Archive

Best Books


How to Become Legendary by Being Different

by Christopher Lochhead and Heather Clancy

Niche Down

Some books in the business genre are how-to books and others are more inspirational. Although How-to is in the title, I would say that Niche Down is more inspirational than how-to. However, this doesn’t mean that I don’t value the book.

The whole premise of the book is that in if you want to be seen in the business world today, specifically being known online, you must have a very specific niche that you own. As Hal Elrod, the author of The Miracle Morning said in the forward, it wasn’t good enough that he was a good generic motivational speaker, author and coach, he had to be known as “The Miracle Morning” guy. You must be known for a niche that you own. You must determine how you are different.

You must be original.
You must break new ground.
You must be unique.

The authors Christopher Lochhead and Heather Clancy bring their own stories into the book. They have experience with this concept.

Christopher is a podcaster and a writer. According to Lochhead, “I prefer to collaborate with amazing people.” Heather Clancy was a journalist who, Lochhead admits taught him the business. According to Lochhead, he wrote this book because data showed that we are at the lowest levels of entrepreneurship in America history. He wanted to change that.

Clancy started her career in New York and specialized in writing about businesses like IBM and Bill Gates. She spent 20 years following the information-technology revolution. She took freelance assignments that focused on entrepreneurs because as she states, “they are fascinating, independent and creative.” When print media collapsed in 2007, she niched down and follow companies that had ecological ties.

The thesis of the book is if you want to become legendary in business, you had to declare and define a niche. The book explores individuals, and entrepreneurships that create their own niche and to become legendary in that niche. It revolves around identifying a problem that people have, create a solution, and capitalize on that solution.
The book isn’t just about theory, but demonstrates how numerous other individuals found problems, created solutions, and capitalized on that solution.

Although the book says that it is a “how to” in the title, if you’re looking for a how-to book, you’re apt to be disappointed. However, if you want inspiration for developing your own niched down entrepreneurial business, then this is definitely a must-read book.


Advantages to Traditional Publishing

bookshelf

When I first thought about writing a book, I thought the same way that so many other would be authors thought. I imagined getting huge advance and being given the royal treatment when I went into New York City to meet my publisher. I imagined a limousine picking me up at the airport and driving me to an amazing suite where I would stay a week while I hit the circuit of going from television station to radio stations, to other interviews, having my own makeup artist and hairstylist, going shopping in the Fashion District and even seeing a Broadway show while I was there.
After my visit, the publishing company would distribute my book and put it in the front of the store in every major book seller in the country. I would be given a number of copies of my books that I could share with my family and friends, and I would “live the dream”.
Nice dream. Reality was far different. I learned later that advances were seldom given to new authors (although I have met one).

Disadvantages to Traditional Publishing

The first thing that I learned was that when an author signs a contract with a traditional publisher, the contract always benefits the publisher at the expense of the author. The contracts are written in legalese so if the author doesn’t have a lawyer to look over the contract, the author might have to do things that they didn’t realize was not to their benefit. I heard of one author’s contract where she had to pay the expenses for attending book signings in distant cities. She was paid a set amount per book, but the number of books that she was able to sell was not enough to pay for her expenses. I had another friend had to buy copies of his own books so that he could sell them at live events. He made more money selling at the live events than anything that the publisher did for him. In addition, the publisher wouldn’t allow him to sell his books in digital format at all. Both had sold their rights to their publisher so they had no recourse. I have heard of other authors who had sold all their rights to publishers. The author has to make changes in manuscripts, might have to use a title and cover design of the publisher’s choosing. The author might not have any say at all.
I also learned was that the traditional publishing process takes about two years before you ever get your book on the shelves. Afterwards, if you were one of the lucky few who were able to get an advance, you won’t get paid until you sell enough books to pay your advance.

Self-Publishing

While I was learning all about traditional publishing, I started looking into self-publishing. The differences were enlightening. There was no promise of any advance. Before I was ever able to sell a book, I would have to put out money for editing, formatting, and cover design.
Of course, there are other problems with self-publishing. There’s a huge learning curve and expense to self-publishing that doesn’t exist with traditional publishing. I would have to take charge of marketing and book distribution. Getting into major bookstores would be difficult and advertising would be on my own dime as well.
I found however that self-publishing has its advantages. As a self-publisher, I own my own work. I have complete control over the content of my book, editing, formatting and cover design. I have complete control over the creative process. I can decide how I market my books, both on-line and off-line. I can handle my own distribution by working directly with independent book stores. I can determine whether I want to go on a book signing or attend a specific event. I can decide what public relations I want to be a part.
As a self-publisher, I can set my prices and can earn 70 percent or more of the cost of the books that I wrote and designed. As a self-publisher, I am a creative and an entrepreneur.


