LESSON #1: TEACHING THE NIGERIAN AUTHOR “LEVERAGE”

leverageMondays are the most hated days of the week for most people for so many reasons, and very few people get excited at the thought of a blissful Monday morning but imagine for a minute if you were to receive some huge some of many on a particular Monday, you probably would look forward to it with much eagerness, so the Monday syndrome is all in your mind. Speaking about project I have a little project I have been working on which for some reason I have not told you about but I’ll talk about it today in bits and pieces and drop a few hints of it in future posts as well.

Mr. Jonathan Okanlawon, a very good friend of mine just released a new book, The Lasgidi Entrepreneur and he outsourced the promotion of the book to Penvoices. Penvoices is an initiative a friend of mine and I launched to help Nigeria writers get their books in the hand of readers not just within Nigeria but around the world.

This is huge!

Last week I spoke about the 3 stages your book must go through to guaranty it a chance of success, and I’m not just talking the talk but I’m walking it as well.

So, with The Lasgidi Entrepreneur, we’re currently walking through the Pre-Launch stage and we’re not going the traditional method where we have to print the book just yet, but we’re applying leverage in our campaign and in everything you’re attempting to do today it’s very important you use leverage, and the best place to get the leverage you need is on the internet because it saves you time, money and sweat.

I often tell people that you can’t claim to be an expert in something and not write a book, and most people agree with me on that but rarely do anything about it, which gets me wondering attimes. So I’m going to kick off with a writer’s workshop where I’ll attempt to rescue a few people from procrastination and get them to write a book ( it’s not going to be free).

For the Pre-launch stage, a couple of folks have mastered how to do it right, in terms of getting their books into the hands of readers but their methods is not duplicable because pocket sizes vary.

Let’s look at it this way, most writers spend so much time in solitude tapping inspiration for their book and as soon as it is finished they find out the publishing houses aren’t interested in unknown names, so what do they do?

They resort to self-publishing, where they head to shomolu and print the books for themselves hoping it sells, and in the long run many of them end of handing out free copies to friends and families hoping to get attention one way or the other.

I find the strategy fascinating, of course it leaves a question in my mind and that is; how do they (writers) intend on recouping the funds spent already?

This is where leverage comes in, and the sooner you learn how to leverage you will not only cut down on your cost but you will also reach more readers. Next I will teach you how you can cut the cost of your pre-launch and increase your chances of better returns on your book.

Stay tuned.

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THE 3 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL BOOK LAUNCH

All new books go through one form of book launch or the other where you begin to sensitize the public and potential readers to grab a copy of the book as quickly as they can and when such launches are done well they could yield massive returns. For renowned authors this is the sweetest part because they already have the clout and people always look forward to them, at this point you can say they have earned the midas touch which is the power to command attention to their work anytime. A perfect example would be with Chinua Achebe, his last book; There was a Country would have sold a lot of copies not just because of its controversial message but because of the Chinua Achebe himself.

There are 3 stages to keep in mind when launching a book regardless of the category the book falls in, and these are:

  • Pre-launch stage
  • Launch stage
  • Post launch stage

A clear understanding of these stages will guaranty a good book a better chance of reception amongst readers. However, even average books do better in terms of sales than some good books because the writer understand these 3 stages and follows through on them. Let’s look at it this way; there are millions of books out there competing for the readers’ attention and a consumer is always making decisions based on so many factors that you the writer may not have even considered. So diligently following through on the 3 stages of book launches will help tackle majority of the objections that may arise in a readers mind at decision making stage. I didn’t say it will eliminate it but it will deal with it to a fair extent. Now, let’s talk about the 3 stages involved in launching your book.

PRE-LAUNCH STAGE

This is the orientation stage or the preparatory stage. At this stage the book is not available for purchase yet (but people could pre-order the book at this stage), but you are engaging your potential readers/buyers about the book, why you wrote the book and why they should have it. This stage is very important in every book launch and the sole purpose is to point readers to the Launch date in the near future and if done well could yield better returns.

LAUNCH STAGE

This is the d-day when the book is open for purchase to the public. This is the next stage of interaction with the readers, where some might request autographs and pctures with the writer. It is important that this stage is actually dependent on how well the pre-launch was carried out and sets the stage for the post launch.

