Two questions today:
Mary asks, "My first paid speaking engagement as an author is next month. And, like so many who have gone before me, I feel so incredibly inadequate. Can provide your top three resource recommendations for an author who is starting to speak in public about their books?"
Mary, congratulations on landing your first paid speaking engagement as an author. That's a great step forward for your career. In terms of top-level resources to help you grow as a public speaker, check out these books:
Communicating for a Change
by Andy Stanley
Andy Stanley shares the seven imperatives that define his approach to challenging people’s minds in order to change their lives: Determine Your Goal, Pick a Point, Create a Map, Internalize the Message, Engage Your Audience, and Find Your Voice.
Andy Stanley is the senior pastor of North Point Community Church in Atlanta, GA. His concepts will simplify your approach to communication and transform your sermons, lessons, and presentations into powerful life-changing experiences for your listeners. I recommend this book to all of my clients! To purchase a copy, click here.
Money Talks - How to Make a Million as a Speaker
by Alan Weiss
Don't be fooled by the subtitle, "How to make a million as a speaker." This is one of the best books I've ever read about public speaking. In Money Talks, Alan Weiss looks at public speaking as a catalyst for creating positive change for the audience. He believes you should produce tangible results that last long after you've left the engagement. This is a far different tone from most books on public speaking, which indicate that speaking is an ego-centric medium and that platform skills are more important than the value delivered.
Alan has literally made over $1,000,000 through public speaking. But, his focus is not about the money. Instead, he explains how to deliver real, measurable value for your audience, which will create the kind of speaking career that you desire. To purchase a copy, click here.
Janine asks, "Should an author have a well-developed web site BEFORE pitching a book to a publisher or agent? And, should "book" content be on the site? How do publishers see this?
Good question, Janine. Yes, I would recommend that you create and utilize a website as early as possible. The reason why is that you want to start building your platform from the beginning by sharing your content with people and gathering contact information for your newsletter, blog, etc.
Too many authors wait until their book is about to be released to build a website. By then, it's way too late. Every author, new and experience, should start marketing their book at least 6 months ahead of publication. You do this by writing articles from your book, speaking on the subject, sending newsletters about the subject. Your goal is to "seed the market" and get people looking forward to wanting your book, rather than springing it on them at the last minute.
For a basic primer on specific elements for a good author website, check out my free resource called, Recommended Author Website Requirements.
Note: I've gotten some great questions lately from several women, but none from any men. C'mon guys - you shouldn't be afraid to ask for directions when you're driving. Likewise, don't be afraid to ask for help with your book.