 

Imacon Color Scanner

Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812

 

This month we have gone over how I will be developing plot, primary characters, and secondary characters of the yet unnamed novel that I will be writing this November for NaNoWriMo in November. Now we are going to discuss the other main aspect of a book and that is setting.

What I know About the Place and Time

In a screen play, the setting and time are separated, but in my novels, I combine the time with the setting. In my yet unnamed book, I know my setting and that is Erie County, Pennsylvania in 1812 through 1815. I grew up in that county, so I know the terrain. The difference, of course, would be how man has changed certain aspects of the area and how people did things differently back then. The trees were old growth trees, some so big that it took two men to put their arms around them. The house I grew up in had been built around 1860 from old growth timber. The sawn lumber produced wide boards and you could see the two-man saw marks on many of the marks the handsaw made in at lumber. The stairs going up to the second story was and is still held together with square-headed blacksmith nails. It is not hard to imagine going back a few years further and imagining before when the houses were log cabins built using the same two-man saws and wooden pins holding puncheon logs together.
At the time, the growing villages of Erie and Waterford were starting to develop into sizable communities. Some of the homes in the area were already built as stick rather than log houses. It is a little-known fact that in Erie at the time, street lamps were already using natural gas to light up the muddy village streets.
A ship yard had been developed in early. During the War of 1812, President James Madison ordered the construction of a naval fleet at Erie to regain control of Lake Erie. Shipbuilders Daniel Dobbins of Erie and Noah Brown of New York led construction of four schooner-rigged gunboats and two brigs. Oliver Hazard Perry arrived from Rhode Island to command the squadron. His fleet successfully fought the British in the historic Battle of Lake Erie, which was the decisive victory that solidified United States control of the Great Lakes.

In addition, wild animals still prowled the area. Families worked hard and the fear of Indian attack was still a possibility.

The Back-drop for Character Activity

These pictures of life in this part of the Great Lakes Region give a back drop for the characters and events that I develop in this book that I plan to write in November. In the meantime, I have two other books to develop and ready for publishing as well as eleven other books to promote. I will let you know more about this book after I finish the first draft in November.

Read the Locket Saga

The Locket Saga 5 books

Have you read the books of the Locket Saga? In the first book: When God Turned His Head, Kanter starts the tradition by giving the locket to Drusilla. From that time on, the Locket was passed down from bride to bride. Join the Tradition, read the books of The Locket Saga and discover what all the fuss is about.
Available on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK
Available in Print http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown

More from Cygnet Brown

Also read my guest blog post on Pam Young’s Blog

The Journey of a Self-Publisher is Paved with Good Intentions (5)

https://skatingthru2012.com/2018/05/27/i-could-find-ways-to-make-things-happen-on-my-own/

 

 


the enemyHave you ever wondered what it takes to write one of the books in the Locket Saga? Because each book is part of a family dynamic, I already have the already in place for the characters, I must decide the plot. In determining the plot, I first decide what events I want to cover in the book.

Research Begins with Curiosity

I get inspiration for my books from actual history. I like reading history and our country is rich in history that we never are exposed to in school so its easy for me to find a story that I want to share in future stories of the Locket Saga.

