Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Book Titles are Seen and Heard--Listen
for Ones That Catch Your Ear, and Why
By Susan Kendrick
This past week I was listening to public radio while driving and captivated by the very energetic introduction to the next program, "Here on Earth: Radio Without Borders" hosted by Jean Feraca. The guest was an expert on grains, but not in the eat-these-they're-good-for-you way. Somewhere in her early adulthood as a journalist living on frozen pizza, she had rediscovered a moment in childhood when a small bag of sweetened Greek dessert had delighted and transported her during a very sad time. And now this writer, journalist, and cook has contributed to Gourmet, Saveur, and Gastronomica, as well as Marie Claire, and Elle.
In the introduction to this guest and her celebration of grains as comfort food, desserts, and more, I heard phrases like "gorgeous grains" and "ancient grains for modern meals." Feraca spun a web of words so rich, I couldn't wait to hear if the guest had a book and which of these delicacies was the title.
The guest, of course, did not disappoint. Maria Speck was passionate, personal, joyful, and highly articulate about every nuance of her topic. And, yes, she is the author of Ancient Grains for Modern Meals: Mediterranean Whole Grain Recipes for Barley, Farro, Kamut, Polenta, Wheat Berries & More.
Take-Aways You Can Use
The Reason I am posting this book title and radio interview here is because there are a couple of good take-aways. First, a good book title needs to clearly communicate your topic, but a great book title "sounds" good doing it. It rings. Ancient Grains for Modern Meals is a great example of three good book title strategies that make this title sound good:
(1) Rhyming--Ancient Grains
(2) Alliteration--Modern Meals
(3) Parallel Construction-- Ancient Grains is a simple,
two-word descriptor that sets up another simple,
but contrasting two word descriptor, Modern Meals
Now, granted, authors and publishers do not always and do not need to create book titles on such a dissected level. These types of book titles are usually equal parts intent and serendipity. So listen. Listen to how you talk about your topic. Get your friends and collegues involved. See what rises to the surface in conversation. A great book title is easy to say, hear, and remember. It says what is new and different about you and your book.
Listen to this broadcast for a good example of how great a book title can sound.
One More Thing That Works
The other thing I noticed while listening to the introduction to this interview was all of the other descriptors that came up and initially had me wondering which one was the title. Was it "Gorgeous Grains"? Was is "Ancient Grains for Modern Meals"? This is a good time to point out that any phrase that does not make the final cut as title, can still be used to great effect as a headline or sound bite about your book. In this case, I imagine that "Gorgeous Grains" could have been on the table at some point as a possible title.
So, as the saying goes, listen and learn.
© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market™. All Rights Reserved.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
One of the Most Profitable Relationships
You Can Develop ... And 6 Ways to
Get Started Now
By Susan Kendrick
(First, it's good to be back! I've had a busy year. Lots to talk about.
Here's to May 2011 and getting reconnected. Warm Regards, Susan.)
What’s easier, a cold call or having someone personally introduce you to a new prospect? What’s a quicker way to build trust—jump through all the hoops of proving that you’re as good as you say you are, or have somebody your prospect already knows and trusts back you up as a great resource? In each case, either way works, but a third-party introduction and endorsement is definitely less labor-intensive. You move on much more quickly to building relationships instead of just trying to get them started.
That’s the way it is when you want to introduce yourself, your book, and your services to a new market. One of the best ways to do this in consulting or any industry is to become a part of that market and for someone already known in that market to make the introductions. Rather than creating relationships one at a time, this is the way to gain access to many prospects at once.
Who Should You Approach?
Take a look at these three criteria. It should be an individual or organization that:
• Continually offers their followers quality information, perspectives, and resources
that will help them be better at what they do
• Has a list of followers with whom they regularly communicate and who are used to
signing up for educational programs and purchasing resources
• Reaches out to their followers in a variety of ways: enewsletters, magazine, webinars,
blogs, podcasts, speakers, annual events, expos, conventions, and more
Who Does All That? Professional Associations
Professional associations exist on many levels—nationally as well as by state, region, and even by sub-industry. Approach each of them like you would approach a media outlet. In other words, offer to do things that help them achieve their goals. Be a good partner, an information hub, a source for quality perspectives, insights, and educational content. In return, you get introduced as a go-to expert to potentially throusands of new prospects.
6 Ways to Get Started
1. You can start by offering to do something as simple as contributing articles to the association newsletter and magazine. They get great content--which they associations always need. You get your message across to a group of prospects eager to get them most from their membership through access to expert guidance.
2. Associations face a major challenge on a daily basis that you can help them solve--membership. Associations of all kinds are continually trying to acquire new members and keep existing members. Offer your book to the association at a volume discount as part of a new-member incentive package or as a renewal incentive for existing members.
3. Become a champion for one of the association's causes and post regular blog features about it. You attract those interested in that cause to you as a reputable source of information. The association gets exposure to your followers. And, you position yourself as someone valued by this organization and the team that runs it. You are part of a vital mission in this new market you are penetrating. It is a win-win for both you and the association--again, the key to a profitable partnership.
4. Interview the executive director of the association in a way that enhances their visibility and credibility. Make this interview available as a podcast, downloadable transcript, and video if possible for use by you, the director, and the association.
5. Offer to give the association a sample of your speaking abilities by doing a free breakout session at their next big event. Even if you don’t get paid for the engagement the first time, that live exposure to decision-makers in this new market is a huge opportunity. Use this session to give away a free gift (your book, related product, consulting package) at the end of your presentation, through a drawing of business cards you collect from participants.
6. Go through the vetting process. Most associations have some kind of process in place to help them select sources that will be a true value to their members. Your book—or even your forthcoming book—mark you as a recognized authority in your field. Use it, your website, blog, Facebook and Twitter following, testimonials, and other components of your existing platform to demonstrate your credibility and how you can add value to the association and its membership.
The idea is to enter a new market that you have identified as a good source of potential clients and revenue. Partner with an association in that market that meets the three criteria listed above. Then, do everything you can to add value to what the association is doing for its members in a way that introduces you, your book, and your services to those members.
What Does This Have to Do With Your Book Cover?
Planning for how you want your book to open doors in multiple markets—or at least give you the flexibility to do that over time—will directly influence what you include in your front and especially your back cover sales copy. It will even influence who you approach—and don’t approach--for endorsements.
I have seen partnerships with professional associations work successfully time and time again—both for myself, my clients, and my colleagues. If you have any questions about the finer points of putting this approach to work, or for more ideas that will help you break into a new market with your book or write and design your book cover so that it will open more doors for you, please feel free to contact me or my partner, Graham Van Dixhorn, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© 2011, Susan Kendrick, Write To Your Market™. All Rights Reserved.