Your message. In focus.

Posts in category Strategy

How to Generate and Organize Ideas wi...

How to Generate and Organize Ideas with Affinity Mapping

So you have an idea for a book. You can see your title and your first paragraph AND NOTHING ELSE. The rest is an uncooperative snarl of shifting concepts that refuse to jump onto the screen and fall into a neat outline so you can begin. Enter affinity mapping, a quick way to brainstorm, categorize, […]

Lessons from a Poetry Submissions Par...

Lessons from a Poetry Submissions Party

This past Saturday, I spent the afternoon with my writing group submitting poetry to literary magazines. While many of us poets publish at least some work on our personal blogs, literary journals are the best way to increase the visibility of our poems and, of course, to build credentials toward one day publishing a “real” […]

Purpose: The Starting Place for Strat...

Purpose: The Starting Place for Strategic Alignment

When I talk with potential book clients, I begin by asking, Why do you want to write a book? What is your purpose in writing it? What do you want it to do for you? A book may support their business purpose, or their personal purpose—and ideally it supports both. And of course the book […]

Crafting Strategy: Visionary, Intuiti...

Crafting Strategy: Visionary, Intuitive, or Both?

In my first real corporate management job, I was tasked with guiding our operations leadership team through a strategic planning process. One of my older, wiser colleagues gave me a 1987 Harvard Business Review article called “Crafting Strategy” by Henry Mintzberg. His article resonated strongly with me and became a touchstone over the years. As […]

5 Surprising Uses for Business Books

5 Surprising Uses for Business Books

For business owners and entrepreneurs, writing a book has become a standard credibility builder and marketing tool. As a speaker, a book gets you on a bigger stage. As a consultant, a book opens doors. As a coach, a book helps potential clients see you as the right fit for them. In my work, I’ve […]

Thought Leadership: Pretentious or Pr...

Thought Leadership: Pretentious or Profitable?

Recently seen on Twitter: “If you ever feel the need to unironically call yourself a ‘thought leader,’ please don’t.” (Umm, I cleaned up the language for polite company.) Is the phrase “thought leader” overused? Probably. Does it sound pretentious? Occasionally. Can it still be meaningful? Absolutely. Two Definitions of Thought Leadership In my reading, I […]

3 Ways to Create Bulk Book Sales

3 Ways to Create Bulk Book Sales

I frequently counsel clients not to worry excessively about book sales. For coaches, consultants, and speakers, the ROI on a nonfiction book often comes from gaining additional clients and/or raising professional fees more than it does from individual book sales. This is especially true if they have not yet achieved a broad base of potential […]

Does Your Book Quality Match Your Bra...

Does Your Book Quality Match Your Brand Promise?

When writing a book as part of your business growth strategy, your business will be judged on the quality of your book. As a result, your book quality should match your brand promise. Consider: When you shop for clothes, you likely visit different stores for different pieces. You go to the store whose brand, quality, […]

Speaking & Books: Magic Momentum

Speaking & Books: Magic Momentum

I recently realized that a full two-thirds of my book clients have been members of Toastmasters, the international organization that helps people learn public-speaking skills. It didn’t take long to figure out why: most of my clients are professional speakers or have public speaking as a significant part of their portfolio, along with consulting, coaching, […]

How Long Should Your Nonfiction Book ...

How Long Should Your Nonfiction Book Be?

A common question I get is “How long should my book be?” There are different answers for different genres, of course, but for my clients, we’re usually talking about business, thought-leadership, self-help, or professional-development books. To answer the immediate question, let’s look at some numbers. Then, more importantly, let’s talk strategy and consider some case […]

Tips for Creating Effective Headings

Tips for Creating Effective Headings

In my last post, I discussed emphasis—the use of bold, italic, underline, ALL CAPS, and so on—primarily looking at the main text of a book or article. I mentioned headings briefly, and in this post I want to expand on the effective formatting of headings. When I say “headings,” I’m referring to the types of […]

Tips for Using Emphasis Effectively

Tips for Using Emphasis Effectively

I recently read a blog post and found myself getting annoyed. And it wasn’t even a post about politics! Frankly I can’t tell you what the article was about because I was too annoyed with the article’s formatting. The author used every conceivable form of emphasis—bold, italic, underline, ALL CAPS, and COMBINATIONS THEREOF—with reckless abandon. […]