Four Reasons Why You Must Take Responsibility for Your Own Marketing

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.”

A Businesswoman Holding a Business Card - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #3338142

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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.

What Every Author Should Know About Radio and Television Interviews

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.

Close Up of a Microphone and On the Air Sign - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #7629279

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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.

Why Real Creativity Requires Significant Work, Part 2

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:

Why Real Creativity Requires Significant Work, Part 1

I just returned from the Re:create Cruise 2011. We had a magnificent time aboard the Celebrity Century. The theme of the conference was “The Creative Life.” I was one of four speakers, including Pete Wilson, Ken Davis, and our host, Randy Elrod.

A Writer’s Desk - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #743945

Photo courtesy of ©

I spoke on “The Role of Work in Creativity.” I began by telling the story of getting my first book published. I will share that with you in this post. In my next post, I will share the four principles, I learned from my experience.

Why Books Still Matter

Naturally, as a book publisher, you would expect me to believe in the value of reading. But it is more than that. In fact, I got into book publishing because I was so committed to books as a tool for personal and cultural transformation.

A few months ago at the Chick-fil-A Leadercast, I had the privilege of interviewing Dr. Ben Carson, world-renowned Professor of Neurosurgery, Oncology, Plastic Surgery, and Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University. Not bad for a child that was raised in extreme poverty by a single mother. Statistically speaking, he didn’t have a chance.

13 eBooks to Put On Your Brand New Kindle

By some estimates, more than one million Amazon Kindles were given as gifts today. I got a new Amazon Kindle 3 a few months ago and love it. (I unbox it here, chronicle my experience after a month here, and compare it to other e-readers here.)

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But now, what do you put on it? So many books, so little time. Seth Godin created a terrific little Squidoo page with his list of favorite books. I thought I would offer a “baker’s dozen” of my favorites here. These are in alphabetical order:

In Defense of Self-Help Books

This is a guest post by Alicia Hope Wagner. She is a novelist, devotional writer, and poet. She blogs at Faith Imagined and is active on Twitter.

I once heard a person say in a disdainful tone, “I don’t read ‘self-help’ books.” With this seemingly innocuous verdict, he slammed the door on a multitude of voices eager to push him to God’s best for his life.

A Young Woman Reading Alone - Photo courtesy of ©, Image #12887821

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He severely limited his exposure to wise counselors and leaders available to him. And he drew a curtain across a world of extraordinary and supernatural influence.