Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Writing a Book to Build Your Practice -- PART II

Co-author a book,
like these two authors.

Writing Your Book: How to Get
Organized, Get Help, and Get Going

By Susan Kendrick


Once you start thinking about writing a book to build your brand and your practice, the first question is "How?" Like Part I of this article for medical and health experts, any professional can use this information, especially the free mini-course (see below).

Since my partner, Graham, and I specialize in creating book titles, subtitles, and back cover copywriting, we turn to our colleagues for help with other parts of the book publishing process. Our good friend John Eggen of Mission Marketing Mentors is a great resource. He provides what most busy professionals ask us for--a tested, systematic way to write and publish a book. He even shows you how to start making money on your book before it's released--a great way to fund your book project.

John just came out with a free mini-course that he has set up so that we can give it away to our readers.
Go to http://ultimateclientmagnet.com/newauthors.

A few tips from our end on the book writing process

A proven formula is helpful any time you take on an endeavor outside your immediate area of expertise. This is especially true when writing a book. It you don’t have a specific path to get from the idea stage to the final manuscript, you risk becoming overwhelmed by a project that can easily grow out of control. Ideas add up, tangents materialize that take you off course, and input from family and friends can send you reeling in a dozen different directions as you try to craft the “perfect” book.

Given these tendencies, it’s important to know that writing a book is first and foremost a function of organization.

Here's one way to think about organizing your book

While there are a few different ways to approach writing a non-fiction book--see John's free mini-course above--one is the 10-Point Book Writing approach. Here’s how it works:

• Choose a topic—something you are good at, like to do, or want to learn more about. This can relate to either your professional life, your personal life, or both.
• Tell readers why you wrote the book and what they will get out of it. That is your Introduction
• Identify 10 key points you want to make about your topic. Those are your 10 chapters.
• Break each of those 10 chapters down into manageable parts: An introduction, 3-7 key points, quotes, examples, stories, etc.
• The ideal length for a non-fiction book starts at around 144 pages, including the Table of Contents, Acknowledgments, Copyright page, and author bio. That means each of your chapters will be approximately 11-12 pages long. Think of it as writing a long letter to a good friend.

But, I don’t have time to write a book

You don’t have to go it alone. Busy physicians regularly hire ghostwriters, transcribers, and editors to assist them in the book writing process. You can even partner with a physician or non-physician to co-author the book with you. Do make sure you follow a tested process. Remember to check out John Eggen's free mini-course at http://ultimateclientmagnet.com/newauthors.

Whether you want to self-publish or work with a traditional publisher, make publishing a book another profitable part of your practice. Please email us with any questions at info@WriteToYourMarket.com or call us at 1-888-634-4120.

Happy Publishing,

© 2010, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Writing a Book to Build Your Medical Practice -- PART I

Reasons for Doctors to Write a Book

By Susan Kendrick
See all book and book website links at the end of this article.

Instead of focusing on book cover text and book cover design in this post, I am backing up a step to show what writing a book can do for particular group of author/experts. While this post is for physicians writing books, this information can apply to other areas of expertise as well.

I was encouraged to write this series of articles by my client, Dr. Kenneth Cohn, a board-certified general surgeon/MBA. Dr. Cohn reaches out to physicians in innovative ways through his physician websites, the Health Care Collaboration Blog,"Improving Physician-Hospital Relations" and The Doctorpreneur"A complete resource for physicians interested in pursuing non-clinical career opportunities."

What Writing a Book Can Do for You

Physicians regularly write and publish books for a variety of professional and personal reasons. The following are some of the most common incentives: 
  • Revive your passion for your practice and/or your life if you are transitioning to a non-clinical career
  • Create uniqueness that differentiates your services 
  • Stand out in your field as an expert
  • Expand your reputation in a specific area of expertise
  • Attract patients and others who are eager to work with you
  • Discover and develop other parts of yourself
  • Generate additional streams of revenue, such as speaking and information products

[We helped develop the book covers for the following five books by self-publishing physicians.]

What Kind of Book Should You Write?

