5 Common Mistakes That Can Keep People in Debt

Dealing with debt is truly difficult in and of itself. People usually can’t get out of debt soon enough because they tend to commit a lot of mistakes along the way. People take for granted different factors in facing this challenge, like the idea of negotiating their debt or building a budget to work off their obligations. To help you solve this financial conundrum, here are five of the most common mistakes people with debt commit.

Not Negotiating

People with debt can mentally and emotionally benefit if they just simply negotiate around their debts. For example, if you have a credit card debt that you want to pay off now, you can try negotiating the terms of your payments. One thing that people don’t understand is that lenders also want to be paid as soon as possible, and usually they’re willing to work with borrowers in order to allow more breathing room for them to pay-off their debts.

Start by calling up your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate. It sounds simple, but lots of people never do this. The thing is, most people don’t know they can actually do this or that it’s so easy. Some people simply don’t have any idea that it is possible, or that they are too embarrassed to even try. Find the confidence to do this, and start talking to the right people right away.

image4

Credit card debts are not the only ones that can be renegotiated. In fact, almost all types of debts, loans, even a trust deed, can be rearranged so that you can pay your loans much more efficiently. Negotiation can save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in some cases.

Not Prioritizing Paying off Debt

The second most common problem that people with debt face is not making it their utmost goal to pay off debt.

If your goal is to get out of the burden of your debt, it is necessary to make it your number one priority. If you make it your top priority, you might be surprised how much you can subconsciously work your way into completely paying it off.

When you’re in a huge debt, remember that luxurious things shouldn’t be anywhere near your radar. Anything that’s not a necessity can get in the way of you paying of your debt. It might be a scheduled vacation outside the country, a new gadget, or even just a series of high-end meals in fancy restaurants. Remember that your number one priority is paying off your debt, not making yourself feel better while in debt.

Focus 100 percent on your obligation if you want to pay it off as fast as possible. To help you keep your priorities straight, it’s always a good idea to rely on a budget. Your budget should empower you to spend on the things that are important to you. This serves as your guidance system to eventually becoming debt free.

Ignoring your debt

It’s actually surprising how people subconsciously – or even intentionally – ignore debt. However, the worst mistake you can ever make when you’re in debt is to set it aside and allow it to resolve on its own.

image3

If you let your bills pile up on a desk or in a drawer, you would just accrue more interest and late fees. You might even end up being sued, having your car repossessed or having you and your family evicted from your very own house.

No matter how awful it might make you feel, you need to open those bills and return any calls you receive from your creditors.

Not designing a budget

Paying off debt without a budget plan is like a wild goose chase. You might get there somehow, but you will probably just end up dirtying yourself in mud and letting it run off.

It’s best if you can make a budget plan. Whether on a logbook or on a spreadsheet, it can really help if you actually see how your money flows in your household.

It’s a common pitfall to think that you could work your way out of debt without having a household budget to help you cut your spending and better manage your money. There is simply no tool that’s more fundamental to good debt management than a budget. It’s just the only way to ensure that the limited amount of money you have available goes towards paying off your top priority debts and your living expenses.

Normally, creating a budget follows these 3 basic steps:

Establish Your Goals. It is important to have goal, especially with your finances, because it serves as your motivation every time you feel the need to bail out. The goal should be what you want to achieve or where you want to be at in the future. 

You may have more than one goal as you create your budget. However, you have to be mindful in determining the level of importance of each goal since it decides their rank in terms of which needs to be achieved first.

Know Your Numbers. Of course, throughout the process, you need to know how much money comes in, how much money goes out, and how often do these two occur. Literally, it is a numbers game. Make sure that your income is higher than your expenses.

Balancing the Accounts

Now, if you have debt, this regular order may be challenged. You might notice that your expenses may become higher than your income. If this happens, you must act quickly to make sure it will not blow out of proportion.

Check and re-check. Always go back to your previous notes. If you don’t normally create a budget plan, go back to your billing statements, deposit slips or any other document you can gather. This gives you a baseline on how you are right now.

Also, always keep in mind that together with creating your budget, you need to make sure that you have the commitment to keep it and update it as needed.

Not paying off different kinds of debt in a proper order

Well, it’s more about looking for the sensible order. More often than not, this kind of mistake can be committed by those who have more than one debt, be it from credit card, car loans, housing loans, or what have you. There is actually a better way to deal with having many sources of debt.

It’s tempting to try to eliminate all your debt quickly, but it’s in your best interest to pay off some bills before others. For example, it is recommended by financial experts for people with multiple debts to eliminate credit card debt prior to paying off a mortgage or car loan as credit card interest rates are usually much higher and mortgage interest is tax-deductible.

Some people are tempted to attack the loans and credit card accounts head on with the smallest balances first to feel more accomplished in the payoff endeavor, but most debt experts agree it’s most beneficial to pay off the account with the highest interest rate first. Think about it this way, you don’t want the interest to inflate to a point that it’s heavily damaging your finances. Once the debt with the highest interest is paid in full, you can move on to the next highest rate account.

3 Book-to-Film Box Office Winners That Deviated from the Originals

Most people say that films based on books always disappoint and that their novel versions are usually more entertaining. This is due to the fact that film adaptations, more often than not, have to cut “scenes” from the book due to running time constraints. The original story also tends to get lost in translation as it could be interpreted differently by the screenwriter and director.

Another factor is the cast of actors in movie adaptations. Sometimes, actors portray their roles differently from what you might have imagined based on reading the book.

Given all these factors, some movie adaptations get really bad reviews. Sometimes, it might just be better for you to wait for them to be released on DVD or grabbed online with your handy video downloader. However, some still turn out to be blockbuster hits.

You be the judge. Below are three recently released movies that turned out to be significantly different from their original book versions, yet made a huge buzz in the entertainment scene.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

The Percy Jackson book series is one of the most popular titles in the young adult market today. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief is the first of the series, and it talks about the twelve-year-old Percy Jackson as he finally arrives at a secret training facility for demigods called Camp Half-Blood.

image3

His adventure starts after talking with the Oracle. Percy immediately goes on a quest to look for Zeus’ lost master bolt. Together with his satyr friend Grover and fellow camper Annabeth, Percy heads out to the Underworld to confront the prime suspect Hades as they battle monsters. Although Percy manages to retrieve the master bolt, he also reveals a story of betrayal among the gods that could ruin Olympus.

In the movie, released in 2010, Percy is already sixteen years old when he arrives at Camp Half-Blood. After Hades issues him a challenge, Percy sneaks out of camp and takes up the quest to recover Zeus’ lost master bolt. While being accompanied by the Grover and Annabeth, Percy goes on with his journey with the aid of a map of contrivance that is very particular about where to find pearls that grant escape from the Underworld.

The book describes Percy as someone who is cool and proud of being a demigod. Also, aside from helping Percy with his quest, Grover and Annabeth are fully developed characters in their own rights. The screen version showcased that Percy is a little emotional. This version of him is pretty much devoid of all humor, and he tends to freak out a lot. However, he has that distinct advantage of being portrayed by Logan Lerman.

Understandably, the book has more allowance for Percy to go into more exciting adventures and mishaps. On the other hand, the action scenes from the movie are a bit more intense than what was written on the book.

Considering these differences, you can pick out which version has the more dynamic scenes as you join Percy in his quests.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

The book’s author, Ransom Rigg, initially had the idea to make a picture book out of photographs that he had compiled from his hobby as a photograph collector. However, with advice from an editor, he decided to make a novel based on the photographs he collected. This is when Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children came to be.

image1

The novel told the story of Jacob and his relationship with a particular woman named Emma. Emma was in love with Jacob’s grandfather when he was the same as Jacob’s age during the beginning of the tale. She begins to fall for Jacob now that he has found out about the peculiar children. In the story, it was all possible because Emma is unable to age.

As with the book version, the live action adaptation brings the story to life with Tim Burton’s beautiful style of movie direction. The movie is very visually pleasing, and although the story has been altered from the plot line in the book, it is still enjoyable to watch.

One of the key elements in the story is the ymbrynes, the ladies that look over peculiar children who have the ability to manipulate time.

As the story goes, they were kidnapped by the wight, while Jacob, Emma, Millard, Enoch, and Bronwyn went outside of the loop looking for answers about the monster. However, the movie had the wight take only Miss Peregrine while all the kids were in the house.

This conflict eventually leads to a climactic fight scene between the peculiar children and the wights. Though the movie set it up at an amusement park. The original story placed the final standoff at a lighthouse.

Also, considering the book version, Jacob did not track down the peculiar children after regretting leaving them behind. However, the adaptation showed how he went out to find them right after saying goodbye to his dad.

For whatever reason, there is a significant number of differences between the book and the movie for Miss Peregrine. The respective styles of storytelling have created exciting moments for all the fans of this peculiar tale in both media.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay

The Hunger Games has become an iconic tale for book lovers all over the world. It tells the tale of Katniss Everdeen and the world she lives in after a great civil rebellion. The premise is exciting and dramatic enough as a book, but it was when Lionsgate decided to bring it to the big screen that this franchise became a true classic. 

image2

As a trilogy, The Hunger Games book series allowed the movie to split its final book to two full-length films. The movie adaptation of the last two installments of The Hunger Games movie sequel created twist and turns of its own to make the huge fanbase love the title even more.

One of the most critical scene in the movie was when Peeta was taken down and the broadcast is interrupted immediately after he revealed on air that District 13 was soon to be bombed. His warning went straight to the point by saying that the Capitol was going to bomb District 13, instead of saying that they would soon be dead by morning. In the book, the scene actually went on much longer.

