Prior to starting Davis Creative in January of 2004, I worked in corporate financial marketing for over a decade. There is not much I miss from that world . . . especially not the PUFFINS. If you have worked in corporate America, you know what I am referring to. Corporate PUFFINS have similar characteristics as the bird itself.
You see, the Puffin bird is known as the “clown of the sea” because of its colorful and comical appearance. It likes to strut about and “puff out” it’s chest in order to impress and intimidate the other birds. Although it is agile in the water and an excellent diver and swimmer, it is not as graceful in the air . . . often crashing and tumbling as it tries to land.
Now, please don’t get me wrong . . . I’m not here to bash corporate executives. I have many good friends still gainfully employed in the corporate arena. But, “back in the day”, there were a few corporate PUFFINS who DID strut about and try to intimidate others. NO one liked working with them, and they made everyone’s work-life miserable.
At the opposite end of the spectrum from the corporate PUFFINS, you have what I call the “PUFF IN THE WIND”.
The PUFF IN THE WIND is quite lovely to work with and it has been our goal, since starting Davis Creative, to attract the PUFF IN THE WIND peeps . . . especially as clients, team members, and vendors. The PUFF IN THE WIND personality is a gentle GIVER . . . they are here to share their knowledge, expertise, and gifts with the world.
How do you spot a PUFF IN THE WIND?
Much like the Dandelion, they have several characteristics to watch for . . .
- They plant seeds — they love sharing their wisdom with the slightest breeze
- They grow and multiply — they create positive ripples throughout the community
- They have deep roots — with strength and tenacity they are eager to spread their message in every continent on the globe
It’s their nature to nurture. The PUFF IN THE WIND sees value in giving, much like when a child harvests the Dandelion blossoms as their first “gift” bouquet.
So, if you see yourself as a PUFF IN THE WIND, and are looking to join a community of givers, give me a call . . . 888-598-0886.
In 2018, Bowker (the US registrar for all ISBN numbers) assigned a record-breaking 1,009,188 ISBNs to independent and self-published books. This number does not even include the books which are published by traditional publishing houses, NOR does it include the ISBNs assigned by Amazon/KDP (formerly CreateSpace).
Look Good. Get Noticed. Stand Out in a Crowd.
If you are in business for yourself, you know how important it is to look good, get noticed, and stand out in a crowd (in a good way). And, yes, writing a book can help you accomplish each of these three goals if you understand WHY you are writing your book.
Five GREAT reasons FOR writing a book:
- “I think it would help other people.”
- “I want to establish myself as an authority in this subject, and raise my visibility.”
- “I am starting a business around this topic and want to generate interest and clients.”
- “I really care about this and want to get the word out to other people.”
- “I want to switch careers and this will help me.”
So, allow me to repeat what I’ve said numerous times in the past . . .
It’s not about how well your book sells,
it’s all about how well your book sells YOU!TM
Please don’t plan your retirement around the sale of your books. If your primary reason for writing a book includes any of the following, you may want to rethink your plan . . .
Five GREAT reasons to NOT write a book:
- “I want to sell millions of books and make lots of money.”
- “I want to be a famous, best-selling author.”
- “I want to live a writer’s life, in a bungalow, on a beach in Key West.”
- “I don’t care what anyone thinks, I just feel compelled to write this book, NOW.”
- “My competition has a book and I don’t want them to get all the business.”
Don’t let those other 1,009,188 authors intimidate you.
Every author-wannabe is just like the other 1,009,188 independent authors trying to look good, get noticed, and stand out in a crowd.
The best way to make that happen (and not get lost in the crowd) is to work with professionals who publish books on a daily basis. We know what it takes to help your book SELL YOU, and position you with the expert status you deserve.
Writing a non-fiction book does not mean people will automatically buy it. WRITING your book is NOT the first place to start the publishing process. You can’t just “build it and they will come”. . . that only happens in the movies.
Before you even pick up a pencil or open a WORD doc to start typing, you want to identify your three-legged stool, which contains these 3 crucial elements:
CONSIDER YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE: Know who you are writing your book FOR . . . create an imaginary avatar to constantly refer back to. Include typical age, gender, nationality, likes/dislikes, and habit patterns.
REVEAL THEIR N.O.W.TM FACTOR: N.O.W. is the acronym for NIGHT OWL WORRIES. What do they wake up in the middle of the night worried about?
IDENTIFY THEIR RELIEF/SOLUTIONS: What solutions do you offer which brings them the relief they are needing? Why do they need YOUR book vs. another one on the same shelf? What do you bring to the table that ONLY YOU can offer?