POST-LAUNCH STAGE

The Post- launch stage is the final stage where you reap the rewards for a job well done in the previous stages of your book launch. …

I guess you get the whole idea of launching your book and although it’s not so easy as it may sound or look I can guaranty you that its worth every bit of your resources invested in it. Next I’m going to share with you a simple strategy how you can launch your book leveraging the internet.

 

 

 

10 KEY STRATEGIES TO WRITE A SELF-HELP BOOK READERS LOVE AND SHARE

I’m feeling extremely generous today so I’m going to do something out-of-the-box. I’m going to share with you the secret strategy to creating a killer book and it’s a strategy that is being used by almost all experts out there, the likes of Robert Kiyosaki, Stephen Covey, and Brendon Burchard etc. No doubt if you’re an avid reader you must have stumbled across it several times but you never took note of it but today you are going to learn it, and what is most important is that I want you to put it to use and see how it goes.

What most aspiring writers don’t understand is that there actually is a strategy in writing a book especially self-help books. It’s okay to vent out your thoughts but understanding the strategy I’m about to share with you will give you more insight into how to properly structure your book so your reader can get the crisp of what your book is trying to say as well as remember it and out it to use.

Have you noticed there are books which after you’ve read them you can vividly tell what its really about?

Well, I have encountered such an experience and it’s not that the writer isn’t grounded on the subject matter but they muddled up the core of the information they are trying to pass across to the reader.

It’s okay to be flexible and creative but a book needs some fundamental structure.

So in writing your book here is a basic structure you can adapt to in your book creation process:

  • The Promise
  • The Result
  • The Problem
  • Testimonial
  • The Struggle
  • The Success
  • The Myth
  • The Solution
  • The Orientation
  • The Call to Action

THE PROMISE

This is where you get upfront with your readers about what they are going to get from reading your book, in other words its much like giving them a heads up on what they should expect and why they should keep reading the book. If your book is enhancing relationships you have to communicate to the readers the benefits of sticking through the book.

THE RESULT

This is the part where you lay out all the results they would achieve if they read your book thoroughly and implement or apply what you’re about to share with them. People want an assurance so this is where you guaranty them of your promise.

THE PROBLEM

This is where you talk about the problem people that aren’t using what you’re about to share with them in your book face as well as the common objections and obstacles. This is the part where you also prepare them for the problems they will face as they try to implement what you’ve shared.

THE TESTIMONIAL

This is where you share stories of people that have implemented the information you are about to share in your book and how it worked for them. By doing this you’re literally telling your readers that it works and it could work for them if they give it a try.

THE STRUGGLE

This is where you share your own personal story as a student, your past struggles before you discovered this information. This helps you connect with them, and lets them know that you’re as human as they are.

THE SUCCESS

This is where you talk about the success you encountered once you figured out the secret that you’re about to share with them. This is the turnaround moment you experienced once you found out the secret and it could be your story or someone else’s story.

THE MYTH

The myth encompasses the limiting beliefs people have held on to with respect to the subject matter and this is where you openly address them.

THE SOLUTION

This is the bulk of your book and this is where you really share the bulk of the information, this contains about 60% of your content and you’re open with your readers on the secret you discovered that works.

THE ORIENTATION

This is where you begin to prepare them for what you really want them to do, to take the necessary action needed for them to achieve the success you want them to experience.

THE CALL TO ACTION

This is the last part of the book and this is where you ask of them to make a particular move towards their goal. It is advisable you make one call to action so they can easily make a move.

So go ahead, start writing. Be creative, flexible and find a structure that works for you.

TRUE OR FALSE?

honeyjarA good book is like a jar of honey that leaves behind the lingering taste of a rare kind of rich sweetness in your mouth after the first taste and lures you further for another dip, and yes you could get addicted to it till you hit the last page. But not many writers in Nigeria have experienced the kind of experience needed to leave that right amount of refreshing taste in the mind of readers and therefore they bring more reproach on the idea of picking up a book to read. Beyond text and vague imaginations of what the author is trying to pass across there is an underlying emotion in a good book that makes you sink further into the sofa and get lost in every page.

The rules have changed and will continue to change as long as writers exist, and to write a timeless classic will demand a unique trend of thought.

So just what does it take for a writer to attain the zenith of creative imagination that hooks the reader from the first page?

