Archive for the ‘Creativity’ Category

Finished Writing a Book, Now What?

May 10, 2015

So you’ve just finished writing your book. Great. The hard part is over, and now you’re ready to get some media coverage and sell your product. But are you, in fact, ready? Is your book newsworthy? Who is your target audience? Can you think like a journalist? Dan Smith, founder of Smith Publicity, helps authors answer these questions

A pitch to the media is more likely to succeed if a writer can show that what a book says is supported by the author’s background and experience, and if the author can show that their topic is one that matters to their audience, says Smith, whose business has implemented more than 2,000 promotion campaigns and has worked with clients in 15 countries. Founded in 1997, the company has offices in Cherry Hill and Toronto.

“We’re often promoting the author as much as the book,” Smith says. He advises that before making a pitch to a particular publisher or producer, ask yourself, “What value can my book give to his or her audience?”

For example, authors Nic Read and Stephen J. Bistritz won media coverage from several publications, including Forbes, Investor’s Business Daily, and UK Business News for their book, “Selling to the C-Suite: What Every Executive Wants You to Know About Successfully Selling to the Top.”

Author Susan T. Spencer received coverage from several platforms of particular interest to women including, a television spot with Oprah, and a radio feature on NPR’s “Tell Me More,” for her book, “Briefcase Essentials: Discover Your 12 Natural Talents for Achieving Success in a Male-Dominated Workplace.”

Authors-illustrators Jack and Holman Wang received coverage in Parents Magazine, People, the Huffington Post, and others for their series, “Cozy Classics,” board books for infants and young children featuring literary classics.

Smith says that writers can get a professional book published for under $500. But to get it noticed, you need to be creative, he says. “That’s especially true today, now that the publishing world has completely exploded with 3,500 new books coming out every day,” Smith says.His promotional services include book events, reviews, Amazon optimization, social media and more. His staff includes book publicists, and marketing/social media strategists.

Book publicity is about getting exposure for the author using TV, radio, print articles or social media, says Smith. As he writes in one of his web posts, Book Publicity Tips that Actually Work: “Media coverage will help you gain exposure, reach your readership, and in some cases help establish you as an expert in your field.”

This post was adapted from my original story and event preview published in U.S.1 and at


No easy answers but a few helpful questions

January 1, 2015

While catching up on some reading over the holidays, I came across some posts that have at least two things in common for me: Unanswered questions can inspire us to move forward. And — to borrow a thought from writer and speaker Seth Godin — saying “no” can be the foundation that supports our “yes.”

No New Year’s resolutions for this columnist
I’m going to pass on making New Year’s resolutions this time around. Instead, I’ll take Rilke’s famous advice about “living the questions,” and carry into the New Year a few of the wonderings Hillman’s poem evokes in me:
• How can I let go of my need for fixed answers in favor of aliveness?
• What is my next challenge in daring to be human?
• How can I open myself to the beauty of nature and human nature?
• Who or what do I need to learn to love next? And next? And next?
• What is the new creation that wants to be born in and through me?
        Parker J. Palmer: Five Questions for Crossing the Threshold. Read more

There is no arriving when it comes to writing
In writing, there is no arriving. There’s always the drive to write a better article, blog post, poem, or novel, next time.
Not to get all heavy, but as the Kabbalists say, we never kill time here on Earth. It’s the other way around: Time kills us. And we never know when that’ll happen. The turning of the year brings this unavoidable fact to the front of my mind.
        So, knowing that your time is limited, what sights do you want to see on your journey? Where do you want to be sure to go? These are the questions I’m asking myself as I contemplate my plans for next year. ….
        Carol Tice: Why Your Writing Journey Matters. Read more

There is no WAY to succeed at writing …. but there are many ways. …
Nobody can tell you how to succeed at writing (even if they write a book called “How To Succeed At Writing”) because there is no WAY; there are, instead, many ways. Everyone I know who managed to become a writer did it differently – sometimes radically differently. Try all the ways, I guess.
        Becoming a published writer is sort of like trying to find a cheap apartment in New York City: it’s impossible. And yet…every single day, somebody manages to find a cheap apartment in New York City. I can’t tell you how to do it. I’m still not even entirely sure how I did it. I can only tell you – through my own example – that it can be done. I once found a cheap apartment in Manhattan. And I also became a writer. …..
        Elizabeth Gilbert: Thoughts on Writing. Read more

To get more sales, get out of your head

July 8, 2014

This article was excerpted from U.S.1, July 2, 2014. Information about events that have already passed has been deleted.

So, you have created a new product or service. You figure it’s time to tell the world how great your creation is. Not so, says marketing consultant Michael Barry. It’s time to get out of your head and instead to think about your potential customers. Do you know what they really want, and do you know how to choose and integrate your options for reaching them?

Barry offers a holistic marketing approach that combines both traditional marketing with digital and online platforms. Barry works with his clients to find the balance that works best for them and their customers. For one person, the focus might be on the company website, Twitter updates, and print advertising with a few other platforms. For another person, it might be the Pinterest website, direct mail, and a few other platforms. For another person, the mix could be different again.

Read more.



You may be more creative than you think

January 26, 2014

Eureka! Surely you have experienced that moment. After hours, maybe days, of seeking an answer to a problem, you had to set it aside. You had other things to do. And then, while driving, shopping, or pouring a cup of coffee, the answer appeared out of the clear blue sky.

The clear blue sky? Not really, says David Burkus. “It came from inside your brain and had been germinating (actually incubating) in your subconscious.” Burkus — an author, educator, and founder/editor of LDRLB, an online publication named for a contraction of “leader lab” and focusing on leadership, innovation, and strategy — has been studying creativity for several years. ….

If you are the one with the idea, he says, be advised that the world won’t beat a path to your door. It will probably beat your idea down or ignore you. But he urges you to take heart and persist. Most great ideas eventually get adopted. When pitching the idea, he suggests that it will be perceived as more practicable if you connect it to more familiar ideas, such as previous successful projects or similar works.

If you are the person being asked to consider a new idea, Burkus says your challenges are just as great. In a TEDx talk at the University of Oklahoma this past January, he invited the audience to consider several questions: How am I viewing this idea? Am I clinging to a status quo that is not helping our problems anymore? Is this bias coming through? Am I valuing the old at the expense of the new?

Burkus shares his insights on 10 myths about the creative process in  “The Myths of Creativity:The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas”