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Monday, April 12, 2010

BLUE THING #10: BACKTALK: Comments From Our Readers

Your Feedback.  Your Input. Your Turn.

by Penny Ng, BACKTALKTM Producer

NEW: At the bottom of every TNNW article, we feature a COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE button. Click on it! We want your opinion on every article and author. Push our buttons. Spark us. Inspire us. Interact with us. We love hearing from you!

NEWER: At the bottom of every article you will now also find a multi-purpose comprehensive social media button which will permit you to forward, email, rate and share articles with all of your colleagues on all of your social media. Forward. Share. Never miss an opportunity to get you name in front of your colleagues, clients and prospective clients -- and you can do this without selling and without spamming!

Sometimes the keys to successful commerce are 1) keeping in touch through regular, enjoyable contact (so that you'll always be on the recipient's mind), and 2) simply being there when it counts. When your client needs what you have to offer, he will give you FIRST PRIORITY. This new button gives you the power to mass communicate and announce your availability and brand. Samples of both buttons follow, but first...


Look at these fancy buttons!


Here are some of your comments on our recent articles published in the TNNW Weekly Newsletter, the Blue Tuesday Report, and our other infomedia, publications and special bulletins:

BETH BARANY: Get Published Now

3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Publish Your Book
"Amen to 'You're not ready.' The reason self-published books still have a bad reputation is that so many authors fail to hire editors, proofreaders, or book designers. They do their writing a disservice by producing an unprofessional product.

As for unique--a book has to be enough different from the others in the genre or market so that readers won't say 'Why should I buy book X if I already own book Y?' but we all know that formula sells. Most of us don't want a new author to be too obviously derivative of an established author, but we're also not that comfortable with someone whose work is *too* different."

Sallie Goetsch

"Beth, I think the point about getting the prose right is particularly well taken. Publishers and all the individuals who support them - agents in particular - are incredibly sensitive to good grammar, parallel construction, and the like. I know, I know, many big sellers are poorly written, but nonetheless, if you make mistakes with verbs, you will not succeed in the mainstream publishing world."
Mike Stevens

"You're absolutely right! There are times people shouldn't publish. Mostly it's when they are more interested in money or fame than in the writing process or in helping others with a good how-to book. Without passion behind it, a book rarely succeeds by any standard."
Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Blogging at Writer's Digest 101 Best Websites pick

"Good points, Beth. Regarding your second point: Writing a book is a big undertaking, but I think many authors underestimate the amount of time, effort and passion required to promote a book after it's published. Successful authors often spend much more time on the promotion than the writing.

Writing for personal fulfillment is a wonderful thing, but if an author wants to make money from publishing a book there must be a viable audience who is willing to pay money for the book. I advise authors to think about marketing before they write a word. Nonfiction authors need a clear understanding of who their audience is and what those folks need, so they can tailor the book to the audience. It's important to study the competition and determine how your book can be different or better.

Fiction authors should consider weaving some promotable elements into the story. Novelists can use the setting of the book or the profession or hobbies of the main characters as promotional hooks when marketing the book. For example, horse lovers enjoy reading about a character who works with horses and they are a defined target audience that you can promote the book to."

Dana Lynn Smith
The Savvy Book Marketer


The title of this article put me off at first, until I realized you were very effectively baiting your line. Anyone who wants to be published for commercial reasons should pay attention to your advice. While the economic and technical barriers to collaborative book production have been smashed, writing a book that will sell still takes a tremendous effort.

That said, I think the discussion around the craft of writing and the difficulty of making yourself known in a crowded marketplace sometimes frightens would-be authors away from writing a book, even if they don't intend to make a dime off it."

Erik Schmidt

"Great article Beth. I reposted on the Our Little Books blog:

Although everyone probably has a book in them, there are many reasons why they shouldn't publish... at least now. The time, energy, and motivation needs to be right for it to be successful. As some of the other posters stated, it really depends on what you are looking for in a book.

Writing for themselves and for the joy of writing is one thing for authors. Writing to make a living is another. These reasons may be combined, but authors need to be aware of the realities of the business aspect of writing and publishing.

Motivation and timing is one of the things I discuss with potential authors as publishing consultant for Our Little Books. It is not usually something that authors think about, so thanks for bringing it up."

Candace Davenport

RICK ITZKOWICH: Being There When It Counts

How Can I Help You?
"The problem, Rick, is that people ask that question of everyone with whom they come into contact! It's a question that leaves me without any sort of answer -- to which I usually bumble: "...I don't know."

And I don't know because I don't know the person, I don't have a relationship - with the person asking. I don't have a context for which to answer that question.
I did read your blog --and I will have to confess the same thing, the same, bumbling inability to answer (in response to your last line): "How can I help you?"
How could you help me if you don't know me?"

E. B.

"It seems to me that what both Rick and E.B. are talking about is CONTEXT. We respond to the question differently depending on the context in which it's asked. For E., context - in the form of a relationship - is critical. Her concern is that many folks will read Rick's post and incorporate it into their networking strategy without regard to context. A concern that I share.

A similar question, that raises anxieties similar to E.'s, is 'Tell me about yourself.' As with Rick's question, context matters here. In a job interview, I will respond one way; in a social setting, where the question is posed by a relative stranger, I 'stumble and bumble.' What, after all, do they really want to know?"

S. W.

"Rick, I'd like to say 10 pounds of $100 bills would be nice!

But then you have offered me an opportunity of participating in your business, and as of today, I have not responded!! Thank you for your efforts regardless....

For E. and S., context is key for sure. I am not sure that Rick's motives come through in his posting, but they are genuine."

R. D.

"Great article - and so true! I'd like to take it even one step farther: if you know you are going to be in the presence of someone who could do something significant for you, be prepared IN ADVANCE with a specific "ask" should the opportunity present itself.

This advice was given to me by Dawn Lyons of the Referral Institute SF Bay and it came in handy when I was asked that exact question, "How can I help you?" by someone who has tremendous reach and credibility. I was able to answer with something specific, and had I not been prepared I would have likely gone blank, bumbled my answer, or asked for something less than what I ideally wanted."

Betty Jo Waxman

"What does Zig Ziglar say? 'You can achieve anything you want in life as long as you help enough other people', is that it?"
T. S.


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The Emergence of the Relationship Economy features TNNWC Founder, Adam J. Kovitz as a contributing author and contains some of his early work on The Laws of Relationship Capital. The book is available in hardcopy and e-book formats. With a forward written by Doc Searls (of Cluetrain Manifesto fame), it is considered a "must read" for anyone responsible for the strategic direction of their business. If you would like to purchase your own copy, please click the image above.


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