I don’t know. But here’s an experience:

A couple of years ago while on an Emirate flight (whether heading inside or outside Nigeria I cannot vividly tell), I was happened to have seen a little blue book on my seat. It was a book by Dr. Seuss and it was titled: Oh, the thinks you can think. It was a book of no more than 23 pages and it was for kids but it so happened that I had no kids on my seat during the course of that flight so I flipped through the book and I fell in love with it.

I didn’t know who Dr. Seuss is nor had I googled his name to see what he looked like but the simple book connected with the child in me as well as the adult.

Long story short.

For reasons beyond my comprehension I took that book and have read it over and over again as a matter of fact I’m staring at it right now on my table as I’m writing this post.

What am I trying to tell you?

Oh, the thinks you can think is a book that was first published in 1968 but yet it has the smirk of a timeless classic that would intrigue and engage not just the young but the old as well by firing up your imagination to actually think.

Speaking about that big jar of honey, we all have a chance at it but time and experiences will mature the words that swirl up within us so when we eventually pen them down they will be timely, fitting and inspiring to all.

To conclude this post I wish to introduce to you the Penvoices initiative that will soon be launched, the idea behind it is to teach writers the benefits of leveraging amazon,ibooks, barnes and noble etc. in complementing your efforts in marketing your books and wisdom.

Oh! Before I forget, Dr. Seuss is actually a pseudonym or pen name for Theodor Seuss Geisel, you probably would have read several of his books under other pen names without even knowing it’s the same guy…google it for yourself.

ciao

HOW TO CREATE A SELF-HOSTED BLOG TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK AND BRAND YOURSELF Pt.2

WRITING A BOOKI have to admit that I have missed posting here…and I do apologize the break as I had very pressing matters to deal with. I had to travel to Owerri to represent my company at a Conference and thankfully I’m now back. Apart from the Ebola scare in the state, Owerri is a very simple and quiet place to slip away to and enjoy a good vacation (of course after the Ebola threat has been fully eradicated). However, the Conference ground was Ebola-free as every participant was scanned before entering the hall.

Enough Ebola talk for now…

So where was I before I absconded without giving you a notice?…Aaah! yes we were talking about setting up a self-hosted wordpress blog and from the feedback I got I think you get the idea behind launching one.

I know there is a tendency for you to think setting up a wordpress blog is complicated but quite frankly it isn’t and once you get the hang of it, you can create another stream of income for yourself. I personally charge N15,000 for setting up a self-hosted wordpress blog for my customers and you can do the same if not more.

Imagine N15,000 passive income coming to you every month…that could make a lot of difference  right?

Now, I’m heading somewhere with all this post I’m reeling out and I want you to stay with me because you’ll learn how to write a book as well as create products that you can sell to customers and also you can learn how to promote these products.

So for now flip through the second part of creating a self-hosted blog to promote your books and brand yourself.

KINDLY FIND PRESENTATION BELOW

HOW TO CREATE A SELF HOSTED BLOG TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK AND BRAND YOURSELF Pt.1

jonathan ebookIts an amazing Monday for Mr. J. Okanlawon, whose book, The Lasgidi Entrepreneur went up on amazon.com today. Congratulations Mr. Okanlawon. I basically saw him through the whole writing process and I’m overjoyed myself that the toils are paying off. Next we’ll focus on the promotion of the book and seek out more ways to get the book into the hands of the more readers by leveraging the power of the internet.

To the Nigerian author, more than ever before its time to take your writing to the marketplace without fear of rejection in a more professional way, and find more ways to promote your book and brand yourself.

Last week I spoke a bit on promoting your book and branding yourself with free blogs, but now I want to focus on the self-hosted blogs which allows you to be more flexible and portrays you as a professional. In today’s PowerPoint presentation I began the beginning stage of getting a self-hosted blog and that is getting a domain name.

Getting a domain name is the first step, and the right name for your blog is important not just as a writer but also as a professional. Where the free platforms functionalities end, your freedom begins as a professional Nigerian writer with a self-hosted blog.

When asked for your blogsite, you can simply reply proudly.

  • Only Choose Dot-Com Available Domains
  • Make it Easy to Type
  • Make it Easy to Remember
  • Keep the Name as Short as Possible
  • Reject Hyphens and Numbers
  • Don’t Follow the Latest Trends

Give it a try and you’ll stand out from the crowd with your work.