By establishing a sturdy foundation for your book, you create a well-received subliminal “flow” to which the reader can relate. Building your book outline upon this foundation gives your brand the credibility and expert status you deserve.
For additional information about our Author Brand Connection publishing services and programs, contact Cathy HERE.
And remember . . .
“It’s not how well your book sells . . .
it’s all about how well your book sells YOU!”
Our seven-year-old grandson likes to use the word EPIC, as in, “That birthday party was EPIC”! Why settle for an ordinary party when it can be EPIC?!
So, it got me wondering . . . just what exactly does EPIC mean from the perspective of a seven-year-old?
Historically, an epic has been seen as a literary work portraying heroic deeds and adventures throughout a period of time. Tales like Star Wars and Harry Potter use the epic formula to build successful Hollywood franchises.
More recently, the word has taken on a more informal meaning of “particularly impressive or remarkable,” which is probably much more in line with a seven-year-old’s perspective.
I invite you to join me in claiming EPIC as our remarkable super-power.
- How EPIC would our lives be if we BELIEVED we were born with EPIC super-powers?!
- What would happen if each and every day when we jumped out of bed we declared, “Today will be EPIC?!”
- How amazing would it be if we just assumed we had the Excitement, Power, Insight, and Courage to take on every challenge and celebration coming our way?!
Life would be EPIC . . . that’s WHAT!
You don’t need to write an epic novel or screenplay to share your EPIC strengths. If you are in the business of helping others, my guess is that you have lived an impressive and remarkable life (including challenges and celebrations), and you now help others navigate a similar path. These are the people you are here on this planet, during this lifetime, to help. These are the people who need your help and are eager to hear what you have to say.
If you are ready to build your brand, help more people . . .
AND claim your EPIC super-powers,
give me a call . . . 888-598-0886.
We can help you make that happen.
I vividly remember sitting in the back seat of my grandmother’s baby-blue Studebaker as she made a U-turn in the middle of a highway to avoid the smoke and find another safe, clear path to our destination.
Growing up in Oklahoma, it was a common sight to see signs like the one above on highways, “DO NOT DRIVE THRU SMOKE.” Add fire to rambling tumbleweed, blurred by the billowing smoke of a prairie fire . . . and driving through smoke could be quite dangerous.
Fast-forward a few decades, and much like the Wild, Wild West of my childhood, today’s world of self-publishing can be just as dangerous and smoke-filled as those prairie grass fires. It can very much be a buyer-beware, smoke-filled highway.
Just about anyone, who has ever self-published a book, now calls themselves a “publisher”. So, would you rather work with someone who has published ONE book . . . or a team who has published HUNDREDS?
Top 10 Reasons to Hire an Experienced Professional
The company . . .
- provides multi-faceted expertise in publishing, branding, target-audience identification, design, messaging, pricing and distribution
- employs veteran marketing professionals who are experienced and knowledgeable in book writing, book design, branding, publishing, and the marketing of small-business services
- aligns itself with expert resources for social media, websites, public relations, digital marketing, Amazon Bestseller Campaigns, etc.
- offers bundled packages and programs for maximizing an author’s investment
The project management team . . .
- exhibits a depth of knowledge of the publishing process and top industry standards; answers those questions you are not even aware to be asking
- creates client relationships built upon the mentor/student model of trust, patience and willingness to share expertise
- freely shares process details, establishes goals, and manages time-lines to meet your deadlines
Your completed book will . . .
- rival those produced by the top 5 traditional publishers
- reflect professional best-practice industry recommendations
- be customized to meet your specific author platform, to better position yourself in your market
So, how do you protect yourself from getting “burned”?
During a conversation with one of our clients last week, she mentioned how affected she has been this year by all of the gray-sky days, stating, “I need to get motivated . . . I can just feel the HOPE draining right out of me!”
I know what it’s like to be pulled down by the lack of sunshine, and her statement stayed with me. After a week of pondering, it occurred to me . . . “H.O.P.E.” is the acronym for . . .
“Honoring Our Personal Empowerment”
- When looked at from a place of empowerment, H.O.P.E. becomes a call-to-action. Without H.O.P.E., we have no motivation.
- H.O.P.E. allows us to take the next best step . . . as in, “I won’t take this sitting down!” (or laying down, perhaps even in a fetal position!).
- H.O.P.E. clears a path for making things happen . . . giving us momentum when it would be easier to just stay in bed ‘til noon.
During this same week, coincidentally, I also had a conversation with one of our referral partners about confidence. A couple of her clients were involved as contributing authors to one of our anthologies, and she was sharing the impact of their participation in our Anthology Program . . .
“I watched her transform from being the introverted, shy little caterpillar . . .
gain the confidence to share her story, spread her wings,
and fly like the beautiful butterfly she is!”
You see, our Anthology Programs are so much more than simply writing a chapter in a collaborative book of essays on a similar topic. As a contributing author, you reap the rewards of . . .
- H.O.P.E. — Honoring Our Personal Empowerment
- Placing the proverbial “stake in the ground” for your business. Who are you? What do you stand for? Who do you help?
- Finding your voice, sharing your story, and monetizing your business.
- Gaining clarity of purpose, vision, and mission.
- Brainstorming with our Creative Writing Coach on the outline for your chapter . . . it’s a great exercise to reinforce your WHY.
With Spring right around the corner,
I challenge you to step out of the grey skies,
and step up into the bright light of H.O.P.E.!
If you’d like to learn more about our budget-friendly Anthology Program, CLICK HERE.
2018 pricing good through March 17th!
If you’d like to schedule a phone call with Cathy to get your questions answered, CLICK HERE.
Some believe the word ‘concierge’ evolves from the French ‘comte des cierges’, which means ‘the keeper of the candles’, which was essentially the main duty of a concierge during the Middle Ages.
Need to shed some light on the path to the stables?
Summon your concierge for those back-up candles!
Fast-forward about 500-plus years, and today’s, ‘concierge’ has evolved into a business model for just about any service you can imagine: from hotels, travel, and banking to healthcare, personal assistance, and . . . yes, even publishing.
Rachel was a successful business owner, mother of twin teens, and volunteered as a board member for a non-profit in her community. Her calendar was already filled with plenty of TO-DOs, having no time available to finish writing the book she desperately wanted to complete. As an expert in family dynamics, she knew having a book in her proverbial toolbox would add credibility and help open doors for additional engagements as a speaker and trainer.
Rachel was referred to us by another of our author-clients and hired us to help her finish her book . . .
- We paired her with one of our professional writing coaches who helped Rachel organize her thoughts, create an outline for her book, and as her accountability partner, delegated easy-to-handle homework assignments in small ‘bites’.
- We maximized the return on Rachel’s time- and financial-investment by setting up all her vendor accounts for her while overseeing the editing, design, printing, publishing, and marketing . . . enabling her to keep 100% of her royalty, copyright, and profits.
- We minimized her stress by handling the details, allowing her to relax, reassuring she was in highly-experienced hands . . . helping her publish her book in less than 7 months!
Working with a team of publishing professionals expedited the fruition of Rachel’s book. Having a high-quality published book in-hand allowed Rachel to book more paid speaking engagements, sell more books at the back of the room, and quickly recoup her publishing investment.
Need to shed some light on the best Publishing Path for YOU?
Ask about our Concierge Publishing Services and
how we can help you finish your book!
No matter where you are along the publishing path . . . from concept to completed book-in-hand . . . our concierge publishing services help you find your way.
Let us help you find your voice, write your story and monetize your passion!
As a life-long Midwesterner, one would think I’d be used to the never-ending cold, grey, winter days. NOPE. This winter has been one for the record-books, as even the local weather announcers are lamenting the record-number of grey days since January 1 . . . reporting there have been less than 5 days of partial sun in the last 50 days.
No wonder we’re all walking around in a foggy funk . . . like zombies . . . just going through the motions!
What to do . . . what to do . . . ?
When I finally recognize I’m stuck in the fog (literally and metaphorically) and not moving in a positive direction, I rely upon a tried-and-true path for pulling myself up and getting myself back into a proactive mode . . .
SHRED, THREAD, AND BREADCRUMBS!
SHRED . . .
Decluttering, sorting and organizing have been getting a lot of attention lately, with promises of “clearing out the old energy to make room for the ‘new and improved’ positive energy.” I KNOW it works . . . when I make the effort to DO IT. My old-habit pattern is to focus on the client work-at-hand, letting the stacks on my desk get higher until I reach a point of not being able to find the ONE thing I desperately need NOW.
LESSON LEARNED (again), “Shred and shed what no longer serves me.”
TODAY is the day to clear off my desk and get the “stuff” off the floor so I can look forward to walking into my office every morning!
THREAD . . .
I re-learned THIS lesson over the past weekend from our dog, Chewy. One of his favorite stuffed toys is a large green frog which “ribbits” when you shake it (he LOVES toys with sounds). I had placed the frog up on a shelf, as it needed repairs from when he chewed off one of the legs. Chewy spotted the 3-legged frog and proceeded to bark incessantly as his way of asking to play with HIS frog.
