headphones on desk

Turn Your Book Into a Podcast

Did you know that you can increase your reach and create top of mind awareness for your book and blog by creating a podcast?

More reach means the potential for more book sales, blog visits and exposure for your business.  Podcasting is an excellent platform you can use to get your stories in front of more people and gain credibility as a writer.

Once you’ve set up the structure or bones of your podcast, all you need to do is learn how to set up a recording studio, record your voice, edit the audio file and upload your podcast to iTunes. When you move past the initial learning curve, podcasting is a breeze. And while podcasting isn’t for everyone, those who are willing to create quality content and make a commitment to show up can attract a responsive and supportive following.

Podcasting is an excellent platform to get your stories in front of more people and gain credibility as a writer. Click To Tweet

The good news is that you can easily repurpose the chapters of your book and blog posts for your podcast. You can generate interest in your book or blog by recording each post or portions of each chapter. You can reinforce interest with a call to action at the end of each podcast (a short audio bumper) giving thanks and inviting listeners to visit your website for a free gift. Every invitation is an opportunity to grow your list.

Podcasting allows you to serve up useful and supportive information with your unique voice. An added bonus is you will remain in front of your listeners — who are potential customers — on a regular basis.

I began podcasting in 2008 by recording my blog posts. This was a great way for me to see if I enjoyed podcasting, plus I always had content to record. I was committed to writing a blog post each week, which made it easy to commit to recording a podcast as well. My freshman podcasting experience fostered the birth of Anxiety Slayer in late 2009. Since then, the Anxiety Slayer podcast has several thousand downloads each week, over 5 million downloads since our debut, and a huge subscriber base.

Podcasting has helped me gain credibility as an author and coach, grow my following and sell a lot more digital products. Plus, it is a lot of fun!

More on repurposing your writing…

After I finished writing my first book, Life On Your Terms, I decided I wanted to create a home study program called Life On Your Terms Accelerator series. Extrapolating the workbooks from the manuscript was simple because I had already written actionable exercises to
promote interaction with my readers. Then I took things one step further and recorded all of the individual workbooks. When I was finished, my new offering included my book, 10 workbooks, and 10 MP3 audios that could be edited and repurposed for podcasts. Can you see how you might be able to do something similar?

Creating a podcast can also bring new life to an older manuscript. Click To Tweet

Creating a podcast can also bring new life to an older manuscript. If you’ve already written a book and you’ve moved on to new material, chances are your first book isn’t getting as much attention as it once was. What if you were to bring that book back to life by recording a podcast series? In the information age, we all know that content is QUEEN and the more ways you can creatively repurpose your valuable content the better.

How does podcasting create more interest in your book or blog?

  • You create an additional delivery platform
  • You build a relationship with your listeners
  • You regularly invite listeners to your blog or website for a free gift or special offer
  • You gain credibility by having a podcast on iTunes

How to structure your first three podcasts

  • Podcast Number One: An introduction or kick-off interview to let listeners know who you are and why you created the podcast along with what they can expect when they listen in. This is the perfect time to introduce your book or blog.
  • Podcast Number Two: A portion of the first chapter of your book or the blog post you want to begin with. You can use the material you’ve already written or you can summarize the subject of a chapter, article or blog post and share whatever it is that you want to teach that day.
  • Podcast Number Three: Summarize the prior podcast and continue the story or this may be the perfect time to introduce the next chapter, blog post or interview.

Creating and maintaining a podcast is one of the most effective ways to reach more people, grow your list, and sell more books: simply by repurposing your content.

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Shann Vander Leek is known to her community as a Transformation Goddess, Teacher, Producer, Voice Talent, and Author. Please leave her a comment and visit her website.

Maintaining Motivation

Maintaining motivation over the course of any large project or goal can be challenging, and that can be especially true when you are writing. As the author of three books and the co-author of half a dozen more, I know that I’ve had to be really focused on the outcome. I’ve had to utilize all my “keep it going” tricks to get the project done. In case this has been a stumbling block for you, I wanted to share a few of my strategies that helped me see things through to completion.

Maintaining motivation over the course of any large project can be challenging, Click To Tweet

Focus on the End Goal Strengthens Motivation

The first book that I wrote was entitled Marketing Ideas for the Wild at Heart and I wrote it because I had customers who wanted to buy a book from me and I didn’t have one!

Here’s what happened. After earning the top title in my direct sales company’s compensation plan I was asked to speak at events all over the United States. I wasn’t earning very much speaking at events, and it was taking time away from my own business and my family. I wondered whether I could earn money speaking, so I joined the National Speakers’ Association (NSA). There I  earned professional status by doing 25 paid speeches within a year. As part of my membership, I was able to network with other speakers and attend local meetings.