This story adjustment was a preparation to the whole rescue mission for Peeta and the other victors. The book tells that whole mission is performed off-screen and that there is no communication at all with the rescue team. However, in the movie, the whole event made it to film. Also, the conversation between Snow and Katniss via video chat during the rescue mission does not actually happen in the book.

Towards the end of Katniss’ adventure in the novel, she was pushed into the crowd of Capitol refugees outside Snow’s mansion when the Rebels suddenly presented themselves during the invasion of the Capitol. But the rebels invaded the Capitol much earlier in the book, and that is why Katniss, Gale, and refugees marched towards Snow’s mansion.

The Hunger Games is without a doubt a masterpiece to cherish for years to come. It has made readers think about their current reality and how their choices could lead to a dystopian future. Whether you choose the book or the movie, you can feel the energy and excitement their world, characters and conflict bring to your very existence.

Understanding the Book Publication Process

Books have provided mankind with a platform to learn, to entertain, and to inform. Since olden times, books have been regarded as a symbol for knowledge and organization. While books do reflect a certain level of cultural significance, their longevity is now being challenged by the seemingly expansive nature of the technology.

Hardbound books are being reproduced less and less these days because of the advent of the ebooks and readers. Knowledge is expanding much faster over the Internet, with every bit of information being transformed to a digital form. However, the good thing about it is that while technology has provided a new platform to read, books are still fighting for their lives in the physical realm. Besides, nothing beats a good book in hand on a rainy Tuesday – not an iPad or an Android Tablet. A book provides that venerated vibe that true readers would only understand.

image03

The question now is “How does one’s favorite book come to be?”

In order to truly appreciate a book, one must comprehend the stages  it undergoes before it lands on your fingertips. This article zeroes in on the book publication process, the intricacies behind it, and how it is still thriving in the market today.

The Manuscript

Before any book is published, the exists the person behind the words. An author would have to spend a considerable amount of time creating his or her piece of art before it even goes to the press. Utilizing various writing processes, a writer whips up a story specific to the genre he or she has selected. Authors are aware of the best works out there, and try to scan each and every resource they can to create something authentic that would satiate consumers all across the globe.

image01

An author’s manuscript can have varying lengths that require varying amounts of production time to finally be considered finished. Some authors finish their pieces of art in days such as John Boyne when writing the “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”. That was done in 2 and a half days. Anthony Burgess wrote “A Clockwork Orange” in 3 weeks. Then again, there are some authors who take their time in writing their great works. J.D Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye” was a 10-year work, while Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” was a 12-year masterpiece. J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic fantasy trilogy “The Lord of the Rings” is a work of art that took 16-years to complete.

All in all, the manuscript a writer produces takes some time to complete. This is where the book publishing process starts.

Acquisition

When the manuscript is ready, it then undergoes the acquisition stage. This is where publishing houses look at an author’s work and decide whether it is publishable or not. Once an editor agrees to read a manuscript, it has passed a critical test. If the editors likes what they read  and think it’s a good fit for their list, they would then move forward with a proposal to acquire the book. However, this doesn’t mean it’s a done deal.

image00

Publishing begins with acquisition and highly depends on this step. Acquisition for a publisher is like planting seeds for a farmer, or creating new models for a car manufacturer. Without it, there would be no products to sell in the future, thus no income. This is why publishers are so careful about what they acquire, and take so much time deciding over it. Committing to publish one book means committing to spending or otherwise investing thousands, if not millions, of dollars in advances, staff time, plant costs, paper/printing/binding costs, and marketing expenses, with income from the book not expected for at least a year.

Once an author’s work is selected by the editor, it is time for both parties to sign a contract. When the author and the publishers have agreed to the acquisition, the writer loses all rights and control over how the book would be published.

Revisions

As soon as the manuscript is acquired by the publishing house, it undergoes a variety of edits and revisions. This is one of the most arduous stages in the process as everyone is trying to provide the best possible content. In fact, many writers often highlight editing as the hardest part there is in the writing process. Today’s book industry is so competitive that most acquired manuscripts don’t require significant editorial overhauls. Those needing lots of attention—whether they’re riddled with technical errors or in need of heavy restructuring—rarely make it past the agent.

image02

Today’s editors more often request minor rewrites or reworks on the manuscripts they acquire. When it is reviewed, it is then passed back to the author to revise under strict deadlines. When the author of the book returns on the set deadline, it undergoes review again. All in all, there are no specific numbers for editor revisions. It depends on how satisfied the editor is.

Production

As soon as the author and the editors of the book are satisfied with the work, it is passed onto the production line. In the moment when the title is ready, it is scheduled for publication together with its release month. Publishers recognize timeliness as a factor in their sales, so the release date is set on a month that they think is perfect timing.

image05

The release dates often depend on the number of contracts under the genre of the writer, as well as how timely the topic is. Say for example, a book regarding politics would be more effective if it were released during the months leading up to an election. Publishers often have a good idea when a book can have the greatest chance to sell.

