Are You Planning to Write a Book?

3 Steps to Get Your Dream in Motion!

If you are like most first-time authors, or perhaps you are an established author with many priorities on your plate, either way you may find yourself the victim of never seeming to get your book project in motion… How do you get yourself motivated or organized to make your dream a reality?

How do you get yourself motivated or organized to make your dream a reality?

deadlineI have many conversations with authors (and soon-to-be-authors) and this a common subject of these interactions. I have found myself inspiring and motivating the author—building their dream and providing professional feedback on how they can bring it all together. That’s the emotional side, but what about the practical side, the ever-familiar “I just wish I could find the time—if I could just find a way to lock my self up so I can focus on writing…”?

This is exactly why I’m writing this message, to help authors to realize their dream in three simple steps!

DO! – Planning vs. Doing

There is a difference between being busy and being effective. If you really want to get your book done, regardless of the motivation, you just need to decide! Simple? Yes! But, the big “but,” it’s all about what you do next, after deciding to get your book done. This is why there are three steps and not just one.

Sometimes I run up against the author who has “analysis paralysis” which puts them in the mode of “plan-plan-plan-plan-plan some more-plan…” What they need to do is “plan-do-plan-do…” This is where mentorship or guidance comes in. Having a professional resource at hand that makes you accountable to what you want to do. This keeps you focused on a simple path of:

Plan the work – Work the plan

work the planI like to view this “mentor” as being the project manager—the individual who is charged with the responsibility of getting and keeping the project in motion, keeping it on budget and on schedule.

Now, in contrast, there’s also the author who “proceeds with reckless abandon.” This is the person who just puts their head down and plugs away and just keeps going until they get there. The problem often is “where is there?” I like to refer to this approach as “ignorance on fire!” and yes, it is good to be in action, however this approach can often waste time or result in a less-favourable result.

So the answer is obviously somewhere in between, and getting there is the secret—via a professional resource that makes you accountable, as mentioned previously, to what you are wanting to do.

Have a professional resource at hand that makes you accountable to what you want to do and acts as your project manager. 

question markKNOW! – Knowing Your Options

In an earlier article called The Publishing Process, I fully explained the option of self-publishing with guidance and expertise (professional self-publishing). At this point, I will assume that you are fully aware of the difference between the two common methods of publishing:

  1. Traditional Publishing
  2. Self-Publishing

At Motivated Publishing Studios we focus on the latter—actually it’s perhaps a third one which we’ve coined as “professional self-publishing,” which is all the benefits of self-publishing but with professional resources executing a predictable plan for the desired results. It’s all about getting a professionally executed book project, ensuring your 100% ownership, with all of the modern product options, format and design to meet your needs, and the option of top-flight marketing plan—without having to do it yourself!

It’s all about getting a professionally executed book project, ensuring your 100% ownership, with all of the modern product options, format and design to meet your needs, and the option of top-flight marketing plan—without having to do it yourself!

ACT! – What Next?

Act

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, the answer!  The time in now! Get a hold of that professional resource that can hold you accountable and act as your project manager. How do you know if you have the right person? There are a couple of ways:

  1. Get referrals from people who have used them before.
  2. Meet with them and engage them on a level where you know you have a good connection.

By ensuring this resource can get you the results and that they have the expertise in coaching/accountability, can set you on your way to success. This is where someone like Motivated Publishing Studios can be the ace up your sleeve. You can’t do it alone, if you could you’d already have done it…

The time to act is now!

Conclusion

There you have it, three simple steps to put you on your way to accomplishing your dream—getting your book published. It’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Plan the work—Work the plan (but not by yourself!)
  2. Know your options—Use professional self-publishing
  3. Act!—on steps 1 and 2 above…

As one of my mentors taught me years ago, success comes from a simple formula of DREAM => GOAL => PLAN => EFFORT, but I’ll save that for another time…

The Business of Public Speaking

The business of public speaking

The world of public speaking is one tremendous giving and receiving – giving your message/passion and receiving the satisfaction that comes from a well-delivered talk on stage.

Sure, if you’re a speaker you will give a lot – running a business, delivering compelling talks from stage, teaching, training, educating – everything it takes to provide value to your clients.  After all, you are the perceived authority and you give all you have, exuding passion every time you step in front of the microphone!  In my 20+ years of working with and helping public speakers, these are often common elements of what drives one to become a speaking professional.

But is that Enough?