Earning from the Back of the Room

It was there that I found out that speakers earn much of their income from “back of room” sales: books they have authored or co-authored. So, I decided to write a book. That first book ended up selling about 4,000 copies over the next several years. Because I self-published the book, I earned enough on each sale that I achieved my end goal. Speaking became profitable for my business. Figure out what your end goal is and work toward that fuels the motivation to continue.

When I was stuck during the writing and publishing process, I focused on my goal of making speaking profitable.

Be the Reader

All the books I have authored have been instructional in nature, so it has been vital that I put myself in the reader’s shoes. I imagine the same thinking would work for fiction as well. The reader is our customer and for them to “get it” is the goal of our writing. Whenever I got stuck, I imagined the reader. I took my motivation from her. I saw her taking the ideas, working them and being successful. I imagined that examples in my book helped the reader take their business to a higher level.

Knowing that my book might help another direct seller earn more money made it easier to keep going. Someone could more easily feed their family or pay their mortgage or allow them to send their children to a better school. It is likely that what you write, whether non-fiction or fiction, will make someone’s life better. If you are a fiction writer, you help the reader escape or bring them joy or provide a thrill. Your contribution makes a difference. “I have a book inside me and it’s not right to keep it there,” I would say to myself. I believe that taking full responsibility for our lives means using all of our gifts — including writing.

The reader is our customer and for them to “get it” is the goal of our writing. Click To Tweet

Feed Your Inspiration

I find that I can be a better writer when I seek out things that inspire me. Listening to music is one of my motivation go-to’s.  I have a long playlist downloaded on my phone that I can tap in to. My current musical obsession is the soundtrack to the movie “The Greatest Showman.” I like to start my day listening to it in the shower and singing along.

I also find it inspirational to travel and do things out of my ordinary routine. For example, I am writing this article from a hotel room located just 18 miles from my house! My daughter and her friend are attending a local ComicCon, so I decided to get a room for the night. I chose this option so they can have a place to take breaks and change outfits — and I can stay in the room and write.

Even though it is only 18 miles from home, I don’t have the same distractions: no household chores waiting or someone calling or coming to the door. I can concentrate on my writing while looking out the 12th-floor window at the city below.

The girls and I had room service together this morning before they left for the event: it was special because I have worked hard and earned the right. That feeling of accomplishment is inspirational, too.

Focus on the end goal, be the reader and feed your inspiration. I hope these thoughts will help you see that project through to completion.

 

Focus on the end goal, be the reader and feed your inspiration. Click To Tweet

 

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Do I Need a Copyright?

This is a question most writers ask, whether for a short story, a poem, screen play, blog or novel. What if someone tries to use as their own the product you have just poured your skill, heart and soul into? Do you need copyright protection?

At a recent Writers by the Sea meeting in Fernandina Beach, visual artist and attorney Deborah Reid provided an overview of things writers commonly need to know about copyright. From the moment you create the work, it is your intellectual property, she said. You own it. Should someone try to claim it, you have rights. Infringement on copyright is the same as theft.

If you need to take legal measures, however, you will have extra protection if you have gone through the registration process via the U.S. Copyright Office, part of the Library of Congress. You can do it online, but Reid warns there are many copycats out there who will gladly take your money for nothing in return. Be sure you are on the right website, ending in “dot gov” as in https://www.copyright.gov. Use form TX for written works. Your date of registration is the date you register, but your submission also will include the date of creation for the work.

Copyright for your work continues for your lifetime plus 75 years, and then the work becomes available in the public domain. U.S. Government documents are almost always public domain, because they are created using tax dollars. For most other items, anything created prior to 1923 is in public domain and free to use. However, be sure to do your homework before using artwork, photography or other items, particularly on commercial items, those things you are intending to sell.

Joint projects. If you have two or more contributors to a project, there would be joint ownership of copyright. In other words, you can do whatever you want to with the work, but so can the other owners. If you want more control over who can do what with the work and under what circumstances, and who gets paid, etc., each person will need to sign a written agreement in advance of the copyright date.

A compilation, such as a poetry anthology, requires the publisher of the work to secure a license from each person who contributes a copyrightable work. Each story or poem would be considered a distinct original creation.

Works for hire relates to a person who contributes work that is within the defined scope of his or her employment. The person is paid for his/her time, but the business owns copyright. Still, you should get a signed agreement, and those employees have an “assignment” to do for your project that you copyright.

A few more notes of interest:

You can’t copyright

  • Titles, slogans or mottos; these must be registered as trademarks
  • Methods, procedures, systems (patent)
  • Utilitarian objects like a chair, or clothing
  • Plots, themes
  • Public domain items (works created prior to 1923)
  • Fonts, facts

 

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Never Made the Oprah Show

She laughed at me

Several years back, at a publishing conference, I had an opportunity to speak with some industry veterans.  One was gracious enough to take a quick look at the marketing plan I was working on. I was encouraged… until she laughed. My inner critic went a little bit nuts. I wanted to crawl under some furniture or run from the room.