Publishing houses then provide a set number of copies, which are developed during acquisition. The publishers have a legitimate claim on the number of copies they will produce in order to be profitable for both the author and the company. This is usually known as the “budget number” for each book. This number is the basis of how much attention to detail your title receives. With limited time and resources to produce thousands of titles, the budget number is one way for publishers to prioritize projects.

Another element in the production line is the development of the book cover. While it may be a relatively minor factor for readers, it is a huge deal for publisher because it provides the first impression of the contents of the book itself.

When the designs are ready and the number of copies has been achieved, publishers market the book through advertising activities, promotions, and publicity gigs. Bigger houses often provide authors a book conference where writers can discuss the contents of their books in a more personal way.

Sales and Distribution

Once the title has been marketed, sales representatives begin to present it to bookstores for selling. Titles are typically sold months in advance of publication, so most titles being presented usually come out months from the actual publication and release date. This gives the publisher plenty of time to assess all orders, make adjustments as needed, and print the right number of copies for distribution to the marketplace.

image04

Publishers utilize a variety of ways to distribute the copies. It all depends on the proximity, convenience, and costs of distribution. For example, many publishers in Canada acquire services from Toronto movers, who then deliver books in bulk orders to the nearest bookstores, and even to farther book hot spots as dictated by the distribution list.

9 Books to Help You Become a Better Insurance Agent

 

With the growing demand for insurance products, various books have become available to help you become a better insurance agent. Ranging from general life tips, specific guides for insurance agents, and books about the economy from a different perspective, these resources can be can make you stand out among the competition.

 

image02

 

The Sales Bible: The Ultimate Sales Resource

By Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer wouldn’t call it the Sales Bible for nothing. This book is quite the one-size-fits-all book that you need if you’re looking for a sales resource.

Almost anything and everything you want to know about the sales process can be found in this book. It also includes basic knowledge and advanced techniques that you may encounter in your business. From simple tips and tricks to complex sales and marketing strategies, Gitomer’s bestselling classic runs the gamut. Regardless of whether you are a novice agent or seasoned sales pro, this one is a must-read.

 

The World is Flat

By Thomas L. Friedman

 

Aside from insurance and sales guides, it is also important for you to understand the economic pressures and competition that different companies across different industries are now facing. This is why books like Thomas L. Friedman’s The World Is Flat is a definite good read for insurance agents.

 

image04

 

The World Is Flat is an essential update on globalization, its opportunities for individual empowerment, its achievements at lifting millions out of poverty and the environmental, social and political drawbacks. In a narrative punctuated by case studies, interviews and sometimes surprising statistics, Friedman tells his reader this: Be prepared, because a phenomenon waits for no one.

 

Without rhetoric or scare tactics, he paints a picture of a world moving faster than most can keep up. This book presents not only the problems that the corporate world faces, but also preventative measures and possible solutions.

 

New Sales. Simplified.

By Mike Weinberg

 

New customers are the lifeblood of any business. However, for the average salesperson, the process of acquiring new customers creates anxiety and confusion. In New Sales. Simplified, Mike Weinberg suggests that new sales success is not achieved through complicated strategies, but by executing the basics well. By drawing from his years of experience as a sales executive and coach, Weinberg provides salespeople of all experience levels with a well-structured framework to identify the best target accounts, leverage key sales tools and plan successful new sales strategies.

Especially relevant for new salespeople with small client bases, Weinberg’s volume is all about successful prospecting practices.

However, it doesn’t just stop there. You can learn how to interact with different types of clients more effectively to build stronger relationships and close more deals, which is ultimately what every good sales book should be striving to accomplish.

 

The Psychology of Selling

By Brian Tracy

 

In order to sell to someone, you need to know what they’re thinking — and why. With that said, it also helps to identify your own motivations at the most basic level. Brian Tracy’s The Psychology of Selling lays it all out, leading you to a greater understanding of sales in general and, as a result, a significant boost in your numbers.

 

image01

 

There’s a reason why firms like Big Lou still sell insurance even when they are up against the giants of the industry. They perform smart targeting. They have well-defined targets, and create a striking difference from the rest of the players in insurance.

By applying the psychology of selling, Tracey writes, you can sell insurance no matter what.

 

The Secrets of Closing the Sale

By Zig Ziglar

 

There’s a good chance you have already read this all-time great, or at least heard of it. If you haven’t, there’s no time like the present. If you already have, it probably couldn’t hurt to revisit its impactful lessons.

Zig Ziglar focuses on imbuing meaning within the relationships between you and your customers using his book The Secrets of Closing the Sale. It focuses on the strong relationships that can foster trust, and in turn, sales growth. Again, almost every successful agent has read this book, because it is very useful and easy to read.

 

image00

 

Ziglar emphasizes that you have to cover “all of the bases” in order to reach the close. You have to find a prospective customer. You have to make an appointment to meet the prospect. You have to build up initial rapport and trust. You have to tell the prospect a good story. You have to answer the prospect’s objections. Then you can close the sale. His motto to summarize this philosophy is, “You can get everything in life you want if you’ll just help enough other people get what they want.”

 

The Best Damn Sales Book Ever

By Warren Greshes

 

Warren Greshes might sound a bit overconfident about his book, but he won’t give a book such a confident title without the content to back it up. The title is fitting, as The Best Damn Sales Book Ever emphasizes that confidence and positivity are integral components of sales success.

“The big secret to sales success? A simple truth: Motivated, positive, goal-oriented people are usually the ones who sell the most. Even if you don’t think you have these vital qualities, you can develop them in yourself — with the right help.”

This declaration in the book says it all. It can help you boost your confidence in selling, but it can also help you back up your confidence by making you a better agent in general.

 

You Can’t Teach a Kid to Ride a Bike at a Seminar / The Sandler Submarine

By David Sandler

 

If you are having trouble getting people to buy what you are selling, this book could offer a different approach by teaching you the rough basics of selling something. Davin Sandler offers great insights for improving your sales presentations. His book revolves around five rules of sales success:

  1. Qualify your prospects.
  2. Extract your prospect’s “pain.”
  3. Verify that the prospect has money.
  4. Be sure the prospect is a decision maker.
  5. Match your service or product to the prospect’s “pain.”

 

To complement these rules, Sandler has created a book that defines a seven-step sales process he aptly calls The Sandler Submarine:

  1. Bonding and rapport
  2. Up-front contracts
  3. Pain
  4. Budget
  5. Decision
  6. Fulfillment
  7. Post-Sell

The name comes from this idea: As you finish each step, you close and lock a “water-tight door” so the prospect can’t return to it. Sandler presents techniques to do this and therefore put the salesperson in control of the sales process.

 

image03

 

High-Payoff Selling: Being Visible and Viable in the New Insurance Market

By Richard Coskren

 

While the other books on the list can help agents succeed via generalized sales advice, Richard Coskren’s High-Payoff Selling is directly focused on the insurance industry. It’s a full-on approach to integrating your life and work goals, customizing the services you offer and securing your status within the industry based on your merits, rather than the size of your business.

 

As its title suggests, it helps readers in being visible in the highly competitive world of insurance marketing. It can help you penetrate the market even when you’re just starting. More importantly, it makes you viable in the insurance market by helping you become an effective agent if you follow the tips it openly shares to you.

How to Self-publish a Book

At one point in your life, you may begin to consider the idea of self-publishing a book. It might be because of its many benefits, such as having a lot more authority with your content, having greater royalty rates, or attaining the satisfaction of putting into paper that core idea you have always had. There are various considerations when choosing whether you go to a publisher or have your book published on your own.

published-book

However, self-publishing a book is not an easy task, even for those who have a publishing background. Then again, if you’re looking for a shortlist of how to self-publish a book, here are the most basic – yet most substantial – steps that you need to take:

Step 1. Write and Back-up Your Manuscript

Write your manuscript and transfer it into a word document. It is always best to look for a Word Processor (you’ll end up using Microsoft Word, most likely) and do everything digitally because of its many pros: you can easily edit, go back a few versions, track changes, upload everything in the cloud, etc. Also, what’s important is for you to have more than one back-up of your manuscript, be it through an external hard drive, the cloud, or even in your e-mail.

Step 2. Hire a Content Editor

Hire a professional editor to read or edit your content. Studies have shown how important it is to hire a professional when you’re aiming to write a book; they are masters of grammar, of course, but most importantly, their input on what can be improved with your novel is golden. Of course, as a publisher, you would want more control of your work. At the end of the day, it is always up to you if you want to follow what they say. However, their insights might just be good for your book.

Step 3. Look for a Print on Demand Company

Look for a Print on Demand Company, because it’s the perfect go-to for self-publishers. You don’t need to spend much (or any) money upfront – all you really do is publicize your book and the buyers can get one made when they want it.

ready-for-published

Step 4. Design your Book Cover

It’s best if you can hire a designer to select the size of your book, its shape, color or any other visual element of your masterpiece. At first sight, people have to judge your book by its cover, and it’s important if you can make its cover attractive enough for people to get into it.

Step 5. Design your interior and layout

Select photographs, images, type of fonts, and illustrations for the interior of your book. In terms of layout, it is also best to find someone who’s a design professional – unless you can do it on your own – because not only do they know how to use the proper software to make the designs, but also the theories to apply so it can be likened by readers or be marketable.

Design alone can make or break your book, so steps 4 and 5 are just as important. There are many professionals out there waiting for a job, and there are many nifty ways for you to look for them. You can use freelance websites such as Odesk.com where you can find even the cheapest deals for a designer.

Step 6. Submission of the Digital Files

Upload your files and forward them to your publisher. Make sure that you are very specific with what you want, like all the details from the cover of your book, to the layout design. Everything.

Step 7. Order a Hard Copy Proof and Proofread

You cannot see layout and formatting errors easily in the digital file. Prior to publishing, it is critical to do one last proofread on a hard copy of the book. By then, you’re almost ready to publish.

Red ink on paper.

It is important to take now, however, that at this stage you should only be making small typo corrections. If you make major corrections at this point, it can change the entire spacing and formatting. The time and money required to do so may not be worth it.

Step 8. Submit for Final Publication

Submit the corrected files to the publisher, and then look at their first print to see if all the changes have been applied. If you don’t have any more changes, you can finalize your self-published book!

To Write Or Not To Write: 10 Tips To Becoming A Successful Author

To be or not to be. That is the question. Should you finally pursue your dream of becoming the author that you are meant to be, or stay in dreamland and keep your dream a dream…forever?

At some point, your creative juices would kick to bring light to your personal vision. However, a new question pops up – how can you make it, and become a successful, published author?

Author blocks.

It is a matter of choice. When the why is clear, the how will appear. Learn how to make your whys match your hows with these 10 tips to becoming an awesome, successful author.

1. Exercise Your Body: Exercise Your Mind

Everyone knows the importance of keeping your body in good shape. However, how does your physicality affect your linguistic proficiency?

As an upcoming writer, you have to embrace the fact that you still need to exercise regularly. Your body needs something to trigger its productivity and creative flow. Your brain cannot work properly if your body is not in good shape. Try making it a habit of having push-ups or squats in your room or near your writing space. This can stimulate your working mindset.

Or, commit to a routine every morning, and challenge yourself physically. Your writing over time will improve, watch.

2. Allow Yourself To Evolve

Great writers are open to change.

They can easily adapt and live as their life unravels before them. Evolving into a better version of yourself may be a little bit scary and challenging, but it is all worth it. Through evolution, you can find out how important your personal and professional journey is in making you a better person. All these changes and learning can definitely help you become a better writer, as these new challenges and experiences will show on your output.

3. Don’t Try To Please Everyone

Steven King.

Stephen King once said, 

“You can’t please all of the readers all of the time; you can’t please even some of the readers all of the time, but you really ought to try to please at least some of the readers some of the time.”

 You can become a successful author if you can recognize the fact that not all people are willing and able to read and appreciate your work.

You will see how others are even willing to tell you that you cannot make it happen. Others will also tell you that you cannot earn money in writing. You might as well do something like get cash for junk cars instead. To become a successful author, you must learn to look through all of these things. You must learn not to lose your focus and just keep pushing yourself towards your passion.

4. Make Your Imagination Bleed

Write.

Rewrite.

Then write again.

In order to have your work published, it is important to make sure you have learned the ins and outs of writing and editing. It’s not just about grammar and vocabulary. Most of the time, it’s the little burst of creativity that spark out of the blue, and how you inject these golden nuggets into your work. There are moments when you have sleepless nights because of a sudden brainstorming session with yourself about a story plot that could possibly make the ultimate difference. Make sure you are prepared with your inevitable creativity. Practice writing and then rewriting. Do this as often as you can.

5. Seek Motivation & Inspiration

Some say that writing is really easy as long you study everything about the rules of writing. Others say you just need to become diligent with information gathering in order finish your write up.

Whichever is the case, along the way, you will realize that writing can be difficult and tiring at the same time. More often than not, you’ll see the need to reevaluate your professional life and question your reality. At this stage, you need to work with your dynamic duo – motivation and inspiration. Remember, they will never come to you. You need to remind yourself why this is your passion, and go for it. Don’t hold back!

6. Never Burn Rejected Work

Disappointments can be really dark and destructive because you are your own toughest critic.

Do not burn your manuscripts out of spite. Others may reject you. You just need to keep on moving forward. You can improve on your work from the publishers’ feedback, constantly learning and growing along the way. Sometimes, you just need to know what needs to improve.

Try reading your piece again. Doing so can give you a fresh insight and perspective on what you have just done. You can draw out inspiration for a new plot on your next project. Rejected manuscripts are not the end of the line. In fact, they can be a great source of ideas and learning, leading to a new opportunity.

7. Read About Authors Who’ve Made It Work For Them

You can find out how successful authors have reached their level of success by a simple Google search.

Find out how they started their career and what gave them the strength to reach where they are right now. Read about how they manage rejections and what they do to overcome writer’s block. You may also want to consider reading about their tips or messages for people like you who are starting to become successful authors. Furthermore, some of the more well-known authors conduct seminars or workshops. See to it that you can attend one of those. The stories of other successful authors can help you see the world in a different perspective.

8. Seek New Perspectives

Red ink on paper.

Your editor is not an evil person out to stop you in pursuing your dreams. No one in the industry has become successful writer without the help of their editors and proofreaders. The moment you decided to become a writer, you automatically need someone who can give you feedback, edit and proofread your work.

You may be good at editing other people’s work, but it is a different story when it’s your own piece that needs to be proofread. The second (or third) opinion on your work is a big help in order to see any technical missteps and loopholes in your plot. They can also provide suggestions and recommendations on how you can further improve your existing piece.