Having success in this industry comes from two very important things:

  1. Loving what you do
  2. Enjoying a thriving business

Having great stage presence is critical in public speaking (yes, I’m also including teaching, keynotes, coaching, etc. – when I say “public speaking”), whether you are in front of a huge 5000+ audience, a gathering of 50 or so people, or even one-on-one (ex. as with coaching). However, being a great speaker on its own, is not enough to make it long-term in this fast-paced and every-growing industry. I’ve spent the majority of my professional career helping people understand both components that are needed for success:

  1. Business
  2. Operations

Introduction to the Two Core Elements

What I have seen happen time and time again, is that it is tough for one individual to handle both – and do them both well. This aligns with what I personally believe and what I see many experts teach – it is important to focus and expend the majority of your time/efforts on the things you do well and are passionate about (Dan Sullivan calls this your Unique Ability).  But it doesn’t end there, the second part of this is to surround yourself with talent that fills in the voids (ie. to do the things that you do not do well and don’t necessarily like to do).

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1. Business

This represents all of the business development, technology and key strategy for providing the content, or IP (Intellectual Property). The business side of things is often where the details reside, details that typically should not consume the time and talents of the entrepreneur. These are “back of stage” activities that aren’t directly involving contact with your client(s).

The purpose of this article is to simply introduce the structure for success and not all of the details. Business elements will include things such as:

  • Content
  • Branding
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Each of these elements has tremendous value in attaining success, but knowing how to implement them correctly can often be the struggle.  Something as simple as understanding how modern technology has revolutionized this industry can totally affect the implementation of a successful business plan.  But how do you get this information?  Do you try to become the expert?  No, the answer is to seek guidance from an expert in the area – a person who has a vested interest in your success and is in alignment with who you are and what you represent.

2. Operations

This represents the core activity of executing your business plan.  Usually this is where the unique ability of the public speaker shines through. These are the “front of stage” activities that the public speaker loves to do and needs to spend the majority of the time and efforts executing.

Elements of operations includes:

  • Mission-Vision-Values
  • Relationships
  • Speaking
  • Sales

Most likely, it is for these items and the love of doing them, that the entrepreneur became a public speaker in the first place. Their passion about the message they deliver, executing their delivery, working with people, and engaging new clients (and how they can provide value to them) – are all categorized as “operations.”

Where do You Go from Here?

The first key step is knowing – knowing that there are two core elements for success in the public speaking (keynotes, teaching, coaching…) industry. The next step is to seek out the solution for your success.  Develop a relationship (it may already exist) or partnership with someone that fills in the void of your needs. They need to be in alignment with you and your message, in addition to having the skills and experience to execute the back stage elements of your business.

If done correctly and with the right person, you’ll have success.  Your IP will be protected, developed and delivered by a passionate and driven “you.” After all, didn’t you get in business to speak?

Planning Your eBook Marketing

So, perhaps you are an author that is already (or about to be…) in process with publishing your new book.  By now, most authors are fully aware of the value and need for including eBooks for your public offering to the market-at-large.  With this in mind, all that is really needed is a sound plan for development of your eBook files and a plan for their distribution.

This post focuses on considerations for your eBook project.  Perhaps these are some of the questions you’re asking yourself:

  1. What are the best formats to use for my eBook?
  2. How can I make money with my eBook?
  3. How do customers buy my eBook?
  4. How do I get my eBook done?

The Best eBook Formats

ebook formats 1

My direction here is one of simplicity, rather than technical details; use the ones that sell the most!

The EPUB format is used by Kobo, iBooks, iPAD, Sony Reader and several other platforms.  This is a professional layout used for eBook distribution (it’s actually more like a “website format” than a book format).

Amazon Kindle is a proprietary format used by the Kindle Reader, by Amazon.  Amazon distributes these eBook files on their Website (Amazon.com).

Smashwords is becoming one of the most popular formats/platforms for eBooks. They are a popular publishing service that provides additional multi-format eBooks, including a distribution service.  They are a distributor and retailer of eBooks and also makes your eBook available through Barnes & Noble (for the Nook), Sony (for the Sony Reader), Chapters/Indigo (for the Kobo), and the Apple iBookstore (for the iPad and iPad mini).

As a minimum, I recommend providing your eBook in both Kindle and Smashwords formats, for best coverage of the available eBook reader platforms.

Tip 1 - small

You may also want to consider doing a stand-alone EPUB file, for sending directly to in-house staff, key clients/customers or for free give-aways/gifts.

Making Money With eBooks

The best and simplest way to make money with your eBook is to make it available on the most popular distribution networks; namely Amazon (Kindle) and Smashwords.  Although there are many alternatives, these two sites provide you with online sales, distribution, and profit.

Buying Your eBook

Once your eBook is available on both Amazon and Smashwords, customers around the world can purchase your eBook.  Both Amazon and Smashwords provide your customers with the download and financial transaction to purchase your eBook.  Then, you are rewarded with your portion of the profit.

Getting Your eBook

Motivated Publishing Studios provides a complete turn-key solution for the production of your eBook needs.  Whether you are doing a physical book, or even if you’ve already published your book, we can help you produce and get your eBook online and working for you!