Can you reap the benefits of being a published author only by writing about something related to your medical practice? Not at all. Professionals in many industries find that writing a book about a personal interest can also be a great way to connect with existing and prospective clients. Telling people something about you as a person builds trust, which goes a long way toward creating and cementing relationships that build your practice.

Create a Lead-Generating Brand

Building a professional or personal brand is a great way to improve your medical practice, and writing a book has long been recognized as the best way to build a brand. According to Alan Weiss, international consultant and bestselling author of How to Establish a Unique Brand in the Consulting Profession, writing a book is, "the best branding technique of them all."

Ask Yourself These Four Questions to Get Started:

- What energizes you—either in your practice or your personal life?
- What do you like to do and what are you good at?
- What would you like to learn more about?
- What would you like to be known for 3-5 years from now?

Depending on what you want the book to do for you, you can choose to write about something related to your medical expertise, or you can focus on a more personal topic. Or, you can do both. Again, the reason that writing a book or a series of books is such a good outlet for physicians is that it does very positive things for your reputation, your practice, and your personal well-being.

Professional, Personal, or a Blend: 

Writing a book gives you a way to reach into yourself and out to others in an extremely rewarding way. It begins to bridge what may have become a wide gap between who you are as a physician and who you are as a person.
You can even write a book for other physicians about how to survive and thrive in your professional. Based on your own experience and interviews with colleagues, you can cover a number of areas, such as how to reduce stress, find time to get to the gym, spend time with family when you’re on call, or just relax and recharge.

Expand Your Practice or Expertise: There are many books on the market that demonstrate the success of books written by doctors on some aspect of their medical expertise. We have worked with many doctors who use that expertise to delve into an alternative approach they have developed to a common health challenge.
Take a more personal route: On a more completely personal level, you can write a book about your passion for gardening and describe the health benefits of eating food you grow yourself. Do you like to travel? You can write a book about how travel helps relieve stress and renews your body, mind, and spirit.

Do you love to spend time with your kids? Outline some of your favorite suggestions for activities, road trips, or “vacations” in your home town when you don’t have a lot of time but still want to create family memories. Describe how doing things together builds relationships that benefit the emotional and physical health of your family.

Depending on what you care about and what excites you, the possibilities are endless. One important guiding principle to keep in mind is that the topic should be one that will hold your interest for a long time, both in the creation of the book and in promoting it.

Next in This Series:
Part II -- "Organizing and Starting Your Book"

All Book and Book Website Links for This Article:

© 2010, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Create Book Cover Brands That Look Great Online

Creating Book Titles and Subtitles That
Still Work in the Smallest Online Formats

By Susan Kendrick

The last article here was What Makes a Good Subtitle and How Long Should it Be? There's another reason the length of titles and subtitles is coming up a lot lately, and that is because of the variety of ways your book is now seen.

A Brief History of the Book Cover

Think about it. A book cover used to be written and designed primarily as a physical billboard for your book. The book needed to create interest when seen on the shelf at the bookstore or anywhere else it was displayed for sale. Then came those small thumbnail versions on amazon and other online retailers. Your book cover still has to draw people in, even in its reduced size. But, now that miniaturization goes one step further as book covers make their appearance on Kindle, ipad, and smart phones.
Check These Out:

(Take a look at the books on this bestseller page on amazon. Which ones do you think stand out in their smaller format and which ones don't.)

One author of two published books recently questioned whether or not her third book even needed a subtitle, since it would hardly be visible online. We strongly encouraged her to keep her subtitle for the reasons a subtitle has always been, and continues to be, pivotal to the branding and marketing of your book. Again, see previous article.


Your subtitle will show up in search results for your topic, in the product text on amazon, and any other place your book appears online. Don't waste this opportunity.

An Exception to This Rule?

An interesting exception to standard subtitle use is Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier. This book does not have a subtitle, but it does have an endorsement, "Ignore this book at your own peril," by Seth Godin. It also gets a huge credibility boost from bestselling authors like Tom Peters and William C. Taylor, Founding Editor of Fast Company.This book's uber-clean cover and bold, off-the-grid feel--plus the quirky Godin-esque endorsement and amazon review--surely speak to the intended audience for this book and set it apart on a planet of its own.

Is This a Wasted Opportunity?

I wonder, though, what the back cover does for this book--it doesn't show up as a "Look Inside" option on amazon. And, when you look under "Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought," the subtitles for each of those other books are included in the text box under the  book cover image. They get the benefit of this additional positioning and sales copy for their books.

Avoid Piercings and Tatoos ...
... Especially if you're going it alone. If you do not have a magic-carpet ride of high-end endorsements in place for your book, and especially if your book will be self-published, your cover needs to be of the highest quality and adhere to every industry standard to "look legit" and avoid looking self-published.

It's like going in for a job interview--the higher-end the position, the more tailored and professional you need to look. Your book is a candidate, too. It has to stand out from all the other books on the topic. Everything about the packaging must be impeccable. And, depending on your audience ... no tongue piercings, visible tatoos, or stilettos. There are better ways to get noticed.

Getting the Right Help Will Get You Noticed

From a branding standpoint, it is your title that is the basis of the iconic look for your cover, so do consider how your title will look even the smallest formats. Use as few words as possible and short words when possible. And, make sure your book cover designer knows how to turn those words and your overall cover into a an immediately recognizable visual brand--an iconic look that will get your book noticed at any size.

Happy Publishing!

© 2010, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book Cover Coaching: Subtitle Tips

What Makes a Good Subtitle
and How Long Should It Be?

By Susan Kendrick

People work long and hard to come up with good book titles. The subtitle, however, is often an afterthought, something quickly thrown together before moving onto book cover design. Please don't
do this to your book. Your subtitle is not just some front-cover
formatting slot to fill. It is a critical piece of marketing real estate for creating your brand and selling your book.

The Role of Your Subtitle

There are many things your subtitle can do for your book. It can:
__ Identify and draw in your target audience
__ Differentiate your book in a crowded market
__ Clarify a key benefit or benefits of your book
__ Add definition to a provocative but possibly obscure title, like those in Malcolm Gladwell's bestselling series, Blink, The Tipping Point, and Outliers.

Long or Short--Is There a Rule?

First, I need to say a few words about length. We get asked this a lot: "How long should my subtitle be?" The answer is--it depends. Really. There are no hard and fast rules, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Say what you need to say. Simply do it in as few words as possible to keep your ideas crisp, authoritative, and memorable. See more under "Subtitle Tips," below.
An example of a long subtitle is Rich Like Them: My Door-to-Door Search for the Secrets of Wealth in America's Richest Neighborhoods. That's a lot of words, but they work hard together to say what this book is about. While longer subtitles are the exception rather than the rule, it's helpful to see how they can work when handled skillfully.

Tim Ferriss's highly successful book and brand, The 4-Hour Work Week, was released in an expanded and updated edition in December 2009. His subtitle is a semi-whopping nine words and it consists of three different elements. But, it is still clear, crisp, and strong. It hits a major nerve, and not by chance. Ferriss is known for testing his title/subtitle combos until the results reveal a sure winner.

Also, check out an Amazon Book "Bestsellers" list, like this one for Business & Investing. You'll find a range of subtitle lengths here, and with a few exceptions, they serve their books very well. Again, the "Subtitle Tips," below, will help you think about your subtitle as a way to reel people into what you have to offer without tangling them up in excess words or jargon. There is no guarantee that a certain length subtitle is best. What is important is how the words you choose create and promote your brand.

Subtitle Tips

Here are some tips to help you start thinking about what will work for your book.

__ If your title is long, keep the subtitle short. If your title is short, you have more flexibility with the subtitle. But, do say what needs to be said. A descriptive, yet still concise, subtitle goes a long way toward attracting readers, retailers, partners, and even the media.

__ Do not repeat in the subtitle words that you have already used in the title. A book cover is all about making the most of the very limited real estate on both the front and back covers. Make every word count. If you need to reinforce an idea, use fresh language each time. If your subtitle repeats words in the title, it looks like you have already run out of things to say--not a good signal to send to potential buyers.

__ Practice economy of language. Do this by first deciding what to say, then how to say it. Then, if you can use four-letter words instead of 12-letter words, do it. If you can say something in seven words instead of 14, do it. Be ruthless and be especially hard on adjectives. You'll be surprised how powerful a phrase becomes once it has been stripped clean of excess. Which brings me to the next suggestion:

__ Use parallel construction. These kinds of phrases are memorable and therefore create a strong brand for your book. Chip and Dan Heath, Authors of Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die, just released a new book this month called, Switch: How to Change when Change is Hard (above). Subtitles like this have what you could call a sing-song quality to them that simplifies the topic and makes it instantly apparent either what the book is about or what you as the reader get from it.

__ Remember that your subtitle is not just read, but heard--another good reason to create sound-bite appeal. For Amy Tiemann's new book, Courageous Parents--Confident Kids (above), I developed this subtitle, "Letting Go So You Both Can Grow." This is the essence of the book boiled down to a highly brandable sound bite. This phrase is also both powerful and memorable because it contains rhyming, alliteration, and the syntactically strong long "O" and hard "G" sounds. This is one more example of how just seven short words can build a strong, memorable brand and marketing presence for your book.

__ Consider your target audience when establishing the tone of your subtitle. This may go without saying, but a book on investing or entrepreneurship, for example, will have a different feel than a book about improving your marriage or taking care of elderly parents.

Need help creating the subtitle and/or title for your book? Contact Graham and me at info@WriteToYourMarket.com.

Happy Publishing,

© 2010, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Even Branding Experts Need Help Expanding Their Brands

How This Branding Expert Created a
Book Series to Reach Out to New Markets

By Susan Kendrick

Click book cover images at left to see this client's back cover text.

Meet corporate branding expert Brenda Bence. Her new book series and website are outstanding examples of how
to use book publishing to expand an already highly
successful brand, this time into new niche markets. Take a look at these book covers and Brenda's website to see how her new "How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo" series title we developed for her can help you in your own branding or re-branding process.

In the World of Branding -- You Can't get Much Better Than This

With more than 25 years experience within Fortune 100 multinational corporations--from Procter & Gamble and Bristol-Myers Squibb to Mattel and Pizza Hut--Brenda has been responsible for marketing some of the world's biggest-selling brands in almost 50 countries across four continents.

Also a certified career coach, Brenda married her passion for brands and her passion for coaching to develop the first and only personal branding system. This system, based on the same methods successful companies use to create powerhouse name brands, outlines step-by-step how to define, communicate, and master your personal brand for greater success at work and in life.

In fact, she was already using "YOU™ -- The Trademarked You" as a central component of her identity and marketing message to mean "your personal brand."

"We actually DID go out and register this trademark," says Brenda. "No one we talked to thought it would be possible to trademark this, because “YOU” is such a common phrase, but we did it! it took three years of legal battles, and we now own “YOU™” as a registered trademark--another important element of this brand or any brand."

To expand her YOU™ brand to new markets and further increase her visibility, credibility, and revenue by doing so, she created first a book and then a book series. This time, she brings her expertise not to big business, but to individuals. Each book in her series fluently translates the strategies she uses to help corporations build successful consumer brands into ready-to-use techniques for professionals, job seekers, and college grads.

How Brenda's Book Cover Expands Her Brand

My partner,
Graham Van Dixhorn, created Brenda's new "How You Are Like Shampoo" brand for her book title and series name. He then developed the positioning that would both establish her expertise in the personal branding market and elevate her expert status in the corporate market. Here is an excerpt from Brenda's back cover:

"This groundbreaking book provides you with a start-to-finish system for defining, communicating, and taking control of your personal brand at work. Modeled after the world’s most successful big-brand marketing methods, How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo guides you step-by-step through proven corporate branding techniques never before adapted for personal use."

This positioning and "elevator speech" create the transition from Brenda as business branding expert to go-to corporate and personal branding strategist.

Back Cover Also Includes Other Essential Elements:

- The headline
- At-a-glance bullet points
- An expert/author endorsement, which Graham created for source approval,
a great endorsement technique
- High-profile bio and lead generator
- A technique that drives traffic to Brenda's website, which includes a
name-capture device once they get there, in the form of a newsletter sign-up

Getting Bigger Shouldn't Dilute Your Brand--It Should Make It Stronger

Notice that expanding Brenda's trademarked YOU™ branding into "How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo" does not detract from her status as corporate branding expert--it reinforces it. The allure for professionals, job seekers, and college grads is that they now have access to the same branding strategies Brenda uses to help the likes of Kraft and KFC, through a series of books created just for them.

"Extending the franchise to college students," says Brenda, "provides me additional speaking opportunities. Whenever I’m working with corporate clients in various locations, there are inevitably colleges nearby where I can speak. This allows me to connect with and help students with their job-searches, and Career Services are happy to have me speak, so they pay me a fee and offer to sell my books in the back of the room.

"But even more importantly," she says, "those smart college students will be managers in a few years’ time, looking to hire a speaker, trainer, and coach. So, I collect students’ e-mail addresses for my data base in order to build up a relationship with them that hopefully will last for years to come. I already have a number of university bookings set up for this year."

This Book Cover IS Your Brand

Creating your book's front and back cover positioning language is intended to be a once-and-done function. You are not just creating a "back cover blurb," you are choosing how to identify and communicate your brand. With her first three "How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo" books in place, Brenda can continue to extend her expertise to other niche markets through additional books that will continue to add value to her series and overall brand.

Use It Across ALL Marketing Platforms

The positioning you develop as the your core marketing message for your book cover now functions as the key branding message you use across all your marketing platforms--your website content, book website content, media kit, press releases, social media profiles, public speaker materials, and any other sales collateral. Again, see
Brenda Bence's website for good examples.

3 Goals for Creating a Book Title with Branding Power

Here is what to strive for on not just your books, but also your ebooks, information products, speaking topics, and any other parts of the your brand marketing:

- Create a book title that makes people see their world differently
If you can tie your brand to some tangible part of people's lives, you can trigger thoughts of you when people see it. In Brenda's case, the image of "How YOU™ Are Like Shampoo" triggers a connection any time you are faced with a sea of shampoos, competing for your attention on your grocery store shelf. It may even make you stop to think about why you choose one brand over another and what your personal brand says about you.

- Establish a book title that is flexible enough to function for a book series
This way, you can accommodate your growth into known and not-yet-identified markets. With the right title, simply inserting the word "For" after the title can link your message to any audience you decide to reach out to.

- Develop positioning that attracts more of your ideal client
Just as the individuals in Brenda's new niche markets are attracted to her international reputation as the brand expert to the corporate stars, she also elevates her expert status in the eyes of her corporate market as a now published author. As a published author, she gains exponential credibility in the eyes of all her markets. That is exactly why that back cover sales copy--the foundation for Brenda's marketing--intentionally makes that corporate expertise a high-visibility part of her marketing message.

What Will Your Next Book Do for You and Your Brand?

What do you want your book to do for you and your expertise? Make you more visible to your target market? Be a lead generator to your ideal client? Help you stand out in a crowded market or create a new niche and dominate it right from the start? Whether you need to re-fresh your brand to make it more current and relevant or accommodate new growth and directions, your book cover is the place to start. Master your branding message on this one piece of marketing real estate, and you have everything you need to market with power and precision across all marketing platforms.

We Write Book Covers, and Create Bestselling Brands in the Process
Contact us if you are thinking about writing a book or if you are already in the manuscript or book cover process. We will answer your book cover questions about when to get started and more. And, we will create a bestselling cover for you that builds, refreshes, or expands a profitable brand for you and your business. We can also refer you to a book cover designer to handle the visual part of your brand.

Email us at info@WriteToYourMarket.com
or call us 1-888-634-4120.

Susan Kendrick and Graham Van Dixhorn, Write To Your Market, Inc. All Rights Reserved.