by Cathy Paper on September 29th, 2014

Here's what we often see:

Person gets idea for writing a book.

Person gets absorbed in book writing process.

Person eventually finishes book, or is close to finishing book.

Person is worn out and has spent a significant amount of time and money.

Person doesn't want to think about marketing their book, but knows that it's a big part of the process.

Person, now called Author, tries to do marketing themselves and entire cycle of spending and time starts again, often with limited results. 

At RockPaperStar we are focused on the big picture of the book marketing process and think the moment the book idea is born is the time to start thinking aboutmarketing.  Who will be on yourmarketing team?  Who do you want to connect with as readers and why? Who do you think will want to hire you to speak after you write a book, and are you ready to speak effectively? Who will assist you in marketing and selling the book?  Yes, selling the book—it's not easy to sell books.  Ask a published author.
 
That's why we recommend setting a goal at the start of the book writing process and be strategic about your marketingefforts.  Book marketing comes in many forms, a friend can write a review for you on Amazon.com, a neighbor can go into Barnes & Noble and ask for your book so that the bookstore carries it, an association you belong to can do a mailing about the book, your aunt can bake cookies for your book launch in your home town, you can reach out to your friend who produces the local newspaper.
 
Book marketing doesn't have to be exhausting if you expand your network and invite others to cheer you on to success.
 
Tom Hayes, Phil Styrlund and Marian Deegan recently hosted a book launch party at Tom's office Riley Hayes. More than 160 people came out to celebrate their success of Relevance: Matter More and three days later, the book was listed in Amazon.com’s Top Ten Hot New Releases in Business Sales & Strategy.

​Rock On!


by Cathy Paper on August 23rd, 2014

I see a look in people's eyes when they tell me they want to write a book or speak.  It's a look that says they have something to say that has moved them to a different level.  They may have built a business. Learned a life lesson that they want to share. Accomplished an athletic feat. Or had a struggle that they made it through. Or maybe they have a story to tell that will entertain another person.

The look is of inspiration that they want to share or work through. It's not always an easy task to write a book and then to market it.  So they can get lost along the way, worn out, sidetracked, swindled etc.  But what I notice, when I see that look in their eyes is they are inspired to do something bigger than themselves.  They may not always be able to articulate why they want to write a book or they may know that it will help them grow their business, their personal brand etc.  But, often, that's not why they do all the hard work of creating a book and selling it. They promote their book because they are inspired to share their story with other people.  The best authors are honest, hard-working, vulnerable, collaborative and clear why they are doing a "book project."

If you're thinking about writing a book, read a few dedications, forwards and testimonials from a book you're reading and see if you can figure out what inspired the author to take action.  What are they trying to accomplish?  Who do they want to help? What is their motivation?  And, then, ask yourself the same questions and figure out what inspires you.  This exercise will make marketing your book much more effective.  And, yes, to become a little bit more of a rockstar is acceptable because no one will promote your book as effectively at you.

by Cathy Paper on July 15th, 2014

Every time I get to the end of a book launch ​project I have at least one, if not two giant three ring binders with all the tasks and worksheets that we have used to launch a book.  This doesn't include all the emails, digital files and all the promotional materials.

Launching a book is hard work. No matter what other people will tell you about how they have a fool proof marketing strategy for you to acheive bestselling status, Book launch is hard work. It's like training for a marathon. There are no shortcuts.  And if you take them, you get injured.  There are more than 200 tasks to do to set up your brand to be ready for book success. Take shortcuts and they will show after your launch and your book will flitter away.  RockPaperStar has built out the steps so that if you're an author looking to plan out how you can launch your book successful, the first time or within the first 48 months, we can help you make sense of all the to-do's.

Rock On!

by Cathy Paper on June 25th, 2014

If you're reading this, you probably know that RockPaperStar markets authors at various levels.

Whether your goal is to sell 100 books or 10,000 books we show you strategies to tell people about your book, ideally purchase your book and remember why you wrote the words you wrote.

Lately though, people want to market in so many different places, Instagram, Linked In, Facebook, blogs, TV, online articles etc. That they forget that books are bought by people who have a short attention span and listen to their peers, aka network--often eyeball to eyeball. 

That's why we recommend you pick three key messages you want to be known for and make sure those messages come through consistently and simply so that people can buy your book and then tell their network why they liked your book.

A recent tip we gave a client was to have a sign off in the bottom of their email that says their book title and that it's coming in September of 2014.  Drive traffic to your website this way where you offer a free chapter or a pre-order link to Amazon.  If this sounds like a step by step process, it is, but each book launch has special rockpaperstar pixie dust to help you build your buzz and your brand for the long term.   (This is a few more than three ideas but you get the idea http://www.forbes.com/sites/martinzwilling/2014/06/06/10-ways-to-lose-your-first-million-as-an-entrepreneur/)

What do you remember about the last book you read?  We'd like to hear about it on our facebook page.  (And, be sure to recommend the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Good Reads because you'll be helping an author spread their message and your name will get a few points in the google algorothim)

by Cathy Paper on May 19th, 2014

Spring is a time of natural growth and renewal. Ideas and enthusiasm for new projects are growing. Yet, sometimes we get in our own way from growing, trying new things and reaching our goals. Lately we've been working with extremely talented clients who are getting tripped up striving for perfection. They have big goals to accomplish: selling thousands of books, speaking to large audiences or designing six-week training programs, yet they struggle with the little things. They can't seem to get their comments back to the video editor to get their speaker video done.  Or they work through ten rounds of edits just to get the wording right in their 200-word biography.  All of these actions drain the creative process. 


I'm not recommending throwing things out the door just to get something completed, but I do wonder if we stop ourselves from promoting our best ideas because we are waiting for them to be perfect. Any idea can be shaped, tweaked and molded until you've taken all the energy out of the idea. We tell ourselves, "that idea came too easy" so we strain, ruminate and work harder to make it better.  I have a different point of view. I think if you spend too much time on an idea that you liked at first, you can often make it worse by taking out the natural quality of the idea. 

Here's an example: if you've ever watched a speaker more than once, can you tell that their delivery is a little rehearsed? Can you see that they may be going through the motions?  Most often, it's obvious and dull. That's what can happen to your message if you wait too long to bring it out to the world. It can get stale, stifled and lose its natural energy.  What are you waiting for? 

Stop getting in your own way and let's shape your message and continue to build your buzz. Come be a part of the new RockPaperStar community. ​Rock on! 


by Cathy Paper on May 5th, 2014

Does visibility really matter to your business results? If you hesitate on this answer then you must not enjoy staying current on popular culture or watching Royal Weddings. 

Being visible means you are top of mind with employees, clients, vendor partners and others in your business community.  It's not just fluff, it's about influence and results.

Many people skim the local publications or trade publications and only know a few of the different players are in their industry. Or they read association newsletters once in a while and don't value keeping up on what's happening.  If you want to increase your visibility, take three steps right now.
1. Make your online footprint a little bigger. Post on a blog, add feedback onto a Linked In discussion, become a guest blogger.  You don't have to do everything, just pick 2-3 and become more active on a weekly basis.
2. Identify two organizations you can become more deeply involved in.  Get on the board or a committee. Become active and build relationships where people know your expertise. Speak at a conference or participate in a panel. Congratulate others on their successes.
3. Write an article on a subject you are passionate about. Take a stand. Share your knowledge. This can quickly lead to you being seen by other people.

If you're not certain where to start, RockPaperStar provides coaching to create and implement a visibility strategy, with or without a book.  Or if you prefer,  have lunch with someone who you see as visible and ask questions about how they increased their exposure.

by Cathy Paper on March 2nd, 2014

Ok, the photo is a little blurry, but you get the idea.  The man in the middle is Kevin Warren.  I suggest you google him and see the article that Caryn Sullivan wrote in the Pioneer Press.   Or just click this link.

The woman on the far left is Elizabeth Patty, mom of my daughter's friends.  The woman next to her is Kevin's wife Greta and far right is Paul Batz, host of Good Leadership Breakfast series.

I was introduced to Kevin by my friend Renee Jackson who had heard his story and said I think he's working on a book. Fast forward six months and I'm back from a three-day strategy session with Kevin and Caryn.  We're getting his book off the ground in 2014.

