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Author Entrepreneur


How to Write a Book Marketing Plan 6 Steps to Connect With Community Heard Mentality

BUILDING COMMUNITY One Nail at a Time By Catharine Bramkamp

July 2012, Vol. 1

About Us


Author Entrepreneur Magazine is published monthly by Barany Consulting, an education and consulting firm located in Oakland, California. The magazine goes out to nearly 1,200 subscribers via email and is also distributed via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to reach over 10,000 people. For information on advertising please contact the editor at beth@, or call her at (510) 332-5384.

Publisher & Editor-in-Chief: Beth Barany Designer & Layout: Ezra Barany Editorial Assistants: Carissa Weintraub, Sarah Gelberg Contributors: Barbara Millman Cole, Cassie Premo Steele, Catharine Bramkamp, Cheryl Derricote, Erin Lale, Ezra Barany, Matthew Ashdown, Peter J. Ferguson Cover Photo: Jeff Kubina kubina/471164507/

Feel free to forward this to your staff, colleagues and clients. If this magazine was forwarded to you, you can receive free future issues by signing up here: www.AuthorEntrepreneurMagazine. com. If you’d like to use one of our articles in your newsletter or blog, please contact the respective author for permission. All materials and photos in this magazine are copyright protected. Publishers, Writing & Book Professional Associations: Interested in advertising with us? Contact Beth Barany at or call her at (510) 332-5384 to find out how you can reach your audience and save money over print publication advertising. Š 2012, Barany Consulting, Oakland, CA. All rights reserved to the respective authors. If you wish to use any materials in this publication you must contact the author first for written permission. Thank you for protecting our copyrights.

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Letter from the Editor Thanks for reading our inaugural issue of the Author Entrepreneur Magazine! I’m so excited to be launching this next chapter in how I help authors create sustainable and successful careers. For that is the mission of this magazine. Authors have traditionally only been taught to focus on creating excellent books. And granted, that is what we can control. The vissisitudes of the market place and the fast-changing technology these days makes trying to control anything else, well, impossible. And it’s always been so. But now we authors are being called to be more than just authors. I feel that we’re being called to be leaders in our fields. One of the ways we can rise to the occasion is by learning from our peers. That is another strong motivation I had for creating this magazine. There is so much we can learn from each other. I put out the call to authors, book coaches, and creativity coaches to help me launch this issue because producing a magazine to create a platform for learning from each other is a community effort. Tell me what you think, what you need and would like to see in future issues. We’ll see you here next month with more on helping authors create sustainable and successful careers. Thank you to everyone who answered the call! Please support our advertisers who make this publication possible and free to you! Click on their ads for more information, and forward the magazine to your clients and customers so they can read this magazine, too! Thanks! Creativity Transformational Write Shops Creativity Coaching with Cassie Premo Steele 30-Minute Manager, LLC How to Turn Your Fan Fiction into a Novel The Torah Codes Meditating Monkeys Ace Services 4 Authors Overcome Writer’s Block The Writer’s Adventure Guide

Some links in this magazine (“Magazine”) may be affiliate links (“Affiliate Links”), including links to From time to time, the Magazine includes featured books and/or product giveaways. Should AE Magazine receive compensation as a result of featuring any such books or giving away any such product, that fact will be disclosed. AE Magazine earns a commission from the Affiliate Links which commission is based on the number of sales that are made as a result of readers of the Magazine clicking over to the Affiliate Link and purchasing from the Affiliate Link a product and/or service.

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Featured Story:

14One Nail at a Time

Building Community

By Catharine Bramkamp

6 10 18

Scaffold Your Literary Life

Barbara Millman Cole

A Little Help From My Friends Cassie Premo Steele

Building Community 30 Minutes at a Time Cheryl Derricote

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22 26 32 36

Help an Author Write a Book Marketing Plan Erin Lale

7 Rocks to Becoming a Bestselling Author Ezra Barany

Thrive With Your Wolf-Pack Matthew Ashdown

Heard Mentality P.J. Ferguson

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Scaffold Your Literary Life

Build a Literary Community: Invite Readers to Participate By Barbara Millman Cole “Heroes didn’t leap tall buildings or stop bullets with an outstretched hand; they didn’t wear boots and capes. They bled, and they bruised, and their superpowers were as simple as listening, or loving. Heroes were ordinary people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.” ― Jodi Picoult, Second Glance

Reading this passage by Jodi Picoult causes our emotions to well, our thoughts to awaken, and our imaginations to travel deep into the story community she creates. Without blatantly asking us to join her, she pulls us in with her literary style. We pause a moment to ponder her subtle idea. In this short passage, she defines the act of building community as “people who knew that even if their own lives were impossibly knotted, they could untangle someone else’s. And maybe that one act could lead someone to rescue you right back.” These words make us think about our own relationships to the people in our communities and how we forge relationships by giving of ourselves, in the simple hope that someone else will feel compelled to reach out for us in return. As authors, we aim to stir imagination, engage minds, and ultimately, invite our readers to participate in our work. Simply,

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Image by Flickr’s “Peter S.”

in so doing, we hope to find and build our own literary community. When we are young, we are taught to include everyone in our games on the school playground. We are taught to find ways to make the game fun for all, and as children we readily alter the rules of our games to involve the whole group. We build our friendships by letting everyone participate and add to the game. As writers, we are charged with the same social duty — to bring our readers into the circle and let them play along with us as we construct our stories.

“A good piece of writing mesmerizes its audience to such a degree they forget their own lives for the moment, leave their world, and enter into the world the writer creates.” No matter our style, there is a community of readers thirsting to find and join us in our efforts to express our stories. We literally will build our literary communities by writing in a way that makes our readers feel they are partners in our work.

Continued on pg. 8

“When we invite our audience into our stories, provide them with images, phrases, and metaphors that stimulate them to weave the story along with us, we allow our readers to be part of our work.” What do I mean by ‘partners in our work?’ A good piece of writing mesmerizes its audience to such a degree they forget their own lives for the moment, leave their world, and enter into the world the writer creates. As authors, we strive to illicit audible gasps, awes or sighs, physical sudden jerks, sharp pains or sweet longings, and mental solutions, predictions or vows in the hearts and minds of our audience. Swept by atmospheric tides, pulled into tumultuous eddies, or caught up in emotional currents purposely placed before them, the readers cannot help but choose to participate in what they are experiencing.

Image by Sodanie Chea

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What better way to approach our writing projects than with this laudable aspect of artistry at the fore of our personal mindsets? How do we begin? By tapping into our own intuition, allowing ourselves to go deep into our own minds and hearts to discover what we want to impart as artists. If we ourselves are swept up, pulled and caught by the tides, eddies and currents of our own imagination, imagine how that will translate into our stories. When we invite our audience into our stories, provide them with images, phrases, and metaphors that stimulate them to weave the story along with us, we allow our readers to be part of our work. Readers who feel fully engaged with our stories will become part of our literary community. As authors, we begin our novels, short stories, memoirs, plays, poems, and personal essays with the goal of inviting our readers to participate with the simple hope they will reach out to us and join our literary community in return.

Barbara Millman Cole is an award winning author of Short Literary Fiction, content editor, and creativity coach, who helps writers delve deep to discover their true meaning. Understand why you create so you know what to create. Contributing author of Creativity Coaching Success Stories and author of the forthcoming book, The Painted Woman and Other Short Stories, she can be reached at

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A Little Help From My Friends Image by Allie Holzman

By Cassie Premo Steele They don’t tell you this in business school. Business plans, budgets, target markets, and marketing plans come first. They don’t tell you this in MFA programs. The craft, the skill, the publication process, editing and revision come first. But when I started my writing & coaching business, I didn’t do what people in school would advise me to do. Instead, I turned to my friends. I started a newsletter and sent it out to my friends. It would contain some of my writing and announcements about workshops I was giving. The first people to attend those workshops were my friends. They say that word-of-mouth is the best way to spread the news about what you offer. Who better to do this than people who care about you and have attended your events? Think about it. You may have a friend who is a wonderful musician, and you may love her, but if you have never been to one of her concerts, how can you really recommend that others go, too? So invite your friends. When my local business was steady, I started expanding. I did workshops in other states. Where? Where my friends lived. I stayed with them, I took them out to dinner, and in exchange, they helped me find venues and spread the word to

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their friends about my work. Two years ago, I did a book tour that took me over 3000 miles up and down the East Coast. I stayed with friends. I stayed with friends of friends. I did readings and workshops in friends’ living rooms, schools where friends taught, bookstores that friends recommended. And this past year, I launched a Kickstarter project to fund another book tour — this time to the Midwest and West. Who were the first people to fund my project? Friends. Who spread the word for me? Friends. Who celebrated with me when the project was fully funded? Friends.

“Word-of-mouth is the best way to spread the news about what you offer. Who better to do this than people who care about you and have attended your events?” Last night I held a writing workshop, and not one of my friends was there. All but one person in attendance were brand new to my workshops. They heard about me through others who had attended Continued on pg. 12

Your creative dreams come true. Be you.


Innovative, intuitive and insightful creativity coaching with Cassie Premo Steele


previously — also not my friends. Nowadays I see my friends at lunch or dinners out or keep in touch through text and phone calls. I am grateful for how my business has grown. But I know that the seeds of it were planted with a lot of help from my friends. ~

Here are the Top 5 Things I’ve learned from growing my business through this friend-to-friend contact: 1. When you think of your clients as strangers, they are in some ways an object to you. You can tend to have a fishing mentality. Reel ‘em in. Catch ‘em. When you base your work on the principle of friendly cooperation, you treat people as whole people. Even the strangers who contact you. People can feel this. And they will want to work with you. 2. When you ask your friends for help, you are saying, “I am vulnerable. I cannot do this alone. I need your help.” And this offers them the opportunity to give you something. Everyone likes to give a gift. And when they help you, they feel emotionally connected to what you are doing. You cannot buy this through fancy marketing plans. Ever. 3. When you build your business through contacts with friends, you are expanding their sense of community, too. They attend your workshops and meet new people. They feel greater connection to the other attendees because of their affection for you. In ripples all across your town, people who otherwise wouldn’t know each other become

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friends because of you. 4. When times get hard, friends will still be there for you. Whether you need advice or a shoulder, your friends care about you regardless of how well your business is doing. Clients come and go, but friends are for life. And your business, your work — these will rise and fall like the tides, will transform and tumble and be built again. But friendship never ends. 5. Friends remind you to be human. In our cyber-world, it’s very easy to connect on Facebook and Twitter and email, but these connections are fleeting. Taking time for a good dinner with good friends — this is what will feed your soul. And ultimately, this will feed your work. So feed yourself with friendship and let your business grow from the ground of caring and mutual respect.

Cassie Premo Steele, Ph.D., is the author of nine books of fiction, non-fiction and poetry on the themes of creativity, mothering, and living in balance with the natural world. She writes a monthly column for Literary Mama called “Birthing the Mother Writer” and she works with individuals and groups, both locally and long-distance, from her Co-Creating Studio along a little creek in South Carolina. Her website is

Building Community One Nail at a Time By Catharine Bramkamp

As authors and writers, we work alone. If we are truly suited for the writer life, we like nothing more than to spend our private days dressed in dog fur-covered yoga pants and college sweatshirts and working, working, working in our comfortable homes. The very idea of community then is not natural for many writers and authors. But to promote your business, gain new jobs, and form clients, nurturing your community is critical. But (and I'm guessing here) there is

a good chance that while you are marvelous at focused work, deadlines and production, you are probably not much of a joiner. But, you know, you must do it. First, there are now two kinds of communities: on-line and off-line. The on-line communities are the easiest to join but often the most timeconsuming to maintain. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blog comments are a great way to get yourself “out� in the cyber world. A good Continued on pg 15

rule of thumb for your social outing is to spend at least ½ hour but no more than an hour a day socializing. Facebook is self explanatory, and following blogs (which is also a Twitter activity) is a good way to connect with writers and experts. However, the current thinking is that if you are focused on promoting your work, Twitter and LinkedIn are the most effective ways to do so.

“The on-line communities are the easiest to join but often the most time-consuming to maintain.” Twitter: Get an account and follow not only other people but also follow hash tags: these can be your groups, your tribe. Hang out and read what they all have to say. When invited, join other groups and follow other tweeters. Just do it. LinkedIn: I love LinkedIn Groups for more specific comments and threads relating to my field. Don’t limit yourself to a group populated only by authors and writers. What is the theme of your work? Does your fiction return to the same kinds of themes? Does your nonfiction already have a built up platform? These are the groups to join on LinkedIn. For instance, my mystery series involves a real estate agent and a small town in the California foothills. So I may want to search for a LinkedIn group of realtors, as well as a LinkedIn group of fans of small towns. Or traveling groups specializing in small US towns. Or realtors in the foothills. You get the idea. Now that you’re a virtual social

butterfly, it’s time to burst out of the cocoon, put on some grown-up clothes, wipe off the dog fur, and hit the streets. I know, wouldn’t it be great if we could socialize from our dark writing office and call it a day? Maybe, but my best opportunities have not been generated through social media, but rather through just being social. You can begin to find your people through Meet-ups or hunt down the local writing/poetry slam/reading groups. Writing, art, judo, and pot-throwing classes are great environments in which to meet people and discover what else is available in your community. Okay, great: you have a target group. You are ready to socialize in person. Except you don’t know how to network. In fact, you hate networking: that’s why you’re a writer. I know, so here is a guide to get you started: Let's say you stroll into the monthly meeting of the Benevolent Society of Serious Authors. The meeting is held at the local hotel. The ballroom is large and all you see are knots of people who already know each other and don’t look hospitable in the least.

“Now that you’re a virtual social butterfly, it’s time to burst out of the cocoon, put on some grown-up clothes, wipe off the dog fur, and hit the streets.” Buck up. Take the initiative. The average member will not approach you; your job is to

Continued on pg. 16 July 2012 | 15

approach them. Look around and find another person who is standing alone and slowly approach (don’t frighten them).

Read their name tag, and make sure yours is still attached. Hold out your hand and say, "Hi, my name is Emily Dickinson (or your own name) and this is my first meeting. I write poetry; what do you write?" Your exchange should consist of a few minutes about you, and a lot of minutes about them. When the conversation begins to flag, ask if there is someone you should find/ talk to who is in charge of membership. If the membership chair is unavailable, ask for the president. When you meet the president, ask about the club. If the president is busy because he or she is operating the meeting, ask again for the membership chair.

“I love LinkedIn Groups for more specific comments and threads relating to my field.”

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You are a desirable commodity: clubs always want and need members and if they are a good club, they will go after you with their full attention. For your part, listen to the meeting, watch the members, and consider: what would it be like to join this group? Consider: if this club would have you as a member, do you want to belong? If you want to join, give yourself a deadline — one year is a good amount of time. At one meeting per month, it will take that long to really know if the club membership is working for you. Also as soon as you join one club, other options will open up. Evaluate each and see if they are right for you. Oh, and don’t join more than two physical clubs. Even though community is important, remember: you still need time to write!

Catharine Bramkamp is co-host of the popular podcast Newbie Writers. She is a writing coach, author, and university instructor. Her most recent books are Ammonia Sunrise, In Good Faith, and A 380 Degree View. She divides her time between the California Gold Country and Wine Country. More about Catharine at

Building Community

30 Minutes at a Time

Image by Chris Limb

By Cheryl Derricote Marketing genius Seth Godin issued a rallying cry: Reject the Tyranny of Being Picked: Pick Yourself. Savvy authors in the 21st century are clearly listening. “Author, LLC” or “Author, Inc.,” understands the power of platform. Coaching, editing, public speaking — all of these activities are included in the contemporary writing-centered business. This article will focus on some strategies to build community 30 minutes at a time. Platform is a term to describe community that originated over the past 5-10 years. It was fueled by the rise of authors who are both self-publishing and selling thousands of books. Traditional publishers now want authors to come with a platform. Author entrepreneurs recognize that they no longer need traditional publishers. Building a platform = building community. There are three primary groups to connect with: 1. Entrepreneurs 2. Authors 3. Readers Let’s work on honing your EAR. Connecting with other entrepreneurs allows you to sharpen the skills unique

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to running a business. A peer group of other authors will give you an outlet to “talk shop” about writing. Readers are the potential consumers for your products. There are two primary ways to build community: in person and online. Together, they are a powerful combination to build a robust platform for your writing-centered business. Quick tip: if you have not already selected a contact management system, now is a great time. Affordable options include Mailchimp and Constant Contact.

In Person My favorite way to develop my in person network ironically begins online! Using, I have been able to find great local groups in the San Francisco Bay area. Examples of the groups in which I actively participate include nonfiction writers, get published now, a monthly blogging club and a shut-up and write group. Go to, click on “find a MeetUp,” put in your zip code and search for key words like “writers,” “authors,” “publishing,” and “entrepreneurs.” Look for groups no more than 30 minutes from your home. Once you settle into a few groups that you enjoy, you will be easily connected to like-minded people. MeetUp is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

Online There are 2,267,233,742 people online — approximately 32 percent of the world’s population. Facebook has over 500 million active users worldwide; 50 percent of Continued on pg. 20

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the users log on every day and approximately 200 million connect through their mobile devices. A recent Business Insider article estimates that 56 million Twitter accounts follow eight or more other accounts. Over 100 million professionals use LinkedIn. YouTube has 490 million unique users worldwide per month. These stats demonstrate why social media is a great tool to build community and advance your brand. Remember to stay true to your personality. Write about things you feel passionately about. Embrace your quirks, talk about your hobbies, what you are reading, movies and music you like. People connect with people who are authentic.

“Building a platform = building community.”

on writing, while Typepad has a section called “strategists” including business topics). 6. Setting up a LinkedIn account. 7. Creating a Facebook page. 8. Setting up a Twitter account. 9. Creating a YouTube channel. 10. Making a list of possible video topics for your YouTube channel. To manage your social media, break up your 30 minutes into daily tasks. For example: • Start out slow and spend 5 minutes a day, 6 days a week, responding to Tweets or Facebook messages • Post a comment on a blog you like • Upload a new blog article you have written • Send LinkedIn invitations to people and businesses you want to connect with.

When someone searches online for your name, you want current, relevant information to come up at the top of the results. Make a plan to control your online persona. Decide if you want a blog and/ or a website. Do you need one or two LinkedIn profiles? What about Facebook? Some people have two LinkedIn profiles and two Facebook pages — one each for their personal name and their business name. After developing your plan, here are ten examples of individual tasks that can be completed within 30 minutes:

As your business grows, you can increase your time implementing these tips for 30 minutes every working day, to make even more progress in building your platform. This article offers some strategies to build community 30 minutes at a time. Get out of the house and go to a MeetUp group. Engage in 30 minutes of social media activity. Build a great community that you enjoy interacting with — in person and online. Pick yourself.

1. Getting referrals for web designers to build your website. 2. Working on a website yourself, if you have design skills. 3. Creating your own blog using a tool like Wordpress or Typepad. 4. Developing a list of blog topics to write. 5. Interacting with bloggers / commenting on their blogs. (Wordpress includes great blogs

Cheryl Patrice Derricotte, picture on the next page, is the Chief Information Officer for 30 Minute Manager, LLC, an indie publishing company she founded in 2011. Her new book: Being the Grown-Up, a guide to managing a loved one’s terminal illness and death will be published this winter. Stay in touch with Cheryl at, and

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Cheryl Patrice Derrycotte, author of Being the Grown-Up

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Help an Author Write a Book Marketing Plan

Image by Alan Cleaver

By Erin Lale Many book publishing companies require a marketing plan with the submission of a novel. Unless it says otherwise in the guidelines, either a separate document or a paragraph in the cover letter is acceptable. An author’s marketing plan is a list of all the types of marketing and publicity in which she is willing and able to participate. Here is the advice you can give your author: Be clear and specific about what kind of marketing you are going to do. For example, if you list “book tour,” that could mean that you are willing to go on a book tour if the publisher arranges it, that you are willing to arrange your own tour, or you have already arranged your own tour. So, you would want to specify if you mean one of the second two.

“An author’s marketing plan is a list of all the types of marketing and publicity in which she is willing and able to participate.”

If you already have a speaking engagement booked, include the particulars only if they are impressive and not likely to be known to the editor. For example, if you are submitting a science fiction novel, you don’t have to explain the statement, “I will be a panelist on writing at the upcoming WorldCon,” because it is likely that the acquisitions editor already knows what that is. That single line is all you need, so you can leave out the numbers. You would not want to explain, “I will be speaking on writing to a local club” if the club has few members or is not your target market, so again, you can leave out the numbers. If, however, the venue is not well known in your field but would be impressive, then you will want to include details, such as “I’m the host of X Radio Show and have 43,700 weekly listeners.”

“Photo opportunities need to be highly visual” You can market online. Internet marketing includes creating an author website or a book website, writing a blog, social networking, participating in forums, doing a virtual book tour of blogs by giving interviews via email, and participating in review circles. Book trailers generally fall under the heading of Internet marketing, too, unless you’ve made yours to the standards of a movie trailer so that it can be shown at film festivals and local art house theaters. You can market by phone (or Skype). Radio and Internet radio shows Continued on pg. 24

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Erin Lale’s book available on

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and podcasts are always looking for guests. Contact the shows to which you listen or those hosted by friends. Join and subscribe to their daily alerts. You can market in person. Book signings can be at local stores, festivals, and libraries, at conventions, in cities where you travel, or on a formal book tour. You can participate in convention panels, speak to local groups and clubs, and give local media interviews.

the celebrity will be at a certain date and time. You can celebritize yourself. Emcee the local film festival, be on reality TV, be a charity spokesperson, do a publicity stunt, or write a local newspaper column. Name recognition is the name of the game.

“Name recognition is the name of the game.” The finished marketing plan will look like this: “I have an author website at [link.] I will do guest posts on blogs and blog interviews, and will go on a book tour in cities where my airline flies.”

Only include sending out press releases in your plan if you are a known celebrity with your own publicist, because otherwise the publishing company will do that part, but you can issue media alerts. A media alert is a short, factual alert sent to the press to announce a photo opportunity or a newsworthy event in advance. Photo opportunities need to be highly visual, such as a costumed performer portraying your character at a local event, or a photo opp meeting with you and a celebrity, in which the draw for the press photographer is your advance knowledge of where

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Erin Lale is the Acquisitions Editor at Damnation Books and Eternal Press, Editor and Publisher of Time Yarns, and an extensively published author. More at:


Image by Beth Barany

Ezra Barany reads aloud at the San Mateo Fair.

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7 Rocks to Becoming

a Bestselling Author (Part 1 of 2) By Ezra Barany What I reveal in this article is worth thousands of dollars. Granted, there are parts of this article that require more indepth study, like how to find the right title for your book, but for the most part, these concepts are straightforward. If you were to complete just one of these seven ideas, you’d be way ahead in the game of becoming a successfully published author. In the image above you have a jar full of rocks, pebbles, and sand. Each rock, each pebble, each grain of sand, represents a step you can take to become a bestselling author, and makes up a full jar. Some steps take more time than others, and some cost more money to do, but time

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and money are not a reflection of the size of the stones. Instead, the size refers to how effective each step is in reaching your goal.

“Make sure your book evokes a powerful emotional response.” It’s true that if you only put the rocks in the jar, the jar would not be completely full. There are still lots of spaces you could fill with the pebbles and the sand. But if you only have the time and money to put in seven things, doesn’t it make sense that

Continued on pg. 28

you should focus on the having the things be rocks instead of pebbles? (I realize the picture shows five rocks instead of seven, but pretend there are seven.)

The 7 Rocks (The First 4) 1. Make sure your book is great. Many authors think that making a great book takes time and experience. The truth is, writing a great book takes a village. As long as you have your book edited — for content, line edits, etc. — your book is bound to be great. I recommend joining a critique group. Having a group of experienced writers is an incredible, affordable resource for making sure your book becomes great. 2. Set in place a system of accountability. If you’re anything like me, the best way to make sure you get your writing done and create realistic deadlines is to have someone (or several someones) checking in on you. The best solution for this? Join a critique group! Yes! By finding a couple of friends of a feather to critique your work and make sure you’re focused on your writing, you can hit two stones with one bird! 3. Have connections. In the business world this is often referred to as O.P.L. or Other People’s Lists. The idea is that once you have the book available for purchase, it’s good to be connected to people who have huge “lists” or huge communities of friends. Last year, I had the experience of having to announce my new business of helping authors. My wife and book coach Beth Barany was my connected resource. She sent out the word to everyone

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who received her newsletters. That was over 1,000 people! I got some great results from that. So having connections to people who will tell all their friends about your new book is very valuable. The best way to get connections? Join a critique group! If anyone has an interest in seeing you succeed, it’s them! They spent a lot of time helping you refine your writing, so I imagine they’d be happy to send a Facebook announcement to their friends about your book. Wow! You can reach three rocks towards your goal of filling the jar by simply joining a critique group! Isn’t that awesome? 4. Make your book exciting enough to warrant being spread by word of mouth. I make most of my sales from people I’ve never met telling their friends how great The Torah Codes is. If these are people I’ve never met, that begs the question, “How do I make sure my readers spread the word?” It’s not enough to have a great book. The book needs to be more than a great read. Think of it this way. If readers take a break from their work at the business lounge watering hole, the only news they’d share are probably the top three things on their mind. “Johnny got an A on his physics test. We bought a new car yesterday, and my brother got promoted to be the president of his company.” Is there any room to talk about a fun read? What’s she going to say? “I finished a book last night. It was fun.”

Continued on pg. 30

Image by James Jordan

So how can you get on their list of the three most important things to talk about? Make sure your book evokes a powerful emotional response. It can be painful tears, it can be immense laughter, it can be severe anger, but whatever the emotion is, it needs to be strong. Whether your community is a critique group that helps you with your writing, making you accountable, and providing connections, or your community is your fan base spreading the word of your book because of the extreme emotional response you elicit, your community is your path to reaching success. Next month I’ll cover the remaining three rocks to becoming a bestselling author.

Ezra Barany is an author and mentor to authors. He started his career of freaking out readers with his suspense and thriller stories in college. In March 2011, Ezra unleashed his first novel The Torah Codes, a thriller, now an award-winning bestseller in both the U.S. and the U.K. In his free time, he writes mushy love songs inspired by his wife and book coach Beth Barany. Ezra now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where he is working on his next book when not terrorized by his two cats. More at:

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Writer’s Adventure Guide  e­course Have you always wanted to write a book  but don't know where to begin and  were overwhelmed by the process? Well, look no further! Based on the bestselling book, The Writer's   Adventure Guide: 10 Stages to Writing Your Book by Beth Barany, this 12­ week self­paced e­course will guide you gently every step of the way.  A self­coaching guide to writing your book! From inspiration to completion, you will learn how to write a book from the  inside out. The Writer’s Adventure Guide e­course includes: •A weekly lesson emailed directly to you that has the links to that  week's PDF workbook and audio •Instructions and Guidance in a downloadable audio mp3 (3­8  minutes long) •A PDF downloadable workbook (10­15 pages) for each stage that  you can print and write on •On­demand email support from Expert Book, Beth Barany •And lots of bonuses, like the ­­ "Publishing Options Report" ­­ "Track Your Writing Progress spreadsheet" ­­ "Write Your Book in 12 weeks log" ­­ "How to Publish Online" and more! The bonus reports alone are valued at over $500! Actual price: $197 Special Price for Magazine  Readers: $99 only.

Write your book AND enjoy the process!

 Consulting Line:  Call Beth to sign up for the course today:   510­332­5384

July 2012 | 31

Thrive With Your Wolf-Pack Image by Flickr’s Metassus

By Matthew Ashdown Many authors are fiercely independent: They are the lone wolves. This is especially true for those who have had negative experiences when working with other people, or the hermit who would rather be in a house up on a hill than engaging with other human beings. If that is you, I encourage you to open up once more to connecting with like-minded souls. Community and co-operation is the 21st century way of business! If you ever catch yourself thinking, “If you want something done properly you have to do it yourself,” then you may even be bordering on having what Dr Robert Holden calls, “dysfunctional independence.” The fact is that we have a need for others, so building community has a place in the mind for the author who wants to be truly happy.

“You don’t have all the answers. I don’t.” In self-publishing you are told often that you need to do a lot of it by yourself, and I agree, you do need to be highly self-directed. But, the truth is that you are never doing it by yourself. In order to grow your promotions you need community: they retweet you, they post you on Facebook, they buy from you, and they talk about you. You need community as much as they need you and your book. Watch how hard it becomes when you don’t have any of this community around you and supporting you.

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Here are 6 steps to take to gradually connect (or re-connect) with community. 1. Make sure you have both alone and relationship/group time. In order to be part of community we need to be good at managing time and relationships. As a writer, you definitely need time for yourself to write, to meditate, to take care of yourself, and to work. And I would recommend time with others, whether it is family, writers groups, or online communities. (Online communities are great, but there is still much benefit to our wellbeing when we step outside into the wider world.) Schedule time for both yourself and others within your day. 2. Be okay with not knowing. You don’t have all the answers. I don’t. The industry of publishing is changing rapidly, and who knows what it will look like five years from now. We have to be comfortable with not knowing all the answers, and realizing that it is okay to ask for help. When others offer guidance, listen to them. You don’t have to follow all their advice, but if they have been where you have not, then you have something to learn from them. This is a definite plus for being involved in community. 3. You are not a failure if you ask for help. Or maybe you did fail and are embarrassed to ask for help. I know I failed because I failed to ask for help. I had too much pride to ask for help, because I thought I should be able Continued on pg. 34

to do it by myself and didn’t want to need people. I realized that I did need the support of others, and I was eventually able to open up once more to receiving coaching and support from a great community around me.

“Nothing makes people within your community feel more valued than to hear how grateful you are for them.” 4. Let go of the fear of criticism and judgment. I have cut myself off from community in the past, afraid of how others would judge me, and it was painfully lonely. As I allowed myself to connect with others I realized that very few people judged me as harshly as I judged myself. Over time, I have been able to develop more of an immunity to other people’s judgment, knowing that I approve of myself, whether others do or not. And writers who enjoy connection have opened up in the same way. 5. Offer your support to others. What are your gifts and talents? How will they benefit others within your community? They will. Other authors need your wisdom. I will wager that there are many writers groups in your area. Take yourself off of your computer and engage face-to-face, heart-to-heart with others. And if I may test you even further, perform it as a selfless service, with no expectations. Give without expecting anything in return. You will find that as you do so, you will get much in return, though it may not be from the source

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that you expected. And you will fulfill your need to contribute to society. 6. Express gratitude to others within your community. Nothing makes people within your community feel more valued than to hear how grateful you are for them. Whether it is other authors who have supported you on your path, your publishers, your designer, and your Facebook fans. How can you express your gratitude to them? Nurture your community through gratitude and watch it grow. Allow yourself to be supported on this path, and contribute to community. Your heart will feel more open, and grace and blessings will flow more abundantly into your life.

With a background coaching hundreds of authors, working as a Book Promotion Specialist for a self-publishing company, promoting YouTube phenomenon “The Gratitude Dance” (featured on Good Morning America), and 10 years as a public speaker who has spoken across North America, Matthew Ashdown spends his days empowering authors to become the champion and voice for their books. He can be reached at

Image by Neil McIntosh

Thrive with your wolf-pack.

July 2012 | 35

Heard Mentality Image by David Woo

By P.J. Ferguson Have you ever been to Hyde Park in London? It’s a spectacular place. On Sundays it is renowned for its Speakers’ Corner, where anyone with something to say jumps on a soap box and shouts their message out to the crowds. If they’re interesting enough, they’ll gather a pretty large crowd. Now imagine yourself there. Which soap box orator would you go to? The one with the loudest voice? The one with the most interesting message? Most people will go to where the biggest crowd is. It’s the herd mentality, and it reigns supreme in the human race. It fuels fads, wars and religions, and is hardwired into every single one of us.

“You want to be heard, so appeal to the herd.” This does NOT mean pander or try to please everyone. It means be appealing to a larger audience. No matter how you look at it, business is a numbers game. Don’t be afraid to gather a crowd because your ideal clients are in there, or their friends are. If you follow the steps below, your ideal clients will find you and say “YES!” to your call. Appealing to the herd may seem to go against everything you stand for. You’re an artist. Your target audience is often other artists. We are unique individuals who reject the social norms. Right?

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Yes, but. (You knew there would be a “but”!) Even we unique creatives like to belong to a group — a unique, creative group. With today’s technology it’s easier than ever to create your own community of followers. Fun!! Scary!! Awesome!! Here are three ways you can appeal to the herd AND attract your target audience: 1. Have something for everyone. This may sound like pandering or wasting your time. Instead, think of it as gathering a crowd, and offering real value. Create an initial offering that benefits as many people as possible, not just your target audience. Business experts counsel to create a super-niche for yourself. Too many entrepreneurs think this means they should ignore anyone who isn’t a prospect, and shoot themselves in the foot. Find a way to embrace a wider audience. Get as many people’s attention as possible! Ask yourself how part of your message could benefit just about anyone. Create a free product that gets your message out and makes people feel good. Get their attention, and give them something to remember you for. 2. Be convincing. There is a huge amount of psychology that goes into decision-making and customer satisfaction. Experts give a list of reasons why people make the purchasing decisions they make. It Continued on pg. 38

