Posts Tagged ‘author’

How I Became The Mad Dog-Woman of Hertfordshire and Featured in The Mail Online!

February 12, 2015

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Today, I’m delighted to have a guest blog post from the very talented Dr Annie Kaszina, author of “Do You Choose Your Dog More Carefully Than Your Husband?”
When I first started working with Annie, she had an idea for a book called “Conversations with Cupid”. However, in our mentoring sessions, it rapidly became clear to me that there was a much more fascinating book that reflected Annie’s great wit, humour and love of dogs!
Twelve months on, Annie is being courted by the world’s media, ahead of her book launch this Valentines’ Day.  Over to Annie (and her dog Basil K)…

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At 11.25 one wintry Sunday night my shrieks sent my lovely partner haring up the stairs – and he’s, sadly, as deaf as a post*. He raced into my office and found me grinning maniacally. I’d just discovered I was featured in “The Mail Online”, in an article that incorporated all of my passions – although not necessarily in their true order of priority: my handsome little dog Basil (photographed) my book “Do You Choose Your Dog More Carefully Than Your Husband?”(described) my mission to help women find their perfect partner, and my beloved partner (who inspired so much of the book).
In a year, I’d gone from working as just another relationship coach to having a unique message and voice and, potentially, reaching millions of people even before the book’s launch. (Within a few days, there were interviews on the BBC, an inquiry from Australian television, and a piece in “China Daily” no less!)
How did it happen?

Call it a When-Annie-Met-Stephanie moment. Like a lot of people who are quietly passionate about what they do, I didn’t see what was special about my story, and my expertise. Stephanie suggested there was a huge market hungry for relationship books.

I wondered: should I ‘sit on it’ for a while? – and take the risk that what I was doing might start to feel old hat to me. Or should I go for it? I sent Stephanie the book outline. Purely to make her laugh, I added a few words at the end to the effect that I was the serial relationship zero who only wised up to herself when she realized she’d chosen her dog more carefully than her husband.
I started writing the book. Boy, was that fun! Every morning I’d be down at my local Costa when it opened. Swigging latte, I’d bang out my 2-3,000 words in a couple of hours. (Stephanie’s advice not to be precious, but just write really helped.) Around the half-way mark, I went to one of Stephanie’s one-day events. The more I listened, the more I questioned whether my book was on the right track, or not. Stephanie kindly said she’d take a quick look at a sample chapter.
With a view to ‘saving’ what I’d done, I dashed off a latte-fuelled prologue – in Costa, naturally – one Sunday morning. It was personal, quirky, and funny: I talked about ‘glue rabbits’ the ludicrous crunch point in my marriage, and dogs. Quite where it all came from I don’t know.

The sample chapter didn’t do much for Stephanie. But she really liked the prologue. That was the way to go, she said. Great! I was meant to write my book as the Mad Dog-Woman of Hertfordshire! Where would I even start?

Back in Costa, of course, swilling yet more lattes. (You would not believe how many points I accumulated on my Costa card over the following weeks, or the mates I made.) I sat there banging away on my skanky little notebook until I virtually became the cabaret – albeit a whey-faced, make-up free, scruffy cabaret. But at 8am even that is, arguably, better than nothing.
Anecdotes from my own life, and unexpected reflections tumbled from my fingertips. I found a voice I didn’t know I had. I got progressively happier – even though it was, actually, one of the toughest times of my life. It was the best fun I’ve ever had on my own in a public place.
Writing that book was easier than I could ever have imagined. Here are my top 5 tips to make getting a book done a doddle.

1. Find yourself a great place to work. Good music, good light, and good coffee are all big pluses.
2. Time everything. First, allot a block of time each day to writing. Then use a timer to divide that block into 20 – 25 minute chunks. This prevents you slipping into the writerly [sic] pitfall of disappearing up your own thought process.
3. “Worrrk eeez never wasted”, as my old Professor of Italian used to say. So, you write a first draft, or half a first draft and it doesn’t work out. You haven’t wasted your time: you’re just honing your skill. What doesn’t go into the book is every bit as precious as what does, in terms of making you a better writer.
4. Get yourself a brilliant coach who knows their stuff, loves working with people like you, and can see the big picture that you could be missing. There are plenty of people to choose from but not too many as supportive, generous and all round brilliant as Stephanie J Hale. That’s just a fact of life.
5. Have fun so your readers will have fun, too. The guy who I wrote my first academic book about, in Italian, he who shared his name with a brand of chocolates and an industrial machinery supplier, rightly said: “If it bores you to write something, it will bore the reader to read it.” Nobody wants to be bored. Ever.

* Or, as he prefers to put it, “Nearly as deaf as a post.”

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Annie Kaszina PhD, author of “Do You Choose Your Dog More Carefully Than Your Husband?” was a long-term relationship disaster, until she realized that it made sense to choose her partner at least as carefully as her dog. She has spent 10 years teaching women how to become that special woman who has her dream partner eating out of her hand.

Find out more about Annie and her new book “Do You Choose Your Dog More Carefully Than Your Husband?” at: www.ChooseYourMan.com

 

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Dr Annie TOTALLY understands relationships – and talks about them with the sort of humour and insight that comes from true experience. She was a joy to interview… and a joy to read.”

– TV and radio celebrity, Anne Diamond

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How To Pitch Your Book To Glossy Magazines, Newspapers or Radio: Top Mistakes Authors Should Avoid

April 14, 2014

Many authors wrongly assume that their book isn’t important enough, or that only celebrities and famous writers, will get media coverage. This just isn’t true. Radio stations (particularly local radio stations) have many hours of airtime to fill each week. Similarly, most print publications are also looking for inspiring, topical, or controversial human interest stories to entertain their audiences.

You may be thinking: ‘Why bother – it’s too much effort.’ But here’s why it matters: many newspapers and magazines have audiences that run into millions. SAGA Magazine, which has just snapped up the first serialisation rights to my book Celebrity Authors’ Secrets has a readership of 1.8 million. The Huffington Post, for which I am now a blogger, has over 30 million readers globally. Many other newspapers, magazines and radio stations which are running features and reviews for my book have similar-sized audiences.

This phenomenal coverage costs nothing, zilch, other than your time and energy. Yet, in return you can build a massive following for your book even before it’s launched. So it makes sense – enormous sense in fact – to spend time on mastering this.

When authors do approach the media, a common mistake I see is that the press release ends up sounding like a ‘pitch-athon’ for the book. Most journalists don’t have time to read books. They may not even be interested in your book, period. But what they are interested in is you, the story of what inspired you to write your book, or the fact that you’re an expert who can comment on a similar topic that’s in the news. In other words, your book is not necessarily the reason why you will get media coverage. It does however give you a big reason to attract the media’s attention.

Another common mistake is to write the same press release for all publications. Many of SAGA Magazine’s readers are over 50 and interested in writing books – so a press release about publishing secrets works fine. However, when approaching women’s magazines or celebrity magazines, I angle my press release on more personal (rather professional) aspects of famous millionaire authors’ lives. So I look at interesting ‘trivia’ about their day-to-day lives and the sacrifices they make to write their books. This is much more in keeping with the ‘gossipy’ nature of these magazines and what their audiences like to read.

All authors can use this strategy to get publicity for books. It’s remarkably simple and you can do it in a weekend. It’s just a matter of writing a one-page press release and identifying where to send it.

In my next blog, I’ll reveal tricks for high-impact book promotion that even professional publicists are missing.


Be one of the first people to grab a copy of Celebrity Authors’ Secrets, by pre-ordering a copy right now on Amazon.

     “Anyone setting out to write a book should thank their lucky stars for Stephanie’s outstanding inspirational guide. I’m astonished by just how much insider information and personal experience the world’s top million-selling authors are prepared to share.” 

– Sue Price, Arts, Culture and Books Editor of SAGA Magazine

 

Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist: 2014

Beverly Hills Book Awards Finalist: 2014

How Authors Can Make More Money From Their Books

August 12, 2010

I went for lunch with a best-selling author this week. I took him to Malmaison in Oxford (a former prison, but now a very swish 5 star establishment).

The author has sold over 50 thousand books and is one of the leading experts in his field. He’s published 3 books with a major publisher.

He’s at the pinnacle of his literary career. So hey, he should be rolling in it. Right?

But you know what? In his own words, he’s made “chicken feed” from his books and he’s still stuck in a job he’d rather not be in.

His work leaves little or no time for his true passion, writing.

“I’m coming up to retirement,” he said. “But I’ve yet to make any real money from my books.”

50 thousand books… that’s 50 thousand readers!

But like so many authors, he has NO idea who these readers are! He has no names or addresses. No means of contacting them.So the power rests in the hands of his publishers who dictate what his publishing advance and royalties will be – which is not a lot.

So here’s the advice I gave this author: start collecting names and addresses and building a list of your readers. Start a free newsletter for them. Put an opt-in box on your website to collect names and addresses.

If possible, automate the newsletter. Use a service such as getresponse.com or aweber.com, so that you can send out emails to your subscribers at the touch of a button.

I know I keep banging on about this, but having your own database or list of readers is an absolute MUST if you’re ever going to make money as an author.

The first sale of a book is always going to be the hardest. The second – to a converted ‘fan’ – is so much easier.

Millionaire authors know that ‘the money is in the list’. They never waste an opportunity to promote themselves or build their relationship with their readers by writing blogs, newsletters or ezines.

This means they collect names and addresses when they give talks or lectures. When they give radio or TV interviews, they use it as an excuse to mention their websites. They use the spare pages at the back of their books to advertise their ezines.

The big money is rarely in book sales. It’s in higher-priced products and services that are linked to the book.

Know who your readers are… Get to know them, understand them, build a relationship with them.

The majority of authors don’t know who their readers are… don’t make the same mistake.

Writers – Don’t Do It!!!

September 2, 2009

I just HAD to write this blog as it concerns a publishing ruse all writers should be aware of.

I certainly wasn’t aware of this before now… so I’m sure it will catch some of you by surprise too.

I have to say that I nearly fell off my chair when I heard about it.

A first-time novelist has just sent their book to what they thought was a publishing house.  The publisher told them their book wasn’t of a high enough standard for their list. However,  it was suitable for self-publishing with their sister company… At a cost of… drum roll… £10K for just over 100 books.

£10K folks! Are they mad? Do they really think writers will fall for this ruse. Obviously not all that mad, because the writer who told me about this was considering paying this sum.

Please, please, please do your research before considering anything so drastic.  Most publishing houses are charging in the region of £2.5K per 1000 books. That’s around £2.50 per book. If you want a smaller print run, then you’ll be paying even less.

It’s easy to feel disheartened and crushed when you’ve had one too many rejections. Yes, you can feel like you’re never going to reach your goal. But there really is no need to go reaching for your credit card when you’re offered a ‘solution’ that costs £10K. This just reeks to me of manipulation.

If you’re having no luck getting your book published, then learn about marketing, get a mentor, rewrite your book, have someone check over your pitch.  Look at independent publishing houses or take a SERIOUS look at self-publishing.

Self-publishing is NOT – most definitely not a ‘second best’ these days. For someone of an entrepreneurial mindset, it can actually be a better option than a mainstream publisher.

But NOT when you are paying £10K for a handful of books. That is vanity publishing not self-publishing. You and your book deserve far better than this.