The Parable of the Books – Accountability

I have a great story for you about accountability.

During a recent Greatness Nation TeleCall, I stated,
“I will get rid of 100 books from my library.”

Why would I want to do this? The Give Get – Get Give law.

Nature abhors a vacuum. When I GIVE away my books
It opens a space for me to receive.

Give Get, Get Give: Get it?

I have already read these books and remember the jist of most.

I don’t need them on the shelves because that is where they
have been for 99% of the 33 years that I have accumulated them.

My Mentor told me to get rid
of all but a few prized publications.

That was 18 months ago. Why not do it now?

Making the public statement of accountability
was hard and a stretch for me but I did it.

Little did I know that that was not the hard part?
Actually taking the books off the shelf was even harder.

These books have become my friends, my security blanket and
I was holding on to my past. I didn’t want to part with them.

I would pick one up and put it back.

This was not easy until a realized that reward.

Look at the reward not the process.

Isn’t this what we do to ourselves everyday?

We hold on to our past by keeping situations,

Material things and even friends in our life

That we should of let go of years ago.

They become ANCHORS keeping us firmly in the

Place that we need to leave in order to reach the next

Plateau in our lives.

Every level that you achieve requires a new you.
That may be financial, physical, spiritual and mental.

Get rid of the old ways, whatever they are;
Books, possessions, bad memories, negative experiences,
un-supporting friends and only you know who and what they are.

Get Them GO.

So I got rid of 101 books last week with another 100 this week.

That only leaves 2,799 to go.

Get your day started right, be accountable.

When your day starts right
your evening will be AWESOME.

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Turn the Book Writing Mountain Into a Molehill

Have you started your book yet? No. Don’t beat yourself up any longer. Keep reading this article; it was written especially for you. With the right focus and knowledge, you can successfully start and complete YOUR book within weeks.

Remember the old adage, Q: How do you turn a mountain into a molehill? A: You climb the mountain one step at a time and it gets smaller. The same applies to writing your book. How do you turn the book writing mountain into a molehill? You turn the big overwhelming project into several smaller ones to gain success.

More and more people are successfully completing their books in less time. Even your competitors are getting it done. Why not join them. Here are some tips to get started writing your book:

1. Write the back cover as sales message before you write your book.

This benefit driven outline helps give your book direction and helps you focus on what’s really important to your readers. Most books will only allow for 50-75 words. That gives you about 8-20 seconds to impress your prospective buyer.

Make this message passionate. Include only what sells: reader and famous testimonials, a benefit driven headline to hook the reader to open the book and read the table of contents, and bulleted benefits.

2. Compose your book’s 60 second “commercial” before you begin writing.

Have you heard a 60 second radio commercial recently? The information is distilled into sound bytes to be effective. Make your 2-3 sentence book blurbs into a sound byte. Like a radio commercial where you only have a few seconds to get your message across, condense your sound byte into a 60 second tell and sell.

Use your mini commercial at networking meetings, in the elevator, in the grocery line, anywhere you only have a few seconds to tell about your book. Composing your commercial should include your title and 3 top benefits.

3. Create and organize your book files.

Researchers say we waste over 150 hours a year looking for misplaced information. Create an organization method that fits you. For example, to save time and get organized you can create a master folder with your book’s title. Inside, keep a separate file for each chapter. Assign each chapter a short title that will make sense later. If you don’t have a title then assign names by topic.

Put research notes or resources in each chapter named folder. Make a how-to folder as well, such as short-key notes, style or formatting notes. With this system you can manage multiple projects easily. Stop wasting time with disorganized, unfinished projects that don’t produce and help you get your message out in excellence.

4. Write down your chapter’s format.

Readers enjoy easy-to-read maps to guide them through your book. They love consistency. It is disconcerting and unprofessional if you change formats throughout the book. In non-fiction books, except chapter one each chapter should be similar length and have same sections or categories. To make your chapters come alive, use engagement tools such as anecdotes, your stories, sizzling headings, photos, maps, graphs, exercises, short tips. Readers enjoy easy-to-read side bars in boxes.

5. Write your publishing goals down for your book.

Will you self-publish or shop for a traditional publish? There are serious pros and cons for either method. Find out the differences so you can make an educated choice that suits you. If you are self-publishing, consider the POD technology for your book. There are lots of good choices that will publish your book for you at an affordable price.

If you are opting for a traditional publisher, get an agent and a contract before writing the book. Then shop agents and publishers with 2 chapters and a knock-out book proposal. Invest in one of the current market guides and research the best fit for your work. It raises your chances considerably if you know what kind of manuscripts a particular company is looking for.

I admit it; getting started writing a book can become a huge mountain in the way of your book’s success. Even so, it doesn’t have to stay that way. You can do like the author did; turn the book writing mountain into small molehills. Start today; complete and release your significant message to the world. Divide and conquer all!

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It Starts With The Look Before They Open The Book

You’ve slaved away on your book and now it’s ready to be printed. Finally you can call yourself an author. You have a work of which you can be proud. Or do you?

With the rush to get your work into print, first-time authors can take short-cuts that will cause long-term problems in terms of credibility and sales.

You are the person who created the story, developed the characters and plots and you think it’s an interesting read. The mistake that a lot of writers make is that they aren’t open to criticism or they do not want to show their work to anyone else in case they are not as enthusiastic about the work.

No matter how great you think your book is, there is one person to whom you should show your work before you even think of getting it into print. That person is a professional editor.

When I worked as arts reviewer for a major metropolitan newspaper, I was often sent self-published works to review. Even though it was against the newspaper’s policy to give space to self-publishers, I often peeked between the covers out of curiosity. Just because a major publishing house hasn’t picked up the manuscript doesn’t mean that the story isn’t interesting and engaging.

The biggest problem I found with self-published books was that the sentence structure was awkward, there were spelling and grammar mistakes throughout and the punctuation was all over the place which made it very hard for the reader to work out where one speaker stopped and the next person began speaking.

Another major problem with self-published work is that the author often tries to take on the job of graphic designer as well and, unless you have experience in that area, it’s best to leave the technical stuff to the people who know what they are doing. The look and feel of your book is what will attract readers in the first place so your cover design and interior layout are crucial to getting to first base with potential customers.

If you feel that spending money on a professional editor and graphic designer is beyond your budget, I would suggest joining writers’ groups in your area. If you work with other people who are trying to publish their books, it is highly likely that they will know editors and designers who will produce professional work but accept a lesser fee, perhaps for an attribution in the book or for placing a link from your website to theirs. Saving money really is all about who you know.

In summary, once you have finished writing your novel and proofed it at least three times yourself, engage a professional editor to polish your work then seek out a graphic designer to lay out your pages and provide suggestions for your all-important cover. Then you will have a book you can be proud to share with readers – a book that looks good, encourages potential customers to turn the pages and eventually buy the book.

No matter how great your story may be, if you have your name on the cover of a badly edited and designed book, your credibility as a professional writer will be in question and it will be hard for reviewers to take you seriously.

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