The Kara Sutra #7—Satisfy Your Desire


Be Passionate About Your Book—Don’t Just Write the Book You Feel You Should
Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Seven
 
Many new authors, especially in the business arena, set out to write the book they feel they should be writing. They focus on what everybody else is doing, what others say is on trend and constantly ponder how they will be perceived by others.
As a business author, you want to share a powerful and transformative message with the world, to be authentic and to claim your space within an already overcrowded market. You want to make a difference, to be successful and to catapult your business to new levels of achievement.
You have a burning desire within… a unique and extraordinary perspective. This is your truth, your life-experience, your distinct message to the world. Chances are, however, the book you want to write—the book about this very personal passion is not the book you will actually start to write.
You so want to reveal your mastery—to become a leader—yet the prospect of doing that, goes against the norm. It is different to what other authors and business people are doing.
On the one hand you have this extraordinarily different perspective and on the other you have the pressure to be accepted. The thought of what your existing clients would say, the negative reviews and the embarrassment of being all on your own within your field, all push you away from your core message.
The heart says, write that book on Accountancy for Cat Lovers…
Talking Crystals and How to Market Them…
…Interpretive Dance on Your iMac,
The head says, write a book on accounting, marketing and using an iMac. And so on.
Every profession is so jam-packed with experts, preaching their expertise and trying to outdo each other, it is just boring to audiences. We now live in a world where just doing what everybody else is doing just gets you lost in a smog of content.
To achieve what you want to achieve, do not do the norm, do what you are passionate about. Take your special and unusual perspective and allow it to change you from yet another expert in the field, to the leader of the field.
The audience for the book you want to write is out there… if your current audience are advocates of your brand, they will also follow you. Those who do not like the finished book—even if they write a bad review to prove it—will only demonstrate their own lack of innovative thinking.
And as they get lost in the same smog of content that threatened to drag you down, you will be rewarded for being the pioneer; the one who journeyed where nobody had dared venture before.

The Kara Sutra #6—Keep ‘Em Wanting More!

It is vital you play hard to get when writing your book…

Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Six

 

Behind the scenes of most businesses, there is no time or patience for stories. Most people want you to get to the point and to do it yesterday! So, we find ourselves constantly running full pelt to the finish line as quickly and concisely as possible.

When writing a book, however, getting to the point is not the point of writing the book.

As an author, you are seeking to engage your audience; to lure them into your world and once they are there, to tease them, play with them and generally have your way with them!

Ahem…

This is achieved through story—the more you master your art as a storyteller, the greater your storyselling.

For, once the audience is in your world, you can lead them from moment to moment, product to product.

They will not mind being sold to, because they enjoy the experience of the story… and you will not have to force them to buy, because storyselling is subtle and offered with an open hand (rather than a closed fist held to your client’s throat).

The challenge is, before you can master the craft of storyselling, you will need to transition from… getting to the point, to meandering to the point.

Most business authors charge out of the starting gate and head, in a dead straight line, to the finish. They have no time to offer their reader except when stating facts, figures and the occasional anecdote for illustrative purposes.

That approach has worked well for many years, but now it is failing more and more.

Why? Because the audience is so saturated in sales and marketing, they have become exceptionally adept at filtering it out of their awareness.

It takes microseconds for the savvy, modern brain to make a decision. If you are attempting to get to the point in that time, you will lose them, whether or not you are going at light speed with those facts and figures or not.

In less than a second, you have time to do one thing and one thing only…

Raise their heart rate.

If you achieve this, you will have them for them for a minute more, maybe several minutes. Then you can begin to tell your story, engage them and compel them to keep going on this journey. All the while you are walking beside them, sharing your story and meandering past different events.

The building of these events through narration, creating tension and the release of tension are not to the point—the purpose is not to get to the point, but to enthral your audience; leading them from one dramatic event to the next.

Everything in your story needs to be designed to keep the audience wanting more. And if you craft your narrative with powerful storyselling techniques, there will come a point in your book where the reader will relax into the story and begin to trust you.

