Move Mindfully from Fake to Real

Have you heard of the Imposter Syndrome?

It “is a concept describing individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and have a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud”. The term was coined in 1978 by clinical psychologists Pauline R. Clance and Suzanne A. Imes.[1] Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved.”  (Fall 1978). “The imposter phenomenon in high achieving women: dynamics and therapeutic intervention” (PDF).)

The Problem.

If you are an entrepreneur journalist or author-preneur, you understand that you are always curiously walking into new and unexpected timewarps, new-to-you environmental situations, and talking with experts who know more about their field than you do.  That’s why life holds the goods for you, but that’s also why you may feel nothing like an expert at ANYTHING.

I’ve experienced the imposter syndrome myself. Here are three issues I have faced feeling like a fake.

  1. My industry is often viewed as a fraudulent spin-off of traditional publishing.

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  2. In my musical quartet, one person became sick. Others of us had our doubts, fears, baggage from life, and time constraints that made for a pile of imperfections. Besides that, we wrote our own music. How could we possibly tell if there was even a market for our music, much less present ourselves as professionals?
  3. The first time I approached a DJ to speak about Capture Books on the radio, I didn’t know that radio hosts are beholden to an agenda dictating what they are able to put on the air. Agendas are either self-imposed by their persona or show or imposed by the broadcasting station. I soon learned that wanna-be speaker-authors are a dime a dozen.

What is the Answer?

You’ve heard some of these things before but perhaps applied to other arenas of life. So, as you are thinking about the overwhelming challenge to present yourself an expert in the field you have written about, break down these two TIPS, A & B, below, and apply them to your new writing business.

Tip A: 

Come Across in a Powerful, Vibrant Persona

This is how you “should” come across. Oh, yeah. Of course, just putting a “should” into the mix tends to tighten up the flow of consciousness! “Shoulds” can plug up your ready laughter, and bring on comparisons that cause wet patches to grow under your armpits. Yes, acting like the perfect example of an Alpha-personality, even if you aren’t, can be faked!

Slouching in your chair, or walking with your shoulders slumped over does not create the image of movement, good humor, or education. It certainly does not convince your audience that you are their next kicker!

So, here are the basics to win your next interview with a media host:

1. Be on time, and swing your arms. Relax your shoulders and loosen your neck in the car or elevator, or while you are waiting in the appointed hot seat (but do not crack your neck noisily before a stranger!).  If you have a hot and angry topic, it will eventually rear its head during the interview, but start out sweet and savvy!pexels-photo-261617.jpeg

  • If a media host gives you directions to the studio or station, write them down.  I once attended a radio interview that could not be found on anyone’s GPS. The host did not tell me why he was giving me directions, and I assumed he was a bit of a dinosaur, but I wrote them down anyway. Don’t let GPS destroy your whole reputation!

2. Smile at everyone and try to remember names. You can hear smiles in a voice, and you want to win them over to you and your cause, not isolate yourself. A show host may begin by talking about someone he or she works with, and knowing this  helps to orient you into this world where everyone is important, not just the radio host;

3. Facts tend to sober up the emotions.  Learn something to fulfill the value of your pexels-photo-355988.jpegtime slot. If you really, really don’t know, then do your research! During your interview, read your polished-up cues taken from factual notes from your research. No-one expects you to wing it all. And, even if you side with the minority, your opinion on the facts will draw interest and controversy. So, bring to the table your own polished hook on a given topic.

In my first stressful years of learning to publish and market authors, when I spoke of my professional struggles and self-doubt to my own authors, they offered some facts they had encountered personally to allay my fears. They told me why they found my services valuable. One of them repeatedly told me that Capture Books filled the niche between self-publishing and traditional publishing. One of them insisted that we charge her more money for our services because she wanted Capture Books to be around in the future! Understanding these facts offered by the primary source – from the authors I served – tossed my emotional devaluation and angst over the cliff into oblivion.

When I mentioned what our hybrid publishing company was doing to my first radio host, this proved to be the angle that excited him to book our authors!

Bringing facts to bolster your media interview includes quoting

  • something from the news, or
  • from classic history, or
  • something literary;

4. Turn your attention away from yourself by being genuinely interested in the person you are reaching out to, whether it is the DJ or pexels-photo-270288.jpegthe audience behind the wheel of the car.  Don’t worry about what you are going to say or when to say it. The radio host, DJ, podcast host or television host will introduce the questions he or she has prepared for you in its proper time. Prompting you at the right time is their job;

5. Use questions if you feel yourself lecturing or “promoting”.  Asking one or two conversational questions, on topic, stops your run-on monologue in the moment, breaks down the doldrums of saying the same thing repeatedly, and creates a new personal application or thought process in the mind of the listener that grabs attention;

I was in a presentation by a television host who said that she had never been asked a question by someone she was interviewing before.  One day, someone asked a question that rocked her world. She became a different person because of it.

