Category Archives for "Guru-dom"

It Won’t Happen Overnight, but it will happen!

I remember an advertising campaign a few years back featuring Rachel Hunter for Pantene.   The catchphrase was -with a cool shake of her golden locks -‘It won’t happen overnight, but it WILL happen.

That line became a cliche way faster than it took to work through a bottle of Pantene Shampoo.  And it’s one that I often find myself repeating to people I work with in marketing and more specifically in publishing.

It Wont Happen Overnight – but it WILL happen… it takes time, effort, a lot of talking, and the right combinations of online and offline promotion, but your book will eventually become well known, sell copies, and maybe even make you famous or rich.   But don’t rely on those last two… fame and fortune for writers is strictly a no-go-zone of thinking for anyone starting out as an author.

What really hit home for me about this last week was a meeting with an old client I worked with about five years ago who did a great book – and I mean every kid leaving school should read it! – he had a fantastic message about perseverance, opportunities, and making your life work for you.  But after a few months of limited sales, this man decided that it wasn’t really happening for him and despite a lot of wonderful feedback for his book and some very good speaking engagements, it was just easier to refocus on daily business.  And that’s OK.   I mean, not everyone wants to ride the horse to the end of the race when it comes to the amount of work and determination required to launch a speaking/writing career.

Many authors I’ve worked with have decided at various points along the way that there really are easier ways to make a living.   And mostly they are right.   A few have already launched a fantastic career as highly paid experts, coaches, speakers, and consultants even before they wrote their first book and for them the book was ‘the next obvious thing’ to do to keep momentum going, and re-affirm their position in the industry they had chosen to be in.

As I’ve said before, Guru-dom is a fickle and famine riddled place.  Not every book is going to make it to the best seller status so yearned for by every author.   But some do, and they do because there was a huge amount of planning, focus, and a reasonable amount of luck in the mix.

I’m working with another author at the moment who is hoping to recoup a lot of the money spent invested into the creation of his work.  This is where it will become a matter of was it a cost or investment…  the return.   You see, he’s devoted a long time and a lot of money into this project, and while his primary desire is to tell his story and open the way for opportunities to consult to others in his industry, the equally strong desire is to use this book to highlight the work he’s done, to shine a bright spotlight on what’s possible, and to recoup his investment through book sales and speaking opportunities.

So here’s what I say to people in these situations.

“It wont’ happen overnight, but it will happen…  IF, you do these things…”

Eight Steps to Author Success

  1. Write and publish a good quality book that has been well drafted, edited, proofed, and designed. Don’t just rush it, and make it an average book – this is your life’s work we’re talking about – make it special.
  2. Get really busy with your social media management.   Build a big following on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc.
  3. Do pre-sales via your social media networks, and direct people to special options for pre-ordering on Kindle and Amazon.
  4. Advertise your book via Google, Facebook Ads, boost your posts, create You Tube videos about it… SELL it!
  5. Sell your books via Kindle and Amazon IF you want to be sure of global options and author status.   There’s a lot more to this step, but it’s a big learning curve worth learning.
  6. Get media savvy – know how to get reviews from peers and media reviewers – get people talking about your book.
  7. Get busy speaking about your book – speaking and writing go hand in hand – you have to be willing to do both.
  8. KEEP BUSY redoing and reviewing all of these steps.

Amazon Best Selling Author StatusAnd finally – wait…  wait for the tipping point to happen.  It may not be immediate.  It may take a year or more.  It may not happen at all, and it may take a second or third book for you to become ‘popular’.   But like I already said… it won’t happen overnight.


Inspiring Change In Your World

While reviewing a lot of Facebook posts lately, I have been interested in noting that the world is definitely changing. From one where people are fairly relaxed about important things in life, to where opinions are rife, videos common to portray things that are either just not right, or totally adorable.  Rappers are making their music mean more, poets are finding a firmer platform to share from, and entertainers are still just as popular as ever.  But – I noticed that even that has changed lately.   Did you see last week that  Rock Star PINK has weighed in on the body image debate for young women by criticizing Kim Kardashian’s attitude towards her own sexuality. And just about everyone from the First Lady of the USA to the woman I saw in the local cafe yesterday is making noise about breast feeding (vs pornography) in public. There’s even a whole lot of mud (yes I’m watching my language) slinging about Donald Trump, the Republicans vs the Democrats, and people’s rights and responsibilities about voting in elections.

Yes the world is changing.

How much are you being part of the change you want to see in your corner of the world?  

Regardless of how big or small your corner may be, if you have something to say about it, there has never been a better time to be heard.  BUT – how many voices do you have to rise above to be heard?

Spread the Word

Spread the Word

Twitter, You Tube, Face Book, Instagram…  the mainstayers of social media are increasingly popular – it’s never ending.  However, there is a flaw with this.   Facebook at least is continuing to update it’s algorithms and affect what you can actually put out into the public domain or even share with your friends without boosting (that means paying for) traction for your messages. Unless you are already someone ‘famous’ enough to feature on enough feeds for your viral-ability to rocket it can be a very hard climb to get to the top of someone’s news feed and create a stir about anything worth mentioning.  Twitter is now dominated by images without which your message is totally lost, and YouTube and Instagram posts are so crowded it’s almost too hard to get there and find what you’re looking for unless you know your way around really well and have the time to surf for a while.

I’ve managed to somehow not see or hear the news channels for nearly three weeks now – mostly by accident, although I don’t make a point of watching the news on a regular basis anyway as I prefer to not hear all the negative reports about shootings, accidents, muggings, and rampaging political agendas as a daily part of my diet.  However, while I used to say that I’d get any serious news on Facebook if I needed to made aware of it, even that is not true any more.  Instead of being made aware of the most devastating tropical storm ever recorded in the South Pacific last week (the one that has devastated Fiji) instead I’ve been inundated with Trump-isms and puppies.  How does that work exactly?

Inspiring change in your world sounds complicated but it’s very simple really

The more people you know, who also know you, and take an interest in your views, your fun-stuff, or your quips and quirks, the further your message will go.  I have a lovely friend who is out there doing a lot of great work towards raising self esteem among women. She posts fun videos, inspirational quotes – many of which are her own original ones – and long conversations with the universe that further balance out reviews of her life and what’s happening there every few days.  She works her social media resources to actively try and make a difference in the corner of her world she has claimed as her own to help change.   She gathers people together in rooms to hear her wisdom, and teaches them to laugh as themselves, and love themselves more every single day.

There are countless people out there doing exactly that.  Identifying a corner of their own world they want to improve, like a gardener finding a whole park that needs weeding a little and taking ownership of it, along side a few others in each plot of land, taking out the pesky and irritable weeds that bring humanity down and replacing them with flowers, vegetables and fruit to serve, nourish, and flourish with colour and positive new ideas and ways to live.

It’s a great time to find a mission, share your passion, and enthusiastically challenge the status quo over something.   So go on – get busy. Inspiring change in your world is far more invigorating than sitting around waiting for the six o’clock news every evening.

And be sure to share your stories as you go…


Can You Write a Book in Only 48 Hours?

I’ve recently been hearing about publishing coaches who offer to help people write a book in only 48 hours.   Intrigued I looked into this further and am surprised to find this really is a trend. However, having written, published, co-authored, and developed dozens of quality books in the last 10 years I can honestly tell you that there is a process, and it’s a reasonably lengthy one. Significantly longer and more complex than what can be achieved in under a week.

How long does it REALLY take to write a book?

Well some would argue that you can simply write a book by planning a few sexy chapter headings, dictate your material then give it to a publisher.  That does sound like a very good short cut way to become an author.  However the reality is that getting your content out of your head is only a small part of the process.

For a start, there are LOTS of barely average books hitting the market every day.  Millions of new titles are being released every year.   If your book is going to even see the light of day, it has to be good.  Your content has to be far better than average, well edited and reader friendly. Without these boxes ticked, there’s a very high chance that your book might even do the opposite of promoting you positively to your market.

Your relationship with your publisher and editor can make or break your chances of success as an author. Transcribed spoken material reads quite differently than written content.   For example:

  • If I’m going to speak this sentence, it will sound like:  Loved meeting over dinner th’other night; great range of options on the menu too. 
  • Written it is more likely to be:  I Loved our chance meeting on Wednesday night.  I was really impressed with the range of options on the menu too.  

Subtle differences, but when you are reading a lot of text that is not well written, after a while it becomes annoying and sometimes even hard for the reader to remain focused.  That’s because we are taught to read differently than the way we hear.  We process the information slightly differently too.

I’m not saying that voice recording your material is a bad thing. In fact, for many writers it’s a preferred option for getting ideas out of their heads.   However, just having those recordings typed up, without a good editing process in place will show your book very quickly to be of sub-standard quality.

Remember this – if your readers are regular readers of anything, they will be discerning readers.  Your professional reputation is at stake if you don’t measure up and put some real effort into conveying your expertise in a way that represents quality sharing.  


The Publishing Part of the Process

If you then want to present your manuscript to a publisher, there’s a series of editing steps and submission preparation you need to go through in order to attract positive feedback and opportunities from publishers.   They will not publish anything sub-standard either – their reputations are based on quality publications, and it’s not worth their while messing with this rule.