Their trust is the most important aspect of the author/reader relationship. For when they trust you, you can offer them value in the purchases they make and the relationship you develop together. You can turn basic information into profound transformation.

The Kara Sutra #5—Fluid Desire

Keep the adventure in this moment…

Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Five

When you write your book, you are doing so in the moment. In this moment right now. Regardless of how long it actually takes you to complete your book, you will always write in the moment and within the context of that moment.

Your reader always reads your book in the moment. In this moment right now. Regardless of when you actually completed your book, they will always read in the moment and within the context of that moment.

So, your reader may be in this moment a few months after you are in this moment. They may be in this moment, two-hundred years after you are in this moment.

Think about that for a moment. Take it in.

You have the ability to change the life of a person, two centuries from now. You will never meet them or know of the impact you had upon their life, when they reach the end of theirs. You will never know important your book is or was or could be.

Yet, they will know you through your book. They will grow a relationship with you. They will love you in a way that transcends time and space. And in this moment you will know them too. You know your readers so well—so completely—they are real, whether they are alive today or in the distant future.

So, when you fully realise the importance of your book and its place in the world, you will also understand how important it is to keep your narrative relevant, no matter when it is read.

Be aware of factors that date your book and—unless your book needs to be firmly indicative of this time period—avoid these as much as you can.

The easiest way to date your book is to use time specifics. Telling your reader the year, presenting a year and then describing your temporal relationship to that year, or indeed qualifying a relationship to any fixed event or period in time, will date your book.

Technology and science can also date your book, as well as many social, spiritual and political attitudes. Your linguistic and language patterns may date your book. And the big no-no is attempting to be futuristic from the present moment!

This is when an author describes the future with their current range of experiences. Think Tomorrowland! However, you can be futuristic from a retrospective point of view, such as the Steampunk realisation of Space Mountain.

Dating your book in an earlier timeframe may date the book, but because you have positioned it with the sophistication of future-proofing, it will always be a retrospective, yet relevant narrative.

Chances are that social, political and spiritual attitudes will shift and change as well, therefore, if you want to maintain your book’s fluid nature, you will need to be ultra aware of sharing your views on these. Many a profound personal development book has not aged well, because of throwaway, unnecessary and outdated comments on race or gender.

Authoring your book in a moment; one that can be any moment, will ensure your work stays fresh and relevant throughout time… Offering the promise of a better world, a lasting legacy and a deeply rewarding paradigm for all time.

 

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The Kara Sutra is the Author’s Way of using the written word as a powerful tool (from the Sanskrit Kara, author/creator, and Sutra, law). A tool that impacts the reader and transforms their lives in some way.

In this series of blogs, author and ghost writer, Martyn Pentecost, explores the foundations of authoring through a series of Author Laws… The Kara Sutra.

Should “Thought Leaders” Be Banned?

Have you bumped into the phrase thought leader recently?

In the last few years this phrase, initially used to describe someone who was a stand-out authority and in-demand leader in a field, has appeared throughout entrepreneurial events and material.

As often happens this has become vastly overused and its meaning diluted.

To the point where it has become meaningless.

Any Tom, Dick or Harriet who has put pen to paper now seems to see themselves as a thought leader.

Yet most who seek the mantle of thought leadership appear to do very little original thinking—most of their material, if not all of it, is rehashed, regurgitated and repackaged from others.

The difference that makes a leader is…

Now there is definitely a place for easy introductions or simple breakdowns of complex areas, but this is simply the process of teaching and explaining, not thought leadership. Many little books tackle this challenge admirably. They distil methods, tools and strategies into bite-sized activities that can be tackled daily to gain excellent results.

Many of us would love to be seen as a leader in our field. The reality is that most of us simply won’t reach this position..

We cannot become a leader in our field by rehashing other people’s models or anecdotes. We cannot become a leader in our field by regurgitating reams of information and statistics. We cannot become a leader in our field by simply repackaging various approaches with new names or pretty design.

We cannot become a leader simply by layering a few anecdotes from our experience onto existing information.

