These are my notes from Shannon Ethridge‘s presentation, “Writing for Greater Impact” on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at the Write Well, Sell Well Conference in Oklahoma City. Follow Shannon on Twitter: @ShannonEthridge. Shannon is an incredible author, speaker, coach and teacher. She has created “the platform” Michael Hyatt writes about. She wrote “Every Woman’s Battle” which is a parallel book to “EVERY MAN’S BATTLE: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time” by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker with Mike Yorkey. When we lived in Lubbock, my men’s small group studied that for a year and wow was that both a challenging and membership-reducing experience. I am VERY interested in joining Shannon’s B.L.A.S.T. Mentoring Program as a speaker and author. Here are my notes! I started by live tweeting the session, but then decided to share this as a blog post.

speak before you write
– your publisher will also be much more interested in publishing for you if you are already speaking
– best time to sell a book: in the back of the room after you

“I recommend you make a speakers’ information packet”
– put fee for 1 day event M-Thurs (less than weekend price)
– 1 day for weekend is price
– 2 day for event on weekend
– 3 day for price

Definitely recommend you have a 3rd party negotiate for you
– pay $20 per hour to virtual assistant, not a percentage
– this person is not being “an agent”
– speaker’s bureau can help you get started

Create a following
Seth Godin: Tribes
– is an assigned reading in the BLAST program

Your book is not the end of the story
– getting a book publishing is a launching pad in an ultimate direction
– helpful to know that direction early in your career

For me: I share a presentation, then connect via my book, then have her come to a 4 day intensive workshop, then have her join my BLAST program for mentoring

Read, Read, Read!
– reason I landed a large advance was I studied 30 books in the female sexuality section of the Barnes and Noble
– these books were all missing “real women”

You have to come at your topic from a unique angle
– need to bring something fresh and new to the table

Carve out TIME to write
– I didn’t “find time to write,” I MADE time to write
– I wrote after dropping off the kids at work
– most beneficial thing: carve out an occasional weekend or 3-4 days when you won’t be distracted to just WRITE
– friends with lake houses are treasured for this!

Be REAL with your readers

Be careful when you share stories about other people, stick just to the facts
– people can sue you for sharing something they didn’t want shared

readers respect vulnerability

Some people are called to write a book over 10 years, others over 60 days
– you need to establish your timeframe
– PACE yourself!
– always be meeting shorter-term deadlines for yourself (milestones)

Embrace editing!
– your editor can be your best friend
– don’t make them your enemy, this can create unnecessary tension in your life

You are your best marketer
– no one sells a book like the author
– you need to be a good steward of the message of your book

Offer to write an article in magazines where you want your book featured
– that costs your publisher nothing, it costs you TIME

Have a press release
– your publisher will do this for you if you’re working with them
– if you’re self-publishing, you need to do this
– include interview questions
– every media outlet gets inundated with lots of possibilities for book interviews
– you want to do the work for them in your press kit

Be a relevant expert
– media folks never see it as their job to sell your book
– they want to be relevant and reflect what is happening in culture

Push through the pain of publishing

What is your waterfall season?
– what are the best words you could possibly hear as a response to what you have written?

I’m not alone
You’ve changed my life
Thank you

Once you let people know what you’re doing, they will give you opportunities to speak and share

Don’t scoff at any small opportunities for “hug and a mug” speaking gigs when you are starting out

Do you believe what you have to share will bless people?

Marketing is sharing what you are passionate about with people who care

You are not paying me to come speak or coach you, because I would do that for free. You are paying me to be away from my family!

People will value what they invest in far more than something they get for free

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