KINDLY FIND PRESENTATION BELOW

 

HOW TO SET-UP A FREE BLOG USING WORDPRESS TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK AND BRAND YOURSELF

wordpressIt goes without much controversy that women are good at multitasking while men suck at it no matter how hard they try. I honestly confess that I’m a victim of trying so very hard to multitask as good as many ladies do but I fall short every time so I give up…probably if I ever learnt how to do it this post would have been up on Monday but it didn’t work out.

As you already know I have become an evangelist of using a blog to promote your books and your writing and that’s why I posting this powerpoint so you can give it a try.

Truth be told, no matter how simple you make things not everyone is going to act…just the irony of life. So I’m going to fool myself that you want to promote your books, your writing or your skills and brand yourself otherwise….(I’ll just smile and say you’re one of the wanna-bes).

I have ranted and raved about the why- and what- of actually starting a blog so I’m not going to bore you with that just get to the bottom of this post smile at yourself and do nothing…YES, DO NOTHING.

You’ll probably read this, slide through it and do nothing because you’re part of the 99% of the world’s population that cry and wail about the economy, your finances and sit tight hoping the government will remember you and wire some money to you.

Blah blah blah…

Anyway before I run away before I get stoned or burnt at the stake for sounding like a heretic I really want you to know that what I’m sharing with you in this powerpoint presentation is something I have tried and I know that it works otherwise I won’t be recommending it.

In church, they always say don’t preach what you can’t live…and I’m no hypocrite.

Here’s my 2 pence thought…I have tried both blogger and wordpress, and I love wordpress (still do).

Flip through ‘em, read through ‘em, use ‘em, share ‘em….the ball is in your court.

KINDLY FIND PRESENTATION BELOW

HOW TO SET-UP A FREE BLOG USING BLOGGER TO PROMOTE YOUR BOOK AND BRAND YOURSELF

BLOGGERFinally, it’s Friday and we all can’t just wait to get this weekend started…at least I can’t wait. For the past days I have been talking about how you can leverage technology and harness its power to advantage. My focus has always been to veteran, aspiring  and of course the wanna-be writer.

So to sign off for the weekend I created a power point presentation demonstrating how you can create a blog account on blogger.com and start promoting yourself.

I know a lot of authors who are struggling to give their books the exposure it deserves and I intentionally did this presentation for them because it hurts me to see them trying to do go the traditional way when there are better and more effective ways of spreading word about their books.

This presentation is downloadable and you can go through it as often as you want, and just incase you have difficulties or any questions feel free to send me an email at zion@entrepreneurhunt.com and I’ll be sure to get back to you.

Next we’ll also be talking about creating a free blog account on the wordpress platform, and next about how you can actually get a self-hosted blog that allows you more flexibility and a better professional look.

Until then, have a great weekend.

KINDLY FIND PRESENTATION BELOW

Introduction to Blog Set-up for the Nigerian Author/Writer

blog tinsYesterday, I spoke about why I think the Nigerian writer/author needs a blog and recently I found a blogger friend of mine, who is also preaching the same gospel to lawyers who want to take their practice to the next level and reach more clients with their service. The reason for talking about this is because it cuts across industries and is not stopping anytime soon. But before we get started let me remind you of the 4 basic reasons behind why you should get a blog in the first place.

  • Authority: Blogging helps to position you as an authority in the chosen field. When you continuously offer value to your readers by what you blog or write on concerning specific topics, the people who follow your blog will begin to see you as an authority in that area.
  • Branding: With a blog you get to brand yourself, putting yourself out there for so many people to see and get to know you. You stand the chance of becoming a well-known writer, or author, without advertising.
  • Outreach: A blog gives you a wider range of people to meet and interact with. Your blog tells people about you and helps you pass out all the information you want to share with them about your ideas, what you can do, and what you are offering the society.
  • Archiving: With a blog you get the benefit of being able to archive your resources, articles you have written or materials you would like to keep safe. The web or internet can be used as storage for all your notes, materials and resources, in case of fire, theft, etc.

Setting up a blog is really easy and I will be taking you through the process step by step. We will be going through a series of posts which will deal with blogs and their set ups and how you can take advantage of them

There are two types of blogs:

» Free blogs

» Self-hosted blogs

» Free Blogs: These are blogs you don’t have to pay anything to use. They are on platforms that are already owned and managed by companies or individuals (eg, blogger.com owned by Google and wordpress.com).