We become leaders by evolving a vision that is unique, that is powerful, that is compelling and inspirational for others. We become leaders by sharing that vision in a way that enables others to get great results. We become leaders by being deeply thoughtful, sticking with the challenges of deep thought when others would rush away to seek simpler solutions.

Partners in thought and deed…

When we first started mPowr Publishing we already knew that books could be revolutionary, transformational and inspiring.

Since beginning to work with business coaches, consultants, trainers, speakers and entrepreneurs through Immersive Publishing we have consistently held out the challenge for authors to seek genuine leadership. When an author has a powerful desire to create a book, a vision, that changes the way the reader thinks, feels and acts then the work of thought leadership begins.

What a privilege to be involved in this journey!

Seeking genuine thought leadership? Then start the thinking here…

The Kara Sutra #4—The Narrative Position

Invite your reader in by opening the door, rather than demanding they enter!

Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Four

The narrative position is such a simple factor in your authoring, yet so many new and self-published authors fail to realise how important it is. The position involves that of the reader and where they feel they are in relation to the narrative.

Are they in the story—a character fully immersed in your narrative? Are they sitting beside you in some unknown place faraway? Or are they at their desk on their lunch break, reading your book whilst scoffing a sandwich?

The narrative position that is ignored will achieve one result… the reader may read your book, but will never be touched by it, moved by it, transformed by it. This could be called the Report position, because it amounts to simply reporting information to your reader.

The narrative position of you as a disembodied narrator will have the reader come to you, but they will never be sure of their bearings, unless you make these very clear.

The reason this is the most popular form of narrative position is not because it is the most effective, it is down to how much we use it. People are so accustomed to reading in this style—it is so acceptable and safe—that it has become the default.

More than sufficient for blog posts, articles, reports and other everyday forms of media, the Narrator-Out-There position will suit many needs. However, when it comes to writing your book, this same position will create a finished book that promotes your bland, not your brand.

The Story Narrative position, grabs your reader and pulls them in, not by shouting at them to be a part of the story, but through inviting them into the excitement, drama and thrills that exist within the world.

Storytelling—or in the case of business books, storyselling—is the most powerful form of narrative. It will enthral, enchant and literally transform your reader’s life, through the emotions they feel and the relationship you share together.

Yet, this approach does meet with resistance on both sides… new authors find storyselling very challenging to write, because there is a lot to learn if you are going to get it right!

Readers find it easy to escape the story and just go for the bullet points… because the author has not fully committed to their narrative position. Even confident writers are known to play it safe with a get-out clause! This sends a message to the reader… There is a really good story here, but if you do not have the time/inclination to read it, here is a summary…

The Story position builds a world, opens the door and invites your audience in. The summary is a signpost outside that describes what is inside. So, not only is there no need for the reader to enter the world, they have also destroyed any mystery or value for them.

When a storyseller gets it right; the audience not only immerse themselves in the world, they never want to leave! This is where they are transformed by your expertise, their lives changed for the better and you gain an army of loyal, fervent advocates.

 

 

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The Kara Sutra is the Author’s Way of using the written word as a powerful tool (from the Sanskrit Kara, author/creator, and Sutra, law). A tool that impacts the reader and transforms their lives in some way.

In this series of blogs, author and ghost writer, Martyn Pentecost, explores the foundations of authoring through a series of Author Laws… The Kara Sutra.

A portfolio of businesses or a portfolio business?

There is enormous upheaval ahead.

All of us are at risk.

There are also exciting possibilities for those who can ride the wave of change carefully.

Automation, ageing and the changing shape of globalisation and de-globalisation will lead to significant shifts in the coming years.

At a recent event, I was intrigued by a conversation that revolved around this rapidly shifting terrain for workers, both corporate and freelance.

Do the changes ahead mean we need to shift focus?

One successful freelance trainer I spoke with was struggling with the implications for his own business and was beginning to explore his options for creating a portfolio of businesses. This might mean him training online on one topic, doing coaching locally in a completely different area and doing project-based work on whatever he could get hold of.

His emerging strategy was to look at training in and developing some basic skills in lots of different areas. Then he hoped to be able to at least keep something going if the other areas dried up…

It was quite a challenging conversation. I could see the threat/challenges. I just wasn’t sure about the strategy, indeed whether it was strategic or merely desperation.