Setting Up for Future Stories in the Locket Saga

In Book VII of the Locket Saga, Two Rivers, I decided that I wanted to have two of the cousins Isaac Thorton and Andrew Mayford go down the Ohio River with Meriwether Lewis as he forms the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Isaac goes up river with the expedition. I had been curious to know about the details of the expedition and was fortunate enough to find an online site that not only told the adventure from one view point, but from the viewpoints of numerous members of the expedition party. The plot for this book, not only sets up this story, but also the plot for the next book which I have the first draft written called Sunrise on the Mississippi where Andrew becomes the first person to pilot a steamboat down the Mississippi. By sending Andrew down the Mississippi into Natchez, I am setting set up a southern branch to the family in preparation for the saga continuing through the Civil War.
The book after that will be the book that I will work on next during NaNoWriMo. I am not exactly sure yet what the plot will be, but I have some ideas from history for developing this plot. I have decided that the story will happen during the War of 1812. There’s a lot of cool history for the part of Pennsylvania where the families were living. There’s the fact that Chief Cornplanter comes out of the woods and no one is certain whether he is at this point a friend or an enemy because during the Revolution, the Seneca were on the side of the British. There’s the fact that Jonathan Mayford had been on a ship during the Revolution and that many of the young men of the revolution were the heroes of the War of 1812. The fact that he knows something about ship building from his father and that his relatives don’t live that far from Erie, Pennsylvania, port where battles on Lake Erie originated was, makes Erie a great setting for the story.
So, I have a lot of subplot material, but I haven’t yet determined yet who will get the locket, or the love story involved. This is what I need to develop before including it as a blog post. This needs more development. This I will show how this will develop during the next blog post.

The Locket Saga Series

The Locket Saga 5 books

 

Have you read the books already published in the Locket Saga? In the first book: When God Turned His Head, Kanter starts the tradition by giving the locket to Drusilla. From that time on, the Locket was passed down from bride to bride. Join the Tradition, read the books of the Locket Saga and discover what all the fuss is about.

 

Available on Kindle https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B007SM23IK

Available in Print http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/cygnetbrown


main street

On last week’s article, I discussed how a community could develop an anthology to promote the businesses in their community. (Read it Here) Such a book would not only help develop community relationships but could be a tool for new comers to get a better idea of what the community, especially small communities or specific communities within larger cities.

Promoting A Local Anthology

1. Before book is put together, as part of the submission project, include within the cost of the submission the cost of one copy of the book.
2. Include the ability to pre-order also at retail price, offer to sell them additional books for their family, or friends.
3. Give the businesses the option of buying more books to sell or give away when their supplies have diminished.
4. Once the book is written, published and copies are purchased, here are ways that a community can optimize its use of an anthology book written. Sell copies from your chamber of commerce.
5. Sell books at local and regional events where promoting the community would be beneficial.
6. Have a free pdf offered online from your chamber of commerce website.
7. Sell the book on Kindle and other online digital and print book sites.
8. Encourage business owners to sell copies of the book from their businesses.
9. Sell copies of books at the library bookstore, the local historical society bookstore, and at community events where people from outside the community may attend and purchase the book as a souvenir.
10. Sell copies to regional and State agencies that promote tourism of your area.
I am certain that there are probably other ways to sell your local anthology that could unify the community and benefit local tourism and business.

Explore Writing a Book to Promote Your Community

Write a Book and Ignite your Business_red

If businesses in your community would like to investigate writing an anthology for your community, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com for a consultation.
Intrigued by the idea of writing a book to promote your business, but aren’t sure what exactly would be involved? Check out my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business
Available in Print
http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/write-a-book-and-ignite-your-business/paperback/product-23373303.html#
And on Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP


main streetDuring the last several weeks, I shared articles about why you as a business owner should consider writing a book. If you’re a business person, and writing a book sounds like a good idea, but you don’t want to write a whole book because you either don’t have time or you don’t think you have can afford someone who can ghost write one for you, perhaps you could convince your community into creating an anthology in which you include an article about your own business.

A Unique Type of Anthology

A lot of anthologies have been written by professional writers. These anthologies might be a collection of short stories written by local authors or even a collection of stories of history. One very well-known anthology series is the Chicken Soup of the Soul series of books that have come out.
Small business communities could easily benefit from an anthology that promotes their community. I believe that communities could easily produce anthologies of stories and tip articles in the form of a book that they can sell to local citizens, home-comers, and to new comers interested in their local. These same anthologies could also be given away as a PDF on the local chamber of commerce site.
Imagine a book that mingles the elements of storytelling and tips into a book that contains numerous articles written by numerous business people who are willing to share some basic information about what they do. In addition to contact information, the local fire department chief could write about home fire safety and how to keep a small grease fire from becoming a full-blown house fire. A local police officer could share information about bicycle safety. The school principle could share what a newcomer needs to know about how to get a child into a new school. Local historians and high school students could tell stories about how the town started, stories about local sites, and interesting people of the town’s present and past. In addition, the plumber could write an article about what a person should check before calling a plumber. An electrician could write about the dangers of not calling an electrician. People from the local farmer’s market could write about the advantages of buying produce locally. In addition to telling about the children’s reading circle and the availability of Wi-Fi at the library, the local librarian can share information about the local readers’ club and local writers’ group.

The Benefits of a Community Generated Anthology

An anthology like the one suggested would bring community members closer. It would be a win-win-win for in the community. It could be a benefit to everyone in the local community from the chamber of commerce to the small business owner to the newcomer. All that needs to be done is to get each person to write (or have written for them) a chapter in the book, get it published and share it with those in the community via events, at the local businesses, or through the local chamber of commerce. It could be a pride of the community.

Explore Writing a Book to Promote Your Community

Write a Book and Ignite your Business_red

If businesses in your community would like to look into writing an anthology for your community, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com for a consultation.
Intrigued by the idea of writing a book to promote your business, but aren’t sure what exactly would be involved? Check out my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business

Available in print
http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/write-a-book-and-ignite-your-business/paperback/product-23373303.html#
And on Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP


Create the Business Owner Book and Publish It

office building

In the first blog post this month, I explained why a business owner should write a book to promote his or her business. Check it out here. Last week I explained why I thought that a book created by that same business author should self-publish and use a print on demand business to print the printed copy of the book. If you haven’t read that one, read it here.

How to Market Your Business-Related Book

We ended our post last week with the business buying just one copy of the book. To market this book, I suggest start sharing it with your best customers at your brick and mortar location as well as your family and friends. If you were the business person who wrote the book, you could tell the customer that you need a certain number of books by a certain date (within a couple of weeks) that you want to order and ask if they want to get one of those books, autographed by you, of course. Ask them to pre-buy the book. If you don’t already have it, ask for their email address so that you can let them know when the book arrives. Wait no more than a couple weeks before sending in your order and let everyone who pre-bought your book when you send in the order. In addition to getting the books you sold to your family and customers, invest your profit back into more copies of your book for future sales. Once they have the autographed copy of your book, be sure to let them know how much you appreciate their business. By starting the process selling books to your family friends and current customers through pre-order, you might just be able to have the book pay for it’s own marketing.

Growing Your Local Reach

Now that you have your book out, its time to grow your book’s reach locally. One place you could go first would be to the local library and libraries in nearby towns. A lot of times, a library doesn’t want to take books that are from local authors because most local authors write fiction books. This business—related book would different because it is nonfiction and written by someone everyone in the area knows as someone in that business.
Next, if there’s a local bookstore, go visit them and see if you can set up a local book signing with them. Then go back to your family, friends and best customers and tell them that you will be signing books at the local bookstore. Ask them to help you invite people to visit you at the book store. Ask them to be your street team and start by sharing your information on social media.
Now go to, call, or email your local newspaper and let them know that you have a book out. Be sure that you have a press release to share with them about who you are and why you wrote the book. You can also do this with your local radio station and even your local television station. This publicity that you get locally should not only help get you free book publicity but will also help get you additional business from your main business.
While you’re getting your local publicity, you should also be building a following online. This means connecting with print and digital bookstores online. You can do this via YouTube videos (promoted via social media), developing a newsletter, having a website, having a blog, and writing online articles. You may have some of these already online. Others you might need to develop. You also might need help from someone within your business or even outside your business to help with many aspects building your online presence.
If they tell you they can’t afford a print copy, direct them to buy the book on Kindle. Let them know the value that they will get from having the book. Get your book distributed on all the major online bookstores.

Going Online

To build business beyond your local environment, you may want to distribute your books through trade shows both book trade shows and trade shows directly related to your business. In addition, you may want to advertise in trade journals.

Get Your Copy of Write a Book and Ignite Your Business Today!

Write a Book and Ignite your Business_redThere are many other marketing options that you may want to consider as you develop your book marketing as it relates to developing your business. For more information about the ways that your business can use to market your book to promote your business, please contact me at cygnetbrown@gmail.com for a consultation.
Intrigued by the idea of writing a book to promote your business, but aren’t sure what exactly would be involved? Read my book: Write a Book and Ignite Your Business

Available in print
http://www.lulu.com/shop/cygnet-brown/write-a-book-and-ignite-your-business/paperback/product-23373303.html#
And on Kindle
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076NWLTSP

%d bloggers like this: