary usage, training, discipline, editing, researching, or whatever it takes, to become better at practicing the art of writing.

The other component is to be a better writer-citizen, to commit to being a writer that contributes to society. Ask yourself, what will you do to:

Change the world through writing.

·         Impact the life of even just one person with your work.

·         Empower others to act, based on your words.

·         Enlighten others so they can feel and live with greater awareness and understanding.

·         Educate others with your words and sharing of knowledge.

·         Entertain others and make them laugh and feel good about life.

·         Allow others to escape their lives so that they can dream and fantasize about worlds and lives, created from your words and ideas, that could lead to a world of peace, love, and democracy.

Change is often not a complex act, but it is the most difficult thing for humans. Our lives need change, and certain changes lead to improvement, Let go of the past, accelerate beyond the present, and assert a new way of living in the future.

Writing can be a deeply personal act, one born from fear, experiences, desire, and imagination. We envision a better world and believe someone will benefit from what we have to say, that our words will mean something. The truth is, our writings mean only as much to others as readers permit. A great writer can do a lot to help the reader see, feel, understand, and appreciate, but it is the reader who makes the final judgment as to what your words mean and what purpose they shall serve.

But words have their limitations. They can’t always talk someone out of doing bad things, making terrible mistakes, or harming themselves. As great as some writers are, and as powerful as some books can be, to the closed, inebriated, scared, angry, or uneducated mind, some writers, and books just won’t be able to break through. This is a burden all writers live with, and yet it energizes and drives them to find new ways or words to puncture the minds, souls, and hearts of those who need to see truth and understand life with clarity. The writer, in a bid to help or even save others, always needs to help himself just as badly.

So how can writers use a day of judgment to evaluate and fix their ways?  

1. Commit to a day of review, reflection, and redemption – both for how you live life and how you approach your writings. Be harsh on yourself.

2. Honestly evaluate your writings. Are you as prolific as you want to be? Are you as impactful as you hope to be? Is your writing the best it can be? Determine steps for improvement.

3. Have you understood why you write? Is it for ego? For fame? For money? For therapy? Do your writings serve others? Do you write with a passion and purpose, with a goal of making your readers’ lives better?

4. Are you a great writer, but a bad person? How can you find balance, so that you pursue your writings, but not at the expense of health, relationships, work or other aspects of a balanced life? Seek to be the best writer that you can be in the context of living the best life that you could possibly live.

5. Are you a responsible writer? Do you steal the ideas and plagiarize the words of others? Do you pirate copyrighted material? Do you use words to harm others, even to lie, cheat, and steal?

6. Do your writings contribute to a better world or the downfall of society? Is your keyboard an instrument for good or evil?

7. Have you committed to becoming a better writer by taking writing courses, reading about writing, improving your vocabulary, getting editing help, double-checking facts and sources before sharing them, separating fact from opinion, reading more content to become more aware and intelligent, going the extra step in your research, and filling a void by writing on what is needed and where you can do the most good? Or are you lazy about writing? Are you a commercial sellout? Are you unethical in the concepts, events, ideas, or people that you write on?

We all could benefit, not just as writers, from a day of reflection and meditation of our writings and writing career. We must commit to improving our skills, knowledge, and networks so that we can think, edit, write, and create a little more or better than we have.

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      Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached at  brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo.

 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Authors Need To Know Why They Write

 

The first question that I ask authors when they are seeking publicity or marketing support is: Why did you write this book and how does it fit into your short- and long-term goals? Not only are they appreciative to be asked, they are perplexed at exactly how to respond.


Writers write for so many reasons, some of which they may not even be aware of. 
 

Here are some of them 

·         They find writing to be therapeutic, even cathartic.

·         They want their writings to serve as their legacy.

·         They truly want to help others.

·         They want to sell more books, even to become a best-selling author.

·         They hope to influence and impact society on many levels.

·         They want to expose the bad or spotlight the good.

·         They just want to grow their brand or advance their career.

·         They believe the book’s exposure will help them to sell other products or services.

·         They want to correct perceptions, pursue justice, or fix historical records.

·         They want to entertain, enlighten, inform, or inspire others.

·         They just want to be famous and serve their egotistical needs.

Why do you write? Why do you promote your book?

You really need to honestly answer these questions. Prioritize what you are doing based on why you are doing it.

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Brian Feinblum, the founder of BookMarketingBuzzBlog, can be reached  at brianfeinblum@gmail.com.  

His insightful views, provocative opinions, and interesting ideas expressed in this terrific blog are the product of his genius. You can – and should -- follow him on Twitter @theprexpert. He feels much more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2020. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s  Independent.  This was named one of the best book marketing blogs by Book Baby http://blog.bookbaby.com/2013/09/the-best-book-marketing-blogs and recognized by Feedspot in 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. Also named by WinningWriters.com as a "best resource.” He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo.