Giving Your All

Posted by Jocelyn on October 15th, 2013

Giving your all, striving to be the “best”, can sometimes lead to burnout. I love this piece from Chela Davison at The Daily Love exploring the idea that sometimes we need to save something for ourselves.

“I can only healthily give something my all when my identity doesn’t gather its worth from my action. Giving has to be sourced from wholeness.”


Monday Motivation

Posted by Jocelyn on October 14th, 2013

All week long (and especially on the weekends) I search the internet for blog posts that inspire, intrigue and motivate. I wanted to set aside a specific weekly blog post to share all of the insight I have found. Enjoy!

26 Ways to Make Money as a Writer by phenomenal wordsmith and author Alexandra Franzen

Finding Clarity as a Writer by Jeff Goins. Goins continues to inspire me with his posts about the writing life. But you don’t have to be a writer to enjoy his explorations into the human mind.

Blending Your Personal and Professional Life by Amber Naslund. With more and more people working from home, it can be extremely hard to define the lines between work and play. Naslund makes some good points about the benefits of not creating a divide and instead letting everything flow together.

Top 5 Video Recording Tips from Amber Ludwig will give you the inspiration to stop talking about doing things and start doing them. Charge up that camera and make the bold step of putting your thoughts and advice out there.

Life Lessons from America’s Cup by Tiffany Han. You don’t have to be a fan of sailing, or any sports for that matter, to appreciate the advice Tiffany provides here. She writes about the importance of not quitting, not giving up and persevering.

6 Ways to Make Blogging Easier by Melissa at Freeing Imperfections. This personal blog offers a nice blend between professional tactics and personal details about her life.

Don’t be afraid of failure, just keep moving forward. {Tweet Monday’s Motivation.}

How to Find Your Audience

Posted by admin on August 22nd, 2013

I’m about to write something that could shock you. The actual subject matter of your book is of no interest to a reader. It’s true! They don’t care if it’s a boy meets girl story, a mystery about human cloning, a business book about marketing or a self-help book on relationships. What they do care about is how it relates to their personal or professional life. Go to any book club meeting and you will find a group of people talking briefly about the plot of a novel and then immediately delving into their own personal experiences with death, divorce, birth, or marriage. Pick up a copy of a popular business strategy book and you will see that most of the highlighted passages refer to specific action tasks that readers can implement in their own life.

It is a universal truth that people want to identify with others and find their place in society. Why do you think so many magazine headlines are geared towards helping or improving reader’s lives? 10 Ways to Improve Your Love Life, 7 Strategies for Being More Successful at Work, Five Tips to Help You Love Your Job. We are all a little self-centered…and that’s okay! We’re trying to understand our lives, improve our lives and love our lives. There is nothing wrong with that. Finding a way to let readers know how your book can help them learn something or uncover something about themselves is a great step in making your book stand out.

Have you ever read a review where the reviewer mentions a personal struggle they experienced and how much they related to the content? How it helped them through a difficult time or inspired them with a complex character? Those are often the most powerful reviews and authors should take note. What is striking a chord with readers? What is creating the most visceral, emotional reaction? This kind of reaction could be universal and it is up to you, the author, to capitalize on that.

Something motivated you to write your book and not only does this make you an expert on the subject, it is also what is going to drive others to read your book. Did writing your book improve or change your life? Did it allow you to see things differently? Did it help you heal? If so, then use that in your pitch letters and press materials. Use that when being interviewed or talking about your book to friends or strangers.

When Gretchen Rubin was promoting The Happiness Project, every interview included some version of the question “Did writing this book make your life happier?” In essence, people were asking, “will this book change my life, will it make me happier?” There are so few hours in the day and more often we find ourselves sacrificing down time. If readers are going to invest what little relaxation time they have reading your book, they want to know there is a return on investment. Give them a reason to move your book up on their “To Be Read” list, tell them what’s in it for them. Then sit back and let them fall in love with it for their own personal reasons.

Yes, I may have scared you in the beginning when I said that the subject of your book (the synopsis, the back cover copy, the summary) meant nothing to readers but I was telling the truth. However, once you get them to read it, because they related to a certain aspect or perspective, they will then trust you to take them on a journey. If the material is strong and the writing is powerful, you will have a fan for life. Just keep in mind what brought them to you in the first place and build from there.

5 More Creative Ways to Improve Your Press Release

Posted by admin on August 21st, 2013

So hopefully I hooked you yesterday with 5 Creative Ways to Improve Your Press Release and now you are BACK FOR MORE…I will get right to it.

6. Be Social. Add links and addresses for all of your social media sites.

Include links to your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. It shows how active you are in the media and lets reporters and producers know that if they run with your story it will have legs of its own through your own social stratosphere.

7. Create Instant Content

Press releases can become instant online content so write accordingly. Everything you send out should be print ready.

8. Don’t Ramble

Short and sweet. No one has the time or energy to read a three page press release. Keep it to one page and only highlight the most news-worthy and important elements of your book. You don’t need a full synopsis of the story. If they like the little bit you give, they will discover it for themselves.

9. Prove Your Credibility

Awards, degrees, published work, share it with the editors. Put all of those golden nuggets into your press release. For once in your life brag about your accomplishments! It proves that you are an expert and have done the work. It shows that you can speak confidently about the facts (Tip #3) you provided in your press release and help inform and educate the audience (Tip #2).

10. Change It Up!

Don’t be afraid to flip the script. Write a new press release every few weeks. Keep things fresh and different. Show that your ideas and angles are evolving and that you are open to change. It will also show editors and producers that your book is relevant and adaptable to a myriad of topics.

Do you have any success stories from press releases you have sent out? Why did they work? What made them special or creative? I’d love to hear from you! 

5 Creative Ways to Improve Your Press Release

Posted by admin on August 20th, 2013

In one way or another, you’ve encountered a press release in your professional life. If you are now pursuing a career as a writer, you will become very familiar with the press release. This is how your publisher, your publicist or you, personally, will get the nuts and bolts of your out to the media. The press release includes the release date, the publisher, the number of pages, the price, the ISBN and all of the nitty-gritty details about your book. It also includes a summary and possibly a quote or two (called blurbs) from authors or reviewers. Oftentimes, what a press release doesn’t include is excitement, need, urgency or enthusiasm. Let’s change that!

1. Create Headlines Fit for a Magazine!

You need to grab the attention of your media contact right out of the gate. Editors and producers are on tight deadlines and they need to be hooked from the first sentence. Your headline has to be something that is interesting, attractive, enticing and news worthy. If it already sounds like a magazine article or morning news show headline then you are halfway there. Of course, it has to fit with their audience so make sure to tailor your headlines for the appropriate media. It shows that you are familiar with the outlet and respect the work they do.

2. Inform, Educate and Provide Value

In a way, we are all a little self-absorbed. When we read an article or watch a segment on the news, it’s because it holds personal interest to us. You need to provide something useful, educational or interesting to your audience if you want them to pick up your book.

3. Prove it!

Nothing is more convincing than hard facts. Cite research statistics, facts and studies within the body of your press release.

4. Get Personal

Don’t forget you are pitching a human being so your press release should have some human interest aspect to it. Straight facts aren’t going to get you through the door but facts coupled with a personal anecdote from the author or a specific example from real life will certainly help.

5. Be Trendy!

Follow the news trends. If everyone is talking about the royal baby and your book is about a young mother, tie it together in a nice bow for the producer or editor. Show them that you are closely following the news stories of the day and that your novel/self-help book/memoir fits into that area.

Check back tomorrow for 5 *More* Creative Ways to Improve Your Press Release!