9. Do Not Submit Your Manuscript to More Than One Publication at the same time.

It is not a pleasant experience for you once two publications accepted your piece, and they published it online or print. They can immediately know that their rival publication has the same piece at their end. You might end up being blacklisted in the industry. It might even be more difficult to work for the next publishing company as they most probably have learned about your blunder. In order to avoid this, wait until your manuscript has been formally accepted, or rejected, by your chosen publication. By then, you can take the necessary steps to move forward with regard to your manuscript.

10. Don’t You Dare Give Up

J.K. Rowling

Never let rejections and disappointments get into your head. You need to keep in mind that successful authors started from the same point where you are at this moment. They have also experienced rejections from a number of publishing companies. They have their fair share of sleepless nights and down times, too. Imagine how many times J.K. Rowling received rejection letters from different publishing companies with her most renowned work – the Harry Potter series.

However, she has never given up, has not allowed rejections and disappointments to get the best of her. See how far she has reached with her career. You can achieve this too!

5 Steps to Getting Your Work Published

A Simple Guide to Becoming a Published Author

At one point in your life, you’ve probably had a surplus of ideas, and you dreamed of getting them published. It could be a fictional novel, a guide book, or a manuscript that you want to be published. Undoubtedly, it is every writer’s dream.

your book here!

But how can someone actually get their work published?

Jump right in, and learn from the experts! Start your very own dream book with these five simple steps that will allow you to have your work published, and set your sights on becoming the writer that you have always dreamed of being.

Brief Notes for Writers (Bonus)

Focus *first on your writing.

Write and write and write some more so that you can improve your skills in writing over time. Do NOT put most of your thoughts into the process of how to get your book published. Instead, set your mind on finishing your book, and finishing it well.

new typewriter

There are also many ways to effectively edit your work. After finishing your first draft, have a nice long break; travel to another place, or just simply do something else and clear your mind. Now that you have cleared your mind, you will have a fresher outlook on editing your work.

With this fresh perspective, you will be able to add both subtlety and complexity to your work. A good suggestion would be to get away from it all. Perhaps try taking that dream vacation to California, or perhaps rent some nice and exclusive house and land Perth with RedInk Homes, or simply seclude yourself from the busy city life. Whatever it takes for you to commit your undivided attention towards your book. Editing and revising work is of high importance in getting your first masterpiece published.

Also, keep in mind that your first work is just as critical as your second or third work. With this being kept in mind, you should focus on putting the same amount of effort and focus into each piece to ensure that none of your books are “half baked”. Make sure that before you try to have your work published, you are confident that all of your work meets your high standards across the board.

If you are looking to publish as quickly as possible, you can always try online outlets such as blog sites, websites or online reading communities (such as Wattpad). It is a very interesting option for creative writing, and it can also facilitate peer reviewing in case you want to factor in constructive criticism before actually publishing your work.

Lastly, be on the lookout for editors, agents or publishers. You can befriend a few, or you can perform extensive research on which editor, agent or publisher would best fit your choice. Knowing people or franchises is of utmost importance to guaranteeing your success – or at the very least a fair deal.

Step 1: Determine Your Work’s Genre or Category

Now, you have to identify what your genre or category is. Are you a fiction or nonfiction writer? The thing is, there are significantly different paths taken by novelists of fiction compared to non fiction authors.

library

  • For novels, memoirs, and other fiction books: After finishing your manuscript and making sure that it is done precisely the way you want it published, it is now time to approach editors or agents. Again, it’s important to be 100 percent confident with your work. You may be very excited about your story idea, or about having a partial manuscript, but it’s almost never a good idea to pitch your work to a publishing professional at such an early stage. Finish the work first. It is also advisable to look for critiques, mentors, or peer advisories who can offer you constructive feedback, so that you can improve your work. One of the biggest mistakes new writers make is rushing to get the work published.
  • For most nonfiction: Rather than completing a manuscript, you should write a book proposal  —which acts like a business plan for your book—that will convince a publisher to contract and pay you to write the book. You need to methodically research the market for your idea before you begin to write the proposal. Find other titles that are competitive or comparable to your own; make sure that your book is unique, but also doesn’t break all the rules of the category it’s meant to succeed in.

Step 2: Evaluate Your Book’s Commercial Potential

The commercial viability of books varies wildly. Some books could be big enough to be suitable for the Big Five traditional publishers – like that of Penguin Random House and HarperCollins. As for the relatively smaller scale, they are suitable only for mid-size and small scale publishing work. However, the most important thing to remember is that not every book or book idea is meant to be published by a major publisher, or represented by an agent. The problem is that most writers – especially beginner authors – have a difficult time being honest with themselves about their work’s potential.

Here are some of the primary styles of books that Jane Freidman, the Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder of Open Road Integrated Media, which is a company that specializes in traditional and eBook publishing, said are most suitable for a Big Five traditional publisher.

