My friend, John Maxwell, is hosting a one-day live event called “A Day About Books.” You don’t want to miss this. It is an unprecedented opportunity to learn from someone who has written seventy-plus books and sold more than twenty million copies. He is one of Amazon’s top 25 best-selling authors of all time.
I first met John in 1998, when I became the Vice President of Marketing for Thomas Nelson Books. We worked together to put The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership on the New York Times best sellers list. Since that time, John has written dozens of bestsellers.
I need your help. Part of building your PLATFORM is recognizing you need others to help you along the way. That’s true for you. It’s true for me.
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As we’re approaching the launch of my new book, I’ve decided to try something different. I am inviting 100 of my readers to join me in creating a special “Platform Launch Team.” It’s a peer group of people who are willing to roll up their sleeves and help get the word out about the book.
My new book, Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, has just started shipping to bookstores. The official publication date is Tuesday, May 22. In a moment, I’ll tell you why you should WAIT until then to buy it.
First, let me tell you a little about the book.
“I don’t have time to read.”
When I tell people about my blog, that’s one of the comments I usually hear in response. The implication—or at least the way my possibly oversensitive mind takes it—“You must not have any life to read that many books … loser.”
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Of course, I exaggerate. But, really, it’s a tension a lot of people in our overworked and overstressed society deal with. They understand that reading is important—after all, their second grade teacher made that clear. But nobody has the time to read a Dr. Seuss book, much less To Kill A Mockingbird or (gasp!) Infinite Jest.
Early in my career, everyone else seemed to be control. I interviewed for a job, then waited for the hiring manager to offer me the position. I worked hard, then waited for my boss to give me a raise. I achieved bottom-line results, then waited for the vice president to approve my promotion.
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When I started writing, it also seemed like everyone else was in control. I prepared a book proposal, then waited for a publisher to offer me a contract. I wrote the manuscript, then waited for booksellers to order the book. I published the book, the waited for the media to book me.
In this brief, 12-minute video, I interview Jane Friedman, professor of e-media and writing at the University of Cincinnati. She also serves as a contributing editor at Writer’s Digest, where she once served as publisher and strategic leader. She is the author of The Future of Publishing: Enigma Variations, as well as the Beginning Writer’s Answer Book.
I first discovered Jane via her blog at Writer’s Digest, “There Are No Rules.” (Her main publishing and writing blog is now at JaneFriedman.com.) I immediately fell in love with her no-nonsense advice, practical wisdom, and insight into contemporary writing and publishing. If you are an author—or aspire to be—her blog is a must-read. You can also follow her on Twitter.
If you are serious about book publishing, you have no doubt found Rachelle Gardner’s blog. That’s how I first discovered her. I immediately subscribed and have been reading her posts ever since. I also follow her on Twitter.
Rachelle is a literary agent. She is part of the WordServe Literary Group based in Denver, Colorado. Prior to becoming an agent, she served in a variety of publishing roles.
When I read anything, I mark it up. Margin notes, circles, and, most of all, highlights. In fact, I buy highlighters by the box. Or at least I did, until I started reading so much on my Kindle.
Amazon Kindle for Mac, Displaying Do the Work
by Steven Pressfield
Now I use the Highlighter feature of the Kindle to mark passages. I also occasionally use the Notes feature to record my thoughts about a passage. (This is actually pretty cumbersome on the Kindle itself. I usually only do this if I am reading on my Mac. Then I can use my keyboard.)
Several years ago, I had lunch with a prominent, formerly best-selling author. He was angry that his sales had been in steady decline for several years. Unwilling to accept any responsibility, he poked his finger in my chest and hissed, “My job is to write the books; your job is to market them.”
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In the old world, he was right. Authors created the product and relied on their publishing company to market it. But that world is dead. That doesn’t mean that publishing companies expect you to do everything. But it does mean that they are more effective if you have a platform already in place. It provides something for them to leverage.
If you are a published author—or plan to be one—you will inevitably be asked to appear on a radio, television, or Internet show to talk about your book. It’s critical that you learn to do this well. Assuming you have written a good book, nothing drives sales of it more than publicity.
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I was personally thrown into the deep end of the pool with my first book. In the course of eighteen months, I did over 1,200 interviews. I appeared on all three major television networks plus CNN, as well as national and local radio and television. During that time, I went through three rounds of professional media training. It was total immersion. Baptism by fire.
In my previous post on this topic, I told the story of publishing my first book. I shared the significant amount of work it required and a number of setbacks that I had to overcome. I used this story as an introduction to the talk I gave on the Re:create Cruise on “The Role of Work in Creativity.”
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In this post, I want to share the essence of my talk, including the common myths that aspiring writers and other creatives have about the creative life. It is what I refer to as “The Romantic View of Creativity.” It includes four assumptions: