Do You Suffer from Fear of Public Speaking?

I recently spent some time coaching a woman who had high anxiety around giving presentations at work. Within the last year, this individual had started a new job. Her new position included presenting at least once a month to colleagues and coworkers.

Fear of Public Speaking

This woman was a professional with a Masters Degree. Yet, her anxiety around public speaking was getting the best of her. She described to me how her anxiety caused her to miss major points in a recent presentation. She also reported that the energy in the room seemed to shift during her presentations. She felt this was due to everyone in the room feeling the anxiety she was projecting.

The fear of public speaking is common. The majority of people report that they fear public speaking more than spiders or even death itself. Studies show that three out of every four people (74%) suffer from speech anxiety. One statistic I read said that the fear of public speaking has a 10% impairment on wages.

For authors, speaking is an effective platform for selling books. Because people buy books from authors they know. Authors who speak often sell more books.

Yet, many authors suffer from speaking anxiety. They dislike being the center of attention and talking in public. The thought of doing so makes them want to run for cover.

What was fascinating for me was watching the transformation that took place in the woman I was coaching. Through identifying and tweaking some underlying faulty thoughts she had about her presentations, we were able to dramatically decrease her presentation anxiety.

Glosphobia: Fear of Public Speaking

The false assumption that this professional was struggling with was that she had to be the expert. For her, that meant that she had to have all the answers. Maybe you feel the same way.

This belief is a huge burden. My client knew she did not have all the answers, so when she gave a presentation, she felt like a fraud.

Here’s the truth: You don’t have to be an expert to speak to groups of people. The purpose of a presentation is to share information or knowledge that you have—including a personal experience and what you learned from it—with a group of people. That’s all.

Having all the answers is not required. All that is required is your authentic self, sharing what you know. This small thought shift can make a huge difference. And it is an important one. It is even important for you, as an author, in your writing.

You are not called to have all the answers. You are called to write what you know.

When you are part of God’s Kingdom, this is all that is required—sharing what you know. What people do with what you share is up to God. The outcome is in his hands.

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Author: Are You Doing These Marketing Activities?

I sometimes run into aspiring authors who tell me that they will only consider a traditional book contract for their manuscript. I have no problem with this mindset. I understand that desire to have a book accepted after being vetted by an editor.

Are you doing these marketing activities?

However, some of these authors are holding onto the ideal of a traditional book contract because they believe that the publisher will market the book for them. They like the idea of just writing.

The truth is that authors—whether traditionally published or indie published—are largely responsible for the marketing of their books. In fact, one royalty-paying, Christian publisher states right on their website their expectations of authors. Here is what this publisher says:

Author must:

  • Have created a fully developed marketing plan.
  • Keep a web presence.
  • Be technology savvy.
  • Know how to copy and paste URLs.
  • Can search the web for answers and solutions.
  • Check email daily.
  • Participate in book promotions.
  • Reach out to fan base.
  • Never, ever give up the book!

These expectations are not unreasonable. If you are an indie published author, at the least, you should already be doing these things for your book—especially the last one.

Sadly, I often see indie published authors give up on their books too soon. Book marketing is long-haul trucking. You have to be in it for the long haul to see success.

In addition to the author expectations, this traditional, royalty-paying publisher listed what they would do to market each author’s book. Here is what this publisher says they will do:

Publisher will:

  • Advertise the book with Amazon ads and Goodreads ads.
  • Provide digital Advance Review Copies through BookFunnel.
  • Offer Rafflecopter giveaways of print and digital copies.
  • Submit your book for review to Publishers Weekly.
  • Offer the Kindle version of the book for FREE or 99 cents with Kindle Select promotions.

Trade Show Floor

To be honest, I don’t think this is much marketing support. I don’t see anything about providing the following marketing activities:

  • Press Release
  • Author Media Kit
  • List of Radio and Podcast Show Interviewing Authors
  • Trade Show Representation
  • Foreign Rights Representation

If you are a self-published author, then you wear both the author and the publisher hat. This means that these additional publisher duties for marketing fall under your jurisdiction. Ask yourself: Am I doing all these marketing activities for my book?

If you are an Indie author and you need support in marketing your book, Christian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) is here to help you. We provide support and information for marketing your book including reference guides for creating press releases and media kits, a list of radio and podcast shows that interview authors, and numerous cooperative marketing opportunities. Join today at www.christianpublishers.net.

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Self-Publishing Keeps Growing!

The descendants of Abraham are “as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore” (Hebrews 11:12). It’s beginning to feel that the same is true for the number of books published.

4,200 book published every day

Self-publishing is showing no signs of slowing down. Bowker, the agency that assigns ISBNs to books, just released their data on the number of self-published books for 2018.

1,547,341

That is the number of PRINT books that were self-published (including small publishers who produce less than 10 titles a year) in 2018 in the United States. This is a 46% increase from the 1,060,821 PRINT books self-published in 2017.

This means a self-published PRINT book is published every 20 seconds in the U.S. That is over 4,200 books self-published a day!

These are just the figures for PRINT books. This does not include books that are published as ebooks only. Nor does this number include the books that are published by traditional publishing houses.

Here is the kicker: 1,416,384 of these books were published through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP)—formerly CreateSpace, which existed until the end of 2018 when it was folded into KDP. This means that 91.5% of all self-published PRINT books are published through KDP.

Fierce Competition

With over one million books self-published in 2017, 2018, and again in 2019, the number of books available for sale keeps growing exponentially. Books are not going out-of-print much anymore. The sheer number of books available to read or buy boggles the mind. This means that every year any given book is competing against more and more titles.

books

In fact, many readers are beginning to experience overload. They have more books to choose from than they can conceive. Scientists believe that while the presence of choice is appealing in theory, in reality, people find more and more choices debilitating.

This means that for the self-published author, selling books is harder. The book marketing techniques that have worked for years no longer have the same power to persuade people to buy your book. More and more, a personal connection with an audience or standing out in some significant way is required for a book to sell.

If you are a self-published author, then you need information and tools to be as effective as you can be at promoting your book. It is not enough to just write and publish a book anymore, you also must take the time to learn how to market your book effectively.

CIPAChristian Indie Publishing Association (CIPA) is one resource available to self-published (indie) authors who need guidance in marketing Christian books. The Association provides its Members with information and tools for success in publishing and marketing Christian books.

You can take advantage of CIPA’s Fall Membership special. For just $105, you will receive Membership through December 2020. Sign up to join today at https://www.christianpublishers.net/membership/become-a-member.

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Six Ways to Promote Your Books as Gifts

Did you know that 42% of Americans start their holiday shopping in November?

Now is the best time to start promoting your books as great Christmas gifts. Here are six ways you can promote your books as Christmas gifts.

Six Ways to Promote Your Books as Christmas Gifts

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How to Get Book Clubs to Choose Your Book

A friend recently told me that her book group had chosen to read the book The Devil In Pew Number Seven. The book is a memoir by a North Carolina preacher’s daughter. I was a little surprised at the choice because I had read the book years ago, so I knew it was not a newer book.

The Devil in Pew Number 7I asked my friend how her book group had decided on that particular book. She reported that each member in her book club nominates a book that they have read and then the group votes on which book to read.

Getting a book club to read your book is a great way to increase both your book’s exposure and your readership. Yet, promoting a book to book clubs can be a daunting task. First you have to find resources that reach book clubs; and then you have to advertise.

A new study on book clubs by BookBrowse that was published in the report “The Inner Lives of Book Clubs” shows that reaching book clubs may not be a difficult as many authors think. The study found that, when it comes to choosing what books they will read, most book clubs require a member to have read a book before recommending it to the group—or, at a minimum to have thoroughly researched it.

This means that you don’t have to promote your book to book clubs. You just have to reach a reader who is involved in a book club. And, book club members discover books in the same way that most readers discover new books.

Book clubs read both fiction and nonfiction books. The BookBrowse study showed that 70% of book clubs primarily read fiction, and 93% read nonfiction at least occasionally.

Book Club

So, what type of books do book clubs prefer? BookBrowse’s study showed the following:

  • 97% of book club members want a book that will provoke a good conversation.
  • 73% actively seek out books that challenge.
  • 55% look for books that are controversial.

Now, BookBrowse is a secular organization. The book clubs that they interviewed for their study were primarily secular book clubs, not Christian ones. I imagine that most private Christian book clubs operate similar to secular book clubs. However, in the Christian community, I think the vast majority of book clubs operate as small groups.

Many churches’ small groups—whether these are home groups, life groups, women’s groups, or men’s groups—read and discuss books. This raises the question of who chooses the books for these groups. Do the individuals in the group recommend the book, or do the church leaders decide?

In my church experience, I have been involved in small groups where the group chose the book and in groups where the church leadership chose the book. The groups I have been involved in where the church leadership chose the book far outweighed those where the group got to choose.

Since leaders appear to be the primary decision makers when it comes to what books a church’s small groups will read, marketing your book to church leaders is a necessary ingredient to get church groups to read your book.

This is just one example of how marketing a Christian book is different than marketing a secular book. If you need to learn more about how to market your Christian book effectively, I suggest that you check out my book Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books.

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