Silly me . . . I grabbed the needle and thread I keep at-the-ready for toy repairs and quickly stitched the frog leg back on before tossing back to Chewy. A few minutes later, I noticed the just-stitched leg laying all by itself on the floor. Yep, apparently Chewy prefers his frog with only three legs. He was even careful enough when he chewed it off again to leave the new stitching intact so the stuffing didn’t fall out. How NICE of him!
LESSON LEARNED (again), “The threads that bind us together don’t have to be perfect; perfection is in the eye of the beholder.”
Chewy is perfectly happy with his 3-legged frog. Who am I to try and convince him otherwise? It doesn’t have to be perfect to be loved. That extra leg has now been “shed” into the trash bin.
BREADCRUMBS . . .
Even though the breadcrumb trail failed Hansel and Gretel, we still use the term breadcrumb trail to denote connected bits of information that may be followed back to the source. The “source” in this case is my WHY. My WHY is to serve our clients by helping them Find Their Brand Voice, Share Their Expertise, and Monetize Their Passion. When I’m caught in the fog of winter and not sure which path to take . . . I’ll ALWAYS be led back into the light of clarity and my WHY when I remember to follow the breadcrumbs . . .
- Return that phone call
- Answer that email
- Take care of ‘loose ends’
- Take a chance and connect with new people
LESSON LEARNED (again), “watch for the breadcrumbs . . . AND pick them up.”
I’ve also learned that even if I can’t see the breadcrumbs, just keep walking . . . they WILL show up . . . as long as I keep in motion, with my eyes open wide.
SHRED, THREAD, AND BREADCRUMBS!
What to do . . . what to do . . . ?
Are you in a foggy winter-funk with your overall brand or with the writing of your book? Then it’s time to activate the SHRED, THREAD, and BREADCRUMBS process!
You are not just writing a book, you are growing your business!
. . . and YES, you get to hear me say it again . . .
“It’s not about how well your book sells . . .
It’s ALL about how well your book sells YOU!”
The potential reader who picks up your book will always want to know “what’s in it for me?”
Our goal, as Author Consultants and Book Designers, is to keep potential readers interested and wanting more so they ultimately buy your book! We want them to be “pulled in” by your cover, intrigued by the title, and motivated to read more based upon the relief they find in the sub-title.
Studies show when potential readers reach for your book, they notice aspects of the book in a particular order.
In our mind, the ultimate goal is to get a potential reader to pick up your book and buy it.
If the potential reader identifies with the front cover, it is highly likely the reader will continue to the back cover copy to learn more. If the overall cover copy and images have addressed their need for relief, the potential reader will then scan the table of contents, then look for your author credentials (via the endorsement page and author bio).
- Front Cover
- sub-title (offers relief)
- Back Cover
- photo captions
- Table of Contents
- Credibility (endorsements and author bio)
As an Author-preneur, you not only want to sell your book, you also want to engage your audience to begin a relationship with you and your business. Your book is one entry-point into creating a long-term relationship with your potential client. Working with a team who understands the idiosyncrasies of book design gives you the Author-preneur Advantage.
If you are ready to take your business to the next level through the power of publishing, give us call, 888-598-0886, or email Cathy HERE.
There’s SO MUCH MORE to publishing your book than uploading it to Amazon.
Join the hundreds of other authors who have relied upon us to help them find their voice, write their book, and monetize their passion.
Q: How can I avoid paying sales tax twice, when I am purchasing books I’m going to resell?
Our authors are scattered throughout the US, and at least a half-dozen foreign countries. The greater majority are self-employed and are using their book as a marketing tool to build their brand and grow their business. Many are speakers and sell their book from their website as well as at the back of the room when they are speaking.
If you are an independent, self-published author, and are selling your own books . . . make sure you are not paying sales tax when you buy your own books at cost.
The best way to avoid this is to fill out the Tax Exemption forms on both Amazon/KDP and IngramSpark. Even if you filled out the Tax Exemption form previously on CreateSpace, you will want to check your new KDP account to make sure the information followed you to KDP when your account was transferred last Fall.
- Click HERE for the Amazon/KDP Tax Exemption Form
- Follow these instructions for the IngramSpark Tax Exemption Form
- Log-in to your author account dashboard
- On the left-hand side of your screen is a row of items to select; click on “Tax Information”
- On the next screen, click the option, “Claim US Tax Exemptions”
- Read the next screen, and answer the question, “Do you wish to claim an exemption from US State and Local Sales Tax? Click the “Yes” radial button.
- Click the “Continue” button and follow the instructions to complete the process.
In addition, if you have arranged for the printing of your book through a local traditional printer, remember to also ask them for a Sales Tax Exemption Form. They will have one on file for you to fill out and sign.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions at all . . .