boils down to one thing: whether or not clients are convinced by the message. Don’t confuse this with being salesy. To be convincing, be authentic. Make your message clear, cohesive and well-supported. Each idea or concept should lead smoothly into the next and must have sound reasoning behind it. Whether it be a movie, a meal or a motivational video, the underlying message must be convincing in order to be a hit. Take B-flicks, for example. They are not my favorite, but I give them major props because they have a huge following. They use a formula that works. I recently watched Cabin in the Woods thinking it was a mainstream movie. Oops! To my surprise I loved it. Not because I like B-flicks, but because it did a great job establishing its identity. It had no shame about being a B-flick. I felt better about paying for my ticket, because I was convinced it was worth the price. Then it did something no one expected. You should do this too: 3. Blow it out of the water! Many entrepreneurs these days are struggling, fishing the market with fishing rods, or casting nets hoping for bites. Nuh-uh, not you. If you want to grow your community, you need to go fishing with friggin’ dynamite! I never talk about horror flicks, but you better believe I told my friends about Cabin in the Woods. Add some dynamo to your delivery and people will talk about your message, too. You have a unique idea and approach, but now it’s time to dig deep and unleash your passion on the world. Once you’ve gathered a crowd and given them what they expect, give

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them something they didn’t expect. Give them a plot twist that offers results beyond their expectations. Surprise and excite them. Now that you’ve gotten their attention and proved you have something beneficial to offer, invite them into your inner circle. Those who accept your offer are your target audience. Those who don’t will still have a positive experience. They’ll tell their friends. To grow your inner circle, grow your crowd. Be authentic. Deliver results. Get them talking. Don’t be afraid of the herd. Don’t be afraid to be heard!

P.J. Ferguson helps creatives and entrepreneurs grab life by the horns and create lives of pure awesomeness! He is a Monkey Mind Mentor at, a Personal and Business Coach at Supreme Self Coaching, and budding author. His books can be found at and

Image by Romy Harness

Want us on your book publishing team? Contact today! July 2012 | 39

Event Listings July 11-August 4, 4 Wednesday Nights 6:308:30 “The Mindful Writer” class at Book Passage Corte Madera, CA with Albert Flynn DeSilver REGISTER HERE: event/class-albert-desilver-mindful-writerpractices-great-writing-great-life-0. July 13-August 31, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, MA. Bret Herholz, author and illustrator of multiple comics, and instructor from Worcester Art Museum, will be offering courses at Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester! July 12-14, Author’s ATM. Stamford Sheraton Hotel, Stamford, CT. The only comprehensive, 3-day live event with proven strategies to help you turn your book into cash - in any industry. July 14, Self-Publishing Boot Camp, Carla King. Palo Alto, CA. Stanford University. July 15, 1:30-5:30pm “Writing as a Path to Awakening” at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, CA. A day of writing and mindfulness practice with Albert Flynn DeSilver. (Book sales go to benefit Spirit Rock Teen and Family program) REGISTER HERE: CalendarDetails?EventID=3349. July 16, 7pm. Chuck Palahniuk live in San Francisco, CA. INFORUM at the Commonwealth Club. A conversation with Tom Barbash, Award-winning Novelist; Nonfiction Writer; Contributing Book Critic,The New York Times. July 21, 3pm-5pm, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, MA. Fantasy author, Elaine Isaak, will give a workshop, “Secrets of Selling Your Novel.” July 22, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, MA. Local author and teen, Michael Colbert,

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will be releasing his second novel, and he’s celebrating with a signing. Details at July 25-28, Romance Writers of America® 32nd Annual Conference. Anaheim Marriott®. Anaheim, CA. conferences_and_events July 27, Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester, CA. A Plethora of Poets will be bringing Lori Desrosiers, Eve Rifkah, Joshua Michael Stewart, Susurrus Din, Dan Lewis, and Paul Richmond into the store to share their readings and books. Details at August 3-6, 41st Annual Summer Conference Hyatt Regency Century Plaza, Los Angeles, CA. August 5 at 3pm. Cassie Premo Steele will be reading from her new book, The Pomegranate Papers, poetry about mothering and creativity, at Malaprop’s Bookstore in Asheville, NC. August 6-27, 4 Mondays “Your Life in Story: Writing the Memoir” with Albert Flynn DeSilver at the O’Hanlon Center, Mill Valley, CA. REGISTER HERE: http://ohanloncenter. org/programs/insight-literary-arts/your_life_ story/. August 24-26, Killer Nashville Thriller, Mystery, and Crime Literature Conference with pre-conference events beginning August 23, Nashville, TN. For more information, go to September 27-30, Women’s Fiction Festival. Matera, Italy. http://www. September 28-30, Podcamp East, Wilmington, DE Events are listed for free, space permitting.

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