Writing a Book: Still Looking for a Reason?

June 1, 2007

Over the last couple of months I’ve interviewed dozens of business owners- turned- authors and they all agree on one thing:  writing a book boosts your business!

“Everyone who has a business should consider writing a book,” says Donna Marie Coles Johnson, owner of the Indie Beauty Network and author of two books and a quarterly magazine. “It enhances your credibility.”

Author and leadership speaker Wally Adamchik agrees.  “Because I wrote a book, I was quoted in several national trade publications,” he explains.  “I booked two full-fee speeches just from two quotes in a magazine article.  I would have never gotten those jobs if I hadn’t written the book.”

When is the right time?

Diana Booher, author of 42 books, says when you feel you have the self-confidence in yourself and your business.  “Writing a book is the best marketing tool you can use,” she says.  “Most of the business owners I’ve talked to who’ve done it say, ‘My only regret is that I waited so long before I wrote a book.’”

Think you’re an expert in your business?  Why not share it with the world and write a book. Contact me today to get started.

Donna @ MyBigBusinessCard.com


Giveaways Get Your Business

May 4, 2007

Everybody loves freebies.

My desk is cluttered with giant paper clips, notepads and more pens than I could possibly ever write with–all compliments of local businesses. People love free stuff and they almost always keep it. (You’ll never find me throwing away a perfectly good pen.)

It’s no different with a book. In fact, you give a book to someone and they will always have it or find someone else who wants it. I think everyone’s squeamish at the thought of pitching a book in the trash. Can’t say the same about that glossy brochure now, can you?

Wally Adamchik, author and leadership speaker/consultant, says he uses his book as a business card. “I’m not shy about giving it out either,” says the retired United States Marine Corp officer. “I hand out copies of my book like it’s candy.”

That’s probably part of the reason why his book, NO YELLING: The Nine Secrets of Marine Leadership You Must Know to Win in Business, landed in some sweets spots, including being mentioned in Fortune Small Business and other national trade publications. And why Wally saw his speaking business take off.

After all, if people don’t know about you and your book then they can’t hire you. Give it away to any potential leads. And, if you’re courting a company, give enough copies to make their way around the executive offices with a few to spare.

I guarantee you’ll get noticed!

Book Titles: Picking Right

April 29, 2007

What’s in a name? A lot! 

It’s the difference between motivating someone to pick up your book or to simply pass it by.

I remember struggling with headlines when I was a magazine editor in Erie, Pa.  Sometimes I’d change the headlines on the cover story five or six times until I was satisfied that it was going to pull the reader in. It’s the same idea for a book title.

Established author and speaker Kendall SummerHawk agrees. She’s the author of the book Brilliance Unbridled and has been dubbed the “horse whisperer” for business.

“Come up with a working title,” she says. “You’ll want a lot of time to continue to craft your title and refine it. Finally, create four possible titles and test them.”

SummerHawk suggests asking the right people – not your family or staff members (since they’ll probably LOVE it!). Go to the people who are your intended audience. “Don’t ask which one of the four titles they like because they may not like any of them, but won’t want to hurt your feelings,” said SummerHawk. “Instead ask if any of the titles would motivate them to pick up a book off the shelf and look at it. And ask if it would motivate them to buy it.”

Go to the right people and test your title to make your book a winner.

Need help with naming your baby? Drop me a line at Donna @ MyBigBusinessCard.com and let’s discuss!

Time Is Not Your Friend

April 21, 2007

“When you’re an aspiring writer, time is not your friend.”

So says Tim Maleeny, author of Stealing the Dragon and who’s the centerpiece of a Visual Thesaurus article this week.

I agree with him wholeheartedly–whether its fiction or non-fiction, it makes no matter–there’s a time to research, and a time to get down to business and write. And it’s not always a linear process. (Really, when it comes to something that even has a smack of creativity, what is?)

Says Tim in the piece:

“Initially the plan was to write what I knew, then write what I imagined to be true and check my facts. Seemed like a viable approach at the time, and that’s how the process began. I spent hours reading, going to the library, calling friends… I learned a lot, which made me want to learn even more. Ideas multiplied, split apart, became new ideas that took my story in entirely new directions.

“There was just one little problem: I wasn’t writing.

“If I was ever going to finish the book, I was going to have to make things up. Stop reading, stop talking, and start writing.”

Good stuff. Read the whole piece here.

Another Don Imus Victim: Deirdre & Her Book

April 12, 2007

You gotta be feeling for Deirdre Imus.

Earlier this week she was the one being featured on the The Today Show as she promoted her book, Green This! Greening Your Cleaning, and told of her love of lemon juice (we must be soul sisters) in a friendly chat with Ann Curry. There was even a video segment showing Deirdre green cleaning a house like a hurricane.

But then her husband Don Imus and his outrageous comments brought on a storm of a different kind, efficiently wiping away her dream of a smooth rockin’ book promotion month that not even a peaceful Earth Day could solve.

What’s a green cleaning book author to do?

My friends joke that the M in Donna M. Kozik stands for Marketing. They’re not far off the mark, actually, and I spent a good 10 minutes today thinking about how to solve Deirdre Imus’s situation.

Frankly, I couldn’t come up with much.

But, for what it’s worth, if I were her marketer/publicist I would:

  • Try to postpone Martha Stewart and other shows for a week or two.
  • Concentrate heavily on print publications that are more removed from news.
  • Get prepared with a smooth answer when asked about the controversy. (No small assignment there.)

It’s a tough, tough situation. I’m going to keep thinking.

Any other suggestions?

The Art of Book Covers

April 5, 2007

Experts say your book has just 2.6 seconds to grab a reader’s attention.

Yikes. That’s probably just a bit longer than it took you to read that sentence.

So, despite the old saying, that means your cover needs to sell your book.

Author, speaker and professional certified coach Kendall SummerHawk says it’s vital to have a professional looking cover. She should know. The author of Brilliance Unbridled, she spent much time, energy and money to make sure her book cover spoke—nay, shouted—to her target reader.

Her efforts paid off handsomely and Brilliance Unbridled has served as a superior business-building tool for Summerhawk, who encourages writers to spend the money on a professionally designed cover.

“It doesn’t matter if it’s the most brilliant content in the world,” she explains. “People judge the book by its cover, and your book definitely should not look self-published.” For her book, Summerhawk chose a cover designer, Hobie and Kathie, who had done covers for several of Oprah’s guests.

Wonder what elements you should consider when choosing your book’s cover? Drop me a line and let’s talk.

To your business and writing success,

Donna @ MyBigBusinessCard.com




Book Junkies: Get Your Hit Here

April 1, 2007

I caught up on some of my own “fun” reading this weekend and found some sites for book junkies listed in the March issue of O magazine.

Booksense.com is a clearinghouse of independent bookstores. Just put in your Zip code to find where you can buy the book in your neighborhood and support the local bookseller.Booksfree.com is the Netflix of books. For a monthly fee, that starts at $8.50, your selected reading material is mailed to you, along with a prepaid return envelope. As article writer Whitney Fuller says, “We just love it when technology comes full circle.”

Shelfari.com is compared to a MySpace and members connect by commenting on each other’s virtual bookshelves. You make your picks and the site uploads photos of the books to stack them on a shelf for others to take a gander. If they like what they see, they just click and are taken to Amazon where they can buy the book.

I couldn’t resist and started my shelf — wanna see?

— Donna