I’ve worked with a number of agents and publishers over the years – and even cooperative publishers (a cross between traditional and vanity publishing companies) will be very careful about what they associate their names with.  In one instance when I was negotiating an opportunity for a well known Australian Author to start working with a USA based Cooperative Publishing house, their concerns were met by three factors equally: 1) the author was living in the USA and working successfully as a professional speaker there, 2) she had already sold 30,000+ copies of her book in Australia, and 3) she had exceptional quality reviewers comments already for the revised USA edition.   Without these three factors, they were not interested, even though she had established herself as a highly successful author/speaker Down Under.

You may prefer to self publish, or work with a collaborative publisher – someone who guides you through the process, takes care of much of the donkey work associated with publishing processes, and still leaves you in charge of ‘owning it’.  Either way, there’s a number of  steps in the process to work through and it will take time.

By the time you have written your draft  which can be as short as eight weeks, although I’ve known  some books come together in only about six weeks to first draft stage,  then you have to allow even a minimum of editing time of four weeks by the time you make revisions, corrections, and review it again.  Then you will have to allow for typesetting, design, covers, and the extra pages such as About You, Acknowledgements, Indexing, Forewords, and Reviews.

A Word on Reviews When You Write a Book.

Just having reviews for your work is not the same as having reviews for your book.   Taking the time for people to actually read even parts of your book and writing (and that includes signing off on) a review comment is worth doing well.  Just because you helped someone as their coach or consultant, does not mean you can take their testimonial for your work and put it on the back of your book.  It’s a different thing.


A Good Strategy is the Key To Your Success as an AUTHORity

If you want to write a book for the sake of saying you are an author, and are prepared to put some effort into making it an excellent representation of your expertise or wisdom in any area, then why would you short change your readers with substandard output.  It’s a big deal to write and publish a book.  There are now dozens of ‘publishing coaches’ in the marketplace all vying for your money and most make big promises about how easy it can be to quickly become a published author.  They are wrong.  It’s not a quick fix option, it’s a serious marketing strategy that needs to be planned and executed well.

You also need to consider what you’ll do with your book once you’re published. How is it going to be used to leverage opportunities for work, contracts, speaking engagements?  What  will you do to promote and distribute your book?  How will you make it available to your potential readers?

Having a good strategy for writing your content, publishing it, and then delivering it to your market is worth doing well.  As with any part of your business, a plan is something you can work with, set goals with and measure outcomes against.

Ask yourself this – do you want your book to be something that could help to get you a TED talk, or a Rotary Breakfast talk?


Happy Writing,

Dixie Maria Carlton


PS – If you want to know more about how to write a book and publish it, then you will find Idea to AUTHORity very helpful.

The Concept of Guru-dom

The concept of Guru-dom is not about what we call ourselves but how we do what we do when we share wisdom, expertise, and stories that help others. 

I’ve resisted the word Guru for years.  I don’t personally think of myself in that way and the very few people I’ve met in the world who have referred to themselves as ‘guru’s are often best avoided charlatans of one kind or another.   However, I’ve also met many really interesting people who are totally at the top of their game, blessed with so much knowledge, wisdom, expertise, and experience that it’s easy to see why others might refer to them using the G Word.

My work is with people like that who truly have a lot to share, and are ‘the real deal’. But what to call them? How is it possible to group these people under a word that actually conveys this. Competitions, brainstorming think-tanks and late night wine-fueled table talk have all yielded nothing better.  And so – I’m writing today about the very concept of what I have begun to refer to as ‘Guru-dom’.

Guru-dom (def.) is that state which highly knowledgeable, articulate experts use to share their wisdom for the benefit of others who seek to learn from them.

There are rules for those entering the world of Guru-dom such as:

Never refer to oneself as a ‘guru’.

Never refer to your own self using the G-Word because it’s just unnecessary. Real people with high levels of knowledge, wisdom, and experience to share are best to share it without being ego-driven.  Self-proclaimed Gurus are usually highly driven by ego.

Always speak your truth.

Always speak Truth because egg on the face of any enlightened talented expert is going to be continually icky.   Icky in a smelly rotten egg kind of way.  The kind of smell that lingers, follows you around and eventually catches up with you again someday when least expected or desired.

Share for the benefit of others freely and with a smile on your face.

Share for the benefit of others with a smile on your face simply because you feel drawn to share. It’s part of your life’s journey.  Don’t do it just for the money – by all means you should be paid, and well rewarded for sharing, but don’t hesitate to share for the good of sharing when there’s a chance to do so too.  That’s also how we can change the world… one smile and story at a time.

Don’t hide your light under a bushel!

If you are someone who should be part of the Guru-dom concept and the world of sharing, then it serves no one at all to be less than you can be.  It serves no one at all for you to hide your stories, tell only part of the story, or hold back on being the very best version of Continue reading