Optimizing Your Business

We have worked with many clients, helping them optimize their business, solve strategic challenges, and developing strategy to take their business to the next level. Our clients come from a variety backgrounds, vertical markets and industries – but no matter what the situation is, business optimization still comes down to four simple steps:

Optimizing Your Business

It is absolutely true that no two circumstances or business cases are the same, but the process of getting to the desired result is repeatable. Remember, it is a process, and there are methodical steps to getting to the desired results for your business process.

Optimizing Your Business - icon - question markDefine Your Objectives:  

There can be numerous motivations for wanting to optimize your process.  It may be a matter of saving either time or money (or both, since any business would desire this). Alternatively, many optimization projects can center around the protection of IP (Intellectual Property) or process, for the purposes of expanding operations or “franchising” out a concept or model. Some industries are faced with strict and ever-changing compliance matters, forcing business owners to keep their business process in line with professional doctrine. Some organizations find themselves in the need of assessing or diagnosing performance issues, and these too are situations that can drive the need for optimization.  The last (in this list, there certainly are many other examples…) situation that is commonly encountered, revolves around re-branding of a business – successful re-branding should not embrace the same methods and processes that were previously used – successful re-branding comes from a genuine implementation of change.

Optimizing Your Business - icon - check mark

Understand Your Process:

Process mapping is the best method for gaining a thorough understanding of your business process.  Understanding where you are first, is paramount to accomplishing your objectives. Clear, concise and easily understood documentation of your business process is not only helpful for business optimization, it can aid in training, auditing, performance monitoring and provide substantial credibility (to clients, industry professionals, etc.).

Optimizing Your Business - icon - exclamation markOptimize Your Process:

This is the step that is highly customized for every business. There are key factors that aid in developing the solution for your business optimization project. Metrics for any business are important to success – they are the performance numbers that matter most. Staffing is also key – having the right people doing the right job is critical.  As author Jim Collins wrote in his best-selling book Good to Great, it’s first “who” then “what” – it’s all about the people you have. Of course leadership is key, from the top on down.  There are many key  segments in a business that can rise or fall based on leadership. Do you have leaders in your organization? Technology can also provide many opportunities for optimization – do you have all the right tools and do you know what is currently available? Previously we mentioned it’s all about the people – but are the people performing?  This is simply a snapshot of some circumstances and business process pieces that can influence the optimization process.

Optimizing Your Business - icon - hour glassMonitor Your Process:

Once you know what you are looking for, where you are with your business process, and have the optimization plan ready, it’s time to implement. One common flaw we encounter occurs after a good plan is implemented – no plan for ongoing assessment is put in place. Remembering your original objectives is key during implementation. Now that you understand your business process, never depart from the mindset of improving (and never embrace the mindset of assuming – assuming all is well, assuming all is being executed according to plan…).

Optimizing your business can be quite a revealing process.  It always healthy for the state and growth of any business.  If you would like to learn more about what MPS can provide by assisting you to optimize your business, be sure to contact us today

Marketing Your Book

Strategy for using today’s modern tools…

Many author’s today ask the daunting question “So, how do I market my new book?”  But, before a good quality answer can be given, there are many situations, intent and answers to questions that need to be considered…

marketing 7 greyscale

Marketing a book should never be a “last thought” or “something to worry about after the book, or eBook, is printed/created.”  Planning is a key element to success with marketing a book – and planning should start early in the book creation phase (usually as soon as the manuscript is ready for the editing phase).  This is key because good marketing should be tightly coupled to the book content (assuming non-fiction here…), more on that later.

The focus of a sound marketing strategy should also involve the use of modern tools that are readily available today.  This will make your efforts current, simple to implement, maintainable and readily acceptable to the general public and targeted markets.  However, before we dive into the process of developing your marketing strategy let’s get to the insight needed before a quality solution can be presented.

6 Key Questions

1. How elaborate of marketing are you looking for?

Are you looking for the use of public media (TV, radio, internet radio, video…).  Knowing your vision and what the future of your book looks like, are key factors in implementing a sound marketing strategy.

2. What is your budget?

As I’ve often heard in advertising, “know your limit and stay within it.”  Be realistic and honest with your budget.  Your strategy must match your resources.  There is no need to produce a Cadillac when a Camry will do just fine.  Your budget will also define what professional services will or will not be available to you.

3. Technical capabilities of author or do you need help?

If you have the ability to add content and manage a blog and Social Media accounts (ex. G+, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn), then you can personally maintain your marketing platform. If not, then engage MPS for the resources to set this up, create content and get some simple instruction to be able to be competent with this simple technology. It will be very important to have an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) plan implemented, so that your book and you can be “found” on the Internet!

4. Does the author’s core business facilitate sales?

Does your core business sell your book, as a value-added item, or is it more of a give-away?  Do you have infrastructure and resources to take book orders?  Is your webmaster resident at your place of business? This will determine if your focus will be to control your marketing, sales and distribution (preferred) or if you need to outsource it.