The genre of commercial fiction would include such categories as: romance, erotica, mystery, crime, thriller, science fiction, fantasy, and young adult. In addition to this list, there are nonfiction books that would get shelved in your average Barnes & Noble or indie bookstore—which requires a strong hook or concept and author platform. Usually a New York publisher won’t sign a nonfiction book unless they anticipate selling 10,000–20,000 copies at a minimum.

Step 3: Looking For The Right Publisher

Once you know what you’re selling, it’s time to research which publishers or agents accept the type of work you’ve written. Sadly, most publishers – especially major publishers – do not accept submissions which aren’t supervised by legitimate agents.

The good thing is, there are many online guides – even online agencies – that can help a lot with you finding the right agent for your book. Writersmarket.com provides thousands of book publishers available for the taking. PublishersMarketplace.com, on the other hand, is the best place to research literary agents because, not only does it have many member pages, you can also search their database by genre, category, and/or keyword to pinpoint the best agents for your work.

printing press

Step 4: Complying With Submission Requirements

While each publisher or agent will require different submission requirements, here are the three most common required materials and how they are best prepared:

  • Query letter. This is a 1-page pitch letter that gives a brief description of your work.
  • Novel synopsis. This is a brief summary (usually no more than 1-2 pages) of your story, from beginning to end. It must reveal the ending. This is very important as it could very well be the selling point for any agent.
  • Sample chapters. When choosing sample chapters that can best showcase your book in submission, start from the beginning of the manuscript. It usually has more impact and more of a draw for the reader, and it is a sure-fire way to paint a good picture of your book for the agents to consider.

Step 5: Submit Your Materials And Wait

Almost no agent, publishing house, or editor accepts full manuscripts on first contact, and this is why they keep the sign “No unsolicited materials” in submission guidelines. What they ask for is a Query Letter, which is why you should focus on making your query letter a convincing one.

After you submit your query letter, you’ll get three general kinds of responses:

a.) No response

b.) A request for sample chapters and/or synopsis

c.) A request for the whole manuscript and additional documents

In the grand scheme of things, a non-response usually means a rejection.

printing press line

However, don’t let a rejection get you down! Remember, almost every famous and successful author has experienced hundreds, if not thousands, of rejections. Do not just abandon your work if you think that it should be published. Talk to the agent or publishing house and find out where your novel went wrong and how it can be improved.

Publishing your work also entails a lot more than just submission. You also have to factor in protecting rights to your work, the publishing industry in general, and a lot more that comes with being an author. Right now, however, all you have to do is to think about these five steps thoroughly in order to focus on having your work published.

Top 3 Reasons Why You Should Use An Independent Publisher

indiepub
Why go with independent publishing?

In the printing industry, the power is shifting from publisher to author – it is an indie revolution. However, this revolution did not happen overnight but has been transforming the face of publishing for some time now.

 

Over the years, technology has evolved and allowed people to produce their own movies and music independently. Authors too wanted a slice of the pie and that is how independent publishing came into being.

 

With independent publishing, authors could collaborate with others to design, write, publish, and market their books separately from the traditional routes. Since inception, independent publishing has made major strides and it’s now an authoritative and legitimate way to bring a book to market.

 

Some authors still opt to go it alone – researching, coordinating, and completing all aspects of the publishing process on their own in what is known as self-publishing. Others turn to independent book publishers.

 

Independent publishing may not be everyone’s cup of tea but can be a great fit for authors that would like to bring a book to market. The following are three benefits of independent publishing.

 

1.    Freedom

Don't get caught in a bad publishing contract
Publishing contract

 

Although you may not technically have as much freedom as you would with Self-Publishing, independent publishing gives you the freedom to publish what you wish on your schedule. Here, you have the power to determine the content you write about, the level and type of editing, all design elements you would like included, and much more.

 

2.    You Retain Control

 

Unlike traditional publishing houses, independent publishers do not buy the rights to your book from you. With indie publishing, you are the one in charge when it comes to your book. You own and control virtually every aspect of your book, from the cover to the content.

 

The role of the independent publisher is to ensure that your book will live up to industry standards but at the same it wont lose your unique voice.

 

In addition, you get to choose what you would like to do with the book once it is published. For example, if you market your book and get an offer from the traditional publishers, you can choose to sign with them.

 

3.    Quickest Way To Get Your Book To Market

 

Getting your book published and market-ready can take a long time when publishing with a traditional publisher. Obviously, there is the difficulty of the publisher accepting you, which can take several months or never at all. If you are published, you have to go through a lot. This is never the case with independent publishing.

 

With independent publishing, you remain in control of your book meaning that you will have your book in hand in less time.

 

In conclusion, independent publishing provides many benefits that traditional publishing simply does not as clearly outlined in this article. If you are ready to publish and become a published author with a book in print, you are welcome to embark on your journey by talking to a few independent publishing companies. Get in touch with their publishing specialists to learn more about how you can get your book published.