As a journalist, I learned a very important lesson: I couldn’t write a story if I hadn’t done the research. By ‘the research’ I mean that I had to do enough research to be sure of what I wanted to say. I might have a topic, like marketing to men. I’d start interviewing people on this topic, and gradually, the story would become clear. It might be that men are often overlooked by marketers, or that it’s pointless marketing to men because women do most of the buying. I had to keep on asking questions, checking out assumptions, until I was sure.
Author Archives for kathwalters
With 16 years experience as an editor and senior journalist in the mainstream press, I have an established track record for creating great content -- stories, links, tweets, blogs -- quickly and efficiently across a wide range of industry sectors. I am an editor, journalist and content marketer.
Contact me to find out more: 0425 040 020
Reading a book should be like floating gently down a river towards an ocean of possibilities. To keep our reader receptive to our ideas, we want them to be ‘in the zone’, effortlessly connecting with what we say, and gliding from one idea to the next.
One of the most common questions I am asked by my clients is, ‘How do I get a book deal?’ or, ‘How can I get ‘traditional publishers’ to publish my book?’ Since I began my 90 Day Book program, I have helped a couple of authors to get global publishing deals with a traditional publishing house, which is pretty amazing since I’m an advocate of indie authors – the self-publishing model.
“The road to hell is paved with adverbs”, says the great American writer, Stephen King. I agree. Adverbs are so seductive. They are the sirens of the writer’s world, singing an irresistible melody to lure us onto the rocks and shipwreck our writing. Or, more simply, adverbs undermine the authority of your writing.
It pains me to say this, but some people should not write a business book – or not yet. For some people, now is not the time, and they are best to keep their money in their pocket. How can you tell if you should write and self-publish a book, or should delay or never write a book? You might be surprised by my answers. If some or all of the qualities below sound like you, don’t write a book. You may waste your time and money, and may harm your personal brand. The qualities that make for bad books (but not bad people) follow.
I used to have a secret desire to become a Great Australian Novelist, a desire that led me to study Professional Writing and Editing at (what is now) Deakin University. I got good marks for my first – and last – short story, but my teacher pointed out the number of times I used the word ‘it’. It, it’s, thing, anything, something and everything are imprecise words. Today, as I edit my clients’ words, I am ruthless with the word ‘thing’ and pretty tough on ‘it’. I replace ‘thing’ or ‘it’ with words that more exactly describe what the author intended. And, if I cannot guess, I send their manuscript back to ask for clarification.
If you are a business book author today, you face two big problems. The first is that you have lost the first-mover advantage. Great books -- including those that are self-published -- appear daily. Competition and quality is on the way up. The second big challenge is making writing your book fun. Professional writers have always faced that challenge. No-one sticks to a career that isn't fun. And if you are no good, your career won't stick to you. Use these three tips to beat your competition and have more fun writing.
When you decide to write a book, you face one significant barrier: no-one likes being told what to do or think. In fact, the harder someone tries to convince me of anything, the harder I resist, and the more sceptical I become. I might even fling a book onto the couch with a bit of righteous anger, exclaiming, ‘How stupid do you think I am?' That is how one-sided arguments make us feel: insulted. ‘Pollyanna-style' panacea to the injustices of the world have the same effect.
A business book has a simple and powerful value proposition: to help you sell more of your valuable mentoring, training or speaking programs. Here’s the scenario. You sell a two-day leadership training program for veterinary practices for $10,000 a program. Each year, you sell 10 programs and make $100,000 a year. You self-publish 200 copies of a book about leadership in veterinary practices. You get 50 new leads from giving away and selling your books. As a result, you get an extra 10 training gigs a year. You just made an extra $100,000 a year and doubled your income.
Public speaking is an amazing gig. For a start, you can impact hundreds if not thousands of people at a time. Competition is limited since most people would rather die than speak in front of an audience (which is remarkably silly and probably not true). It is fabulous pay – the best speakers get $10,000 for a gig, usually an hour. And, if you are good enough, you get to travel the world.