That's how you get started. You start. You put it out there that you're going to do it and you surround yourself with time and resources to get it done. I can't wait for his book to come to life, but in the meanwhile, I know there are those of you reading that could benefit from a strategy session to map out the plan of writing or marketing a book.  Remember, it's never too late to launch.  So check out the Hour of Power  and let's get you in the spotlight!  Rock On!

by Cathy Paper on February 18th, 2014

I read a lot of books on writing. My favorite is Julia Cameron, The Artist's Way.  I read something in another book by the same author that said when we set out to write a book we often think we need a set schedule and a big chunk of time to get our best writing done. She says, "Steal any time you can find and just write."

It sounds so simple, JUST WRITE. But it's so true. I have watched myself and others make writing much more complex than it needs to be to get a few ideas down on paper. A few ideas can turn into a larger concept and a few concepts can turn into a book or a blog post.  If you think the words that you're eventually going to market to an audience need to be perfect, consider if you were to JUST WRITE you could then bring in an editor, a proofer, a coach and as many other people as you desire to make your writing even better than what is probably very strong.  So, today, instead of staring at a blank journal page or a screen waiting, JUST WRITE.

by Cathy Paper on December 7th, 2013

Really???

You want to read a blog post about how to write a book? I get it, but I also know that every author I have worked with says they want to write a book and I can just tell that the book is waiting for them to actually put the time against writing it.

I'm not a book midwife, although the title has crossed my mind, but I do know that if you're reading a blog about writing a book or you've taken a class on writing a book, then YOU CAN DO THIS.

Think about a book like a running marathon, you know the hard core 26.1 length of marathon. No runner just goes out and runs it.  (Ok I'm wrong there was this guy I knew in college who signed up and actually ran that far without training.)  But most people, pace themselves and build up to running that length.  90 days is what it takes, but you have to have a base of 30 miles a week to start.  Most people that run 30 miles a week have run a race of anywhere from 5k to 10 miles maybe once, maybe dozens of times. 

Should writing a book be any different?  It's different because we make it huge in our minds. We think about how much time it would take to write.  We think about how we'd sell it. We think about who would read it, etc. etc. etc.  Please stop thinking.  Instead, take inspired action.  Just take action each day,

Find someone that you enjoy having coach you and start mapping out your plan.   You wouldn't run a marathon without buying new shoes, having someone drive you to the starting line or go on a training run.  Why would you go after your book goal without building your team. Surround yourself with a team to coach you along, there are so many people to choose from.

Why do you need a team?  Because, once we say we want to do something, we have a ton of questions.  How many words on a page? How long should my book be? What if my title isn't catchy enough? Who should endorse it? Paperback or hardcover?  Self-published or agent route?  That's just a sampling.  I have answered more than 200 questions for authors that want to write their book and market it successfully and the process is always the same.  It's the results that vary on if they actually do the WORK.  It's hard work to write a book but when you listen to the people around you who love your stories, are moved by your actions or could benefit from your message you will find all the motivation you need to start the race of writing a book and finish.   And, if you don't believe me, some gal from Minnesota, I recommend you bet me $50 bucks that you can get your book done and see what happens.

Rock On!  

Paper

by Cathy Paper on November 5th, 2013

I was not one of those parents that held my children's hands while they learned to walk. I didn't set up obstacle courses for them to move from point to point. But, I did cheer them on and watch them figure out how to lift themselves up and move towards their goal of the other side of the room, the toy or the dog!

What's your goal with your speaking? Do you really know what you want and why you are doing it? And if so, are you willing and ready to do the work that it takes to get there? Not everyone is. And the sooner they figure that out, the better. Audiences can be as challenging as a hard floor or a coffee table edge. A few missed steps and BOOM, you're on your A$$ and you feel like crying. Audiences want a prepared, thoughtful, experienced speaker who knows what they have to offer.

Most of my clients have spent a lot of time professionally honing their craft in business and then they decide they want to share that message, learning and insights.  Sometimes their story is a little weak or their delivery needs help. Or they just don't know how to say thank you to the hosts of the events.  We help with all of these steps and we've gotten pretty good at making people's true talent come through.  Get going.  It's never easy to take that first step or to figure out which steps you've missed, but once you do you'll be off and running in no time.

Rock On!


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