Had my weekly pre-weekend review meeting with Mike Jones via iChat this morning. Man....just can't get over how technology is changing the way and frequency in which we can connect with one another - regardless of distance. This big, gigantic world is starting to feel more and more like a global "village."
(Disclaimer: On the other hand, no amount of technology can replace the benefit of personal connection made by eyeball to eyeball meetings and conversations, but it sure beats simply typing words back and forth when working off-site or traveling.)
Saw these today while out doing some pre-Thailand shopping at a travel store. There is so much I could say about this, but I won't.
Ok, yes. I will...
First of all, if you can afford to travel to 17 countries in 6 weeks, you sure as heck better be able to afford some space to carry around a few skivvies. I don't care how "breathable" they are! You wear those for that long, Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis will be the LAST of your worries! No shots to help with THAT!
That's about all I say about our three Christmas Eve Candlelight gatherings this past Sunday at The Orchard.
I have been proud of our team on numerous occasions, but this past weekend everything went to a whole new level! The synergy of our teams working together was amazing and the CROWDS and CROWDS of people blew me away. The quality of our videos, music, production, and our environments were at a level beyond anything I have ever seen at The Orchard.
Ben McConnell from Church of the Customer Blog had some good thoughts for those interested in writing their first business book. Some really great ideas here that I have heard reiterated from several of my author friends. Thought it was worth reposting here....
"10 things about writing your first business book."
Why exactly do you want to write a book? If you answered, "because people say I should," start over. Your book
should have a clearly defined business purpose. You will jeopardize
months of time, bundles of cash and quite possibly several
relationships because the manuscript alone will grow into a voracious
black hole that consumes all attention matter.
Your book should be a magnet. Magnetism is art and science, based on your ability to discern an unmet need (the art) then create a compelling solution for it (the science).
Be aspirational. Write a book that people want to read because it will improve their life, job, career or business. "Good to Great"
is an aspirational book. It's also an idea magnet. The title and
concept are elegant and magnetic. Of course, author Jim Collins backed
up his magnetic idea with buckets of research.
First, spend 1-2 years building an audience. "Platform"
is everything. A platform is the stage you have already created. It may
be your successful entrepreneurialism, your noteworthy career as a
muckety-muck at a famous company, your research as an academic, your
work as consultant or analyst
at an agency, your well-read blog or your quotability in the
media. Or a combination of all of that. Platform is the primary
criteria by which publishers will decide to buy your book. A publisher
will rely on your platform for book sales, too.
Fish in the ocean. Write a book for a market that's the size of the ocean, such as
entrepreneurs. Don't write a book for a puddle, like a book on
entrepreneurialism for teenagers. The trap many authors fall into is
that they write a book for bayou markets. Bayous can stretch for miles,
but they may be only a few inches deep. Big markets with very little
need. The bigger the audience coupled with a big need, the better the
Book royalties won't buy a BMW. If you land a book deal, your royalty rate of 15% means you'll earn
about $1.25 per book. That's after the publisher recoups the advance
money it paid you. Chances are, total annual royalties from your book
will barely exceed the U.S. poverty level; the majority of busisness
books don't sell more than 25,000 copies. But if your book is a part of
larger plan, the book should help grow other parts of your business
where money is made.
Invest heavily in your writing. If a book deal is imminent, or you've planned to self-publish, it's
time to write. Writing is editing. If you're not
a trained writer, invest in an editor or writing coach. Use your own
money to hire an experienced editor. Don't rely on the editors at your
publisher. They have more projects on their plate than you do, so you
must continue to be the CEO of your book. Write the book yourself, but
rely on the editor to excise cliches, fix tired or stilted
writing and force you to focus. Once readers are drawn in by the
magnetism, great writing keeps them reading.
Follow the six-month rule. The six months before publication are the most important marketing
months for your book. Give as many galley copies of your book, a
paperback-bound version of the manuscript, to friends, colleagues,
thought leaders, bloggers, blog readers, media, or customers as you or
your publisher can afford. (Number of galley copies printed can be a
contract negotiating point.) Blog parts of your book during the
six-month window. Building advance interest in your book or the subject
is key to fueling word of mouth during the first month of its release.
Invest heavily in your marketing. Rick Barrera, who wrote the Wall Street Journal bestseller "Overpromise and Overdeliver,"
equates books to Doritos. It's easy to share Doritos, and easy to make
more, so give away a lot of books so more people will consume them. A
book is the best business card imaginable to your business knowledge,
so put that Dorito it into eager, outstretched hands. They'll reward
Seth Godin has 19 additional pieces of advice. He thinks you should spend three years building an audience before
writing your first book, but some prolific, dedicated and well-versed
bloggers have shown they can build vast audiences in about a year.
Out of town with my family for a few days for some WAY overdue relaxation and fun. Major WOW blessing... More on that later.
So anyway, the blog will probably be a bit quiet for a day or two...
Had a GREAT weekend! Enjoyed a wonderful Saturday evening out with Tony and Emily Morgan & Kem and Mark Meyer from Granger Community Church in Granger, IN. Between the leg in the window, the dead rabbit on the lawn and way too many tapas, we had a blast! It was also great having them at The Orchard this weekend as well.
Speaking of The Orchard... This past weekend we concluded our MYSPACE series and are now heading full force into our Christmas Eve gatherings happening this coming Sunday! This year we will be doing three services 3pm, 5pm & 7pm. If you live near the Chicago area and don't have plans to attend Christmas Eve services, we would love to have you join us.
That's it for now! Going to catch up on some reading and then head to bed. G'nite!
PS - The rumor is true... Amanda and I are expecting #3. Congratulatory Starbucks cards and/or cash can be sent to: 101 Barnes Rd........ :)