by Barbara McNichol
Did you know you can now get book-related information on demand to help you plan, produce, price, distribute, and promote your books more efficiently? Yes, through Book Selling University, sponsored by Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS).
I’m fortunate to be part of a line-up of 60+ fabulous instructors who have one goal in mind: show you how to succeed as an author in these categories.
- BUSINESS OF PUBLISHING
- PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT
- SPECIAL SALES
My hour-long webinar/course, Strengthen Everything You Write (Barbara McNichol, BSU-176) is offered as part of PREPARATION.
Working with Book Selling University, you’ll be able to:
- Take courses as time permits and needs demand
- Learn from instructors who are experts on their course material
- Make more money selling your books
- Price your books for maximum profits
- Pinpoint social media
- Improve your sales online
- Make your publicity more effective and efficient and MORE
These TWO FREE COURSES get you started:
- How to Purchase a Course (Brian Jud, BSU-199)
- Introduction to Special Sales (Brian Jud, BSU-100)
I encourage you to check out this golden opportunity to take any element of the book writing/publishing/selling journey and learn more about it.
Do you want to be More Valuable to your company or your clients? Your writing qualifies you for hiring, for retaining, and for getting promoted. But writing is the gateway to rejection, too.
People judge your abilities by the quality of your writing.
It’s a harsh fact. In business, people who don’t write well to communicate—who don’t select the right words to express complex ideas—are perceived as lacking credibility … professionalism … accuracy in their work.
On the flip side, those who master the written word are remembered as influential … reputable … successful.
My name is Barbara McNichol, chief architect of Word Trippers Tips. After years of editing nonfiction manuscripts and proofreading hundreds of thousands of lines of copy, I realized that everyone makes mistakes … everyone mixes up similar words … and everyone loses credibility the moment readers recognize the errors.
I have turned those common errors into a program professionals use to improve their writing instantly: Word Trippers Tips. It includes a 38-minute WEBINAR on its own and/or 12 MONTHS Word Tripper of the Week plus bonuses.
How can you learn to be a better writer and make your career soar?
Go to www.WordTrippers.com and/or listen to this teleclass 5 Nuggets Successful People Know and Use on better writing.
Please share you comments and questions here.
by Kathleen Watson
Do you have difficulty when it comes to choosing who or whom in your writing?
Some think whom sounds stuffy and pretentious.
When did proper grammar become stuffy? I think that’s an excuse made by people who don’t know the difference.
Does anyone criticize Ernest Hemingway for using whom in the title of his famous novel For Whom The Bell Tolls?
Here are three guidelines to help you recognize whether to use who or whom:
- Who is the doer of the action.
Who was driving the car?
He was critical of people who didn’t support his decision.
The winner, no matter who she is, will wear the crown for a year.
2. Whom is the object, the person acted on, and it often is preceded by a preposition (at, in, for, from, of, to, with).
Did you speak to her? To whom did you speak?
Who gave you the check? From whom did you get the check?
Did you take a walk with her? With whom did you take a walk?
3. Consider these substitutions as shortcuts to helping you make the right choice:
he, she, they (subjects) = who
him, her, them (objects) = whom
Who was driving the car? He was driving the car.
You invited whom to dinner? You invited her to dinner.
For whom were members of the audience applauding? Members of the audience were applauding for them.
Do you have sentences that you question if who or whom is correct? Submit them here for a reply.
by Barbara McNichol
In my recent post on the blog of Nonfiction Authors Association (NFAA), an author asked about confusing words this way:
Barbara, I’d love to see you do an article on the difference between “as” and “since” and “because.”
Here’s a summary of what my research told me.
Both “because” and “since” imply cause. They can be interchangeable when “since” means “for the reason that.” e.g., “Since my dog needs exercise, I take him for a walk.” e.g., “I walk every day because my dog needs exercise.”
One source suggests using “because” when the reason is the most important part of the sentence and “since” or “as” when the reason is already well known and is less important. e.g., “The match was cancelled because it was raining.”
I endorse this as an important distinction and use it myself.
Note that “since” also refers to a time frame. But look at this example. “Since we ate lunch, we had lots of energy.” Do you see how this statement is ambiguous? Does it mean “from the time we had lunch” or “for the reason that we had lunch”?
To avoid confusion, I recommend using “because” when your meaning relates to “cause” and “since” when it’s a factor of time. Keep the meanings distinct; it’s a good way to add clarity to your writing and power to your pen.
For clarification of commonly confused words, request a free reference guide at Word Trippers.com
What word pairings trip you up? Share them here.
by Joan Burge (used with permission)
Did you know that changing just a few of the everyday words you use while conducting business can actually enhance people’s positive impressions of you? Here are three highly effective tips you can start using today.
- “Do” or “can” instead of “try.” When you’re a pro at what you do, you understand the importance of managing expectations among the people you support and work with in the office. That’s why so many of us use the word “try” (as in, “I will try to have that report finished Tuesday”) to buffer our schedules and communicate parameters on tasks and projects. Problem: “Try” has a somewhat wimpy connotation, as if you’re unsure – even when you aren’t, of course! Solution: Replace with variations of the words “do” or “can” instead – and focus on what is definite: “I’ll do a preliminary outline by Tuesday for review,” or “I will complete a preliminary outline Tuesday.”
- “Believe” instead of “think” or “feel.” If you’re a careful listener, you’ll often hear people say something like, “I think/feel the best course of action is….” Communication experts agree that replacing “think/feel” with “believe” expresses even more assertiveness and self-confidence to management, colleagues and clients: “I believe you’re right.” Bonus fact: To communicate even more directly and succinctly, practice dropping the use of “I believe” and stick with the statement itself: “You’re right.”
- “And” instead of “but.” Here’s one of my favorites! See if you can tell the difference between these two statements: “I know you’ve missed the deadline, but…” vs. “I know you’ve missed the deadline, and….” The first sets up a negative “but,” which precedes bad news – and since people know this, they tend to get defensive or tune out whatever follows, regardless of its legitimacy. Conversely, the second statement acknowledges the bad news, yet skillfully avoids the sense that a shoe is about to fall. Result? The “and” says, “We can work on a solution, which is more important than the blame right now” – and people are far more likely to listen, meaning communication improves.
Successful professionals focus on what I call the Can you think of additional ways to change commonly used words or phrases so co-workers and clients respond even better? I encourage you to delve deep and test new ways to communicate verbally and in writing!
Known as the pioneer of the administrative training industry, Joan Burge is an accomplished author, professional speaker, consultant, and corporate trainer. She is the founder, CEO, and visionary of Office Dynamics International, an organization that provides high-performance executive and administrative assistant training and coaching.
How could you change commonly used phrases to increase the responses you get? Share your ideas here.
By Barbara McNichol
Do you experience email overwhelm?
Your emails can present problems to your recipients when stale subject lines, too many topics, and lack of clarity get in the mix.
But this single time-wasting practice can be big: not making the most of your email message. It causes people to walk back and forth a dozen times on the communication path.
Build in Extra Thoughtfulness to Prevent Email Overwhelm
Well, a dozen times might be exaggerating but no matter what, you can streamline the process by building in extra thoughtfulness. Take the example of setting up something as simple as a meeting. Messages could go back and forth annoyingly before you nail an agreed-upon day/time/place.
Try crafting your initial email with an “if then” option. You’d simply write, “I’m available Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday in the afternoon after 3 p.m. If any of these don’t work for you, then give me three times when you’re available.”
Use the “If Then” Technique
The “if then” technique has just narrowed down the possibilities to three afternoons. Recipients know those times are off the table and will suggest a different three options. You’re likely to come up with a workable time/place in fewer than two emails.
Compose your emails to serve you as efficiently as possible. This “if then” approach is an easy path to follow.
Barbara McNichol is passionate about helping authors add power to their pen. An expert editor of nonfiction books, she has created a Word Trippers Tips resource so you can quickly find the right word when it matters most. It allows you to improve your writing through excellent resources, including a Word Tripper of the Week for 52 weeks. Details at www.WordTrippers.com
What paths do you follow to deal with email overwhelm? Share you ideas here.
by Mary Walewski (used with permission)
When you’re publishing your first book, it’s easy to overlook getting endorsements. These are the blurbs on the front and back cover of your book. A great book blurb – or endorsement – by an expert in your field, a known author, or even a celebrity can give your book a seal of approval and help sales.
Getting a book blurb or two sounds easier than you think now that the experts you want to contact have websites and are on social media. No more contacting publishers or agents – your prospects may have assistants helping with their online profiles, but at least you can skip a few of the middlemen.
Here are my top 7 tips for getting book endorsements:
- Start your prospect list early – ideally when you’re still writing the book. At least, be working on your list when your book is still in editing. Visit your prospects’ websites and look for a contact page or email. Friend and follow them on social media.
- Your list should consist of people your audience would know and respect. Look for fellow authors in your genre, experts in your field, and celebrities who have a connection to your topic. Don’t count on the big names to respond – but you never know.
- Outline a general query letter for your prospects, then customize it for each person you’re approaching. You have a better chance of snagging an endorsement of your favorite authors if you show you’re a fan of theirs. Also include info on how you’ll be marketing and selling your book – nobody wants to endorse a book that nobody will see. If your book sells, your endorser benefits too!
- In your letter, include sample endorsements for your prospects to edit as they please. Some may choose to write their own, and that’s great.
- After they say yes, ask them whether they’d like a paper copy or an ebook, the entire book, or just an excerpt. You can have ARCs – advance reader copies made through your local POD publisher or even at the local office supply store.
- Ask four times as many prospects as you think you’ll need. You only have room for 1 blurb on the front and maybe two more on the back. If you get more, put them on the inside front page. Whatever you do, don’t NOT use a good blurb. If someone goes to the trouble of reading your work and writing an endorsement, use it.
- Give your endorsers a reasonable deadline and follow up tactfully. Don’t be a pest – remember, they’re doing you a favor! Lastly, after your book comes out, send your endorsers a copy of your book with a nice inscription and a thank you note.
Mary Walewski of Buy The Book Marketing is a book marketing consultant for indie authors and publishers. You can contact her at https://buythebookmarketing.com.
What tips have helped you? Please add to this list below.