5. Does the author have infrastructure to fulfill orders?

Do you have infrastructure to fulfill orders, or do you need to outsource this physical work?  Remember, customer service is king…

6. Do you do speaking engagements?

If you are a public speaker as well, then you marketing plan needs to include your strategy for event sales (customization, pre-sales, back-of-room sales, after-event sales).  Do you have other collateral?

Your Marketing Plan

Marketing Plan for new bookThe plan starts with knowing what basic tools to use for your marketing strategy.  Based upon the answers to the above key questions, most authors should desire to control their marketing plan and ultimately their sales. That being said, depending upon the answers, it may make sense for some authors to use third party resources if they do not have resources themselves. Or, utilize the services offered by MPS to get your marketing plan in place and learn how to take on the task of continuing with the plan.

The basics of an effective marketing plan for your new book, include:

  1. Website:  this should ideally be a website dedicated to your book or publishing company.  Technically, this site should utilize a modern CMS (Content Management System) so that it can easily integrate with a blog, Social Media, and mobile platforms.  A good strategy is also to provide offers or “hooks” inside your book, which lead the reader to custom landing pages on your site (value-added offers and information).
  2. SEO:  it is vital to deploy an effective SEO plan so that all of your marketing efforts, your book, and you – can be found on the world-wide-web.
  3. Blog:  is an absolute must and needs to provide value on a regular basis to your subscribers.  This is how you create “community” and connect with your potential customers.
  4. Social Media:  is how you connect on all of the most utilized platforms, to the largest possible audience.  This keeps you message available to the mobile community and allows for viral marketing to work effectively.
  5. eBook:  is more popular than ever and is not a huge investment. Having your book available in the most popular eBook formats keeps your product available to the ever-increasing digital consumer.
  6. Amazon:  is the most popular and widely used e-commerce site for book sales.  This requires a sound strategy as well – do not simply put your book on Amazon without a plan…  Where do you want to drive traffic?  Do you want to keep all the profits? Is Amazon for convenience or your distribution?

Knowing the answers to the key questions and then implementing the marketing plan, using today’s modern tools, that matches your goals – this is how you market your book!

MPS can help you formulate, implement and maintain your marketing strategy, including the use of additional resources for advertising, media and promotion.

From Author To Entrepreneur: How to turn your knowledge into multimedia products

From Author To Entrepreneur: How to turn your knowledge into multimedia products

IP products

“Packaging” Public Speakers

Motivational Speakers, Life Skills Coaches, Professional Seminar Speakers, and all entrepreneurs who delivery their message live – can enhance their business, professional image and credibility by being properly “packaged.”

What is “packaging?” It is taking the intellectual property (IP) of an individual and presenting it in an engaging, memorable, repeatable and exciting physical package – creating a brand and consistent message to the public world. This not only covers the actual content, or IP, it is also includes various mediums of delivery (print, web, social media, audio, video).

Motivated Publishing Studios originally started it’s business by helping public speakers publish their first book, by taking their speaking content and creating a valuable manuscript for a book. The essentially becomes the speaker’s calling card – giving them credibility beyond just the speaking realm. MPS’s work started with the publishing of the speaker’s first book and in most cases led to the creation of audio CDs and videos (DVD, HD-DVD, now BlueRay too) – giving the speaker materials that they could sell to their audiences. By having these materials available, also for sale on their own websites, they served as marketing pieces to help spread the word of the speaker’s message.

If you are a speaker, coach or similar – contact us to learn how we can help you “package” your message and help you increase your business and profits.

The business of public speakingRead this insightful article “The Business of Public Speaking.”

Marketing Systems

Motivated Publishing Studios are experts in the marketing arena.  If your business is looking to develop a marketing plan or implement a new marketing strategy, such as a Direct Sales or MLM model, we have the experience and first-hand expertise to help you.

With our extensive 25+ years in the sales and marketing arena, MPS has the resources to help organizations develop and implement a solid marketing plan. Regardless of your business’s market, our knowledge of technology and tactics has been proven across a wide range of industries.

sales and marketing 3Read the article on Marketing Your Business—Planning is Critical (the 2 keys every business owner needs to know)

We provide the capabilities to help a start-up company implement these strategies or if you are an established organization and are looking for a tune-up or intellectual capital to enhance your business model – then contact us today.

We have specific expertise in the areas of:

  • marketing systems
  • sales and marketing planning
  • paths to market, conventional vs. Direct sales plan
  • compliance
  • compensation plans
  • growth contingencies
  • distribution/distributor business plans
  • incentive plans
  • marketing collateral and publications
  • policy and procedure development
  • mlm and direct sales structure design and comparatives
  • branding