Fortunately, she noticed and said, “I like you. You may be the only author in America whose plan does not include the words ‘Get on Oprah’s show.'”

[Tweet “You may be the only author in America who’s not trying to get on an Oprah show.”]

I know why so many people wanted to do that: marketing an indie book can be h*ll on wheels. Granted, some of this is as a result of self-inflicted wounds caused by lack of feedback from beta readers, editing, and proofreading. But even excellent work has a hard time getting through the avalanche of media and promotional material readers see every single day.

My Inner Critic is up to no good

Personally? I need to take a closer look at the role of my inner critic in all of this. While I’m able to harness her powerful warnings to complete writing projects, she’s still pretty shrieky when it comes to self-promotion. (“Get your ego in check!” “It’s not polite to talk about yourself.”) She has gotten a little sneakier and has a New Age-y approach as well: “Stop bothering people. If they’re meant to find you, they will.”

Thank goodness for readers and other writers who help share about our books, our blogs, our events and our news. You are truly a gift.

[Tweet “Thank goodness for readers and other authors who share.”]

And, if you’d like to be part of that giant online support group but don’t know where to start? Here are two small actions that are a huge help.

Reviews. Especially on Amazon and GoodReads. They don’t have to be long to be meaningful. “The author presents helpful information with a light touch.” Or, “I found the story captivating.” Expert tip: If you are personally acquainted with the author please don’t mention that in your review. It’s a red flag for “fake review” and could cause problems for the author. BIG problems. Also, if you’re a relative… especially one with the same name? DON’T POST A REVIEW. (See previous example.)

Facebook page likes and engagement. Have you ever seen the “invite friends to like page” feature on the right-hand side of your computer screen? If you “like” an author (or any page) your friends are more likely to follow suit — if you ask them to. And once on a page? Participate. Comment on and share posts.

You rock. We love you

Genuine interaction helps get attention for our work, keeps authors motivated, and lets the inner critic of self-promotion know it’s OK to go somewhere and take a nap!

What’s your favorite way to help amplify an author’s message? (Please share in the comments section. Every little bit helps!)

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Still struggling with your Inner Critic? Click to download 3 Reasons to Stop Fighting Your Inner Critic and find out what about something you can do instead.

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Story With the inFRINGEment on Top?

Story With the inFRINGEment on Top?

Sorry. Couldn’t resist the awful pun. (For those of you who are unfamiliar with classic musical theatre — we’ll let you stay. And this title refers to the song Surrey with the Fringe on top from Oklahoma.) But we digress.

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In Do I Need a Copyright? we talked about some of the basic definitions. In this post, we take a look at some other definitions and resources for members who want more information.

Infringement. If you feel someone has infringed on your work, in other words, has used it and claimed it as their own work, it is treated the same as theft. If the theft can be established in court, the court can award damages and attorney fees.

Fair use. This can be tricky. As a journalist, I can quote a person or a creative work in an article, news story or review. But if I do so in a commercial work such as a book or screenplay, it might be infringement. Fair use depends upon the purpose and character of use and the effect on the market for the original work. In Reid’s example, when Woody Allen was charged with infringement on the work of William Faulkner (Midnight in Paris vs. Requiem for a Nun) the court’s decision was that Faulkner’s work was “transformed” enough so that it became original in Woody Allen’s. The key, Reid said, is that it is “transformative.”

A picture of another work. If you take a photograph or screen shot of an artist’s painting or any creative work, the work is still not yours. It is considered a “derivative work” of the original and is protected under copyright.

Libel in fiction. If you write about a living person, it is not libel unless you make a  “false and defamatory statement of fact ” about an identifiable living person or business entity. And you can’t libel a deceased person, but you can run into trouble if your story reflects badly on a living relative of that person.

Name brands in fiction. As long as you do not show or write about real brands in a way that reflects badly on the companies who manufacture them, you are probably okay because it is like free advertising for the brand.

Song lyrics in fiction. This is considered particularly risky because music producers and distributors can be very aggressive about protecting rights. Your work may be seen as an infringement or a derivative. You can use lyrics in the public domain, or contact the publisher for permission. You can find the name and contact information for the music publisher by looking at the sheet music for the song.

Here are two great websites that have additional, valuable copyright information for authors:

 

Mark Fowler

http://www.rightsofwriters.com/2010/12/can-i-mention-brand-name-products-in-my.html  

 

 

Helen Sedwick

How to Use Lyrics Without Paying a Fortune or a Lawyer