6. Simply start a story.  There is an inner child in everyone who loves a good story or a good joke.  Have one prepared for each segment;child-childrens-baby-children-s.jpg

7. Gipper says, “Even if you are not yet brimming with confidence, simply holding your body in a strong position will give others the impression that you are confident about yourself, and they will treat you as such.” (SoSuave)

TIP B:

Shift from “My Presentation isn’t Ready/Perfect” to “It is Good Enough”

If you’ve ever caught yourself saying: “It’s not ready” or “‘I’m not sure it’s what they want” — this tip is for you, reports Jeanine Blackwell (Create6FigureCourses).

Jeanine says, “the truth is: we NEVER arrive at perfect. We never know for sure that this is THE thing they want.

“And the challenge is, if ‘perfect’ is the bar, we’re pretty much guaranteeing that we are going to be stuck in the process of creating, refining, and switching gears forever rather than getting our work out into the world.

“One of the most important mindset shifts we can make as entrepreneurs is to switch from ‘it has to be perfect’ to ‘this is good enough’.”

I found this to be true regarding our musical presentations. We had to move forward with our commitments in faith. Cancelling would have ruined our reputation. When we did our best, people always responded and the music books sold well.

It’s easy to underestimate the superpower of the hybrid business’ competitive edge. Hybrid authors can add on something really fast if there’s something we have to fix, even if it has to be tackled together.  We can respond quickly if there is a gap between what we see ourselves delivering and what the audience wants. It’s easy to think because we aren’t big, we don’t have enough resources. It’s actually the opposite.

Here’s the mindset move:

  • Get your work in front of your customers as quickly as you can.

It is a mistake to try to psyche yourself into confidence.  True confidence is built through action. To engage action, use

  • courage to pursue and test. Then,
  • pursue, accepting the high grades and low as any good student does,
  • pursue, and become the expert presenter you always wanted to be.

Leave your dreams in the dust. Instead, follow through with every opportunity to become real.

Go Brave!

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What’s a Great Headline for a Creative’s Anniversary?

I didn’t realize. It had actually been two years already. What? Wow. That’s been a bit of a roller coaster, to say the least.

(Is this post public? Eh-hem.)

Nevertheless, I’m excited to discover that – well, yes – I have indeed written a book. The “Shivoo!” may as well commemorate and celebrate the culmination of these first years of managing a publishing company for Christian creatives. Welcome to the Shivoo! it’s called. Subtitled, Creatives Mimicking the Creator, and it is coming out next month. $0.99 pre-orders are taken by Amazon on Kindle.

WHY DO CREATIVE CHRISTIANS STRUGGLE TO FIND BELONGING?

The human impulse to create is a reflection of the Creator’s image shaped inside of us. So, why does a sense of value seem so elusive? Maybe it’s because creatives don’t quite understand our origin. Continue reading “What’s a Great Headline for a Creative’s Anniversary?”

Response to Publisher’s Weekly News

This is good news from PW, At IBPA Meeting, A Push for Parity, from the hybrid publisher’s viewpoint.

I work for https://www.CaptureMeBooks.com (doing marketing for several authors) but the biggest problem is POD. Barnes & Noble clerks tell customers that it is the publisher’s fault that they do not shelve our authors’ books, but I know that we distribute through Baker & Taylor, so the real problem is that the brick n mortar stores do not want to cut their 55% profit or pay for POD prices any more than the authors and hybrid publishers do. They have rookie authors over a barrel. When an author or small publisher must pay for all the print and shipping, handling (%43.5 value) and brick n mortar distribution cut (55% value) plus the marketing of each book purchased in the shade of traditional platform publishing models, – and then not get paid royalties for 90 days to a year,- the investment outlay is akin to financing a car or new home! Return is under $2 per book. To new authors, it can feel like an exercise in hubris to consider the costs together with those risks. When our books can only be found on Amazon or Nook, (here’s one below), authors should only be required to pay the online standard split of 30% since that is the distribution reality/risk brick n mortar stores are presently taking. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mister-b-a-l-byk/1123105411…

I also appreciated Christian Smyth’s opinion and will be utilizing the branding techniques found here (Three Tips on How Publishers Can Brand Authors in Our Media-Saturated Times) for the distribution of promotional materials with A.R.C.s  on Soothing Rain, which is a new group study for lively women by authors, Tonya Jewel Blessing and Sue Summers.

Plunge Ahead!

All the Things We Cannot See

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As the managing partner of Capture Books, I represent a small publisher’s few authors, listed on www.CaptureBookstore. Our writers’ group decided to take an adventure, a risk, into the middle world between self-publishing and traditional big house publishing. We were a group of fine editors, entrepreneurs, comrades, and writers, several of whom had been published, and two of whom could speak publicly. You can find me, officially, on LinkedIn.

We decided to pool our resources. Since I had the most time on my hands, which I disputed vehemently for six months until no-one else stepped up, and since my book was crying in the corner to be outed and published, I registered our name at the secretary of state.  I began to take online courses into the mysteries of publishing.

Immediately, I saw the advantage to being a publishing house.

Where self-publishers could fail in the editing, formatting or proofing stages, our group advised and helped each other. One author had a media list she had worked hard to compile into a mail mergeable list.  She handed it over. not understand

We respected one another’s genre and writing skills, but we did not overlap much in the genres, so our target markets were different. Once our newest books came off the press, we did not contemplate being competitors in marketing.

What no one understood was the need to address libraries and obtain publisher imprinted ISBNs and PCINs, LCCNs in order to categorize our books into the catalog systems for marketing. Also, we learned our way around book templates and introductory requirements and exit strategies for marketing inside our books. We were introduced to the need for pre-publication dates and galleys for pre-publication reviews.

These pre-publication concepts came only after my book had missed these deadlines due to its eagerness to be published. (These books have voices and minds of their own!)

Uploading book content prior to editing is an exercise in humility, but at least I began thinking about tip sheets and one sheet content at that time and giving credit where credit was due. Check.

I thought that once the books were uploaded onto the Ingram print site and when our books were pictured in their catalogs, that we were in! WRONGER than wrong.

Had I a proper coach, in the beginning, I would have known that Ingram does not fulfill orders when the royalty percentage to the author or publisher, as the case may be, is in the negative.  I was clueless as to how to promote a special deal. To change the royalty into the black, I had to wait a month for the new royalty to take hold. And, how much was a reasonable royalty? It was a balancing act to target the price a market would purchase, and still make a buck!

What I really didn’t understand was the voluminous amounts of time it took to read, learn and experiment with the process of marketing books!  Certain books could only be reviewed or submitted for awards from the publisher’s nomination. Getting a contract for PRWeb was a small trick compared to passing their tests for each book release copy.

In advertising designs, I had to learn to find and upload the graphic, present the leading question or possible reader desperation, ie. the emotive hook, and then answer this dilemma in one fell swoop, with a link to a landing page, WAIT, a landing page? Not quite. What’s up with that? Clicks and conversions?  Another mystery to unravel. And, how was I to find each author’s target market?  My new career became slated with more questions than answers.

How could I keep spending money on webinars, sell-gimmicks, and advertising if I was only making one thin dime of royalty on the author books?  Awkward discussions and hot contracts were proposed.

The more savvy details of attachments, funnels, blogging and submitting books to bloggers, setting up the authors and their books into Amazon, Forward, Good Reads, Twitter, Barnes and Noble, or Nook, Baker and Taylor, Biblio, Self-e, Bookbuzz, Fasttracks, Axis360, Quality Books, IndiBooks, Books-a-Million, and threatening the authors to start Facebook posting and setting up their author web pages with calls to action was a minefield of negotiations.  The first time I submitted a proposal to our local library district, I uploaded the unedited copy of a promo sheet, rather than the latest version.  There were the makings for not only an anxiety attack but an anxiety disorder!

Curses! People weren’t buying yet! One day as I was stuck in a traffic jam trying to attend an author autograph event, I had a meltdown to see all the people in all the cars on just one mile of just one highway in the world, and not one of them was tapped into our authors’ first books. All the cogs in the wheel were circulating towards the miner’s stake, but I had to start digging for the gold.  Summer Holidays were approaching…

This blog will define the tightrope of publishing and marketing books for small publishers such as our little group, Capture Books. If no-one else reads my record of coaches, gimmicks that work (lawfully), tips and treats for authors and small publishers, at least it will become my immortalized saga of the managing partner life I embarked upon in my fifties. Life, oh definitely, began at 50!

I’d love to hear from you, too…

 

 

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