Some of the disadvantages to using these blogs are:

» You do not own your domain for example your blog will be named www.yourname.thenameotheplatform.com, which can be a little clumsy if the name is rather long.

» You do not get the privilege to choose from a variety of themes and templates. Your choice is limited to what is on the platform.

» The blog is not your own, therefore you have no control over it, because your blog is hosted on another site. If the owners of the site feel your blog does not fit with their policies, they can very easily terminate it.

Self-Hosted Blogs: Are blogs owned by the individual who purchased it, which means to have these type of blog you have to pay to acquire the domain name and also to get it hosted.

» With this kind of blog you are in control, and it gives you a more professional look. This is really good for people who want to blog long-term.

» You get access to a much larger variety of themes and templates which you can use to beautify your blog.

» There are no restrictions as to what you can do on your blog. So in my opinion, it is wiser to get the self-hosted blog.

Why the Nigerian Author/Writer needs a blog

recommended_blogThe sacred truth that writers are men/women of thought cannot be overemphasized, and a man/woman of thought is without doubt a man/woman of words which is very powerful. Since the beginning of time words have created things, toppled kingdoms and built empires and with technological advancement on the rise there are better means that Nigerian writers can leverage in spreading word about their work and getting people to read them and over the next couple of days I will be talking about how you can set up your very own blog to share your ideas and get people to know you.

Why the Nigerian writers need blogs?

I have browsed online for best-selling authors around the world and have come across some astounding writers and their work. I even went a step further in subscribing to their list to constantly get updates from them. It’s rather unfortunate that when we think about writers in Nigeria who have written books we were rarely find blogs or website devoted to promoting their books or ideas but just a link to their facebook page or a group they are in where they posts things once in a very blue moon. I many times wonder how they intend on standing out that way.

So here’s my recommendation for every Nigerian writer or author, and it’s very simple…get a blog.

What is a blog?

Remember back in the days when people kept diaries, where they wrote personal stuffs about themselves, how their day fared, or their feelings towards someone or something and always kept it secret. A blog is quite similar to that, the only difference is that its online, and you can choose to make it either private or public.

There are several definitions attached to blogs, and here are a couple;

  • A blog is a website on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.
  • According to wikipedia, a blog is a discussional or informational site published on the World Wide Web and consisting of discrete entries(“post”) typically displayed in reverse sequential order( the most recent post appears first)

So lets make it very simple, and this is my own definition…hope you like it.

“A blog is an online diary where you can post information, pictures, videos and is updated daily or weekly or however you so choose to.”

P.S.: A blogger is a person who owns and runs a blog.

A blog allows you to publicize yourself or a product or service you offer or just basically express yourself. So many people have made substantial incomes for themselves by owning and running successful blogs…a little extra income wouldn’t hurt.

Setting up a blog is a worthwhile investment for your writing career and should be taken seriously especially if you’ve written a number of books. It’s the perfect platform you can share the inspiration behind a particular story or poem and sensitize people reading appetite till they eventually order your book.

Moreover a blog compliments your self-publishing efforts and can be the perfect marketing or promotional platform for your book and therefore shouldn’t be overlooked.

Writers write, and readers read and blogging helps you engage more readers not just in your locality but around the world, even to places where you can never get to your blog can get you there and with the advent of several social media platforms the experience is magical.

The sole purpose of getting you to brand yourself online as a writer and in doing so there are a couple of things you may need to consider, and first among them is the name of your blog. When I mean name I mean what a visitor will have to type to get to our blog. Here’s an example:

Mr. Tunji Ayodeji is a writer who has written several books, one of which is Green lily. Now if he were opening a blog he could use his name or the name of his book ( www.tunjiayodeji.com or www.greenlily.com) but the former would be more preferable since there is a chance he might write more books and may want to use the same platform to publicize his books. So in making reference to his work people could search him out on facebook and check out his blog and learn more about him and possibly purchase a book.

This concept I’m sharing is really not new but is being used around the world by existing writers but rarely implemented by Nigerian authors for reasons beyond my comprehension.

In my next post I’ll be sharing how you can set up your own personal blog and start promoting your books.