The trainer in question was highly experienced, one of the top experts in his field in the UK. Yet he didn’t really see how this expertise could survive as a business on its own.

This isn’t an unusual situation, lots of people are struggling with similar options, questions and tempting solutions (that may not be solutions at all).

I was puzzled, the skills he had acquired over the years, the insights into organisations, individuals and team dynamics were extensive and unique. Yet the live training arena was his current context and he couldn’t really see anything beyond this with his current skillset. Hence the search for something else to do…

Is your plan strategic or panic?

When we work with business authors we are encouraging them to think about the future of their business and how books, audio or online programmes can help them navigate and structure a future for their business. This isn’t a random foray into other areas that they don’t really know about, but a focused use of the insight and expertise in new contexts that can benefit from their wisdom.

For example, the HR consultant who has many years of experience in hospitality settings can begin to pull out the underlying principles of excellent customer experience and translate these for other business sectors in high-value books/products/training.

The creation of a product-range business that sits alongside and complements an expert’s current business maintains the centre of gravity around their expertise. Attempting to start lots of new stuff or offer lots of very different services will lead to a disintegration and loss of quality.

We never resolved the situation for the freelance trainer during our chat, however, my instinct is that our expertise is our strongest asset and delivers the greatest results.

Do we want to create a range of different businesses that are unconnected and risk poorer results for the client?

Or should we look to the future with a product-range business that maintains our quality in different contexts?

There is enormous upheaval ahead.

How will you ride the wave of change?

The Kara Sutra #3—The Textuality Paradox

Beware of paradoxical contentment!

Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Three

One of the more subtle, yet most commonplace of rookie author errors is the creation of internal paradoxes within a narrative. This is not necessarily the story-based paradox that is frequently involved in time-travel fiction, but a paradox of logic.

For instance, the phrase…

Don’t do what you are told

…creates a paradox. To do what you are told, you cannot not do what you are told. When you do not do as you are told, you are doing what you are told! And so on.

This is an obvious example, yet so many authors, particularly when it comes to business books, create more convoluted forms of paradox.

These transition from the very mild—yet very damaging—telling your reader not to do a thing that you then proceed to do yourself, to complex and hard to detect paradoxes.

The challenge created by every paradox—unless you are using them knowingly—is they undermine your authenticity as an author and business person. This is because paradoxes highlight gaps in your own expertise, logic or self-awareness.

  • The self-proclaimed pioneer who just does what everybody is doing.
  • The sales guru, who fails to sell their readers.
  • The authority in their field, who writes without authority in their book.

Here are some actual instances of the narrative paradox—can you spot them?

A Selection of Tweets…

Are you giving too much value? Don’t give people advice they haven’t asked for. 

Where there is light there can be no darkness. 

I can imagine haha any1 can write a book now cause 2days world we tak authority(author) as truth instead vice-versa [sic]

58 Experts Share their Best Personal Branding and Authority Tips…

Several times per year, I do something that is difficult and original. There are three of them:

  1. Publish a book
  2. Run a conference
  3. Do original research

I’ve done each of these for years. They all started small, but they’ve gotten easier (and bigger) over time. The book, Content Chemistry, is in it’s fourth edition. This was the fifth year for our conference, Content Jam. The research, our Survey of 1000+ Bloggers, was just published for the third time.—Andy Crestodina

 

But in order to reach this level of influence, you have to be known and on people’s minds regularly. You have to be everywhere at once… We know exactly where our target market is and we go there. —James McAllister

 

The New Pioneers, by Tania Ellis…

Einstein’s famous quote: ‘No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it’, says it all: the finance, environmental and social challenges of the 21st Century cannot be met with solutions based on 20th Century mindsets, models and designs.

Inspirational Book Writing, by Dave Thompson…

This is a book written in my unique tone and conversational style. I don’t know anyone that reads 18th century [sic] English literature, so I may not always follow the perfectly proper conventions of spelling and grammar. Honestly, I’m not fussed about it—the message you hold in your hands is FAR more important than a missing full stop 😉 [sic]

Communication Mastery, by Zayne Parker

[The first paragraph of the first chapter]

In this first chapter, we have given you a lowdown on the importance of being a good communicator and in the subsequent chapter we have covered the above-mentioned 50 techniques in a detailed and comprehensive manner.

 

The textuality paradox is not merely a slip of narrative tongue; it is a demonstration of how your professional expertise is diminished by your lack of authoring skills.

There are powerful, noble and transformative ideas beneath the text, but the act of writing from own’s own perspective, rather than authoring with an understanding of what it is to be the reader, develops the paradox.

And, whilst most will not notice the paradox consciously, somewhere inside they will feel uneasy—and this sensation will be linked to your writing, your brand and your business.

 

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The Kara Sutra is the Author’s Way of using the written word as a powerful tool (from the Sanskrit Kara, author/creator, and Sutra, law). A tool that impacts the reader and transforms their lives in some way.

In this series of blogs, author and ghost writer, Martyn Pentecost, explores the foundations of authoring through a series of Author Laws… The Kara Sutra.

Are your readers in Waterstones?

Next time you are outside a bookshop take a wander in.

Enjoy the atmosphere, soak up that wonderful, new book aroma and then mosey over to the business section.

Look at the size of the bookshop, then look at the size of the business section, then look at the shelf space dedicated to your particular topic of interest.

It will be an illuminating experience.

When we first start to work with business authors one of their first concerns is that their book will be available at bookstores. We reassure them that yes, all books published by us can be ordered and purchased from Waterstones, et al.

Then we tell them that Waterstones, or the other bricks-and-mortar stores, are probably the last places they need to worry about.

Think back to that shelf space at the back of the bookstore containing the behemoths of business books The One-Minute Manager, The 7 Habits, etc.

The reality is that, for most business authors writing for specific niche audiences, prospective readers are not prowling the shelves of Waterstones desperately seeking their title.

This is not a bad thing.

In fact, it is liberating.

There will always be a role for the physical bookstores for particular kinds of books and for highly popular authors in mass market areas. But for the rest of us, for those with expertise, services and products in niche arenas, our hungry audience is elsewhere.

Thankfully we can reach them more easily than ever before.

Fighting for shelf space in Waterstones reduces your title to a mere commodity and also massively reduces the profitability of your book project.

When you are visible to your target audience where they gather your book is not a commodity… it is a solution, a way out of their predicament, a welcome relief from their pain, a map to the future and a toolkit for their success.

Oh, and when they buy directly from you the return is so much more rewarding!

If you focus on Waterstones you are probably thinking more from ego than from a calculated business strategy. Much better to reach your audience where they are gathering in numbers, connect with them, demonstrate your unique perspective and value and offer them ways to learn more from you through your book(s).

Develop your online (and offline) content marketing strategy long before you publish your book, or even write it. Don’t just focus on the launch period. Think about supporting the growth of your ideal clients for the long term.

Your potential readers are online, don’t fight for shelf space—build connections, grow an audience and nurture your tribe…

If you must fight… Don’t fight to get your book on Waterstones’ shelves, fight to get it in your audience’s awareness, then you’ll find it makes its way to your tribe’s shelves!

The Kara Sutra #2—Aural Pleasure

You are having a conversation, but not THAT sort of conversation…

Things to avoid when writing your business book—Part Two

A mistake so many new authors make is writing as they speak. The written word comes from a different part of you to the spoken word. This is true even for those authors who dictate their writing—they dictate for the narrative word, not the conversational.

Even when we consider audio books, the writing immerses the listener in narrative; it evokes a sense of reality that impromptu conversation does not necessarily have. Whilst in conversation, the listener is usually preparing a response—when listening to audio they are imagining they are in the story-world.

When in discussion, all parties use the same parts of the brain whether they are listening or speaking. When conversing through writing and reading, the author and audience are using different areas of the brain. If they encounter a narrative tone, too similar to a spoken conversation, they will start replying in their head, rather than just letting go and enjoying the story.

Now, the written word is a form of dialogue—an interaction between you and your audience. However, the conversation is sculpted, designed and polished to very specific effect. The cadence of writing is different to that of speaking.

Simply writing down words as you would speak them (without subsequent honing of the narrative), does not come across as informality or friendliness—it provokes a defensive/offensive position, instead of a trusting relationship.

To avoid the conversation trap when you are authoring, pay particular attention to these aspects of your work…

  • Shortening words such as I’m, Don’t or Wouldn’t (possessives are fine, for instance… Sandra’s car). Remember that it’s is not possessive, it is a shortened version of—it is—and therefore it is not suitable.
  • I believe, I would say, In my opinion—of course you believe, you would say, it is your opinion… it is your book!
  • I remember… As I recall… When I think about it… any form of conversational position that places the reader with you, rather than in the narrative world.
  • We use a lot of superfluous words in spoken conversation, for example: All of the decision-making vs. all the decision making.
  • Habitual words (or phrases), are another example of superfluous words, such as—do not overuse that… the people that we know/the people we know
  • Vagaries, such as perhaps, maybe, should, etc. Also be sure of yourself—I was fourteen or fifteen at the time—this really does not work when immersing the reader!

When you are in debate, discussion or generally conversing with others, you are improvising, giving impromptu information, getting to the end as quickly as you can so they stay interested. When authoring, you are storytelling—even in a non-fiction, educational or business book.

You are seeking to meander along a path, so interesting, enthralling and profound, your audience follows. You are creating a trusting relationship. You are focusing on the effect your words are having upon the reader as they journey onwards…

 

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The Kara Sutra is the Author’s Way of using the written word as a powerful tool (from the Sanskrit Kara, author/creator, and Sutra, law). A tool that impacts the reader and transforms their lives in some way.

In this series of blogs, author and ghost writer, Martyn Pentecost, explores the foundations of authoring through a series of Author Laws… The Kara Sutra.

Breaking the rules of publishing

“You can’t sell a paperback book for £50!”

Our business has broken the rules of traditional publishing since we started back in 2009.

  • The pre-internet model relied on tying up your capital in pallets of books sitting in warehouses.
  • The pre-internet model priced paperback books low and created hardbacks at a premium, with the hardbacks coming out before the paperbacks.
  • The pre-internet model rarely invested in design and illustrations for standard titles as these were expensive (and because you spent the money you had on stock sitting in warehouses).

The original product range that mPowr Publishing (the publishing imprint behind Immersive Publishing) launched doesn’t follow these rules.

Over the first four years, we developed an in-depth training programme in a unique complementary therapy. The Celtic Reiki product range now includes introductory titles (priced around £13), little books (£10), audio CDs (£13-£60), manuals (six of these, the cheapest of which is £40 and most expensive is £120).

When people buy the manuals via the website at www.celtic-reiki.com they receive free online training and support for up to 38 weeks. This massive online training programme (hundreds of hours of video, audio, online and email material) is exclusive to the site.

Occasionally someone will purchase the manuals via Amazon or another retailer but they aren’t able to access the training.

This means:

  • We have no manuals sitting in warehouses unsold. (Capital is invested in projects instead.)
  • All the Celtic Reiki books and manuals are paperback and retail at premium prices. (Recouping the investment costs.)
  • Only the very first two books (introductory titles) are not illustrated. All the others incorporate extensive illustrations and some of the manuals are richly illustrated throughout in full colour. (Ensuring high satisfaction and improved engagement.)

Students buy these books and manuals because they are uniquely valuable, written by the authority in the field, allowing access to rich, additional material. Breaking the rules of publishing has allowed us to invest time and energy in developing a unique high-quality offering in what is usually a very low-price and low-quality market.

You too can build a comprehensive product business. Step by step. A little book, an introductory online course, an authority book, a complete suite of online training modules, workbooks and in-depth niche titles.

If you are thinking of writing a book to either market your business (a little book) or take your business to the next level (an authority book) do you think it wise to work with those who are wedded to the old rules or those who can create strategies for today?